Logan's Practice Log #2

Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Hit the threshold for the 'More Messages' button today, so starting up another log. Old log is here: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/22813990

1.5 hour sit today starting at 11:00. Sit started out good immediately. Radiated 10 minutes metta. Good energy, some mind wandering, but overall smooth sailing. Radiated 10 minutes compassion. Compassion was strong. Got lost in this set of thoughts about how big corporations can be essentially suffering-machines, with great examples of each realm present throughout, then refocused on compassion, sending it to all of those people in the corporation. Then radiated 10 minutes joy. Very strong and bright. Punched through a little suffering wall into a state with very little suffering.

Radiated equanimity in all directions for half an hour. Worked on 'leaving your mind alone' until I had a cessation. Recalled the stuff in MCTB around the different doors to fruition. I'm pretty sure I've never had a cessation while investigating impermanence, so set out to do that. Focused on the flickering of awareness, the different frequencies present, and the little pitter-patter rain of body sensations. Had a few false starts, but eventually the whole frequency of awareness seemed to sync up and slow down and then had a cessation. Very cool experience. First cessation today was essentially a 'suffering' door cessation I believe, as most of what I'm leaving alone during 'leave your mind alone' is suffering. Suffering door seems to be fading out and sinking. Decided to try to have a no-self cessation to have them all fresh in memory to compare. Focused on trying to find a sensation perceived to be closest to self and then see how it was not self. Had a cessation. Had the feeling that space-time kind of pinched out of existence for a moment.

I just went back and checked over the 'Three Doors' section of MCTB, and it's interesting to see that these experiences of the three doors seem to essentially line up with what's expected. The predictability of whole path of insight thing is really interesting. I know the mind is capable of creating experiences you ask it to, so gotta take this all with a grain of salt, but I also only read about the three doors once, and probably more than half a year ago now. Additionally, at the time I simply didn't have the context to really understand it, so it was difficult to internalize. It's still possible I fabricated this experience for myself, but I can believe that it might be something innate to the path of insight.

After the last cessation, energy started ramping up and some tension arose and the visual field acquired this bright character I associated with the A&P, so keep on cyclin' I guess. A bit later the bell rang.

Switched to pushing on my burnout pattern. Interestingly, it didn't react in the same way. The 'total poverty of possibility' realm didn't really materialize, and instead I started imagining a really interesting project that I actually wanted to work on. I had a minor pang of the 'wanting', but it was light. I triggered it again, and tried to make the 'hungry-ghost' realm show up again, and sort of did, but it was muted. It then occured to me that perhaps the whole point was for it to not show up, and so I didn't do that again. Triggered it again. Not much 'wanting' showed up, but that revealed that the throat-centered feeling of indecision and worry about wasting time was still present. Transformed it by cultivating joy, then let it dissolve. Triggered the pattern again, and had the feeling again, transformed it, let it dissolve. Sat for a while, leaving my mind alone. Triggered the pattern again, very little resistance innitially, but noticed then that there was this 'blocking' feeling behind my eyes. Figured that was a 'Void' related shutting down reaction that I learned to get away from the pain I've associated with this kind of work. Recalled that there was an Immeasurable good for transforming 'shutting down' but couldn't remember what it was, so tried compassion. Kinda worked, but didn't feel quite right. Let it dissolve. Went back to 'Wake Up To Your Life', figured out good ol' lovingkindness is good for shutdown. Triggered the pattern, and noticed the blocking feeling, and just cultivated lovingkindness, and radiated it at the blockage.

This lightened it enourmously, and then I let it dissolve. I was left with a huge feeling of relief. I feel as though I'm getting at some of the core bits of patterns that have pushed me toward depression in the past.
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Logan G.
Switched to pushing on my burnout pattern. Interestingly, it didn't react in the same way. The 'total poverty of possibility' realm didn't really materialize, and instead I started imagining a really interesting project that I actually wanted to work on.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​That's interesting. I think you mentioned air element before in relation to this pattern (air = useless business to avoid groundless anxiety). The liberated form of air element is ... effective action, the ability to know and do what needs to be done emoticon
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Yeah totally! As I've been gradually increasing my mindfulness off the cushion, I've started to realize the air element reaction happens all the time for me. At times in my life I've just thought of it as basically weird throat tension - it's been really interesting to learn that it has this busyness/groundless anxiety tie-in (which are absolutely things in my life). Almost any time I notice I'm feeling aversive in life, it's air-related.
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
 (Yes busyness not business, I didn't meant to suggest that business is useless!)

​​​​​​​The throat is also related to communication obviously and self-expression, and by extension how we exchange things with others (and also between the head and the body). I don't necessarily buy all this chakra stuff literally, but just throwing it out there in case anything resonates. 
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
The 'self-expression' thing definitely resonates. I'll have to sit with that!
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Bit of shorter sleep last night, but a reasonably good one. Been a bit compulsive about reading dharma stuff recently. 2 hour sit today starting at 9:30. Radiated 10 minutes lovingkindness, energetic some mind wandering. Radiated 10 minutes compassion, some ups and down with solidifying it. Radiated joy 10 minutes, had a serious energy event and then things started settling down. Radiated equanimity 30 minutes. Left my mind alone. Had some stomach discomfort that I kept poking at, gradually left it alone more and more. Had a distinct sadness wave and a distinct freakout wave. Accepted them. Eventually mind got pretty quiet.

Bell rang, and switched to pushing on the burnout pattern. Nicely, the initial 'hungry-ghost' vibes are still gone, and working on a project still felt possible and interesting. Main element that shows up is still air - a continuous sense of 'you should be doing something else, you're wasting time'. Triggered and watched that feeling a bunch of times, transforming it with joy each time. Really sat with the sense that it's just a feeling, and a feeling that itself has truly wasted a ton of time. This sort of diffused it, but not totally. Kept triggering it and looking at where it was coming from.

Eventually, it became apparent that centered in roughly the same area, though with some 'void' element as well, is a feeling that I need to distinguish myself, that I'm not enough. The feeling that there is a set of 'creators' who are successful and that I just need to break into there. Seems like classic 'Titan' realm - good call George!

Bell rang, and felt like I had something to keep looking at, so kept sitting.

This feeling is very strong and hard to budge. It's a bit of a weird one because thinking about dismantling it provokes thoughts like 'why will I even want to work on things if I get rid of this need?'. Definitely there is something that feels threatened. This is also patently nonsense - much of what I've worked on in the past is super interesting for its own sake and totally self-encompassing. That being said, I think that part of what contributed to some of my burnout problems is pushing myself super hard on the boring parts of projects that are 'necessary' for completion, with the unspoken expectation that when this pain is over, there will be some kind of reward. When that external validation/money/whatever has been less than expected sometimes, I think my mind has started to build walls to avoid that pain.

I think I'm starting to see a tiny bit of what it means to 'die to the world of the pattern' in 'Wake Up To Your Life'. It's a bit scary to be honest.
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
When the patterns are identified then it's a threat to their survival and they tend to "fight back" using fear or whatever. It's actually a sign that the practice is working! Over time you learn to trust that the liberated form of the patterns will provide what you really need with less stress and drama.
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 1pm. Odd sleep last night - have some fuzzy recollections of dreaming that I was practicing. I think I even recall waking up in the night and having a cessation-like experience (or dreaming that I woke up).

High energy today. Pretty stable attention, a bit of mind wandering. Tried to broaden awareness to hold all sensation simultaneously throughout the first 30 minutes. 10 minutes lovingkindness started out basically immediately intense. 10 minutes compassion was intense and had more sadness in it than normal, and had a few strobing peaks in it. 10 minutes joy calmed down some, but still had some peaks and strobing.

Radiated 1/2 hour equanimity. Shaped awareness to try to catch thoughts arising as early as possible. Recalled the feeling of 'powering back up' as thought comes back after a cessation and tried to hold all of the parts of mind that do that earliest in awareness. Things got very clear and quiet, though there was a background of muscle tension and energy and heat.

Switched to pushing on the burnout pattern. Hungry Ghost realm is gone still, but Titan Realm remains. Did quite a few repititions of triggering the pattern and diffusing the 'wasting time' feeling with joy, then when that was reduced, worked on dissolving the feeling of living in world in which I need to distinguish myself, also with joy. I really feel like I'm getting somewhere with this - in part, I'm actually starting to struggle with mind wandering getting caught up in thinking about possible projects. Anxiety around it is really reduced.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sounds like the opposite of me lately. Keep going!
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Thanks Sam - the encouragement was honestly really helpful today!
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1 hour sit today starting at 2:00pm. Had a few beers last night, which usually makes my meditation more difficult, and today was no exception. Radiated 10 minutes lovingkindness to start, all kinds of mind-wandering to start, crummy focus, waves of sadness. Felt far away and a bit dull. Tried to broaden awareness and take it in stride. Radiated 10 minutes compassion, and energy started to come up a bit, but a lot of aversion showed up as well. More waves of sadness. Radiated 10 minutes joy, had a real hard time solidifying it. Got really restless.

Radiated 1/2 hour equanimity. Less mind wandering at this point, but lots of aversion, lots of restlessness. Lots of suffering walls to break through. Went back to just focusing on keeping the visual field of awareness as large as possible, pretty high effort. This at least kept the mind wandering down. Gradually the aversion decreased, but never totally went away. In about the last 10 minutes of the sit, was calmed down and clear enough to do something other than desperately hold onto awareness. Got curious about what awareness 'feels like' and investigated that. Things got a bit impermanent and a bit no-self. Interesting. Bell rang and I was feeling pretty done with sitting for today.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
I can't speak for beer but I have coffee before my meditations to keep awake emoticon Investigate the aversion briefly? Where do you feel it in the body? What thoughts does it bring up? Then realize it's empty. Its gone. It's not solid. So everytime it comes up you can do what Micheal Taft and "drop the ball" i,e. drop the the thoughts and aversion. Stop paying attention to it. Intead pay attenntion to your awareness and how its always there no matter what commotion is arising in the mind.
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Haha I have a coffee and then meditate pretty after waking up most days. If I don't get to the meditation in the morning (like today), I usually sit immediately after my second coffee. Really reduces the dullness and sleepiness for me.

Haha the 'hangover meditation' might be a good teacher once in a while - definitely provides plenty of aversion and restlessness and tiredness to accept. Almost a mini-dark-night, even when that's not where I'm normally at in my sits.
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
The 'drunk meditation' is another good one! What does it really feel like to be drunk? It's actually pretty interesting ...
george, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
I'm glad im not the only one that enjoys a few beers! Lately though when I have them I get this edgy, anger vibration which is actually really unpleasant! So im avoiding them for now.
Anyway nice log mate, sounds like you're breaking barriers, keep going!
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Thanks, my progress really stagnated for several months, but lately I've been moving along!

Honestly, the beer has such a negative effect on my meditation that I avoid it much more often than I used to. The crummy meditation really throws into relief how much even a little beer (like more than one) will mess up my next day.
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 1:00pm. Radiated 10 minutes lovingkindness, a bit vague but mind was reasonably quiet pretty quickly. Tended toward the sadder end of the spectrum for lovingkindness. Radiated 10 minutes compassion, couple walls of intense sadness. Radiated 10 minutes joy, never super bright and clear, and still some mind wandering, kept working on keeping awareness wide. At thirty minutes, started radiating equanimity. Kept pushing awareness to be wider, really focused on accepting any sensations that arose, an in particular focused on noticing and accepting any feelings of being in a specific realm and any emotions that arose.

After 20 minutes or so, I realized I wass feeling a bit dull and spaced out, and even though I was still feeling pretty distant, just focused on keeping that sense of dullness in awareness as much as possible, and a sudden increase in the size of awareness happened. It seemed like suddenly a whole space of 'emotional-stuff' was more clearly encompassed by awareness. In particular, this brick of hardness behind my eyes was very apparent. Moved my attention to accepting that feeling, and being open to it expressing itself however it needed to.

The bell range, and I decided to keep looking at this. Just sat with this feeling, and it gradually dissolved/morphed into a feeling of almost a wall around the inside of my head, and had these feelings of defensiveness and unsafeness and protecting. The feeling of needing to distinguish myself I've been noticing from my burnout pattern also showed up. It's honestly a complicated set of feelings that I'm hesitant to put a hard label on, but my current working theory is that there's something around wanting to distinguish myself in order to get out of the current 'unsafe' world where I'm not accepted and into the 'safe' world where people are like me and understand me. Gently sat with the notion that I'm both already in that world, and that the idealized version of it that I've built in my head doesn't actually exist, and just kept accepting the feelings and letting them express themselves. The feeling of the wall gradually dissolved. This was a big relief. A weird head-in-a-too-tight-helmet feeling arose after that, and I sat with that feeling until the bell range.
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 9:00am. Radiated 10 minutes happiness. Kind of itchy. Some wandering thoughts. Radiated 10 minutes compassion. Compassion was vague and hard to pin down. Had a weird sense of dizzyness and freefalling, like I was spinning through space. Still some thoughts. Radiated 10 minutes joy. Super intense sensation of joy. Thoughts reduced.

Started radiating equanimity. Really focused on having as much awareness as possible. I just read through 'Awake: It's Your Turn' after watching some of the interviews with the author (Angelo DiLullo). The section on emotions was particularly helpful - a nice complement to 'Wake Up To Your Life'. I noticed that the increased awareness of my internal space of emotions was still available, and sat with the undercurrent of feelings present there.

The first one I noticed was a little ball of intensity around the heart area. I sat with it and accepted it and gently asked it what it was. The first word that came to mind was 'Time-Bomb', which was kind of disconcerting. Wasn't really sure what to do with that, so just kept sitting with it and accepting it. It gradually got a bit hotter, and the word that started coming to mind repeatedly was 'Hate'. Definitely disconcerting. I honestly don't think of myself as an angry person - that's just not typically how I react to things. However, I do recall that 'Awake: It's Your Turn' suggested that people who repress a certain type of emotion habitually often say these kinds of things. I sat with this and accepted it. Gradually, as I got deeper and deeper into accepting it, it grew in size, eventually filling my chest. When I asked what it was, the word that came to mind was 'anger'. I started feeling hot and filled with it. I think I often feel the start of being angry at something, and keep it as a compressed little ball of irritation and try to ignore it. Just letting the raw angry feeling fill me and doing nothing but just accepting it and sitting with it was actually a huge relief. Eventually I had an intense moment where it sort of dissolved into white light, and I was left feeling much more equanimity towards the stuff in emotional awareness.

The bell rang, and I turned my attention to the other main feeling sitting in emotion space. Sort of a little rock in the back of my head, near the base of my skull, and radiating out and push on my face a bit. Sat with it and accepted it and asked it what it was. Immediate response was 'fear'. Kept sitting and accepting. Eventually it responded with 'Pain', then 'Hiding', then 'Running', then 'Dread'. Just kept sitting with it and accepting it. Had some moments of intensity where it seem to reduce some, but nothing as definitive as the 'Anger' feelings - even as I type this it still feels somewhat vague and unresolved. However, overall emotional equanimity definitely increased.

It's been really interesting lately. I feel like my equanimity towards sensations and thoughts has improved dramatically in everyday life, but the added awareness that has made that possible has really revealed just how much suffering is going on in my emotional space.
thumbnail
SushiK, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 143 Join Date: 6/11/20 Recent Posts
Sounds amazing.

Thank you Logan, I have to say your log have been very inspirational for me this last few days.
Made me look into TWIM (I'm actually half way on "The path to Nibbana") and trying to add some metta to my practice.

I wish you well and thanks again.
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
I'm glad this log has been helpful! "The Path to Nibbana" was a big help to me, though I think I mostly pulled from earlier parts of the book. I've been learning to trust my intuition with regard to how much I take away from various sources. I'd say my biggest stumble with "The Path to Nibbana" was that I interpreted the "Relax" step as kind of adversarial - like "there are these tensions and I'm going to blast them away with my relaxer-beam". I found that instead, relaxing my resistance to these tensions by inviting them in and accepting them was much more effective. I'd say that what I just described is probably closer to the intended method than my first interpretation -- that was likely mostly just me misunderstanding the instructions.
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Great stuff!
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
2 Hour sit today starting at 9:00am. Radiated 10 minutes lovingkindness, some mind wandering. Radiated 10 minutes compassion, a bit vague, some mind wandering. Radiated 10 minutes joy, very intense, much less mind wandering. Worked to broaden awareness throughout.

