Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/10/21 3:58 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 shargrol 8/10/21 3:58 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/10/21 3:58 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/10/21 3:58 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/10/21 3:58 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/10/21 3:58 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/10/21 4:42 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 shargrol 8/10/21 5:30 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/10/21 7:40 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Pepe · 8/10/21 7:17 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/10/21 7:45 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Pepe · 8/10/21 9:57 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/10/21 10:30 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/14/21 4:07 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Papa Che Dusko 8/14/21 6:14 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/15/21 12:31 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Papa Che Dusko 8/16/21 8:46 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/22/21 4:25 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/22/21 4:40 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/23/21 5:50 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/31/21 1:36 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Not two, not one 9/2/21 12:22 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/20/21 5:10 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Not two, not one 9/22/21 2:00 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/22/21 2:43 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/20/21 6:52 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/23/21 10:30 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Ni Nurta 9/23/21 4:34 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/24/21 3:01 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/24/21 3:29 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 shargrol 9/24/21 4:32 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/24/21 7:10 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/6/21 4:21 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/9/21 7:34 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/18/21 3:30 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Not two, not one 10/18/21 3:49 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/18/21 5:11 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/7/21 1:06 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/20/21 4:49 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/22/21 5:29 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/26/21 10:58 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Chris Marti 10/26/21 1:22 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/27/21 4:17 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Chris Marti 10/28/21 5:33 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/30/21 10:49 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 David S 10/28/21 11:55 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/30/21 10:53 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Not two, not one 10/28/21 8:20 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Papa Che Dusko 10/29/21 12:10 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/30/21 11:17 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Papa Che Dusko 10/30/21 11:35 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/30/21 11:45 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Not two, not one 10/31/21 12:58 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Papa Che Dusko 10/31/21 6:55 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 acordemos ' 10/29/21 10:42 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/30/21 11:50 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/31/21 6:53 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/17/21 6:29 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/17/21 6:45 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/17/21 7:56 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/17/21 10:01 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/20/21 3:11 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/9/21 7:50 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/9/21 1:14 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Papa Che Dusko 12/9/21 3:39 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/9/21 3:52 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 George S 12/10/21 7:45 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/10/21 8:07 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 George S 12/10/21 10:58 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/10/21 4:38 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 George S 12/10/21 6:24 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/17/21 7:34 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/21 3:25 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/21 4:04 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/21 10:38 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Oskar M 12/19/21 11:39 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/21 2:01 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Oskar M 12/19/21 3:02 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/21 3:39 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Oskar M 12/19/21 3:58 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/21 4:20 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Oskar M 12/20/21 10:32 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/21/21 5:18 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Oskar M 12/22/21 4:01 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/2/22 5:50 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Oskar M 1/3/22 4:42 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Oskar M 1/3/22 4:55 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/3/22 6:07 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Oskar M 1/3/22 6:43 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/2/22 6:38 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 George S 1/3/22 9:11 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/3/22 10:06 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 George S 1/3/22 11:06 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 George S 1/3/22 11:20 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/3/22 5:08 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/3/22 5:23 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/6/22 7:31 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Oskar M 1/7/22 9:55 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 7:01 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Stefan Stefan 1/8/22 7:49 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 8:13 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Stefan Stefan 1/8/22 9:01 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/9/22 6:12 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Oskar M 1/10/22 10:07 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/10/22 10:22 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Niels Lyngsø 1/10/22 10:56 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 George S 1/10/22 10:32 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Oskar M 1/10/22 12:01 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Papa Che Dusko 1/9/22 1:10 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/9/22 5:56 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/9/22 6:11 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Papa Che Dusko 1/9/22 8:59 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/9/22 9:57 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/9/22 2:24 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/13/22 2:03 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Chris M 1/13/22 5:42 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/16/22 2:20 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/16/22 5:00 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/18/22 3:45 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Papa Che Dusko 1/18/22 3:50 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/21/22 3:33 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 George S 1/21/22 4:26 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/22/22 4:20 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/24/22 3:15 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Papa Che Dusko 1/24/22 3:26 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 2/3/22 4:38 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 George S 2/3/22 7:48 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Chris M 2/3/22 8:13 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Papa Che Dusko 2/3/22 9:37 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 2/3/22 11:47 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Papa Che Dusko 2/3/22 2:22 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Emil Jensen 2/4/22 9:47 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 2/18/22 2:10 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 2/18/22 3:29 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 3/23/22 4:22 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Martin 3/23/22 5:25 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 3/24/22 5:07 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Sigma Tropic 3/26/22 5:56 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 3/24/22 5:24 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Sigma Tropic 3/27/22 5:27 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 3/28/22 2:16 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 3/24/22 6:06 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 3/24/22 6:11 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Martin 3/25/22 12:04 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 3/26/22 2:41 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 3/26/22 2:40 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Sigma Tropic 3/26/22 3:49 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Sigma Tropic 3/26/22 7:34 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 3/27/22 3:33 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Papa Che Dusko 3/24/22 1:52 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 3/24/22 5:28 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 3/26/22 3:07 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Ni Nurta 3/28/22 11:47 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 3/28/22 1:28 PM
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 3:58 AM
Created 9 Months ago at 8/8/21 2:33 AM

Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Posts: 6291 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Reminder to this mindstream: I love the silence that is at the core of everything. Distractions aren't needed. 
shargrol, modified 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 3:58 AM
Created 9 Months ago at 8/8/21 5:19 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Posts: 1747 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
Reminder to this mindstream: I love the silence that is at the core of everything. Distractions aren't needed. 

By chance, have you heard the pointer "silence doesn't go away with sound?". Might be fun to explore this idea with distractions: "Silence doesn't go away with distractions."
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 3:58 AM
Created 9 Months ago at 8/8/21 8:27 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Posts: 6291 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I noticed that before hearing the pointer. Noticing it was what made me look into Dzogchen where I first heard the pointer. I thought there must be some dharma that adresses this, so I was searching for it, and then found the pointers to what I had experienced. I'm empirically driven. emoticon 

And I do practice noticing the silence in the midst of everything (I kind of include distractions in everything emoticon ). The reminder was because I need to let go of a habitual pattern of believing that I'm bored and need to engage with distractions when that's actually not true. I'm not looking to be a renounciate, just find a better balance. Due to living with this wiring in this society, I have developed so many coping strategies. Many of them are pretty good, but some really aren't. If you knew my bad habits, in one of those phases, I think you'd see what I mean. But thanks for believing that I'm as sane as you. emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 3:58 AM
Created 9 Months ago at 8/8/21 9:26 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Posts: 6291 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
At the end of my last log, Papa Che asked about listening to one's thoughts (maybe specifically the storytelling? Not sure about the wording now and too lazy to check it). I answered very briefly with basically no nuances, and therefore maybe in a misleading way. This is mainly something I play with in daily life rather than systematically investigating on the cushion. I sort of approach them in their natural habitat, exploring the contextuality rather than trying to make them appear in a more experimental design. I'm going for ecological validity, as the trained ethnographer I am. 

Papa Che, if you wish to explore more for youself before reading other people's observations, you can stop reading here. Just know that there's more nuance to it than what I said earlier, so take that with a grain of salt. 

In my brief answer I said that the shyness is a temporary thing that falls away. That's true for thoughts, but if we are talking about the storytelling, that does fall away for me when I listen without engaging. It doesn't mean that thoughts go away as I go about my business in daily life, just that they don't latch on to each other in chains - except for when I do engage with them, such as in translating some insight into a text that an audience would understand, or in the ruminating that I still need to watch out for. Watching the play back and forth between engaging and not engaging in thoughts and emotions is something that I find helpful where I'm at. I'm assuming that the play back and forth will continue, but I'm looking for more liberated dynamics where I don't habitually get caught up in stuff that's not in line with the intent that resonates well with this mindstream and the world at large, for the benefit of all sentient beings. 

When I don't engage, the thoughts are often more or less pre-verbal, pre-visual, pre-tactile and so forth. They are like embryos, still containing all that is essential. 

As for "when I engage with them", that's misleading too. There isn't really a well demarcated I that can either engage or refrain from it. There are lots of different parts that can engage (or have the experience of doing it), to the extent that we can even talk about parts. I'll talk about parts now in order to simplify communication. An example: when I let go of some train of thought that I have been pursuing, such as forming sentences for a post, it's not uncommon for me to notice that other lines of thought were already being pursued in the background, or at least it seems like they were, because they sort of start in the middle with an instant recollection of having gone through the initial part already. That recollection comes in a flash. It's often something as habitual as an earworm, which is actually a whole train of thoughts because they don't pop up randomly. Something triggered it, or triggered a whole chain that eventually triggered it, and it often has something contextually relevant to tell me. For instance, I have noticed that when I hear my phone alarms as earworms, it means that I need to check the time and hurry up and stay in tune with that. Earworms may also involve a dharma diagnosis or some other intuitive observation.  

About the recollection coming in a flash: it's interesting that there's a sense of not having heard for instance the tune playing in my mind, and then suddenly have a knowing of how it has been playing. It's as if it isn't really one continuous mind stream, but different ones that suddenly come together, bringing their knowing. Like the I pursuing one line of thoughts is not the same I as the one pursuing another line of thoughts, until they come together and suddenly experience remembering both occurrings. Of course, this analogy is based on a construction of time passing by in a linear way, and on a subject-object duality. It might be more like all the manifestations just being aware, and the "recollection" of manifestations taking place parallelly just being yet another manifestation that is aware, and maybe the manifestations sort of have it in them to zoom in or zoom out, as they aren't really that separate to begin with. But it's a pretty funny effect, getting a sense of having been divided and coming together. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 3:58 AM
Created 9 Months ago at 8/8/21 11:37 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Posts: 6291 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Gradually getting less and less caught up in identifying as a doer has some effects that I didn't really expect. Like suddenly being able to catch balls much better. Not that I'm any good at it now, but my ball control used to be disastrous. Today I explored what the difference is, when I have better ball control and when I don't. I noticed that when I throw and catch balls smoothly, there is no sense of separation between me and the ball, or me and the air, or the ball and the air. When the ball is in motion in the air, it's like I can still feel it. Or rather, the motion and the ball in motion are aware, just like the throwing and the catching are aware, and there's a fluency where those phenomena are more of a continuum than separate phenomena. I don't have to sense it. There's like a holistic awareness going on. I suspect that people who have great ball control aren't actually trying to control the ball. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 3:58 AM
Created 9 Months ago at 8/8/21 4:01 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Posts: 6291 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
More about the recollection coming in a flash, instantly: it's possible that it's just being created in the moment, but the funny thing is that the flash does not have the duration that it's content has. It's just immediately there, including the knowing of the duration of the content. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 4:42 AM
Created 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 4:42 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Posts: 6291 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Hey Shargrol, I appreciate it a lot that you are reading my log, but please watch out so that you don't accidently put it in the recycle bin. emoticon 
shargrol, modified 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 5:30 AM
Created 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 5:25 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Posts: 1747 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
 FYI - I think I understand why those logs were deleted. I thought I was deleting "subscriptions" from my subscriptions page... but instead I must have deleted the whole thread. It wasn't obvious to me at all, so that's kinda scary (!) 


Since you are able to notice the silence in the midst of sounds, it means that you are able to go to the hearing sense and understand it as a bandwidth of experience. It also means that your ability let experience simply be without manipulation, clinging, etc. is pretty good.

So now here is another idea for you: can you treat attention itself as another bandwidth of experience? So, in other words, in most experiences there will be part of reality which will be the center of attention and there will be the rest of reality which seems less important and is "around" the center of attention.

This is true for vision obviously, but it is also true of thought, for example. The mind is exuding thoughts and embryo-thoughts all the time, that's just what it does. It's like the skin which is always giving off moisture, it's just what skin does but it's not obvious until you put your hand in a plastic bag, for example. 

During a sitting practice, see if you can notice how the mind --- on it's own --- puts attention on a series of mind objects. Notice how no effort is needed as the mind switches from one object to another. The goal here is to hold the mind and attention loosesly enough that you allow it to do what it wants.

(Yes, this will feel "wrong" for a while because of a series of unconscious beliefs like "a meditator needs to control their attention" or "to be a smart person I need to direct my attention" or "if I'm not in control, I'll go insane" or "this isn't mediation, I'm not going to learn anything from this". Those are all thoughts and beliefs with an emotional reaction... no big deal. Don't try to ignore or fix it, just allow those experiences to happen and notice how attention is drawn to those thoughts. But again, hold the mind loosely enought that rather than being sucked into discursive thinking, you are mostly paying attention to how the attention moves. Yes, that previous sentence is paradoxical, but it is sort of like learning to balance: you learn to balance by paying attention to what it feels like to balance. At first it's short little moments, but over time it becomes more frequently and possible to do more easily...)

What this practice does is ultimately show you that attention isn't exactly the same as "you" but it is something that appears within experience and has always been assumed to be "me". "I'm aware" "I'm distracted" "I'm paying attention" "I'm noticing" We say those things all the time, but it begs the question: what knows awareness, distraction, attention, and noticing? All of those things are distinquishable as experiences _within_ the mind, so they cannot be what mind _is_.

As you notice how attention moves itself from mind object to mind object, you'll also pick up on the very subtle but hugely significant "urges" that seem to _cause_ attention to move. These urges are a subtle holding of something, a subtle avoiding of something, a subtle interest/emphasizing of something, a subtle distraction by a busy switching between objects, and a blanking out by holding but unfocusing from an object. Many times we _identify_ with these urges as self, but actually all of those things are distinquishable as experiences _within_ the mind, so they cannot be what mind _is_.

These practices aren't done with a lot of effort, but rather through many "glimpses" over time. Don't push hard, don't try too long, just slowly get used to noticing how attention moves itself.
 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 7:40 AM
Created 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 7:38 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Posts: 6291 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Ah. Yes, that's scary indeed. This interface is not very userfriendly. 

Shargrol
Since you are able to notice the silence in the midst of sounds, it means that you are able to go to the hearing sense and understand it as a bandwidth of experience. It also means that your ability let experience simply be without manipulation, clinging, etc. is pretty good.

Interesting. That makes sense. Thanks for putting it into words!



So now here is another idea for you: can you treat attention itself as another bandwidth of experience? So, in other words, in most experiences there will be part of reality which will be the center of attention and there will be the rest of reality which seems less important and is "around" the center of attention.

Yes, but not as well as I hope, because I don’t always notice when I get caught up in being narrow, especially in daily life. I suppose my ADHD plays in here too. But I practice it a lot, and it gradually gets better.


This is true for vision obviously, but it is also true of thought, for example. The mind is exuding thoughts and embryo-thoughts all the time, that's just what it does. It's like the skin which is always giving off moisture, it's just what skin does but it's not obvious until you put your hand in a plastic bag, for example

Yes, I have noticed that, but it’s often something that I realize only after it has been going on for a while. I tried to describe the subjective experience of that above. It’s interesting! I’ll certainly explore it more.


During a sitting practice, see if you can notice how the mind --- on it's own --- puts attention on a series of mind objects. Notice how no effort is needed as the mind switches from one object to another. The goal here is to hold the mind and attention loosesly enough that you allow it to do what it wants.

This is one of my absolute favorite practices.


(Yes, this will feel "wrong" for a while because of a series of unconscious beliefs like "a meditator needs to control their attention" or "to be a smart person I need to direct my attention" or "if I'm not in control, I'll go insane" or "this isn't mediation, I'm not going to learn anything from this". Those are all thoughts and beliefs with an emotional reaction... no big deal. Don't try to ignore or fix it, just allow those experiences to happen and notice how attention is drawn to those thoughts. But again, hold the mind loosely enought that rather than being sucked into discursive thinking, you are mostly paying attention to how the attention moves. Yes, that previous sentence is paradoxical, but it is sort of like learning to balance: you learn to balance by paying attention to what it feels like to balance. At first it's short little moments, but over time it becomes more frequently and possible to do more easily...)

It doesn’t feel wrong at all. I love it. Depending on what people mean by sanity, I find that it’s often overrated anyway. For me, meditation started out as the haven where I wouldn’t need to be in control, so I have done much more of this loose kind of practice than controlled ones. The dog training approach always seemed to me like a recipe for developing shadow sides.


