Broken F00t Meditation

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finding-oneself, modified 1 Month ago.

Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
Hi allow me to introduce myself. I used to post here a few years ago when I was a bit younger.

A lot has happened since then. One big experience was my brother overdosed. It completely changed my life but it was not the most painful thing I have experienced. I can't sugarcoat it but it was and is ripe with conventional insight. As an aside, the mystical states from psychedelics were worse. And the two goenka retreats I did were nothing comparatively. If I'm being self-honest right now, I'm sorry for boasting.

 During that time I graduated from a Buddhist College. And a few months before he died I formaly quit meditating.

 I actually quit for 5 years. Another big change, I got a job in the medical field helping people. It's not a great organization and I'm pretty burnt out from it.

 Back in April I formally began meditating again and I came out blazing. Within three months I logged about 100 hours, but the quality of some of those hours is questionable. I think the reason I started was because work was getting so stressful that I needed a reason to cope. I also remember on a slow day thinking I need something to entertain myself, so I downloaded MCTB1, on my phone. I remember I used DuckDuckGo to search and download it off some random website. Then like a week later I had learned that the second version came out and I lost my shit, I was so excited.

 To paraphrase Daniel Ingram, he said that meditators who are Dark Night Yogi's have a weird combination of zealousness and hatred for meditation. I can't help but think that my quitting for 5 years kind of resonates with the hatred part and my meditating like a crazy person correlates to the other thing. 

One other thing he said is that 10 minutes of great meditation is better than an hour of sloppy or lazy meditation, sorry if I am paraphrasing again.

Anyway, one week ago I broke my foot. It has kind of set me up for this new phase. I was upset in some ways at first and had to come to terms with what I was going to go through. But now I am happy that I have much more time for things like YouTube, sleep, reading books, and of course meditation.

 I also recall several times where I was praying either for myself or Humanity. And I think it might correlate with desire for Deliverance. In any case I kind of see this as a result of that. I used to feel like that something was helping me, guiding me along in life. And I still do to some extent. But that is the gentle part of it. When I was praying for something or someone to help me fix my life I imagine a slap in the face. Besides that I had lost power for about 4 days right before I broke my foot, incidentally forcing me to see my family more, which is good and I was happy about.

 needless to say I have a lot of problems in my personal life, what you I have been working on for the last 10 years, and will continue to do so. I just remember when my brother died how safe I felt, and how guilt-free I felt as a human being. In the original sin sense. And similar with this.

 It's forcing me to slow down. In addition I have to meditate completely differently. And I have to evaluate my craving, aversion and ignorance around meditation practice, when I approach it.

Now that I am doing it 10 or 20 minute sessions, it's way better quality. When I broke my foot I fantasized meditating a shitload of hours every day, and maybe some days I will, but this seems to be where I am at. And it's similarly humbling that I'm not able to meditate like and my fantasy, as it is to humbly not being able to walk around as much.

​​​​​​​This is going to be at practice log and a nice fun journal for me. If you want to ask questions that is cool. And if other people read it and enjoy it and that is similarly cool.
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finding-oneself, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
So a normal sit, I just sit for 10 minutes and note rapidly.

I reread the 3Cs, with an emphasis on dukkha and anitta. Because I've neglected them. I also am rereading the 7 factors.

I tried doing a meditation with an emphasis on dukkha. The one I neglect the most. The novelty of it made those sits super interesting ♡

I'm not really sure what I'm doing any more. Rationally I believe reaching SE would be super beneficial. Its also fun to work towards it. I dont overtly crave it anymore, but I really want some success in a wholesome helping way. I want to be more useful to people.

But higher amounts of hours is hard to manage. Perhaps what I will end up doing. Is improving quality of shorter sits. And work up to slightly longer ones.

When I first rebooted practice, I was eager to settle into longer sits.

On the sensate level its worth investigating my aversion to practice. I wish I were practicing more. I wish I wasn't as lazy. Etc.

I should be greatful for what I have. I am where I wanted to be in meditation. I can note 10m continuously w/o distraction. I can get up to several stages in TMI. The next thing to study is the hindrances in both books. That's one thing I was never super interested in, but its pointing at a blind spot for me.

The next thing practice wise should be more tranquil equanimity sits, shamata-wise. (Or if I chance into ñana 11, that counts too)

Just doing more nostril sits, fir 20-30m, sounds fun. The first time I fathomed I was in jhana territory was in april doing full body breathing, looking at swirling colors in room at night. Then in may, I got in similar weird states using the nostrils.

Anyway, I think letting it out is helping get the gears turning. Thanks for letting me vent and a place to vent: DhO posters and operators. ♡ :]
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finding-oneself, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
20m

All this typing making me want to sit.

