Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 3/29/22 5:21 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/29/22 5:21 AM

Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 6262 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
March 29th, 2022

This is a confusing part of the path. I have had a lot of flukes, but I probably really need to be patient now and just go through the ups and downs and learn to deal with hindrances as they occur, which they do. I heard Adyashanti say something along the line that the first awakening is a grace that doesn't need to be deserved and that is given for free, but that integrating it will cost you everything. I'm still holding on to stuff. To what I'm not even sure. 

The quality of my practice is very uneven. It seems to go better when I'm not the one ("subjectively") doing it, but it also doesn't seem to go well when I passively wait for it to do itself, so I guess I'll just go through the motions regardless of how it goes. 

For biographical reference, the fourth season of Michael Taft's Reversing the Stack class has started. I believe that I'm working towards 3rd MCTB2 path, but I didn't accomplish any of that. It was a freebie and now I need to work for it, in the sense that Adya said it. That will probably take some time. I haven't been at it for very long, so old habits are strong. Thus I don't expect this log to be filled with deep revelations or fancy attainments. It will probably be very boring to read. 
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 3/29/22 8:12 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/29/22 8:12 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Linda, if you are where you believe you are on the path, then you do indeed just have to keep your head down and push through. This time, for me, was long and confusing. I expected more progress but found none for extended periods of time. Doubt and frustration will occur, but this will pass. Proceed with confidence.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 3/29/22 9:04 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Thankyou Chris! I appreciate it a lot. It helps. <3
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Month ago at 3/29/22 1:12 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/29/22 1:08 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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To tell you the truth Linda everything before 4th path is confusing.
It is only after that there is only sunshine and rainbows ~_^

One thing that helped me and which when I think about was what gave me abilities to do formless jhanas* was calling fruitions. Not anything grandiose with bells and whistles or anything like that but simple disruption of mind forcing it to either only rest for a moment or rest and regroup.

So I would notice unskillful qualities... but really if that is anything really unskillful or some lonely part of me is suffering, alone, not understood by peers... no idea... kinda made sense that isolated alone part of mind would be seen by rest of the mind as 'what the heck is going on there?'. So my solution was: just make state that is momentary rest. Kinda shutdown for single moment so that if mind has to change something on some other level it can do it during this brief pause and everyone gets moment of rest for free. In this moment mind can find itself, do things it cannot otherwise do. Also when its is lack of rest that prevents these things from happening.

And when the idea was created I'd just blast mind with it. Some times it would cause things to arise differently, some times the same. It would definitely add discontinuity to experience. Not that I didn't already have or feel the discontinuity but this would be even more discontinuity. Discontinuity at moment's notice, right at the moment it was needed.

I would then make my goal: use this fruition of mine in such a way as to not need these natural fruitions which happen after end of insight cycle. If I do it right I get the same results with experience which I can simply do at any time. Of course practicing like that would improve both this fruition and my knowledge about mind.

I would avoid them brave and well but for me fruition would still happen and this would be 3rd path fruition. Still quite dark but sky was becoming kinda brighter, more bluer, I could feel subtly warm cold wind, feel it in the air that something brilliant is lurking over the horizon and it is leisurely coming my way emoticon

*) Imagine that when you get enlightened it is not necessarily immediately clear what caused what to put you where you are and these things still have to be figured out. What a nerve on this mind! Maybe if I was more organized to begin with then I would not have this question so what was my merit exactly? but then again I would still rather spend 8 years figuring how I got the attainment than spend 8 years figuring out how to get the attainment ;)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 3/30/22 6:28 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Ni Nurta
To tell you the truth Linda everything before 4th path is confusing.
It is only after that there is only sunshine and rainbows ~_^

One thing that helped me and which when I think about was what gave me abilities to do formless jhanas* was calling fruitions. Not anything grandiose with bells and whistles or anything like that but simple disruption of mind forcing it to either only rest for a moment or rest and regroup.

So I would notice unskillful qualities... but really if that is anything really unskillful or some lonely part of me is suffering, alone, not understood by peers... no idea... kinda made sense that isolated alone part of mind would be seen by rest of the mind as 'what the heck is going on there?'. So my solution was: just make state that is momentary rest. Kinda shutdown for single moment so that if mind has to change something on some other level it can do it during this brief pause and everyone gets moment of rest for free. In this moment mind can find itself, do things it cannot otherwise do. Also when its is lack of rest that prevents these things from happening.

And when the idea was created I'd just blast mind with it. Some times it would cause things to arise differently, some times the same. It would definitely add discontinuity to experience. Not that I didn't already have or feel the discontinuity but this would be even more discontinuity. Discontinuity at moment's notice, right at the moment it was needed.

I would then make my goal: use this fruition of mine in such a way as to not need these natural fruitions which happen after end of insight cycle. If I do it right I get the same results with experience which I can simply do at any time. Of course practicing like that would improve both this fruition and my knowledge about mind.

I would avoid them brave and well but for me fruition would still happen and this would be 3rd path fruition. Still quite dark but sky was becoming kinda brighter, more bluer, I could feel subtly warm cold wind, feel it in the air that something brilliant is lurking over the horizon and it is leisurely coming my way emoticon

*) Imagine that when you get enlightened it is not necessarily immediately clear what caused what to put you where you are and these things still have to be figured out. What a nerve on this mind! Maybe if I was more organized to begin with then I would not have this question so what was my merit exactly? but then again I would still rather spend 8 years figuring how I got the attainment than spend 8 years figuring out how to get the attainment ;)


Thankyou! It is confusing indeed. The six months of practice leading up to stream entry seem like a fabulous ride in my memory, although I know that according to my logs from that time there were lots of ups and downs back then too. It’s a much slower ride now.

I think I do call up fruitions when I need them the most, but I can’t do it in an instant, or at least that’s the belief. I have interpreted them as repeat fruitions from earlier paths. I usually need to spend some time ”unclenching” before I can surrender enough. They are probably not what you are talking about.

I also tune into ”the view”, as they call it in Dzogchen and Mahamudra. That can be very instantaneous and definitely changes the appearance of reality. There is no unconsciousness going on there. It’s something that I try to drop into as often and as long as possible, without forcing it in any way. I think it’s the same thing as some refer to as the direct path. I don’t know if that’s close to what you are talking about or something else entirely.

Before I started my practice, I used to do what I called a ”reboot”. I guess it could be described as some kind of dissociation, but I really liked it. It sort of re-set the mind, if that makes any sense. My eyelids would flutter and there was a sense of unity while at the same time much less conceptualization, and sensory impressions were vibrational and vibrant and unsolid and… somewhat ethereal, I guess. Coming out of it, vedana that had been too strong was much softer or basically gone. It was something I did as a way to survive. It was a way out. Since I started the practice, I haven’t been doing it, because it feels like an escape, a rejection of the world of form. It feels like it creates a duality, a binary glitch that doesn’t need to be there. I don’t know. Does it at all sound like what you are talking about? If so, how did you go about it to make it something other than an escape? If not, what would you say is the difference?

This ”calling up” thing still puzzles me; even though I do know from experience that it can work, I have too much doubt about it for it to work reliably. That’s something to play with, I suppose.
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SigmaTropic, modified 1 Month ago at 3/30/22 7:48 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/30/22 7:47 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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(1)The six months of practice leading up to stream entry seem like a fabulous ride in my memory, although I know that according to my logs from that time there were lots of ups and downs back then too. It’s a much slower ride now.