What this practice does is ultimately show you that attention isn't exactly the same as "you" but it is something that appears within experience and has always been assumed to be "me". "I'm aware" "I'm distracted" "I'm paying attention" "I'm noticing" We say those things all the time, but it begs the question: what knows awareness, distraction, attention, and noticing? All of those things are distinquishable as experiences _within_ the mind, so they cannot be what mind _is_.

Yeah. It’s all just aware. It’s aware before the echo of making it ”mine”, when that mode is on.


As you notice how attention moves itself from mind object to mind object, you'll also pick up on the very subtle but hugely significant "urges" that seem to _cause_ attention to move. These urges are a subtle holding of something, a subtle avoiding of something, a subtle interest/emphasizing of something, a subtle distraction by a busy switching between objects, and a blanking out by holding but unfocusing from an object. Many times we _identify_ with these urges as self, but actually all of those things are distinquishable as experiences _within_ the mind, so they cannot be what mind _is_.

Yes. This is where my edge is. Michael calls this ”dropping the ball”. I still have subtle clinging to movement, to embracing the flow, rather than just let it all go. I notice now how I’m more prone to use first person language here, not just to simplify communication, but because I identify with that subtle urge.


These practices aren't done with a lot of effort, but rather through many "glimpses" over time. Don't push hard, don't try too long, just slowly get used to noticing how attention moves itself.

I’m on it. emoticon

This is good. This is where the practice is already heading. Experience is pointing the same way as a number of teacher gestalts that I trust. I like the way you are framing this, Shargrol. Thanks!
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Pepe ·, modified 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 7:17 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Now I know why it was so difficult to follow attention ... well above my paygrade emoticon . Just my 0,002 cents: (1) when the sight/awareness is expanded to the sides (180º degrees), the attention doesn't jump that much; (2) changes in attention sometimes feel as subtle tension and other times as subtle relief 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 7:45 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Yes, when the visual field widens, that's a sign that you are in a phase of wider awareness. I have had periods of 240 degrees vision. 

I wonder if that's the kind of relief that NiNurta always talks about. If that's what he refers to, I understand why is is so critical about it. I call that avoidance behavior. It doesn't feel like relief to me, because it's something that increases my suffering. Maybe it's different for you, I don't know if we are talking about the same thing. 
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Pepe ·, modified 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 9:57 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Yep, that 180/240º vision is what Loch Kelly (Shift into Freedom) and Meido Moore (Hidden Zen Practices) teach as the foundation practice for awakening. Kelly in fact pushes you to a 360º vision, kind of a "visual koan". 

Haven't read what Ni Nurta says about "relief". I guess it's way past what I'm talking about. What I'm saying is that I have observed that phenomena usually have some kind of mental thought attached, and that when attention moves, sometimes there's a relief, that I associate with the release of that mental component of the phenomena observed.

​​​​​​​
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago at 8/10/21 10:30 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I can have mental images that merge with the ordinary vision a little bit, and I imagine that it's possible to make that more seamless so it's like 360 degrees vision, but I wonder if what is seen would then match with consensual reality. I know for a fact that I have been able to see things approach from behind when they were in a 240 degrees angle during a period when I enjoyed playing with this on a daily basis. I could tell the color of the clothes on people approaching from behind and notice a hare although I was listening to a dharma talk wearing headphones so I couldn't possibly have heard it. Hypothetically I see no reason why it wouldn't be possible to see stuff like that behind one's neck too if the body is just an avatar and awareness is everywhere, but it seems to be regarded as a siddhi that we shouldn't aim for. So I'm going to assume that what Kelly talks about is just a merging of mental image space and sight space. 

What NiNurta often says about relief is that it's something that people often seek when their neurons are tired, and if one refrains from doing so, eventually the brain will learn to use other pathways instead of always using the same ones for that task. So attention goes away to keep the habitual pathways intact, and relief is then not liberation. That's not how I use the word relief, because I don't usually experience that sort of shift as relief. I notice the aversion, and I see how systematic it is and how it hinders me. I use the word relief to describe when something selfliberates (probably just partly, though, and temporarily, as it's usually more entangled than I'm able to tease out, and when it's still deeply entangled, the liberation doesn't last). I believe that there are gentler ways of disentangling than frying one's brain, and I think it's limiting to see it as something that has to be resolved inside the brain, but I don't doubt that any rewirings that are made will manifest as changes in the brain at this plane of existence (the holographic one according to some physicists, right?). 

Maybe it would be relevant to apply NiNurta's general criticism of relief to the subtle preferences I have of flowing experiences over stillness at the edge of my practice. That seems to be in line with what Shargrol and Michael Taft and Lama Lena say, and in the Reversing the stack slack channel I wrote a long reflection that led me to hypothesize that this preference might be what keeps me from having clearer and more longlasting nondual absorptions. So that's something I'll explore further. That is, subtle clinging, subtle aversion, and subtle ignorance at play, creating identification with movement rather than stillness and thus a separation. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago at 8/14/21 4:07 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I was supposed to be working this entire weekend but I caught some kind of stomach flue on my way to work this Wednesday, or maybe it was a stress reaction, I don't know. Anyway, I had to go home, and now I need to stay at home in case it's contagious. I feel fine now, though, and as luck would have it, the possibility of a Lama Lena retreat opened up. It's a speech rushen retreat. So that's what I'm practicing at the moment. It feels like it aims at collapsing duality between inner and outer by way of tuning into intent. It involves visualizations that need to be synched up with chanting and breathing in a way that's probably pretty much as straightforward as these kinds of practices come, but it takes a lot of concentration for me, especially since I also need to remember lots of specific details. I'm outside my comfort zone here, but I can feel that it does something. More than I expected, given my challenges with regard to rituals and visualizations. So I'll go all in, with some short bio breaks and yoga breaks to take care of my body. Maybe taking care of some practical issues that need to be done as well, and also resting at noon, sunset, midnight and sunrise according to instructions. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 9 Months ago at 8/14/21 6:14 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Im not sure if what Im about to say could help but in case you have some physical activity where you need really to be very still and very concentarted , like threding the needle hole, you could have that relaxed intent to do so and in that there can be collapsing of that duality. Maybe emoticon or not emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago at 8/15/21 12:31 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Probably. Intent seems to be some very powerful stuff. I should know that by now, having a history of embodying the expression "be careful what you wish for". I just wished for some Kundalini/Lung (actually it's prana rather than Kundalini if I am to believe the Kundalini Vidya) stuff to arise again, as I felt that I missed it. At least with that unstable force going heywire once in a while, it was superclear that things happened. And there it was! Oops. Actually not such a great idea. But then after a while I remembered that I can also intend for it to dissipate, and so I did. And just like that it was gone. Immediately! All the hot flushes gone. The feverish look gone. The weird heat in my chest gone. The pressure in the headspace gone. The buzzings are at a pleasant level - I can dial them up and down a bit. So did I just imagine all of it? I have no fucking clue. I should have checked my temperature or something. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 9 Months ago at 8/16/21 8:46 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Im not familair much with Intent, as in what it can do or not do. What Im looking at, at this stage, is that Intent depends on something previously arise-passed. One could easily think how intent is something "I choose to do" but really, it just was sparked/ignited by another experience/sensation prior to it and bundeled up with some karmic bundle from the memory in less than a second (likely faster) just to be born as "My independednt Intent, My freedom of choice" idea.

But I do see in Malcolms writings that there is some "choice" in all this, and how he plays with Intent to stay in this or that Realm etc ... Kenneth Folk talks about how one can commit or not, to any given Realm (again this seems like Choice/Intent). So I guess some sort of choice as part of DO is possible ... or not.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago at 8/22/21 4:25 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Yeah, I think that the intentions that people speak of in daily life are very often reactions based on habitual patterns and circumstances around them, all cause and effect, or dependent origination or karma if you will. But as we learn to let go of habitual patterns, I think we can tune into some higher level of intent. Not something that exists as an agenda, but maybe something that spontaneously arises without all the distortions that usually limit us. Still situated, but free from the restrictions of separation. Something like that. I don't know, but I'd love to find out. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago at 8/22/21 4:40 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

I was supposed to be working this entire weekend but I caught some kind of stomach flue on my way to work this Wednesday, or maybe it was a stress reaction, I don't know. Anyway, I had to go home, and now I need to stay at home in case it's contagious. I feel fine now, though, and as luck would have it, the possibility of a Lama Lena retreat opened up. It's a speech rushen retreat. So that's what I'm practicing at the moment. It feels like it aims at collapsing duality between inner and outer by way of tuning into intent. It involves visualizations that need to be synched up with chanting and breathing in a way that's probably pretty much as straightforward as these kinds of practices come, but it takes a lot of concentration for me, especially since I also need to remember lots of specific details. I'm outside my comfort zone here, but I can feel that it does something. More than I expected, given my challenges with regard to rituals and visualizations. So I'll go all in, with some short bio breaks and yoga breaks to take care of my body. Maybe taking care of some practical issues that need to be done as well, and also resting at noon, sunset, midnight and sunrise according to instructions. 


Heh, the illness was an intolerance reaction to… high quality mineral water! The minerals in it! I think my metabolism is seriously screwed up.

As for the retreat, my speculations about its purpose were faulty, and I’m not allowed to reveal what it was really about. It’s the kind of practice that gets more effective the less you think about it.

Totally unrelated: I’m beginning to find nondual landmarks corresponding with the vipassana jhanas. There’s a very different taste to them compared to what arises with the more pointy focus in the vipassana jhanas, but hey, there are vipashyana jhanas! I like it.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago at 8/23/21 5:50 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I have noticed that neglecting my yoga practice (since my beloved yoga studio had to shut down due to covid) has gradually taken its toll on my meditation practice. It's just not the same doing yoga at home alone. I get lazy with regard to the more physically challenging asanas (except for when I get the idea that I should be able to do them as easily as when I was doing them every day, and forget to listen to my body and get an injury),  and I also tend to do much shorter sessions, and fewer of them. So now I have taken up my old Kundalini yoga practice. That's easy to find motivation to do, because it instantly increases awareness and wellbeing and improves the quality of my meditation, as long as I do it right. And it's actually easier for me to do it right alone than in a group, as there's no peer pressure. I'm usually not that receptive to peer pressure, but even the slightest overdoing can have bad repercussions in Kundalini yoga, at least if one is energetically sensitive. It seems that thanks to developments on the path, it has become easier both to find the sweetspots and to deal with more energy without it getting stuck somewhere, or wired up. It feels amazing. So amazing. I can feel that it nourishes me, makes the life force flow, and yet it's peaceful. It's not the fireworks stuff that an immature Kundalini yoga practice can entail. 

I'm continuing with the speech rushen practice, to keep it fresh until I can do a more intense retreat, but it's not the only practice I do. It's not that suitable as a daily practice, as it's more of a powering through it thing. As my main practice I mainly just tune into whatever allows me to be more present to the fullness of the moment, without attaching labels to it. I find that when I try to do a specific practice with a name, ideas of what that practice should be like gets in the way. I think I need to let it be more fluid, with not only many different tools but also a flexible approach to the tools that allows them to transform and merge, whatever is needed in the moment. 

I love that I get a lovely forest walk to and from work. Today I worked a night shift, leading a group activity with our members, and I got to go home through the forest at dusk. I so love the smells of forest by night. I made a stop at a little hill that has great energies (it's rocky, so people haven't been able to ruin it by building stuff on it or otherwise taming it). It's one of my favorite spots for meditation, so I did a session there as the skye turned darker and the full moon rose, rich and red. It was magical. This can be the start of a great new habit. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 8 Months ago at 8/31/21 1:36 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Yesterday the practice gave me an aha-moment. I had noticed issues with motivation and both dullness and distraction for a few days. The dullness was at least partly due to intolerance reactions from foods (it's a flare of increased sensitivity after an allergy vaccination shot in the midst of a tough pollen season) but one explanation doesn't preclude other ones. I had also noticed a tendency to get occupied with stuff, nesting stuff, as if I were trying to fill a void, at the cost of time that could be spent practicing. I knew that it was some kind of defense mechanism operating but wasn't sure why. Then I did Michael Taft's latest youtube meditation based on sitting like the sky, and it nailed it for me. First I felt a vague sense of anxiety, and as I gently investigated that, a fear came to the surface that I haven't been able to feel before. Apparently there is fear there with regard to the boundarylessness and freefalling and unlimitedness. I really thought that was long gone. How refreshing to feel it! There's an energy in it when it shows up unmasked like that. It has a flow to it. It's impermanence and no self become apparent. No need to go into flight or freeze (fight hasn't been an issue here, but no need for that either). In a flash I realized how several of my patterns have been tied into this knot, and how unnecessary that was. Like my writer's block. It's actually the open potential of it that has been scaring me, not the tedious work. It's liberating to see this. This I can work with. The scary part is the fun part! Ha! There's energy there to set free. 
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Not two, not one, modified 8 Months ago at 9/2/21 12:22 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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You can have as much fun with emotions as you did with the body! emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 8 Months ago at 9/20/21 5:10 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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This might be the least cryptical pointer you have ever given me. emoticon Thankyou! It opens up to a lightness that I tend to neglect more often when it comes to emotions. 
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Not two, not one, modified 8 Months ago at 9/22/21 2:00 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
This might be the least cryptical pointer you have ever given me. emoticon Thankyou! It opens up to a lightness that I tend to neglect more often when it comes to emotions. 
Oh, sorry about that!  I meant to say ... deep within the facbrication of emotion lies the second key to awakening, if you have the courage to search.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 8 Months ago at 9/22/21 2:43 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Haha, too late to be obscure, yoda, now that I already get it. 

But seriously, it was exactly what I needed to hear. I was missing the fun so much and had just come up from an abyss of depressive pms of the kind that makes "the view" seem like a cruel joke. It was exactly the right timing to bring up the notion of experimenting with feelings, and having fun with it, without triggering resistance. Coming out of that kind of abyss makes it very clear that a narrow tunnelvision set of feelings is not what I am - thankfully. I had also just re-realized how much my practice needs the joyful curiosity of experimenting, and I was a bit worried that the fun part was over. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 8 Months ago at 9/20/21 6:52 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I'm sorry that I have neglected my moderator role lately. I have been somewhat overwhelmed by adjusting to a new job (again, as the job I had during the summer was only temporary, albeit with some commonalities to what I do now). A year of being unemployed during a pandemic has made me unlearn some coping skills. Not all of them were healthy, so it's not necessarily a bad thing, but it will probably take some time to learn how to navigate the balance of things in my daily life. 

Right now I'm in a cycle of frequently darknighting, which isn't as bad as it might sound. It's gradually shifting to a more vibrational level, and I really enjoy the vibrational level of it. The days when health issues or hormones or both take the experience back to the emotional baggage level really suck, though. I had a few days with some nasty bleedthrough, which kind of took me by surprise. There had been much less of that for quite some time so I wasn't prepared. At the time I was experimenting with energy-raising aspects of the practice, and I think I fell into the trap of letting the rising energy feed old reactive patterns instead of going into the practice. One of my partners came to stay with me and that made me cut down on my practice time in the midst of energy rising. That partner is the kind of person that it's almost impossible to get annoyed with, and he is so non-reactive that even if someone does get annoyed with him, it very rarely triggers him. Yet during a few days there, now and then I managed to get so annoyed with him that he almost took it personally for a brief moment. Thankfully we could talk about it, and it didn't last long. It would probably have been much worse with someone who isn't super-calm and confident. Gosh, how draining it is to be so reactive! I had forgotten how intense it can be. Sort of interesting to watch it unfold, though. I can't really say that I'm having super fun with emotions yet, as Malcolm suggested above, but there are certainly interesting aspects of it to explore. I'm beginning to see how the emotional baggage level and the vibrational level aren't quite as different as I have experienced them to be, and what makes experience manifest one way or another. That's kind of cool.

I have also been finding ways to call up emotions that are sort of lurking under the surface, to work with them. I'm encouraging the different parts/processes of me to feel safe letting uncomfortable feelings come to the surface, and they respond. That feels good. 