Moderately successful. Doing some noting, settling in and feeling out the breath.

Focus lightly on nostrils with awareness of entire field. More attention on what's presenting the strongest.

Mind wandering. Sleepy time of day.
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finding-oneself, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
20m

A nice concentration based practice. Focusing on nostrils and expanding to other respiratory areas. Later in the sit I opened to a bit more vipassana. Before finally getting really tired, saying hello to the ignorance kilesa.

I was seeing some cool mental imagery.

I saw a moose walking along, and a giraffe come up and kick it.

At first I was like, oh yeah of course the giraffe is kicking the moose. Then I regained some consciousness and was like, wait. In what environment do moos and giraffe interact, and would a giraffe actually kick a moose.

I extended the meditation by about 15 minutes.

Being that I was laying down for my foot, and low energy, I started to fall asleep.  
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finding-oneself, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
I am so lazy now that this has happened.

Given the option to watch a lot of youtube all day, I WILL.

Hopefully someone gets something out of this. I feel like I'm clogging up the DhO (a website I consider sacred almost), with my nonsense.

Anyway.
I had to force my self to do a meager 20 minute sit, lounging on a sofa. Eyes open. Im trying to break old meditation preferences. I try not to use earplugs anymore. And do more eyes open. I feel like I'm getting barely any momentum currently.

Also, since I'm off work, that habit of being mindful at work is gone. It's harder to get that going at home currently. 

I did just experiment with sitting on the cushion with my walker-aircast on my f00t. This could be a game changer.
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 2020 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
finding-oneself
I feel like I'm clogging up the DhO (a website I consider sacred almost), with my nonsense.

​​​​​​​The only thing that is sacred is your practice!
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finding-oneself, modified 28 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
That's a really good statement. emoticon 


Yes. My practice is the thing that is sacred. Not the website. The website doesn't sit and meditate. 

​​​​​​​
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finding-oneself, modified 28 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
30m

I did my first formal sit with the boot on. I wanted to get it to work, boot off, but I dont know if medically that's a great idea.

In any case, it "worked". 

At first I noted at varying speeds to get my kazoo player calibrated. Then I could hear the symphony (analogy of kazoo player in MCTemoticon.

Any time I noticed I had wanders for a good chunk I noted it. Sometimes with a whole sentence welcoming me back.

I felt intense loneliness, and just sat with it physically. By the end if the sit it was gone. The feelings also sparked memories, which also sparked more loneliness. So I got a good feel for it with an insane degree I'd clarity.

When a train came by, I just focused on how it feels in the body. All sensations, physical and auditory.

Things were going to fast for noting at that point. And I began peeling away layers of various body sensations. 

At some point did like 2 minutes of checking in with the 7 factors of awakening. It seems to help.

Sits like these always remind me why I like meditation from a different perspective. I got into this to attenuate suffering. But theres the other side of understanding consciousness. 

Like, jesus it's crazy. If this is what it's like right now. I cant imagine what future phases of practice might look like.

Also, there really is something to the posture. I think that, good technique, and energy levels contributed. 
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finding-oneself, modified 28 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
~~ 90m

Best sit in weeks. Feeling like shit, burnt out on youtube again. I am lying down with my foot propped up.

I set the timer for 15m. But I keep going. intention to maybe do 15 more.

It was just a really I dont give a fuck sit. In a high EQ sense. I learn to integrate the lessons from that phase, into any and every mind state.

I read earlier today
In order to awaken. You have to completely trust your surroundings. (Physical room, house, immediate outside surroundings)
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finding-oneself, modified 27 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
I didnt practice that much today.

I read a lot of stuff on the DhO. And I finished up reading the 5 Hindrances chapter from The Mind Illuminated. I took notes. The whole process took a good 1 & a half. (shakes head*)

I sometimes feel I've been screwed in the mental speed and memory department. I'm super jelous of anyone who is a naturally great at that.

"Its not fair" = Aversion.

"Judgement/rejection" = Aversion.

Apparently the antidote is joy or whatever.

I want meditative joy, so I can look haters in the eye with a calm expression of kindness and understanding. That's my fantasy anyway.

All of this is culminating in a more shamatha, TMI based, approach. I think its time for a bigger dose of tranquility & concentration. Centering! When I read that as an alternative translation of the the thing, it made more sense and clicked.

I need something to energize motivation. If you notice, the above is a training in morality goal. I need to trick my system that I'm not working toward a cessation event. And some if the shamatha states I had were trippy, so that's a goal. But they only arise if I am equanamous and not grasping them, so that goal too is slippery.