Started radiating equanimity 30 minutes in, put emphasis on awareness of emotions. Asked conciousness, 'what is the most important emotion to look at right now?'. Immediate pulse of sensation behind my eyes. Asked the same question several times, got the same pulse, so decided to investigate that location in awareness.

Asked it what it was several times, got sort of vague, unsure non-answers. After trying this several times, asked it to show me some images. After sitting and accepting it for a while, got some images of times where I was a small kid (elementary school age), and was excluded from groups. I was never bullied overly much when I was young, but I sometimes joke that I 'had books instead of friends'. I didn't really figure out how to be part of things until highschool. I think the feeling in the body was a sort of protective field against feeling excluded. I sat with that feeling and it dissolved significantly. This was a big relief and left awareness much more clear.

The resulting clarity gave me more space to look at another feeling, more in the throat and jaw, but stretching down into the torso. I sat with this feeling and asked it what it was. It responded immediately 'fear'. I kept looking at it, accepting it. I gradually realized that this is a baseline fear that's with me almost all of the time. It's probably responsible for the throat and jaw tension that I've had for the last 10 years or so. It's a very generic 'but what if things go wrong' fear that prompts me to try to predict what will happen in the future. It sort of suddenly occured to me that this feeling in some sense *was* the future - it's a very time-ish sort of feeling.

Something clicked for me here, and I started to actually feel what it means to only have the present moment. It became obvious that I have this constant resistance with me in every moment about a thing that doesn't actually exist. On top of that, it also provided some insight into sepparation, as much of the baseline anxiety I carry around seems to be about external things happening to the self. But its all just awareness trying to build a wall sepparating awareness from itself, which is doomed to fail, because the wall is also made out of awareness.

Sitting in the moment, all of this suffering is actually a bit funny - it's so dumb! All of my anxieties are basically just predictions about future anxieties, and the only thing that happens is the present, and I just muddy it up with garbage. I just sat in the moment and things dissolved away. Had some pretty quiet mind, some cessation-ey type things, just kept sitting in the moment. My awareness feels a bit more expanded now. I recently turned up the volume on emotional awareness, but it felt sort of like there was a boundary between 'internal' awareness and 'sense' awareness. That boundary seems almost not to exist now.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
I have only one thing that might help because it looks like you're totally rocking it; whenn you radiate awareness out, can you (Yet) feel the boundless nature of that awareness.

Stop by my log. I could  use your support.
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Hmm I'll keep an eye out for that - awareness just feel pretty big right now, not quite boundless.
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Nice insights!

The childhood exclusion/acceptance pattern reminded me of the titan stuff with work, feeling the need to "break in".

Time is very much connected with fear ... What if I don't exist tomorrow? What if I didn't exist yesterday? emoticon
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
George S:
The childhood exclusion/acceptance pattern reminded me of the titan stuff with work, feeling the need to "break in".


Totally. All this stuff was so long ago - it's weird to think it might still play an important part in my mind. On the other hand, I suppose that any conditions that are around for a significant number of formative years would leave patterns of behaviour behind in the mind, so I guess it's not unreasonable. On top of that, I think a lot of these behaviours are sort of 'self-reinforcing', so that even as the initial conditions leave, the mind creates a world that has those conditions in it moving forward and perpetuates the behaviour.
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 9:00am. 10 minutes lovingkindness, lots of mind wandering, but very light and good. 10 minutes compassion, a bit intermittent, but strong when it was there, more mindwandering. 10 minutes joy, a bit vague but strong moments, some mind wandering but calming down a bit. Nice and light.

Started radiating equanimity, and then switched to asking the body what emotions were most important to work on today. Got a pulse of feeling in the chest each time this happened, so started asking it what it was. It responded 'greed'. Started stripping away the sense of a past and a future, and asked it what it was again. 'Fear'. Seemed to gradually reveal itself as fear of not having enough - some hungry ghost stuff. Asked it to show me some images. Got images of the projects I've been using to push on my pattern. This made it obvious how much of the stuff I've been striving for has been fear driven. Accepted it until it dissolved.

Asked what was important again, and got a sensation behind the eyes. Asked it what it was. 'Pain'. Asked again. 'Fear'. Asked again. 'Fear of loss'. Asked for some images. Had some more of the childhood exclusion stuff. Some particular faces and incidents. Had a pulse in my chest. Asked what it was. 'Hate'. Looked at it outside of time again. 'Anger'. Some images of being a kid at school. Let the anger open up, it filled my whole upper body. Accepted it. Let it dissolve. Kept looking at the fear. Intuitively felt that I should forgive the kids involved. Did this. Radiated compassion to them. Radiated metta to them. As I let it all dissolve, it gave way to some good childhood memories of being on the beach with my grandparents. Had the feeling that some of the bad feelings from that young age have made me also avoid many good memories from that period. Accepted those memories/feelings.

After that dissolved, I just rested in attention, and had the sudden feeling that the 'safe place' I've been trying to find or break into is just this moment. Like the answer is just right here. Honestly this used to sound a bit ridiculous to me when I'd read stuff to that effect, but I think I'm starting to get it. Just sat in the moment and chilled out until the bell rang.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
All I can say is what a great job working with the emotions! And thanks for the support
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 11:30am. 10 minutes metta - lots of thoughts. Generally light, easy to accept, didn't get worried about it. 10 minutes compassion - still lots of thoughts, couple waves of sadness. Gently suggested that awareness could expand, and this gradually happened in an effortless way. 10 minutes joy, slowly locked it in, got it pretty solid. One pretty intense moment in there that resulted in a noticeable reduction of thoughts.

Asked attention to find the most important thing in awareness to focus on. Had a bit of pain in the stomach, maybe hunger-related. Sat with it and accepted it and eventually it dissolved. Asked again, went up to the throat and jaw. Spent quite a bit of time here asking dissolving, and trying to view it outside of time and without sepparate self, and got the sense that the main feeling was focused around 'control' coming from 'fear' as a way to avoid 'pain'. Just sat with these things and accepted them. In general, spent a lot of time today sitting with the feeling of trying to control things and accepting it and letting go of the need to control life in general. After about 20 minutes, all of this resulted in being very light and relaxed feeling, and then spent around 10 minutes in daydreamy territory. Bell rang, and decided to keep sitting.

Spent time just noticing how light things can be, how little effort is needed. Experienced mind as a co-operative set of sensations that are all aware of themselves. 'Awareness' being aware of itself. 'Attention' being aware of itself. 'Will' being aware of itself. Every tingle of feeling in the body being aware of itself. A random pain being aware of itself. The language-center narrator thing being aware of itself. Some cessation-ey stuff happened, played around with the no-self door and the impermanence-door. Tried for a cessation with duration, didn't get it. Kind of got the feeling that I was missing the point, then just sat accepting and letting things happen.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Logan G.
1.5 hour sit today starting at 11:30am. 10 minutes metta - lots of thoughts. Generally light, easy to accept, didn't get worried about it. 10 minutes compassion - still lots of thoughts, couple waves of sadness. Gently suggested that awareness could expand, and this gradually happened in an effortless way. 10 minutes joy, slowly locked it in, got it pretty solid. One pretty intense moment in there that resulted in a noticeable reduction of thoughts.

That's exactly it, what I was saying. Awareness just becomes more boundless, effortlessly and there's less room for the thoughts.

Asked attention to find the most important thing in awareness to focus on. Had a bit of pain in the stomach, maybe hunger-related. Sat with it and accepted it and eventually it dissolved. Asked again, went up to the throat and jaw. Spent quite a bit of time here asking dissolving, and trying to view it outside of time and without sepparate self, and got the sense that the main feeling was focused around 'control' coming from 'fear' as a way to avoid 'pain'. Just sat with these things and accepted them. In general, spent a lot of time today sitting with the feeling of trying to control things and accepting it and letting go of the need to control life in general.
Excellent because you can't
After about 20 minutes, all of this resulted in being very light and relaxed feeling, and then spent around 10 minutes in daydreamy territory. Bell rang, and decided to keep sitting.

Spent time just noticing how light things can be, how little effort is needed. Experienced mind as a co-operative set of sensations that are all aware of themselves. 'Awareness' being aware of itself. 'Attention' being aware of itself. 'Will' being aware of itself. Every tingle of feeling in the body being aware of itself. A random pain being aware of itself. The language-center narrator thing being aware of itself. Some cessation-ey stuff happened, played around with the no-self door and the impermanence-door. Tried for a cessation with duration, didn't get it. Kind of got the feeling that I was missing the point, then just sat accepting and letting things happen.
Isn't this a key discovery? I've been writing about this with my Dzogchen practice - how little effort is needed. Yes! Awareness aware of itself. You're onto to the benefits of non dual awareness.
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 8:30am. 10 minutes lovingkindness, some thoughts, but reasonably quiet. 10 minutes compassion, still a few thoughts, a bit vague. Always  coming back to gentleness and low effort. 10 minutes joy, some intense waves here, pretty quiet.

Started focusing on emotions, let attention find the point in awareness to focus on. Ended up somewhere in the head, void related maybe. Really noticing the 'shutting down' feeling, letting it be, accepting it. Then asked it what it was. Immediate response was 'love'. Woah, not what I was expecting. Asked a few times, got the same answer, and just accepted it and opened it up. Eventually, it sort of filled my whole head. Waves of sadness here, feeling of trying to let go of the self. This eventually partially dissolved but felt not all the way resolved.

Asked attention to find the most important thing. Some throat tension. Sat with it a bit, asked it what it was. 'Loneliness'. Interesting. Accepted it, sat with it, let opened up feeling of love from the head flow into it, sat in the moment trying to see the sepparation that must exist for loneliness to be supported. Eventually, this sort of revealed that there was tension connected into the chest. Asked it what it was. 'Love'. Sat with that feeling and accepted it. Eventually, it seemed like a connection was partially unblocked between my head and chest, and I was gradually filled up with a sense of love for everything. Experience got very quiet and white, and had some tears flow silently. Various waves of this for the rest of the sit.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Beautiful sit
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 8:30 am. 10 minutes lovingkindness, good clarity, some thoughts. 10 minutes compassion, some thoughts. Trying to have a light touch, some doubt about this approach. 10 minutes joy, focus a bit better, still some doubt.

Started asking for most important sensations, some doubt that this process is right. Maybe I've just been tricking myself into looking at content and these are just random sensations in the body that I am ascribing meaning to. Then have some doubt about this train of thought - maybe I'm getting close to something and the first doubt was a defense mechanism.

Realize after some waffling that I should be investigating this feeling of doubt. I do this for a while, it reveals itself as a sort of column starting around the solar plexus and going up to the middle of my head. Sit with it. Accept it. Eventually, recall that indecision/air can be transformed with joy. Start calling up joy for all beings. This results in the most intense joy that I have ever experienced gradually replacing this column of doubt and filling my whole upper body. Sit with this for a while until things get quiet.

At some point in this quiet, had some thoughts about an upcoming vacation and had a vague anxiety about taking time off, then suddenly felt like I 'saw the bars of the prison' in the periphery for just a moment. Really felt important, like I was on to something. Sat with that feeling and investigated - what is in mind? Where is this 'trapped' feeling coming from? What is the 'prison'?

Sat and let thoughts show up and noticed which ones called up this feeling, and it seemed like they would best be called 'beliefs'. Started seeing how these were mental shortcuts that my brain accepted as truth but were actually just thoughts. Noticed that they all had an 'I' built into them somewhere -- almost trapped in them -- each one was its own complete little prison locking up a self.

Asked mind to just bring up beliefs, and various things about work and life and the universe presented themselves, and just accepted them as thoughts and noted that they might not be 'true'. Did this for a while until things got very peaceful and quiet.
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
 Some nice transformations going on here.

Interesting sequence from the previous post: void -> love -> loneliness -> love

Loneliness is related to the fire element. There’s a feeling of dualistic separation and the distorted fire reaction is consuming stuff to create a kind of fake intimacy. The liberated form is compassion/love, i.e. genuine intimacy.

Void is sort of the master element, because it’s a direct reaction to emptiness. In its distorted form it manifest as incapacitation/depression and in its liberated form as a sort of pervasive intelligence (e.g. the ability to see how all the elements work).

Doubt is typically the distorted air element, and in its liberated form manifests as confidence (e.g. the ability to work with the elements).

Don’t mean to script you, just throwing out some ideas in case anything is helpful.

The relationship between beliefs/worldviews and emotions is interesting. In a way they are just mental manifestations of repressed emotions, like the tip of the iceberg. They can usually be either true or false depending on how you view them. Or said another way, it’s possible for both the belief and its opposite to be true for different people (you see this kind of thing with politics and religion all the time). When the emotions flow through directly then there's less need to hold the beliefs.
 
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
George S:
Void is sort of the master element, because it’s a direct reaction to emptiness. In its distorted form it manifest as incapacitation/depression and in its liberated form as a sort of pervasive intelligence


Haha story of my life. Over the long term, I have tend to oscillate between being totally depressed/incapacitated and feeling like I've got it all figured out.

George S:
Don’t mean to script you, just throwing out some ideas in case anything is helpful.


No worries! I've been feeling more and more flexible about the relationships between thoughts and emotions as experienced in the body. I find it pretty easy to hold it all lightly lately, and I'm happy to have any outside perspectives.

George S:
The relationship between beliefs/worldviews and emotions is interesting. In a way they are just mental manifestations of repressed emotions, like the tip of the iceberg. They can usually be either true or false depending on how you view them. Or said another way, it’s possible for both the belief and its opposite to be true for different people (you see this kind of thing with politics and religion all the time). When the emotions flow through directly then there's less need to hold the beliefs.


It's funny, I've started to get a sense that they're a sort of loop - like the beliefs are the tip of the emotional iceberg, but also the emotions are the tip of the belief iceberg. A thought can seed an emotional response that then solidifies the thought, or the emotion can call back up the thought that then strengthens the emotion. Think a thought enough times and I believe it. Or something like that anyway - it's all a bit vague still. Fun to investigate though.
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Definitely there's a feedback loop between thoughts and emotions. My sense is that emotions are the primary driver though. Eg if there is repressed anger then there's likely to be a belief structure which justifies one to get angry at certain kinds of people. When one think of such people then one feels angry, but that is really the repressed anger not anything intrinsic to the thought.

It comes back to the idea that emotions need to be felt. If they are pushed away (repressed) then a belief structure and/or behavior pattern will develop which enables the emotion to be felt. But because it's not being felt in full awareness then it's not being fully released, and then there's the feedback loop of the reaction fueling more of the emotion which is also repressed and adds to the reservoir. Elements practice can be seen as running this whole process in reverse, emptying the reservoir (feeling the emotion without the reaction/thoughts).
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 11:00. 10 minutes metta, pretty solid, a few thoughts. 10 minutes compasssion, a bit vague, more thoughts. 10 minutes joy, a bit oscillatory. Good focus for a bit, daydreamy for a bit. Had some significant stomach discomfort today, which actually a good tool today, in that I made progress in accepting discomfort without identifying with it.

Then just moved to sitting in in open awareness. Initially intended to start investigating emotions, but recalled noticing the cage yesterday, and had the intuitive feeling that there was something in my immediate experience worth looking at. Started narrowing down the perception of time to really feel the present, and had the sudden thought - how could things be any way other than the way they are right now? This becaume almost a mantra in this sit. This sit was probably a new best for me in terms of understanding impermanence - saw how the present moment is all there is, how it's made out of a grab bag of whatever happens to end up packaged up in attention/awareness in that moment, and how any suffering about it is essentially a big waste of time, because it's going to be exactly what it is no matter how I feel about it afterward.

Just sat with this for quite some time. Very peaceful. This really made it apparent that the experience of 'doing' is sort of just also a thing that happens and will be what it is. Had the experience of watching the 'doer' set intentions like 'I am going to try to notice that things can't be any way but the way they are in each moment as often as possible. From this perspective, sensations in the body that I would call 'emotional' have much less weight. How could they be but the way they are? Very high equanimity toward emotions today. Watched the 'doer' invite the emotions in to express themselves how they needed to.

This also made it easier to see that the past and future are just thoughts. Gradually I was more and more able to accept that things can't be any way but the way they are even as some future/past thoughts arose. Saw the 'flavour' of those thoughts and future or past. This also made no-self more apparent, in a way that is difficult to articulate. It's almost like there's just no room for self while seeing the present moment in this way -- it's very intuitive.
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
2 hour sit today starting at 10:am. 10 minutes lovingkindness, pretty good concentration, a few thoughts. 10 minutes compassion, a little more mind wandering, some sadness waves. 10 minutes joy, quite clear and strong, not too many thoughts.