The shift into less and less daylight does not work in favor of this development, unfortunately. I'm seeing early signs of winter depression already, so I try not to fall into the same traps as last year. I know how those depressive patterns feed themselves. If I forget, which may very well happen, please remind me (it's enough to remind me that they do, as I know how they do it: they undermine all my wellfunctioning coping skills). The emotions as experienced during depression are not in their authentic forms, but entangled with long chains of automatic thinking that distort them, and they passivate rather than set free. So - as much daylight as I can get, regular yoga, going outside both in the nature and among people, taking vitamine D, connecting with people more than I think that I need, and taking initiatives while I can, to prevent sliding into not being able to. 

In spite of the loss of daylight and some physical health issues that have flared up, I can sense that there's an opening to approaching concentration territory. Pure shamatha isn't really my thing, but there's a sweetspot where insight and concentration meet that I'm very fond of. I think I need the element of curiosity to maintain interest. I have also found that tuning into more flowy vibrational aspects of experience generally resonates with me more than tuning into stillness. I find that stillness appears to me most clearly right at the core of the movement, and silence appears most clearly right at the core of the vibrational music that is the movement of the mind. 

I took part in a short Reversing the Stack online retreat recently, during which I learned a few things about what pointers work for me and which ones do not. Subtle changes in nuances make huge differences. Right now I seem to be in a phase where I'd rather not do too many guided meditations, because even great teachers very rarely get the nuances just right specifically for me. Hence I'm not doing Michael Taft's 100 day challenge (doing his guided meditations 100 days in a row). I'm pretty sure it would piss me off at the moment, and that seems unnecessary. Not that there aren't valuable lessons to learn from being with those emotional patterns. I'm sure there are. However, there are enough patterns to work with without intentionally provoking them, and right now I need to focus on igniting more joyful sparks in my practice and learning how to find my own balances, as they are different from before and thus recalibration is called for. 

Today I was playing with the thought of finding a way to express how the mind works in art. I was thinking of ways to write in nonlinear ways, with sentences leading to more than one trail and sort of bouncing back and forth between them and sometimes coming together again. I thought it could be a new genre of poetry. Then I thought about how one would go about reciting it. It would require several voices partly overlapping each other. Not all of it would be discernable words. Some of it would be more like vibrations and sort of nebulous. Some of it would be some repetetive tunes that keep going in the background and sometimes shift into the foreground annoyingly loud. Light could be used too. Maybe some enacted movements, illustrating impulses and daydreams. I think it would be possible to do something really cool with it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 8 Months ago at 9/23/21 10:30 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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The taste sense gate seems to have become more prominent in my experience, both as taste itself and as a synesthetic add-on. Lots of facets to experience over-all. Sometimes it's a bit confusing and hard to navigate, but I look forward to letting it explore itself. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 8 Months ago at 9/23/21 4:34 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
The taste sense gate seems to have become more prominent in my experience, both as taste itself and as a synesthetic add-on. Lots of facets to experience over-all. Sometimes it's a bit confusing and hard to navigate, but I look forward to letting it explore itself. 
What kind of synesthesia do you have?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 8 Months ago at 9/24/21 3:01 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I probably need to investigate this more closely. It often happens so fast that it's hard to remember (except for the grosser ones that are what people usually talk about as synesthesia). I think that all or most sensory experience from one sense gate has an immediate resonance in other sense gates, possibly all of them. Sometimes that resonance leaves a stronger impression than the sense gate that "should" be the prominent one for a specific "external stimulus". Touch and smell used to be the strongest ones, but now it's all over the chart. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 8 Months ago at 9/24/21 3:29 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Lately I have been doubting myself a lot because there is so much less fireworksy stuff nowadays. I know that's not the point, but at least it was a sign that something happened. Today I got some reassurance. I had to do some technical stuff of the kind that used to make me Donald Duck angry, and I remained super-calm. No cursing, just a lot of hmmmmms. I wasn't even the slightest irritable even though the whole thing was due to a mistake on my part to begin with. I took it as an opportunity to learn. That's thanks to the practice. It has to be. And before that I was definitely darknighting. I got through several different kinds of vibrations, shaking visibly. I noticed some challenging emotions lurking under the surface and dealt with them constructively. Now there's calm and peace in my body and lots of space. 
shargrol, modified 8 Months ago at 9/24/21 4:32 PM
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Yeah, the nature of progress changes as we become more "advanced". I remember remarking, my insights are progressing because they are so small, nearly trival, but SO pervasive. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 8 Months ago at 9/24/21 7:10 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Hmmmm. Maybe I'll try cross country skis this winter. That used to make me Donald Duck angry too, when I accidently crossed the skis and fell to the ground and got snow in my neck and then got overheated as I pushed myself up again (not to mention going uphills...). 

Two of my exes were flabbergasted to hear that I no longer get annoyed with my mum on the phone (it takes about 30-60 minutes for her just to say goodbye and she always calls when I need to pee or something). 

Getting reactive just messes things up. It's a waste of energy. Yeah, that's trivial. The former me would be pissed off because I thought I knew that and it didn't change anything. I guess I didn't really know it viscerally before. 

​​​​​​​Edited to add: a very recent trivial change is that I seem to have suddenly stopped fearing mirrors in the dark. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Months ago at 10/6/21 4:21 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I'll admit that I still have a foolish attachment to the "special effects" in meditative experiences, although I know that they are not what it's about. I just had one, a typical A&P event, or maybe I finally became batshit crazy after all. It caught me by surprise. I was just walking home from work late in the evening, through a pitch dark little forest. I enjoy watching the flickerings in the visual field in the dark. They sometimes get very psychedelic. This time it was so vivid that I was amazed. It looked like there was some kind of force field / portal in front of me or around me, and it was like I could see all the particles/waves of it very clearly. They moved so fast and in perfect patterns. It was fascinating. I just had to touch it. It was warm! I kept moving my hand through it. I could still see it. Putting my hand there didn't break the spell. It felt like the air was thicker there, somewhat creamy. Then suddenly there was a sense of ringing in my ears or sudden loss of blood pressure but without any actual physical effects from it, and reality as I knew it was being radically thinned out. At the same time, something else was starting to appear. I vaguely remember a sense of a meeting. Then there was a flash going through my body, but only on the left side of it. It left a strong buzzing in my left foot afterwards, like I'd had an electric shock. For the fraction of a second I was terrified. Then I was mostly surprised for a moment. However, that brief fear brought me back to consensual reality. The thinning out reappeared later but there were no more flashes and no more tangible force fields.

I remember thoughts popping up during the moment of surprise. They weren't verbalized but popped up fully comprehensive in no time. One was something along the line, translated to words, that if I had really wanted to play it safe I wouldn't be on the path in the first place. Another one was the advice from my psychic yoga teacher that I can always evoke my free will and say no, so there's no need to be afraid. Then I recited blessings out loud. 

Maybe this is the kind of experience that usually makes people believe that they have encountered aliens. I don't believe that. Not the UFO kind anyway. I'm sure it was an A&P experience. That doesn't really say anything about ontology, though. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Months ago at 10/9/21 7:34 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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In a dream I practiced focusing on visuals to stabilize them and make them really detailed and sharp. It was a balancing act to do this without making it all fall away or change into something else. I was able to stabilize a sharp resolution for a while. The textures were amazing. Then I probably went back to non-lucid dreaming.  
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Months ago at 10/18/21 3:30 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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There has been another instance indicating awareness of dreaming some night ago, but as is so often the case, I didn't grab the opportunity to turn it into practice this time. I just edited out anachronistic elements from the historically themed dream because they were annoying, which is totally in line with my autistic conditioning and thus habitual. 

---

I'm grappling a bit with practice pointers that are off the mark (not from any teacher I have mentioned by name but from a group practice leader). The pointers are probably great if one is coming from the assumed direction, but I'm not. It's not the kind of group where one is supposed to be outspoken about phenomenology, so the skillful way to deal with it would probably be to just smile and say thankyou and discretely do some cherrypicking, but I appreciate the group for the vulnerability and authenticity of people there, and if I have to put up a facade, that sort of takes away the whole point of it. That's frustrating. On the other hand, it would only be momentary. There are plenty of newborn moments where I can be vulnerable and authentic. I guess that actually solves it, or that particular part of it. 

Related to that, I find that coming from a Theravadan-inspired background, or more specifically a MCTB2-based practice, I have drilled myself into observing impermanence at a microlevel in a way that makes a lot of Tibetan Buddhist practice instructions seem reifying. It also seems that some results I get from the practice differ from the expected outcome, and I suspect that it's because I can't unsee what I have already seen and you are supposed to do their practices in a specific order. Now I don't doubt that there's a point to that order, or that the expected results are significant, but since I haven't followed that order, those checklists just don't  seem to fit. I don't know exactly what the implications are for my practice. I just know that pretending that I don't see the total lack of duration of anything is not my path. On the contrary, really embracing that flow and fully experiencing the present moment is at the core of my path. I guess I can't quite tell what is just a different use of language and what is a real difference in the approach. Regardless, I'm going with the flow of experience, whether or not that means going with the flow in the figurative sense. 

Actually, I think I really do need to find a way to communicate that, and I think I might be able to. Just not in a moment of frustration. 

---

I'm keeping my practice fairly simple right now. I find that the combination of yoga and pranayama helps a lot with the equanimity and motivation, and that it balances relaxation and alertness, but/and the main point is to just be fully present to the flow of experience without narrowing it down to personal storylines. Simple but not easy. 

I have noticed that a lot of the energy drainage comes from turning spontaneous skillful responses into tasks according to a script, as the script comes with reactive baggage. Sometimes I manage to refrain from being The Doer and just let the spontaneity run freely. It's such a subtle difference in one sense and such a huge difference in another sense. I get so much more done by not doing it, but it's still fragile, so thinking about it as getting things done ruins it. I think just being open to the flow of experience is key here, because spontaneous skillful responses actually arise naturally - even for me, in areas where I didn't think I had any, and even with regard to "tasks" that I habitually tend to find extremely draining. And I'm only beginning to see it. 
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Not two, not one, modified 7 Months ago at 10/18/21 3:49 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Lately I've been thinking about how different practices relate to the 16 stages of anapansati, particularly the third and fourth tetrad. Different practices seem to focus on or even start at different stages.  For example,

Mindfulness of the five aggregates is Stage 9 Experiencing the mind
Tonglen and Body Scans are Stage 10 Gladdening the mind (purifying sankharas)
TMI meditation on the tip of the nose is Stage 11 Unifying the mind
Thai Forest letting go is Stage 12 Liberating the mind
Mahasi style noting is Stage 13 Focussing on impermanence. 
Non-dual practices are Stage 14 Focussing on dispassion (fading of lust or subject/object distinction) 
Emptiness pratices are Stage 15 Focussing on cessation (no birth no death nature of phenomena)
Attaining to Anatta is Stage 16 Letting Go

All the practices are interlinked and all have an introductory, medium, and deep level - a Taftesque Stack.  So maybe some of your dissonance comes from having attained a deep level in some of the 'earlier' stages, and then being only offered the introductory level of the stack in some of the 'later' stages. Must feel like a breach of promise, because you know there is more. But of course the instructor won't know what you are ready for, unless you tell them, and even then you may find your metaphor systems are different so restricting communication. But if you share some of your lived phenomenology with a Rinpoche or Geshe before asking for practice instrucctions, they are bound to give you great advice.

Alternatively, if you treat the basic instructions you are receiving as a concentration object, or even as a vipasanna object, some interesting things might happen.

Love
Malcolm
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Months ago at 10/18/21 5:11 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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That's interesting. Thankyou! 

That specific sangha doesn't really follow the Anapanasati curriculum. It seems that impermanence at a microlevel comes somewhere at the end, if at all, whereas there's a lot of focus on 14-16 (but definitely not on cessation as we tend to talk about it here; they had never heard of it). The Rinpoche has passed away and is hopefully having a great time in his preferred pureland. The group leader doesn't have any title at all, as far as I know. She is volunteering. She also does some administration for the Lama. The Lama doesn't want to hear about people's specific "nyams". I take my phenomenology to Michael instead, but there isn't much time for individual consultations in the class, so I do most of the figuring out on my own and together with my little pod (two of my classmates). I can't afford to pay for teachings so I don't have any one-on-one sessions except for ten minutes here and there when it's offered. I'm trusting that the process itself knows the way; I'm pretty much screwed if it doesn't. 

​​​​​​​Love right back at ya!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago at 11/7/21 1:06 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Nov 7th, 2021.

I was just catching up with the Lama's previous teachings on The flight of the Garuda, and hey, she said the exact same thing as I had done when I was corrected by that group leader, only I was describing my experience rather than a text. I know that caring about being right is a habitual reactive pattern, but it's there so I won't deny it, and without the very piece of realization I was describing I would be even further away from letting go of such patterns. Darn, I knew that I should trust the process on this, but when trusted people say that it's wrong, doubts arise, and that messes with the practice. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Months ago at 10/20/21 4:49 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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During the class early this morning I was reminded that I do recognize awake awareness when I "see" it. I don't actually need more pointers as to what it is. That reminder cut through an intensely and chaotically buzzing and defiant reobservation - combined with severe pms, sleep deprivation and inflammatory pain - and it did it instantly. I think I'm starting to get how to drop into it on a dime. It's really very simple - which, again, is not the same thing as easy... until it is, I guess. 

Things that makes it easier (for me, right now) to drop into awake awareness:
- pausing to breathe
- yoga and pranayama
- taking enough care of my mammalian body 
- keeping things simple 
- embracing the flow of sensory experience (especially out in the nature)
- confidence (vicarious confidence works too, that is, when somebody else believes that I can "do it" - do the not-doing)

When there is enough of instances with helpful conditions, it builds momentum so that it happens more easily in challenging situations as well. 

Critical remarks, warnings about traps and so forth are usually not what I need. When it comes to that sort of thing, I have plenty of imagination of my own. Seeing lots of possible traps is something I generally do in all situations, and the same goes for realizing where there is room for improvement. I just don't talk about it that much, because for me it is taken for granted and doesn't need to be spelled out, and deinitely not emphasized. I know when I'm off the mark in my practice. I need to remind myself of what actually works, and that it's possible, and that I'm able to discern this for myself. Michael has always been supportive in that way. 

At long last I have started to listen to Eckhart Tolle. I have avoided him for a long time because I have seen too many really enjoying memes based on his quotes in social media. Gosh, people can really turn anything into a disaster by putting it into the wrong context and getting the implications all wrong. I had a feeling that his teachings might be helpful for me where I'm at right now, and they sure are. They provide exactly the kind of reminders that I need. 

I also treat myself to feelgood (feelgood for me, because they really make me feel good) guided meditations by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar. Some soft Indian music in the background and a calm voice with that soothing Indian English accent (probably soothing to me because I associate it with yoga, which I love). Very confidence-inspiring. Some simple but great pointers. Fairly brief sessions, well suited for a break inbetween tasks. It feels luxurious, like a beautifully wrapped present or a delicious cake on a regular Tuesday afternoon, but with a taste that lasts longer and stays fresher. Not bad. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Months ago at 10/22/21 5:29 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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This has been a great practice day with three formal sessions, the first one starting with yoga and pranayama and then some effortless sitting with intervals of different focuses alternated with just sitting. The middle session was reclining and about 90 minutes long and allowed me to go fairly deep. It had some formless qualities to it, although I wouldn't count it as visiting the formless realms, or at least not the Theravadan versions. The last session was an old RtS class recording. There were jhanic factors but too compelling thoughts for any jhana to develop. It was enthusiasm about work. I guess there are worse distracting thoughts than that, so it would be foolish to complain. I can definitively see the dukkha in that kind of wired up enthusiasm, though. The dualistic enthusiasm was interspersed with spacious stillness. Outside the formal sessions, the day has in large parts been fairly effortless, although it started out sluggish for a while. 

I very clearly cycle between A&P and equanimity in some part of the many full cycles leading up to third. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago at 10/26/21 10:58 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Some overall tendencies:

I much more rarely get drawn into altered states (jhanas and others) nowadays compared to earlier in my practice. I do drop into spaciousness, but that feels like the opposite of an altered state. It's getting clearer that the default network is an altered state. It doesn't feel like a normal state anymore. I think it's still the default setting, unfortunately, but on the plus side, I'm less prone to buy into it. I notice it more and more reliably. I can also more reliably drop it, even if it's just for the fraction of a second at the time in challenging circumstances (challenging circumstances are generously offered, so that's large parts of most days). 

