acordemos practice log

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Gleid M, modified 1 Month ago.

acordemos practice log

Posts: 21 Join Date: 4/24/18 Recent Posts
Hello and welcome

I started meditating occasionally in 2012, and it became a regular 2 hours a day practice at the end of 2017. 
Completed a 10 day Goenka retreat at the end of 2018 and a self guided 10 day home retreat at the end of 2019.Nowadays I alternate between Shinzen Young techniques and Mahasi noting, depending on the necessity and opportunity. The “do nothing” technique has been particularly helpful when I find I am trying too hard.

For the past year, with the Covid lockdowns, what greater opportunity to make the isolation into my monastery, so I’ve done about 3 x 5 days home retreats and the last one I did was 11 days at 15 hours/day. 

My latest techniques have been Shinzen Young See Hear Feel with focus on spaciousness. This was really helpful in opening up non-duality of sight, sound and thinking space. Prior to this I had had glimpses, but practicing the technique in a 5 day retreat really locked these modalities in. I felt major relief after coming back to normal life, so much that I decided to do it again on the last 11 day retreat.

What follows are the logs of my practice in those 11 days.

​​​​​​​Hope this is of benefit to someone. Advice is also welcome. 
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Kaloyan Stefanov, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: acordemos practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/18/21 Recent Posts
Hey Gleid, thanks for deciding to start a log! Based on your brief description it seems you have a solid foundation already. Looking forward to reading about your practice and progress. Good luck!
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acordemos M, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: acordemos practice log

Posts: 21 Join Date: 4/24/18 Recent Posts
Kaloyan Stefanov
Hey Gleid, thanks for deciding to start a log! Based on your brief description it seems you have a solid foundation already. Looking forward to reading about your practice and progress. Good luck!
Thanks Kaloyan!
I've been compiling my voice notes, so I will post them gradually.
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acordemos M, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: acordemos practice log

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Day 1

​​​​​​​Wake up alarm at 4:15. Light yoga for 15 minutes. Then start sitting practice Pause for breakfast at 8am. Then I alternate between sitting and walking practice for the rest of the day. Pause for lunch at around 2pm and then a light meal at 5pm. Then lights out at 9:30pm.

The practice involves see, hear, feel rest with focus on spaciousness.
First, feel rest on the body, anywhere it appears. Then, continue feeling rest, but with focus on the the thinning quality of it, like it is thin air in the body. Then narrow the focus with the right side the of body, feel that thinness up to what you imagine the boundary of the right side of the body is, that relaxing, spreading quality of the feeling of the body to the right side. Feel the boundary dissolve. Then do the same with the left side, then front, then back, then top and bottom. Finally, put it all together and try to feel the whole body spreading in all directions, like it is becoming thinner and lighter.

For vision, I focus mostly on visual thoughts, noticing where in the mind space they appear, when they disappear - that is the rest. After I am satisfied that I got the taste for the rest, in visual thought, I narrow it down to the six directions, like with feel.  Left: feel all the visual thoughts that appear to be occurring on the left of the body, it will occur in the other directions too and those directions that are not on the focus should be ignored. Right, same thing. Then front, back, top and bottom. Then try to feel all the directions at once.

For auditory, I focus on external sounds, as well as internal talk. I try to notice the directions those are starting and finishing, with emphasis on the finishing, or gone part of the sound. That is the rest. Once I get the hang of this, I narrow it, starting with only sounds on the right. Internal talk has a direction where it appears and where it goes too! Then go to the left, front, back, top and bottom. Then all directions at once.

After done with the three modalities above, I put it all together, feeling of rest in the body, sight and sounds, all feeling rest and expanding. It feels merged with all experience. 

Quotes for the day:

I’m trying to get to the end of it, you know, unravelling the thread to the end. Buddhists call it emptiness. I never thought it would be possible to be joyful for no reason, to smile at nothing at all. Like a little girl giggling at nothing, like a mad man in the park.

Verifying - trusting but verifying, this is the practice.
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acordemos ', modified 1 Month ago.

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Day 2

Day one was marked by very harsh vibrations on the face area. Feels like a pinching on the cheeks and under the eyes that moves around contracting and sometimes pounding with the heartbeat. Very overwhelming compared to other sensations; trying to focus on sight and sound space is hard and creates tension. 

Coarse thoughts about unresolved issues with work, and anxiety about life admin tasks to take. That and the harsh vibrations are very characteristic of the start of a retreat for me.

The more I try to follow a technique, the more I realise I am trying to meditate away the harsh pinching, the more resistance is created. There is resistance on top of resistance, which only makes it worse. Best thing to do is accept it, equanimity comes when it wants to.
Walking meditation helps, so does open awareness and just relaxing into it.

