doe's 30min insight log 1

John Doe, modified 2 Months ago.

doe's 30min insight log 1

Posts: 22 Join Date: 6/30/21 Recent Posts
Pain, physical pain, is easier to deal with than the urge to check how much time is left in the insight session's chronometer. Not because those urges are literally stronger than mild pain, I find them rather weak, but because the urge comes up over and over, and the more time has passed, the stronger the urge. Mostly because I start to doubt that the timer is even running. By the time the 30 minutes are almost up, I start to doubt that I even set the timer at all, and the fear that I will stay stuck meditating for hours becomes quite strong. Its easy to doubt yourself after half an hour of not moving with your eyes closed.

The good thing is that those are all things to be aware of, to note as they arise! And they are not subtle feelings at all, so you won't have to even work all that hard to note them. It will be excrutiating, but it will be easy. I will try to remember that next time.
george, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: doe's 30min insight log 1

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Well done John!
John Doe, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: doe's 30min insight log 1

Posts: 22 Join Date: 6/30/21 Recent Posts
thanks! that encouragement actually helps.
John Doe, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: doe's 30min insight log 1

Posts: 22 Join Date: 6/30/21 Recent Posts
I've found something interesting while taking online classes: I do not pay the same kind of attention to the notes I take as to the instructor. What I mean is that, there are two kinds of attention. The stronger attention feels more solid in the moment, and after the moment I can recall more details of what I was paying this stronger kind of attention to. The weaker kind of attention feels more distant, and even just after the event the memory feels hazy and distant.<br /><br />I realized this because I would exchange the strong and weak attention between my note taking and the instructor. At times I payed strong attention to my notes, and though I was copying what the instructor was saying, I could not really remember the instructor saying it, only my note of him saying that. The reverse was true. I could pay close attention to what the instructor said while I took notes, and later could not remember the notes, only the instructor's voice.<br /><br />I guess people would call the strong attention "attention", and the weak attention "Awareness". But those terms are too loaded with things I don't understand to say that my modest experience is a way to distinguish them. I like silly naming schemes, so I'll call the strong attention "firm focus", and the other "weak focus".<br /><br />Is this an experience any of you have had? What do you call these two apparently different modes? Have you sensed more gradations of attention than these two?
george, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: doe's 30min insight log 1

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Encouragement is what it's all about!

In the book "the mind illuminated" Culadasa talks about this. Background or peripheral awareness and then the meditation object. Focusing purely on the meditation object and blocking peripheral awareness hinders your ability to stay present with the primary object. It's all in his book.
John Doe, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: doe's 30min insight log 1

Posts: 22 Join Date: 6/30/21 Recent Posts
I sat 20 minutes today. It was noting practice. At first I was just noting my breath rising and falling, but quickly other things came to mind, outside sounds, memories, thoughts. I noted them according to shinzen young's 6 ground states (https://www.google.com/url?q=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DSkl5LE7Uucg&sa=U&ved=2ahUKEwiPqpjXssjxAhVVm2oFHWqAAMUQtwIwAHoECAAQAQ&usg=AOvVaw2dyqPYe2xqvxrPs1YVykSE)
I like this model. It felt immediately intuitive to me and its grid layout let me imagine the 6 categories in front of me, and each time a sensation arose I imagined a dot on the category of sensation that it fit. I also liked to imagine the word with which I noted the experience as inside the categorie's square. Like, each time I breathed in, the word "in" would appear in the TOUCH square. Same for each breath out, the word "out" appearing in the TOUCH square.

So these new sensations would arise, and I would note them in this way. Then the aversions started to arise. The urge to check on the clock, or a strong curiosity on some sound that came up. The matter with aversion is that its sticky, you feel it and it stays a while. Worse still, ignoring it and going back to noting the breath seemed to make the aversion become an intrusive thought, which came up stronger and more frequently the stronger I tried to ignore it. Instead of ignoring it, though, I tried making it an object of meditation. If I felt anxious as the image of my chronometer came to mind, urging me to check the remaining time, I would fix on those, solidify the feeling and the image, and focus strongly on them, while noting them as feeling or image. After a little while, the urge would subside, and soon the feeling of anxiety would go away too, and the image would loose its holding power. Then I came back to noting my breath, and whatever else came up.

Noting your urge to stop noting and doing something else seems to work. I highly recomend it.
John Doe, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: doe's 30min insight log 1

Posts: 22 Join Date: 6/30/21 Recent Posts
Ran out of depression medication. So I'll have to be extra careful until I finally get my new pills back.<br /><br />I know that meditation is not a replacement for medication, but I do feel worse if I don't meditate.

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