(2)I think I do call up fruitions when I need them the most, but I can’t do it in an instant, or at least that’s the belief. I have interpreted them as repeat fruitions from earlier paths. I usually need to spend some time ”unclenching” before I can surrender enough. They are probably not what you are talking about.

(3)I also tune into ”the view”, as they call it in Dzogchen and Mahamudra. That can be very instantaneous and definitely changes the appearance of reality. There is no unconsciousness going on there. It’s something that I try to drop into as often and as long as possible, without forcing it in any way. I think it’s the same thing as some refer to as the direct path. I don’t know if that’s close to what you are talking about or something else entirely.

(4)This ”calling up” thing still puzzles me; even though I do know from experience that it can work, I have too much doubt about it for it to work reliably. That’s something to play with, I suppose.
You're talking about some interesting things here Polly and I like where you're heading. This thing you do with your mind where you did the reboot, that sort of thing is what you mess around with in your our brain to figure out how to use it in the world of form. It sounds like you get into fruitions doing that if there is a reboot and a sense of relief. That is exactly what it is in the moment of form. You get some relief and you did something with your mind on purpose. You seem kinda averse to using your mind to stop suffering in the moment- may try to investigate why there is some idea that "using mind on purpose" has more self in it than "realizing awake awareness" and is that really the case. What about the felt sense of self is going on when you see the view and when it passes. What kind of craving and stories and manipulating does your mind do? etc. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Month ago at 3/31/22 2:15 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/31/22 2:15 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Proper fruition takes time, unless you prepared everything beforehand and it is just this snapping fingers like action that is done to do the switch... I must admit I do it like that just for shows. Kinda what sense of self is for if you ask me. Lots of effort to maintain illusions it creates but when knowing how it works it is not confusing but rather amusing emoticon

Fruition happen when you mark your current mind and associated resources - whole or part of it - have new resources wake up which can take role (note: best those which want this, feel ready, etc.) and this part takes the longest really, then do the switch, either manually or automatically based on conditions for it. When there is urgent need to do switch best to calm down, experience some jhana or something and let mind figure itself, parts of it who wants to run mind to step forward by themselves than pick them at random and cause confusion. That is why if not prepared beforehand it takes some time until I feel there is right moment to do it. Preparing beforehand is just this, mind can make preparations of new parts of mind to be ready to take role to generate consciousness based on conditions. Condition can be subtle indications mind that generates current consciousness is getting tired. It will always come down to tired neurons, facts of dry insight ;)

The experience break thing I also some times call fruition but it is different fruition. I call it 2nd path fruit because I developed it at 2nd path. It is ability to momentarily stop activity without deliberate switch of any kind. It was developed from previous experiences, similar to what you describe you can do. This eyelid fluttering experience I liked very much and sometimes do. The whole point in practice, doing it volitionally is to improve these experiences, your abilities to create these experiences. Often it is more about getting subtler and more precise than 'stronger'. In mind what is stronger is really causing overdrive artifacts as I call them (its from LCD monitor control algorithms) and to get something to feel stronger you need to make more of it at once in more parts of your mind at once. Very subtle experience but done by a lot nodes == not only very vivid experience but incredibly detailed.

It is very important to know this type of break and master it. Very very very important.
Simple example of fun use: do cessation of experience of hand when you are actively pressing it against something. If you can notice moments in which experience arise and stop them in arising consciousness of touch you can make yourself pretty much not experience it. Even easier for background experience of body. Why experience body if you have ability to stop activity at arbitrary moment. Ability to do something instantly == ability to set it to any trigger.

BTW. Few days ago I posted useful practice so I'll just pin it here
Ni Nurta
Here is fun off-cushion practice I invented 8 years ago for myself and had great results with it.
Figuring out what you want to experience by using restlessness as a detector.

For example 
If I was thinking about jhanas there would be probably idea of state called 'jhana' but I would not focus on this but rather first focus on restlessness of my mind. Being restless means mind wants something and it would be this something that not having makes mind restless what I would then focus on rather than whatever idea or event initially might have caused mind to become restless.

There might be experiences in the mind which seems like obvious answers but I would not take such answers but rather try to feel them and see how experiencing them affects restlessness of the mind. If it doesn't seem to reduce it then I would search elsewhere. Eventually usually somewhere far away I would find area which when experienced consciously make mind to not be restless anymore.

That's it, it is the experience I actually wanted to experience!

It is simple implementation of control theory. If you have sensor it should be used.
At times, especially when mind has lots of this restlessness thing it becomes so hard to do this it kinda proves itself to not work. It works though, just with lots of sources of restless in mind you need to track them all at once separately. Becomes easier when you stopped most of these things otherwise you need to split your awareness to as much parts as objects you track and their experiences living in different dimensions it quickly becomes mind-f**k. Of course you can do it one by one but restless mind tend to break its concentration, even on things which when it doesn't experience makes it more restless. Very restless mind will thus generally go to become more restless and we need to put effort to bring it to rest. When mind is not restless it becomes fairly easy to deal with any instance of restlessness, even before it really develop. In any case it is practice for 3rd path but it can be done at any time. You can try it when you get bored by other practices. It always help to remove some restlessness from mind emoticon

Also the issue people have is that they do not know what they want to experience. It is always there, ready to be experienced but they make such a fuss in getting it that only causes them dukkha. If you can find what you want to experience its it, done.

BTW. I think you feel differently recently than I remember in the past. Like more serene and less like fighting with the whole world over something. Is it just me or really something about you changed? In any case I like it.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 3/30/22 7:03 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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I had a great RtS class this night. I failed at going to bed in time, so instead I did yoga the hour before the class (the classes start at 2:30 min the morning for me, so that's a rather weird time for doing yoga, but it had been a busy day and when I skip yoga my body hurts and my mind gets dull). During the class I sat close to the open patio door. It was cold but I had blankets and cats in my lap (they took turns). The fresh air works miracles for staying awake when needed. 

We were working with the following verse from A Trackless Path: A Commentary on the Great Completion (Dzogchen) Teaching of Jigmé Lingpa’s Revelations of Ever-present Good by Ken McLeod:

Verse 3.13.
When you open and relax,.
There is an emptiness that goes beyond true or false.
Here, if you know arising release, natural release and direct release, You are no different from all the awakened ones.
You are awake and no different from me.

Apparently there is some tech geekery and phenomenology nerdery going on in that verse, which stands out as a bit of a contrast to the over-all message of just letting go and embracing what we already are. Cool! In Ken McLeod's commentary, he explains the different flavours of the releases. Depending on how you slice and dice it, there can be 17 kinds, or whatever number of kinds. I do recognize those three different kinds of releases, and it was sweet to be reminded of that connoisseur side of the practice. That's what led me to this forum in the first place. 

