What's noting has to do with knots, and clarity?

Kemono Z., modified 16 Days ago.

What's noting has to do with knots, and clarity?

Posts: 14 Join Date: 3/20/21 Recent Posts

Brief recap: unknowingly went through the A/P in a Goenka 2 some years ago, dropped the body scan and stuck to the breath at the nose after finding TMI six months later.   Five months ago life threw a curve ball and unleashed emotional purifications. Was surprised to find I might be in the dukkah ñanas; asking here, I was recommended to do noting for "clarity."

Four months later, I've raised the ante from 1 daily hour to 1.75, plus microhits.  Since two months ago I'm doing more noting than concentration.  After all kind of wacky fireworks during the crisis, I'm now going through very calm sits, though kind of boring.  Keep on the breath for 5-10' without dropping the ball, most times.  Contraction of nostrils and cheeks that started in the Goenka has almost dissapeared, body feels puffy like when I went into some kind of samadhi with the bodyscan, but without the super clarity;  there's dullness, rather.  And knots.

The first knot started showing back in January and pulsed away into pleasant tingling after some 6 weeks.  "Fancy that, whatever it was" I thought.  It came back and tingled again during the first catharsis, and several more, padded with Metta and IFS self-therapy. 

1.  I'm pretty sure by now the knots, contractions and pulls must be somatic/emotional memories or somesuch in process of purification/release right?

2. What about weirder sensations, like burning up the nostrils?

3. Or electricity and knots of sharp pain along the arms and shoulders? (this was back in the Goenka, but there's an inkling of the knots during walking meditation)

4. Should catharsis be held as a last resort? [Catharsis are less overwhelming now, but I thought I'd ask;  TMI recommends ignoring emotional stuff as long as possible, but it's focused on concentration so it figures.]

4. Once I discovered I could "note the heck out" of something to dissolve it into pulses and tingling, releasing the contractions became much faster.  Any reason not to do so?

[In Deconstructing Yourself, Kenneth retorts Michael: what matters is not to dissolve stuff, but to have a "full" experience of the object.  Also, doing IFS after noting, I've noticed a couple times than noting released the exile/pain, but not the protector/defense mechanism, which was left utterly confused without a wound to protect.]

5.  Useful as it is, I don't think this is the promised clarity I was told about.  What would that be? (at this point I would probably do good to know what I'm getting into, for a change xD)

Mucho Metta.
shargrol, modified 16 Days ago.

RE: What's noting has to do with knots, and clarity?

Posts: 1613 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
You're asking the right questions. This is tricky stuff and there aren't simple rules. Meditation is basically being both the patient and the doctor/therapist at the same time, or like building a bridge as you are driving over it at the same time...

Noting basically increases the level of attention on an object. Often, this is enough for our natural intelligence to fully experience and understand the meaning of the object.

But experiences may or may not have a deep meaning. A lot of meditation experience just happen. It may simply be a fleeting experience. It's worth noting if there is a resistance to this "fleetingness". Often there is an emotional tone that feels uncomfortable. Our sense of a solid and persistant self doesn't like fleetingness...

You can think of experience as having two aspects: its raw power and its meaning.  Sometimes we shut down because of the pure intensity of an experience. Sometimes we shut down because an experience is confusing or contrary to our normal beliefs/frameworks. Perhaps both during really intense/stressful events. Many experiences that bubble up during meditation is due to them not being fully experienced/understood the first time around and it will keep bubbling up until it is.

There are many many different meditation practices because each approach provides a framework for certain kinds of investigations. Tantric approaches tend to be about developing the ability to be present within the pure power of experiences. Psychological approaches tend to be about how the experience is framed and what meaning an experience has. Adult development frameworks are more about off-the-cushion attitudes/beliefs and capabilities which make it possible to live a full life. Advanced meditation practices are about the subtlest of ways we resist experience and try to protect a sense of self.

Catharsis is rarely the answer, only because real catharsis happens so rarely. Most of the time, people are actually re-traumatizing themselves and surviving it again, which sort of feels like progress but is probably just spinning their wheels. The hardest thing is to investigate our mind's reactivity with intimacy and curiousity, with love you could say. 

Insight is a good word for what you want. You want to have an insight into your own mind, how experience come and go, how beliefs form, how attitudes color what is experienced, how greed/aversion/indifference "poisons" what simply is. 

If you are getting good benefit from noting, you might also try "noticing". Basically, notice what happens to the object when you hold your attention on it. Many times these solid experience, like ice, start becoming more fluid, like water, and even evaporate, like mist into the air. This can be a good approach to add.

When objects seem solid/persistant, then more active investigation is sometimes good. Where is this experience in space? what are it's boundaries? what is it's weight? what does it feel like? what emotional tone does it have? what thoughts are associated with it? 

The goal is NOT to get rid of any experience, but to explore the nature of the mind and mind objects.  Investigate with intimacy and curiousity. If there are challenges that keep happening, then think about "what method would work well for this challenge". Most experienced meditators have a dozen or so approaches for exploring their own mind and dealing with challenging experiences.

Sounds like you are already using different approaches, including IFS, so what you are describing sounds really good to me. I guess I would just say keep going, and remember that you can always slow things down when things get tough. Eat an elephant one bite at a time. emoticon

I know all of this is vague. Hope this helps in some way.
Papa Che Dusko, modified 15 Days ago.

RE: What's noting has to do with knots, and clarity?

Posts: 2129 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"Eat an elephant one bite at a time"

emoticon this made me giggle emoticon Nice one! And nice post/reply in general! Thank you S!