In choiceless awareness or "do nothing" or whatever one calls it (I'm not equating it with non-meditation, as I'm not there yet, just to clarify), it has become much easier to maintain awareness while thoughts keep running, and to stay with every fresh moment without getting hijacked.

Related to that: It's interesting to notice that the perspective from which the awareness seems to come, fluctuates. Awareness goes back and forth between being nondual and constructing a duality. That phrasing is misleading, though, because awareness isn't an entity that does stuff. Nor is it a quality that some entity possesses. For me, this shift is much easier to make sense of within a framework of nonduality at a higher level of abstraction, a nonduality that encompasses the possibility of both nonduality and duality at a lower level of abstraction. A nondual paradigm at the core doesn't need for the world to shift back and forth entirely with regard to its basic mechanisms in order to explain the different manifestations. Nor does it require for one of the views to be incorrect or crazy. David Loy (I'm unsure about the spelling) puts the same observation into words much better than I can do, so I won't even try here. I just want to jot down some words about it to keep track of developments in my practice. What I want to say is how funny it is to recognize the bizarre and yet not bizarre seamless gliding between being a subject aware of something and... well... just being awareness manifesting on the fly.

I thought about writing that I have come to realize that there really is no need to be frustrated about dropping out of what Michael calls awake awareness, as long as I'm aware of whether or not I'm in it, and aware of the shifts inbetween, but phrasing it like that points in the wrong direction. When there's an I that assesses whether or not "I" am "in it", then I'm not in it. And yet, it's an important part of the current development to have that assessing coming on line as soon as "I" am "not in it" for some other reason anyway. It's like a dualistic meta-assessment function that's on stand-by (within a nondual paradigm that allows for duality to manifest as part of a nondual reality). So "I" (the narrowed-down individual stuck in identifying as a separate entity) am not aware the whole time, but when awake awareness (which IS aware) goes out of reach, that function steps in so that it doesn't go all the way to mindlessly hijacked attention. Gosh, so many words to say one simple thing. The point is, I'm realizing that the frustration I have been feeling about how my mind falls back into old patterns, was misplaced. It's a good thing that my mindfullness has reached a new level. It's just like earlier development stages. They all feel like the practice has gone to crap, and then one realizes that it's just increased awareness of what was already there, which is what we are going for really. So it's actually going well! When I approach it like that, it opens up into spaciousness more often, and when it contracts, that doesn't feel like a problem. Not quite as much anyway. 

I'm playing with zooming in and zooming out from me the mammalian. There are different ways of doing it. The difference is subtle but significant. This is one of the examples where I find that Shinzen Young's generally thorough and nuanced mindfullness system (or whatever he calls this version) simplifies things too much. He often says that with pain we can either move towards it or move away from it (and then "recycle the reaction", which adds meta-levels). Personally I find that there's an important difference between on the one hand zooming out with maintained awareness of the pain, to see the bigger picture, and on the other hand using zooming out as a way of drowning the pain in other impressions and thus shove it away. To be fair, I know that Shinzen clarifies that distinction too. I just find that there's something interesting to investigate there rather than just explaining it once and for all and then stick to the "correct" version. There seem to be several subtle differences here, and I believe they all have something to teach about the identification processes that ensnare us. I can't put it all into words. It seems to be at an energetic level, somewhere in the preprocessing. There's something interesting there. So basically I'm trying to be in tune with awake awareness enough to notice those subtle energetic differences and use that intuition to stay away from the traps. At a very basic and down-to-earth level, among other things it means staying away from the misguided temptation to use spaciousness as a way to keep mistreating my mammalian body (including the brain). In other words, avoiding spiritual bypassing. 
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Chris Marti, modified 6 Months ago at 10/26/21 1:22 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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For me, this shift is much easier to make sense of within a framework of nonduality at a higher level of abstraction, a nonduality that encompasses the possibility of both nonduality and duality at a lower level of abstraction.

JMHO, of course, but I think it's a mistake to assign value to our experiences. Saying this or that experience is a "higher" or "lower" level? How so? I could argue that duality is more of an abstraction than non-duality, if I observe the mind manufacturing those views.

Also, in my experience, the dual/non-dual aspects of our experience are the same. What's cutting experience into two pieces (perspectives) is the mind - and like always, it's using the distinction to perpetuate an illusion. That's why we tend to say things like "I can see it this way, and I can see it that way." Mind is creating these filters, perspectives and illusions, but it's really all one thing.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago at 10/27/21 4:17 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Not higher and lower in that sense. Just different levels of abstraction. There is no evaluation in that. And I'm not saying that nonduality is more or less abstract than duality. This is where you have misunderstood me before as well, and I just can't explain it any clearer. Please just trust me - I'm not saying what you think I'm saying. 
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Chris Marti, modified 6 Months ago at 10/28/21 5:33 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I'm just reading what you're writing  emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago at 10/30/21 10:49 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Well, your response has nothing to do with how I use the words. I'm not going to defend a position that was never mine to begin with. That would just be silly. emoticon
David S, modified 6 Months ago at 10/28/21 11:55 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Linda,

Would writing "greater degree of abstraction" and "less degree of abstraction" help to clarify what Chris is commenting on?

​​​​​​​Addition: Or "different degree of abstraction"?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago at 10/30/21 10:53 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Yes. If one organizes one's thoughts that way without being normative about the levels. And if one doesn't, it's really not important. It was just a note to myself on the fly. 
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Not two, not one, modified 6 Months ago at 10/28/21 8:20 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Or a thicket of abstractions?  emoticon

To be fair, I think Linda is on the right path, but we all benefit from a certain Chris-ian devotion to uncovering subtle clinging in the higher levels of the dharma. 

<Waiting for a bite ... >  
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 6 Months ago at 10/29/21 12:10 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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"higher levels of the dharma."

Hm ... ? So there is a higher and a lower level of dharma? Hm ... ?

Or is it "deeper" and "shallower" level of the dharma? 

emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago at 10/30/21 11:17 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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My brain is certainly prone to thickets of abstraction. This isn't one, though, unless I try to verbalize it. It is a very simple experience. Much simpler than communication. 

Yes, it's always good to watch out for subtle clinging. I intend to do that for the rest of my life. 

Bites are only okay on a strictly consensual basis. 

I know that I'm on the right path (for me). I also know that I have plenty of stuff to work on, and for now I know how to.

No Papa Che, I'm really not saying anything about higher and lower levels of dharma, and not about shallow and deep levels either. I was merely talking about how theoretical framings are organized in relation to each other, for those who slice and dice their thinking similarly to how I tend to do it. All such organizations are constructions anyway, so debating them would be pointless. 

I really just prefer to continue with the practice. All the best wishes to you all. emoticon 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 6 Months ago at 10/30/21 11:35 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Linda I was just joking with Malcolm above emoticon not meant for you. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago at 10/30/21 11:45 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Ah. Haha! Well spotted! Some subtle clinging there perhaps...?
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Not two, not one, modified 6 Months ago at 10/31/21 12:58 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I ejoyed the bite Papa Che - but it seemed too easy.  I smelled a rat.  emoticon​​​​​​​
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 6 Months ago at 10/31/21 6:55 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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As long it's a ProCo Rat I'm happy emoticon 
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acordemos ', modified 6 Months ago at 10/29/21 10:42 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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So "I" (the narrowed-down individual stuck in identifying as a separate entity) am not aware the whole time, but when awake awareness (which IS aware) goes out of reach, that function steps in so that it doesn't go all the way to mindlessly hijacked attention.
I can relate to identifying with that function that I thought stepped in to intervene with hijacked attention for a long time, since at least the beginning of the practice. Recently though, I realised I had given too much importance to this function, I had made it a "home" that was preferred to be back to, but actually, it was not home. Home was ever shifting, it was the mind wandering and then the becoming aware and then the mind wandering again. Now both feel good, and I can notice the moments the mind wandered in hindsight, but not from a place that is more desirable, but just different. The mind wandering also has its awareness.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago at 10/30/21 11:50 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I started out from a different direction. I never really had the habit of controlling my sessions like that. I have been more curious about the stuff that happens on its own from the getgo. I never really liked it when it felt like there was an I that was doing the meditation. When that happened, it felt like a failure. I was lucky enough that the process very clearly knew the way, so I could just enjoy the ride a lot of the time. But nowadays things are more subtle, so there is generally less of a ride. With less of a ride, the narrowed-down I started to show up more, complaining of being bored. So that's something I have been struggling with. The struggle itself was a tension. And now I find that the I can be there without that being a problem. It's less of an effort and less of a tension because even though I can temporarily feel like the subjective experience narrows down to an individual doer, it's also clear that the doing does itself anyway. It's okay that identification occurs in situations where circumstances cause habitual patterns to narrow down the subjective experience of awareness. The I that manifests is currently helped by an increased proclivity for noticing what is happening. I find that it actually doesn't matter that much whether the experience currently is that spacious awareness is aware or that I the mammalian individual am aware. It's all awareness anyway. The shift between those different manifestations of awareness has become smoother, and that gives a more pleasant taste also to the more narrowed-down awareness. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago at 10/31/21 6:53 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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There is still clinging to absence of pain in a way that gets counterproductive. I need to work on that. The last couple of days I have had fairly severe physical (inflammatory) pain due to food intolerances, especially in my back. If I relax the body and refrain from moving it, it falls away, which means that I don't feel the pain. I find that for instance when I wake up in the morning, I tend to lie there in that semi-formless state too long and that it is demoralizing. Now I could go all Ni Nurta and learn to let the body fall away while being in movement, but I think the level of pain as of today is actually not so bad. I'll use it for equanimity practice, and instead of letting the body fall away, I'll be very present to it by doing yoga. That helps with the healing instead of just bypassing the pain. I'll also work on staying within that sweetspot where awareness gets spacious without escaping stuff. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago at 11/17/21 6:29 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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November 17th, 2021

Just to catch up on my notes on the fly (the wordings aren't exact in any way):

Current intention: Cut the crap, put things into proportion and let every moment be newborn

Lately there has been struggling with the samsaric realm. When awake awareness comes through, it feels amazing. That light smoothness and seamlessness isn't always subjectively experienced, though. The compartmentalization comes back online, that dualistic split that makes awake awareness seem like a separate thing (which it isn't). The struggle is engaging with (or trying to avoid) some underlying health issuesa d subjectively overwhelming demands from the outside world, which leads to both stress and fatigue. 

On the other hand, spontaneous dream practice in awake awareness occurs. It's not very regular, but it does happen. I have let go of the idea of lucid dreaming, because it doesn't seem important to distinguish between dreaming/sleeping and not dreaming/sleeping when it happens. I very rarely think "Oh, I'm dreaming", but rather just realize that everything that I can sense is mind-created and get fascinated in the mechanisms of that. The latest example occurred on the night to November 12th (my birthday). It didn't involve moving around in 3D space, but watching flat but beautifully intricate and colorful pictures that would show up like on a screen. I have forgotten which screen that is in Kasina terminology, but it wasn't grainy at all. A lot of it had sort of a tarot card print look. I don't read tarot cards, so I don't know if there was any symbolism there, and that wasn't the focus at all. Just amazement that the mind can create such images and present them as if I'm really looking at a solid print. I was able to take longer looks than earlier in my practice. There was text there that I could read, although I don't remember the content; I wasn't interested in the content, just in the fact that I could read it without the text morphing into something else. It was all emptiness and form at the same time. I intuitively knew how long I could look at a specific detail without it breaking apart, and I was stretching that boundary without grasping. New images showed up at a regular pace, and I effortlessly let go of the ones that fell away. I forgot them. The only content I remember is that there was a red flower in one of them and some kind of animal (rabbit? deer?) in one and that there were lots of details that I could zoom in and out on and study the texture of. 

There was a great RtS stack this night/morning, and the previous one was great too. It is very helpful. This class I was rejoicing in seeing that one of my class mates has had a huge breakthrough. It was visible! That's an understatement. He looked so incredibly open and light. There was no question that a major barrier had fallen away. It immediately reminded me of how simple awake awareness is. Just one glance of that open face. Very cool.

Getting back on track with mixing practice, that is, getting back into awake awareness over and over again while taking on the daily challenges with help from meditation breaks and yoga breaks.

Also starting an autoimmune paleo diet today (with some further restrictions due to other intolerances) as my body has clearly signalled that the so called safe food that I didn't want to give up on is no longer safe anyway. I tentatively tried it out yesterday evening, and my body (physical body and energy body alike) said "Hell yeah!". Just making a note of it, because I suspect that the degree to which I comply to it will affect my practice. 

Sometimes there is a jerkiness to the noticing of the unfolding moment, like a glitch between non-doing and doing. That's interesting to just let be aware. I heard a great analogy in an an (overly) cheerful audiobook by Peter Singer (Unthethered Soul) that fits well here: trying to make it go away by using effort is like trying to take measures to stop the rings spreading on the water as a leaf falls to the surface of a completely still lake. The jerkiness is like those rings on the water. I'd say that the moment is fleeting seemlessly rather than being still, but the stance of noticing has a quality of stillness to it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago at 11/17/21 6:45 AM
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I need to bear in mind that noticing much more jerkiness now than before is not something to be discouraged by. On the contrary, it means increased awareness of the subtleties of the practice. Just recognizing it as it happens is great practice. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago at 11/17/21 7:56 AM
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Also a brief note to self that has bearing on both selfcare and practice:

​​​​​​​A great part of what I have labelled avoidance issues is really not avoidance of tasks per se but rather fear of recognizing the limits of my capacity as this mammal. If I do the task anyway, at a pace where I can stay in awareness, it takes what most people would consider an extremely long time. There seem to be a huge amount of background processes going on in the brain, and it shatters. Doing tasks at this pace, however, takes away the draining shattering. Interesting.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago at 11/17/21 10:01 AM
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Sometimes there is a jerkiness to the noticing of the unfolding moment, like a glitch between non-doing and doing. That's interesting to just let be aware. I heard a great analogy in an an (overly) cheerful audiobook by Peter Singer (Unthethered Soul) that fits well here: trying to make it go away by using effort is like trying to take measures to stop the rings spreading on the water as a leaf falls to the surface of a completely still lake. The jerkiness is like those rings on the water. I'd say that the moment is fleeting seemlessly rather than being still, but the stance of noticing has a quality of stillness to it. 


Seemlessly fleeting in one sense but also totally discontinuous in the sense that there are no threads to anything. It’s a bit scary how chaotic it all is and how chronology really seems totally arbitrary in a way that I can’t quite explain. It’s like it’s all jumbled up and ordering it in time is a completely made-up overlay. Not just in theory, but in experience. It’s confusing.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago at 11/20/21 3:11 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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It seems that I have had a deficiency in one or more key B vitamines for quite some time. Just making a note here that when the juice seems to be missing in the practice without an apparent reason, especially together with lack of drive and the feeling that antidepressants (or just neurotransmitters in general) don't quite seem to reach their target destination, it might be helpful to take supplements of B6, B12 and folate in combination, maybe even methylized versions. Not in any excess, of course, and if one's body is ine tune with the medical model for what values are normal, it might be a good idea to check one's levels first (mine is not). Vitamine B complex is good for trouble with the energy channels too, according to Lama Lena. 

In starting with the supplements (again; they were a life saver several years ago as well), I notice that some time after taking them, energy is flowing freely and it is easier to concentrate. It is very noticable. 