On my meditation log there was suddenly an unusual long streak of concentration days. And high quality to boot. It was correlated with the second week of reading TMI, I believe. It starts tomorrow. Wish me luck. I hope this will hold me accountable. I'm gonna do a minimum of one week centering meditation. This will hold me accountable.
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finding-oneself, modified 25 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
It feels like. I don't really have that much control what direction this goes.

I tried doing concentration but it didnt pan out.

I bravely set my timer for 1hr. And ended up doing 75min. Quality meditation.

At first I just sat down with eyes open. Bathing in my own suffering. Just dripping with hurt. Somehow, some radical form of acceptance, plus directed attention, lead to breaking through to a more peaceful experience. It didnt even take that long. Maybe 15 20 min. 

Then I continued in EQ most likely. I did try for centering meditation and maybe was a bit successful. Not sure. But my attention was good nearly the whole time.

I noticed I do way better in the sitting posture. And my best sits on this page, we after high dose of coffee or yerba maté. 0.75L of 20ish grams of beans, approx 6 tbsp maté leaf. Not every day though that fucks up the effects.

Also, on noting. It doesn't work out for me for long sits. And I cant sustain rapid noting. Even occasional noting is a problem. Sometimes though I can gently note. As long as the note kind of arises automatically. I'm pre-SE but the noting itself is not-self. The arising of it. The sound of it. The attention on those sensations its referring to, and the sensations that make it up. Even the sensations in the throat that represent my biology wanting to physically vocalize. 

I cant do all that shit during fast noting. That's not entirely true, I've sort of seen it before, but its uncommon.

Its like everything smooths out. And 1 or more of the 3cs are noticed. And I slide up the EQ ñana. Yep. (Contented exhale)
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finding-oneself, modified 25 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
Got another 25er in. It was a really dont care mood. With ok levels of awareness. Lower specific attention on objects.

It is amazing and almost scary how different my mood is on depending on meditation.

This sit I didnt have any other intention than trying to relax. And I was relaxed going into the sit. I was also feeling like practice is doable again. On that note it's scary how my confidence varies between apparent gravity of ñana that day.

And interesting note. I always wake up in a bad place. Whether I have been meditating or not. Even on retreat I woke up terrible. Within 30 minutes I was in EQ and then I spent the rest of the day there. Surely this means SE is doable. I just answered my own question. 

It's just a matter of learning how all states are workable and what to do in them. I have no simple tools for each ñana. It's all dynamic and different things work at different times.

Its easier to do vipassana in the dark night and progress up the crest if the wave. Its harder to do concentration meditation to calm my way out of it. However it is super interesting and novel when that happens. That's why I like TMI. It makes it so something different happens.

Another problem is laziness and rather doing other stuff than meditate.

I like getting to EQ. But a lot of times by the time I get there I don't want to meditate anymore. Also I sometimes feel good at that point and want to just enjoy feeling good.

In general I think I'm on the right track. My life is and had been such a mess that I just have to intuit what to do. As bad as I feel it is I have made tremendous progress. So I'll take this opportunity to remind my self to not be so hard on this mammal.

Actually, now I remember the coolest thing during that last sit was thinking a similar thought. And I happened to be looking near this mammals chest. And in said chest I felt LOVE light up inside it. I love that.

That motivates me to practice. I just need to remember my motivators besides awakening itself. The better I am at meditating the more I can be of use to these beautiful people in my life. 
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finding-oneself, modified 23 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
20m Concentration ♡♡♡

I did it! 

At first I focused on my nostrils tightly the loosed up a little bit. I got lost on thoughts several times and came back. It occurred to me I must have been up pretty high near the upper parts of my TMI stages cutting edge. ( I'm still rereading thru/making notes from TMI. I'll compare later)...

Eventually I got the third eye pressure thing and naturally focused on it too. Then also some pressures on scalp. I just let it rest naturally with what seemed intuitive. I had no idea where I was in the stages of insight. The point of these sits it to unwind me. I can get so wound up and obsessed with progress that I need this. 

First one like that since probably May. I feel way more confident now that this has occurred. Awakening is only possible this moment. I laugh at my self how absurd it is to get pissed of that I'm not in EQ ñana, because awakening can only occur when that stage is present. So my mind is like: there is no point in meditating unless you are in at least low-EQ". So rediculous heh heh heh.

On the term "wet" vipassana. How wet is enough? Well I realized that part of my motivation and unfortunately even self-esteem, is tied up into how "trippy" my meditations are. Apparently it's hard for me to consistently walk myself into trippy EQ territory, and of a certain intensity. But in this case I was able to get trippy effects in 10 minutes. It's not just the pressure on my head, it's the 3Cs and effortlessly "being headless" as Sam Harris puts it.

The ironic thing is I have always gotten "trippy" effects. I had visual static and other visuals pre-A&P somehow.