Noting craving around explaining insight practices to people. About being understood. Thought this was a good piece of advice: 
Take a good look at what you think is a self. Ensure you really know it, what it is. Target lock that. Then go about your day, doing your normal things and watch that self shape shift, as you enter different rooms, as you walk under doors, as you talk to people, as your mood changes. See that that little core is not you. It keeps changing. 
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acordemos ', modified 1 Month ago.

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Day 3

Feeling more equanimous. Vibrations are still there, but neither unpleasant or pleasant. It is easy to sit, there's some slight boredom. Mind is looking for other things to do, insights to be had.
Note to self: re-read MCTB. Look for those things in your own practice. Look for the subtle things. They are motivating. They enhance your practice. You discover things and you keep motivated.

It’s the meditator that was on the way. Every time I tried to go back to a sensation, a modality, a space, there was a tension there, a controller. It didn’t need to be there, everything was happening on its own.

Right, left, front, back, top, bottom. What happens when you stretch it out like that in all directions? “It” being any experience, any thought, sound, body sense, sense of a self, of a doer, of an observer, anything.
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acordemos ', modified 1 Month ago.

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Day 4

You don’t attain no-self by pushing the self out. It is by inviting it in. So you can take a good look at it. So it becomes clearer.

Remember attaining first path. First you had to identify what was a self in the first place. Most people don’t know what it is. It is only by inviting it in that you can investigate the patterns where it shows up.

Feeling very non-dual. Big chunks of memory dissolved of what I identified as self but without even realizing. Had a bittersweet moment, the body doesn’t know what emotions to create for these things so, it’s a mix of wanting to cry, longing and feeling belonging.

Feeling like it’s saying goodbye. Like saying goodbye to childhood memories.
There is a center, but it’s not in the heart or on the face area, as it usually presents for me, it is now around the belly, the middle.

The things that Shinzen Young said about the world becoming feather light and paper thin have started to take a whole new level: emptiness is what he was alluring to. Emptiness is what was starting to happen. Emptiness, everywhere.

You have all these ideas when you look at the world about what is happening. Everything outside of what you are perceiving, you’re making assumptions and stories, subconsciously thinking about something else. You look at a tree, you’re thinking about the birds on that tree, about the wind moving it, about the sun behind it. And in the background, you’re thinking about dinner. When you take all of those thoughts away and you’re left with just the perception, just seeing the tree, just looking, just that contact of the image and your senses, and you have nothing looking at them, then you have emptiness.

4th path is the moment of dropping that canoe. The tools that have taken you all the way here, they all have to be dropped. It’s the time to drop the effort. How that translates into practice: so when you’re sitting there and you notice a sensation that you have to vipassinise that is causing you trouble and you try to change techniques, bang! That is the self there, catch it as it tries to control that.
When you’re walking about in your day and you notice that you are a meditator, that you have to be mindful, vipassinise things, Eureka, that is the self there, in that moment! Busted!

It’s the forgetting there ever was a meditator. When you catch yourself trying to maintain some non-duality or some good aspects that you find in the practice. When you catch yourself doing that, that’s the moment that you caught the self, the controlling self. Do this over and over again. It’s there, that thing, trying to maintain the meditation throughout the day. Trying not to lose whatever insight you’ve got. Trying to bring the insight into your daily life to make it better. Catch it!
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acordemos ', modified 1 Month ago.

RE: acordemos practice log

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Day 5

I always thought I could forget no-self. To look back at that thing and remember that (self) existed again. But now, when I’m looking back, it’s like looking back at emptiness. It feels like I’m just trying to meditate, it doesn’t come back. I can’t bring it back.

There’s an immediacy to now. Nothing exists until I think about it. Thinking about it requires effort. So there is a diminished thought process. Thoughts are diminished, because it’s so effortful.

I’m gonna look for that self in every corner now, trying to bring it back, just for the fun of it.
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acordemos ', modified 1 Month ago.

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Day 6

I feel sounds just go through me. If a thought appears, it gets taken by the current of the sounds, like water. Combining this with non-duality of seeing is delicious. It becomes more and more stable. It becomes easier to get back to it after it fades. It’s going back to that source, knowing that there really isn’t anything outside of this. There is no reason to hold onto it. The mind naturally lets go.

It’s interesting to let yourself be lost in a thought reverie, a fantasy and realise that the fantasy was IT. All that ever was. And when you come back, you remember those times where you thought that when you come back is the real you, but the real you was always the background. The background just becomes the foreground.

Thinking about breakfast and then thinking, avocado! And realizing, that’s the discursive thought and all of a sudden, it disappears and all that is left is the feeling of hunger in the body, and no sounds and no visual image. It’s amazing!
Trying to bring back that self in sound is difficult. The mind just naturally wants to latch on to external sounds, like it wants to latch on to external sights.
It’s much easier now to separate what is somatic from what is visual and auditory.