Then we had a sit with no other instruction that just tuning into the view (we are instructed to do that for the whole sessions, also while talking, so the only difference was that we stopped talking). The reading of the verse had already made the view more reliably there for me subjectively, so it was lovely. Inspired by the verse, I found myself tuning into several different flavours of release as they occurred. There was a lot of waviness, sort of in the form of the symbol of infinity. It felt like the movement of everything was riding the very edge of the wave of movement so that it was completely still while at the same time passing away at the same time as arising, with the impermanence and the stillness being different sides of the same coin. There were sudden pops, energetic pops that I could feel kinesthetically. There were also waves of grosser vibrations sweeping through my body from head to toes. For most of it I don't know what it was that was releasing. It would just happen. I do know what the release of sound was like: the sound of traffic made me shiver with pleasure from the beauty because of how all the nuances of it felt in my body and around it. That was kinesthetically a masterfully arranged symphony of poppings, like a fireworks show but in the touch sense (I have synesthesia). As for the vertical waves of grosser vibrations through my body, I believe that it pertains to some form of selfing that arises and passes, but I don't know. Selfing popping up as contractions and releasing rapidly, in a series. That's what it feels like. 
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SigmaTropic, modified 1 Month ago at 3/30/22 8:00 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Then we had a sit with no other instruction that just tuning into the view (we are instructed to do that for the whole sessions, also while talking, so the only difference was that we stopped talking). The reading of the verse had already made the view more reliably there for me subjectively, so it was lovely. Inspired by the verse, I found myself tuning into several different flavours of release as they occurred. There was a lot of waviness, sort of in the form of the symbol of infinity. It felt like the movement of everything was riding the very edge of the wave of movement so that it was completely still while at the same time passing away at the same time as arising, with the impermanence and the stillness being different sides of the same coin. There were sudden pops, energetic pops that I could feel kinesthetically. There were also waves of grosser vibrations sweeping through my body from head to toes. For most of it I don't know what it was that was releasing. It would just happen. I do know what the release of sound was like: the sound of traffic made me shiver with pleasure from the beauty because of how all the nuances of it felt in my body and around it. That was kinesthetically a masterfully arranged symphony of poppings, like a fireworks show but in the touch sense (I have synesthesia). As for the vertical waves of grosser vibrations through my body, I believe that it pertains to some form of selfing that arises and passes, but I don't know. Selfing popping up as contractions and releasing rapidly, in a series. That's what it feels like. 
Sounds good Polly
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 3/30/22 9:00 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Thanks! I do dig that taste. It's not quite the real deal, though, most of the time, as I have a tendency to tilt it towards A&P rather than being equanimous about it. I can easily transform it into something extatic and energetic, especially if I let my body embrace that kind of movement and make a dance impro out of it (which can be very tempting).

Hm, I think I'll play with that as a preparation for a shamatha sit. 
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SigmaTropic, modified 1 Month ago at 3/30/22 11:42 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
Thanks! I do dig that taste. It's not quite the real deal, though, most of the time, as I have a tendency to tilt it towards A&P rather than being equanimous about it. I can easily transform it into something extatic and energetic, especially if I let my body embrace that kind of movement and make a dance impro out of it (which can be very tempting).

Hm, I think I'll play with that as a preparation for a shamatha sit. 
I think your natural instinct to embrace the energy through your body is correct and will help you resolve this awake awareness question. Watch how you go into and out of contraction.

That pleasurable state you mentioned sounds very 3rd jhana. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 3/30/22 3:27 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Funny that you should recommend watching how I go in and out of contraction right now and in that precise wording, because that's exactly what I was about to write - that I find that I need to watch how I go in and out of contraction (I probably would have phrased it as expansion and contraction and then noted that it's basically the cycling, even though it's not necessarily that strict order; there seem to be some wormholes in it).  It's so tangible! It also seems to get more tangible when I raise energy, especially the grosser energy with frequencies low enough to manifest as vibrations (and the slower waves, including the cycling). I guess that when there's more energy in the system, it tends to flood the pathways that are most accessible, and that's the habitual patterns. That could easily turn into a downward spiral, unless I remember to pop out of it often enough and long enough to break new ground. So I do pop out of it, and then contract again, and expand and contract and so forth. 

Today nimitta embryos have spontaneously arisen from yoga, even in very brief sessions. In my more energetic phases earlier in the practice it used to be like that too, but it had been a while since then. At the same time, I have also been more sensitive to stress and sensory impressions today, just like it used to be, so that's something to watch out for. Not as much, though. Just noticably more than what has been the case lately. 

It has been a hectic day (and with some jetlag too) so I haven't been able to watch the shifts back and forth closely, yet anyway. It has been enough of a challenge to be aware of it happening and remember to pop out of it. I look forward to digging into it. I love it when something like that piques my curiosity. It motivates me more than pleasure in itself.

Third jhana-ish? Hm, maybe. Yeah, I see what you mean. That very mellow aspect. Thanks! Third jhana has been a bit vague for me for some reason. This made it clearer. Awesome! 

You speak my language! That's rare. Much appreciated. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 3/30/22 3:27 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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"That pleasurable state you mentioned sounds very 3rd jhana. "

Pleasure in 3rd Jhana emoticon You and I see 3rd Jhana differently it seems emoticon I can relate junkies liking 3rd Jhana but that would be a sign of clinging in there. And sure if the mind is inclined towards being blissed OUT then yeah I can also say it would be pleasant, but for me at this stage I could not un-see the Dukkha in the Inbreathing. Outbreathing is very pleasant, and god if I could only outbreath forever emoticon but nah, the outbreath stops ... then there is a long pause and that fucking Inbreathing starts and is so soooo, SHORT. If it were to be just a tid bit longer I think it would turn into the worst of sufferngíng and explode the lungs into pieces emoticon 

Best question when inside a developed 3rd Jhana would be "what else is in here to be seen (and then look around)". BTW, if 3rd is developed nicely there can be lots of visuals and at times very strong visuals. Still, after a while of observing this show, ask the question "what else is around here (and then look around)".

I might be wrong. And it might not be something useful on the level of Linda and Sigma of course. I would not know. This is limited to only my experience so far. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 3/30/22 3:45 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Gosh, you sound exactly like Tim. Well, very different phrasing, but the same content. Same relationship to the breath. 

I'll try your advice. Thanks! 

I actually really like breathing in, especially when I do it very slowly and gradually (but not so deeply that it feels forced), and I like breathing out too. 

Would a pleasant fragrance be helpful at all? Simple trick, but hey, whatever works. 

​​​​​​​How come you don't experience pleasure in jhana? Are we talking about the same thing? 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 3/31/22 12:50 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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I do experience pleasure but with time I find I can not ignore that subtle Dukkha aspect in the inbreathinh of 3rd Jhana. It's very subtle. Think about it next time in this Jhana. Watch the length of the breath. No forcing of course. 

See how there is no pause at all after that short inbreath as it almost immediately goes back into that pleasant part of 3rd Jhana = outbreathing. 
Also there is no rush to go back to the inbreathing as it's so nice to be in that outbreathing, even dwell in that pause after the outbreathing stops. Then the very movement towards becoming inbreathing Dukkha arises. It's very short and goes fast back into the long pleasure bliss of the outbreathing etc ... 

I've done my pleasure Jhana riding back in 2009-10. Loved it. Clinging to it. All the way up into 5th Jhana. 