And the third eye felt when I was 15. 5 years before my A&P. I definitely dont understand that. And I have no reason to think I went through an earlier A&P. I kind of think, when I was a kid, I did some light concentration exercises, basking in both the warmth of a heat vent, as well as the sound. The sound of heat or AC calms me down to this day. I'm not sure if it was actually an absorption or anything but I do remember it felt calming and euphoric.

So anything I can do to teach my sub-minds that this stuff is the norm, and ain't going anywhere, is really good and healthy.

Speed and low effort is key to keeping all those minds motivated. I'm a sloth.

In the relative side. I haven't slept well since Saturday night. I'm working on fixing that. I'm really sensitive to bad sleep.

One last note: when I wake up, even if I don't meditate or meditate well, I still process the bad feelings/anxiety and feel a lot better after a few hours. IDK how much is ñanas or other stuff. But it makes sense to do acceptance vipassana with directed attention. Bouncing between tiny objects build scaffold. And feel out bigger flowing objects to get some of that continuous attention going.

This morning I didnt meditate well due to sleep. I spent my time reading and being neurotic and uncomfortable. The anxiety mostly when away though. Then as soon as I sat down on the cushion, I settled in easily.
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finding-oneself, modified 23 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
I am strategizing about a good protocol. Maybe a bit of that dukkha, acceptance meditation in the morning. 

If I fail to do that soon enough, by the afternoon I should do 20m concentration 

Evening 20m concentration.

Night. Open ended timer, vipassana. Or 10m rapid noting.

The key is at least 2 20m concentration practice, to get skill building and gain confidence/ attenuate excessive neuroticism and dissatisfaction with practice. Anything extra is a bonus.
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finding-oneself, modified 23 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
ok I got my two in.
My first one was making my really sleepy and I was lying down. I kept getting that strong dullness pleasant reverie thing.

Something fucking weird happened. I was in the almost falling asleep state. The my mind said "action!" Like a fucking director and then I was suddenly more wakeful, adrenaline and rapidly flashing strobe light effect.

I like cataloging the weird shit. I like this one and the moose thing I wrote about.

This also made recall a fond memory. On my first goenka retreat, I saw in my minds eye silly realistic animals in top hats. ♡
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finding-oneself, modified 20 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
So unrelated to meditation I decided to buy some weed.

I never really got great effects from it aside from the first few months I used it. I believe psychedelics did something to me physiologically, neurochemically, genetic maybe, no idea. But ever since then weed makes me very nervous.

Despite that I think it has great effects on the body. In any event I tried it this time around and I'm blown away by how much more control I have mentally.

I see myself freaking out and I just note it. and it reduces. If I want I can do therapeutic work. And I can even induce formidable somatic sensations that remind me of classic pyschedlics.

The only thing I found that improved practice directly from the cannabis was how much it relaxes my body. At that point I had lied down on the floor and felt myself settle in immensely. In that posture I felt my body totally relax. I still felt myself freaking out internally but because the body was so still I had tremendous clarity.

I measured the dose and its roughly 2.5mg last night. And today it was 0.60mg, followed by 0.3mg booster hours later.

I feel like this is a barometer of practice. Like I said I have never had this happen before.

It's still a challenge and I have no intention to keep doing it because of that. But I think im going to do this each week until I'm back to work since it seems therapeutic as well as a fun experiment. It also gives me the hope that one day I will have the correct set and setting to work with true-psychedlics again.

Coincidentally enough I read a post on here that relates to the way shinzen young teaches. The reason its coincidental is because I just bought his book. I'm feeling excited and optimistic about practice at this point, how I felt when I started reading and benefiting from TMI. A final thought is I had watched the "Richard the Arhant" video. He mentions patience in the video. Ive had the knowledge and feeling that I am super neurotic about time. Since then I've watched the video though I've used patience as a mantra. It seems like I'm so fucked up about it that it's in pretty much every activity.

I think that's why the cannabis is therapeutic. It gets rid of the impatience and replaces it with fear (lol).
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finding-oneself, modified 15 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
I took several days off but discovered something really crazy. I hadn't thought I had crossed the arising and passing away, since the first time... unless it was subtle.

But I had this dream. I've had these weird dreams that trigger me to become lucid or partially lucid. 

I was under a balcony and then I realized I could fly, I rockected straight up but the dream was not consistent with normalcy. When I had hit the ceiling, I still had the kinesthetic experience of rocketing up. But I didnt break through the wood material. Suddenly my vision warped as if going through a black hole, first wood grain/brownish then dissolved into black. It was the most apparent "unknowing event" I had ever experienced.

All this time I've been crossing the A&P in sleep.