A lot of feeling around for what felt right today. Initially spent some time just looking at the present moment. Looked at some tension in the throat, did some transforming it with joy. Felt like something was just out of sight for much of the sit. Towards the end of the sit, started getting a stronger sense of the feeling of being in a realm - sort of a feeling-tone with associated thought tendancies. Like noticed that I was getting quite opositional with the throat tension occaisonally, and noticed what it felt like to be in that realm. Had some occaisonal moments of feeling like I was 'between realms'. Another theme with todays sit was noticing something I recalled Angelo saying in the interviews posted in another thread - that there's 'no way that things are'. Started really noticing that the feeling of being in a realm is sort of a feeling about the 'way things are', and started to get what he's saying - that whole 'feeling of the way things are' or 'worldview' or 'realm' is just thoughts. Sat for quite a long time today spinning in circles today trying to get a better look at this. I think I made some progress. Even sitting here typing this, the feeling of 'the way things are' is more discernable as mental objects.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sounds like a good sit. Can you say more about 

started getting a stronger sense of the feeling of being in a realm - sort of a feeling-tone with associated thought tendancies. Like noticed that I was getting quite opositional with the throat tension occaisonally, and noticed what it felt like to be in that realm. Had some occaisonal moments of feeling like I was 'between realms'. 

What do you mean by realms in this context?
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
I'm using the terminology from 'Wake Up To Your Life' by Ken McLeod, which from my understanding is grounded in Tibetan Buddhism.

I am by no means an expert on this stuff, so keep in mind that the following is all just my own current understanding of it.

I think of the realms as sort of 'modes' that the mind naturally settles into as a reaction to certain thoughts. The realms are:

Hell Realm (oppositional mode)
Hungry Ghost Realm (insatiable need / greed mode)
Animal Realm (avoiding pain mode)
Human Realm (wanting / busy mode)
Titan Realm (envy / competition mode)
God Realm ( at the top but protecting what you have mode )

So if you get in an argument with someone and get fixated on 'winning' the argument even if you don't believe it anymore, that's maybe hell realm.

I think these realms are interesting because as you start to see them, you realized that a single thought spiral out of control and can sort of build up an entire world-view around you that's self re-inforcing. Like I've had problems with the hungry ghost realm, where I feel like all of the stuff I'm interested in working on is barren and devoid of meaning, which turns into a world that's barren and devoid of meaning. Until I realized I was doing this I would just assume that world-view was true in the moment (as it is easy to not notice you've done this and just accept things as seen from the worldview), and it would totally prevent me from pursuing things I thought were important otherwise. Just thinking about working on something would spiral into this dumb worldview.

There's a lot of nuance I'm not capturing here or might be misrepresenting. If you're interested in this stuff, I really liked 'Wake Up to Your Life' - highly reccomended. Lots of good tools in there.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
I just wanted to know which "realms" context you were using as there are many in Buddhism. I haven't read WUTYL but I've had a prety good education in "realms" from past Tibetan teachers,
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
2 hour sit today starting at 8:30am. 10 minutes lovingkindness, kinda distracted, some mind wandering. 10 minutes compassion, hard to solidify, mind wandering. 10 minutes joy, very strong, much less mind wandering.

After this decided to just sit and radiate equanimity and allow my mind to go wherever it felt like. Had the feeling that I've been sort of busy trying to make stuff happen in my meditations lately, and thought I'd just sit.

Things got pretty daydreamy for the next half hour. Then, moved into pretty solid equanimity, and got curious about the feeling of 'seeing the bars of the cage'. Noticed this feeling of peripheral context. Just sat with that for some time. Thought about realms, which made me think about the burnout pattern stuff, which made me try to call up that feeling. Did so and watched it. Got a sense of how the periperal context contracts around it. Did this with some other reactions. Tried to find the edge of the peripheral awareness to look for its boundary. Seems very spacious.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Logan G.
2 hour sit today starting at 8:30am. 10 minutes lovingkindness, kinda distracted, some mind wandering. 10 minutes compassion, hard to solidify, mind wandering. 10 minutes joy, very strong, much less mind wandering.
Good


After this decided to just sit and radiate equanimity and allow my mind to go wherever it felt like. Had the feeling that I've been sort of busy trying to make stuff happen in my meditations lately, and thought I'd just sit.
That's the ticket. That's what I'm learning in Dzogchen and awareness practices. Just sit. Just rest. Don't fuck with your mind.

Things got pretty daydreamy for the next half hour. Then, moved into pretty solid equanimity, and got curious about the feeling of 'seeing the bars of the cage'. Noticed this feeling of peripheral context. Just sat with that for some time. Thought about realms, which made me think about the burnout pattern stuff, which made me try to call up that feeling. Did so and watched it. Got a sense of how the periperal context contracts around it. Did this with some other reactions. Tried to find the edge of the peripheral awareness to look for its boundary. Seems very spacious.

Yes, it's very spacious. It is said to be boundless but not infinate,,
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
2.5 hour sit today starting at 12:00pm. 10 minutes lovingkindness, had moments where it was pretty strong, some mind wandering. 10 minutes compassion, sometimes very strong, but still mind wandering. 10 minutes joy, mostly strong, with bits of mind wandering. Had some waves of intensity in here, and looked for the feeling of resistance in the intensity whenever it arose.

Sat and radiated equanimity. Pretty daydreamy for 15 minutes or so, then awareness stabilized a bit and equanimity was pretty high. Decided to play around with inquiry. Tried a few things, but mostly worked with the question 'what is outside of consciousness'? Feel like I made a bit of progress. When I've tried it outside of meditation, I've found my body freaks out and rejects it a bit occaisonally which makes it hard to sink into, and my hunch that it would be easier once I had cultivated some equanimity seems to have been correct.

Decided to do some emotion/belief work after this. Looked at the pressure behind my eyes feeling, and remembered that feeling coming up when I have self-talk like 'I can do this' or 'how do I get this working'. Noticed it's very future-oriented, the feeling that I need to work hard now and that the good stuff is yet to come -- kind of a need for effort. Spent some time sitting with this and trying to let it go. Noticed another set of feelings, more of a 'I can't do this' feeling. Noted the general feeling of 'too tired, to burnt out, need to rest'. Tried to let go both of the feeling that there's 'something to do' and the feeling that 'I can't', noting how dumb and contractictory these beliefs are. Eventually, these head sensation all subsided a fair bit.

Then noticed a tight bundle of tension around the solar plexus. Gradually coaxed out that it seems to be a feeling of 'I need the happiness that is definitely waiting for me in the future'. Like a sort of desperate anticipation. Started trying to diffuse this by noting that all I've got is this moment, and that I've never actually seen this happen - I haven't managed to arrive at this future happiness yet. Spent quite some time varying through letting the feeling just express itself, thinking about how incorrect it is, and just relaxing. Eventually it subsided somewhat, though it part it felt like it just moved up to the throat area.

Listened to that feeling for a bit, also seemed future oriented. Seems to be the 'need to hold back now and save up energy/money/time/whatever so I can be happy in the future'. Noted that it was predicated on this whole future-happiness business which so far seems impossible/nonexistant. Sat with the feelings. Eventually they softened somewhat. Spent a long time on this today, and feel like I made some progress -- really getting a sense of where a lot of my unhappiness and doubt and burnout comes from, and how insight can play a role in diffusing it all. More work to do.
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Bit random, but I was listening to an interesting podcast today which talks about how future-oriented work patterns developed only relatively recently with the onset of agrarian revolution, whereas we evolved mostly as hunter-gatherers with limited planning needs ...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2021/06/29/opinion/ezra-klein-podcast-james-suzman.amp.html
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
This was an interesting read (I read the transcription) - I grabbed the book!

I've started to suspect that it's not actually the planning that's the problem, rather the planning-related emotions and reactions. I can see where they came from -- if you're good and afraid of starving in 6 months from now, you might be more inclined to harvest your crops carefully, etcetera. However, in a modern context almost none of these kinds of feelings are actually life-and-death, and personally I'd rather mostly not have them. Maybe there's a useful distintion between 'imagining possible futures' and 'planning for *the* future' or something.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
2 hour sit today. 10 Minutes lovingkindness, strong, broad awareness, little mind wandering. 10 minutes compassion, vague, some carreer-related thoughts. 10 minutes joy, some meditation-path related thoughts, one wave of intensity.

Radiated equanimity in all directions for 30 minutes. Tried to relax resistance whereever it arose and keep broad awareness. Some future-planning type thoughts.

After establishing pretty solid equanimity, switched to inquiry for 1 hour. Asked 'what is outside of consciousness'. Feeling like I'm starting to 'get' it a bit more. It kind of seems to establish the same sort of mental state that investigating the three characteristics does. Even had some moments that felt close to cessations.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1 hour sit today starting at 10:00am. 10 minutes lovingkindness, a bit vague but some good moments. Some mind wandering. 10 minutes compassion, a bit vague here too. 10 minutes joy, some intense moments but also some mind wandering.

Radiated equanimity for 30 minutes. Some thoughts, some daydreamy moments, some good panoramic clarity.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Started working with a teacher who has a very intuitive approach, and after talking for a while, I'm going to emphasize working directly with emotion/body sensations I've been having trouble with lately, and try to really emphasize the off-the-cushion component of practice.

Sat for 1 hour today. Radiated metta in all directions for 10 minutes. Reasonably clear, awareness was pretty broad.

Investigated uncomfortable pressure in the face and throat for 50 minutes. Started out pretty tight, and just let attention find the worst spots and gently sat with them and accepted them and asked 'where is this?', finding them in the body. When I settled on particularly stable tensions, I would ask questions like 'how big is this' and 'how does it feel to experience this independantly of the body' and 'where is the discomfort' and 'where is the sensation'. Occaisonally waves of intensity where I would switch to asking 'where is it' to the overall feeling of 'intensity'. Occaisonally directed lovingkindness toward particularly painful spots. Part way through, realized that it was much easier to see these feelings in context if i kept my awareness broad, with an emphasis on the visual field as I find I notice most when that contracts.

Eventually, the feelings became very discrete, like dozens of little localize pin-pricks of neutral tingling spread throughout my face and throat. Sat with this and continued to give attention to any pressure/suffering/resistance. Had bits of day dreamyness, but mostly pretty quiet and peaceful, with very little discomfort in the sensations.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 9:30am. Radiated 10 minutes lovingkindness. Reasonably solid, good awareness, only a little mind wandering.

Then investigated tension in the face/head/throat for 50 minutes. Lots of tension in here. Was able to gradually locate most of it to points and much of the suffering fell away, asking 'where is this', 'how big is this', 'what does it feel like to experience this independantly of having a body', etcetera.

Bell rang and decided to stretch some of the muscles and investigate the sensation why they were stretching. Interesting experience. Eventually tension was significantly lessened and sat trying to see very subtle mind motions. Experimented with asking 'what is this' with regard to these hard-to-see mind motions.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
40 minute sit today starting at 7:20am. Very short sleep, had a few beers last night. 10 minutes lovingkindness, pretty vague, pretty dull with mind wandering. Looked for some subtle thoughts for a while, awareness eventually brightened and widened some.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
40 minute sit today starting at 9:00am. Tried on a few immeasurables, Joy fit best, radiated joy for 10 minutes. Pretty bright awareness and only a little mind wandering.

Examined a tight feeling in the chest, something to do with anxiety about resting or something. Asked 'Where is it', 'where are its boundaries', etc. Gradually it diffused. Did the same for some feelings in the throat. Some stuff came up around roommate tensions around sound (basically as much as we try to mitigate things, our downstairs roommate has trouble with sound. Old creaky house with no insulation). Realized that though I have been framing it as being 'concerned' and 'empathetic' for their experience, I am effectively angry at them for letting themselves be bothered by the sound. Sat with that feeling and accepted it.

Another impromptu ~40min sit starting at about 11:30am. Partner and roommate had a minor disagreement about something. I have realized in the last while that a significant part of my own suffering comes from trying to mediate between people, anticipating what disagreements might exist and how they might feel. Instead of trying to smooth the conversation, I removed myself from the room. This was actually suprisingly painful - a knot of suffering in my chest with an impetus to get involved arose. Sat with it, accepted it. Noted that I kept coming up with stories about what they both might be feeling and what might be the source of the disagreements, and accepted that. The knot and stories remained for quite some time after they finished their discussion.

Eventually these tensions diffused. Started noticing the distinction between an emotional body sensation and the suffering that results from resisting it. I've recently been feeling like I have a sense of what I'm trying to do with emotions. Maybe they can be a sort of helpful advisor about my experience, rather than how I've perceived them: a looming entity with total veto power over my actions.

After the sensations mostly diffused, got curious about what it was that was distinguishing between the 'sensation' feeling and the 'suffering' feeling and got curious about that and mind had some very slow, quiet moments.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Logan I'm back after six days. Can you check my log. I really could use your support.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Sam, I'm here. Notice, however, that really, all that this *is* is words you are reading on an internet forum. Clearly, you've become used to recieving support in the form of words and it does something for you. (I can relate to experiencing similar support and corresponding relief -- you're not alone in this) I think that that's interesting, as words are such a narrow bandwidth medium for information.

I think what it really reveals is that all we need is a very small trigger of a few symbols on a screen, and then we are completely able to fabricate a beautiful world where we are supported all by ourselves from that tiny input. This is meant to be uplifting, by the way, not a downer. Just think of how much of your experience must be under your control if just a few words can change it!

If face-to-face support or phone support were to generate such a world, it would at least be less totally obvious how much of it we do for ourselves, as those mediums at least have a lot of subtlety and layers of information in them. However, in the case of text, it's really thrown into relief just how much of the experience you are bringing to the table yourself.

You can do this Sam -- I'm here for you! But that's just words -- really, it's mostly you that's here for you!
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Logan G.
Sam, I'm here. Notice, however, that really, all that this *is* is words you are reading on an internet forum. Clearly, you've become used to recieving support in the form of words and it does something for you. (I can relate to experiencing similar support and corresponding relief -- you're not alone in this) I think that that's interesting, as words are such a narrow bandwidth medium for information.

Logan, thank you for responding. If I respond its becoming a discussion. Are you sure you want to have it on your log? The above is not entirely true. I have been getting six days od word support from Abre and it hasn't helped. The main driver is actually coffee. But if I have coffee I don't sleep until 4am. Then there are the monostrous pains.

I think what it really reveals is that all we need is a very small trigger of a few symbols on a screen, and then we are completely able to fabricate a beautiful world where we are supported all by ourselves from that tiny input. This is meant to be uplifting, by the way, not a downer. Just think of how much of your experience must be under your control if just a few words can change it!

I do believe I fabricate my world and that can be changed by words of support. But what about this pain?

If face-to-face support or phone support were able to generate such a world, it would at least be less totally obvious how much of it we do for ourselves, as those mediums at least have a lot of subtlety and layers of information in them. However, in the case of text, it's really thrown into relief just how much of the experience you are bringing to the table yourself.

You can do this Sam -- I'm here for you! But that's just words -- really, it's mostly you that's here for y
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
We can move this over to your log if that's what you'd prefer!
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Was in bed last night investigating some subtle mind motions, nonverbal nonvisual thoughts that seem to be more about discerning and connecting thought, asking 'what is this'. Mind got pretty quiet, almost on the verge of falling asleep maybe, then popped back on with this intense feeling of reality being super clear. It fell away pretty quickly back to a more normal feeling, and I fell asleep a bit later.

2 hour 10 minute sit today starting at 10:30am. Radiated lovingkindness 10 minutes, lots of mind wandering, pretty vague.

Started investigating sensations in the chest/throat. They seem to dissolve more easily now. Pretty distracted at the start. Lots of waves of intensity, sadness, weirdness. Watched it. Got interested in the difference between suffering and sensation. Noticed that together they have the most teeth - it seems kind of like I can tune more into one or the other like tuning a radio, and just the pressures of suffering on their own with no sensation are pretty chill, and likewise just the body/mind sensations on their own without the suffering are pretty chill.

Got into pretty good equanimity after doing this for quite a while, and investigated subtle mind motions for quite some time. Felt like something was close, didn't figure it out.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit starting at 11am. Decided to ramp up the focus a bit today to see what that did to my perception of body knots/tensions. Radiated metta for a few minutes until there was energy there to turn into first jhana. Very strong first jhana, held on to it for longer than usual, spreading it through awarness. Moved into second jhana and sat with that for quite a while. Took a new approach to one-pointedness - instead of just sort of shushing ripples in awareness as they arose, I kept working to see what it would feel for that point in awareness to be aware of the pleasure as well. Got very all encompassing.