I got into something with formless qualities today, to the extent that the body intermittently fell away. That hasn't been the case for quite some time now. It wasn't the pure versions of the formless jhanas, though, but something mixed. Emotional tones were still there, so probably third vipassana jhana with formless qualities or something like that. When the body wasn't gone, it was there very intensely just like in third vipassana jhana, with the sense of being forcefully torn (by the attentional system). Whatever I turned my focus to became so intense that it was almost violent. Body parts focused upon felt pressurized and torn at the same time. When I didn't focus on them, they were gone. When I focused on emptiness, or some construct of it, that got so intense that it actually freaked me out a bit. That hasn't happened for a long time. I found that when needed I could tune into the idea of some body sensations to bring that part of the body back, to ground myself. I laid like this for hours, and I intermittently fell asleep. Just before laying down to meditate, I was having withdrawal symptoms from my antidepressants because I took them a couple of hours or so late. I used to be that sensitive but haven't been for a long time. I think the vitamine B supplements made the medz more efficient all of a sudden, so that they make more of a difference, which is a good thing, but it means that I need to observe more regularity. When I took the medicines, late, I made the mistake of adding some extra 5-htp to increase serotonine faster (the withdrawal symptoms were hellish), and it turned out that I responded to them as strongly as I used to do before, which hasn't been the case for a long time either, so there was quite the mess of neurotransmitters going on. Going into vibrational mode and further into something more formless made it bearable, so I continued with it even while dreaming. The dreaming had some horror elements to it, together with the meditative experiences described above. In the dream I had chrystals in my hands that I could focus on to get back into my body when things got too scary. Amethysts, at least one of them, and maybe also a rose quartz (heh, I'm wearing one of each on necklaces, come to think of it). While it might sound nightmarish, it was such a grace compared to the state I was in while neurotransmitters were all jumbled up, and all in all, I appreciated the experience. 

I could switch between something that bordered to nothingness and something with energetic qualities. In the energetic mode, the nada sound was roaring. Lights and colors were available when called up. It made different shapes. There were also spirals and a sense of being drawn through a tunnel. Not with any apparent architecture, though. Not as clear as that. More like wormholes in Stargate SG-1, or a bleak version of it. The almost-nothingness mode retained some vibrational quality to it in the visual field. (I may have stayed on the threshold because of previous experiences with the formless jhanas repeating themselves for hours in a way that spooked me out during threshold moments because of the forcefulness and involuntariness of it.)

I could sort of call up qualities from different kinds of practices. Bodhicitta was very helpful to call up, because it took away the fear. I didn't use the concepts in calling up. The words weren't there. Putting labels to the qualities is only done in retrospect and it probably distorts things.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Months ago at 12/9/21 7:50 AM
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I just did something rather stupid, energetically, but it's interesting too. It resulted in an energy rush very similar to what my practice experience used to be - the kind of experience I'm often nostalgic about and believe that I'm missing. Note to f-ing no self: It's horribly gross. It's nauseating. Clinging to that is just crazy. But whenever I think I'm missing it, this might be the recipe to remembering that it's really nothing to miss.

1. Have a job meeting until you're starving
2. Do exercises to activate the vagus nerve (can be found on youtube), including poking into your belly button (especially if you have always found that extremely nauseating)
3. Do some yoga and pranayama while waiting for your food to cook (because apparently you think you don't have the time to just be)
4. Eat your food directly after the yoga and pranayama and while at the same time listening to Jim Newman talking about nonduality on youtube
5. Continue to listen until the contours of your body seem to fall away and you feel like you're super-drunk and need to throw up
6. Lie down on your bed and just let energies move around
7. Realize that you have an appointment coming up very soon and that there's just no way that things will stop spinning in time for that

So - missing this? Really? Really? Well, didn't think so. Or wait a minute, I did think that. 

I'm okay, though. Putting things into perspectives is a good thing, and I don't have to contain that energy or sort it out. There's nothing there to hold it. I don't need to identify with the spinning. That's pretty cool. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Months ago at 12/9/21 1:14 PM
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I'll admit, though, that the wild, overwhelming and nauseating energy flowing through the body is an excellent drive for the practice when channelled for that purpose. It sharpens the clarity and makes it possible to do reclining meditation for a couple of hours or more in the late afternoon without even the slightest touch of dullness. So that's why I could so often do that before: my life sucked and I was nauseaus all the time. I had kind of forgotten that.

The 3 C:s stood out perfectly clear. There was no doubt whatsoever. Energetically I was taken for a ride that felt like... well, going into warp speed with a vessel that isn't quite fit for the journey due to compromised integrity of the hull. Inbetween the strong vibrations of the vessel, there was effortless floating with a strong sense of joy from that effortlessness as it took away the suffering of trying to maintain the integrity of the hull. That joy was inherently unstable and sort of coupled with the suffering itself. Like, the suffering and the joy were really the same energy, just manifesting differently, with different degrees of materiality. The shaky parts of the ride were inherently unstable too, as the materiality that made the shakiness possible fell apart as soon as it arose, and the falling away released energy anew. What a weird thing, first jhana, when broken apart into its elements. 

Layers of tensions in the body were released, especially hips, feet, ankles and shoulders. And of course the face and layers behind it, but I don't think that was new - just trimming away the weed that had started growing again. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 5 Months ago at 12/9/21 3:39 PM
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Best wishes Linda! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Months ago at 12/9/21 3:52 PM
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Thanks! <3 And likewise!
George S, modified 5 Months ago at 12/10/21 7:45 AM
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Jim Newman ... down the rabbit hole?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Months ago at 12/10/21 8:07 AM
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Oh, it's just nothing rabbitholing.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Months ago at 12/10/21 4:38 PM
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emoticon

Something that I appreciate is that the rabbitholing is consistent. Jim doesn't go around telling people to quit the search, because of course there was never anyone searching in the first place. It's just nothing (or the aliveness) appearing as searching, and that's just what is, which is liberation too. If you go down the rabbithole, you better go all the way instead of chasing your own tail. That resonates. 
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George S, modified 5 Months ago at 12/10/21 6:24 PM
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The funniest thing about the rabbit hole is where it comes out the other side emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Months ago at 12/17/21 7:34 PM
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The joy of sitting is back. Ezekiel the cat appreciates having his comfy favorite chair with built-in heat pad back, that is, my motionless lap.

There is flourescense. The breath transforms into the nada sound, and the nada sound can manifest as a thousand voices barely reaching the surface. 

There is sacredness. I find myself spontaneously thanking bodies of nature out loud for their beautiful manifestations of aliveness, and it feels like they respond with compassion. 

Thanks Malcolm! _/\_ 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Months ago at 12/19/21 3:25 AM
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Yesterday I learned what's causing the ticking sound that sometimes occurs in meditation and that coarises with subtler and more effortless breathing: sudden and brief outlets of air through the ears, as if a hatch opens up and closes, which creates a vacuum that makes air come in through the nose automatically. The reason I noticed this was bathtub meditation with ears under water. 

I did a combination of open awareness, shamatha with a candle flame, and tantra. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Months ago at 12/19/21 4:04 AM
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The other night (before yesterday) I managed to cut through sharp pain (endometriosis with a cyst that finally burst) with meditation. With this amount of pain I have previously gone to the ER or fainted (I only recently found out that it's endometriosis), but this time I decided to just be fully aware of the pain and explore it. There really is much more space than pain in it. Also, I dropped out of the idea that it was happening to me. Instead it was just a series of phenomena that arose and vanished (at the same time). It turned into a pretty nice meditative experience. I didn't reach out for pain killers because it seemed like the instrumentality of such an act would make the pain solid, and when I fully relaxed, it wasn't. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Months ago at 12/19/21 10:38 AM
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Cutting through brain fog is much more difficult, because the fog makes me forget that I'm trying to cut through it. Two sips of orange juice and I'm in oblivion for hours. I don't know if I finally managed to cut through it thanks to steadying my intent or if the intent just steadied because it was time for the fog to end anyway. It felt like a rather sudden shift, so maybe a little bit of both. How weird it is to have confused dreams layered upon the consensual reality and being unable to tell the difference. The only description of that state that I have come across that explains it in a way that actually makes sense is from Castaneda's books: a state where the assemblage point has been moved from its usual position and yet not fixed in a new position. The assemblage point is the key to solidifying perception in order to make it appear in a clear way. At the same time it sets the limits for what is possible to perceive. If we manage to fix it in a different position, we'll perceive an alternative reality, but if it moves from its position without finding a new one, we remain in a confused and foggy state. So I guess I just managed to shift it back into its habitual position. I wonder if I could have fixed it into a new position and what would have happened then. I guess I could explore that, but I'm not sure its worth it. Maybe with a trusted trip-sitter, lol. I would probably be the first person in the history to need a trip-sitter for drinking orange juice. 
Oskar M, modified 5 Months ago at 12/19/21 11:39 AM
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Not sure if your brain fog and mine is the same, I work alot with "substrate", the part of ignorance which can feel like fog, dizzyness or deep sleep, that is something that I need to see through/as rigpa. If you are interested, I could share some of what I do with this, though not sure if we talk of the same thing or not?

- ​​​​​​​Oskar
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Months ago at 12/19/21 2:01 PM
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I have more than one version of it, so I'd love to hear it. Chanses are that it could be helpful for one of them. And if not, it would still be interesting!

I have one version that doesn't feel sticky at all, but healing, in which I let things untangle energetically. I have another one that I think is regular subtle dullness, which I probably need to cut through more systematically, which is doable. Yet another one is gross dullness that probably needs to be dealt with by means of better habits with regard to sleep and yoga and daylight and so forth. Then it's the hormone-related ones and the neurotransmitter-related ones, which are tough. And there's this one which seems to be a mystery to biomedicine and a tough nut to crack. It's like I'm trapped somewhere, with thick layers of sedative and hallucinogenic fog shielding me from contact with the world and with my own body. 
Oskar M, modified 5 Months ago at 12/19/21 3:02 PM
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Ok Linda emoticon I guess the hormon and medicine related stuff needs a different approach, cant help you with that. You can check out if this resonates with you for the other things emoticon 

Just talked to a friend btw, I told him that morning are good for working on your substrate "fog", he said Gampopa said you should recognize rigpa at the moment you wake up for this very reason. So thats one thing, in the morning this foggyness is very there in your face since you are immersed in it during sleep (at least most of us are), and its a very good time to investigate it right in the morning. 

Then, my teachers favourite practice is dynamic consentration. If you shout hung phet say half a mala or full mala, then relax effortlessly for some minuts. And repeat this a couple of times, the shouts will pierce through the substrate quite quckly. Like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-B0JMYOgvM

What I like to do is this: I see that my fog is very related to sleepiness and also this hungry ghost-like slow, self-indulging mindstate. What I do is see myself in the realm of hungry ghosts, filled with addicts, cravers, slowpaste sleepwalkers. Have them all around me and then think they are all my parents, my own mother and fathers, that they love their lives and deeply want to be happy but experience immense suffering and pain. Fell compassion for them, and then do tonglen, taking in all their suffering and showering them with all that is good, healing and liberating, however you have learned tonglen practice. This will make the radiance of awarness appear as the nature of compassion in the mids of this sleep state, and the clear knowing quality of rigpa. Also antidote for self-immersion which is very typical for this thing, opening up. In this way you can easier investigate. Recognize rigpa, and then let whatever happen happen. 

There are other ways to to go at this substrate, but I cant share the teachings I have recieved on this I am afraid, but these other things works as a sharm as well. Might ask some teacher about this, there should be teachings on how to work with substrate mind, often mentioned in dzogchen. 


More about substrate, in my experience it happens due to the blockages in the small nadis outside the body, usually gives rise to some kind of apathy, dullness, depression etc.. Essentially though it appears due to ignorance (se quote bellow). So you can investigate this if you like, then aim your practice at these places. I think its really good that you have these categories. The "healing" type is currious, you think its some absorbtion maybe, or different thing? Anyway, when you "see" it, it becomes easier to work with it emoticon

Best of luck!

Oskar

From Dudjom Lingpas Buddhahood without meditation:: 

""Due to the obscuration of the ground by ignorance, the actual substrate, which is space-like and immaterial, devoid of thoughts and appearances, is like deep sleep and fainting. Immersion in this state is of the essential nature of delusion, a vast field of ignorance"
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Months ago at 12/19/21 3:39 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Thankyou! I appreciate it.

I do the morning thing - not as regularly nowadays as I used to for a period when I was more in tune. I did it this morning, though (before the juice), and felt that it cleared things out. I want to do more of that.

I'll try the hung phet thing. I've tried phet before but never a full mala, just a few shouts, because that's what I have been taught, and I haven't found that very helpful. I thought that maybe I failed at looking directly at the mind while shouting, a failing which will reportedly only scare your flees (or, as I have found out empirically, your cats). I guess that if I do a full mala, it might increase the chanses of right focus for at least one of the shouts. And if I manage to do it, I'll at least cut through the freeze response. 

I think I'll try your personal practice first, though, if I'm able to in that state (first I need to see through all the layers of dreams of getting out of bed that do not result in any actual movement). I like its compassionate touch. 

Yes, it really feels like energetic blockages and at the same time as being seduced by ignorance and sucked into oblivion. Do you know how to work with the nadis outside the body? Wait a minute, I think that's what I'm doing when immersed in the healing version, which I don't personally regard as brain fog because it doesn't feel foggy when that occurs. In that state, it's like there are energy threads all around me and they are disentangling. So yeah, I do work with that, I guess. I just don't usually regard it as the same thing because of the lack of fogginess. The energy threads are vague, so I guess it still isn't clear, but in that version none of it feels heavy or sticky, and when I come out of it, I feel refreshed and clear. If it is an absorption, it's not one of the regular jhanas. It might be a nondual absorption at the Sambhogakaya level, I don't know. It usually happens either when I have been overwhelmed and surrender to that (there's so much energy to release from overwhelm - pretty cool!) or when I rest in the afternoon because the process communicates to me that I need to (there's a pull together with loud nada sound and a sense of being unsolid) and then all apparent solidity just falls apart. 
Oskar M, modified 5 Months ago at 12/19/21 3:58 PM
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Cool Linda, will answer you tomorrow need to go to bed now. Also need to read more of your log, just seen some point here and there. Sleep tight emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Months ago at 12/19/21 4:20 PM
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Sleep well! emoticon 

When you answer, if you can I would be very interested in hearing more about how you experience the blockages of the nadis outside the body and how you go about working with them. 

​​​​​​​I need to read more of your log as well! 
Oskar M, modified 5 Months ago at 12/20/21 10:32 AM
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I guess that if I do a full mala, it might increase the chanses of right focus for at least one of the shouts.

 - yeah, just relax and do some shouting, with a guided video might be helpful. Easy and relaxed, but sharp and just see what happens after a mala or three (remember some breaks inbetween each set). 

 I think I'll try your personal practice first.

- Go for it emoticon never met anyone trying it, but I do it alot myself actually everyday the last days. One point in my experience when practicing with substrate, is that compassion gets hard, like this fog is so flat and neutral, and sometimes you almost wont notice its there (while obvisouly other times you do notice when its more gross). But this fog in my experience is the very thing that makes compassion stagnate, not recognizing awarness is to not recognize love and compassion for others that are equal to you, so you might notice some challenge there. I have written alot about my struggle with substrate in my log, as it seems to be the main obsticle at where I am now in my practice and less of other things. 


 Wait a minute, I think that's what I'm doing when immersed in the healing version, which I don't personally regard as brain fog because it doesn't feel foggy when that occurs. In that state, it's like there are energy threads all around me and they are disentangling.

- Yes, I have this too sometimes. It can be channels outside the body that loosens up and purify, this will give this foggy blizz for a while followed by freshness. Another thing that has happen to me a few times, is that the blessings of one guru comes spontaneously which can give similar experience, f.ex from reading a text, pretty similar if you have recieved empowerments and felt the blessings, it hits the karmic body and can give this intoxication for a while since its so strong. So if you do prayers or mantras, or have some deitie practice that might be related. 

How I work with outside the body?