This happened during the 2 days I wasn't mediating.
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finding-oneself, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
I just finished doing a 1hr sit. I think the magic formula is getting some reclining meditation in. I have a lot of hormonal energy and it gives it a chance to settle down without the tension of muscles holding me up.

It was very physically painful as I'm still sleep deprived. Normally I suck at those sits but it was great today. I was only derailed a few times at the start.

Its slippery adding coffee when I'm this painful and anxious but it worked. I'm like paradoxically falling asleep but simultaneously aware. I was deeply feeling the "falling asleep" sensations in my face while not falling asleep, at all. A plateau of wakefulness when normally I start nodding. 

The technique was free form broad awareness. It really goes with the posture. I need to work more if that in. It's easier for me and I'm better at it then the more structured forms. I had been challenging myself and doing more structured medition. I think that had built me some momentum.
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finding-oneself, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
Wow, I had to take a second to appreciate and share how much better I feel. I really noticed after I got up...

My plan is to balance long free form open vipassana, with more structured shorter sits.

Just keep living my fucking life as I do. And meditating next to it. I need to appreciate my life here and now. Instead of future goals. 
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finding-oneself, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
Roughly 30m

I'm beggining to think I am having a thing happen where I'm changing my mind on how meditation is organized in Daniel's book and his opinions on the three trainings. 

In my experience there is overlap between them and morality ON the cushion.

In general mind wandering and getting lost in thought is bad. But analytical meditation and psychological thoughts may prove invaluable on calming the system and increasing motivation.

​The Sit: I'm basically sitting here breathing hot fire. My lungs hurt, my throat is hot, even my nostrils burn. And the infamous sensation of suffocating.

IMMEDIATELY prior to meditation I thought put loud about my situation and what to do. DURING the sit, it was samatha-vipassana mixed with periods of contemplating. It was interesting having a prayer type feeling meditation arise. I want more of that.

The bell went off and I proceeded to continue doing a more vipassana type method, and with far less mindfulness, more dullness and more mind wandering.

In all it's a successful sit. I feel marginally better than before, in a physical sense. But in a spiritual sense I feel A LOT better. 
George S, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 2020 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
finding-oneself
In general mind wandering and getting lost in thought is bad.

​​​​​​​It happens to everyone, but it is good that you are noticing!
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finding-oneself, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
Thanks! I sure appreciate the support.

I'm glad to say I'm getting more confident in the "realm" of mind-wandering. I see my relationship with the subject much less neurotic than it has been. I see it as ok.
George S, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 2020 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Yeah sometimes people think (!) that they have to get rid of thoughts, but there's nothing wrong with thoughts per se (even "bad" ones). There's only a problem when thoughts are taken to be somehow "more real" than they actually are relative to the other senses. It sounds trivial to say that thoughts are "just thoughts", but there's a ton of suffering that automatically lifts as that simple insight sinks in. There's all sorts of thoughts occuring naturally throughout the day, mediating whatever needs to be done without a problem, and then the thought arises 'that's a bad thought' or 'I shouldn't have thought that' or 'why can't I stop thinking' and suddenly it's seen as a problem.

If you ever find yourself trying to stop thinking during meditating, it's an interesting exercise just to let the minder wander where it wants and watch the thought stream with curiosity ... Where do thoughts come from? Where do they go? What's the relationship between one thought and another? What's the relationship between thoughts and the other senses? Which thoughts are necessary and which ones are incidental? What's the relationship between thoughts and language? Whose thoughts are they anyway? Is there just one big communal language/thought space? etc.
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finding-oneself, modified 8 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
Wow. That is super deep, and fun to contemplate. I came back to carefully slowly read each sentence.

I'm tempted to say I have overcome the phase where I think I have to get rid of thoughts. But I probably am not.

I do know, I have a big problem with getting lost and stuck in neurotic thought loops, ruminating. Its terrible. It tends to include content from work. The worst part is the feelings it generates. 

It's so powerful, I called it "anti-meditation".

The rumination feels as bad as mediation (can) feel good, and they are both mental phenomena with somatic comonents.

I think what you wrote can really help with that.
George S, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 2020 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
I used to experience it like this – unpleasant thought arises, causing unpleasant feeling, more unpleasant thoughts, feeling worse etc. E.g. if someone said something to me and I felt annoyed but didn’t acknowledge the feeling, then later the memory would come up and I would feel anger, and then before I knew it I would be thinking about my parents and feeling even more angry!

Now I really see it as the other way round – if there’s an unacknowledged feeling of anger somewhere in the body, then I will tend to put myself in situations where I’m likely to get annoyed! (or remember such situations, or think “angry thoughts”) The feelings are generating the thoughts.

When feelings are acknowledged in real-time then there’s usually not a problem – it’s just an immediate signal. Is there a threat? If so respond appropriately, if not move on. Over time the signal-to-noise ratio tends to improve.