Shifted to looking at tensions in the throat after about 1/2 hour. These are super established and hard to deal with. I think I've pretty much had them constantly for about 10 years. Just kept attention on them, accepted them as part of awareness with compassion, and gently suggested that they fill awareness. Lots of waves of sadness in here. When things got a bit more diffuse and chill, shifted to asking 'What is this' about all of awareness for 20 minutes or so. Had some interesting feelings of deepening awareness.

Now, writing this up, the tension is still there, but it sticks out less in awareness.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1 hour 45 minutes sit today starting at 12:45. Radiated lovingkindness for 15 minutes. Had a in intense wave of fear in at about 12 minutes in, and recognized it as such. I've been thinking about emotions a lot lately and have realized I must repress some of them pretty signficantly, and so I decided to just keep sitting in open awareness and watching what arose. Noticed the fear was centered around the solar plexus. Had a distinct spider-legs +top of a roller-coaster feel to it. Accepted it.

Had quite a few more of what I would have called 'waves of intensity before' throughout the sit, and tried to  figure out what they were. Had some definite disgust and anger arise a few times each. As I got better looks at them, their characteristics become more obvious and spread through awarness more fully, with anger having 'hot' and 'wanting to yell/throw things' stuff, and disgust making me approach nausea. Had some sadness as well, which for whatever reason I have an easy time feeling. Also had a distinct feeling of very intense suprise for a bit, like the world was just totally unexpected with every blip of awareness until it calmed down. That only happened once.

After about an hour of this, things quieted down a little. Noticed some stomach discomfort, noted that it had some disgust in it. Noticed some tension in the belly. I'm a bit overweight right now, and in general my weight has oscillated by about 20 lbs throughout my life, up and down from pretty fit to a bit overweight. I had trouble with my weight and a lot of shame around it even as a pretty young kid. Noted that there was a lot of disgust with that feeling of being a bit overweight. Noticed how the mind immediately wanted to look somewhere else. Just kept returning to those senseations and experiencing the disgust and just accepting all of it. Eventually mind got pretty quiet.

Pretty interest to actually feel disgust - I definitely have been repressing the heck out of it, and it's kind of amazing that I haven't been even able to really see it until now.
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
There seems to be quite a close relationship between disgust and shame. This paper is pretty academic but the intro has a nice summary:

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnbeh.2020.00019/full ​​​​​​​

Based on the previous review, there are a number of similarities between shame and disgust. Both emotions appear to play an important role in social interactions, promoting avoidance of others, but for very different purposes (Orth et al., 2006; Oaten et al., 2009). For shame, social avoidance serves to protect the self from the damaging effects of social norm violations (Orth et al., 2006; Schmader and Lickel, 2006; Tangney et al., 2007), whereas, for disgust, social avoidance enables disease avoidance (Faulkner et al., 2004; Navarrete and Fessler, 2006).
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Totally! I got the notion initially from 'Waking Up: It's Your Turn', which has a chapter on emotions that suggests that many 'compound' emotions (like shame, resentment, etcetera) can be explained as the combination of a basic emotion (happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, suprise) and some duality/time stuff, like self/other, past/present. It's certainly been a helpful lens for me, and I had a feeling that shame is essentially self-directed disgust. The paper you linked prompted me to go look around to see if there's other psychological stuff about this, and this textbook posits that shame is indeed self-disgust:

https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9781315708744/cognition-emotion-mick-power-tim-dalgleish
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 11:00am. Radiated joy 10 minutes. Some mind wandering, but pretty solid.

Spent 40 minutes trying out a technique called 'focusing' (from the book by Eugene Gendlin), which is basically a way of working with knots of emotional tension stuff in the body. I've already arrived at a method that's pretty similar from 'Wake Up to Your Life', but there are few nice bits in the 'focusing' method that I think help bubble stuff up to the surface. Spent quite some time looking at my anxieties around my research/entreprenurial stuff and tracked things all the way back to childhood stuff. Had some tension release.

Then spent 40 minutes resting in open awareness. Gentle and good. Started noticing that I can kind of 'turn down' the feeling of having a central awareness that's strongest and just feel the periphery without a focal point, and I can even widen that to sort of experience my whole awareness without a focal point, though it's not totally clear.

This sort of revealed that all sensations are experienceing themselves - there's no 'center' where they all report to. Indeed, that 'center' feeling is just a sensation experiencing itself as well. This isn't exactly a new insight for me, it just seems clearer now.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Had some restlessness this afternoon, so decided to try the focusing approach on it and see what was causing the discomfort. Went through this chain of something like:
Should be busy
Should be building something
Should be fixing myself
I am broken
I am unloveable
I am afraid of people
I am afraid of being abandoned
I am afraid of dissappearing
I am afraid of my 'Self' dissappearing.

Really interesting endpoint. Not sure what to do with it yet.
george, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Yep, wow. I'm experiencing this same thing. I feel like I should be loving, then I fall in love with God and then I get scared I'm going to lose it and then it repeats itself.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Did a bit more focusing yesterday, and arrived at this feeling of 'passion' for something that I haven't had in a really long time. Didn't really get farther than that. I can't believe I forgot what that feeling feels like.

1.5 hour sit starting at 11:00am. Radiated joy 15 minutes, a bit of mind wandering.

Spent 40 minutes doing some focusing. First chain went something like this:

Solar-plexus gut anxiety
Something to do with my career
Emptiness?
Loneliness
Missing People in my work (academic/solo-entrepreneur stuff)
Missing Meaning
Fun is meaning
My fun needs other people
Creative work with other people is fun

That felt pretty resolved and had some tension release, so worked through another chain:

Hard feeling behind eyes
Stuck feeling
Can't get through
Can't do it (feelings of trying to figure out how to better in grade school)
Can't figure stuff out as well as my dad
Can't understand how the world works
Can't make the world be how I want
Can't control my body
Can't control myself.

Had some tension release and let it be for now.

Sat in open awareness for 40 minutes. Very daydreamy, oscillating between vivid clarity and what felt like actual dreaming. Eventually clarity stabilized and I started asking 'what is it like to experience all of this' about my whole feeling of how things are, and eventually just 'what is this?'. Very quiet mind. Had some weirds feelings in my body and head come up later, sort of twisty.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Had a sudden urge to go get a snack and decided to sit with that feeling and see if it was real hunger or just coping. Did some focusing on it. Had a rough path:

What is all of this?
Doubt - what doubt?
Self doubt - self doubt about what?
Self doubt about my ideas
I don't have good ideas
I need to create something
This need is empty

Significant relief after.
thumbnail
SushiK, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 143 Join Date: 6/11/20 Recent Posts
Hi Logan

I probably missed the part where you explain in more details how the questioning takes place.

What's the format? Just closing your eyes, looking at the urge and going on from there?
How long does a full process usually take?

​​​​​​​Have a nice day,
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
The techique I'm doing is called focusing, which I heard about from this talk:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXc9-id436o

I learned it from the original book 'Focusing' by Eugene Gendlin:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/666175.Focusing

The way I'm using it right now is to first do some meditation to quiet the mind down a little, then direct my awareness toward body sensations, especially in the torso/neck/head region, where emotions seem to crop up. I sit and just ask my awareness: Where is the biggest problem right now? Basically, I'm asking what the main collection of sensations is that is making the current moment feel not good in some way.

I then sit with that collection of sensations in awarness and gently ask 'what is this', and then try to really shut up and listen. Eventually, a word/sentence or image might come to mind. Usually this takes at the very least thirty seconds, and when I get a quick answer its most likely not right.

I then 'test' the word against the collection of sensations, to see if it resonates. Sort of feel the sensations, then mentally say the word, then feel, then say, alternating for a bit. If it doesn't, not much will happen. If it does, the sensation might get stronger or more specific or move or release or twitch or something. If so, I then ask another question around this word or image. So if the word was something like 'doubt', then maybe I ask 'what am I doubting'? And then just sit and listen for a while.

Basically I keep investigating until I either feel intuitively that I have resolved this whole thing, or that I'm pushing too hard and it needs to just percolate. Sometimes I go off down a track that sort of peters out and doesn't work, and I go back a step or two.

I've found it extremely effective for getting rid of the tensions and aversions that permeate my everyday life. Some of the tension I'm now figuring out how to dissolve has been with me almost constantly for about 10 years. For context, I have tension headaches that were bad enough that a long time ago I went to the doctor and ended up getting a CT scan over them, and I have throat tension that's bad enough that at some times in my life I have had physical difficulty/pain swallowing, as well as weird spasms when coughing.

I find this method really complementary to meditation, and I think it kind of is meditation in a way. It feels partially like insight to me in a way, because there's this constant noting, 'oh that's just the mind firing off a reactive thought', 'oh that's just mind wandering', etcetera, and I suspect it really benefits from and helps train broad awareness. There's some personal content in there too, but it's interesting in that you're deliberately not *thinking* about it or trying to analytically 'figure it out', rather you're sort of letting it become aware of itself and release. It also has quite a bit of overlap with stuff from 'Wake Up to Your Life' by Ken McLeod.

The book itself is quite short, and the important stuff is all explained in the first third or so. I'd highly reccomend it!
thumbnail
SushiK, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 143 Join Date: 6/11/20 Recent Posts
Thanks Logan, very clear.
​​​​​​​
I put the book in my wishlist, will get into it after the ones I'm currently reading.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit starting at 8am. Radiated joy 15 minutes.

Switched to focusing for 30 minutes. Dug down to some stuff about being a small kid and feeling different and wishing I was part of the popular kids clique.

Sat in open awareness for 45 minutes. Oscillated between daydreamy and clarity for maybe 15 minutes, then had some mind wandering for a few minutes, then tried to balance putting in some effort and staying effortless for a bit. Had this feeling of being able to add curiousity to awareness in a fairly effortless way for a bit. Sat there for a while. Noticed the visual field in particular getting very intensly clear. The fridge compressor turned on, and I noticed that I could pay attention to just the feeling of the spatial location of the sound, and then I switched to paying attention to just the sound itself without any feeling of space. I then did this to the visual field as well, and then the body sensations, and just sat in awareness of pure sensation. Thought popped up, and I realized I could do a sort of version of this to them to, just being aware of them 'thinking' in a very immediate way. Felt a bit disoriented when I got up from the sit. Still do a little.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1 hour 45 minute sit today. Radiated equanimity 15 minutes, then switched to focusing for an hour. Had some stuff come up around why I sometimes feel like avoiding social activities. Didn't get to where it felt fully resolved, but decided to sit in open awareness a bit. 'unresolved' feeling made this hard. Was able to cultivate some equanimity to it for some of the time, but really struggled with it.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Wow! Long sit. Just sit in awareness. Don't think that every session is going to present mind blowing insights. Just sit and know your mind.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 9:30am. Went straight to focusing. Yesterday afternoon I found a point of significant commonality between many of the different things that have been coming up. Often, chains of thoughts lead to this sensation of being trapped in a sort of fishbowl with my 'mind' on the inside and everything else on the outside. All I want is to be part of that outside world and be able to shape it and affect it, but I'm trapped in the fishbowl with this vague suffocating feeling. Started directly from that place today and asked what the body of emotions needed. This took probably 20 minutes of just sitting and accepting and having the mind wander and all that, and then finally I got back a word: 'unity'.

This clicked very definitely - I suddenly had this realization that I've been thinking of my body as basically this parasite I'm forced to drag around with me attached to my mind. I used to constantly wish it was different than it was, wish it didn't hurt, and habitually push away emotional sensations as they arose. Not to mention periodically starving it or pushing it beyond its limits in exercise or drinking too much alcohol or eating too much. I basically only pay attention to it when it becomes an emergency of some kind. I sat in broad awareness then, getting glimpses of how the various flavours thoughts and body sensations and hearing and seeing are all sort of on the same footing - they are all just happening in awareness. After a while this all culminated in this overwhelming wave of disgust that sort of released and washed over me - I almost threw up. I sat with it and investigated it and noticed it and saw how just like anger and sadness and happiness, it's fundamentally light and impermanent and not a big deal.

Kept sitting and trying to integrate the body sensations and emotions. Noticed that of the basic emotions, I now can basically call up and experience a light and transient manifestation of happiness, sadness, anger, and disgust. I still don't feel like I've figured out how fear or suprise actually feel, and I have some knots left it awareness that I suspect are related to that. I noticed how little movements and twitches and settling are necessarily part of the body-mind's way of processing things - an action can produce a sensation just like how a thought can produced another thought or a sensation. Did some quick yoga at the end of the sit because it seem like the right thing at the moment, and it felt really interesting and kind of different.

Typing this now, I'm feeling a lot of relief. I have been vaguely doubting if going off on this whole emotional thing was 'right' - like shouldn't I be trying to find a deeper 'mind-reality' or something? And it turns out that it's been exactly right - it is a part of the mind reality and I've been creating a sense of sepparation where there wasn't one.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Typing this now, I'm feeling a lot of relief. I have been vaguely doubting if going off on this whole emotional thing was 'right' - like shouldn't I be trying to find a deeper 'mind-reality' or something? And it turns out that it's been exactly right - it is a part of the mind reality and I've been creating a sense of sepparation where there wasn't one.

I can't help but wonder if you are "thinking" too much, introducing too many concepts. Let the mind do what it wants. Just rest in awareness and let whatever comes be.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Definitely there is a risk of too much thinking here! When it works, I find the focusing to be mostly a blend of inquiry and resting in awarness, punctuated by fairly spaced out and brief little words or mental images. However, when it doesn't work, I get caught up in trying to analytically attack my content. Good reminder to keep going on awareness though - thanks! I think I've opened up some new parts of awareness, and it was good to take time to just sit with it today.
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
I think this is a very powerful kind of practice. I would go as far as to say that the emotions which I'm unwilling to feel are what's running the rest of what I used to think of as "my life". Some of the emotions are so habitually repressed that sometimes you need to run a bit of storyline in meditation to trigger awareness of them, otherwise they just remain out of sight (for longer than is necessary). It's also interesting to observe resistance to this kind of practice!

I don't know that there is a deeper "mind reality" than the direct experience of the body, emotions and senses. Some of the subtle "mind realities" such as consciousness turn out just to be more refined ways of avoiding what's going on in direct sensate experience. It seems that a lot of unneccesary thinking is also driven by emotional avoidance (speaking as someone who still avoids certain emotions and engages in a commensurate amount of unneccesary thinking emoticon)
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Here'[s another approach on emotions that  makes more sense to me: In Dzogchen we do not need to renounce, purify, or transform anything. One is simply trying to understand how things are, how they exist just as they are, rather than seeing everything as primordially defective, both within onself and externally. In the Dzogchen appaoach, we do do not follow of rectification in order to gain spirtual awakening.

The Dzogchen concept of human nature is grounded in the idea that a  person is already perfect, but faills to realize the inherent perfection within oneself. The practices are not designed to make one better, healthier, more intelligent, or  to disperse our confusions. Rather, despite our seeming imperfections and confusionns, the practices are designed to help us realize that each person is a completly holistic , a completly awakened person. Thus, in the Dzogchen tradition, the distiction between a samsaric human being and a fully evolved awakened person is not applicable That is why it is called the "path of of self-liberation"

IF we understand our emotions properly, the emotions are self-liberated without our needing to employ techniques to transform or get rid of them.  Also, in Dzogchen, we do not need to see the emotions as insubstantial or empty. Instead, if we understand how emotions manifest and operate, and gain deeper understanding of ourselves, we begin to realize that we do not need to become anything better. We can just simply be what we already are. In other words, we can try as hard as we like to become something other than what we already are, but that is not possible..
george, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
I love this practice. I'm very drawn to it, maybe im in AP territory, hahaha. Definitely going to read up about it tonight. Thanks Sam 
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
I agree with most of that ... it's just that in practice I find it hard to know what emotions I'm repressing without studying thoughts, dreams, behaviors, unintended actions, dramas etc. (because we're dealing with the subconscious here!) Maybe all of this stuff would come to the surface anyway with enough open awareness/concentration practice, I don't know. I do know that I've been through periods of deep concentration and equanimity, where it felt like everything was open and spontaneously "self-liberating", only to have some drama crop up in my personal life and realize that there is a whole layer of deeply repressed emotions that I wasn't even aware of (although in retrospect it's obvious what I was ignoring). But I wouldn't say we're talking about anything being "defective" here, just different techniques for bringing stuff into awareness. This can definitely be an uncomfortable practice though - the whole point is to experience stuff one normally avoids!
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
I realized through some of this that I almost had a form of 'body-blindness' 'emotional-blindness' going on. I have heard from multiple places that these things will sort of naturally resolve themselves once you're on the path, and the active work we try to do to deal them is just kidding ourselves or maybe even slowing things down. However, I also haven't heard a recent personal account of someone who totally did not do any of this digging and felt that they got there, so I wonder if maybe some of this stuff amounts to the view from later in the path being so fundamentally different than how a person like me is right now, that it looks obvious in hindsight that there was 'nothing to do'. I have grappled with this 'nothing to do' feeling a bunch of times and ultimately have decided that, at least for me, with a reasonably high-strung and active mind, there is probably 'something to do'.