Now not sure about it really. Bubble soft sensation or solid sharp itch? Is one to be valued over the other? Why am I to value the pleasure of 3rd Jhana outbreathing and ignore the Dukkha of its inbreathing? Even if it's so very short.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 3/31/22 12:49 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Linda try and watch the different lengths of in and out breathing in different States. Watch both in and outbreathing as you observe the shift into a different states.&nbsp;<br /><br />The lengths of the in and out breathing change.&nbsp;<br /><br />Even Buddha spoke about it in anapanasatti; short in and short out, short in and long out, long in and long out ... (or something like that)&nbsp;<br /><br /> 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 3/31/22 3:39 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Thanks for the clarification, Papa Che! I don't have any difficulties seeing the dukkha*. I'm trying to learn to put it on hold temporarily rather than the opposite, because it helps both my practice and my wellbeing. To each our own. We are coming from different directions. I have been through the entire arch but only around the path moments. Now I'm trying to learn how to access it at will and hopefully also exiting it at will. Never did any mastery. 

I can assure you that I'm not hurrying on the outbreath. I breathe very slowly when I relax, 1,5 breaths per minute. But yes, I do know that lengths vary over different states. Sometimes there is no need to breathe in for a long time. Sometimes it even reminds me of being in labor, giving birth, as breathing isn't even possible for a while, or at least that's the interpretation of it in retrospect. If I remember it correctly (of which I'm not sure at all), that's how it was the time when the pull from the nada sound and the pull from one jhana to the next were so strong that I just kept going through the arch over and over for hours, each time ending up in a suffering door fruition. 

​​​​​​​Sharp solid itches are bubbly soft, just seen from different angles. emoticon


*) As I'm not done, I'm sure there is more to see, but in order to watch it more closely while in the jhana, I would need to enter the jhana first and maintain some stability there now, wouldn't I? 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 3/31/22 1:48 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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For the last question; 

I guess, yes. Dwell in that Jhana for a while. Let it stew. Be interested in its content. Feel when it's good to look around and see if anything else is there.

For me 3rd was always most obvious and would stay the longest. 4th for me was more like "flatting out" as in a pancake dough spreading into the entire pan evenly and easily. Some might like this but I find it boring. 

I guess I prefer all the action from the 3rd. But it's nothing novel in it hence also boring. If anything it makes me feel sad that we must enter these fragile states to be "happy-pleasant". Hence not really wanting such happiness. It also gives me a bit of a hangover after the meditation. 

Ok I'm rambling now ...
Just to say; I have not mastered anything and I never had desire to master this stuff. Any of it. Including guitar playing or oil painting. I just do it and see what comes up.

We can try and brainstorm the easiest way for YOU to get there? I'm sure you know what kind of practice brings these states easiest for you! Use that practice to develop to 3rd Jhana. Once there then just be very interested in its content. Once you get enough of its show look if there is more there to be seen ... or around it maybe? Just outside of it maybe? 

For me it's open eyes Kasina coupled in with active noting (at the same time) Easiest and fastest to get into Jhanas. 

Fuck emoticon I think im still rumbling! Off I go now! Best wishes! 
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Month ago at 3/31/22 5:06 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/31/22 2:39 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 927 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Jhanas are not fragile. They are just absolutely destroyed by non-jhanic consciousnesses arising.
If you want to remain in jhanas all the time, have jhanic mind in waking consciousness then you cannot use normal non-jhanic mind. Like not at all.

Fully jhanic mind that doesn't even have qualities of form (the qualities that jhanas 1-4 and even usually experienced jhanas 4-8!) and you have to add them to have formed jhanas. Otherwise it is possible to add just sukkha and have 3rd jhana bliss without any qualities of 3rd jhana. All body movement can be done without qualities of this so called non-jhanic normal mind because it is not these qualities which move body.

All this can be learned just by being mindful in waking awareness and putting in it enough effort. If you develop enough of mindfulness to perceive your mind as it works then in meditation eg. breath concentration you just see what qualities being there and which qualities are missing there and then when meditation is done all you need to do is spend stupendous amount of time trying to have the same mind state in waking consciousness. Because you get instant feedback you can see what works and what doesn't work. If you manage to craft jhanic qualities and move your hand driving it with non-jhanic qualities and jhana will dissipate then you will know that this kind of driving method is off-limits and can practice how to move hands without breaking jhanas.

That would be the slowest method attaining jhanic states and hardest but at the same time most stable. Months to years* to move jhana one up. If you have a lots of time during the day when you 'do stuff but not really' you can use it to practice and time when you 'do stuff' to test how well you already mastered it.

The most important thing in this practice however is not results but to have fun so have fun emoticon

edit://
I forgot to add that after you already can use jhana in any situation then having this jhana is just a matter of having it. Faster to change jhana than changing gloves.
This is pretty much how monks do it and what actually means to master jhana states.

If you want more jhanic qualities of given jhana then you change whole mind to it and it can make jhana so strong every aspect of how mind works changes. Or alternatively just some parts of it and have 3rd jhana bliss but still general presentation of mind from eg. 4th jhana. This can be done because consciousnesses arise at different times. Can also spawn more consciousnesses to arise at the same time with 3rd jhana bliss while in normal 4th jhana mind and have sheetload of bliss at any time you want.
Of course first you need to figure how jhanic state arises and be able to setup your consciousnesses in such a way to have just the right conditions for it to have given jhana state and generally be able to act on single consciosunesses and all the fun dry insight stuff.

In practice these things of course at first happen mostly by themselves and control is poor if they happen at all. This is dukkha. That is why the need for right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration, etc. good stuff and even if you can do some of these blissful waking awareness states drill it until you can actually setup everything yourself and then the big prize for all your effort: can do even more of these practices ;)
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SigmaTropic, modified 1 Month ago at 3/31/22 5:59 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/31/22 5:59 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 283 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Ni Nurta
Jhanas are not fragile. They are just absolutely destroyed by non-jhanic consciousnesses arising.
If you want to remain in jhanas all the time, have jhanic mind in waking consciousness then you cannot use normal non-jhanic mind. Like not at all.

Fully jhanic mind that doesn't even have qualities of form (the qualities that jhanas 1-4 and even usually experienced jhanas 4-8!) and you have to add them to have formed jhanas. Otherwise it is possible to add just sukkha and have 3rd jhana bliss without any qualities of 3rd jhana. All body movement can be done without qualities of this so called non-jhanic normal mind because it is not these qualities which move body.

Ni Nurta is right it's possible to be on the verge of jhana and resonate with that requency on one channel while at the same time doing something else. It's like having it in the background but when your mind is not fettered the factors arise strongly naturally just by light intention. It's also just familiarity with your own nervous system and what sorts of mental tricks work to keep you on that manifold. Jhanic consciousness is something that's part of everyday consciousness you're just selecting out certain sensations with your mind and making your own mental object out of it. It's something you can do in stages 9 and 10 beause the mind is unified and you've trained in such a way as to have a very broad bandwidth of awareness, lots of neurons paying attention.  
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SigmaTropic, modified 1 Month ago at 4/3/22 10:30 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/3/22 10:30 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 283 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
 If you weren't confused I would be worried ;). There's this dynamic around that time where you can start to see a different freedom than you had before, there's something you can get into in daily life, let's call it awake awareness. After 2nd path you get an upgrade in terms of the energy body and jhanas become a bit more intuitive. 2nd-3rd path is all about taking what you have learned about yourself up to this point and beginning to break down the illusion that there is some better moment out there than this one, on an every day, moment by moment level. You start to see that the cessations and the jhanas show you something profound about how the mind and reality interface, but now it's about using those insights and beginning to have a mind that deconstructs reailty on its own, moment-by moment. 