You weren’t born with a self. It is something you’ve learnt as a child in order to make sense of this meat suit and the world. It’s not hard to intellectualize that and see that it is true. After all, even science supports that. But it’s a whole other story, when you realize in your bones, viscerally, when you have the experience. A whole lot of things that you thought were a problem are really not. The game changes.

Ask yourself: just this breath, what does it take to feel the entire universe? The entire universe is in this breath. What is missing? What is added too much of?

Look panoramically from the whole face, it’s the resistance, the self is there. That pinching, that resistance, dissolve it, see it, see through it. Look for it in every corner. Don’t leave any stone unturned. It’s the control, the will to maintain control, the will to resist. It looks like a “see” duality, but it’s actually a “feel”. When you look and you feel a self around the face, that’s a “feel” duality. It’s the intention to maintain control of the other modalities, it’s the intention to continue the meditation, it’s the intention not to lose the insight.
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acordemos ', modified 1 Month ago.

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Day 7

Practice has been similar to Shinzen Young "Do Nothing" meditation.
The instructions are very specific: "Let whatever arise, arise. If you notice an intention to control attention, drop that intention".
I highly recommend reading the full specs as many questions arise on this. For me, it feels like the right thing to do as trying to apply any other technique, trying to vipassinise anything shows the "controller", I notice a tension there. At this point, practice seems to be doing itself.

To remember non-duality of the body, remember this: Think if they could remove your mind out of your head and put it somewhere else. You wouldn’t feel the sensations on your face, the sensations on your body, you wouldn’t feel the self. Each sensation on the face, each point points to a different thing, like resistance, control. I suspect this manifests in different areas for different people. For me, control is in the corner of the right face, just below the eye. Control to change from one modality to another, to check if the dualities remain. The resistance is on the side of the right and the left face, pinching. The desire for things to continue being good is around the lips, just above the right top lip. Nonduality of the body feels like dying doesn’t even matter. It feels like your mind has been removed or can be removed and put into another body. It’s the closest to the end of sensations. When you equanimize and see the self in all the sensations on the face, it then becomes possible to feel the whole body as one non-dual and to also do the other spaciousness techniques that look at the right of the body, the left of the body, the front, back, top, bottom.

The sensation crossing diagonally on the left cheek going towards the left lip, that’s for worry.
The sensation on the top of the left eye is for the observer of these sensations. Naming those sensations with curiosity helps.
Relax the body into the world outside of the bounds of the body.

I spent 10 minutes rubbing my face violently, uttering the words “it was true, it was true”, referring back to the time when I woke up one night about 2 years ago, with an out of body experience with my hand scratching my face and I could see, I could feel it was my hand, but it didn’t feel it was being used by me. Insight into agencilessness was triggered by I think by a combination of 3 factors:
1 was reading Daniel Ingram on the 4th path revised, yet again, it seems like I get direct transmission from reading his words.
2 by remembering what a friend said about thinking of myself as a 3rd person, I was applying that to sensations, belonging to a 3rd person
3 was the sensation on the right side of my face as related to the controller, so I applied 3rd person agency to the sensations, aided by the knowledge of the locality of the controller sensation and I could see as a movie how those sensations were passing and not belonging to anyone. And I remember Shinzen’s words about space controlling itself, space contracting and I could see my pinching sensations as space contracting, not letting go.
I felt a fear of going crazy, but I remember, with all the insights I’ve had lately, they 1) fade if I’m not careful and 2) they come and go, they’re not there all the time, so I have a chance to stick with it if I like it, that’s how I thought.

All these desires, this craving, this aversion, it’s not even mine! What a bad joke! I’m fighting for them and they’re not even mine.There’s nothing I can do about the contracting, the pinching, it’s space contracting around itself. There’s no resistance that I am making, no agent making the resistance, it’s all just happening, like a movie reel.

Things have always been unfolding that way in the movie reel of life. Just unfolding on their own. These patterns of sensations identifying themselves as a self, as an owner, as an actor, when they were just puppets. Just dragged along. Just a passenger in the car, rather than the driver. This is the 3rd time I had this glimpse into agencilessnes. Will see if it sticks.
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acordemos ', modified 1 Month ago.

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Day 8

I was meditating in a reclining position and shifting the attention back and forth between the modalities see, hear, feel. I noticed how everytime I caught myself mind wandering and bringing it back, there was this slight tension and I remembered of the movie reel, how I’m not in control, how it’s all happening on its own.

So I wondered how I could be controlling the attention to come back. It turns out I wasn’t.

I think 4th path requires a trust. Everything you’ve done so far, all the techniques, hopefully will give you enough momentum. And then you have to let it all go. You have to be willing to let yourself be taken by the dance. To be lost in the fantasy and trust that it will bring you back. Trust that that will be okay. There’s no control, even of the technique. A bit like Shinzen “Do nothing”; the momentum of the practice takes care of itself. To let yourself get lost in thought, get lost in the fantasy. And realising you couldn’t bring yourself back out of that if you wanted. It was never you doing that. To let yourself be lost in all the sense doors. To trust that you will be taken back from one to the other as needed. To trust that you will not lose the insights you got if you do that.

