Macky's practice log

Macky's practice log Macky Ben-Jonah 2/17/22 12:13 PM
RE: Macky's practice log Niels Lyngsø 2/17/22 9:47 AM
RE: Macky's practice log Macky Ben-Jonah 2/17/22 12:00 PM
RE: Macky's practice log Pepe · 2/17/22 7:20 PM
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RE: Macky's practice log Macky Ben-Jonah 5/16/22 6:23 AM
RE: Macky's practice log George S 5/16/22 7:41 AM
RE: Macky's practice log Pepe · 5/16/22 9:53 AM
RE: Macky's practice log Macky Ben-Jonah 5/20/22 8:31 AM
RE: Macky's practice log George S 5/20/22 10:50 AM
RE: Macky's practice log Macky Ben-Jonah 5/23/22 7:36 AM
RE: Macky's practice log George S 5/23/22 9:37 PM
RE: Macky's practice log Macky Ben-Jonah 5/24/22 8:53 AM
RE: Macky's practice log George S 5/24/22 6:43 PM
RE: Macky's practice log Macky Ben-Jonah 5/25/22 6:38 AM
RE: Macky's practice log Danny S 5/23/22 5:53 PM
RE: Macky's practice log Macky Ben-Jonah 5/24/22 8:56 AM
RE: Macky's practice log Chris M 5/24/22 9:34 AM
RE: Macky's practice log Macky Ben-Jonah 5/24/22 9:45 AM
RE: Macky's practice log Chris M 5/24/22 3:40 PM
RE: Macky's practice log Macky Ben-Jonah 5/21/22 8:44 AM
RE: Macky's practice log Macky Ben-Jonah 5/24/22 9:58 AM
RE: Macky's practice log Danny S 5/24/22 12:39 PM
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Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 12:13 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:30 AM

Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Hi, my name is Macky, and I want to start an online practice log here. I practiced techiques from TMI for about a year, and then I stopped because I wasn't getting any real world benefit. Now I practice off-cusion and on-cushion noting. My goal is to gain A+P and stream entry. I would like tips on how to progress.

2/17/2022
Cushion practice: Noting for 40 mins
I use Shinzen's See Hear Feel Style noting. I mostly labels the body sensations and the verbal thought stream. I stopped after 30 mins because of eye pains.

Off-cushion practice
I just basically did off-cushion noting for the whole day. Because I was studying intensly, and forgot a lot, I was not continuous. I can't think of any real effect today except that I had a smile on my face for no reason. I just felt happy, but had no real reason for it.
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Niels Lyngsø, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 9:47 AM
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RE: Macky's practice log

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Hey Macky,

Nice to meet you! You will find heeps of good advice in shargrol's post compilation, including advice on how to write a log (or in general: ask dharma questions online).

Looking forward to following you emoticon
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 12:00 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 12:00 PM

RE: Macky's practice log

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I have read it
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Pepe ·, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 7:20 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 7:20 PM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 573 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
I would like tips on how to progress.

I have read it

Probably, the first tip is to be kind with fellow forum members and let them know you appreciate their help. The second tip would be to be sure first of not having overlooked the resource suggested to you, e.g. Every yogi should have multiple techniques in their toolbox if they wish to attain Stream Entry. A third tip would be finding a forum with practitioners specialized in the technique/model you have chosen, e.g. Shinzen Young Mindfulness Community. Good luck 
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 3:38 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 3:38 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

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Thank you very much. I will have a look into what you suggest.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 3:47 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 3:47 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Thank's for the warm welcome that you have given me. I hope that I learn alot when joining this community.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 7:20 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 7:20 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
2/18/2022
I was practicing See-Hear-Feel noting again. I mostly focused on the feel aspect. I didn't do very well as I kept mind-wandering. 
Off-cushion, I've really noticed that suddenly I start smiling and sometimes spontaniously laughing for no reason. I don't know if this is to do with meditation, but it is cool anyways.
Reading that thing that Pepe linked to, one of the things that strikes me is that I shouldn't be afraid of switching techniques. Sometimes I feel as if I have to stick to one technique and really master it, ut switching might be needed sometimes.
Again, thanks for the warm welcome and thanks for the advice, Pepe.
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Pepe ·, modified 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 8:30 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 8:26 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 573 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Hi Macky,

What Shargrol pointed to in that entry is that different techniques may be more suitable for different ñanas of PoI. So initially it's best to stick to one technique. If after, say, a month you don't observe progress, then you can change to other technique for the same ñana.

As a complement to what you have read on Shinzen Young's texts, check this short summaries of Daniel Ingram's MCTB2 method, lots of useful tips there.    

If See-Hear-Feel noting doesn't work for you, another potent alternatives are Kenneth Folk's First Gear (vipassana) method and Shargrol's structured noting

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Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 9:56 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 9:56 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Pepe ·
Hi Macky,

What Shargrol pointed to in that entry is that different techniques may be more suitable for different ñanas of PoI. So initially it's best to stick to one technique. If after, say, a month you don't observe progress, then you can change to other technique for the same ñana.

As a complement to what you have read on Shinzen Young's texts, check this short summaries of Daniel Ingram's MCTB2 method, lots of useful tips there.    

If See-Hear-Feel noting doesn't work for you, another potent alternatives are Kenneth Folk's First Gear (vipassana) method and Shargrol's structured noting

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Thanks for the advice. I have been practicing Shinzen's method for a couple of months now. I notice that sometimes I slip into a trance and forget to note alot. Maye I should try Shargol's noting. The syncronisation with the breath might help to e more efficent with my meditation time.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 4 Months ago at 2/23/22 6:57 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/23/22 6:57 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
2/23/2022

I havent been meditating for the past few days because I have been busy. This morning, I switched to Shargol's structured noting. I set m timer for 40 mins but stopped after 30 because of eye pains. I had no problems with noting the categories thought and sensation, but I found it hard to note emotions and urges. Do you have any advice for that? Also, I keep getting eye pains. I think this is because noting is causing me to unconsiously look at the area I am noting. Do you have any advice for this as well?

Off-cushion I have been noting Shinzen style. Nothing interesting to report with that. Do you think I should stay with that or is there better alternatives.

Also, I have been practicing gratitude. Every morning, I list what I am greatful for in my head for a couple of minutes. I haven't seen any benefits of this, but I've just started.
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Pepe ·, modified 4 Months ago at 2/23/22 10:15 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/23/22 10:15 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 573 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
For eyes pain, I've found useful some exercises like these and these. If 40 minutes is too much for your eyes, then do 30 minutes. On cushion, maybe you could focus 10 minutes just in the eyes area, and see how those tensions/pain arise. Is it triggered a thought? A mind-state? A body pain? Every time a tension/pain arise, you may do binary noting: either "releasing" (release the muscles around the tension, use the outbreath if possible) or "allowing" (dive into the pain, and let it peak and disappear).

Off-cushion, I used to note Shinzen Young's "gones", that is when a image/sound/sensation disappear, and stay in that restful space until another phenomena captures your attention.

Regarding "emotions and urges", a proxy for that would be noting Kenneth Folks' "mind-states", check the First Gear link provided above. Keep in mind that not in every session you would observe emotions or urges, so no big deal.

Below I copy a template I have used to log my daily sessions, that would help you track your practice and help others give precise advice. Modified it as needed, make it your own:

Date: Jan/31/2013
Length of Sit: 60 minutes at the morning
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: n/a
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting out-loud single, pairs and triplets; switch to silent noting at a painful spot
General Thoughts/Reflections: discomfort at the throat was there but never built up, instead a wider tightness grew at the head and hands.
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: much more “warmth” than “cool” sensations. Same like yesterday, “Vibrations” didn’t decompose into tinier “itches/stings” or “wavy contractions/expansions”. There weren’t either “scrambled” physical sensations, but clear tightness at the head, hands and to a lesser degree, throat. The “burn” at the legs build up over the session and subside, half way. But there were no pain, or tough itches after the session. Also, there were many times a general nice “calm” mind state. Near the end of the session, “boredom” showed up several times. I watch that I was noting perhaps with a 3 to 5 seconds gap. So I decided to switch to a fast out-loud noting, labeling every tiny sensation (physical only) in order note at 1 per second. Did that for 10 minutes, but in-between when there was more of a subtle sensation, I got stack and couldn’t re-start.
What worked? What didn’t?: Most labels were single, just a few pairs, no triplets. Many times got stack for 10 or more seconds incapable of labeling a sensation.
Goal for Next Session: Repeat the practice until I cross A&P. Be mindful about tightness in daily activities.

-

Another helpful tool was to record 1 session every month and transcribe it as a word cloud. It's easy as there wouldn't be more than 10-15 labels. It's very graphic way of seeing where your focus is and where it's lacking.

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Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 3 Months ago at 2/28/22 6:54 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 2/28/22 6:54 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Hi. I'm sorry I haven't posted in a few days. I did post something, but the site was acting up and deleed my post. Anyway, I'm going to use the template that Pepe showed me(thanks) and hopefully get back into a routine.