Maybe I will feel differently later, but I suspect that might be because I succeeded in changing my brain and I will perceive it commensurately differently. Already I see how at least one perceptual change I felt to be very obvious when it happened now feels like 'the way I always saw things', even though I simply notice specific things in day-to-day life that I obviously did not before, and have reduced rumination to almost zero. These are as close to quantitative changes as I can imagine having in how my mind works, and yet it feels totally integrated and natural, like it always 'was' this way. Really interesting.
george, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
From content to insight!
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1 hour 45 minute sit today starting at 10:15am. Went straight to focusing. Investigated something that revealed itself to be related to fear of failure and drive to be good at things in order to 'escape the fishbowl' and affect the external world. Strong hangups here. After finding some resolution, sat in open awareness for 45 minutes. Really tried to just feel body sensations as directly as possible.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
After finding some resolution, sat in open awareness for 45 minutes. 

Now with Dzogchen, I get confused with the term open awareness In Dzogchen it means resting in a state of natural awareness or rigpa. But there is open awareness kinda used in regular meditation like  noting while open to all sense doors. Which one are you doing? Also, did you see what I wrote about the emotions and Dzogchen? I put a lot into it, I don't pretend to be an expert but I was wondering what you thought?
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Hmm, what I'm doing when I say 'open awareness' doesn't have any noting, it might be closer to a 'do-nothing' meditation maybe. I'm just trying to let whatever arises from the sense doors just be there in awareness. Usually there's not a lot of thoughts, but if there are, I just to be aware of them. Some of the inspiration for this way of sitting comes from 'Our Pristine Mind', which I think is from Dzogchen, but it's also informed by a bunch of other reading, and I haven't done any sort of dzogchen training or anything.

With regard to emotions and Dzogchen I would say:

In Dzogchen we do not need to renounce, purify, or transform anything. One is simply trying to understand how things are, how they exist just as they are, rather than seeing everything as primordially defective, both within onself and externally. In the Dzogchen appaoach, we do do not follow of rectification in order to gain spirtual awakening.


I have played around with some transformation-type stuff, and always had a bit of trouble with it. My current practice is basically to see things and then accept them, really feeling that everything is just awareness and loving and accepting it all. So to that extent I think I'm on the same page as you.

The Dzogchen concept of human nature is grounded in the idea that a  person is already perfect, but faills to realize the inherent perfection within oneself. The practices are not designed to make one better, healthier, more intelligent, or  to disperse our confusions. Rather, despite our seeming imperfections and confusionns, the practices are designed to help us realize that each person is a completly holistic , a completly awakened person. Thus, in the Dzogchen tradition, the distiction between a samsaric human being and a fully evolved awakened person is not applicable That is why it is called the "path of of self-liberation"


I am a bit torn about this. If I felt that I was perfect already, I don't wouldn't bother practicing. Even if the only thing sepparating me from my completely awakened self is that realization, it seems that the process of realization must transform my experience somehow, and my experience will be different afterward even if it is in some subtle way. This implies my brain will function differently somehow, and that the practices achieve this functional change. Maybe this is all semantics, but it feels to me that to say that whatever pathologies I currently have that make me feel imperfect (even if I am not) could be themselves considered an imperfection, which will be washed away somewhat by practice, ultimately changing the little pattern in space-time that is me (arguably for the better).

I guess the flipside here is that this agrees with my feeling that I shouldn't go into my subconsious guns ablazing looking to waste anything I don't like - my whole practice is just around accepting everything.

IF we understand our emotions properly, the emotions are self-liberated without our needing to employ techniques to transform or get rid of them.  Also, in Dzogchen, we do not need to see the emotions as insubstantial or empty. Instead, if we understand how emotions manifest and operate, and gain deeper understanding of ourselves, we begin to realize that we do not need to become anything better. We can just simply be what we already are. In other words, we can try as hard as we like to become something other than what we already are, but that is not possible..


I guess I think I agree with this mostly? I think emotions are fine - they are just part of awareness. What is not fine is rejecting them, squishing them down into a little ball of pain, etcetera. I've noticed that this is a huge source of suffering for me - just resisting awareness being the way it is. For me, this focusing practice is a way of learning how emotions operate, and it's been very fruitful in that way. My emotions are much more visible and liberated feeling already.

I guess on the topic of 'being what we already are' I am of two minds again. On the one hand, this fosters the acceptance that I believe is necessary for the cessation of suffering. On the other hand, my experience seems to be changing, and I expect will change more, which doesn't jive exactly with just 'being what I already am'.

I think that basically sums up my feelings on this stuff!
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
You know, I've been thinking about this a bunch, and I think I might be holding on to models of things that are getting in my way now. I think I'm going to try to let go of believing any of the stuff I just wrote down.
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
It's the big paradox of practice - how does one appear to be able to choose to do progressive forms of practice, within a framework of insight which shows that there is nowhere to get to and no one to go there? One way to square the circle is to think of the emotional & psychological knots as blocking the view of insight and fueling intentionality (apparent choices). But it's not a linear relationship, insight can strike at any point! It helps to have a flexible mindset which goes something like - Ok I appear to be choosing to go through this progressive process, but I also recognize that it's happening by itself and not going anywhere that's intrinsically better than where I already am, even if it doesn't feel like that (which is just feelings of resistance to what is, craving for what isn't, and associated thoughts).

[Edited later for clarity]
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Hmm. I wonder if it's all sort of a manifestation of a need to find something to believe in, some 'truth' about reality. I guess something I've been realizing is that I don't particularly care about finding 'truth', rather maybe the more of that I can let go of the better.

Maybe I am stuck letting go of the belief that ultimately there there is a world out there and we can model how things 'should' go in it, even awakening. There is a reactive part of me that definitely says 'fuck that I'm definitely suffering right now and I plan not to' when someone suggests there's nowhere to go. Maybe some fear that if I totally let go of all beliefs, then why would I keep existing? Ah, that's the self there, isn't it.

Maybe I've been trying to see what it is like to just be a meat-computer - just a processor of sensate reality with no making a painful imagined world out if it, but I've been unwilling to let go of that model itself, and that's a way for the self to keep clinging on. There's a strong preference in here to keep things 'rational'.

Thanks both George's and Sam! This has given me something to chew on.
george, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
I feel like awareness in this body wakes up to itself. The mind becomes bewildered by the whole thing happening and tries to intellectualise it when it really can't, I don't think. All the mind has are "techniques" to see through itself. Very cool, quiet literally mind bending. Cliches make sense, everything kinda "syncs" up with itself to now.
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
george
All the mind has are "techniques" to see through itself.

​​​​​​​That's a good insight. If the mind can see through itself then on some level it must already know what it's looking for ... emoticon
george, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
George S
george
All the mind has are "techniques" to see through itself.

​​​​​​​That's a good insight. If the mind can see through itself then on some level it must already know what it's looking for ... emoticon

And I don't know what it is. Hahaha
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
That's exactly right! We can't know what this is, but we know instincitively that it is emoticon 
george, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
How zen can we get here? Hahaha who's we? What's instinct? What's it? What's what? I was never alive or dead i was never here or there. 

Ok this is making me sick. Hahaha. I gotta relax. Sorry Logan for hijacking thread.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Lol no prob - this is all good stuff.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Two hour sit today starting at 9:00am. Focused for two hours. Lots of mind wandering for the first half hour, mind felt really 'slippery' somehow, like it was constantly getting out of awareness. Eventually stabilized, and spent about an hour trying investigating a feeling that resolved as a sort of 'need to be careful, need to be safe', and saw how that was percieved as a cause of 'missing out', 'frustration'. Toward the end of this a knot in the solar-plexus region released. Very relieving. Also realized that some things I thought I was experiencing fully and freely now (anger and disgust), really weren't making it into the head -- sensation was almost all in the torso. Made some progress with loosening this up and feeling this more freely and completely. Maybe has something to do with all of the throat tension.

In the last half hour after this released, just sat and investigated the remaining tension in the eyes, got very daydreamy. After a while of this had a pretty big brain-reset feeling thing that felt like it lasted quite a long time (like maybe 30 seconds). I don't know if I'd call it a total cessation of all experience - I think there was awareness there throughout, though if there was a moment in there where that wasn't true, I don't know if I'd be able to tell. When things 'came back online' it was clear there was very little thought going on during however long it took, and awareness had a familiar feeling 'charging up with energy' feeling.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
50 minute sit today starting at 6:30pm. Did some focusing and some inquiry, and then some sitting in open awareness. Started to get a view of how it might feel to have equanimity toward the whole emotional world. Had a reactive day today, and was eventually able to really de-identify with the emotional sensations.

Going on vacation this week - no updates for a bit.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1 hour sit today resting in awareness. Had a pretty clear passage through the dukkha nanas, starting in dissolution and proceeding through fear, misery, disgust, desire for deliverance, and reobservation. The work I've done with emotion has made these a lot easier to see -- to an extent they feel like basic emotions with the mapping: fear ->fear, misery -> sadness, disgust -> disgust, desire for deliverance -> anger, reobservation -> suprise (specifically tending toward the bad kind of suprise over and over like electric shocks).

After this there was some weirdness with some repeats of these nanas as well as some equanimity. Sort of cycled around weirdly for a while, and things got dreamier and calmer but also had intense dukkhas echos in there. Towards the end of the sit, started noticing that awareness is effortless, and actually there is considerable effort/resistance/suffering involved in all of the stuff that isn't just sitting in awareness. It's not totally clear yet.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit in awareness. Some dukkha nana flavours, a bit sub-cyclish and weirdly ordered. Around it all, the effortlessness of awareness was present, mostly out on the periphery. I got occaisonal glimpses of it pervading all of awareness. Noticed through this that I am still making a distinction of my emotional body sensations, keeping them as 'other'. Tried to merge with them, and all sensation, to make a new 'I' that is all things. Things became dreamy later on, and some of the tensions of the body seemed to relax as they were accepted as 'I'. There seems to be a lot of effort going into keeping all kinds of stuff 'not I', even though upon investigation, all sensations are kind of the same thing. Gradually more and more effortlessness fills awareness.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit in awareness. Definite POI progression, again with a first obvious set of dukkha nanas and then more vague stuff after. Really tried to broaden awareness to sit in the stillness on the edge. Gently inquired 'What is this' toward it, cultivating curiousity. Noticed that stillness pervades the space between sensations as well. Had some body tension in the stomach and throat region that felt like it is jamming up equanimity somehow. Made some progress on integrating it. I feel as though gradually the stillness is becoming clearer.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Logan G.
1.5 hour sit in awareness. Definite POI progression, again with a first obvious set of dukkha nanas and then more vague stuff after. Really tried to broaden awareness to sit in the stillness on the edge. Gently inquired 'What is this' toward it, cultivating curiousity. Noticed that stillness pervades the space between sensations as well. Had some body tension in the stomach and throat region that felt like it is jamming up equanimity somehow. Made some progress on integrating it. I feel as though gradually the stillness is becoming clearer.

Braving the pain to check around for a little while. Got in a little meditation. 1.5 hour sit is a great sit. You felt like you progressed through some of the first obvious dukka naans in one session. Good on the inquiry practice. I have been reading the book Awake: It's Your Turn and wanting to add Inquiry to my fledgling practice. Nice work.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1 hour sit today starting at 1pm. Some ping-ponging between suffering and a sense of equanimity. Pretty much the whole sit today was asking the question 'what is it that suffers?' 'who suffers?' 'where is this one who suffers located?'. Had a talk with my teacher yesterday and got pointed toward these questions after talking about working with emotional knots. Through all of my success with these knots, there still has been a sense of 'but really I'm doing all this to make them go away, because that would be preferable, as they suck'. Tried to look for the one who wants the knots to go away.

Had an interesting sense of a more all-encompassing version of various dukkha nanas toward the end of the sit. A sense of the nanas as around every corner and between every thought, but always with stillness and quiet on the periphery, and I was able to tap into that at any moment. Had a sense of watching the whole universe arise and pass away. Sometimes a sense of time arising and passing away. Simultaneously a lot of suffering but not really anyone there to suffer it. Awareness got a bit stroby toward the end, a bit granular. Where in the past I've experienced this mostly as a sense of strobing or flickering in the senses, this was more like the universe was flickering or strobing - the whole thought machinery. Even now I can close my eyes and dissolve into a place where time feels less important somehow, like each instant is independant of it somehow. Actually I think I'm going to sit a little more.

EDIT:
Sat another 45 minutes. Things got very peaceful. Some daydreamyness. Some cessation-ey things, maybe near misses. One really chunky cessation, very strong record-skip guides. A sense of becoming into a space of undifferentiated 'is-ness' afterward, that only became apparent in retrospect because it the number of thoughts was very low. I think there may have been some non-zero amount of time where the only thing was this one 'is-ness' experience. Generally thoughout, suffering was the lowest it's been since I've started being so aware of emotional tensions held in the body - almost nonexistent.
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Logan G.
Through all of my success with these knots, there still has been a sense of 'but really I'm doing all this to make them go away, because that would be preferable, as they suck'. Tried to look for the one who wants the knots to go away.

Sounds like you might be bumping up against "fundamental" resistance to experience. For me that was solved not by finding the one who wants the knots to go away, not by realizing he doesn't exist, not by dissolving the knots, but by realizing that there is no alternative to immediate experience. It's similar to what you are calling is-ness, except it applies to all experience and not just special conditions on the cushion. You could try to keep asking yourself - how could this experience right now be any different from what it is?
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Interesting! I have the intuitive sense that I might not be 'there' yet, like there's something to do with how the world feels that needs to be de-identified first, some more limited and acute formation of an 'I' that I'm honing in on around all of this. It feels close. That being said, it also sometimes feels like the current line of questioning maybe does what you're suggesting but in a more round-about and tricky way, basically providing a mechanism for accepting experience as it is temporarily in order to investigate it. Maybe the way you suggest could  remove some of the sleight-of-hand. I'll play around with it!
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
After yesterdays sit, reality/thought/work felt abrasive and difficult and I was quite reactive and grumpy. I was at least very aware of feeling so reactive, and so it didn't bleed too much.

1.5 hour sit today, starting at 9:30 am. Sat in open awareness, pretty peaceful. Went through the dukkha nanas, felt lighter than previously. Had quite a lot of thoughts at first, though awareness seemed to hold them a little differently - more of a sense of them as ripples in stillness. Main vibrations experienced around 7hz. Spent time noticing discomfort in the body, had some minor headache and some stomach discomfort. Noticed that the stillness at the periphery has gotten big, thought about what could be beyond it. Had the sense that 'everything' was beyond it - like all possible sensation. Sat with that feeling, realized that going from being in this big stillness to being in this space of everything felt a bit like transitioning from the infinite space concentration jhana to the infinite conciousness jhana. However, I wouldn't really call what I was experiencing concentration jhana - attention was pretty free roaming and there were thoughts, but broad peripheral awareness seems to have developed enough 'power' or something to hold these jhana-like factors on its own.

This lead to the thought that all of the meditation stuff I have read, some of it kind of contradictory, is all 'right' in its own way, as awareness/consciousness is big/flexible enough for it all to be encapsulated, even simultaneously. Kind of sounds like nonsense but that's what it felt like in the moment. Over the course of the sit, I noticed that the sense of 'I' seemed to be more flexible -- kind of freed from being this point in the middle of my head, and rather embodying whatever part of awareness attention is focused in. Even as I type thing, the words on the screen I am seeing seem to be 'I', or my hands touching the keyboard and moving become 'I' if I move to the physical sensation of typing.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Grumpy again yesterday.