That’s why they say the technique then becomes a non-doing. Other practices say there is nothing to do, nothing to attain, it was always already there. It’s true. But there was that tension, as if it wasn’t. The tension of thinking there was something else: the self, of course.

The fantasy was the real deal. The problem wasn’t the mind wandering, how ironic! The problem was the wandering and then coming back home to realise there was a tension there. And the wandering was just doing itself, taking itself to another home, another pony in the carousel, jumping from one to the next, to the next, all on its own.

It really is all happening on its own, the time to get up, the time to do walking meditation, the time to have breakfast. The time to analyse that sensation on the face.

There’s a tension only when you have to be conscious of it. When you realise you have to be there for it to happen. You have to be there watching for it to happen. Because if you don’t, it doesn’t happen: that is not true! It will happen whether you’re there or not (laughter).

Trust that it will happen if you’re there or not.

Notice that expansion and contraction are happening on the background. “Feel” is like going back to the source. “See” is going back to the source. “Hear” is going back to the source. All sounds are tending towards silence. All sights are tending towards that tiny white dot that eventually disappears too. And “feel” is tending towards non-existence, the feeling of ether, of nothing at all, of dissolving into nothingness.

As you are involving in the fantasy, that’s what’s happening in the background. Expansion and contraction, Shinzen was right. This is the deep version.

If you’ve gotten to this point, you’ve got to trust that you know how to do vipassana, not only consciously, but also subconsciously. When you’re sleeping, you dream that you’re meditating, you have A&P events. Similarly to how when you’re learning a new language and you start dreaming about that language, then you know that it is seeping through the subconscious. So you trust that even you’re not doing a technique, vipassana will do itself. Reality will comprehend itself. In every moment.

The lack of ownership of the body can be brought about by thinking of the sensations projecting them in front of you, the sensations on the face and saying: I’ll let you guys sort it out amongst yourself, it’s not in my control. I don’t want to have anything to do with that there. I’ll let you play.

The knower is the next up. How do I know red is red? How do I know I am here? How do I know I am doing insight practices?
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acordemos ', modified 28 Days ago.

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Day 9

The sensation on the right side of the chest is drive: the drive to get up and do something. The drive to be productive, etc.

What I said before about agencilessness, I am not sure it is exactly that, it feels more like a lack of ownership of sensations in the body.

One sensation to take note is the one above the right lip, diagonally going towards the right nostril. That’s the control. If you focus on that sensation and the sensation focusing on that sensation, so the meta-focus, you get a bit of this lack of ownership.

This lack of ownership manifested after a long period of being with the body, easing into it, reclining meditation makes this easier. It certainly can’t be stopped or forced. Stepping back from the sensations and then the meta-focus on the sensations that are focusing on the sensations is a good exercise.

Chopping back, chopping down each part of the body and seeing what still stacks up as you owning the body. The proprioception. Start by taking off the feet. Are you still feeling “you”? Then the legs, then the hands, arms, belly, torso, just the head. It starts creating an expansion. The body expands into the infinite. Notice when you feel it there and when you don’t. Let’s see if we can view those as not sensations that the body owns.

Focusing on the visual, see, meditating on the “hear” of unpleasant things, unpleasant voices, people swearing at you, calling you worthless, people that you love and that you don’t want to disappoint was also a very good exercise when in equanimity. This brought some lasting detachment to the strong emotions these provoke. I don’t know if this will fade given a non-retreat setting, but it’s an exercise worth repeating.

You have to be very accepting of all the taboos, images and sounds that may come into the field of awareness. Be open to all of them. Don’t reject them. Allowing them to be there is not going to bring them in real life. It doesn’t mean you are going to do those things to yourself of others. They’re just thoughts. They’re just images and sound.

There’s a certain taboo with the sensations in the center of the body. The belly, right in the center, the chest, the face, especially because I feel I will loose the non-duality of “see”. They’re worth exploring.

It’s crazy to think that I should restrain myself from having any particular thought. Or to avoid thoughts that are taboo or to judge. Even without dharma insight, people must realise that no one is judging you for thinking what you think. No one can. No one knows what your thoughts are. When you have the insight and you know you’re not even there to judge yourself for having those thoughts, old patterns become even more senseless.

Emptiness of thought, what you’re worrying about never happens, never happened, never will happen. Tune into the thought. Realise that it’s an image created, sound created and not created by you. It dissolves. These images and sounds just came together as a manifestation of karma. Causes and conditions that gave rise. The neurons firing that gave rise to electricity that produced the images and sounds. They’re not real and they disappear.