You know that I am a student of Kim Katami right?(actually I prefer calling him Rinpoche), so we use the bhumi model as the ground for all other practice. I think since last spring I have spent alot of time investigating it, looking into each bhumi center, channels related to it, and energybody in general before and after purification of channels happens the energybody looks veeeery different, there is a reason in thangkas there is a aura with straight or wavy lines, that is not how a normal persons aura look like, due to ignorance its all fucked up and wierd. So when working with stuff outside the body three things comes to mind: first is that there is parrallell happenings in the mind, meaning clinging to the notion of time is a conceptual thing, but its energetical counterpart can be found mostly outside the body. This is always the case, which is why guys like Tsognkhapa or nagarjuna can reach enlightenment just by "thinking". Also when in my practice has fully purified one of these outer layers, there is a corresponding event happening in the mind, so not two seperate things is what I am trying to say, though practice differs externally they yeild same result. Just a heads up that this link is there emoticon. The second point, from mahayana point of view you should generate compassion as much as possible, at later stage from the point of the bhumis, there is simply no way you will reach the stuff far far into the "aura" without generating compassion, no way, meaning you cannot progress on mahayana path without compassion. I know this sounds a bit orthodox and rigid but its my experience, and I dont think you will find a single mahayana teacher saying otherwise. The "view, at this point, will at times include love and compassion to a completely different degree (I say at times because its by no means that way all the time, at least not in my case, but you start glimpsing that awarness is full of love and care). So compassion practice, caring for everyone everywhere is the main thing for your mind to cover all the entanglements in the outer energy system and nadis. I could and should write more about this point, its really interesting, but maybe another time. Third is you can use mantras, vizualisations, when you get a sense of the aura and the bhumis this just makes way more sense. Also Rinpoche use coming, which as with shouting, I have been very sceptinc about but it just works like a charm when you start percieving what your outer energy layers look like, I do it every day emoticon You can find videos about it on youtube, both coaming, and boddhicitta in reference to energy body. But investigating is really important, I could not tell you these things if I had not spent alot of time investigating and it can take some time. Profit is you get a kind of confidence when its not from books you know these things, but own experience.

Hope this is helpfull emoticon

Oskar
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Months ago at 12/21/21 5:18 PM
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Thankyou for your thorough reply! I'll reread it again a few times to process it some more. 

I haven't tried any of it systematically yet, but the thought of all those beings in the hungry ghost realm helped me today in dealing with daily life. In my version, spontaneously, the hungry ghosts were all dependent on my energy, and while I was too indifferent to doing something about my brain fog for my own sake, I cared enough about all those beings to snap out of it and get something done. 

I agree with you with regard to compassion. I don't think the common usage of the word in English does it justice, but it's convenient to call it something, so that's what I call it. Invoking it is key to my practice. Honestly, I wouldn't be able to get out of my bed without it. 

Yes, I know which teacher you follow, but it's always interesting to get a person's own accounts of how the practice manifests. So thanks for that! I'm not very visually oriented, but I do sense energetic phenomena now and then, and I have visual memories of that but I'm not sure that it has involved vision while it happened. It seems to be more kinesthetic for me, or maybe synesthetic, or beyond the division into separate sense gates. I really don't know. That's why I'm so curious. 

I have done some work within different paradigms, with different maps of the chakras, so I'm not sure how to visualize, as I would then have to choose. Being empirically driven comes more naturally to me. I did feel/see/sense energy streaming out from my crown and showering down in an egg-like shape once, after stream entry. It all seemed unusually untangled and clean at that moment. I think the nadis are pretty frizzy, unruly and messed up most of the time, which is why there is so much disentangling going on. There was a period when "tentacles" reached out far from my body to do the disentangling. I could sense it very clearly while doing restorative yoga. They were so long and so many and so busy with the disentangling. It felt good when they did that, but sometimes it felt like they went too far away from my physical body, and I had to call them back. My yoga teacher at the time saw how those tentacles reached out far outside my physical body, doing repair work and rebuilding infrastructure. She described this to me before I had told her about my experience of it. I don't sense it as clearly now; the clarity seems to vary over time, just like I can sometimes do some healing with my hands whereas most of the time I have no idea how I ever did that (or rather how it did that through me). 

Do you mean "combing"? I recently did that spontaneously without knowing that it's an existing practice. Or maybe more stroking. It felt like it wanted to happen. 
Oskar M, modified 5 Months ago at 12/22/21 4:01 AM
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I think pondering compassion alot is the key, feel it, dont feel it, have it little alot and keep punshing on this topic, never let it rest. I think your description is very good. A friend in the sangha said for some time she visited hell realms to learn more about this, I did it once and the image still sticks to me, those places are real. 

Point with bringing up Pemako is the map, its the thing that gets us in trouble hehe, but it also makes the 90% of our succesrate I think. Like I do practices like any mahayana person, so no difference there, but knowledge of the grounds still gives a very particular spin on the whole thing.

About sensing. In my experience people are really different here, almost like genes differ. Like some people I know see buddha images almost every day, when attending an empowerment they see boddhisatvas and buddhas celebrating etc. While I dont think I have had a single vision my whole life, though I can feel things strongly and thats enough to distinguish differences in deities and gurus, emporments and so on. Sometimes I feel the guru as if he or she is in the room. 

So thanks for that! 
- I was really hesitant to make a log in the beginning, afraid I would shower my shit down on innocent readers, its some nonsense in my log but some good stuff too, so lets hope its worth it. Thing is I found I really like writing about it, and though internet dharma is an animal of its own I dont mind that much at the moment, some people here I really like, like you <3. 

with different maps of the chakras, so I'm not sure how to visualize.

- Vizualize what?

 It all seemed unusually untangled and clean at that moment.

- yeah, thats the case after an insight, you do untangle nadis but then after the honeymoon the leftovers creates a new ground of ignorance and entanglements, though differ from the previous one. When I visit bhumis after the have opened or perfected they are completely clear, what used to be mud has become clear water. That being said, if any ignorance happens its like a drop of poisen in a glass of clean water, meaning you could be far ahead and still have dark nights, delusions and so forth in my experience. 

They were so long and so many and so busy with the disentangling. It felt good when they did that, but sometimes it felt like they went too far away from my physical body, and I had to call them back. 

- cool, never experienced this before, gives some perspective thanks! I practice giving myself up totally in chod practice, but often I get scared and pull back, not sure if its the same thing or not?

Combing, yes. Like Rinpoche does here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fsb3cHv3O98
You can do it with hands or without, just with the mind as well, using mantras or just staying in natural awarness does the same thing. In the beginning outside the body was mostly mud, but then more and more cleared up. What I find these days are alot of very tight knots and channels or tubes, and I can investigate their forms and they change with insights , taking new forms(I used to draw it down for a while in a book, but then figuring it changes all the time I gave up, mechanism is the same always, ignorance and fixation causes it all). It can litterarily feel like having actual small stones in the aura, and then investigating them, looking, combing, they arent obviously, just a deeply held fixation that has not been discovered properly. But thats how appearances gets "real", it happens in the mind all from the beginning. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/2/22 5:50 PM
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Thankyou for your rich input! 

When you visited hell realm, how did you go about it? It sounds like you mean it literally?

Pemako aren't the only ones with maps, after all, and it seems like all maps can get us into trouble, in more than one sense, so I guess we all need to assess for ourselves which maps are worth the risks and how to use them. 

I have actually had visions (maybe I already said that), but I can't take any credit for them. They have been instances of grace bestowed upon me. I can't count on them to appear at will or at any predictable pace. 

About what to visalize, I probably misunderstood you. I thought that when you suggested using visualization to work with the nadis, you meant that I should visualize the energy channels and the whole infrastructure of them.

I don't believe that the fear causing you to pull back somtimes was the same as my experience of having the energy go too far from my body. It sounds to me like different kinds of oopses. I couldn't call them back out of fear. On the contrary, I had to sort of persuade them to come back by using trust. When the energies went too far, I looked really sick and... well, aged. And when they came back, I looked healthy again. It was weird. There are stories around that, as to where the energy went and why, but something tells me that it's not a good idea to get entangled in such stories again. The truth is that I don't know what it was. But it's also true that Daniel helped me out and that I performed a ritual that ended with lights in the sky. 

Thankyou so much for sharing the details of your energy work! So few do. I used to have painful tensions in different chakras, giving me very clear hints as to what to work with, but now it's much more subtle. I have a hard time recalling how it was before. When did that pain stop? I really don't know. I know that a big chunk of it went away suddenly at stream entry, but the rest of it? Hm. 

​​​​​​​I like you too. 
Oskar M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/3/22 4:42 AM
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Ok. About hell realms, I asked what my friend did. And she told me to ask the gurus emoticon Honestly, if you have trust in you recognition and gurus, you can ask you gurus to take you there, and I guess most other things as well, its only a matter of being willing and sincere. So I meditated, and asked guru rinpoche and yeshe tsogyal to take me there. My body didnt move or anything, it was like a vision but very real, like more real than a dream. So in a sense I cant say if it was an actually hell being I saw, but it didnt feel different from seeing any other person really, though obviously it could be my own imagination, I dont think so. And even if it was theres no doubt anymore for me that this sort of pain happens emoticon I have dared to do it again, the pain is unimaginable. Though you could just go to a hospital or old peoples home, alot of hells on this planet among any person or animal. 

Slightly related to this is that you come to see at one point that your own rigpa doesnt discriminate between realms, like its not this realm here, and then one eaon away there is this one, and some more eons there is another one, this is dualistic mind dividing things. I think Yuthok Yonten Gonpo the younger write somewhere that "in an instant I visit hundreds of buddhafields", and thats exactly it, same with Longchenpa writing something similar, that all buddhafield arise from the same magical display or something. To make an oppose statement, I think to remember that an "arhat" called Frank Yang from youtube, said he would see all realms or something in meditation, like if he actually saw loads at the same time, like this is either very shallow recognition/or samadhi state of some kind, and not the same as what Yuthok from my perspective and if I remember correctly. Hard to explain really, but its a matter of maturing in recognition that gives confidence to this. 

Hehe, yeah maps get you into trouble, but you saw the last post we had about pragmativ varjayana. I opened my computer and had 16 messages from one guy, spraying things  all over the place. Alot of good discussiont too, and very greatful to you and malcolm, but beings somewhat new to internett dharma, it felt like sharks are waiting for you when you talk about Pemako and bhumis thats why I said that emoticon But yes no maps are perfect, I have recently looked more into dependent originaiton, as I like to compare things and felt grounding with perspective. Though in general I am a huge fan of maps, like Ingram or Daniel Brown are crystal clear on how-to and what should happen, and that makes really big difference for people performing those practices. 

No need to vizualise the nadis, they are already there so persieve with consetration or feeling. 

Yeah, some things are best to let be, i dont know emoticon Happy to share about it, and happy you ask, its interesting stuff and I have had the oppurtunity to look into it alot with other tools than most people. 

emoticon 
Oskar M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/3/22 4:55 AM
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I have not* dared to it again, sorry 
​​​​​​​
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/3/22 6:07 AM
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That's very cool. Thanks so much for sharing!

For what it's worth, I'm very sorry about the shark tank situation. Both as a fellow meditator and human being and as a moderator, I wish people could feel safe to share here without backlashes. 
Oskar M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/3/22 6:43 AM
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Thanks Linda. Well it was good practice, it really stirred up things for me, clingings and arrogance, so in one way I am grateful too. Though not that fun of course. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/2/22 6:38 PM
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This part of the path is challenging for me. I find that I need to go back to basics a lot and that I have been sloppy. Maybe it's just what naturally unfolded as I explored new pathways. I couldn't do everything at once. Regardless, I think now is the time to integrate it, and that requires that I rebuild what I have neglected. Maybe it's also the case that I'm back at the lower ñanas, starting a new fractal of the multidimensional cycling towards third path. I don't know. In some senses it feels like starting over from the beginning. In other senses, it feels like further nuances are opening up around those basics. I can't quite put words to it, though, so maybe it's just wishful thinking. I do know that I need to ramp up whatever skill sets one prefers to slice and dice it into. Sensory clarity, concentration power and equanimity, according to Shinzen's old recordings. There are things that the narrow mind blurs out because it doesn't want to see it - that's very obvious - and so far it's outsmarting me. 

Some observations:

A lot of suffering around physical pain is gone, that is, "normal" amounts of pain, nothing exceptional. 

I suddenly understand pointers that used to sound like something a sphinx would say. Like Malcolm's suggestion to tap into the joy (or bliss?) in front of me. Hey, cool! It's literally there! It has a smooth, silky texture and it just hovers there! It also makes for a smoother entrance into first jhana - less jarring, less turbulent. So I have been playing with that a bit. 

Previous motivational drives don't work, which is frustrating. Sometimes I spontaneously just do stuff, and then it's surprisingly fun, but often that isn't accessible.  

I think I may have burned out a bit because when insights made some things easier, I started demanding too much from myself relative to what I have energy for. And all the doing involved in that was counterproductive to seeing through the doer. It contracted things. 

There is something appealing to the notion of starting over again. Starting on the path was such a powerful thing. If I had to start all over again, from the beginning, I would definitely do it again. So what's the problem, really? There isn't one. When I put it like that, it's very simple. And that's liberation, right there, in that simplicity. The practice is just what unfolds. There is no doubt there. And that's mindblowing in its simplicity. 
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/3/22 9:11 AM
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/3/22 10:06 AM
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Yeah, that really looks like what I'm going through. By third path, he must mean the road to third path, right? That seems to be the way he uses the wording. That's also the impression I get from Malcolms and others. 
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/3/22 11:06 AM
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That's an interesting question! ...

It was only when I had gotten so sick of the cycles and realized that they were leading nowhere that I was able to see what has nothing to do with the cycles, which also wasn’t anything except a strange untangling of the knot of perceiving them. The cycles, for better or worse, have continued just the same. Thus, there is not much point in counting cycles or paths, as they don’t necessarily correlate well with anything beyond the first two or three, and issues of backsliding can really make things complex, as I explained earlier.

If I recall from reading his story in MCTB (Part VI), he is vey clear about the first, second and fourth path moments, but there was no clear marker for attaining third. It's a similar story reading people's logs on here. I wasn't aware of having "attained third" at the time. Looking back I can pinpoint the moment when I had a significant "flash", which was what kinda repeated and stuck at "fourth" about a year later, but I didn't have the context for it at the time because it wasn't similar to the fruitions of first and second. I also went through the classic third path thing of trying to convince myself that I was done when I wasn't (I'm sure you remember!)

My sense is that basically people feel like they are stuck at third (and/or try to convince themselves that they are done) until the whole thing resolves itself in a very surprising way. I think surprise is the essence of the thing - it's not what you expect (if it was, it would already have happened right?!) I think that's why he says 'It is a bit like being in the stages just before stream entry, trying to figure out what exactly needs to be done.' What helped me was methodically deconstructing every idea and expectation I had about what awakening could be. In particular, seeing that it can't possibly be something that happens in the future in the story of an individual ... But obviously that's a kind of logical/enquiry based way of going about it, which is not everyone's cup of tea, and for others it seems to be more of an intuitive/"phenomenological" type resolution ...
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Although Daniel does hint at the kind of approach here: 'Regard your cherished ideals and the patterns of sensations that make up those ideals about what you think meditation practice will get you as more sensations to observe.'
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/3/22 5:08 AM
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Another observation: fractals of sensations stand out. For instance, now when I look at a lamp-shade in pleated cloth, the image vibrates in fractals of rapid pulses (not enough clarity to map it exactly), but there is also a slow wave to it. If I tune into the slow wave of it rather than the rapid vibrations, at regular rate the fabric of the lamp-shade appears to have an even surface. Yet, the vibrations are still there, flashing by images of the structure just like before. It's like attention zooms in and out at a regular pace while all the different levels are still somehow aware. But there's fractals to that too, because attention still does the flickering thing. So maybe it's not attention that does the zooming in and out, but consciousness? Uh, I don't know. But it's complex, that's for sure. And in the breath, what I used to think of as spirals in the sensations seems to be the fractal nature of vibrations. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/3/22 5:23 AM
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It's like there's PoI cycling going on in fractals all the way down, embedded in the processing of sensory information. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/6/22 7:31 PM
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Just a brief report on my current practice, for my own memory:
- watching the dependent origination in habitual chains as they happen, especially when I get caught up in them. Trying to stop the dependent origination of those patterns doesn't really work, but clearly seeing the chains with its links makes a change. It opens up something. There's a tangible energetic shift (spaciousness, easier to breath, smoothness, nada sound and an inherent stillness together with a flowiness). 
- large quantities of gentle yoga and some basic QiGong massage (I'm putting together some sessions for the group of autistic adults that I work with, which means that I get to do it in some of my work hours). This helps with counteracting my tendency for winter depression, so it's great for my practice. 
- shamatha, mainly on the breath but also some Brahmaviharas and some playing with the joy/bliss in front of me. I haven't really had the time to get deep into it yet, but for the moment my aversion to it is gone and that means that jhanic factors are available. 
- RtS stuff. Tapping into different parts of Michael's model, doing (and non-doing) some of his tricks, experimenting with pointers, playing with emptiness and form in all sense-gates. 
Oskar M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 9:55 AM
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Nice Linda, I also fell in love with dependent origination recently, love to play around with the different aspects and see what it does with the mind/reveal. 