1.5 hour sit today starting at 2:30 pm. Tiredness and spacing out, just tried to notice it happen. Looked for the one who was tired. Asked what it would be like to just give up, no longer fight against my own mind in day to day activities. Bounced around in the dukkha nanas, found myself returning to something like desire for deliverance pretty often. Hard to pin down what happened in the sit. Toward the end, decided to just broaden awareness as much as possible and tried to stop asking anything or trying to make anything happen.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Sat 1.5 hours in open awareness today at 9:00am. Recently, awareness has started feeling like a collection of contractions in a sea of stillness. Stillness has been farther away last few days, but it's still out there. I decided to just be as aware as possible of all of these contractions as possible, as far out into awareness as possible. This was very peaceful and daydreamy for quite a while, and then something at the periphery started getting clearer, and there was more dukkha nana stuff, kind of popping up as waves of intensity centered around different emotion centers, but maybe in a more all-pervading way than previous experience.

Eventually, I started having the sensation of 'seeing' reactivity, like letting that state arise in awareness in a way that is more clear than it has been before. I've had glimpses of this before, which I've refered to as 'seeing the bars of the prison out of the corner of my eye'. Today it was quite clear. Just looked at it. Saw more clearly what it might mean to be 'in a realm' or 'between realms' it the WUTYL terminology. I have a long history of overeating when I am unhappy (some hungry ghost stuff straight up there), and I felt like I got a very clear look at the basic sensations surrounding that compulsion today. I also saw more clearly the basic sensations that arise with the human realm, kind of an air-element business, manifesting as a feeling that I should be getting up and doing something and keeping busy, despite having slotted in time for this meditation knowing the stuff I am going to do next can wait for the allotted time.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
2 hour sit in open awareness. Focused on the periphery. Went through the dukkha nanas. Noticed that fear had a feeling of general aversion toward the current experience of the world. Misery was in a world of craving, needing something to sooth. Disgust was again a world of being repelled, aversion. Desire for deliverance was full of wanting, fighting, craving. Reobservation was hard to pin down, more like the peripheral felt of experience of a world was thrown into turbulence, with regions of both aversion and craving and general dissonance.

In general, started to have a feeling that I knew what meditation 'is' - a sort of clear seeing. I just keep developing awareness and being able to see more and more of how reality is perceived, see more and more what the mind layers on to the base sensations. Starting to see this outer context is interesting because it is experienced in part *as* the context.

Got into a buzzy sort of equanimity, with the felt sense of the world just kind of out there but not pushing or pulling on anything. Echos of turbulence. Then day dreamy, with a gradually diminishing buzzing and oscillating from feeling present and in control of the central field of existence to wandering. There were a couple crescendos of the whole of experience rising up for a moment and subsiding. After the third or so, the periphery became very still, and the daydreamyness subsided.

This was very peaceful. Started noticing how little environment sounds manifest in this space as a sort of construction of 'how things are'. Like a sound of a truck outside then results in this whole sense of a truck and a spatial location and an opinion about the noise and the sense of a person being in it and everything. After just observing these 'waves of context' for a while, mind slowed down a lot. Had some very quiet moments, maybe some blippy stuff.

Started asking 'what is the way that things are right now?' This resulted in some looking at the way the stillness 'is', which got close to a sense of pure is-ness here and there. Had some feeling of bliss, just kept looking at 'the way things are,' experiencing it as mental constructions.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
2 hour sit in open awareness. Focused on the periphery. Went through the dukkha nanas. Noticed that fear had a feeling of general aversion toward the current experience of the world. Misery was in a world of craving, needing something to sooth. Disgust was again a world of being repelled, aversion. Desire for deliverance was full of wanting, fighting, craving. Reobservation was hard to pin down, more like the peripheral felt of experience of a world was thrown into turbulence, with regions of both aversion and craving and general dissonance.

2 Hours is a long sit - Congrats! Are you saying that you  cycle thru all the Dukka Nanas in one sit?
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
As far as I understand them... It's honestly a bit complicated these days though, as there almost seem to be different kinds of them, even to the extent that sometimes I will go through them once, and then in the same sit, go through then again, but formed differently somehow, though that may just be a shift in perspective. Suffering has definitely been the theme lately though. I think widening my awareness has helped. Today was the first time I experienced really solid equanimity for quite a while. 
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
That's great. Daniel described cycling through all the Dukka Naanas in like 15 minutes in his book. Suffering has been my theme too. Congrats on experiencng really solid equanimity! Isn't it great? Things level off and everything seems good.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
It's starting to feel more fractal than cyclic, like there are cycles within cycles. Occaisonally I feel like I'm in familiar territory and I wonder if I'm just making it that way for myself and then I end up somewhere different than I thought I would. I'll feel like I'm in equanimity, and then look harder and see there's still suffering all around and say 'ah jeez better just accept this too' and then just try not to try to make things happen.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
2 hour sit today just cycling deeper and deeper. Things are feeling fractal. Awareness feeling super broad and clear but also 'jammed' up somehow. Spent a lot of time just looking at it, letting things be. Felt like something was on the tip of my tongue. Awareness feeling like a hall of mirrors reflecting itself. Hard to reconstruct a story from the whole thing, just wave after wave of stuff. Some daydreamy periods in there but mostly pretty clear. Generally a aversive tone out on the periphery that persisted as equanimity developed, never went totally away. Had a few stretches where experience got really chunky, like just a big block of undifferentiated stuff. Feeling kind of jangled now, like all of my nerve endings are ringing like little bells, like my whole body is a big tinnitus. Spent quite a bit of time asking what it would be like to just give in and have things be however they need to be.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1 hour 15 minute sit today in open awareness, watching thoughts arise. Thoughts seem correlated with effort - spent some time noting effort, which had a more relaxing vibe, but was ultimately kind of the same thing. Reminiscent of the TWIM stuff.  Spent some time leaving my mind alone - same thing again. Mind was generally pretty clear. Had a few instances of wandering, but mostly mind was quiet and I caught those reasonably quickly. Awareness feeling less jammed up today. It seems like these days I sort of review old territory (a whole cycle through old familiar dukkha nanas and equanimity) and then end up in new territory (shiny new dukkha nanas that encompass more somehow) and do it again. It takes a long time. Noting some impatience around it here and there, but generally pretty calm about it.

Edit:

Decided to sit for a while longer after finishing with a meeting. Another hour fifteen. Kept sitting in open awareness and noticed that I was starting to notice what it feels like to think, somehow. Like each thought was bundled with its own context differently. Focused on that feeling as a sort of self-inquiry, asking 'what does it feel like to think?'. This lead to some new territory with high rapture, feeling a boundless field of sensation in each moment, full of some huge number of tiny tingles of sensation making up all of awareness. Some pretty strong A&P vibes. Felt very close to thought, like before I was just remembering my thoughts and noting them, and now I am seeing them maybe almost simultaneously with their occurence. Very panoramic.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Very nice! Don't get attached to it
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
That's the way
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 2:00pm, sitting in open awareness. Quickly started seeing the new tingly mind-movements out on the periphery again. Had quite a period of kindof tiring rapture freakout energy, kind of twitchy and unstable feeling. Then settled into very intense daydreamyness, with several very solid hallucinations appearing, like a sign swinging in the wind, or a person walking by me. Had a very chunky mental gap, with a very satisfying wave of warmth and relaxation following it. Sat and tried to replicate it, but it didn't happen, and eventually ended up going through some waves of intensity and emotion that presented like the dukkha nanas, and they had an all-encompassing feeling to them, and provided a lens to look at the peripheral mind better with. Got through them and into a pretty chill place
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit in open awarness today. Looked at the sensation of space for 15 or 20 minutes to start, then had some mind wandering that brought to mind a paper I've been procrastinating on editing, which brought up a lot of dread associated with that paper. Got lost in content for a bit, thinking about why this dumb paper has such an outsize place in my mind, when there's so much other stuff going on in my life. This lead to noticing that the sensations around the dread about the paper were made out of the same 'thing' as the sensations that result from thinking about other parts of life. Got curious about that and just looked at the similarity of all sensations, how they are all kind of the same thing. Just kept looking at that for the rest of the sit. Got pretty daydreamy, had some maybe cessations maybe near misses, pretty chill and nice.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hi Logan,

We haven't connected in a while and I wanted to see what you're up to. It looks like you are practicing open awareness.

mind wandering that brought to mind a paper I've been procrastinating on editing, which brought up a lot of dread associated with that paper. Got lost in content for a bit, thinking about why this dumb paper has such an outsize place in my mind, when there's so much other stuff going on in my life. This lead to noticing that the sensations 

In open awareness/Dzogchen, etc. what does it matter in the moment anything about a paper? This just leads tto more of a cycle of thought. There is only now. Drop the Ball. Drop the thoughts - let them flow back into emptiness. Be in the here and now.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Yeah, sometimes I still get caught up and lose track of what I'm supposed to be doing haha. I don't get to worried about it these days though, sometimes when I notice what I'm doing and get back on track it gives me an interesting new mind-object to sort of just be aware of. I don't even know if I should be calling what I'm doing open awareness anymore - guess it depends on the definition. Things are pretty free-form these days, feels right somehow.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Two hour sit today just watching the content of mind, noticing how it's all made of the same thing. Had some mind wandering early on, then went through the dukkha nanas as waves of intensity each probably lasting a few minutes. Then went through a process of refining equanimity with a strong focus on the feeling of the periphery, and a  feeling of central conciousness slowly diminished. More waves of intensity through this process, not sure what they were. Kept attention on the periphery.

Gradually the periphery seemed to become more 'dominant' somehow -- like I was more identified as a vast awareness holding this little pool of conciousness, than as conciousness itself. Watched an oscillating flux between identifying as the center and identifying as the periphery. Gradually the feeling of 'identifying' at all subsided to almost nothing, and a few times I think it went away completely, leaving just undifferentiated 'is-ness'. This was a really interesting feeling. It sort of felt like being in a place without time or space or even really 'place-ness'. After moving in and out of this a fair bit, it became obvious that there was no difference between what I'd been thinking of as 'the periphery' and 'consciousness' - they were sort of made of the same basic stuff. 'I had some blips that felt like near-misses, though it was hard to say. Got curious to just watch the breath for a while, and I sort of became the tingling sensations of breath at the tip of the nose being aware of itself. Eventually, mind got extremely quiet and then suddenly I was blasted back into consciousness awareness pretty violently in a kind of freaky way. My eyes snapped open and everything felt kind of flat and same-y. Sat a bit more to let the weirdness subside.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today watching conciousness. Had three distinct deepening cycles through the dukkha nanas, each seeming to occupy more of awareness than the last. Focus was mostly on noticing the feeling of the mind thinking, and the feeling of there being a center of conciousness. Throughout this sit, this sensation of there being a center became more and more obviously just a sensation. Got into a pretty quiet place, and had what I'm pretty sure were near misses, noticed the mind getting invested in having a cessation, decided to move to a TWIM-style accept/relax to whatever arose, still with a focus on the feeling of there being a center. This pretty quickly lead to a definite no-self cessation with a very satisfying and all-encompassing afterglow. Just kept sitting in this, had more cessations. Tried to find the impermanence door after a bit, but I think I only got near misses.

Sitting here typeing this, the sense of the world seems more mixed up somehow, like the boundaries between me and not-me are blurred.

Also, just remembered that earlier in the sit, I had some stomach pain and saw the most clearly as I ever have how suffering arose in conciousness from the physical sensations in the stomach. Was also able to deliberately bypass the concious suffering by sort of tuning it out and experience the sensations without suffering.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
How are you having sweeps through the dukka nanas every day> You also state you had a definitive no-self cessation. If true, you need to put it up on the diagnostic clinic, describe it fully and see  if you attained stream entry. No self cessations are a big thing. Do you have a teacher?
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Hmm, it certainly feels like I'm going through the dukka nanas every day - no idea why that is! It's not all that long ago that I actually felt confident to label them as such - they're mostly reasonably quick waves in succession for me, and generally haven't had much teeth in some time.

Haha perhaps in the moment I claimed more definitively than I'd usually prefer to - ultimately, I'm doing this for my own liberation (for the benefit of all beings hopefully!), and my progress has been reasonably consistent (or at least I perceive it that way), so I haven't been compelled to try to diagnose anything.

I am working occaisonally with someone in a more non-dual-type system, where there isn't much emphasis on cessations. However, MCTB was the first book I read that addressed awakening directly, and I have found the maps reasonably replicable and the advice good, so I still see my path through that lens as well.

I guess I have been waiting to feel as though I am 'stuck' before I start asking for help as to where I am in the POI, as that seems perhaps where such diagnostics could be most useful. So far, I am pretty pleased with progress, and feel as though work on the path "does what is says on the tin", so to speak.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
2 hour sit, starting at 11am. Another 3 deepening cycles, then arriving at a very daydreamy period with oscillating intensity of mental imagery emerging from the visual snow of the closed-eye visual field. Eventually this stabilized into a very chunky equanimity, sort like all sensation slowed down into a big mollass-like almost frozen block of sensation that just vibrated in place as pure experience. Spent some time looking at this in aggregate, asking, 'what is the way things are?' This lead to some blippyness and quiet. Looked at the boundaries of mental experience, saw how any percieved boundary is in itself an experienc. Got curious the subltle mind movements that initiate these investigations, watched them, got blippy again - had a weird period where I'd watch the watching arise and then conciousness would sort of strobe off and on and then I'd watch the next watching arise and so on. After this, just looked at the experiencing of suffering, tried to simultaneously see all of the little pushes on mind to try to make experience 'be' one way or another.

After this strobed a bit, I found myself in a place of rising clarity and rapidity of mind and intensity, kind of jhanic. Decided to ride that wave and very rapidly progressed through the first four jhanas, probably a minute or two for each, moving to the next one as soon as the previous one became sufficiently one-pointed.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
2 hour sit, starting at 11:30am. Three deepening cycles again. Interesting, the second and third cycles, as well as having a more all-encompassing feeling, also had an extra quality of equanimity today. On reflection, even immediately upon sitting down, equanimity was high and mind was quiet. Mind wandering in general was almost nil today. The cycles also had a daydreamy-ness to them, so that in the start of a cycle I'd seem to fall down into daydreamy mental imagery, and then rise up into a peak of fear, and then fall back into daydreams (but not as far down), and then rise up into a higher peak of misery, then fall down (less again) into daydreams, as so on, until passing through reobservation and then stabilizing for a while before heading into the next cycle. Throughout this part of the sit, I tried for maximum wideness of awareness whenever it occured to me to do that, and just felt the whole of sensation as much as I could.

After completing the third cycle, I focused on the feeling of there being an underling intention behind things. Investigating this lead to several subtle cessations, and a general growing awareness of how time is constructed in the mind, and general erosion of the ideas that the mind has different parts sepparated by barriers. I had a strong sense of what people are talking about when they refer to 'emptiness', as every sensation revealed itself to be empty upon investigation. I then got curious about how sensations are related, which seems to be related to time. I tried to find what 'pulls' the mind to make another mental object, like why do things arise at all? What arises them? What would it be for them to not arise?

This lead to a fourth cycle where I started seeing everything as being sort of waves of 'isness', where the peak of the wave is a pure 'isness', and the trough of the wave is suffering, so that they are sort of two sides of the same coin, all part of the same medium, etcetera. Saw the various nanas through this lense, then things quieted, and I just watched this happen. This started to feel very 'fundamental' somehow, like I was seeing what had been happening all along when the sensation of pure 'is-ness' would arise, just now I was seeing it completely including its innate suffering, but also that it's all the same thing, so there sort of isn't suffering. I think I had a subtle cessation here, pretty satisfying after regardless of what it was.