While doing walking meditation today, there was a pretty strong A&P event. Lots of rapid breathing for about 5 minutes. Lots of creepiness leading up to that as I was walking down the hallway. The verbal knower seems to have gone up the space.

In that same kitchen where 2 years ago I had the first glimpse of non-duality and agencilessness together in one moment, for it to fade in a split of a second, I felt the real deal for longer. I felt merged with it. These things are creepy, but we must be just remembering them because children aren’t born with a self. We must have experienced this many times when we were children when we didn’t have concepts for things, when we didn’t have names. When we felt one with the world. We’re just remembering it.

Just like the images and sounds, the knower only exists when I bring it up. The voice knower, the “see” knower. I can trust that they will always come back if I call upon them, if I need them. For now, it’s quiet. They go into emptiness. They go to the source, where everything goes and where everything comes from.
George S, modified 27 Days ago.

RE: acordemos practice log

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acordemos '
In that same kitchen where 2 years ago I had the first glimpse of non-duality and agencilessness together in one moment, for it to fade in a split of a second, I felt the real deal for longer. I felt merged with it. These things are creepy, but we must be just remembering them because children aren’t born with a self. We must have experienced this many times when we were children when we didn’t have concepts for things, when we didn’t have names. When we felt one with the world. We’re just remembering it.

​​​​​​​I think there’s a lot of truth in that. I find it interesting to look back at the in between period when I wasn’t experiencing not-self (or at least thought I wasn’t) and ask - had I really forgotten what it was like? Or was it always there and I was somehow choosing not to see it? Even in the darkest times when I felt most contracted and lost, there was a sense of there being something (or rather not something!) which one day I would have to reckon with ...

What I’m trying to say is – there’s something strange about the role of time in all of this. If things have always been this way, even when I thought they weren’t, then has any time actually passed at all? After all, children aren’t born with a sense of time passing either, that’s something they develop along with a sense of self. The sense of self and the sense of persisting through time are intimately connected, through the functions of memory and expectation. But those are just more thoughts and images arising from the (timeless) source … and it’s always this way. I don’t know if you’ve seen this or not, but if not then it’s definitely worth looking into!
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acordemos ', modified 26 Days ago.

RE: acordemos practice log

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Incidentally, just a couple of hours ago, the topic of time being a construct came up when I was talking with friends about speed of light.

When I look back, I can't say that anything persisted through time, it is all just the memory of sounds and images, as you said.
​​​​​​​
I've been experimenting with noticing the different "time" qualities of thoughts, how thoughts that appear to be in a future or a past, relate to thoughts of the present, analogous to how I can imagine something physically close, like my hand and then something really far like the moon. Both objects are composed of images, supposedly in my head ( same distance), yet, there is an imagined space there. I can see there is also an imagined "time" between the present and the future and the present and the past.&nbsp;<br />I agree, it is a great hiding place for the self, I've seen it lurking there, hehe. Thanks and thanks for stopping by!
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acordemos ', modified 26 Days ago.

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Day 10

You can have faith and let yourself be lost in the fantasy, thinking that you have lost the insight. When you get back, you will get back to the knower, first to the sight knower, then the sound knower. The feeling knower is right in the middle of the chest, above the solar plexus. It makes the body want to dissolve from the inside out.

When reclining:

Take note of what you see, hear and feel when you are about to dose off. Keep the head propped up while you’re reclining, an erect posture. Symmetrical body position with no hands or legs crossing. The hands can be on top of the belly, but make it symmetrical. Use a pillow to prop the head up, so it’s at least 45 degrees. Do this when you’ve had some sleep, so that you don’t fall asleep. Make an intention to notice every sensation happening before you fall asleep, make an intention not to fall asleep. To be there for when it happens.

When doing walking practice:

Notice how sometimes you walk fast, sometimes it’s slow. Don’t interfere with that process, just observe. It usually reflects the state of your mind. Whether it’s agitated, whether it’s equanimous. Notice that. Get a lock on what you think is the self, observe that as you walk under doors, how that changes. Take a step back and forward again and notice. Do this a few times until you get a good look at it. Make an intention to whenever you walk into a room to notice your state of mind, how it changes from one room to the other. What you think as solid, how that changes.

Don’t be fretted when you think the negative, anxious feelings again. Notice them dissolve, they stay a little while. Then they dissolve in emptiness. Not just the sight emptiness, but body emptiness, it goes through that center point above the solar plexus, auditory must disappear in the same way at the top of the head, out into space, to become the silence that holds all sounds, the source wrapping all sounds. Remember that it is the knower that is taking you to that place, that is bringing you back, you are being brought back and you’re seeing the knower and you fret because you think you lost the insight, but you’re just meeting with the knower.
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acordemos ', modified 23 Days ago.