Date: Feb 28 Feb 2022
Length of Sit: 40 min in the morning
Posture: Sitting on a chair
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:   I don't know. I haven't seen anything that explicitly corrsponds to a nana
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol's practice noting, Sinzen noting throughout the whole day
General Thoughts/Reflections: A lot of times I would get a very srong urge to check the clock about 30mins in to the sitting. I didn't get that today. It was mayb a few mins before the end of the sit when I checked the clock
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I mostly stuck with sensations and thoughts because I still can't really dia in with emotions or urges. Mostly when I noted my mind was at rest, so I used rest to note that. A lot of times I got stuck in negative thoughts. When I remembered, I just came back to my breath. After 40 mins, I spent some time doing gratitude meditation.
What worked? What didn’t?: The syncronising the noting with the outbreath helps me to keep on track and forget less. I was stuck alot in my thoughts for more than was usual. I still can't see any off cushion benefit with this though.
Goal for Next Session: Repeat the practice until I cross A&P. Keep noting continuous off-cushion. Do gratitude meditation. Focus on the positive.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 3 Months ago at 3/2/22 6:52 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/2/22 6:52 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 1 March 2022
Length of Sit: 40 min in the morning
Posture: Sitting on a chair
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:   I don't know. I haven't seen anything that explicitly corrsponds to a nana
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol's practice noting, Sinzen noting throughout the whole day
General Thoughts/Reflections: There was a lot of tension around the eyes, although much less since I switched to shargol's method
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I mostly stuck with sensations and thoughts because I still can't really dia in with emotions or urges. Mostly when I noted my mind was at rest, so I used rest to note that. A lot of times I got stuck in negative thoughts. When I remembered, I just came back to my breath. After 40 mins, I spent some time doing gratitude meditation.(Basically same as last sit)
What worked? What didn’t?: The syncronising the noting with the outbreath helps me to keep on track and forget less. I was stuck alot in my thoughts for more than was usual. I still can't see any off cushion benefit with this though.(Basically same a last sit). Because I'm currently studying, I don't do much off-cushion noting. It is really hard to note and study. I've found that I can focus on inpermenance without noting like Rob Burbea while studying. I even did it in an exam. The problem with this though is that I will forget a lot more when doing it. Also, I feel that focusing on inpermenance gives me a slight sadness that it all will pass.
Goal for Next Session: Repeat the practice until I cross A&P. Keep noting continuous off-cushion. Do gratitude meditation. Focus on the positive.


Sorry for the dump, but can you give me a bit of advice.
George S, modified 3 Months ago at 3/2/22 12:24 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/2/22 12:24 PM

RE: Macky's practice log

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Macky Ben-Jonah
Also, I feel that focusing on inpermenance gives me a slight sadness that it all will pass.

This is a typical reaction to the nana (knowledge) of impermanence, one of the three characteristics. To quote from the bible of noting:

Mahasi Sayadaw, Practical Insight Meditation
https://www.bps.lk/olib/bp/bp503s_Mahasi_Practical-Insight-Meditation.pdf

At this stage, when the meditator becomes more practiced, he perceives in every act of noticing that an object appears suddenly and disappears instantly. His perception is so clear that he reflects thus: “All comes to an end; all disappears. Nothing is permanent; it is truly impermanent.” His reflection is quite in line with what is stated in the Commentary to the Pali text: “All is impermanent, in the sense of destruction, non-existence after having been.”

He reflects further: “It is through ignorance that we enjoy life. But in truth there is nothing to enjoy. There is a continuous arising and disappearance by which we are harassed over and over. This is dreadful indeed. At any moment we may die and everything is sure to come to an end. This universal impermanence is truly frightful and terrible.” His reflection agrees with the commentarial statement: “What is impermanent is painful, painful in the sense of terror; painful because of oppression by rise and fall.” Again, experiencing severe pain he reflects thus: “All is pain, all is bad.” This reflection agrees with what the Commentary states: “He looks on pain as a barb; as a boil; as a dart.”

​​​​​​​He further reflects: “This is a mass of suffering, suffering that is unavoidable. Arising and disappearing, it is worthless. One cannot stop its process. It is beyond one’s power. It takes its natural course.” This reflection is quite in agreement with the Commentary: “What is painful has no self, no self in the sense of having no core, because there is no exercising of power over it.” The meditator must notice all these reflections and go on contemplating as usual.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 3 Months ago at 3/3/22 4:53 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/3/22 4:53 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Thanks for the advice! I suppose my fear was that the impernenance contemplation would lead to depression, but I suppose not then?
George S, modified 3 Months ago at 3/3/22 8:38 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/3/22 8:38 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

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Sometimes there can be some fear or anxiety around contemplation of impermanence, but if you stick with noting everything then the 3Cs nana will lead into a kind of acceleration of noting/noticing phenomena which is the A&P nana. As the A&P nana fades into dissolution then the dukkha nanas ("dark night") will arise - awareness of fear, misery and disgust.

I was pretty severely depressed on and off for 10 years before I started noting and I did experience the dukkha nanas as a kind of condensed version of depression, but because I could observe it as a causal transient phenomenon and the timeframe was reducing, I found that it effectively cured me from depression. Before I started meditating my depressions would last around 3 years, my first run through the dukkha nanas was around 3 weeks and within a couple of months it was 3 days and then 3 hours in a single sit. I suppose it's possible that someone might have a repressed predisposition towards depression which is triggered by meditation, or their depression temporarily worsens, but most of the accounts I have read/heard suggest that depression improves over time with meditation (and of course appropriate therapy and/or medications as necessary).

For me I came to understand that my depression was a kind of cognitively induced numbing strategy to protect myself from feeling old repressed emotions of anger, shame and sadness. Meditation started to release some of those old emotions and while it has certainly been challenging at times, it effectively reduced the need for depression to be used as a defense mechanism. I've come to see the relief and feeling of integration from feeling those painful emotions to be far more preferable to the suffering caused by avoiding them (whether through depression or other kinds of acting out).
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 3 Months ago at 3/4/22 4:22 AM
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RE: Macky's practice log

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George S
Sometimes there can be some fear or anxiety around contemplation of impermanence, but if you stick with noting everything then the 3Cs nana will lead into a kind of acceleration of noting/noticing phenomena which is the A&P nana. As the A&P nana fades into dissolution then the dukkha nanas ("dark night") will arise - awareness of fear, misery and disgust.

I was pretty severely depressed on and off for 10 years before I started noting and I did experience the dukkha nanas as a kind of condensed version of depression, but because I could observe it as a causal transient phenomenon and the timeframe was reducing, I found that it effectively cured me from depression. Before I started meditating my depressions would last around 3 years, my first run through the dukkha nanas was around 3 weeks and within a couple of months it was 3 days and then 3 hours in a single sit. I suppose it's possible that someone might have a repressed predisposition towards depression which is triggered by meditation, or their depression temporarily worsens, but most of the accounts I have read/heard suggest that depression improves over time with meditation (and of course appropriate therapy and/or medications as necessary).

For me I came to understand that my depression was a kind of cognitively induced numbing strategy to protect myself from feeling old repressed emotions of anger, shame and sadness. Meditation started to release some of those old emotions and while it has certainly been challenging at times, it effectively reduced the need for depression to be used as a defense mechanism. I've come to see the relief and feeling of integration from feeling those painful emotions to be far more preferable to the suffering caused by avoiding them (whether through depression or other kinds of acting out).


Thanks. So do you think that I'm in the 3c nana?
George S, modified 3 Months ago at 3/4/22 9:34 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/4/22 9:34 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

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Hard to say, possibly a light version, but I don't think there's much benefit to be had from the diagnosis of others. In my opinion, the important thing is to keep practicing and see how your own experience does or doesn't line up with the maps as described by others, and whether it helps you to use them or not.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 3 Months ago at 3/7/22 5:44 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/7/22 5:44 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 7 March 2022
Length of Sit: 40 min in the morning
Posture: Sitting on a chair
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:   I don't know. I haven't seen anything that explicitly corrsponds to a nana
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol's practice noting, Sinzen noting throughout the whole day
General Thoughts/Reflections: There was a lot of tension around the eyes, although much less since I switched to shargol's method
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started my sit focusing on urges and emotions. I started, noting on both the outbreath and the inbreath for emotions. Most of the time I just used the label "rest" to note, because I couldn't see any emotion. Sometimes, I started smiling, so I noted "joy". Also, there was fear that the practice would turn me into an emotionless robot. I noted fear when I felt that happen. Also, as I was noting emotions, disgusting pictures stared floating into m head. For example, I saw someone squirting pus from a handwash bottle into my mouth. This caused my face to scrunch up in disgust. I didn't note any of this, just ignored it. Then, afterwards I started noting urges. Mostly, I was noting "rest" for most of that period. After that I started noting sensations and thoughts. This was much easier to do. After a bit, I swithced to freestyle noting. This turned out to mostly be noting sensations and thoughts, as I didn't notice emotions.
What worked? What didn’t?: Syncronisng the noting with the outbreath has been really  useful for me. It has stopped the eye pains I used to get whenever I meditated
Goal for Next Session: As I have been writing this practice log, I have noticed that I keep skipping days and skip journaling in this log. My goal is that I meditate for a week with no more than one missed day. Showing up is really important.


Also, off-cushion, I have found it hard to keep up constant noting. When I study, it is impossible to note and study. In Rob Burbea's book Seeing that Frees, he described looking at the three characteristics without noting. While I am studying, I am going to focus on looking at the characteristic of Anicca, especially in the visual field.