Around 2nd path I was still working on ridding the mind of the five hindrances and I would treat whatever hindrances come up with the appropriate remedy. But by 2nd path the hindrances were greatly attentuated - at least for me the baseline meditation skill goes up a level and awareness becomes more broad and inclusive. Otherwise, it's about letting the mind try to find a better state. 2nd to 3rd path the seeking impulse is very strong. This seeking has to be seen through. It's confusing because you don't know what you're looking for but you know there's a better, more direct way to experience reality. I knew that there was an unconditional freedom and that i didn't yet have it. You get glimpses of awake awareness and you think that's an interesting state, how do I stay in that state? There seems to be something inherently different about that state and there is a confusion about that. 

Awake awareness is how you experience reality when the mind doesn't make subject/object out of everything. Perceptually to me it seems like the mind is engaged with reality to such a complete and full extent that there is no room for a subject in the perceptual frame. The reason people who teach this awake awareness idea say to broaden your awareness is because it matches the bandwidth of the awake awareness state, and dukkha occurs when we select an object and shrink the perceptual frame down to a point where there is only the object, there's still some part of mind that's available to create a subject.  When you expand your awareness like that it's like pushing the mind to have a big perceptual frame and forget the watcher. No room for the watcher, a complete experience of the object and mind. 

Some pointers for helping you get into and stay in this state (I am not a teacher and just made these up but they will help you learn a mental hook so you can get into this state):
Things know themselves
knowing is effortless
Dive into experiece head first with your arms wide ready to grab something
eyes in the back of my head' 
pretend your head is a spherical perceptual eye and perception comes from all directions


Calling fruitions is good practice. Make sure to watch the mind just after a moment of release and rest. What I naturally did a lot of at this point was simply observing the mind right after cessation or some other form of release, jhana, whatever, and watch the mind's relation to that and the self-identification or lack thereof. Comparing directly a previous contracted mind state, then getting a fruition and comparing mind after- you can realize something profound.  This can give you direct experience of the birth of a self construct. I noticed that something about that fruition seemed to blast any clinging and dukkha, and I got curious about that and how the self-concept was involved. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 4/3/22 11:52 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/3/22 11:52 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 6262 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Thanks! You have been most helpful.

It's weird. Reading your post made two radically different things happen at once. Now, please don't take this the wrong way (I'm only saying this because I believe you won't). There was frustration because I already knew all that, both intellectually and through glimpses, and yet apparently I'm missing something, and I couldn't see how more of the same stuff would help. Yet, there was also an energetic shift. Something came through there.  I know that the energy body is more intimately connected with the process than any reasoning could ever be, so apparently there is something in it to feel into. Will do. Thankyou! 
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SigmaTropic, modified 1 Month ago at 4/3/22 4:06 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/3/22 4:05 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 283 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Glad it was helpful. emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 4/3/22 12:06 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/3/22 12:06 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 6262 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
In my experience, the birth of a self-construct is something as silly as a posture that we take on. It's like the density increases around the heart, but only because we contract into a "center" that is only a figment of imagination. It makes us tense up and makes things appear heavy. It's like a shrinking, and the shrinking causes separation to what is "out there", and suddenly we are in opposition to the world rather than of it, fighting the elements instead of being in harmony with them. It's like a spasm or cramp (and I have Tourette's, so for me it litterally is - the tics are all selfings made obvious). 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 4/6/22 4:14 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/6/22 4:14 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 6262 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Lots of expansions and contractions, intensely. Sometimes I feel like I'm being stretched and torn in different directions. Sometimes it is the exquisite-tasting spaciousness. Sometimes I'm sort of thinning out, more and more, and I get a bit lightheaded. Not dizzy, but less dense in a way that feels like floating and spreading out and getting lighter, and it reminds me of mountain air somehow, or the idea of it, or like the entire space is inside me, or I'm outside my body, or both. Often this makes the body react with resistance and tense up, starting with a subtle "cramp" around the heart, and then tics (those are very fast impulses that precede thinking, for us with Tourette's, as the inhibation of the impulses in the basal gangliae doesn't do its job the way it does for the majority of human beings), and then other bodily tensions. However, this doesn't always stop the spaciousness or the thinning out. More and more often, they seem to coexist, which can feel weird. It's like there are two different me, the contracted one and the spacious one that floats out around the contracted one. Sometimes there's a bit of a fear reaction of it, although subtle. I tried addressing the contraction around the heart, saying out loud "Don't worry, you do exist - you can manifest any time you want". That released lots of piti, which surprised me a bit. Michael Taft has adviced me to let the contractions happen, and not resist them, even if they are uncomfortable. It's about the higher order of nonduality, the one that goes beyond the subject-object nonduality, the one referred to in the heart sutra. I can see why. It feels related to the experiences I had a while back that felt like the cosmic lovemaking between emptiness and form. It's kind of cool that there can still be spaciousness around the contractions. I don't have to totally identify with and narrow down to being the contractions and only them. 

In the last RtS class I spent the silent meditation just being with the expansions and contractions as they were very intense. At first there was a bit of anxiety around the breathing, as I couldn't quite distinguish between the two me, as both were breathing but very differently. The spacious me didn't have boundaries whereas the body had, and for a while the body thought that it had to fill the entire me with air, and that was impossible - both because the spacious me didn't have any bottom (the air of whatever ot was breathing just kept going outwards and knew no boundaries, so I couldn't get it to fill me up) and because the capacity of the lungs was limited to the needs of the body, nothing more than that. Then (soon) I noticed that breathing was actually very easy. Whatever the spacious me was breathing did not require the sense of being filled up, and the body felt like it was breathing through every pore. The friction was minimal. The lightheadedness was not due to lack of oxygene, but to the notion of containing all space; hence nothing to worry about. I was both my body breathing air and the universe "breathing" its dance of expansion and contraction, or maybe it was the energy body, and both kinds of breathing were doing what they were supposed to do. 