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Day 11

Sensation coming diagonally from just the below the corner of the eye towards the left lip is for controlling attention. As I ease and relax, let attention move wherever it wants to move, that tension disappears. The slightest hint of wanting to control where attention goes creates some tension there.

Sensation going from the right corner of the cheek all the way to the outer edge of the right cheekbone is responsible for effort. As I let go of the effort and intention to control attention, that tension disappears.

Sensations on the forehead and eyes are responsible for the watcher. I haven’t been able to see them disappear. I suspect I would fall unconscious.

Who’d have thought, all these tensions that I fought so long against on my face. All this pinching, they were actually my friends. It was actually going to be vital for awakening. They are a dashboard into the self processes that are hard to see, hard to track down. It becomes crystal clear when I’m in equanimity, relaxed, just easing into the flow of those sensations, the flow of where attention goes. And which lights are activated on the face, the dashboard.

It definitely requires a lot of trust, releasing, relaxing into it. And it does appear everything is unfolding on its own. There’s a distinct feeling that I have no insights, that I’m just letting the mind wander aimlessly. When it comes back, I harbour no guilt. And what it comes back to is not believed to be an agent, a self. So in a way, it feels like the daydream or the fantasy is the real deal. There’s nothing else beyond it.

I was thinking Dream Walker framework for awakening is a very good guide for opening up the three modalities: see, hear, feel and thought non-duality. Vision non-duality, auditory non-duality, body non-duality. If there was a way to use hypnotherapy to help people see that and be persuaded to keep that open in daily life, if it would accelerate the process, even for non-meditators.

I don’t actually have to force anything to not have or not appear to have a core. As I let go of the feeling that I’m controlling or in possession of all these core processes as mind comes back from its reveries, it feels lighter and lighter, more and more coreless.

It feels very mundane, like it’s bad meditation. Just like high equanimity, when you don’t know when you’re in it and you’re walking about. Feels like all of a sudden, you have no insight, life is just unfolding how it normally does. Maybe, just maybe, this is what is meant by reality synching up with itself, maybe reality is synched up or in the final stages of synching up.

Mind still doesn’t wanna go back and re-experience the insights: emptiness, the knower. A hunch is that if it does, it’s no longer synched up. If it goes back to seeing the knower to experiencing the knower, it will slightly be out of phase with reality. So it doesn’t even go there. Maybe I’m just delusional, but time will tell.

It just seems too simple to be true. I just let it wander, don’t try to bring it back and notice that it is the sound, the birds chirping, sees the light coming through the window. Fills the room with awareness. It feels the breath, it sees some slight image of the head, but it knows it’s a mental image. Knows your face doesn’t even look like that. And it gets pulled into different directions, sounds of a plane, when it comes back, what it comes back to is another distraction, is another mind wandering and yet everything seems to still be happening, I’m still talking to you. Still somehow know that I’m meditating. What day of the week it is, how many more days left in the retreat I have. What the world outside looks like. I’ve been thinking a lot about the nano Nirvanas that Shinzen talks about. It’s like they are happening on the back of my mind as I know the world is real, as I know things exist. But it’s like they always pop up and then disappear again, that disappearance is them going to the source. The same with the sounds, with them fading into the source.

Remembering anicca: change, this will change. The way things feel now will change. This will be the practice from now on.

I just had a slight tension tension about the things that I have to book when I’m out of here. And then I had the thought: it’s okay because they are on that side, this tension is on that side and it disappeared. All this process of trying to remember the insights was actually interfering with new insights coming up and also the previous attained insights to continue doing their work, whatever it is they need to do. Maybe that’s why it was always useful to focus on physical sensations, sounds and things that are happening because they bring you back to the real reality. Trying to work things out by bringing the insights back actually makes it worse. When there is a problem, it adds more tension to it.

Just allowing yourself to be pulled back by the distraction, the next one, the next sound, the next physical sensation. Realising anicca.

All this great work done to attain non-duality, it seems like you have to be let go of. Forgetting the ox.

Just had a fruition. I was reclining, applying mental labels to the core processes. I started sitting and was noticing the sensations of control and directing the attention. After a while, those turned into solid vibrations, not unpleasant. Soon enough, after about 20 minutes, they disappeared. Still feeling a lot of piti. Very fine vibrations around the face. This one feels different after the fruition, it’s around the chin area, the lips, very fine vibrations. The sensation of release. When I try to meditate, I just notice the vibrations, attention is not following anything. It’s not staying with any object. Jumps from sound to the vibrations, the voice, sound. I know it was a fruition because the head nodded, I felt a jolt back, I wasn’t sleepy, I wasn’t about to fall asleep. It was very non eventful, I didn’t see anything, it was just an unknown event, but I just know from previous experiences of how I was meditating and following the sensations really well and after this non-event happens it all subsides, the sensations stop happening, the meditation changes abruptly. It’s almost like it tells you there’s no more point continuing. Mind feels free from all hindrances. Subtle fear lasts one second and goes.