Thanks for reading my journal. I would appreciate it if anyone had any suggestions and advice for me.

​​​​​​​ Thanks emoticon
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 3 Months ago at 3/8/22 8:16 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/8/22 8:16 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 8 March 2022
Length of Sit: 30 min in the morning
Posture: Sitting on a chair
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:   I don't know. I haven't seen anything that explicitly corrsponds to a nana
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol's practice noting sitting.
General Thoughts/Reflections: I kept blanking out and forgetting to note for extended periods of time.
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started noting on emotions, which I couldn't feel any. I noted useing the label "rest" for most of that time. After a while I got bored and turned to noting sensations and thoughts. I kept having songs playing in my head, so I noted that as hear. Nothing else really hapened
What worked? What didn’t?: Syncronisng the noting with the outbreath has been really  useful for me. It has stopped the eye pains I used to get whenever I meditated. Also, noting "rest" when I can't find emotions seems to help
Goal for Next Session: As I have been writing this practice log, I have noticed that I keep skipping days and skip journaling in this log. My goal is that I meditate for a week with no more than one missed day. Showing up is really important. Also, I will just focus on seeing Annica in my everyday life without noting. Is this ok for off-cushion practice.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 3 Months ago at 3/10/22 6:34 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/10/22 6:33 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 10 March 2022
Length of Sit: 40 min in the morning
Posture: Sitting on a chair
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:   I don't know. I haven't seen anything that explicitly corrsponds to a nana
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol's practice noting sitting.
General Thoughts/Reflections: There were a lot of period where I just simply forgot to note for a long time. It seems that as I meditate more, I start to be able to concentrate less. Weir
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started noting on sensations for a while. Nothing much to report there. Then I switched to noting thoughts. There was a chattering stream of thoughts(I can't remember what they were about), but they dissapeared. I started to note the images that popped up, but that gave me some eye strain. Then I noted emotions for a little while. Most of the time was just noting rest. After that I did freestyle noting, skipping between sensations, emotions and thoughts until I heard the timer beep
What worked? What didn’t?: Syncronisng the noting with the outbreath has been really  useful for me. It has stopped the eye pains I used to get whenever I meditated. Also, noting "rest" when I can't find emotions seems to help. Also it seems that there is more fogetting for longer periods as I meditate more. I dunno.
Goal for Next Session: As I have been writing this practice log, I have noticed that I keep skipping days and skip journaling in this log. My goal is that I meditate for a week with no more than one missed day. Showing up is really important. Also, I will just focus on seeing Annica in my everyday life without noting. Is this ok for off-cushion practice.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 3 Months ago at 3/21/22 10:00 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/21/22 10:00 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Ok, I see I have not posted for a long time. This isn't because I have been meditating, but just because I have not posted here
Anyway, I'll post this days practice log

Date: Feb 21 March 2022
Length of Sit: 40 min in the morning
Posture: Sitting on a chair
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Haven't seen any nana's yet
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol's practice noting sitting.
General Thoughts/Reflections: A lot of eye pains today. I just focused on noting thoughts. I noticed when I started to note visual thought that the eye pains increased, and stopped when I focused on verbal thoughts
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started noting thoughts, and kept noting thoughts for most of the sit. I divided them into visual thoughts and verbal thoughts. I started with verbal thoughts. I noticed that when I was meditating, verbal thoughts were relativly few, and I was noting "rest" for most of the period. When I was distracted, verbal thoughts would start pouring in, and stop when i started noting it again.
Then I went to visual thoughts. That basically stayed constant, with nothing interesting to report. There was a time when I had an especially painful thought, and I really felt all my chest contract. That was a little weird
What worked? What didn’t?: The noting and the outbreath helps with not forgetting
Goal for Next Session: To write here every day
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 3 Months ago at 3/21/22 10:15 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/21/22 10:15 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Oh, I forget that I am going to practice Bryon katie method every day now to help with bad thought patterns
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Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 3 Months ago at 3/24/22 7:21 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/24/22 7:21 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 24 March 2022
Length of Sit: 40 min in the morning
Posture: Sitting on a chair
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Haven't seen any nana's yet
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol's practice noting sitting.
General Thoughts/Reflections: A nice and relaxed sit today
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started with noting sensations. I felt reaaly relaxed. The interesting thing was that the sensaions would rise and fall with the breath. I dunno, was really relaxing. Then I went on to thoughts. I kept having Ed Sheerans "Joker and the Queen" as an earworn, so I kept noting "hear". I also noting some visual images. Nothing interesting there. The only other interesting thing that happened was that like five minutes before I had finished my sit, I had a very strong urge for the sit to end.
What worked? What didn’t?: The noting and the outbreath helps with not forgetting and helps me to relax
Goal for Next Session: To write here every day
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 3 Months ago at 3/25/22 7:11 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/25/22 7:11 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
25 March 2022

I tried another type of noting today, and it didn't go very well. My intention was to note for 40 minutes, but I stopped at twenty. Basically, I had three labels "pleasant", "unplesant" and "netural", and I would note every experience with one of those three labels. Most of the noting was netueral, with some unplesant, and not much pleasant. I'm gonna go back to normal noting next sit.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 3 Months ago at 3/28/22 7:05 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/28/22 7:05 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 28 March 2022
Length of Sit: 40 min in the morning
Posture: Sitting on a chair
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Haven't seen any nana's yet
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol's practice noting sitting.
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started with noting thoughts. I kept having eye pain while noting. I noticed that when I started to have painful thoughts, my body will tense up
What worked? What didn’t?: The noting and the outbreath helps with not forgetting and helps me to relax
Goal for Next Session: To write here every day
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 3/31/22 5:46 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/31/22 5:46 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 31 March 2022
Length of Sit: 40 min in the morning
Posture: Sitting on a chair
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Haven't seen any nana's yet
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol's practice noting sitting.
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I did freetyle noting today, switching between thoughts and sensations. It was very relaxing. Sometimes I got distrated, by I always came back on track. I also had an intention to observe annica when noting as well
What worked? What didn’t?: The noting and the outbreath helps with not forgetting and helps me to relax
Goal for Next Session: To sit down for at least some time for the next session



Does anyone have any advice for me? I am not sure if I'm doing it right, and when I'm gonna get to the A+P.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/1/22 6:34 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/1/22 6:34 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 31 March 2022
Length of Sit: 40 min in the morning
Posture: Sitting on a chair
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Haven't seen any nana's yet
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol's practice noting sitting. Intention to observe annica while noting
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I did freetyle noting today, switching between thoughts and sensations. Nothing much tere to report. I also notice urges to check my phone, and check the clock. Instead of sucumbing, I noted those urges instead. 
What worked? What didn’t?: The noting and the outbreath helps with not forgetting and helps me to relax
Goal for Next Session: To sit tommorow
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Sigma Tropic, modified 2 Months ago at 4/1/22 7:57 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/1/22 7:57 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 326 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Macky Ben-Jonah
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I did freetyle noting today, switching between thoughts and sensations. It was very relaxing. Sometimes I got distrated, by I always came back on track. I also had an intention to observe annica when noting as well
What worked? What didn’t?: The noting and the outbreath helps with not forgetting and helps me to relax
Goal for Next Session: To sit down for at least some time for the next session
Does anyone have any advice for me? I am not sure if I'm doing it right, and when I'm gonna get to the A+P.

Looks good, the part about noting and the outbreath and relaxation keep noticing the cause and effect like that - you're on track if you're noticing that. 
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Sigma Tropic, modified 2 Months ago at 4/1/22 8:01 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/1/22 8:01 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 326 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Macky Ben-Jonah
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I did freetyle noting today, switching between thoughts and sensations. Nothing much tere to report. I also notice urges to check my phone, and check the clock. Instead of sucumbing, I noted those urges instead. 
What worked? What didn’t?: The noting and the outbreath helps with not forgetting and helps me to relax
Goal for Next Session: To sit tommorow
Good keep noticing the urge to do something and the mental events. Just keep noticing it all. If you look at your phone pay attention to your mind while you do it, see what happens when you get the relief of knowing how much time is left. The urges are smaller pieces of a bigger story. 

Being diligent and trying to be quick and precise with your noticing will make you get to A&P. You have to push the mind to be more alert at this stage so there is some effort involved but you're noticing the right stuff. 
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/3/22 9:29 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/3/22 9:29 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
4 March 2022

I didnt do any formal practice today, bu there are a couple of weird off-cushion things that are cropping up so I'll say them in the hope that someone can explain. If not, I'll just put up another post.
I practice noting off-cushion. Reccently, I have started to feel a ver strong sadness that everything will pass. Literally, when I am in a place, I get a strong feeling that this will pass, an it gives me a sense of sadness and of awe. Also, when I start thinking of passing, my chest starts to contract. It feels like the sadness is my chest contraction. 