When I fell back into sleep after the class, I had the most intense dream. I was aware of lying in my bed and sleeping, and the thinning out came in strong waves. I surrendered to them completely and got into an altered state with jhanic qualities. Extremely loud nada sound, lightness, thinning out, starting out with lots if piti but got more subtle and very equanimous and clean and bright. I think maybe both the piti and the nada sound transformed into an even white light. I could no longer feel my body against the bed. I remember a thought flashing by: "I'm levitating!" Then there was rapid upward movement, and fear arose that I might get smashed into the cealing, so I somehow regained control over the body that hadn't been there a moment ago, and turned around and sort of dived back into the bed, facing downward. Upon "landing" I remember waking up, although I do not know if I really woke up or if I dreamed that I woke up. Anyhow, the subjective experience was that I woke up and found myself lying in the exact position I had landed in while dreaming. It was not a position that I ever sleep in. After that, I fell back into regular dreaming. 
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SigmaTropic, modified 1 Month ago at 4/13/22 4:32 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/13/22 4:27 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 283 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
Lots of expansions and contractions, intensely. Sometimes I feel like I'm being stretched and torn in different directions. Sometimes it is the exquisite-tasting spaciousness. Sometimes I'm sort of thinning out, more and more, and I get a bit lightheaded. Not dizzy, but less dense in a way that feels like floating and spreading out and getting lighter, and it reminds me of mountain air somehow, or the idea of it, or like the entire space is inside me, or I'm outside my body, or both. Often this makes the body react with resistance and tense up, starting with a subtle "cramp" around the heart, and then tics (those are very fast impulses that precede thinking, for us with Tourette's, as the inhibation of the impulses in the basal gangliae doesn't do its job the way it does for the majority of human beings), and then other bodily tensions. However, this doesn't always stop the spaciousness or the thinning out. More and more often, they seem to coexist, which can feel weird. It's like there are two different me, the contracted one and the spacious one that floats out around the contracted one. Sometimes there's a bit of a fear reaction of it, although subtle. I tried addressing the contraction around the heart, saying out loud "Don't worry, you do exist - you can manifest any time you want". That released lots of piti, which surprised me a bit. Michael Taft has adviced me to let the contractions happen, and not resist them, even if they are uncomfortable. It's about the higher order of nonduality, the one that goes beyond the subject-object nonduality, the one referred to in the heart sutra. I can see why. It feels related to the experiences I had a while back that felt like the cosmic lovemaking between emptiness and form. It's kind of cool that there can still be spaciousness around the contractions. I don't have to totally identify with and narrow down to being the contractions and only them. 
I think you're seeing this higher order of non-duality that you speak of ;) Personally whenever that half-ass non duality starts to show itself I just tell mind "mayko!". 
In the last RtS class I spent the silent meditation just being with the expansions and contractions as they were very intense. At first there was a bit of anxiety around the breathing, as I couldn't quite distinguish between the two me, as both were breathing but very differently. The spacious me didn't have boundaries whereas the body had, and for a while the body thought that it had to fill the entire me with air, and that was impossible - both because the spacious me didn't have any bottom (the air of whatever ot was breathing just kept going outwards and knew no boundaries, so I couldn't get it to fill me up) and because the capacity of the lungs was limited to the needs of the body, nothing more than that. Then (soon) I noticed that breathing was actually very easy. Whatever the spacious me was breathing did not require the sense of being filled up, and the body felt like it was breathing through every pore. The friction was minimal. The lightheadedness was not due to lack of oxygene, but to the notion of containing all space; hence nothing to worry about. I was both my body breathing air and the universe "breathing" its dance of expansion and contraction, or maybe it was the energy body, and both kinds of breathing were doing what they were supposed to do. 
I can totally relate to how you're experiencing the breath. I like your descriptions. There's probably some jhanic things you could tune into with this sponge like-pore breathing you're talking about. BTW, it's Oxygen. 

When I fell back into sleep after the class, I had the most intense dream. I was aware of lying in my bed and sleeping, and the thinning out came in strong waves. I surrendered to them completely and got into an altered state with jhanic qualities. Extremely loud nada sound, lightness, thinning out, starting out with lots if piti but got more subtle and very equanimous and clean and bright. I think maybe both the piti and the nada sound transformed into an even white light. I could no longer feel my body against the bed. I remember a thought flashing by: "I'm levitating!" Then there was rapid upward movement, and fear arose that I might get smashed into the cealing, so I somehow regained control over the body that hadn't been there a moment ago, and turned around and sort of dived back into the bed, facing downward. Upon "landing" I remember waking up, although I do not know if I really woke up or if I dreamed that I woke up. Anyhow, the subjective experience was that I woke up and found myself lying in the exact position I had landed in while dreaming. It was not a position that I ever sleep in. After that, I fell back into regular dreaming. 
Sounds like an A&P to me with 4th jhana qualities, cool!  Your brain is trying to show you how to do 4th jhana, just take that as a template next time you try for 4th jhana. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 28 Days ago at 4/18/22 12:36 PM
Created 28 Days ago at 4/18/22 12:36 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 6262 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
SigmaTropic
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
Lots of expansions and contractions, intensely. Sometimes I feel like I'm being stretched and torn in different directions. Sometimes it is the exquisite-tasting spaciousness. Sometimes I'm sort of thinning out, more and more, and I get a bit lightheaded. Not dizzy, but less dense in a way that feels like floating and spreading out and getting lighter, and it reminds me of mountain air somehow, or the idea of it, or like the entire space is inside me, or I'm outside my body, or both. Often this makes the body react with resistance and tense up, starting with a subtle "cramp" around the heart, and then tics (those are very fast impulses that precede thinking, for us with Tourette's, as the inhibation of the impulses in the basal gangliae doesn't do its job the way it does for the majority of human beings), and then other bodily tensions. However, this doesn't always stop the spaciousness or the thinning out. More and more often, they seem to coexist, which can feel weird. It's like there are two different me, the contracted one and the spacious one that floats out around the contracted one. Sometimes there's a bit of a fear reaction of it, although subtle. I tried addressing the contraction around the heart, saying out loud "Don't worry, you do exist - you can manifest any time you want". That released lots of piti, which surprised me a bit. Michael Taft has adviced me to let the contractions happen, and not resist them, even if they are uncomfortable. It's about the higher order of nonduality, the one that goes beyond the subject-object nonduality, the one referred to in the heart sutra. I can see why. It feels related to the experiences I had a while back that felt like the cosmic lovemaking between emptiness and form. It's kind of cool that there can still be spaciousness around the contractions. I don't have to totally identify with and narrow down to being the contractions and only them. 
I think you're seeing this higher order of non-duality that you speak of ;) Personally whenever that half-ass non duality starts to show itself I just tell mind "mayko!". 
In the last RtS class I spent the silent meditation just being with the expansions and contractions as they were very intense. At first there was a bit of anxiety around the breathing, as I couldn't quite distinguish between the two me, as both were breathing but very differently. The spacious me didn't have boundaries whereas the body had, and for a while the body thought that it had to fill the entire me with air, and that was impossible - both because the spacious me didn't have any bottom (the air of whatever ot was breathing just kept going outwards and knew no boundaries, so I couldn't get it to fill me up) and because the capacity of the lungs was limited to the needs of the body, nothing more than that. Then (soon) I noticed that breathing was actually very easy. Whatever the spacious me was breathing did not require the sense of being filled up, and the body felt like it was breathing through every pore. The friction was minimal. The lightheadedness was not due to lack of oxygene, but to the notion of containing all space; hence nothing to worry about. I was both my body breathing air and the universe "breathing" its dance of expansion and contraction, or maybe it was the energy body, and both kinds of breathing were doing what they were supposed to do. 
I can totally relate to how you're experiencing the breath. I like your descriptions. There's probably some jhanic things you could tune into with this sponge like-pore breathing you're talking about. BTW, it's Oxygen. 

When I fell back into sleep after the class, I had the most intense dream. I was aware of lying in my bed and sleeping, and the thinning out came in strong waves. I surrendered to them completely and got into an altered state with jhanic qualities. Extremely loud nada sound, lightness, thinning out, starting out with lots if piti but got more subtle and very equanimous and clean and bright. I think maybe both the piti and the nada sound transformed into an even white light. I could no longer feel my body against the bed. I remember a thought flashing by: "I'm levitating!" Then there was rapid upward movement, and fear arose that I might get smashed into the cealing, so I somehow regained control over the body that hadn't been there a moment ago, and turned around and sort of dived back into the bed, facing downward. Upon "landing" I remember waking up, although I do not know if I really woke up or if I dreamed that I woke up. Anyhow, the subjective experience was that I woke up and found myself lying in the exact position I had landed in while dreaming. It was not a position that I ever sleep in. After that, I fell back into regular dreaming. 
Sounds like an A&P to me with 4th jhana qualities, cool!  Your brain is trying to show you how to do 4th jhana, just take that as a template next time you try for 4th jhana. 