It always feels after the fruitions that when I try to meditate again, I forgot all the thoughts I was thinking about before, I forgot the method. When I lean towards it, as I was doing just the moment before the fruition, I’m met with the blue screen of death. It’s almost like a thought doesn’t want to complete.
Vibrations are now becoming a gentle pounding towards the lips. Just after the fruition I remember there was this honeymoon period where I had felt spacious, black with some white dots, could still hear sounds, mental quiet mostly. The voice was still talking. The pattern after these cessations is mind keeps trying to find some aspect of life that is better, some ending to all suffering, miraculously, but I just realised, that’s insane. It keeps trying to poke holes at what has been done.
I don’t feel completely different, but at the same time I do. I feel like understanding is still unfolding. More life situations have to happen. I was looking at my neighbour downstairs. It just seems different looking at her being another person.

Sitting practice

Everytime you get distracted, notice that you get distracted but you don’t come back to anything at all, you just go to the next sensation. Let the mind go to whatever sensation it wants to go. Let it be distracted. Remember the mapping of the sensations, use that as your dashboard.
Right now, I don’t think I am directing the attention, but the dashboard for directing the attention keeps pounding on my face: coarse pounding sensations. So I know I have to ease into that. Keep naming these sensations, if you get the right mapping, they will dissolve.
Mind will be mostly observing the face, the dashboard. Every now and then, it will jump to sound, the hands, the legs, back. Let those happen. Drop all intention. Drop the intention to have a cessation or to attain a path. Just sit as in Zen parlance. Notice the mind wants to jump onto another sensation. Don’t hold on. However good or curious where you were how much progress you think you’re making on the sensation you were. Let it go. Release control. You were never in control anyway.


Even after a long period of reverie, the mind just comes back to another sensation, not to a self, not to an observer.

It’s not: “Oh s*t, I got distracted in a thought reverie”, it’s more like: “Aw I’m back from the thought reverie, what sensation now do I have, oh interesting, what is the name of this one?”

Here is one exercise to try for my next retreat:

Make a list of previous situations and read them out while in equanimity. Dissolve their sensations as you trigger them.

The sense of apprehension was just above the stomach was noticed. With that came some bright lights and a non-event, a sense of heat dissipating through the body, going towards the hands, a sense of release. Find it easy to continue meditating now than with the fruition I had before this , so I am not sure if it is or not a fruition.
The Piti comes on the lips to the cheeks, a big sense of release around the face, fine vibrations as Piti spreads.

As I had an insight into the effort, the whole left side, noticeably mainly on the head became filled with void.

Harbour no guilt as you come back from any thought reverie, no shame, they’re all thoughts. Give no more importance to the sensation you come back to than the one you came back from.
The judge or judging or categorising seems to be a core process.

Some sensations are particularly difficult. Make sure you stay with them for as long as they need to be there. Don’t try to leave too soon, until there is a distraction, until there is a sound or a sight that pulls you away from them. Make an intention to do that.
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RE: acordemos practice log

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Day 12 - Post retreat, practice done after a day of work

Notice a tension pulling you from one thing to the next without any possibility of you controlling it. When you try you just create resistance which creates the tension on the face.

Relaxing the area of the eyes relaxes the watcher, so it’s not just a dashboard, it’s also a button.

The danger of letting your mind wander is just that you won’t be able to see the patterns of sensations clearly, you won’t know if you have to nudge the mind back into disembedding a self, it will just do its thing. But one check-in now and then will give you a good indication if the momentum of the practice is continuing to work.

Thinking about a difficult situation in your meditation and actually living that situation are actually two different things. Thinking about it you are bringing the memory core process that it is in.

This is a true realisation. The other paths seem child’s play compared to this. This time if you’re not living your meditation in real life, you should be.
When I was working on this path without this realisation I thought I had to bring back the insight every time, not knowing it was effortlessly doing it in the background for me. But I felt like I needed to have some control, I needed to help it a bit. And maybe that is okay, maybe that is the way to do it, to remember the insight in daily life situations. Because I was afraid it would fade, I kept at it like a rabid dog and when the strategy didn’t work, even when it didn’t work, some part had fundamentally changed and everytime I meditated again or went on retreat, it would become stronger, like the glimpses. And then it finally stabilised. So I think it is worth doing.

The other insights felt more like now I am seeing this reality, now let me put these lenses, these prescription lenses on my eyes so I can see them clearer, just as they are, and that worked. Now this is more like: You’re it, the real deal. No need to put lenses anymore. This side and that side are syncronised.