Any ideas. Any nana diagnostics
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/3/22 9:30 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/3/22 9:30 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
SigmaTropic
Macky Ben-Jonah
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I did freetyle noting today, switching between thoughts and sensations. Nothing much tere to report. I also notice urges to check my phone, and check the clock. Instead of sucumbing, I noted those urges instead. 
What worked? What didn’t?: The noting and the outbreath helps with not forgetting and helps me to relax
Goal for Next Session: To sit tommorow
Good keep noticing the urge to do something and the mental events. Just keep noticing it all. If you look at your phone pay attention to your mind while you do it, see what happens when you get the relief of knowing how much time is left. The urges are smaller pieces of a bigger story. 

Being diligent and trying to be quick and precise with your noticing will make you get to A&P. You have to push the mind to be more alert at this stage so there is some effort involved but you're noticing the right stuff. 


Thanks for the advice. I will make that an objective. To be as alert as possible
George S, modified 2 Months ago at 4/3/22 11:18 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/3/22 11:11 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
3 C's: impermanence -> dukkha

Solution: let go of clinging to/expectation of permanence

As you say, there is a sense of awe - isn't it amazing that we get to experience this unique moment, with all its rich changing tones of pain and pleasure, with full awareness right now just once, and the whole history of the universe had to be exactly the way it was for this to happen?!! Chin up, we've all been through/are going through this emoticon
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 4/3/22 11:29 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/3/22 11:29 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 443 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
What Geroge said. Also, you are getting better at noticing what is going on. That's a good thing. I took a similar question to a teacher once who told me, "This is the suffering that leads to the end of suffering."
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/3/22 3:13 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/3/22 3:13 PM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
George S
3 C's: impermanence -> dukkha

Solution: let go of clinging to/expectation of permanence

As you say, there is a sense of awe - isn't it amazing that we get to experience this unique moment, with all its rich changing tones of pain and pleasure, with full awareness right now just once, and the whole history of the universe had to be exactly the way it was for this to happen?!! Chin up, we've all been through/are going through this emoticon
How do I let go of this. Do I just keep meditating how I am doing
George S, modified 2 Months ago at 4/3/22 9:45 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/3/22 9:44 PM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
You keep noticing how clinging to permanence leads to suffering. It becomes so obvious in real time, and you get so tired of it, that slowly the mind starts to let go.

It cuts both ways. Clinging to pleasant experience causes suffering because they always pass. Resisting painful experiences causes suffering because they can’t be avoided. The surprising thing is that less clinging to pleasant experiences leads to a deeper appreciation of their transient beauty; and less resistance to pain leads to less suffering.

The main cause of suffering is clinging to the idea of a permanent self. This can definitely be scary to let go of, but then you get to live the rest of your life free from existential fear.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/13/22 1:08 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/13/22 1:08 PM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Ok, I have not posted her for a while. This is because I have been busy. Ih ave been meditation, IO just havent posted.

I have change my meditation time from 40 to 20 mins. This is because I'm hyaving trouble being consistent with my meditation practice, so I've reduced the time to try and help with that. Nothing else interesting. The sadness that comes from seeing inpermanace of things has increased a lot. Before, I would only get a sese of it when I was doing something I enjoy, but dont get to do a lot, such as a holiday. Now it has increased a lot. I'm worried that this might cause a depession that is hard to shake off.
George S, modified 2 Months ago at 4/13/22 3:19 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/13/22 3:19 PM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Dukkha nanas - keep going straight ahead - they are as impermanent as everything else!
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/14/22 6:44 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/14/22 6:44 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 14 April 2022
Length of Sit: 20 min lying down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Don't know. People are saying 3c or dark night, but I'm not sure
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol's practice noting sitting. Intention to observe annica while noting
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started with noting sensations. Noting interesting happened. Then I moved to thoughts, again noting intheresting, I was pretty distracted. I've started being able to tap into urges a lot better, although, I don't really catch emotions that much.

I think I had a little mini insight that urges cause dukha, because urges are part of craving and break minfulness. I don't know if that is right, but that's what I saw.
What worked? What didn’t?: The noting and the outbreath helps with not forgetting and helps me to relax
Goal for Next Session: To sit tommorow and write in this journal consistently
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/14/22 6:46 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/14/22 6:46 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
George S
Dukkha nanas - keep going straight ahead - they are as impermanent as everything else!
Are you sure. I haven't had any A+P experiences. Although, now that you have mentioned it, I have seen fear, misery and disgust popping up more off cushion. The fear and misery is related to impermenace, but the disgust isn't tho. It's just images of things that disgust me coming into my mind. I still don't know how I skipped A+P
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Sigma Tropic, modified 2 Months ago at 4/14/22 6:56 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/14/22 6:56 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 326 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
 I don't know if that is right, but that's what I saw.
This is correct practice 
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Sigma Tropic, modified 2 Months ago at 4/14/22 6:57 AM
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RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 326 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
I think I had a little mini insight that urges cause dukha, because urges are part of craving and break minfulness. 
This is correct practice 
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Sigma Tropic, modified 2 Months ago at 4/14/22 7:08 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/14/22 7:05 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 326 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
I would suggest to keep noticing the urges and how they are related to suffering- don't worry what the books say or what is supposed to happen- stay in direct moment-by-moment experience. I sense that good things are happening here. 
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/14/22 7:33 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/14/22 7:33 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

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Thanks for the affirmation
George S, modified 2 Months ago at 4/14/22 8:19 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/14/22 8:18 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Macky Ben-Jonah
George S
Dukkha nanas - keep going straight ahead - they are as impermanent as everything else!
Are you sure. I haven't had any A+P experiences. Although, now that you have mentioned it, I have seen fear, misery and disgust popping up more off cushion. The fear and misery is related to impermenace, but the disgust isn't tho. It's just images of things that disgust me coming into my mind. I still don't know how I skipped A+P

Don't worry about how you got here, just try to have the most complete experience of whatever supposed unpleasantness it is that you are experiencing. Try to get really curious about this feeling of disgust. Drop the narratives and just allow yourself to really explore what disgust feels like in the body. It is a fascinating emotion. It is actually there for a very good reason - it evolved to prevent us from eating dangerous foods and avoid catching diseases from sick animals or humans. Absolutely essential for our survival. All living organisms have some kind of disgust reflex. You might find that you start to appreciate and even enjoy the feeling of disgust! Give thanks for something that evolved to keep your ancestors alive and allow you to be here right now practicing the dharma emoticon The only thing that has happened is that in humans the simple feeling of disgust becomes attached to more complex mental objects - political parties, social groups etc. But the basic physical reflex is exactly the same, that's all it is - no need to be disgusted by disgust!
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/14/22 8:40 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/14/22 8:40 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
George S
Macky Ben-Jonah
George S
Dukkha nanas - keep going straight ahead - they are as impermanent as everything else!
Are you sure. I haven't had any A+P experiences. Although, now that you have mentioned it, I have seen fear, misery and disgust popping up more off cushion. The fear and misery is related to impermenace, but the disgust isn't tho. It's just images of things that disgust me coming into my mind. I still don't know how I skipped A+P

Don't worry about how you got here, just try to have the most complete experience of whatever supposed unpleasantness it is that you are experiencing. Try to get really curious about this feeling of disgust. Drop the narratives and just allow yourself to really explore what disgust feels like in the body. It is a fascinating emotion. It is actually there for a very good reason - it evolved to prevent us from eating dangerous foods and avoid catching diseases from sick animals or humans. Absolutely essential for our survival. All living organisms have some kind of disgust reflex. You might find that you start to appreciate and even enjoy the feeling of disgust! Give thanks for something that evolved to keep your ancestors alive and allow you to be here right now practicing the dharma emoticon The only thing that has happened is that in humans the simple feeling of disgust becomes attached to more complex mental objects - political parties, social groups etc. But the basic physical reflex is exactly the same, that's all it is - no need to be disgusted by disgust!


Also, I study a lot. When I am studying, I find it hard to note and study for exams at the same time. Is there an alternate insight technique I can do while I am studying.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/15/22 5:03 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/15/22 5:03 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 15 April 2022
Length of Sit: 20 min sitting
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Don't know. People are saying 3c or dark night, but I'm not sure
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol's practice noting sitting.
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started noting sensationons. I notice that there was a feeling of buzzing in some parts of the body, and also that the sensations in the body would rise and fall with the breath. Also, there was a lot of  tension in the head and around the eyes. Then I switched to noting thoughts and emotions. I had a very disgusting image of someone smearing pus onto a wound. I just noted the disgust. I had some urges, which I noted.
What worked? What didn’t?: The noting and the outbreath helps with not forgetting and helps me to relax. Also, noting urges helps me not to end the sit early when the urges to get up come. I felt that I was a little more distracted than usual.
Goal for Next Session: To sit tommorow and write in this journal consistently
George S, modified 2 Months ago at 4/15/22 7:34 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/15/22 7:34 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Noting/insight can be stressful. If you are already feeling stressed, you need to do a simple relaxation practice to calm the mind down. Just focus on the breath and relax, let go, allow the breath and body to become as calm as possible. 
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/15/22 9:01 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/15/22 9:01 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
George S
Noting/insight can be stressful. If you are already feeling stressed, you need to do a simple relaxation practice to calm the mind down. Just focus on the breath and relax, let go, allow the breath and body to become as calm as possible. 