Oskar
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 7:01 PM
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Thanks! Always good to hear from you.
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Stefan Stefan, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 7:49 PM
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Hey Linda, dependent origination is great, but it's only half the battle. Something that may be of use, the chains toward liberation. 

Here's the links of dependent origination (1st and 2nd noble truths)
Ignorance -> Formations -> Consciousness -> Name/Form -> Six Sense Doors -> Contact -> Feeling -> Craving ->Clinging -> Existence ->Birth ->Dukkha

The links toward liberation (3rd and 4th noble truths):
Dukkha -> Conviction -> Joy -> Rapture -> Tranquility -> Bliss -> Concentration -> Knowledge/Vision of Reality -> Disenchantment -> Disspassion -> Liberation 

Hope this can be of some help to you; the Upinassa and Kimattha Suttas explain further. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 8:13 PM
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Thanks!  That is helpful.

I'm not a Buddhist scholar so honestly I have merely looked at the chains that I can find empirically (I am very empirically driven) and I haven't really fitted them into the models with names, but it makes sense to think of it as two possible chains and look at the bright side of it. I think that what I was describing in terms of how seeing it (=the dukkha) did something, was actually that other chain to liberation (something that I probably will have to repeat for a long time yet for it to stick). I just didn't know that there was a model for that as well with very similar links, even though I know I have heard descriptions using those words. Getting it spelled out like this, very timely, is encouraging. I will look into this more.

​​​​​​​Many thanks!
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Stefan Stefan, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 9:01 PM
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No dramas, if you want a great book that really fleshes out the entire thing in a pragmatic yet Buddhist-y way I'd recommend: This Being, That Becomes by Dhivan Thomas Jones. 

Yeah, looking at your report I could see you climbing up the links of liberation for sure, the sense of release etc., figured I'd share given it may give some good signposts; the real juice is when we can simply incline the mind towards the tranquillity and bliss, and the liberation just happens all on its own because the present moment and breathing are so much more enjoyable than whatever tangle our mind was trying to get into. 

​​​​​​​Happy travels
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/22 6:12 AM
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Thanks! _/\_
Oskar M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/22 10:07 AM
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Stefan Stafen and Linda

There are many takes on dependent origination as far I understand it. I wonder if you or Linda, is there a separate thread about it in this forum? should be I think.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/22 10:22 AM
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There is probably a number of threads on dependent origination, but unfortunately the search engine for this platform sucks. I bet there was a wiki entry to it as well, once upon a time, before an earlier upgrade made those unavailable. Feel free to talk to Stefan about it here if you wish. I certainly wouldn't mind. 

Edit: Wow, I just noticed that the wiki entries are functioning again! Yay! I couldn't find anything there specifically on DO, though.
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Niels Lyngsø, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/22 10:56 AM
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There is also this recent thread about Leigh Brasington's take on DO, including a link to his free book on the subject, and some additional discussion and ressources. emoticon
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Oskar M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/10/22 12:01 PM
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Thanks guys, will have a look emoticon
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/22 1:10 AM
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"This part of the path is challenging for me"

Just reflect on all the lost beings not even being on this path at all. And then those plowing towards it and still not reaching it. 
Maybe you are in a very fortunate position? 

Then again our own suffering always feels like the worst of all. 

Best wishes Linda! 

May we be able to give away to others that which we hold onto. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/22 5:56 AM
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Oh yes, I know. It's very self-absorbed. 

I just wanted to be honest about it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/22 6:11 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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And just to comfort the self-absorbed patterns some other time, if I read this: the force is still with me. emoticon

I woke up this morning (uhm, noon to be honest, as my circadian rhythm is messed up) in mild absorption. There were images reminding of sacred geometry, not the chrystal clear visions but the grainy ones. The energetics varied between vibrating, bubbling, bright light, roaring nada sound, roaring absolute silence bursting out from the nada sound like from a popped bubble, and the sense of immediate presence. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/22 8:59 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Im recognizing this in my patterns, so easy to fall into my little self world. I do it all the time with my partner, at work, in traffic ... However, remembering that what we already "know" is really vast in comparison to most beings stumbling around. 

I find Tonglen to remedy this in my case and be open to give it away and taking on all the negative to myself. Give all my gain to others and take all the loss to myself. It hurts to do so but that is exactly we are trying to see. 

I know you know all this but felt like sharing. I felt there was not enough ones and zeros on the www today emoticon 110001001111000101110001
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/22 9:57 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Anything that makes us take our sometimes awakened heads out of our self-absorbed asses is great. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/22 2:24 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I seem to be in one of those phases where things do happen on their own so obviously that even I can't miss it. The sense of mild absorption has been close at hand throughout the day. I think this might be what I used to think of as feeling unsolid. It also seems to be what I used to think of as sensory processing occurring outside of my body. Just seen from different vantage points. I don't know what to think of it now. The absorption part of it is obviously just a state that comes and goes, but it does point to something. I notice attachment to it coming and going too. Noticing the attachment isn't as painful as it used to be. I'm actually really glad that I can see it. There's a lightness to it. 

I'm also in one of those phases where I clearly see not only the kind of attachment described above but also a huge variety of less flattering chains of reactions unfolding, a lot of it having to do with the path itself. Self-absorbed shit related to it. I remember experiencing this as extremely yucky before. I'm not as disgusted now, and not because there is less to be disgusted about, because there is plenty enough. I think it's finally starting to sink in that seeing it isn't just good because it needs to be seen, but also because seeing it is liberating in itself. Having to see it isn't a punishment or something. It really does start a different chain. Wow. On its own. Isn't that amazing? 

in honor of this insight, I have started rewatching Dirk Gently's holistic detective agency on netflix. I find that it has some hillarious pointers in it, which is probably purely coincidental, hehe. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/13/22 2:03 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Note to self: it's resistance all the way down. Not resisting the resistance opens things up.

Lots of dreamy imagery coming up. I can't even tell if it's from my subconscious or something else. It seems pretty arbitrary.

In the RtS class meditation, sensory processing seemed to take place as much outside of my body as in it, and my body was just one of many things being perceived or aware. There was also a sense of everything having sort of a soap bubble quality, and anytime it would just sort of pop, revealing the absolute silence inside the bubbles. Then there was a sense of a point located at the third eye that seemed solid. Investigating it further, there was no solid point to be found, but there was a sense of being drawn in, and lights were released. The point kept "trying" to solidify itself. In dealing with this, the sense of nonlocality was gone. 

Lots of nada sound in daily life. 
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/13/22 5:42 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Linda, it sounds like you're entering or processing a phase change of some sort. All of the things you mention are things I can relate to intimately. It reminds me of the times that my practice just did itself, nothing from "me" was required. In fact, anything from "me" was often disruptive!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/16/22 2:20 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Thanks, I so hope you're right. I appreciate the encouragement. 

I don't know, though. I have been in phases where it felt like the practice did itself. This doesn't quite feel like it. Or... well, it sort of feels like something is going on in the background, but there's a whole lot of selfing going on in the foreground. It's like the identification that is still going on is putting itself under a magnifying glass. Except for when it doesn't. I seem to be holding on to the suffering somehow. I guess I'll just watch that holding on until it is seen clearly enough. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/16/22 5:00 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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The shamatha is slowly developing. Tonight 1st, 2nd and 3rd jhana were clearly recognizable even though the absorption wasn't fully in place. I'd say that it was the threshold to those jhanas. I suspect that is what access concentration means. I don't think access concentration is one state, but rather the status of being on the threshold. The taste of it varies depending on what jhana it's the threshold to.

I was dipping more than a toe. It was sort of like gradually entering the water from a floating jetty and going all the way down the ladder and leaning away from it with only one leg still on it, but not being able to relax enough to let go. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/18/22 3:45 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Jan. 18th, 2022

There was a moment of lucid dreaming tonight, and I laughed out loud - still in the dream - because of the absurdity of what triggered the lucidity when other things didn't. Apparently, the dream logic wasn't threatened when one of my partners, who have decided not to have any more children, had a baby with his ex. It wasn't threatened by my vegan partner wanting meat. It wasn't threatened when he and I visited my dead grandmother or when the small place where I grew up had beautiful mountains added to it. It was fine with my grandmother having two extra sets of old stoves for no apparent reason, but when I touched them and they were filthy, I knew instantly that it was a dream. Haha! And even though I knew that it was a dream, I still felt the need to go wash my hands (in an extra basin that was out of place). I knew that the basin and the water and the entire scenery were all just dream imagery, but it was yucky, so I washed my hands anyway. Since it was just a dream, I didn't care about water getting all over the floor, which I commented on out loud. I commented on it to that accompanying partner, whom I somehow still related to as real. 

__

While I'm at it, I might as well mention some spontaneous dream yoga that occurred a couple of days ago or so, with awareness in the sleep of how the mind was fabricating imagery and rejoycing in how the images were empty and yet had so clear form. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago at 1/18/22 3:50 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Dont worry emoticon its only a Full Moon emoticon owoooo owoooo owoooooooo emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/21/22 3:33 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I feel in synch with where I need to be. It's not where I thought I would be, but it's kind of what I actually always wanted. I just didn't know that this would be that, and it's pretty funny how everything led to this even though I definitely thought I was heading somewhere else, and this was so much simpler. 

No, I'm not talking about attainments. I'm talking about my mundane life (pretty much all aspects of it, actually - but this might be the ending of the latest pms hell speaking). It feels like a great pointer, though. 
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 1/21/22 4:26 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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emoticon​​​​​​​
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/22/22 4:20 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Woke up in third jhana territory. Not 100% absorbed but all other factors in place.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago at 1/24/22 3:15 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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January 24th, 2022 (I really miss the old days when the forum posts had both date and time automatically).

Spent an hour or so in first jhana this morning and some later in a waiting room and during a medical examination that probably would have been painful otherwise. Floating and melting sensations in daily life. After a long workday, evening shift and extra hours, I notice strong contractions (including tics) but the spaciousness is available when I relax and tune into it. Synesthesia. Nada sound. The space feels like some yummy liquid with pleasant temperature. It also somehow feels connected. As if I could caress it like some delicate instrument and the universe would respond with music. Uh, something like that. And wavy, sort of. Soft. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago at 1/24/22 3:26 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I really miss the forum when it actually functioned! emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago at 2/3/22 4:38 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Due to life challenges, I lost momentum with my shamatha practice and lost the daily routine. I feel a bit annoyed with myself because it was showing results, but I know that feeling annoyed doesn't help and is based on deluded identification in the first place. I just notice that those thoughts and feelings do pop up anyway.

I have noticed that beneath the backlash, even in days of brainfog and bodily pain, there is still a sense of peace. It's like there is a big enough part of all the processes, constituting the accessible experience, that doesn't really buy into the whole identification thing. When I tune into that, there is spaciousness and nada sound and a sense of complete silence being always present. 

Other parts still do buy into it, and they struggle with motivation not just for practice but for basically anything useful. Those parts are dopamine junkies. It probably doesn't help that I often forget to take my ADHD medication. They seem to fight for survival, for no meaningful purpose at all. They mess up life, getting us into downward spirals. It's basically my old coping mechanisms for really bad times. All they do is passing time, to make it bearable for another moment. It's netflix, mindless games on my ipad, food cravings (and anything outside of a strict anti-histamine autoimmune paleo diet really clogs up my energy channels and causes lots of illness symptoms), and online second-hand shopping (more than I can really afford and more than I have use for, just for the kick of the bargain; I give some of it away). Ah, now the deluded identification thoughts pop up again, with guilt and shame! Not helpful, thankyou very much. 

What really does help is starting the day with yoga, especially those mornings when it feels like it would be too much because of the bodily pain and stiffness (due to the wrong foods and poor sleep). It really does help. It takes away the stiffness and pain and clears away the brainfog and makes it easier to breathe again (which makes it more enjoyable to do shamatha on the breath). Yoga makes me motivated to practice and to make myself useful.

Practice was easier when I had the accountability of the yoga studio that I loved, that is, before it was bankrupted due to covid. I need to build a solid habit on my own. So - first thing in the morning. And as a replacement for the dopamine-seeking behavior as much as I can. I'm not sure how to implement that last part. Replace all those behaviors for the main part of the day every day and completely one day per week? Focus on one behavior at a time and do it cold-turkey? I think making small but consistent changes is most likely to succeed. I know from experience that they tend to create positive spirals. They will take away the sense of needing the bad habits. 

Thoughts pop up that I really shouldn't have these issues when I'm on the path. I don't need to believe those thoughts. Apparently the issues do exist, and the path is apparently happening too. That's just the way it apparently is. 

Now I'm off to make myself useful. Yay yoga! 
George S, modified 3 Months ago at 2/3/22 7:48 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I don't see myself losing the kick of a good bargain anytime soon, being a hunter-gatherer and all that
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Chris M, modified 3 Months ago at 2/3/22 8:13 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I gotta agree with George on this one - there's no point in beating ourselves up over being human.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago at 2/3/22 9:37 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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May all beings be free from suffering, may all beings awaken, may all beings be happy! 

​​​​​​​Best wishes Linda! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago at 2/3/22 11:47 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Thanks everyone! I agree that there's no use beating myself up. I do need to change behavior, though. I'll do that by taking care of myself better so that positive spirals take away the need for an excess of ill-advised coping strategies that cause downward spirals.

I do appreciate the sentiment of allowing oneself to be human. I'm all for that. However, it's tipping over into being pathological, really, and I don't want to end up as a completely broke horder, or homeless. The payment for my current job is much lower than I'm used to and I struggle to pay my bills. It would be fine if I weren't compulsive about not missing a bargain, because I really don't need any more stuff. 

Metta right back at ya, Papa Che! And to all! 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago at 2/3/22 2:22 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Ha! emoticon I'm in the same boat for a while now, as in not missing good offers and buying stuff guitar related!!! I was skypeing with Shargrol the other day and he suggested I use that part for Hungry Ghost Realm meditation, to induce the feelings and all, by really visualizing all that's happening while Im browsing the gear I so hunger for, etc ... (there are detailed ways to get into this practice)

The truth is I don't really need all that stuff! I have enough gear! However, this reactive pattern does get triggered daily and I end up browsing the net for guitar effects and amps etc ... I do sell stuff first and then maybe add a bit more and buy new stuff so I never hoard things.

As Trungpa say "Transcending Madness" emoticon indeed! So many reactive patterns, not a moment of peace!
Cleansing the Karma is the one job that will never get old I feel! Until my last breath emoticon 

May we all ... dandy, happy and all! 
Emil Jensen, modified 3 Months ago at 2/4/22 9:47 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Hi Linda - wrote you an email and this is your personal reminder ^_^
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago at 2/18/22 2:10 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Thanks for a lovely talk! I look forward to doing it again.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago at 2/18/22 3:29 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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February 2022
Some reflections:

I notice a general tendency of being able to handle the small challenges in life better, which has also led to some rather surprising changes in what I find possible and how I choose to spend my time. Nothing revolutionary, just unexpected. I find myself doing some things for fun that earlier in life would make me Donald Duck angry, if you know what I mean. Furious with frustration. It never would have occurred to me that I would just pick it up without even thinking much about it. Like, hey, those are some really nice yarns and hey, here's a waving frame for sale - it might be fun to weave myself some simple dharma images while listening to dharma talks. And then just do it. And I do just as many mistakes as I would have done earlier in life, and I have to start over several time, but there's no drama to it. I just find what early mistake caused all the problems and start over from there, over and over again, slowly and with calm, and I gradually learn from the mistakes. At one point, after several repeated mistakes that were a bit complicated to resolve, I noted that my body temperature was rising a tad and so I took off a sweater until the temperature was back to normal and I put it on again. It dawned on me that I had a physical symptom from frustration, but I felt absolutely no frustration whatsoever. It made me giggle. 