Edit: One interesting thing that occured after the third cycle that I just remembered, was that I had a muscle cramp in my hamstring. Normally, this would be essentially a panic moment for me in trying to stretch it out and make it go away, and instead I just watched it, noticed some muscles around it were tensed, relaxed them, and then saw it slowly relax, all without almost no supression of my normal response required - more like, 'hmm, I guess I could just watch this instead of freaking out...'
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Nice!
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today, starting at 11:30 am. Went through two deepening cycles, focusing on seeing the suffering that initiates each mental object and attempting to integrate all suffering that arose into the moment by seeing it all as 'is-ness'. The second reobservation took a pretty long time to get through, but was also amazingly calm as I just watched it happen. This was followed by a long very daydreamy period where I seemed to have many cessations, as many as 30 maybe if I had to guess. This was very stable and though there were occaisonal 'anticipating' thoughts arising around it, they were easily integrated into the moment. In general, it was very peaceful. Just before the bell rang at the end of the sit, I had sensations of being rocketed up into a place of very high clarity and high central focus. Typing this up, I feel very refreshed somehow. Still some tiredness and muscle aches and stuff, but just in a 'fresh' way.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 12:00pm. Did a couple of cycles, second one very daydream. Strong tingling/tension feelings in the face/head/throat region today. Focused on what it feels like to experience the present moment. Other than the strong tingling/tension, territory felt pretty familiar.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 9:30am. Quite a few cycles, at least four, lost track. Decided to focus on sitting in pristine mind today, following the advice in 'Our Pristine Mind':

Don’t follow the past. . . . Don’t anticipate the future. . . . Remain in the present moment. . . . Leave your mind alone.

I noted that there's a bit of a paradox to 'Leave your mind alone', as there's an intent present there, which seems to slightly undermine the idea of leaving the mind alone, but I kept at it anyway. Over the course of the sit, I noticed that there's a connection between future thoughts and suffering - suffering is sort of predicated on the future, in as much as without the possibility of a future where the suffering is lessened, the suffering stops existing. The suffering seems to be the urgency and anticipation driving planning to change how the future will be. Noting the 'future' aspect of thoughts seems to integrate the suffering into the present moment, nullifying it. I got the feeling during this sit that there is the potential to de-identify from the mind's construction of the future by seeing it more clearly. A little while ago George suggested asking 'how could this experience right now be any different from what it is?' That's feeling like the right kind of question to be asking now.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 11:00am. Sat trying noticing that time (specifically the future) is just a sensation. Cycled about 3 times, progressively more daydreamy with mental images arising. Got to a place of very quiet mind. Had a couple of cessations, noticed that it felt like it was the suffering door, which kind of makes sense. I've been getting the sense that suffering is essentially 'prediction', i.e. the mind notices a sensation (like an itch or whatever) and then predicts that if we scratch that itch the sensation will go away. What's interesting though is that though that's probably true, the itches seem to come from prediction sensitivity itself, so even if I scratch the itch, probably another itch will pop up somewhere else right away because I'm in a kind of 'itchy mind'. This pattern seems to repeat itself in life, so that we try to predict what will make us feel happy, but 'unhappy mind' is actually another example of the predictor going off the rails, as the unhappiness is often basically suffering emerging from our assumption that our experience would be better if it were changed in some way.

Obviously some situations might be best changed (being in an abusive relationship or being addicted to something), though those situations seem like almost the opposite version of the predictor going off the rails: 'If I leave this abusive person I will have lost a source of happiness/safety', or 'I need to keep doing this drug because it makes me happy'. I don't know what to do with that exactly, only noting it.

I tried for an impermanence cessation for contrast next (as I had sort of thought of time-based investigation as related to impermanence) and got it pretty quickly by just observing the 'frame-rate' of visual experience, and the difference was clear. Much more of a reality-dissapearing rather than an experience of reality fading. Also suprisingly satisfying, maybe I haven't been able to get an impermance cessation for a pretty long while. For completeness, then looked for the self in awareness, saw only sensations, and had reality twist away into a no-self cessation.

After this just rested in awarness enjoying some light afterglow.
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Logan G.
I've been getting the sense that suffering is essentially 'prediction', i.e. the mind notices a sensation (like an itch or whatever) and then predicts that if we scratch that itch the sensation will go away. What's interesting though is that though that's probably true, the itches seem to come from prediction sensitivity itself, so even if I scratch the itch, probably another itch will pop up somewhere else right away because I'm in a kind of 'itchy mind'. This pattern seems to repeat itself in life, so that we try to predict what will make us feel happy, but 'unhappy mind' is actually another example of the predictor going off the rails, as the unhappiness is often basically suffering emerging from our assumption that our experience would be better if it were changed in some way.

This is VERY close to what it means not to suffer. The "missing link" is usually something so obvious we would never think to question it - some kind of assumption underlying our motivation for practice in the first place - something along the lines of 'something I assumed was happening wasn't actually happening' (or at least not in the way I thought it was)
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1 hour 45 minute sit today starting at 10:15. I think I went through about 4 cycles. Had cessations after the second cycle, while focusing on the feeling of 'prediction' occuring. Noticed that intent itself arises from nowhere, based on prediction, i.e. 'I' don't do it. This lead to another cycle with a very distinctive feeling of sensing all sensations and their resulting intents arising into awareness from nothing. This third cycle was very daydreamy, kept focusing on this feeling of 'no agency' or something. Even typeing this up, it just seems like the words come from nowhere, that, the typing occurs itself, that the thoughts about all of this arise unbidden. It's a bit disorienting. At the end of the cycle, I had several more cessations, and in this space of very quiet mind, I remember very a distinct sensation of there being no self at all. Light self-ness came back soon after, but what a feeling.

Went through another cycle from here, looking at the lack of agency. At the end of that cycle, entered a mode that felt like constant cessations, one a second or so, which lasted for some time. I would snap into existence, see that the existence came from nowhere, that the intent to remain in meditation came from nowhere, that even the observing of all of this came from nowhere, and then fade back out. The intention to try something different arose from nowhere, and I got into another loop of noticing an intention to let go of everything, then notice the intention to notice that intention, and so on, and each time it was like a whole stack of thoughts arose and sort of toppled over sideways and then everthing winked out. After quite a while of this, my body had a sudden freakout, and high muscle tension arose, and the visual field (and most of reality I think) strobed fairly violently for a second or two. Sat in this new territory feeling jangled and twitchy for a bit.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 2pm. Focused on the feeling of predicting and noticing that though it sometimes feels like I control my mental experience, it really just arises. Started through a cycle that felt familiar, went through fear and misery before suddenly switching gears into what felt similar to the new territory from yesterday, very twitchy and spastic with lots of little involuntary movements. This got pretty intense and then chilled out for a while, sort of a deep-under-the-ocean feeling. Kind of like daydreaming without almost any content at all, very quiet and far away. Then went through another cycle that felt like it was happening in the space where intention occurs somehow. I had this feeling like my head had sort of become incorporeal and not totally real, kind of twitchy and wild again, like the mind was trying to shake something off. Just accepted it. Got through into a peaceful place, just kept looking, got daydreamy, had maybe another cycle or just weirdness in the background.

After things really settled down, I suddenly became super aware of a really excellent and relaxing space. Maybe there was a cessation before it, it definitely had afterglow feelings, but there's a pretty big gap of daydreamyness  and it's hard to say if things actually ceased in there. Just sat chilling in that glow for the rest of the sit.

The no agency feeling continued yesterday whenever I looked at it. However, it only became obvious and disconcerting if I looked for it - it was pretty easy to 'forget' that I'm not in control interestingly. It still feels like that now. If I try to see myself causing things to happen, it becomes obvious that these words type themselves, that these thoughts think themselves, etcetera. Still feeling really relaxed and nice also.
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
It might be interesting to ask - who is it that suffers, really?
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
50 minutes sit today, starting at 1:30pm. Very tense and twitchy, also sleepy and mind-wandery. Spent a while looking at the little subtle sufferings that seem to lead to thoughts, and the switched to looking at how there is no self involved in initiating thoughts. Did 10 minutes or so in jhana at the end, stayed in first for a minute or two and then settled into second and let it deapen. Felt very high effort today somewhat paradoxically, as also the feeling of an 'exerter of effort' is much diminished.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
30 minutes meditation today and yesterday. Been a bit sick, just doing short ones. Yesterday was very spacey. Today I accepted all feelings for about 10 minutes, then focused on the feeling of 'no-agency' that arose for 10 minutes or so, then focused on who is having the experience of 'no-agency'.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hours today. Tried to notice every sensation that arose, and see it as a tiny point radiating equanimity. At first mostly noticed bodily sensations and saw them radiate equanimity, then started noticing thoughts and saw them radiating equanimity, then started seeing intentions and saw them radiating equanimity, then started seeing things like the sensation of seeing itself at radiating equanimity. Cycled a few times, even during waves of intensity, just tried to see every single sensation, including the sensations of intensity, as just radiating equanimity.

This ended up being an interesting way to experience existance. Noting each sensation as radiating equanimity made it easy so sepparate the sensation from any resistance to it, and overall pushed the sit in the direction of being calm and not overwhelming, which I've had some trouble with recently. It also was an interesting way to sort of clear out the mind of any self, as sensations like 'self' were noted at just sensations radiating equanimity and so were allowed to arised and pass away in their own time without a feeling of needing to make something happen. The process became quite automatic as time went on, and itself was a set of sensations to observe as radiating equanimity.
Logan G., modified 23 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 11:00am. A bit of mand wandering at the beginning. Attempted to encompass every available body sensation in my awareness. Over the course of the sit, got into a rhythm of noticing contraction and relaxing it while simultaneously bringing any sensation in that region of the sense field into awareness. This resulted in some normal feeling stuff running through various nanas for a while, then got into a quiet place where I started having trouble with suddenly getting startled out of my broad awareness. This happened for a while, and I was able to gently go deeper. Eventually I resolved to attempt to be less startled, and this helped me get to a place of very solid sensory awarness where very subltle 'directing meditation' type intentions and thoughts started to be more visible as mental objects.

Last week I went on a 4-day backcountry canoe trip, with much of the paddling done on lakes, which was conducive to practice. I also started reading 'The Power of Now' recently. This inspired me to spend as much time as possible on the trip with my awareness in the body, as well as noticing any time-related thoughts (anticipating, waiting, planning etcetera). Over the course of the trip I spent more and more time just sitting in presence. The beautiful scenery with long periods with nothing to do but be in it felt like nice training wheels for trying to bring more of my practice off the cushion. Now that I'm back, I'm continuing that practice whenever it occurs to me to do it.

Another interesting development from the trip was that I started to get a sense of how the bits of anxiety that I seem to carry around a fair bit of the time might be dissolved. I became really aware of this background suffering a few months ago, and it was frankly a bit overwhelming at first. The focusing helped loosen it all up and make it maneagable, and I think I gradually came to just not be all that bothered by it. It became a thing that's just in awareness and not a big deal. Now, I'm starting to get a sense that there's some ammount of 'letting go of itself' that can happen with enough gentle and broad awareness of the sensations and how they are related to thought. It's still a bit fuzzy though.
Logan G., modified 22 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
I read something in 'The Power of Now' that really resonated with me today. It was essentially (paraphrased from memory) 'You cannot be both conscious and unhappy'. The moment after I read that, I just looked around the room I was sitting in amazed and saw that it was true.

I sat for about an hour and a half today, just holding some sensations I associate with residual anxiety in presence. There two, this seems to apply - if it's uncomfortable, that just points to a way in which I'm not 'close' enough to the sensations yet, and integrating that leads to higher presence.

Generally speaking, I've been finding more and more that I can feel the tug of my mind trying to predict what I need to do to 'be happy' or 'solve a problem' or whatever, and I can just notice that those little urges are just threads woven into the present moment, which lets them pass away.
Logan G., modified 21 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 1:30pm. I've been spending as much time as possible with my awareness in body sensations lately, and continued that during this sit. After a bit of daydreamyness and mind wandering (maybe half an hour), this solidified into a very blissful and solid awareness of the body that essentially persisted for the rest of the sit, and remains now. Continued that awareness, and noticed some remaining resistance in the body where emotions are held. Gently invited them in. They may have dissolved somewhat. Went through the dukkha nanas while maintaining this 'body of light' feeling.
Logan G., modified 20 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
I believe I may have gotten a glimpse of the end of suffering today.

1.5 hour sit starting at 10:45. I was a bit reluctant to sit, because I had a few beers last night and I woke up feeling kind of crummy. I sort of fell into setting anyway, because just sitting down to start the day with coffee I realized that the 'body of light' feeling was still available in spite of feeling unwell. I used that as a way into the meditation, and found that clarity and equanimity were high for the whole sit despite my apprehensions.

There was still some discomfort and minor worry about sitting for the whole 1.5 hours at the beginning. This lead to a realization that I actually didn't need to feel the weight of the whole 1.5 hours ahead of me and hold that whole meditation. Rather, I could just meditate for this instant and that was all that was needed. In each instant, all I needed to do was meditate for that instant, which felt weightless, rather than meditating for the full 1.5 hours in each instant, which felt heavy.

After meditating in this way for some time, I realized that the little discomforts and suffering that was present also could be held in this way - they only needed to be born in the instant. I realized that much of the suffering I experience is essentially a prediction that whatever is present in this moment will be born for some unknown time into the future, and I then proceed to experience the integrated ammount of suffering I assume will happen, all at once, in each instant. Instead, it seems possible to simply experience exactly whatever is present right now, without building a whole heavy future out of it.

It's like each moment has some infinitesmal ammount of suffering in it, which on its own, is essentially zero suffering - more like information about suffering. It only becomes real suffering when the prediction part of the mind integrates over some large or even infinite number of future moments, assuming each future moment will have all of the suffering present in the current instant, and then proceeds to experience the current moment with the weight of all of that future suffering piled into it. This of course is significantly suckier than just experiencing the current moments infinitesmal ammount of suffering. This, even worse, is now a feedback loop, where the current moment includes all that predicted future suffering in it, so the prediction is now that some number of future moments will have all of that suffering in it too. Fortunately, there seems to be some saturation curve in play where it's not possible to experience infinite suffering (maybe something to do with the ultimately discrete nature of neurons or something like that, some built in safety stuff, etc).

I guess all this is to say that I think I see what's going on with impermanence in a way I didn't before. It's amazingly light and free to be this way. I suspect I will have to keep working at it to reprogram myself to not do this habitual predictive integration of suffering in day-to-day life, but I feel as though I see a way to the end of suffering  now.
George S, modified 20 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
That's a nice way of looking at it. Any state, object or self needs time in which to exist, but time has no inherent existence - it's just being created haphazardly on the fly by the mind's tendency to make comparisons. Rather than having to work at it and reprogram yourself, another way to go about it is to notice how many holes there are in time already. There is a lot of experience already during the day when we are not conscious of time passing, but we tend to overlook it and make the assumption that time was passing continuously all along (and that a suffering self was present during that imagined time ...)
Logan G., modified 19 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Thanks George, that's a good note. I haven't been thinking about the past and how the mind can solidify it as much as I have about the future (maybe because my anxiety has typically been pretty future-orient), but the past also piles up in the same way. I think I'm getting a sense of what you mean about 'holes in time'. I've noticed more and more in day to day life where there are long spans without 'self' happening that are obvious retroactively. I think I'm starting to get an intuitive understanding of the 'this is it' thing I've seen in many places. It feels like it's on the tip of my tongue. I've had quite a few momentary realizations of it now, and it feels like it's somehow close to sticking.
Logan G., modified 19 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1 hour sit today starting at 7:30am. Sat noticing the lightness of the present moment. Went through the dukkha nanas, saw how light they are. Got daydreamy for a while, then got pretty smooth presence going. Realized at some point that I didn't need to do anything. This lead to a very satisfying cessation.
Logan G., modified 18 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 11:45 am. Went through the dukkha nanas sitting with awareness of impermanence. Then things got very daydreamy, kept noticing impermanence. Satisfying cessation, followed by a bunch more. It became apparent seeing how the mind returns out of nowhere that there is no 'doing' happening - more just stories about doing after things arise from nowhere. Spent quite some time just watching things arise from nowhere. Had the strong sense that the present moment is all there is and that noone is make any of it happen. Even things like the intention to watch just arise out of nothing. Noticing sometimes that the mind is wandering or unclear, and that that noticing occures on its own, and then the intention to focus occurs on its own.
Logan G., modified 17 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Felt very uneasy and weird yesterday after sitting. So much for the end of suffering lol. Got to see clearer.

1.5 hour sit today at 9:00am. Started of looking at impermanence, then looked at suffering, and then looked for self. Did this in a loop for a while, switching to the next whenever my attention had flagged or I'd had some daydreamyness. Watched how each moment is on its own fresh and new, unless I resist that (creating suffering) and saw how the self is automatically made as something to do the resisting. When this all became clear, just started letting go of everything that wasn't the present moment.
George S, modified 17 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
And it's not like resistance need never happen ... that would be resisting resistance!
Logan G., modified 16 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Thanks George! That's what I needed to hear. I honestly got a pretty frustrated with this resistance cropping up again after having a few days of basically none of it. It's relieving to remember that I can just accept whatever shows up, even the feeling of the mind resisting something.
Logan G., modified 17 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Uneasyness came back this afternoon, so decided to do another sit to see if I could just push through it. Somewhere over an hour. Went back to TWIM style stuff to deal with the uneasiness: radiated joy while trying to make my awareness as big as possible. Interesting pattern emerged as I went through the dukkha nanas. Just before I was about to pass through one, it would occur to my mind 'Oh, we've been getting in the way, just need to step aside and let awareness meditate', and the mind would quiet, and then I'd have a wave of the intense feeling of that dukkha nana. This even happened in the mini intensity wave I usually have sort of punctuating the end of low equanimity.