I'm not stressed. I just can't study and note at the same time, so I can't do off-cushion noting.
George S, modified 2 Months ago at 4/15/22 10:13 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/15/22 10:13 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

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Oh ok, that seems more tricky. Maybe you could try occasionally noting things that you notice while you are studying - eg thinking, reading, turning the page, writing, mind-wandering, boredom, checking the time, wondering when to break etc. Just an idea, haven't tried it myself.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 4/15/22 10:19 AM
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RE: Macky's practice log

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Or, one can just study when one has to study and practice mindfulness when it makes more sense to do so.

Just a thought...
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/16/22 3:51 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/16/22 3:51 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Chris M
Or, one can just study when one has to study and practice mindfulness when it makes more sense to do so.

Just a thought...


Yeah, thats probably the best idea lol
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/19/22 4:12 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/19/22 4:12 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 19 April 2022
Length of Sit: 20 min sitting
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Fairly sure I'm in 3c
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol's practice noting sitting.
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started as usally with noting sensations I felt a buzzing in someparts of the body. Then disgusting images arose in my mi9d, which caused tensions in the body. I swithced to thoughts, and noted visual and aural thoughts for a bit. Then I did freestyle noting
What worked? What didn’t?: The noting and the outbreath helps with not forgetting and helps me to relax.There was i time when I forot for a long period of time, but I came back to noting.
Goal for Next Session: To sit tommorow and write in this journal consistently


Additional notes:

I am pretty sure I am in 3c. The characteristics of Annica and Dukkha are more present in daily life. Also, there are a lot of tensions in my body which is caused by thoughts of disgust. Does anyone have any idea how I can focus on percieving anatta as well, since I see that is weaker.
George S, modified 2 Months ago at 4/19/22 1:01 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/19/22 12:56 PM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Anatta (not-self):- No sense object has a permanent unchanging essence which defines its inherent “self nature”. A table (or at least the experience of a table, which is all we can ever access) is composed of images, physical sensations and thoughts. Likewise a person - images, sounds, feelings, thoughts, memories, expectations, urges, desires, dislikes, behavioral patterns, psychological characteristics etc etc - all causally conditioned by uncontrolled circumstances, none of it essential or stable. What are you really? Whatever comes to mind, deconstruct it and see how it originated from conditions that have nothing whatsoever to do with you. There’s nothing essential you can point to and say ‘that’s me’. Don’t freak out - attachment to an imagined essential permanent self nature is the root cause of suffering. It can be a bit disconcerting to pick apart the illusion, but it’s worth it in the end!
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/21/22 5:40 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/21/22 5:40 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 21 April 2022
Length of Sit: 20 min lying down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Fairly sure I'm in 3c
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol's practice noting sitting.
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started with noting sensaions. Nothing really interesting there. There wasn't really any insights about annica or anything in this sit. I switched to thoughts, and my aural mind was mostly blank. I tried to dial in on urges, but I couldn't find any. So a quiet sit, without that many insights
What worked? What didn’t?: The noting and the outbreath helps with not forgetting and helps me to relax. 
Goal for Next Session: To sit tommorow and write in this journal consistently

In the morning I was in this dream state where I belived that I was close to getting to A+P. Now I've diagnosed myself in 3c, it seems that there is craving to get to A+P. I think I'll deal with this by noting the craving.

Also, I am trying a techinque from the mind illuminated to deal with unskillfull behavior, where you look at the intentions and see the unskillfulness and resolve to behave skillfully.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/22/22 7:11 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/22/22 7:11 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 22 April 2022
Length of Sit: 20 min sitting down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Fairly sure I'm in 3c
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol's practice noting sitting.
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: For some reason, I feel that I need to focus on noting and seeing inpermenance in sensations only. So I just focused on sensations. As I was sitting, I noticed the impermance of attention, as my mind noted one sensation after another. I noticed when I changed noting sensations. As the sit was ending, I got a lot of urges to get up. I noted these urges.
What worked? What didn’t?: The noting and the outbreath helps with not forgetting and helps me to relax. 
Goal for Next Session: To sit tommorow and write in this journal consistently

Well I started getting this thing where a part of my body will tense uncontrollably. I don't know if it's something to do with meditation. Also, there is a greater craving for more exiting A+P experiences.
Also, I am doing "The Mindful Review" from TMI
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/24/22 3:36 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/24/22 3:36 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 24 April 2022
Length of Sit: 20 min sitting down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Fairly sure I'm in 3c
Meditative Techniques Utilized: I read Practical insight meditation and decided to try out the noting techniques in that for this sit. Is it ok to change noting technique, or should I just stick with one noting system?
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: Well, I noted the rising and falling of the breath as "rising" and "falling". If something else came into consciousness, I noted that, then went back to rising and falling of the breath. I can't remember all the distractions I noted and in what order though. At some point, I noted sensations in the hands and feet. It felt as if they were vibrating a little. It reminds me of when I used to try feel the breath in the body when practicing The Mind Illuminated. Also, I kept having "Despacito" as an earworm in my head, although it wasn't unpleasant. I would note that till it dissapeared. Also, I would get disgusting images in my head. I would note that till it dissapeared.
Whn doing the noting from PIM, I noticed I was much more relaxed and concentrated then whn I did shargols noting method. Also, I wasn't clock checking and there were no urges to get up at the end of the sit. Seems promising to me, but I don't know wheather I should just stick with shargol's noting.
Goal for Next Session: To sit tommorow and write in this journal consistently.
Also, I am doing "The Mindful Review" from TMI. I just keep reviewing unskilfull actions. There hasn't really been any change, but I've just started. Alos, the spasms are still there. I think they come because of mediatation and not because of a physical problem, because they only come up when I have some sort of painful thought.

Also, I really want some unusual experience in meditation. Not because I'm simply chasing fireworks, but because it will help allay doubts that I'm wasting my time.
George S, modified 2 Months ago at 4/24/22 10:13 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/24/22 10:11 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Is it ok to change noting technique, or should I just stick with one noting system?

You should just note thoughts about practice as 'thinking', 'wondering', 'planning' etc!

You should note doubts as 'doubting'

You should note wanting unusual experiences as 'wanting'

If you stick to rigorosly noting everything as it is, you will likely start having some unusual experiences ... which of course should just be noted as 'fireworks', 'fascination', 'pride' etc!

You can't go wrong with noting ... so long as you are noting everything!

Keep going! emoticon
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/25/22 6:27 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/25/22 6:27 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 25 April 2022
Length of Sit: 20 min sitting down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Fairly sure I'm in 3c
Meditative Techniques Utilized: I read Practical insight meditation and decided to try out the noting techniques in that for this sit. 
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: Noted the rising and falling of the breath as "rising" and "falling". There was a lot of thoughts that kept pulling me away from the rise and fall of the breath. I noticed that when I didn't note thoughts, especially verbal thoughts, a lot would come. But when I noted them, there would be mostly silence. Also, a lot of disturbing and disgusting images floated across my mind, which I just noted, and then they dissapeared
Goal for Next Session: To sit consistently till I crosss A+P
Also, I am doing "The Mindful Review" from TMI. I just keep reviewing unskilfull actions. There hasn't really been any change, but I've just started. Alos, the spasms are still there. I think they come because of mediatation and not because of a physical problem, because they only come up when I have some sort of painful thought.

I woke up this morning with a buzzing all over my body. At first my mind was like "wow, could this be A+P". But then it dissapeared as the day progressed. It seems that the idea that I'm in 3c is causing my mind to start craving A+P

Also, I seemed to have unlocked an automatic gratitude thing. I'm being more greatful automatically for what I have.
George S, modified 2 Months ago at 4/25/22 10:19 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/25/22 10:19 PM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Could be early A&P. You can deliberately cultivate awareness of the buzzing. Look to develop a sense of pleasure in it. Warning: this can make meditation extremely enjoyable!
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/27/22 7:05 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/27/22 7:05 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
George S
Could be early A&P. You can deliberately cultivate awareness of the buzzing. Look to develop a sense of pleasure in it. Warning: this can make meditation extremely enjoyable!

I'm not sure how I develop a sense of pleasure in the buzzing
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 2 Months ago at 4/27/22 7:20 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/27/22 7:20 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 26 April 2022
Length of Sit: 20 min sitting down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Fairly sure I'm in 3c
Meditative Techniques Utilized: I read Practical insight meditation and decided to try out the noting techniques in that for this sit. 
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: Noted the rising and falling of the breath as "rising" and "falling". The buzzing was mostly in my hands and feet, so I noted it. It just really stayed the same intensity. There was some itching as well. I noted the urge to scratch the  itch, and then I noted the itch. As i noted it it seemed to diminish in intenstiy
Goal for Next Session: To sit consistently till I crosss A+P
Also, I am doing "The Mindful Review" from TMI. I just keep reviewing unskilfull actions. There hasn't really been any change, but I've just started. Alos, the spasms are still there. I think they come because of mediatation and not because of a physical problem, because they only come up when I have some sort of painful thought.

