Alreadyou Practice Log

V C, modified 2 Months ago.

Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/2/21 Recent Posts
Hey all,

As I'm trying to get back into the groove of meditating I thought I'd keep a meditation log here, both for accountability and to help discern progress.

Today I sat for half an hour, focusing on the breath at the nostril, noting sensations as I breathe in and out. Although a lot of thoughts kept happening, I managed to keep a par tof my attention on the breath in an almost uninterrupted manner. Sometimes part of the game was separating the sensation of the breath from other physical sensations that had fused with it, such as the sensation of my eyeball moving downwards. Sometimes it was about separating it from the discursive thoughts I was having. By the end, the sensation appeared to have congealed into a sort of rod that was there, apparently unchanging, on both inhale and exhale, and the game was about discerning what was still sensation and what was thought in keeping that rod existing, as well as the difference between sensations of the rod and sensations around the rod or in different parts of the nostril that seemed related or fused with it. I opened my eyes with 30 seconds still on the timer, and focused this time on the visual field - which ended up very effective and quite intense. I came out of the session feeling extremely calm, and remote.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 2173 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Welcome to DhO and thank you for sharing your journey emoticon 
I like the way you describe your sensate experience during practice! Keep at it!

​​​​​​​Best wishes to you!
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hi Welcome to DhO! Your description is very good but have you thought about the full noting technque? Both Papa and myself have lots on this topic on DhO. Look forward to reading your posts!
V C, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/2/21 Recent Posts
Thanks Sam, I'm not sure what you mean by "the full noting technique" - also, why should I think about it?
​​​​​​​V
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Noting is a technique first described by Mahasi Sayadaw in his book and then Daniel Ingram in his book talks about fast noting. There is also a simplified version by Shinzen Young. It basically consists of noting or saying everything you are experiencing.  Daniel in his book says fast noting is one of the tickets to awakening. I say full noting because I say the things outloud. You should think about it  because it brings increased mindfulness bt blocking thoughts. You can't think thoughts when you are fast noting thoughs, sensations, etc. The 2nd reason because of what you can read in Daniel's book. Third reason, it got me to Stream Entry and many others here.
V C, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/2/21 Recent Posts
Thanks! Do you have links to the threads you mentioned? I didn't really find anything. V
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
I had a whole post and it got lost.

Anyway, Mahasi style noting is described in his sort pithy classic "Practical Insight Meditation." This classic can be found here.. Daniel Ingram says its his favorite dharma book.

"Fast noting" is described in his must have book "Mastering tthe Core Teachings of the Buddha." or MCTB which can be freely read from here.

Papa Che and I were really into noting and you can find detailed discussions in our past practice logs.
V C, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/2/21 Recent Posts
Thanks!
V C, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/2/21 Recent Posts
My sitting session yesterday took place later than planned because I was too exhausted earlier in the day. In that session I realised that part of what I thought was the sensation of the breath at the nostril was in fact partly the sensation of my chest filling up with air. I investigated that sensation a little more today, and it appeared as much more complicated even than that . Parts of it was the feeling of my "heart", that is, a fairly fixed bundle of intensity, whereas the rest shifted around my chest as it filled up with air. After investigating it a little it became easier to return to the feeling of the breath at the nostril. There were some deeper absorptions in thought today and yesterday, though not in a normal train of thought, more like a dream - it felt like being trapped in the consciousness of a young girl playing with her dolls. When I came back to my senses I was much stiller than I had been before. Earlier in the sit the thoughts were much more like normal thoughts about my everyday life, and it felt as if I was running the noting program in the background while thinking about the more important stuff in the foreground. WHen I noticed that, I realised the thoughts were rather there as a defense mechanism blocking the destabilising aspect of feeling my experience of the breath be deconstructed, appear inconsistant, etc. After that it was easier to stay with the breath and get fascinated with the complexity of it. Outside of the sitting, I've also been focusing on my field of vision, beginning during my bus ride home where I was looking at a detail on the black bus door as it was rapidly changing with the light but also as it seemed to flicker. I would notice that my eyes would dart to moving figures on the bus - people coming in for example - as if they were "real" whereas I would then go back to that bit of the door as if it was just an apperance. But then later it seemed more possible to expand it to vision as I was walking - the center of it would flicker like a movie screen, and at the same time it seemed like I was moving through a much more panoramic vision than usual. With this came a feeling both of great calm, that I could recover at any moment it seemed by just focusing on the flickering, but also a sort of melancholy - as if the predictability of the flickering which calmed me also made it seem like I was never going anywhere, or that things weren't as solid as I'd expected. 
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 2064 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
V C
I realised the thoughts were rather there as a defense mechanism blocking the destabilising aspect of feeling my experience of the breath be deconstructed, appear inconsistant, etc.