Thanks for this encouraging feedback! For some reason I didn’t see it until now. It was helpful. I appreciate he language feedback too.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 4/11/22 3:43 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/11/22 3:43 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 6262 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
The intensity of expansions and contractions didn't last long. Now it's back to pretty mellow and not much happening. I'm playing around a bit, with jhanic qualities and different qualities of the nada sound and different qualities of the breath. I get into soft jhanas, but often somehow I lose interest and get seduced by ignorance and then vague dream scenes take over. I think one reason for that (apart from the fact that ignorance apparently still has a grip on me) is that I do shamatha lying down, and at the moment I don't have enough alertness for that. I think I'll play around with different sitting positions. Maybe I can cheat and have support for my back to get similar ease but with some more alertness. Or maybe if I could remember to take my ADHD medication more regularly, I could even sit upright with a calm mind. Sometimes I do get the balance right, and that is quite lovely. I think I'm starting to get the hang of how to softly tune into the qualities of the different jhanas, very roughly, instead of going up the arch "the hard way". I'm still not getting into that exquisite crispy chrystal clear version of fourth jhana, though. I'm starting to think that it's the conformity knowledge version of fourth jhana, because I have only accessed it around path moments. If that's the case, then it's no wonder that I can't access it most of the time. 

I woke up with brain fog and lots of bodily pain this morning because I ate potatoes yesterday (it was basically what was available; my economic situation is strained to say the least), but by alternating between yoga and meditation out in the sun (starting with really short sessions) I increased my wellbeing beyond expectations. I think I will alternate more like that in my daily practice, as it balances energy and relaxation (which I definitely need) and takes away the pain that I tend to develop from remaining motionless too long. Yoga is also great for maintaining presence and mindfulness. I think the several cups of tulsi tea (holy basil) contributed too. I have finally found a brand that seems to be almost as effective as the ones that I found in Vancouver many years ago. I don't know what to think of Ayurveda in general, but that specific Ayurvedic remedy works miracles for me. With some honey it's even quite drinkable (it's an acquired taste, I'd say). I'm definitely darknighting, but after all the above and a magnesium bath and (thanks to some help from a loved one) a decent meal as well, I feel better than okay, especially when in the company of purring cats. There's an equanimous overlay to the darknighting. 

Some personal quirks from the practice have come back, and I still can't figure out what it is. For instance, I get these sensation of cool liquid seeping over parts of my face, which isn't so quirky per se, but the odd thing is that it leaves marks in the skin, as if the "liquid" (which isn't really there) had eroded tiny pathways. The "backward hands" sign is back, and I guess it's reasonable to see it as a sign of access concentration combined with a falling away of some layer of subject-object duality. Nowadays I don't interpret it as the sensations of my hands being backwards but rather the sensations of touch knowing themselves rather than getting filtered through the idea of a perceiving subject. 
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SigmaTropic, modified 1 Month ago at 4/13/22 4:49 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/13/22 4:48 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 283 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
The intensity of expansions and contractions didn't last long. Now it's back to pretty mellow and not much happening. I'm playing around a bit, with jhanic qualities and different qualities of the nada sound and different qualities of the breath. I get into soft jhanas, but often somehow I lose interest and get seduced by ignorance and then vague dream scenes take over. I think one reason for that (apart from the fact that ignorance apparently still has a grip on me) is that I do shamatha lying down, and at the moment I don't have enough alertness for that. I think I'll play around with different sitting positions. Maybe I can cheat and have support for my back to get similar ease but with some more alertness. Or maybe if I could remember to take my ADHD medication more regularly, I could even sit upright with a calm mind. Sometimes I do get the balance right, and that is quite lovely. I think I'm starting to get the hang of how to softly tune into the qualities of the different jhanas, very roughly, instead of going up the arch "the hard way". I'm still not getting into that exquisite crispy chrystal clear version of fourth jhana, though. I'm starting to think that it's the conformity knowledge version of fourth jhana, because I have only accessed it around path moments. If that's the case, then it's no wonder that I can't access it most of the time. 
Seduced by ignorance, good phraseology there, very accurate. I wouldn't say the good version of 4th jhana is only experienced at conformity knowledge. According to my technical knowledge conformity knowledge only lasts an instant, maybe you were experiencing formations? And depending on how the dreamy stuff presents it may be high EQ and your mind is ditching the samatha because it's more interested in the formations. I bet if you let the dreamy stuff happen you may get fruition. 
I woke up with brain fog and lots of bodily pain this morning because I ate potatoes yesterday (it was basically what was available; my economic situation is strained to say the least), but by alternating between yoga and meditation out in the sun (starting with really short sessions) I increased my wellbeing beyond expectations. I think I will alternate more like that in my daily practice, as it balances energy and relaxation (which I definitely need) and takes away the pain that I tend to develop from remaining motionless too long. Yoga is also great for maintaining presence and mindfulness. I think the several cups of tulsi tea (holy basil) contributed too. I have finally found a brand that seems to be almost as effective as the ones that I found in Vancouver many years ago. I don't know what to think of Ayurveda in general, but that specific Ayurvedic remedy works miracles for me. With some honey it's even quite drinkable (it's an acquired taste, I'd say). I'm definitely darknighting, but after all the above and a magnesium bath and (thanks to some help from a loved one) a decent meal as well, I feel better than okay, especially when in the company of purring cats. There's an equanimous overlay to the darknighting. 
I think of practice as a continual process of imbalance, correct, imbalance, correct, imbalance, correct, etc. Steering the mind is ok. I have gotten a lot out of the same type thing you're describing - getting all bent into a pretzel and then untangling.  Key is to watch both the untangling and the tangling at the sensate level and identify with nothing. Also, rice is a cheap carb that in my experience gives me the complex carbs without the inflammatory response that I sometimes get with highly processed carbs or white bread. One big bag of jasmine rice will feed a person for several weeks if you throw in some chicken and veggies here and there. I remember when I was poor I would buy rice and make rice the base to everything I ate, just rice with a side of x, y, or z. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 4/13/22 5:42 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/13/22 5:42 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Thanks for the feedback!

Totally different kinds of dreamy stuff. The kind I was talking about now was the dull kind. The most chrystal clear part of fourth jhana (not now) while doing vipassana didn't last long at all. I think an instant might be accurate. That is part of why I suspect it was conformity knowledge at those times. 

Great advice re the tangling and the untangling! Will do.

I can't eat rice anymore. I wish I could but it makes me super-sick. I used it as my safe food too much for long, and now my body just refuses it. Pain everywhere, thick brain fog and fatigue, super-bad stomach. Right now beets and carrots work. My body wants histamine intolerance-adapted autoimmune paleo. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 4/15/22 10:51 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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April 16th, 2022, early morning

​​​​​​​After some heavy dullness and some annoying tensions (dukkha ñanas, duh) I suddenly landed not only light fourth jhana but also light fifth and sixth. I personally do not count those light versions of fifth and sixth as true formless realms as they aren't entirely formless, whereas the hard versions are, but I know that many do. I can see that the light versions are useful for insight practice in a different way than the hard ones. They render subtle mistakes possible, which gives feedback. 