I woke up this morning with a buzzing all over my body. At first my mind was like "wow, could this be A+P". But then it dissapeared as the day progressed. It seems that the idea that I'm in 3c is causing my mind to start craving A+P

Also, I seemed to have unlocked an automatic gratitude thing. I'm being more greatful automatically for what I have.
George S, modified 2 Months ago at 4/27/22 8:34 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/27/22 8:31 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
It's not something you need to create, it's already there but we tend to tune it out. Vizualize something you really enjoy, ice cream or a massage for example, and concentrate on the pure sense of pleasure in the experience. Then switch to the body and see if you can find that same feeling of pleasure somewhere in the body, and let it spread. It's basically just waking up the pleasure receptors in your body which have the natural capacity to feel pleasure at any time, without needing any "external" stimulus. (There may be some resistance and belief that we need to be "doing something" to feel pleasure!)
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 4/27/22 8:39 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/27/22 8:39 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
My suggestion would be to just observe. If a sensation is painful, just observe that. If a sensation is pleasurable, just observe that. If a sensation is neutral, observe that. This is the way to grok how the mind processes sensations, which is the purpose of the kind of meditation you're doing, Macky. Manipulating experience may not lead to the same insights.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 4/30/22 10:43 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/30/22 10:43 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 26 April 2022
Length of Sit: 20 min sitting down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Fairly sure I'm in 3c
Meditative Techniques Utilized: PMI, but switched to shargol halfway
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started by noting the rising and falling of the breath. Then, I moved to noting other things. There was some buzzing, especially in the feet and hands. I can't really remember what I noted, because I didn't have any special experiences. I remember I didn't note many urges or emotions. Also, the spasms and the sadness at anicca and the awe has kinda dissapeared. It feels that I'm regressing a little bit.
Goal for Next Session: To sit consistently till I crosss A+P
Also, I am doing "The Mindful Review" from TMI(The Mind Illuminated). I have noticed that this practice has helped me to build a kind of check. For example, if I have an urge to scream in anger, my mind sorta suddenly starts reminding me of the consequences, and I am able to calm myself better
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Sigma Tropic, modified 1 Month ago at 4/30/22 11:41 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/30/22 11:36 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 326 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
The Mindful Review is an Excellent Practice. I will make another post on this topic.

At 3C's effort is the practice. You have to try very hard. It's the only nana where effort pays off. The 3C nana is very simple really- just try the following exercise. Find the solid pain sensation in your experience. Then look keenly at that pain sensation, as if you are trying to bring every single neuron to full attention 100%. You really have to stretch the mind- the intention to dissolve reality into vibrations is what precedes reality dissolving into vibrations. You make more brain try as hard as possible to see clearly. This intention makes more neurons pay attention and over time you develop this mental capacity.

I remember when I first broke the A&P memrane- (it was actually a membrane)- I was doing TMI body breathing practice- trying very hard to put every single cell of my brain on the subtlest of breath sensations in my body. Very subtle object, trying very hard. This came about by chance and not really what was instructed- common advice warns heavily of wrong effort- but actually my first 3C's to A&P was 100% force of will. This is one instance where you really just gotta want it and try really hard like your life depends on how many neurons you can bring to the object. 
 
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Sigma Tropic, modified 1 Month ago at 4/30/22 11:58 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/30/22 11:58 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 326 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Macky, to break A&P do the following:

1) For the next few sits, try to bring all your mind 100% to every experience. Try to see everything. See if you can access a "other level" of perception. Try really hard to see subtle phenomena. For the buzzing that you're experiencing, you can get very focused and then take that buzzing as the meditation object, try really hard to perceive the buzzing with more clarity. That's one thing that necessary, and you should sit with that and report back what you find in phenomenological terms. 

2) What will 100% break A&P for someone in Mackey's position, is to do the above, for several weeks, and refine and stretch the mind- try really hard to see the vibrations. Wait a while, a few weeks, until you feel like your perception has gone up a level. 

3) If you haven't broken through yet, then with the above basis you introduce the heart charkra to the rest of the system. You're doing body breathing, so what you can do, which will be especially powerful if you're doing 1 and 2, get to a point where you can't try anymore, then do this:

"May I be peaceful, happy, and at ease" Say that in your mind, envision yourself being cleansed in a healing light, or whatever other colorful visualization you feel fits. Do that when you feel you can't try really hard anymore at seeing clearly. Then when you get bored with that go back to trying to see everything clearly. 

So my basic instructions are 
1) try really hard 
2) surrender
3) repeat if necessary

If when doing this practice of trying really hard when you give up, you go back to 3C's, then you go back to trying really hard.

Mackey, just try this and keep logging, you'll get A&P soon enough. 
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 5/4/22 4:52 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/4/22 4:52 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 3 May 2022

Length of Sit: 20 min sitting down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Fairly sure I'm in 3c
Meditative Techniques Utilized: shargol noting
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started by noting thoughts. I focused on visual thoughts. Sometimes some sort of disgusting image come up, such as needles being inserted into my fingernails. I noted this and watched how this would cause a corresponding sensation in my fingers. This idn't happen a lot. Then I moved to noting sensation. There wasn't anything interesting there, the vibrations aren't as present as they used to be. I planned to do freestyle noting, but my alarm went off
Goal for Next Session: To sit consistently till I crosss A+P
Also, I am doing "The Mindful Review" from TMI(The Mind Illuminated). I've noticed that this check is growing stronger. It helps me not to do unskilful actions when I am angry.
Also, before doing these practices, I used to practice a form of self-enquiry influenced by Ramana Maharshi and Gary Weber. Basically I would ask "Where am I", and try and loo for the self. I've noticed that my mind has spontaniously started doing this, and started to freak out at the lack of self.

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Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 5/5/22 6:09 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/5/22 6:09 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 5 May 2022
Length of Sit: 20 min sitting down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Fairly sure I'm in 3c
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Shargol noting
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started by noting sensations that arose. There was a little buzzing in the feet, but it was quite weak. Also, I was distracted by thoughts a lot in this sit, although I came back when I was mindful of this.
Then I switched to thoughts. I started by noting visual thoughts. It seems that whenever I drect my attention to the visual mind, a lot of distressing images come up. I noted them, and observed how those visual thoughts caused corresponding sensations in different parts of the body. Also, I was distracted a lot by verbal thoughts. I was going to do freestyle noting but the timer rang
Goal for Next Session: To sit consistently till I crosss A+P
Also, I am doing "The Mindful Review" from TMI(The Mind Illuminated). I've noticed that I'm becoming more mindful of unskillful interactions in my interactions towards other people.


Does anyone have any ideas of off-cushion practice I can do. I used to do off cushion noting but that doesn't work well with reading, which I do a lot of. I know Chris M told me to "study when one has to study and practice mindfulness when it makes more sense to do so", but I would like some ideas off off cushion practice, so I can decide by myself what to do.
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 5/5/22 8:27 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/5/22 8:27 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Macky,

One technique I've used was to set a timer and use it as a periodic reminder to stop and pay attention. I used my phone but a smart watch would work better. This repetitively stopped my automatic processing and caused a pause into which I could insert a review of the usually less-than-mindful period since the last pause, I could then do a short, gentle critique of what I had been doing, and why. The periods I use to use were ten or fifteen minutes - short enough to be useful in a mindfulness sense but not so short as to be maddening and disruptive.

Hope this helps.
george, modified 1 Month ago at 5/7/22 8:16 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/7/22 8:16 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 388 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Hey Macky. Now I couldn't pin point the moment I had an A&P but I do remember loving everything about meditation and then shit hitting the fan and then hating everything. The way I did this was noting, note like a mad man & don't rest, do it outloud if you have to, note everything from people talking while you sit to a car driving by, anything and everything, ringing in your ears, itch on ankle, note your perceptions on those things, I did this really fast, just bounced from one thing to another and if you stop note stopping, bam bam bam, I sometimes think back to that time when I started and how well I was able to pin point stuff arising. The good thing about doing noting fast is it doesn't give the mind time to proliferate rubbish and concentration deepens, as it deepens attention becomes sharp. After noting very fast with gross outside stuff I liked to go into image space or talk space of the mind and watch stuff happen before its perceived as something. You should try really hard to sit everyday and put the effort in like sigma is saying. You will have to do this for several months before anything happens, so keep at it! Your goal is a good one, persistence is key!
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 5/9/22 7:50 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/9/22 7:50 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 9 May 2022
Length of Sit: 20 min sitting down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Fairly sure I'm in 3c
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting with self-enqury. asically, I note on the inbreath, and ask who feels on the outbreath
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I basically stuck with sensation. I was very distracted and noting interesting happened. There was some buzzing, but not very strong.
Goal for Next Session: To sit consistently till I crosss A+P
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 5/10/22 12:54 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/10/22 12:54 PM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 9 May 2022
Length of Sit: 20 min sitting down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  Fairly sure I'm in 3c
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting with self-enqury. asically, I note on the inbreath, and ask who feels on the outbreath
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I strated noting sensation for a little while. I felt concentrated. I wasn't really able to find who was actually percieving what I was noting, which was very interesting. I switched to thoughts, and then did sensations and thoughts. A little of buzzing, but not much
Goal for Next Session: To sit consistently till I crosss A+P