Sometimes a conviction feels weaker than others, but remember, this is anicca. Your state of mind will dictate how strong a conviction is. Always remember, this is it, you’re it, you’re this distraction, you’re this frustration, you’re this terror about tying the knots again. This sounds strange, because maybe a better way to put it, is, when the terror passes, there’s no coming back to a “this”, a “you”. When the reverie passes, when the doubt passes, it just goes to another sensation. Notice that, notice what that next sensation is. Notice if it is a sight, a sound or a feeling.

Mind still doesn’t want to go back and re-experience the insights: emptiness, the knower. A hunch is that if it does, it’s no longer synched up. If it goes back to seeing the knower, to experiencing the knower, it will slightly be out of phase with reality. So it doesn’t even go there.

When doing yoga:

You are this full sensation, you are the stretching, the arm going up, going down, up and down. You are the chirping of the birds, you are the matt. You are the cracking on your back. You are the soft pain on the lower back. You are the scratching on the floor. You are the stretching of the body, the planning, the memory, the fear about work. You are it. But there is no self in it. No “this” side. It’s so paradoxical.

Feeling the heart of Bodhicitta to help others to awaken. Making all the plans, creating these logs. Wanting to share in the hopes that it helps someone. I want to help my compatriots in Brazil who might not have access to something like this. Just feel like I have a different angle to give about all of this. I have a good idea of what it is, but I think as time unfolds, it will develop more.

You are that craving for breakfast. Don’t linger there. Let attention come back when it wants to come back. But it is not coming back to a knower or a knowing. It’s coming back to another sensation. And it’s coming back all on its own.

The smell of cologne downstairs. There might be the slightest hint of a knower in the background, especially as the eyes move around. That’s ok. Perhaps what comes and says “it’s fading” are just more sensations that haven’t been synchronised, that need to be investigated. This is on par with what Daniel says, investigate the 3 characteristics. Remember anicca, remember dukka, remember anatta.

You are not the effort, the one doing the efforting.

I want to test out the theory that in stream entry, as I’ve had a big fruition, I saw the whole path ahead.

There’s a sensation on the left of the belly, just above the navel is for confusion and hurt. When someone says something that requires you to think about something to resolve it and at the same time you’re hurt.
The sensation where the nose connects to the face is associated with short-term memory.
The sensation on the back of the throat, going up is connected with voice memory, narrative. It’s amazing the quiet that happens when it is gone. During walking meditation, that was very observable. Even when speaking I can now feel that.
Sensations going from back of the throat towards to the top back of the head. That nagging feeling that there is something on the background, still even when you are distracted by thoughts, even when you managed to remove yourself from a difficult emotion. The nagging feeling that the self is still there is related perhaps to the short-term memory, but it happens behind the nose, where it connects to the face.

The narrator disappears just like the knower when that sensation comes down. The quiet is amazing. Just noticed a star flickering a lot more than I’ve ever seen. It’s a red star.

Auditory and visual attention seem to be fully synchronised. There’s a feeling of wanting something new to happen. Something different, some new sensation to observe. A bit of a yearning. Mind is free from hindrances.
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RE: acordemos practice log

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Notes for after a retreat

You experience no-self even when you don’t realise it. In the moments just before you fall asleep. In the moments just after you wake up before you recognise you’re a self about to get out of bed. Try to recognise those moments. Even during the day, when your mind is wandering, you’re lost in thought, there is no self there. So the issue is not so much that we are lost in thoughts and our minds are wandering. It’s when we come back from that, we come back to something that we cling to thinking it is a core, a centre. As you go about your daily activities, there’s also milliseconds long periods between the thoughts where emptiness can be seen. Where nirvana happens, the nano cessations as Shinzen Young calls them. Make an intention of noticing them.
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As you get out of a retreat and start your daily life, ease into it. Don’t do everything that you normally do, for instance, if you’re going to work, don’t also make those 3, 4 or 5 phone calls during the day or those admin tasks that can be delayed. Put those aside. Allow your mind to know that they will be taken care of after a while. This will allow opportunities to see sensations more clearly as you integrate into the world. To see those ones that are hard to come by, unless you’ve been in a long period of silence and meditation such as a retreat.
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RE: acordemos practice log

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The thing that was holding me back on the path was thinking that there was a home to come back to. That after all the distractions, the worries, the anxiety passed, I’d be coming back to this centre, this good place where I could be. But actually, all the anxieties and all the worries, they were it, they were home for that short period of time. And as I came back, I just come back to different sensations. And then they change again and again. There is no home to put your hat on. You have to be willing to be stretched from one direction to the next in all directions. This is the path, this is true no self. This is true self. You are all those things and at the same time you are none of those things. Shinzen meditation on expansion and contraction is very helpful in realising that. In being comfortable with not having a centre. In being comfortable with being confused and spread to all directions at the same time, or contracted in one single spot. Let yourself be ripped apart by the forces of anicca, aka expansion and contraction, aka impermanence.

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