​​​​​​​Nice insight!
V C, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/2/21 Recent Posts
A very chatty mind today, much more difficult to get to the breath, let alone analyse it. Still, there were a few moments when I could do that more. This time the thoughts I got absorbed in were more like everyday thoughts, though there was a dream like state by the end where I replayed parts of the scenario of a tv series I watched years ago. Yesterday afternoon I went for a walk just after my sit to keep practicing, which worked for a while, but the. I felt like I had to escape the practice, to distract myself radically, which I did for most of the afternoon. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 5922 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Great logging! I hope you will like it here. 
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Kaloyan Stefanov, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 69 Join Date: 2/18/21 Recent Posts
Hey VC, welcome and good luck with your practice.
Just wanted to comment on the dream-like state in your last session. You say "I replayed parts of the scenario of a tv series I watched years ago." Such moments are super good to actually spot the three characteristics:
1) Anatta - this replaying of the TV show (From years ago!!!) in the form of mental images, mental voices and other form of thoughts kinda happened on its own - you (whatever that YOU might be emoticon ) obviously did't intend to bring it up during your meditation session. In a sense, none of the experience can actually be linked back to SELF that somehow generated this experience.
2) Anicca - it came (out of nowhere) and then it disappeared (into nowhere), i.e. it is impermanent. Likewise for the individual sensations that constituted it - here is a thought, and it is gone, here is a mental image, and it is gone - little flickering bits coming (out of nowhere) and going (into nowhere).
3) Dukkha - maybe it was interesting and nice and all, but it did't satisfy. None of it brought lasting satisfaction.

Keep going and all the best!
Kaloyan
V C, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/2/21 Recent Posts
Thanks all! And thanks Kaloyan for the insight. 

Today's sit was very distracted. First I tried to note the breath at the nostril, and once again I could tell it was fused with the feeling of the chest filling up and emptying. I tried to distinguish the two by noting the breath at the level of the chest, to get a feel for it, but then it was also sending me back to the nostril. I tried to feel when it was at the nostril and when it was at th chest, but couldn't get far, so just noted the breath in both parts. Then I had a very chatty mind that quickly went into dream-like states until I jolted awake. At that point, around halfway through, I decided to note the visual field with eyes open for a while - and that produced quite a few "jolts". I realised I was trying to stabilise my vision to perceive the graininess of it, and that made me blink a lot - which irritated me. I then let the image morph and tremble. After a while I tried to get back to the breath, but that sent me immediately into dream'like states. I alternated between eyes open and the breath unti lthe end of the sit. Afterwards I felt a little calmer but still distracted and foggy, a little sad too.
V C, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/2/21 Recent Posts
No sit during the weekend, partly because I was hungover quite a bit and also in very unstructured time, also because I felt overwhelmed with cravings and kept putting off the sit. Sitting today, alternating between breath at the nostril and various absorptions into thinking (work, conversations, etc) and day dreaming.in some ways it felt easier to catch myself halfway through a thought or a dream and get back to the breath even if momentarily so.
V C, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/2/21 Recent Posts
Today's sit was also very chatty but I could catch myself earlier and more often and note that I was thinking. I could also follow the transformation from a movement of my eye to a memory of a specific street as seen from a bus years ago to the friend I'd visit on that bus to his death and people I should get in touch with. - to finally noticing i was thinking. The breath at the nostril is still fused with both movements of my eyes and the chest filling up with air - each of which separately appears even more complicated and obscure. 
V C, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/2/21 Recent Posts
I ended up sitting a second time yesterday evening, and when I woke up this morning I also felt like sitting so I did - trying to make as much of the momentum as possible!
this morning sit i was thinking a lot - no dream like absorption but a lot of thinking, mostly about a conversation that angered me yesterday, but then about what I would do after the sit this morning. Noticing that I'd be thinking, I'd have an urge to try to feel that thought as thought - but the thought was already gone. 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Alreadyou Practice Log

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
I have noticed chattiness a lot in your last three sessions. Have you tried At Loud Noting I sugggested? At the time, noting really helped me because if you are noting, especially fast, there iis much less time tor your mind to chatter and more time for minfulness. Just an idea.

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