I got angry today and exploded. Interestingly, even though I couldn't control my actions, I had a very strong sense of the possible consequences of my actions, and a stronger degree of mindfulness than I usually have when I get upset. The problem with the mindful review is that i don't get angry constaantly. I just have bouts of anger once in a while that can be really destructive. So this means that I tend to not be sue what to review. so I just review old stuff.
George S, modified 1 Month ago at 5/10/22 6:17 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/10/22 6:17 PM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
I just scanned the mindful review from TMI and it looks a bit intellectual. If it's not working for you, what I would recommend doing is getting yourself calm and centered in meditation and then intentionally replay the angry outburst in your head and observe what happens in your body. You will probably feel the anger rising, the heart pumping faster, the adrenaline coursing through the system, maybe some pressure in the face or tension in the belly, maybe sweaty hands or clenching etc. Try to ignore the angry thoughts (what you said or did or what you wish you'd said and done). The point of this exercise is to feel as fully as possible the physiscal sensatiuons of anger without reacting in thought or action. You may need to repeat the exercise several times. Eventually you should start to feel a shift, where the sensations morph into a freer flowing form of energy and start to pass through your system rather than getting "stuck". Stuck anger is what produces the fuel for the next angry outburst, whereas allowing the sensations of anger to pass through your body leaves you freer to experience anger the next time a situation arises without it turning into an outburst.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 5/16/22 5:36 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/16/22 5:36 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 16 May 2022
Length of Sit: 20 min sitting down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  I don't really know now. i feel as if I've lost momentume. The buzzig is still there, but the spasms, and the noticing of impermance has kinda dissapeared.
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting with self-enqury. asically, I note on the inbreath, and ask who feels on the outbreath
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I strated noting sensation for a little while. I felt really distracted in this sit. There was a slight awarness of the fact there is no one who feels, but sometimes I felt as if I was asking the question as a mantra than as an investigation. Then i swithced to thoughts, and then I did freestyle noting.

Feels like I've lsot momentum, can anyone help me out here?
Goal for Next Session: To sit consistently till I crosss A+P
George S, modified 1 Month ago at 5/16/22 6:24 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/16/22 6:16 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Session:  I don't really know now. i feel as if I've lost momentume. The buzzig is still there, but the spasms, and the noticing of impermance has kinda dissapeared.

​​​​​​​Sounds like dukkha nanas! (loss of momentum, feeling that noticing of impermanence isn't as clear) 

(Re)read relevant parts of Practical Insight Meditation or MCTB to see if you can recognize the stages.

The key in dukkha nanas is to accept the loss of momentum, accept the widening of attention ("loss of focus"). It's par for the course. Accept and investigate. If you resist it you get stuck, if you embrace it you progress to equanimity.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 5/16/22 6:23 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/16/22 6:23 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
For me, I'm very confused because my experience doesn't really link up with the nanas. Firstly, I didn't really see the A+P. Also, I'm not really seeing the fear, misery, and disgust that the comes with the dukkah nanas. I'm kind of taking the fustration about the lack of progress and uncertanty abotu wheather I am doing it right as a meditation object, which seems to work. 
George S, modified 1 Month ago at 5/16/22 7:41 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/16/22 7:41 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Taking the hindrance as meditation object - that's always good practice emoticon

A&P doesn't necessarily have to be a big wow. The first few times I crossed it on the cushion I was unsure, because it was more of a mild buzzy thing. But with repetition came clarity, and I found the POI very helpful for crossing the DN, just knowing that it was part of the terrain and seeing how other people navigate it. That having been said, a lot of people don't use maps. Developing your intuition is important as well, probably more important at the end of the day, so it's good that you are finding your own solutions to issues as they arise emoticon
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Pepe ·, modified 1 Month ago at 5/16/22 9:53 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/16/22 9:53 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 573 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Macky see if this helps your self-diagnose: Daniel Ingram's List of symptoms for ñana diagnosis.

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Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 5/20/22 8:31 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/20/22 8:31 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 20 May 2022
Length of Sit: 20 min sitting down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  I don't really know now. i feel as if I've lost momentume. The buzzig is still there, but the spasms, and the noticing of impermance has kinda dissapeared.
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting with self-enqury. asically, I note on the inbreath, and ask who feels on the outbreath
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: Nothing much happened. I had a vivid vision of picking a scab on my neck, which caused actual pains on my neck. Apart from that, nothing interesting happened. Also, there was a bit of frustration, when I forgot to note. I noted that as emotion

Am I doing well, or not?
Goal for Next Session: To sit consistently till I crosss A+P


I think the loss of momentum is due to the fact that I cut my sit down from 40 mins to 20 min. I will increase it back up and see what haapens.Also, I am having a lot of trouble having consistent meditation practice, as you can probably see from my irregular journal lol
George S, modified 1 Month ago at 5/20/22 10:50 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/20/22 10:50 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
You are doing fine Macky. You would probably benefit from a bit more energy & focus in your practice. Try this:- Imagine you are training a microscope on your experience. Whatever objects arise (physical sensations, feelings, urges, thoughts, images, sounds etc.) look at them as closely as possible. Turn the magnification up by 2x, and then by another 2x, until all you can see is bare sensations, particles of experience, vibrations of energy, winking in and out of existence. Every time a more complex object arises, repeat. This should lead to a more noticeable experience of A&P.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 5/21/22 8:44 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/21/22 8:44 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 21 May 2022
Length of Sit: 40 min sitting down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  I have no idea right now
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting with self-enquiry. asically, I note on the inbreath, and ask who feels on the outbreath
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started with sensations.Nothing interesting really happened. Then I moved to thoughts. Again nothing really interesting. I just had to be careful, when doing the enquiry question, to actually try and look for the self, instead of using the question as a mantra.
I had a slight headache because of the longer time
Also, there was a strong urge to get up before the sit was finished. I noted this as urge

Goal for Next Session: To sit consistently till I crosss A+P
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 5/23/22 7:36 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/23/22 7:36 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
George S
You are doing fine Macky. You would probably benefit from a bit more energy & focus in your practice. Try this:- Imagine you are training a microscope on your experience. Whatever objects arise (physical sensations, feelings, urges, thoughts, images, sounds etc.) look at them as closely as possible. Turn the magnification up by 2x, and then by another 2x, until all you can see is bare sensations, particles of experience, vibrations of energy, winking in and out of existence. Every time a more complex object arises, repeat. This should lead to a more noticeable experience of A&P.
What exactly do you mean by looking as closely as possible. What happens when I try and do that is I strain my eyes and get a headache
Danny S, modified 1 Month ago at 5/23/22 5:53 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/23/22 5:53 PM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 55 Join Date: 6/18/21 Recent Posts
Hi Macky. After discovering noting practice, I spent about 6 months practicing without a lot of consistency, rarely sitting longer than 20 min, often wondering whether I was doing it right, and not having much happen. It sounds like your practice is somewhat similar.

What really got my practice going was when I had the chance to go on a weekend retreat. After 5 or 6 hours of trying to note 2, 3, sometimes even 4 distinct physical sensations per second on the first day, my breath started going in jerks in time with my noting, then I felt off-balance and the pain in my legs got almost unbearable, and then the pain receded and I had a big experience with euphoria and bright light and fast vibrations happening on their own.

Daniel gives this advice in MCTB Ch 12:
I often think of the momentum that retreats generate in terms of rolling a boulder up and over a hill. If you get a long running start, pushing hard the whole way, you are more likely to be able to get the boulder rolling fast enough so that it rolls over the hill in one straight shot. If you push intermittently or half-heartedly, the boulder is likely to roll back when you get to the steep part of the hill, but you have worn the hill down a bit, and you may also be a bit stronger for the exercise. Thus, it is possible to wear down the hill given enough time, but it is much faster to simply power over it the first time and move on to the next hill. I know of no obvious benefits from slow practice that fails to gain some footholds in the territory of concentration or insight.
Those who take the “wear down the hill” approach may eventually lose faith and interest, having done much work to little effect. Those who really apply themselves and cross a few hills early on through focused and consistent effort, such as retreats or solid daily life practice, will have more of a sense of accomplishment and empowerment, and may have even put in less total time and effort than those who tried to wear down the hill. This irony should not be lost on those who want to be smart about developing their meditative skills.
When it comes to crossing the A&P, my impression is that you can almost never use "too much" energy and effort. Even if you spaz yourself out, as long as you keep trying to note as fast as possible while making sure each note corresponds to a distinct physical sensation, and do this consistently second after second, you could see some results in a matter of hours.

If you want to have a clear A&P experience, here's something you can try:

See if you can block off one day, or even just 6 hours in the morning, on a weekend to do nothing but stay in your room and practice. Wake up early, note while you eat a solid breakfast and get a little more caffeinated than usual, and then sit, set a timer for 45 minutes, and note the physical sensations of your breath at the abdomen (pressure, your belly contecting your shirt, whatever) like your life depends on it. "inininin", "outoutoutout". Then set a timer for 15 min and walk back and forth while noting the sensations of walking: "lift move drop press lift move drop press". Or even "leftleftleftleft", "rightrightrightright". Repeat for the next hour.

For distractions, don't wory about the difference between thoughts and urges and emotions or anything else. You can even just use "that" for everything you experience. "thatthathtatthat".
It's ok to sit longer than 45 min, but try to sit at least that long without changing posture. This will likely be quite painful. Crossing the A&P seems to often require overcoming some physical pain threshold. The Mahasi center I went to made everyone sit on a cushion, ideally cross-legged but they would tolerate kneeling, and only allowed you to sit on a chair to "rest" for 15 min max. The retreat coordinator said it felt like a nail was being driven into his leg. The pain could be something else, like the headache you mentioned, but the important thing is to note it and push through.