Neurotic thought loops and constant rumination are typically due to suppressed feelings. E.g. if a kid is subjected to a lot of anger or shaming, they are usually in a situation where emotions are not acknowledged in a healthy way and it’s not safe to respond, so the emotions get pushed down and form a physical/energetic knot in the body, which grows and takes on a life of its own over time. Opening up awareness of the body in meditation tends to loosen such knots and start releasing the old suppressed feelings, which can actually make them feel much stronger (because you are really feeling them for the first time) and can make the rumination seem worse (because you can’t avoid it any more with distracting behaviors or whatever). It feels terrible, but actually it’s a good sign that the practice is starting to work!

Sometimes there can be an idea that meditation is supposed to be quiet and feel good all the time, and that if there’s a lot of thoughts and it feels bad then it’s bad meditation. Nothing could be further from the truth! Ajahn Chah used to say there is no such thing as bad meditation. Meditation is about opening up to whatever is being experienced in the moment … Hmm that’s interesting, crazy neurotic thought loop today. What’s that about? Where’s that going? What’s underneath? Oh, what’s that feeling of tension in the stomach? Hmm, it’s more like a burning ball of fire. Oh wow, that’s anger, I never really felt that before! Let’s see what that really feels like, I’m open to the experience, show me what you’ve got anger my old friend …

There are more structured ways of doing this kind of work, and if there is serious trauma then professional help might be needed, but that’s what it really boils down to – feeling emotions in the body rather than thought loops in the head.
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finding-oneself, modified 5 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
"It feels terrible, but actually it’s a good sign that the practice is starting to work!"

That's a huge relief. A lot of these markers of progress that feel shitty or like back-sliding are encouraging.

"There are more structured ways of doing this kind of work, and if there is serious trauma then professional help might be needed, but that’s what it really boils down to – feeling emotions in the body rather than thought loops in the head."

It really helps simplify it to just come back to the body. I remember the Re-Observation chapter recommends using physical objects to help get though it.

It's kind of another relief in the same vein as above
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finding-oneself, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
I'm brain storming my mostly helpful one-word list right now so far:
  • Centering 
  • Prayer-feeling technique
  • Patience, equanimity 
  • 10 minute rapid noting
  • Dukkha as a barometer for effectiveness of practice 
  • 3rd eye, scalp, visual field
  • Checkin-in each sense door
  • Nostrils 
  • Annealing the physical body
I could probably write more but thats enough for me right now. A lot of this stuff is meant to be a mental reminder in my head so when I look at it, it will be like a pit-fall to safety.

Likes nostrils, I remember that when I'm meditating, and the right factors are aligned at the moment. That yes, lasering in on the nostrils is a technique, remember? And yes, right  now is one of those elusive times where it will work... yay! I can practice that at the moment.

And the last one. "Annealing the physical body" I try to melt all the parts off the body together. It works in general. And it helps when my breathing is fucked up like I described. It's an attempt to melt the good feelings into it. And to bleed the bad feelings away into surrounding tissue. It is equivalent to my idea of "centering" at times. 

​​​​​​​♡
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finding-oneself, modified 8 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
Its SHOCKING how fast I just bounced back. 

I am pleased to say I think meditation this time around has stuck...

I had a few days of bad habits and disappointment. And low and behold a live Michael Taft youtube meditation pops up. I click it literally out of loneliness, maybe 30% so. : )

He told the viewers to meditate as Samantabhadra. It pretty much instantly worked. Like I was lying there with eyes closed and I felt like a buddha.

 I joined late so I caught the end of this part. He said to visualize a point in your heart radiating outward infinitely.

Well since I'm apparently getting a gradually better resolution of sesante physical space I could see what I was doing, and it was amazing. I at first tried feeling a chunk about the size of a pea, which didnt work. Then I just felt the entire chest area inside and out. Then it hit me that a point, a mathematical point, is a zero dimensional object. A pea is not a point. It may represent a point, but it is not one.

These guided meditations are gold. They make my brain force me to experience new things in the process of meditation. I'm blown away. Like I literally know how to "pray" I can kneel in a ritualistic pose like a Jedi or something and actually feel like I'm doing it. I mean like I got the "chi" flowing all over and shit. Or I can connect with the energy of the entire human race, across space and time it feels like it to some degree. I've always had a active imagination, but the physical felt sense is MUCH different than pre-meditation. Yeah, fun stuff.
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finding-oneself, modified 5 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
This is strange to me.