And then I have a day or so when frustration levels are back to how they used to be, and holy fucking fuck, that's just not a worthy life! I'd rather die than having to live like that all the time, so invested in such a narrow little point which somehow manages to get itself so totally entangled in all sorts of threads weighed down by heavy burdens while at the same time missing most of what is going on in the space around it for no plausible reason at all. That's where the doubt comes in. Did I just imagine all of it? Or have I somehow done some fatal mistake that erases all the change that occurred from the path moments? That doesn't last long, though, because it is very easy to reality check. The lasting changes (described earlier in my logs - e.g., autistic stress responses from eye contact totally gone, disabling sensitivities to sensory input basically gone too, some phobias gone, and improved relationships as well as new professional talents due to lots of reactivity gone) are indisputable. It seems to rather be the case that the remaining issues stand out more and the heaviness of them is so much more noticable than before, and therefore what used to be normal feels unbearable. 

I recently noticed that my old fear of giving oral presentations is completely gone now. It's not just managable or weighed up by its meaningfulness, or diminished by very consciously reminding myself that it's not about me (a realization that I made before I took up a meditation practice; in retrospect it is easy to see why it was the most helpful approach I had ever tried) as was the case when I got over the extremely limiting phobia in the first place, about a decade ago. It just isn't there at all. I don't think the thought even occurs that there's a me there while the presentation is ongoing. Or maybe it does, but significantly less and without that buying into it that used to be the default mode. It is really so much easier to give a presentation without having to deal with all that identity and image stuff and all the fears inherent to that, all the things that made it so messy and sticky. The presentation just does its own thing. No fuzz. No mess. Nothing to dwell on in retrospect. 

I continue to surprise the people closest to me, in positive ways.

And yet I often feel that it's a great struggle. The contrasts between equanimity and non-equanimity are jarring. The moments when there is resistance to the here and now are just dreadful. I think I'm more compassionate about it nowadays, like I don't demand more from myself than I would from others, even at times when I do buy into the selfing stuff in a way that reifies what is actually just a transient flow. Somehow I always know at some level that the personal stories are empty, and the lesser entanglement in identification makes it easier to see clearly what helps and what doesn't. Some things aren't worth getting invested in, because The Huge Issue is but a mirage that will be long gone the next day. It still sucks when it sucks, though. Impermanence is a blessing. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 3/23/22 4:22 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I have realized that I have been doing both lite jhanas and what Culadasa calls luminous jhanas, and that I tend to see only the latter ones as jhanas in my own practice, because they stand out so much clearer and feel more helpful. I feel a bit lost when it comes to the lite jhanas. The instructions for the progression of them are often vaguer. Lite first jhana is pretty easy to access,  but the rest of them I'm not so sure about as to what is what, and that makes it more difficult to tune into them. With the luminous jhanas, the progress is super clear. There are no doubts as to what is what or how to time anything. The problem is that it requires a lot of momentum for me to get there, as my mind isn't enough welltrained to leave all the hindrances aside in-between daily life challenges. I rarely manage to fit retreat time into my life, and I made the mistake of not keeping it up when I did have easy access to the luminous jhanas. The plan is to gradually build up to that again, but to also learn to navigate the lite jhanas, for health purposes and above all to keep the pathways open as a way to deal with hindrances. I want to be able to follow Malcolm's advice and "zap" the dullness with some jhana. I get it now, and yeah, when it works it really works. 

So here are some questions for those with a jhana practice:
- What would you say is the difference between lite 4th jhana and luminous 4th jhana? 
- How do you recognize when you shift from one jhana to the next in the lite versions? (Note: with the luminous jhanas I already know, so I'm specifically asking about the lite ones.)
- Can you share some advice on how to get into lite 4th jhana? 
- How would you describe the experience of lite 4th jhana? 

For me 4th jhana takes one of these two shapes:

- Vipassana: distinct chrystal clear and super-focused neutrality. All vedana is gone and yet it is so incredibly beautiful, in a detached way and yet with full presence. No sense of doing anything but witnessing. There is lightness and spaciousness, and gravity is gone. Sacred geometry made out of light appears with perfect clarity (what starts as static snow in first or second jhana gradually clusters together to constellations and then transforms into art works - mostly flat but sometimes threedimensional, and on rare occasions "4th screen" with full interactivity with a threedimensional environment). Vipassana still happens on its own. The body is dissolved into an energy field if there at all. Full immersion. The outer world is gone. 

- Shamatha: as the first four sentences above, but instead of the sacred geometry and the vipassana still happening, there is full absorption with the nimitta to the extent that everything is bright white. There is nothing else except from that bright whiteness and the light spaciousness and the vedana-free chrystal clarity. No body at all. Bright white is the only aspect of form.

I have sometimes experienced something that I have classified as jhana 3,5. Maybe that’s the lite version? Compared to the versions described above, it’s kind of ”meh…”. It didn’t stand out as clearly and lacked the full absorption. The clarity was there and vedana fell away, but it wasn't quite as chrystal clear and it wasn't luminous in that transcendental way. I have been wondering why 4th jhana is so hard to access. Here it seems like many practicioners get there fairly easily. Then again, many here have been at it for a long time and done lots of retreats, and most of them probably don't have ADHD, so I probably set the bar for myself unrealistically high. Anyhow, it seems like it might be a good idea to learn how to access some version of it more readily. I know that it is possible. So... help? 
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 3/23/22 5:25 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I can['t be sure what you are pointing to by luminous vs lite, but I usually think that lite means retaining a body and the capacity for directed thought.

The shifts are obvious to me in the lite versions. From 1st to 2nd there is a flood of joy and pleasure. From 2nd to 3rd, there is an expansion of spacious awareness and quieting of the busy, overwhelming, joy and pleasure in second, leaving tranquility and satisfaction.

I never get visual objects, or any other objects, in 4th. It is either black or white, basically depending on how strong my concentration was in 1-3. I get to 4th by directing the attention away from the center (to the far periphery) which produces a falling (floating downward) sensation. When that stops there are basically no objects, just the undisturbed mind. In the case of white 4th, the light levels go up simultaneously with the stopping of the falling sensation. 

I spent a long time not being able to get reliably into 4th. It turned out to be due to insufficient access concentration. 

I am curious as to why you want to be able to do 4th as a way of "zapping" the dullness, wouldn't 1st or second not be better for that? I do sometimes call up very lite second and third from a cold start off the cushion in order to make things nicer, but if I want the kind of thing that very lite 4th would be, I just silence the mind, for example, by jumping in between thoughts or increasing the noticing frame rate fast to enough that thoughts can no longer form and then coasting in that space. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 3/24/22 5:07 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Thankyou!

I can relate to that floating. Thanks for reminding me! Yes, that was the "3,5". I think I have been confusing the numbers of the jhanas with the hardness of them. This was very helpful. It reminds me about what it was that I tuned into. 

Yes, I think lacking access concentration is an issue for me too. I need to work on that. I got into the practice so late in life and I suppose it's a matter of training. It's encouraging to hear that others have had a similar issue and been able to move beyond it.

Maybe you are right about first or second jhana being more efficient for zapping the dullness. I guess it bothers me that I have such a hard time getting into the one jhana that I find most beautiful (and that is a hindrance, of course). 
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Sigma Tropic, modified 1 Month ago at 3/26/22 5:56 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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You said you have 1st but let's start over for a sec. Access concentration = absense of hindrances. 

To me this state of access is a state of withdrawl from the things of the world and it's also an internal withdrawal. You are renouncing dullness distraction and whatever pops up in the mind. Different than ignoring it. Just having the attitude of temporarily being free from these clingy relationships with mind-objects. Letting go of that is a relief. People work up to this state and think it's all about not leaving an object.  It's more like you arent clingy toward any objects. Distractions should be self-liberating shimmerring transient mind objects. Or better just energetic fluctuations of mind. 

The pleasure that you tap into in 1st is kinda like what you feel when cleaned your house and you have a fresh pair of sheets and you just took a shower and you're fresh and everything smells good and you stretch out on the bed and the kitty comes and makes biscuits. Your mind is in that state for "access concentration". You can feel the pleasant energy of your body and the hindrances are not arising

So while you stretch out on the bed and feel the electricity in your body it feels really good, and almost sexual in a way but it feels really good - orgasmic you might say, and you let that vibrate through your body and it feels good and goes with the breath but it's chaotic and your mind has a clingy relationship with it. It's frustrating that you have to keep paying attention to it, you'd rather have them complete you and pleasure you without having to do any work. That's the transition from 1st to 2nd. 

In 2nd there is this sense of the pleasure joyfulness bubbling up on it's own now and you still feel electric sex tingles in your body but the fact that you can relax and the mind is in a joyful state of unification, it's very pleasurable. You can "hold" your awareness on the body in certain shapes. Those shapes have different locations for different jhanas. For me the action of the 2nd jhana "charges" my brain with bliss and with the breath there are electric sex tingles that flow throughout my body in a very satisfying pleasant way. This state can get quite vibratory but 2nd jhana is great and very nice and I used to frequently call up jhanas to self- regulate . 

You can learn to hold your awareness or attention or whatever the kids are calling it these days on the body and learn the jhana patterns in the energy. The jhanas each have different energetic patterns. If you learn the patterns of the energy you can learn the "handles" for each jhana. 

These "handles" are like a mental posture essentially. It's like a yoga pose for the mind that's what it feels like for me. You learn the type of mental tricks you hold to maintain a state by lots of experiementation and messing around with it. But they really are like "strata" in the sense that they seem to be akin to tuning to a radio station. And there seems to be a built in talent for jhanas when you get cessation and I'm not a scholar or anything but there;s this thing called the vipassana jhanas. 
 




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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 3/24/22 5:24 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/24/22 5:24 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Posts: 6291 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Awesome pointers! Thankyou! 

Ah, yes, I do remember what you are describing, but it has been quite a while since the last time now. Thankyou so much for the rich descriptions of the factors and what to tune into! This is very helpful. 

The sound you are talking about is what I have been using as my handle. The issue now is that it isn't stable enough to focus on for the purpose of full absorption. So - work on the access concentration, I guess. 

Another issue is that I run out of bliss before I'm satisfied with it. That is probably another sure sign that I need to work on the access concentration, right? And the hindrances, of course. 

The qualities of a lite fourth jhana are very close to awake awareness, right? Except that it's not a state of absorption at all, but the mind as it is when delusion is stripped away. I do tune into those qualities in daily life as often as I can and when it happens on its own, which it does as a grace. It feels like being able to navigate into an absorption with them would clear the pathways more so that the natural mind would be less hampered with hindrances. I don't know if that's true. 
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Sigma Tropic, modified 1 Month ago at 3/27/22 5:27 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/26/22 6:38 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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The sound you are talking about is what I have been using as my handle. The issue now is that it isn't stable enough to focus on for the purpose of full absorption. So - work on the access concentration, I guess. 

Another issue is that I run out of bliss before I'm satisfied with it. That is probably another sure sign that I need to work on the access concentration, right? And the hindrances, of course. 

The qualities of a lite fourth jhana are very close to awake awareness, right? Except that it's not a state of absorption at all, but the mind as it is when delusion is stripped away. I do tune into those qualities in daily life as often as I can and when it happens on its own, which it does as a grace. It feels like being able to navigate into an absorption with them would clear the pathways more so that the natural mind would be less hampered with hindrances. I don't know if that's true. 
Honestly polly I think you are beyond this access concentration idea. I don't think that's a helpful way to relate to concetration for you. It seems like you're making a "thing" out of concentration. This term "access concentration" is a term that we should throw in the garbage. I'm gonna rant. 

Access concentration is a term coined by a buddhist scholar or a neuroscientist or some other non-meditator. The subject or meditator pays unwavering attention to "the breath". There's 2-thing makings. And also is this a special type of concentration and do i have to have some type of special membership to access this access concentration?

Access concentration is a state without the hindrances arising. The hindrances being gone is what's important. That implies a certain degree of mental development beforehand to i.e. do a practice that reliably allows you to ward off the hindrances. If there's hindrances, forget about jhana. That's their definition - hindering jhana.  

 I think you're making a thing out of awake awareness. Awake awareness is just the natural radiance of the mind that is a feature of everyhting without a veil of delusion. It's just how things appear when there is no delusion as you say, but in the context of 4th jhana and using that, it's basically the same thing. Or high eqanimity. Think of the last time you were in equanimity and you can see it's got some 4th jhana aspects- 

the awareness is broad and somehow homogeneous- not concentrated anywhere. There is pristine clarity of the body and mind and no perceptual emphasis. Things are wide open and spacious and there can be a buzzing vibrating character to everything. If you need to "do" something with your attention you want to put your attention on the borders of your body and just tune into the nada sound and even if that's not permanent or its vibrating just string it together polly.  

 What jhana is really is just the mind finding refuge. It's a self-soothing mechanism, really. The mind finds ultimate comfort in cessation mind you but the jhanas are part of the rewiring thing that takes place. I don't know exactly how it works. I have a theory that the dual mind is stressed and threatened until it gives up and there is a perceptual flip that happens. 

If you say you're coming out of the state maybe you need to tone down the vipassana a bit and just try to smudge stuff together with the breath sensations. Why can't you stay on the pleasant feelings, what happens do they fizzle or do you just hold it too tight or what?



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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 3/28/22 2:16 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/28/22 2:08 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Posts: 6291 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Thanks for replying!

Well, I too often do not have unwavering attention to the breath right now. Hindrances appear. Call it what you want, but I need to do something about it. Or stop doing what I'm doing. I don't have a welltrained mind. I've had quite a lot of flukes. In many ways I'm still a beginner. The hindrances can get pretty strong. 

Also, at times when I do have access to jhana, it does seem to me that if I enter jhana too soon, it doesn't take me all the way, so spending more time on the threshold to get concentration stronger before turning to the handle seems to be a good idea. What do you think about that?

Since I'm still working towards third, I probably do make a thing out of awake awareness, but what I meant sounds a whole lot like what you just said, so thanks for validating that! Hopefully I'll be able to let go of any remanining reification as I go along. 

Hm. Maybe I do lean towards vipassana, and maybe it does get too dry. Weirdly enough, I haven't considered that possibility. I actually prefer the vipassana jhanas to the shamatha jhanas, but it makes sense that they would get too dry too. I do believe that I have a hard time letting go of noticing change. Why I can't just stay with pleasant feelings? Hindrances. I guess I'm a bit of a masochist. I don't know. But yeah, smudging things together with the breath sensations is an advice I usually give, so I should probably just follow it. Yes, it fizzles out, after a long time of remaining subtle energetic movement. 

Jhanas were easier when I really just wanted out. I could spend hours soaking in inner refuge with no drive to do anything else whatsoever. I guess the ego thinks that it has something to lose now. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 3/24/22 6:06 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/24/22 6:06 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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Oh, I forgot to reply to one of your questions, about what would happen if I tried to stay in third. Good question!

Right now, I don't have enough access concentration to get into third. The reason that I didn't ask about third is that I know how to reliably tune into third when access concentration is strong enough.

When I do get into third, there is still the issue of having enough access concentration to stay there (as I wrote above).

When access concentration is strong enough for hours of jhana, which has happened before (in the review phase efter second path), then I haven't gone as far as to being able to control duration. I would just cycle the arch over and over again for hours, including the formless jhanas and a fruition (always the suffering door). It was kind of weird and I guess it scared me off from shamatha for quite some time. The nada sound just kept drawing me in. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 3/24/22 6:11 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/24/22 6:11 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Posts: 6291 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
So I guess another question would be how to stop or regulate the intensity of jhanas as needed when the access concentration is strong enough and the pull from the jhanas is irresistable. I suppose learning to resolve for a specific duration is related to that, but also regulating the axis of lite - hard. 
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 3/25/22 12:04 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/25/22 12:04 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

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I used to think that jhanas had their own agenda and that it was hard to move from one to another. Then my teacher suggested that I just simply intend to move from one to the other or out. It works like a charm. It saves a lot of time. The mind is very wieldy in these states. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 3/26/22 2:41 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/26/22 2:41 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Posts: 6291 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I guess that's something for me to explore. Thanks!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 3/26/22 2:40 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/26/22 2:40 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Posts: 6291 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Hi SigmaTropic! Why did you erase your post? Did I do something wrong?
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Sigma Tropic, modified 1 Month ago at 3/26/22 3:49 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/26/22 3:49 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 13

Posts: 303 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
Hi SigmaTropic! Why did you erase your post? Did I do something wrong?
No