You can also try what George S suggested, but it seems like the instructions aren't making intuitive sense to you, and noting is pretty unambiguous. Either way, the important thing is to really power the energy and effort, consistently, for a large chunk of time.

Anyway, it's just something to try, and shouldn't replace the great advice you've been getting regarding your daily practice. It just seems like you're a bit hung up about not having a clear A&P experience, and it seems like your motivation would benefit from a taste of what high-dose, consistent practice can do. I know, it's inconvenient because blocking off that much time requires reorganizing things in your "real life", but I'll be honest: even if you practice 40 min/day and never miss a day, you are probably not going to have any of the A&P fireworks Daniel describes. You need multiple hours (or days, ideally) back to back. Not that big experience fireworks are the point of practice, of course emoticon
George S, modified 1 Month ago at 5/23/22 9:37 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/23/22 9:37 PM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
 I mean focus as closely as possible with your mind, not your eyes!

I think Danny's advice below is good. When I started noting I was practicing at home but I was sometimes doing multi-day runs of 3-5 hours per day. Not all the time, but when I felt stuck and wanted to get things moving ...

 
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 8:53 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 8:53 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
George S
 I mean focus as closely as possible with your mind, not your eyes!

I think Danny's advice below is good. When I started noting I was practicing at home but I was sometimes doing multi-day runs of 3-5 hours per day. Not all the time, but when I felt stuck and wanted to get things moving ...

 How do you do this? Do you set an intention to focus as hard as you can at the start of the sit, do you stop syncronising the noting with the breath and try and note as fast as you can. Which one?
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 8:56 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 8:56 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
I see what you mean. The problem is that I'm really busy and I probably will not be able to go on a retreat or do a full day home retreat for a very long time. Is there another way of building momentum if you can't go on retreats?
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 9:34 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 9:33 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Is there another way of building momentum if you can't go on retreats?

Yes, there is. Just practice every day. Every. Day. Don't skip, no matter what. If your schedule gets changed, find another time to practice that day. Consistency is what matters.
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 9:45 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 9:45 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Chris M
Is there another way of building momentum if you can't go on retreats?

Yes, there is. Just practice every day. Every. Day. Don't skip, no matter what. If your schedule gets changed, find another time to practice that day. Consistency is what matters.

Should I be consistent in my journaling as well?
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 9:58 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 9:58 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 24 May 2022
Length of Sit: 40 min sitting down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  I have no idea right now
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting with self-enquiry. asically, I note on the inbreath, and ask who feels on the outbreath
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started with sensations. I tried to zoom in as close as possible, I wasn't sure how to actually zoom in and I think I just ended up straining my eyes lol. There was an extende period where I was lost in thoughts and forgot to note. There was some disappointment when I realized I hadn't been noting, but I labeled that as emotion. I noticed that verbal thoughts would disappear when I noted them, but visual thoughts wouldn't. 

Goal for Next Session: To sit consistently till I crosss A+P
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 3:40 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 10:39 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Should I be consistent in my journaling as well?


​​​​​​​Sure, but the practice itself is the most important part.
Danny S, modified 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 12:39 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 12:35 PM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 55 Join Date: 6/18/21 Recent Posts
I have a hard time sticking to schedules, but the thing that really allowed me to establish a consistent practice was waking up at 5am every day and practicing before anyone else is awake. That said, in your case, studies have shown that school schedules are already unhealthy early given the amount of sleep that adolescents need, so you probably don't have much wiggle room there. If you have the energy at night, meditating at the same time every night before bed could be a way of establishing a consistent practice while also improving your sleep hygine! Take my word for it, studying, talking, looking at screens, etc. less than an hour before bed is not worth it. Giving your mind time to wind down more than makes up for lost studying time with the improved productivity/memory/creativity/judgement you'll have from better sleep.
George S, modified 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 6:43 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 6:43 PM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Setting an intention always helps to effect results.

It's not a question of force or speed, it's investigating as closely as possible whatever object at whichever sense door is currently in focus. If your main object is the breath then that is composed of a lot of smaller sensations. If it was an external image then you would indeed be "looking more closely", though as you say this can strain the eyes (not a problem with an internal image!) Look for the "center" of the object and focus around there. The idea is to see how the object is composed of much smaller transient sensations or vibrations, and once you start to see that it's A&P time ...
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 5/25/22 6:38 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/25/22 6:38 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
George S
Setting an intention always helps to effect results.

It's not a question of force or speed, it's investigating as closely as possible whatever object at whichever sense door is currently in focus. If your main object is the breath then that is composed of a lot of smaller sensations. If it was an external image then you would indeed be "looking more closely", though as you say this can strain the eyes (not a problem with an internal image!) Look for the "center" of the object and focus around there. The idea is to see how the object is composed of much smaller transient sensations or vibrations, and once you start to see that it's A&P time ...



I understand what you mean now. Is it important then to try and focus at the smallest possible sections you can. For example, noting the sensations in only one hand instead of trying to note the ones in both hands.

Also, when do I set an intention. Do I set an intention just to notices sensations in as much detail at the start of the sit, or do I keep "refreshing" the intention
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 1 Month ago at 5/28/22 11:15 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/28/22 11:15 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 24 May 2022
Length of Sit: 40 min sitting down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  I have no idea right now
Meditative Techniques Utilized: 
I used a mix of self-enquiry and noting. Basically, I would note on a inbreath and ask "Who feels", or "who hears this thought" on the outbreath. Some times it would swap over if I got lost
I started my meditation sit by noting visual and verbal thoughts. Then I moved to urges. Then after that emotions. After that I did freestyle noting.

Nothing interesting happen when I noted thoughts. My mind was blank for most of that time, although I did forget to note for some periods throughout the whole sit. I felt that my focus was concentrated for most of the sit, but when a distracting thought came I completely forget to note. This kept happening throughout the whole sit
There was nothing really interesting when I noted uges. Mostly, I was just noting "none", but some urges came up which I noted.
 When I started to note emotions, something really interesting happened. At first, I was just noting "none", because I couldn't perceive any emotion. But after a little while, sudden joy came for no reason. I noted this as joy and it lasten most of the time I focused on emotions. It kinda vanished once I finished the sit though
Nothing interesting happening in the freestyling period. I ended my sit five minutes early because the urge to get up got unbearable

What do you think? where should I go from here?
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 19 Days ago at 6/8/22 5:04 AM
Created 19 Days ago at 6/8/22 5:04 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Date: Feb 8 June 2022
Length of Sit: 40 min sitting down
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:  I have no idea right now
Meditative Techniques Utilized: 
I used a mix of self-enquiry and noting. Basically, I would note on a inbreath and ask "Who feels", or "who hears this thought" on the outbreath. Some times it would swap over if I got lost


I started my sit by noting emotions. I felt a sense of peace and joy, so I noted "peace". I kept being distracted and switching to noting sensations when  didn't want to. I had a slight buzzing in the body, and a sense of joy throughout the whole sit.
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Sigma Tropic, modified 18 Days ago at 6/9/22 12:57 AM
Created 18 Days ago at 6/9/22 12:57 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 326 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Sounds like meditative joy- probably early A&amp;P - some set of conditions is in place for that to happen, try continuing whatever you did to get that to happen- joy is good. Sounds like noting emotions is the way forward. Whatever that's tripping in your mind is doing something good- keep going. Get more joy- that's the cutting edge sounds like. If the joy is strong enough just soak into it and let it embrace you and take refuge in it.&nbsp;<br /><br /> 
Danny S, modified 18 Days ago at 6/9/22 10:58 AM
Created 18 Days ago at 6/9/22 10:58 AM

RE: Macky's practice log

Posts: 55 Join Date: 6/18/21 Recent Posts
I agree, sounds like early A&P. Just FYI, from reading your log, I would guess that this is at least your third time getting to the A&P.

I'm interested in what more experienced members think of this, but my mental model is that, at least pre-Stream Entry, meditators "start over" in a new POI cycle whenever they start practicing at a significantly higher level of concentration. The higher concentration could come from switching to a new technique or, more often, from increasing time on the cushion. This is why meditators experience a "retreat reset" where they climb up through nanas 1-4 even if they had been consistently in Dark Night or Equanimity during their daily life practice.

I would guess that this is what is occurring for you, Macky, because you recently doubled the duration of your sits. The reason I say this is so that, as you experience more peace and joy, you keep in mind that the disgust, confusion, distraction, and other difficulties you were going through previously are not defilements that you have overcome with stronger practice, but rather intricate mental proscesses that you can look forward to experiencing again with more clarity soon enough (and yes, even confusion and distraction and lack of "clarity" can be experienced clearly).

For me, the peace and joy of the A&P always faded into Dissolution right when it seemed like the A&P was just getting started. I would think that I'd "fallen back" and was doing something wrong, but if you continues practicing with the same consistency and yet find the peace and joy and clarity fade, even if you feel you only glimpsed them, that almost always indicates you're getting another opportunity to explore the Dark Night, which is the key to reaching Equanimity.

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