Anyway. First I was meditating lying down, earplugs, and face mask. No game plan at all. I was feelings overall blah + anxious. Its those feelings where my respiratory system hurts. I was just sitting with it as everything shifted and evolved to see what happens. Anyway nothing happens. Its these painful feelings the whole time. I drift off deeper and deeper and then until I'm not aware that I have fallen asleep. I still think I'm awake. 

I was lying there meditating (somwhat) while also dreaming that I was one reddit, laughing hysterically. But the anxiety was still there. Suddenly I wake up. I'm back with a feeling of uncomfortableness and fogginess, at this point I still believe there is a problem. 

Then I rip the mask off and I recognize the anxiety is gone.

...um wow. So I half fall asleep, dream a little bit. Then when I wake up, smash-cut to the anxiety being gone.


...I dont get it. Was I supposed to be in DN prior to falling asleep and in EQ after? I'm dumbfounded

And that anxiety today was one of the worse variants.

..I guess I WAS in a good mood in the dream. I remember kind of dreaming I was in a depressed-ish mood too. But again, the lauging.
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finding-oneself, modified 3 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
This post is like an open diary entry. I am speculating on old psychedelic trips of mine, and how they relate to the POI. Its for fun, catharsis, and I think its cool to have up as a data point, in case anyone else happens to be looking for this information.

I never tripped super hard, however I did take massive doses a few times. The only think that prevented me from breaking through was I blacked out. But "greyed" out is more accurate. I entered a deep dream state where I would recall parts of the dreams after. I would say the term 'white out" refers to being so overwhelmed with vision that it saturates consciousness to the point of losing all memory. So grey, is kind of a happy medium.

I think my brain did it as a protection mechanism. Because the power and weight I felt was like a nuclear bomb was about to go off. I literally felt demonic aliens approaching (shudder).

Anyway, I remember this feeling of being on a rocket, with a destination very far away. As "we" approached I got infinitely close but never quite got there. And a related metaphorical experience, I was experiencing being a thread and needle, being woven through fabric. It was a laborious process, but the needle never quite made it through. Both experiences were pointing towards the same thing.

I was thinking maybe the psychedelic kicked me back to the 3Cs, juuuust before the A&P event. As a protection mechanism. That way, it would prevent that thing that made me pass out, from touching upon consciousness.

I think the 3cs and A&P is a metaphor for breaking through to stream entry. (This cant be an original thought). But it explains so much of these "visionary" experiences (I never had any overt visuals, more like day-dream imagery). And more generally, and more useful to me, it explains so much of my psychology to me. And so much of my seeking behavior (outside of seeking dharma insight I mean). Everything I try to do try to deal with the side effects if being a dark night yogi is just a coping mechanism, or a bandaid, and will never quite get me what I'm after.

And in the POI itself. Stream entry is some kind of strange singularity that cannot be flown to by normal means. Or in the needle analogy, it cannot be woven into the fabric of the quilt, by normal means.
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finding-oneself, modified 3 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
1hr

I tried a newish technique. It was the first time I committed to a full session like this.

I did breath in the belly as the object. I happened to be lying down. And my hands rested on my belly. They became part of the object at times.

My goal was just to experiment and see what it's like to follow that part as the concentration object.

It was easier to focus on, while being bombarded with unpleasant sensations, than the nostrils. However the nostrils are way easier to go deeper with.

I think I can use the belly as a springboard to going deep with the nostrils. The problem with the nostrils is they are hard to use when I have gross sensations of pain in my body. Incedenrally the bulk of the pain is located in the belly. In the past I had found it difficult to make the unpleasantness going away bu focusing on it. But focusing on the breath sensations, the rise and fall, seemed to be ok. And by the end of the session the pain/anxiety was gone or greatly reduced.

At this point I think I'd be good to really hone in on the nostrils.

I made a cup of coffee and am going to read my new Shinzen book. Maybe after I'll try to meditate more.
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finding-oneself, modified 3 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
I followed through with reading and did another 30m session. I tried nostril breathing but it panned out to more general choices awareness full field vipassana.

I read past the part where Shinzens hero got burned alive, and he did Shingon ice retreat initiation.

I feel like this happened to transmit. I am never comfortable with the temp. I had the AC on 70. And it's kind of cooler out now. At first I had the fan pointing at my boot. I was sitting there shirtless burning up. Then I pointed it at my chest. I was freezing. But I kind of inadvertently did the Wim Hof mediation. I felt the warm inside my chest, and crossed legs. I was STILL burning up on the inside, but the freezing on the outside was the only temp related sensation that was painful.

At some point near the end the meditation broke me. I gave in and suddenly I was equanamous with the temperature.

I also felt a floaty open on-self bundle of sensations in my face and chest.

Pretty cool.

I should note, this was a coffee sit as well. It always makes free form vipassana easier.
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finding-oneself, modified 2 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
30m 

I was able to finally sit entirely without the boot. Albeit I was sitting in couch mode, heavily padded.

