RE: AKD Practice Log

AKD, modified 13 Days ago.

AKD Practice Log

Posts: 157 Join Date: 1/20/21 Recent Posts
I intend to use this log for minor updates or check ins from time to time, as well as any questions that I may have with regards to practice. I have kept daily practice logs in the past, but found it to be a lot of time & effort to post every day. This is a simple way to stay connected to the community and recieve feedback from folks. Thank you!
AKD, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: AKD Practice Log

Posts: 157 Join Date: 1/20/21 Recent Posts
1/13/2022

Overall, practice has changed quite a bit in the last year. I switched from noting practice to awareness based practices. For some reason, noting just feels really cumbersome, contrived, and the act of noting sorta gets in the way of the experience and re-enforces some sense of noter.

During my sits these days, I practice shamatha without an object (open awareness) and do some self inquiry. Usually, instead of asking inquiry questions, I naturally get curious about aspects of experience and investigate.

Currently in a bit of a rut as of the last week or two. Been skipping practice lately or just sitting for a few moments here & there. I think doubt and expectations have me feeling a bit deflated and burned out. I think by posting here now and again, I will feel a bit of accountability to start sitting again. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: AKD Practice Log

Posts: 2282 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Why do you meditate?
AKD, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: AKD Practice Log

Posts: 157 Join Date: 1/20/21 Recent Posts
Because life is somewhat unsatisfying and mundane. A lot of people in my age group seem to relish in the scheme of: get a degree, go to work, climb the career ladder, find a spouse, buy a house, get a dog, have a hobby or two, go on a vacation occasionally, have a few kids, save up for retirement, die. 

I wanted life to feel a bit more sacred, mysterious, and magical. It's sort of a miracle that we are here after all; we are the universe experiencing itself. I was looking for something that would help me transcend the monotony so I gravitated towards meditation after hearing about mystical states and stages of awakening. I figured it could be this fun little secret that after a day at the office I could come home and go into deep concentration and have some blissful, psychedelic experience that regular folks wouldn't understand. That's obviously not my path though.  

In the end, I haven't really had transcendent experiences on the cushion or shifts in understanding that have inspired faith. It's difficult to know if any positive changes in myself are infact due to meditation or just part of growing older. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: AKD Practice Log

Posts: 2282 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Well there you go emoticon You want it to be misterious, magical, sacred! 
Where do you find all this?! 
If Concentration is your call then do it. Love being with that in breathing and that out breathing, this in breath and this out breath. Love soaking in those sensations associated with the in breathing and out breathing. Like a lovers dance. That's you home. No doubt, no wondering if this or that. You are in relationship with that breathing. This alone will create all other absorption stuff which are but a byproduct of this dancing with this in breathing and this out breathing. 

Try and practice as soon you get out of the bed. Don't even go to the toilet. 30 minutes of cuddling with the breathng in sitting position while still sleepy emoticon That feels really nice as the mind hasn't started with all the stories. And your day will be filled with tranquility too. 
Get a daily practice going. Then after a few months see if to add extra sits or longer sits etc ... 

Btw, nothing wrong with those folks wanting a job, kids, house etc ... Also ok if you feel to be a monk or a vagabond emoticon All is good. 

Best wishes! 
AKD, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: AKD Practice Log

Posts: 157 Join Date: 1/20/21 Recent Posts
Yep, I know there is nothing wrong with people who want the house and the family, etc. I just feel like a bit of an outsider or that I am falling behind for not necessarily wanting to pursue the same milestones at this juncture. I am sure I will swing back and engage in these aspects of life at some point when I feel called to do so.

I believe that people who have felt this way jokingly refer to it as Insight Disease.
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J W, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: AKD Practice Log

Posts: 532 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
have some blissful, psychedelic experience that regular folks wouldn't understand

Have you tried psychedelics for that? ha ha ha, just a little joke don't mind me emoticon
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: AKD Practice Log

Posts: 2282 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
In a way wanting a house, kid, car is the same as wanting sacred, magic, mystical. 

However one thing is wanting and another actually applying oneself towards such goals. 

Walk the talk. 

Forget the books, what everyone thinks is right and just apply yourself to the sensations of in breathing and out breathing. Sense the whole body dynamics and "buy into it". As if it's the only thing there is in the entire world (for the duration of the sit). 

What do you think about that early morning meditation I suggested? Have you tried it? 

Best wishes KD! 
AKD, modified 9 Days ago.

RE: AKD Practice Log

Posts: 157 Join Date: 1/20/21 Recent Posts
1/17/2021

I went on a weekend ski trip with some friends in the Adirondacks in northern NY. I managed to do 1 or 2 brief meditation sessions a day for 20-40 minutes each. In this case, I simply tuned into open spacious awareness and explored contraction vs. non-contraction as well as seeing how spacious & relaxed I could be. I also enjoyed seeing how attentive I could be to noticing and then dropping conceptualization (Michael Taft's 'Dropping the Ball'). It just felt nice to be open and relaxed while maintaining clarity and the momentum would last off cushion for quite a while.

Spending time on the mountain slopes and in the forest trails during various outdoor activities was inspiring so tuning into open spaciousness was just natural. It was fun to see if I could maintain that sense of openess, ease, and presence when socializing or engaging in any activity really.

It was also interesting & useful to see areas where I was getting hung up or reactive with regards to certain activites that we planned as a group. I realized that I am not very spontaneous and when I have a plan or preference made up, deviating from that can cause some frustration. That said, overall, there was much much more love, appreciation, humor, and gratitude for having this experience with some close friends and the minor frustrations were helpful feedback for areas where I can grow.
One such example of frustration: the day that we went downhill skiing, we were gearing up in a parking lot far from the main lodge in -10 degree Fahrenheit weather (-23 degrees Celsius) and the plastic on my old ski boots shattered as I was tightening them down rendering them completely useless. I then had to board a shuttle to get to the lodge, navigate my way through the area and rent skis and such. This is obviously annoying because it's more effort/time to get to the lodge, it's more money out of pocket to rent the gear, and now I am separated from my friends who parked at a parking lot far away from the lodge. My intital reaction to it all was to laugh since it was sort of funny on some level. It was very frustrating on one hand, but things worked out and my friends met me once I was all set so no big deal. The entire time this was going on, I was trying to notice my levels of impatience and frustration as it all played out. 

I very often get frustrated by a perceived lack of progress with regards to my meditation practice (I apologize for being such a downer on here oftentimes and venting), but I do notice how my reactions to certain people and situations have started to change as a result of having the capacity to be present in the face of reactivity. I can be responsive to circumstances instead of reactive. I can also just be simply attentive to the arising reactive patterns when a response isn't necessarily required in the moment. For that, I am grateful and in that same vein, I am grateful that I have more to learn. The hard part to tell though is, is this sense of development just part of normal adult maturity, or is it attributed to/or bolstered by the meditation practice?
George S, modified 8 Days ago.

RE: AKD Practice Log

Posts: 2204 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
I think it's probably a bit of both. Reduced reactivity is one of the main signs of progress in meditation!
George S, modified 8 Days ago.

RE: AKD Practice Log

Posts: 2204 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Maybe it might help if you write down what progress in meditation looks like for you - to get clearer about what you expect/want/need - and then make an assessment of how effectively those goals can be achieved though meditation vs other channels.

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