As I went through this process, it seemed like some kind of unification occured between the sensations of the body and the sensations of the closed-eye visual field. They seemed to become one thing, so that I was sort of simultaneously seeing with my body and eyes as well as feeling with my body and eyes. It gave the sense of a big space, kind of felt like the infinite space jhana.

I then went through the dukkha nanas again, but with a really enteresting sensation of awareness being more powerful. I've gotten to where I can generally quiet my mind at will for a moment or two, and it feels like the beginning of a cessation without ever actually turning all of the the way off. Awareness was so strong that somehow I felt very concious despite doing that. It sort of felt like still being able to see after closing my eyes. Very weird.

Eventually, things got pretty quiet, and I watched very high-frequency vibrations in the visual field - maybe 20hz or so.
Logan G., modified 16 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
2.5 hour meditation with awareness around the chest/throat/face area where I hold tension. Realized that part of it might actually be due in part to some mild heart-burn problems I occaisonally have - I think this causes some tension and discomfort that is then intepreted as anxiety. Tried to notice that it's just sensations. I started to get a better sense of how suffering is built around discomfort, and at times was able to see only the underlying sensations without the suffering, though this was somewhat transient.
Logan G., modified 15 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1 hour meditation today starting at 9:00am. Focused on broad awareness and accepting whatever arose. There was discomfort and a muddy lack of clarity present, but felt fairly accepting of it. After a while of this, for whatever reason it became suddenly intuitive that all of my experience is fabricated, and that basic experience is empty. I've also had a growing sense lately that all of the stuff I think about meditation and log here are kind of just stories my mind is making up to figure out what is going on and feel like it's 'doing' it. That was especially clear today - I had a sudden sense that I was just a process inexorably and unexplainably modifying itself, and that the mind has been tagging along saying 'I definitely can explain this thing that I'm doing' about everything that happens.

In general I've been trying to really just accept everything as much as possible and as often as possible in day-to-day life recently. It has interesting echos of when I first started breath meditation. I am slowly growing more and more likely to remember to keep following experience and accepting it, noticing that I'm not concious with higher and higher frequency, and for longer and longer periods. It's easier during simpler, less involved activities. I also find myself much more comfortable with simple tasks that don't take up my whole mind, or even with just chilling doing nothing -- these sort of naturally become meditations now.
Logan G., modified 14 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1 hour sit today starting at 9:00am. Very daydreamy and quiet the whole time. Very little suffering. Some high-definition visuals while daydreamy.
Logan G., modified 13 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
3.5 hour meditation today starting at 8:30am. Spent some time resting with awareness around some tension in the neck and head. Very daydreamy. After doing this for some time, switched to focusing, asking what this tension needed. Followed a chain through anxiety about finishing a big project through to fear of being abandoned. Saw that this is a project that I can easily do if I am not hamstrung by anxiety, which reinforced the sense that bad predictions of the future are the whole problem.

Then had the feeling that I could instead just really feel into the present moment and fully trust it. Did this for quite some time, just being aware of the moment and trusting it. Went through the dukkha nanas doing this, then got daydreamy for a while, then had many cessations, each followed by a strong sense of 'this is it', with total peace and clarity in the present moment, fully giving myself up to it.
Logan G., modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 2:00pm. Started off with a bit of mind wandering, then got extremely daydreamy, almost sleepy really. It felt afterward kind of like I'd gone into a trance or something - there were almost no thoughts, and awareness was there, but felt as though it were turned down very low. The whole time, the focus was on broad awareness, especially of the body and places where I hold tension, and a general sense of trusting awareness to do the right thing, and a focus on the mind trying to not make any problems. This suddenly shifted into a bunch of muscle tension focused around the face, and a sensation of the lips and cheeks being swollen and large. Mind was a bit discordant here. Then suddenly a strong snap into very high clarity and one-pointedness, which remained until the end of the sit.
Logan G., modified 11 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 10:30am. Started off mind-wandery, then went very daydreamy with some visuals in the murk, then snapped into quite intense but still a bit muddy with a lot of body discomfort. Had some waves muscle-tension and spasms for a while, then things got calmed down a bit and really focused on impermanence. No idea what's going on these days lol.
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2134 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
In case you are interested you could try throwing in some Tonglen in your practice and see what happens. I just copy pasted shargrols Tonglen suggestion in Kelly's thread in case you are interested. I find this Tonglen to be rather interesting as it can bring about reactive patterns towards taking others suffering onto one self (which one isnt doing really) and it can also soften our unpleasant or heavy or confused experiences. 

In case you are interested and cant find it I will gladly paste it into your log. You can also disregard this suggestion emoticon ofcourse! 

Best wishes Logan! 
Logan G., modified 11 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
I saw the comment you mentioned, but didn't to think to apply it to myself for some reason. I think it's worth a try for sure - thank you!
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 10 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2134 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Of course only if it feels natural to you or if you come to a point where stuff seems to stagnate, seems stuck or is very heavy/overwhelming. 

Best wishes L! 
Logan G., modified 10 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Thanks again Papa Che! This end up being just what I needed yesterday. After sitting, I was left with a really strange sense of almost pure suffering. It was like having generalized anxiety but without anything to be anxious about, or really any anxiety - just the aversion that comes with anxiety. Like the body and mind were just constantly yelling 'NO! NO! NO!', or like my skeleton wanted to escape by body. I did some walking meditation and used the Tonglen approach as outlined, and I think it helped settle things enough that I was able to continue meditating through it. Had a good meal and some vigorous exercise once things had settled a bit, and got to a much saner place.
Logan G., modified 10 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
2 Hour sit starting at 9:00am. Good clarity and equanimity right from the start. Strong body awareness without being bothered by any discomforts. Focused on self inquiry. Eventually things got daydreamy and had some cessations, with the feeling upon returning one of being a very unified block of consciousness. The sense of 'I' gradually became more and more associated with the space of stillness where thoughts arise and pass away.
george, modified 9 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Hey Logan, I've been following your practice, sounds like things are flowing nicely. I have a question regarding cessation's. Do you find they happen when things get day dreamy and super relaxed? I haven't been practicing very consistently so I haven't been having them but when I'm practicing consistently I believe I'm having them and I find they happen right after Ive had a nice thought and when I'm very relaxed. Also I know what scripture says about having them and what they are, but I don't know what they mean to me, if that makes sense?Thanks for any input.
Logan G., modified 9 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Hi george!

I also find them showing up mostly when I'm very relaxed. Usually it's just after a period of daydreamyness. Afterward, it's usually apparent that thoughts had recently sort of 'fallen away' in some fashion, like my mind had relaxed to the point where it just stopped making more thoughts for a moment.

I guess for me they are just basically fun at this point. I've had enough now that it's hard to see them as very diagnostic, as sometimes I feel like I had a 'good one' and then later I feel like I'm still on the same path. Honestly, I'm not even sure where I'm at in the POI these days, as it seems like I'll jump between various territories pretty randomly, sometimes reviewing old stuff, sometimes feeling like stuff is new, mostly not being able to tell the difference. I'm still also willing to entertain the idea that what I've experienced are all near misses and that I actually don't know what a 'real' cessation is, and I haven't yet gotten to stream entry. That being said, I've had some experinces that seemed very definitively like review cycles, so I think that's a bit unlikely.

For now I guess I'm pleased to have them, but don't exactly feel like they mean anything in particular at this point.
george, modified 9 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Hey Logan thanks for the reply. Yes I'm experiencing much of the same thing, POI is all over the place and I don't know what is going on. I guess right now they don't mean anything and the most important thing is continued practice. All the best : )
Logan G., modified 9 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 1pm. Pretty high effort. Had the sense that there are there are these 'future-making' thoughts that get under the radar and create much of my suffering, so tried to figure out where they come from and strengthen awareness of that. It felt like it was a place I hadn't totally recognized as somewhere I could shine awareness, so maybe it is working? Lots of waves of intensity. Some sleepiness today as well. Sort of have the feeling that I'm 'chasing the dragon' a bit from my experience of not making time/suffering recently -- maybe there's another way I could be tackling this.
Logan G., modified 8 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
0.5 hour sit today, pretty sleepy.
Logan G., modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Over the last while I've had a lot of inner turbulence that I've been trying to just ride out. At one point, laying down looking at the ceiling, I got fed up with sort of trying various 'accepting' techniques in order to make it all go away. I decided to just dive into the tension and unease I was feeling and just be it. This was weirdly fine. Somehow by actually embracing the feeling, it became ok. It didn't go away, and it wasn't exactly pleasant - rather just sort of fine in the sense that I felt like things could just be like that and that would be ok.

It was interesting because it was a fully concious 'being', rather than sort of unconsciously getting tied up in knots and then realizing it and trying to escape it. It reminded me a bit of a section from 'the power of now' that talked about how feelings can take over the body and become it without you realizing it, but in reverse: I took over the feelings and became them, which ended up being a more radical and conscious form of acceptance than I have really done before. Whereas before I would sort of just try to relax in little bits, just accepting sensation that arose in order to passify them, instead I just dove right into the sensation, consciously attempting to merge with them in a more honest way that wasn't secretely hoping they'd go away. Weirdly, it even is a bit fun feeling. There's actually a lot of energy in a feeling of anxiety, and becoming it is strangely invigorating.

1.5 hour sit today. Just tried to become whatever sensations arose. This resulted in a fair bit of weird stuff. I experienced the dukkha nanas as sort of 'places': Fear was pretty vague, but then misery was a blue-black ocean of waves of sadness in the moonlight, disgust was staring into the opening to a vast mouth, desire for deliverance was a kind of traditional hell-type place, and reobservation was a claustrophobic dark cave of crystals and lightning.

From there, I kept becoming whatever arose. Another wave of placeness was a sort of infinite space of gridded stone columns. Then I became a knot of residual tension, which became a single massive pointed tooth growing up from a plane of red gummy material. Later, face tension became a beak, and I was a carrion bird of some kind, flying over a vague landscape of fields. Then I was torn out of the air by lions in a wave of intensity, and a mask of pressure around my face became a skeleton, leaning up against rocks by water in a dark place. Eventually I was dragged away by a hyena, and a nuclear explosion blasted me clean and bright white, and I was a skeleton floating in sunbeams with a heart of radiation blossoming outward, surrounded by giant jack-and-the-beanstock style roses growing up around me.

Eventually, I became the small heart of radiation at my center, which expanded around me, so that I was small sleeping dog in a sphere that was protecting me from the world outside. This sphere was eventually struck by lightning and cracked open, and I sprouted up into a great tree, weathering a storm. Eventually, a fire in the center of me burned in spite of the rain, until eventually I was just a blackened burned tree in a grey place with the storm gone.

From here things became more vague, and I was just a golden cloud of shimmering is-ness that fluttered around wherever I directed my attention. It was an interesting perspective on impermanence - I felt very much like only whatever I directly perceived existed. From here things got a bit mind-wander and daydreamy for a while. Eventually, things re-clarified, and I felt like just became myself where I was, as the aggregrate of all of the thoughts and sensations that were, floating in a black space. Eventually even the sense of the black space faded, and I just was.

This was all quite weird, but it was really interesting to see where fully diving into every feeling took me, rather than trying to make them go away.
Logan G., modified 6 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today starting at 2:30pm. Tried to merge with sensations. Went through pretty clear dukkha nanas, but without the visual intensity of yesterday, more focus on just the feeling-tone. Then things got super daydreamy for quite some time with some head-nodding. Then alertness returned, a little bit of tension. Just sat there.
Logan G., modified 5 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Last night I had a sudden sense that the only things that are 'real' are the stuff arising in awareness. Like beyond the cone of the vision and touch sensations and sound that is my window into the world, everything else literally didn't exist. I still 'believe' in other things being out there, at least in terms of planning abstract thought, it just became apparent that that's all everything else is. I went for a walk and paid attention to the present moment and noticed that when I looked at a tree, there was just the image of that tree and the sidewalk under my feet and the breeze and the sound of the city, and that's all that was there. It was an unbelievable load lifted to not carry around the whole rest of the world as well - I actually cried from the relief of it.

I think this is getting into the 'this is it' thing that I've seen talked about. I guess I'd understood it previously as more like 'these sensations from your immediate experience is all there is, so you might as well enjoy them because everything else is made up', which is sort of right, but to me the real liberation came from suddenly deeply feeling that all that stuff I made up is actually made up, and I don't have to carry it around. Even the sensations of carrying it around as a sort of residual habit of tension can be seen as just sensations without the weight and just part of the present moment, and then they tend to kind of dissolve.

1.5 hour sit today starting at 9:00am. Focused on how sensations and thoughts are all there is, letting awareness of them pervade the body. Went through the dukkha nanas, had some daydreamyness. Then had some muscle clenching for a bit, and a sense of trying to get closer to sensations. Then had some mind wandering, but almost in a way where it was teaching me about how ephemeral thoughts were each time I noticed it and went back to the present moment. Had a period where things were very quiet and still with a strong sense of 'this is it'.
Logan G., modified 4 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Continuing to notice that the only thing that's real is the present moment during day-to-day life.

1.5 hour sit today starting at 11:00am. Got curious to try to see subtle mind movements, I guess I'd think of them as sort of the thoughts that are happening while I am focused on thoughts, sort of meta-thoughts. Slippery things, but I just put my awareness there over and over again. A bit high effort, at least in the beginning. Dukkha nanas all over the place, weirdly mixed up with something like equanimity, like I was phasing between different paths or something.

Eventually I realized that the simplest thing I could look at was just trying to notice how concious I was in each moment, sort of labeling it as 'high-consciousness', 'medium-consciousness', 'low-conciousness'. A couple interesting things came out of this. Noticed that the waves of intensity I associate with the dukkha nanas have the potential to be very high conciousness. It was also interesting to notice that the daydreamy and mind-wandering states of mind can be very clearly observed as 'low-conciousness' by that part of awareness, in a way that it doesn't forget or slip away.
Logan G., modified 3 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
2 hour sit today starting at 11:00am. Focused on awareness of how concious I was. Noticed that this awareness is essentially awareness of awareness of the senses. It seems like an effective method for awareness to become aware of itself. Went through 5 or so cycles of the dukkha nanas. After the fourth one, had some cessations and very quiet mind. Switched gears here to self-inquiry, asking 'what is conciousness', 'what is this'.
Logan G., modified 2 Days ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
A bit tired today. 1.5 hour sit starting at 11:30am. Felt fed up with the path a little bit today, just wanting to get through it. Channeled that fed-upness into my awareness and just sat. A couple really fast cycles through the dukkha nanas. After going through reobservation a second time, switched into self-inquiry, asking 'who am I'. Got more and more quiet, had a bunch of cessation. Had one cessation in particular where I felt like I got a glimpse of another reality or something as I came back. It was strange. I had the sense that I'd seen a higher-dimensional reality somehow, or a reality with more 'realness' in it. Really short glimpse though, and it didn't return.
Logan G., modified 1 Day ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1 hour sit today starting at 3:30 pm. Just tried to see the present moment. Some dukkha nanas, some daydreamyness. A bit tired.
Logan G., modified 5 Hours ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 179 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
1.5 hour sit today at 3:30pm. Feeling a bit aversive to sitting, so started out with metta. Did some tonglen once the metta was warmed up. Got extremely out of it for a while, head nodding and pretty gone. Then came back suddenly with a lot of intesity and shaking. With awareness uncomfortable but at least pretty bright, switched gears into awareness. Really tried to focus on just experiencing exactly the sensations arising in the moment, tried to get closer to them. Added in some self-inquiry here and there, asking 'what is now?'. Noticed that interpreting the sensations as being at a specific point in the body made them more distant somehow, tried to ignore that part of the sensation and just feel the sensation is directly as possible.
George S, modified 2 Hours ago.

RE: Logan's Practice Log #2

Posts: 2027 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
It might be interesting to look at the sensations that make up trying.

Breadcrumb