I basically felt I had no choice in which direction the mediation went. So it was sort of choiceless awareness, with an emphasis on whole body as the object and being aware of when one gets lost in thought.

I remember I was gonna do belly meditation but as it panned out, I felt I could not force it.

I think a re-reading of the vipassana-zhanas and the progress of insight chapter are due. They really help me.

I've also kind of gotten away from the concept of attention-phase-harmony. But it's a good thing. I need to experiment and see where things go. And thanks to John Yates book (rest peacefully) I now have a helpful notion that a lot of the progress and im integration happens subconsciously. The theory of mind chapters have helped surprisingly well.

Anyway I feel great now. I was walking around cleaning up a bit.

I have/am been depressed throughout the healing process. I'm almost ready to return to work. I think I start with a 2 day work week come next Thursday the 1st. I'm also very anxious about it. But I know after a day or two I'm going to be super greatful to be moving again. I think I'm going to start going to the gym and doing seated upper body exercises. Despite the complexities of my psyche I'm going to return to work with that much more meditation practice under my belt.

And it's not just the accident, I get depressed "globally" about my entire life, the state of the world, anything.

I'm super fortunate that meditation is the one thing that gives me the deepest purpose. The dharma, the sangha, the buddha.
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finding-oneself, modified 2 Days ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
Brainstorm

Whole body as object

Choiceless awareness

Meditating as the buddha

Gentle body scanning

Having lists like these is helpful for organizing my practice. I know that's obvious. But I get so spacey and sloppy, I never can quite remember everything. After a few more of these I will keep a hard copy to reference before each sit as needed
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finding-oneself, modified 1 Day ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
68m

I was laying down with a blindfold and ear plugs. 

I started with broad relaxation. Then after I had calmed down I focused on the rise and fall of my tummy. Probably 10-15m.

The remaining bulk of the session was choiceless awareness.

I thought about what techniques have been most successsuccessful. So I'm going to try to get back to my roots, to what solidly got my into EQ the most. Which happened to be choicless awareness/whole body as object. Also an emphasis on either relaxation or concentration at the start.

Another bullet point:

Posture as object during lying meditation, as strongly as sitting upright.
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finding-oneself, modified 1 Day ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
These past few weeks, and last few sits, I've been developing a breadth of equanimity. In the last post I referenced getting back to super solidly being in a higher EQ.

I was complaining about being sleep deprived earlier in this thread. But I noticed today I was able to meditate through it without being upset by it, and without focusing on it.

I even read today that shinzen talks about meditation skills growing kn two dimensions, depth and breadth.

It's really another thing that I'd a huge relief. I'm looking for any and all things that will fill my subconscious with hope. And any goals that are rewarding in and of themselves.

When I was lying down earlier, I noticed my goal was just to be gently curious as to what sensations are occurring. Also to relax.

I feel like I am holding the goal of stream entry less aggressively. I cant just delete all the information I've read about it. "I'm not stupid!" My brain says when I try to delete the knowledge of the theory. I've found a better way to work with this thing.
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finding-oneself, modified 14 Hours ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
2x 1hr sits

In these two I just lay down with ear plugs and blind fold. The first sit, after about 50 minutes I made it to EQ very solidly.

I got up and walked around and it was even more obvious.

During the second one I got super sleepy but was in a more sleeping posture on my side. 

I just finished and am very tired. Im sleep deprived. 

It's funny how easy it is to get to EQ when I'm lying down. 
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finding-oneself, modified 12 Hours ago.

RE: Broken F00t Meditation

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
I did probably 10 15m. I just sat there on the couch.

Then later I paused after reading more Shizens book. The Science of Enlightenment 

I was scripted into a stillness of discursive thinking. I read how he experienced a still mind at the end of a continuously painful meditation retreat.

"It was worth the physical pain... because from that time on I knew what it was like to hear the absence of chatter in my head"

I read that and I was like "huh?", let me try this.

It wasn't the first time I did it. But I know it's highly dependent upon other variables at any given moment.

I think because I'm walking around in EQ all day since my longer sits earlier.

I'm even texting a former coworker, completely stress free. I hate texting. And I especially hate it the less I know someone. I had the thought " is this what the period post-se will be like?".

Not that I haven't walked around in EQ before. It just feels more stable now and less clingy. It should be easy to repeat since I discovered how to arrive here in my favorite lazy posture, and on a BAD day. Sleep deprived. 

This is extremely welcome as I will be returning to work. a source of anxiety. 

I'm just reflecting on the experiences I've had during this time off work, where I had to work with my foot healing. The fact I can now mediate more optimally lying down is a huge gift.

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