So, how did I get there? My sleep had been disturbed by cats, and then I had stayed awake for some time, until I decided to fall asleep listening to an interview with Andrew Holocek on dream yoga. It probably influenced me somehow. I guess I dozed off, because I can't recall much from the interview, but I probably fell in and out of sleep, balancing on the verge of sleeping, because I found myself awake after the interview was over. At that point, the murk behind my closed eyelids started to chrystallize itself. It never developed all the way to sacred geometry, and not to the grainy but recognizable versions of it either, but I recognized it as the stage before that type of imagery (the kasina terminology for different screens applies here but I have forgotten the correct usage of terms). I noticed that attempts at actively observing was hindering the process, so over and over I had to let go of that. With the proper nondoing, the qualities of fourth jhana arose. I balanced back and fourth for quite some time, finding my way into it over and over again. It is now 2 h and 45 minutes after the youtube video must have ended. A few times I was able to stay out of the way long enough for my body to fall away to the extent that boundlessness stood out. I noticed that sensations (very subtle energetic buzzing) were "everywhere" rather than located (the sensations are the reason why I don't see this as formless for real). It seemed boundless. Then I had the sense of the consciousness of it being boundless. It was very different from the hard versions, like night and day, but still a recognizable development. I think I read or heard somewhere that the 5th to 8th jhanas are further developments of the fourth jhana, like subjhanas of it, and in these light versions that's pretty much what it felt like. The hard versions feel more like something different. 

Qualities that helped me tune into light fourth jhana:
- nondoing (although there is still some effort there that makes it absorption; it's just not my effort)
- specific nuances of the nada sound (like undercurrents rather than the surface of it)
- the equanimity itself, although that is still a bit too vague, as it never got to that exquisite version of it
- visual undercurrents, sort of... hard to describe... hm, the emptiness of the visuals, I guess... the not yet formed or manifest vision but potential for it. I had to allow it to be undefined, sort of, and that revealed layers of it. There was a 3D aspect to the not yet formed visuals.
- letting go of the body and the energetic buzzing
- spaciousness, I guess
- lightness together with clarity

And now there is too much default network going on for me to recall it reliably (I have been writing this for more than half an hour). 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 4/15/22 10:56 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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It seems that I entirely skipped the first three jhanas, as I tuned into fourth jhana directly. It also seems like that made the whole thing easier. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 4/15/22 11:06 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Jhana really is the most efficient painkiller. What a contrast when the muscle pain came back! 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 28 Days ago at 4/18/22 12:39 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
Jhana really is the most efficient painkiller. What a contrast when the muscle pain came back! 


emoticon "Jhana! The impermanent painkiller! Get yours today!" emoticon 

​​​​​​​(just kidding) 
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 4/15/22 11:10 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Nice!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 4/15/22 11:16 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Thanks! The weird thing is that I haven't really done the job with any consistency. I haven't practiced shamatha every day, and rarely long enough. I have put more effort into doing yoga. I guess that cultivates concentration too. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 4/16/22 9:38 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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I haven't been able to repeat the jhanas at will today. So far, the meditation that lets itself happen is that of thought embryos swirling around on their own and dissolving without manifesting at a more conceptualized level, except for when they do. There are also obvious signs of cycling in the dukkha ñanas, with an equanimous overlay. The clarity varies a lot. I feel much gratitude to MCTB2 and DhO for normalizing the experience of cycling. Without that knowledge I would probably have given up. Now I can see that the process is as it has to be. The dukkha ñanas are sort of like going through puberty; some processes in the brain are closed due to renovation. I may have had repeat fruitions but I'm prone to being sceptical as the unknown events have been far too vague even for repeat ones. I do go out of meditation with increased clarity and equanimity, though, so at least something is doing something. I have had the visual experience of "fireflies", not just the microscopic dots that seem to be the points of attention leaving traces, but the somewhat larger ones that shine brightly and look like they are moving around with intention, playing creatively. The nada sound is louder in daily life. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 28 Days ago at 4/18/22 3:08 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Something that seems fruitful right now is staying aware of the visual field behind closed eyelids and noticing and (when possible) relaxing all impulses to direct the attention with the eyes. I have been playing around with this both on its own and (once so far) accompanied with binaural beats (one of those youtube recordings that supposedly decalcifies one's pineal gland; I don't buy it but just happen to like how the 3D sound effects make it feel like things are cracking inside the brain). It makes it obvious how selfing gets in the way, because any attempt at focusing the eyes make all the nice visuals from the mind's eye go away. Great feedback mechanism! I'm not getting any developed visuals right now, but I recognize the early steps towards them and can easily distinguish them from when it's not going there at all, so that gives me enough feedback. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 28 Days ago at 4/18/22 5:47 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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There seems to be a natural rhythm of expansions and contractions going on in the visual field when I relax from the volitional focusing of the attention, even if I'm not looking. It feels similar to the "turning of the senses inside out" that I used to feel early in my practice, but more seemless. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 28 Days ago at 4/18/22 9:22 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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If you want nice binaural beats to practice with I recommend genuine hemi-sync recordings.
Like this one https://soundcloud.com/abiyauniverse/hemi-sync-wave-ii-threshold-1-introduction-to-focus-12

My own baseline mind state is more like Focus 12 than Focus 1. If you manage to experience it you will understand how this equals not experiencing body. It is especially obvious in the latter parts of recording when there is countdown from 12 to 1 in which case shift is pretty much real-time. If you experience these Focus states and wonder how it is possible to sustain them in waking awareness - by being quite secluded from sensuality and free from unskillful qualities, pretty much. Or in other words I could bring my mind state to experience body but I simply do not call for the qualities which cause it. Knowing which these are of course helps. Likewise it is possible to get even more refined mind states which in hemi-sync are described as higher Focus levels by not calling up for even subtle qualities like those which keep Focus 12. It is especially easy when this momentary cessation trick is mastered because any quality can be just suppressed by causing cessation the moment it would arise.

I didn't listen to these Hemi-Sync recordings all that much all things considered but especially in very far past, like two decades ago up to decade ago I listened to them enough to be able to do things which I would probably not be able to do as easily. After experiencing these mind states while listening it is much easier to learn how to do them yourself.

BTW. Those Hemi-Sync were very well researched by years of experimentation and testing by very skilled person and his team. On the other hand people creating random YT videos with binaural beats on just take some audio editing software and slap bunch of frequencies there, like mandatory 432Hz and other nonsense and probably themselves are unable to tune to anything, let alone nonsense they created which might not even be safe to listen to. Hemi-Sync on the other hand is great.

ps. For decalcifying pineal gland you can apparently use something with lots of boron. Do you feel blockade in your pineal gland?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 28 Days ago at 4/18/22 1:06 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Ni Nurta
If you want nice binaural beats to practice with I recommend genuine hemi-sync recordings.
Like this one https://soundcloud.com/abiyauniverse/hemi-sync-wave-ii-threshold-1-introduction-to-focus-12

Thankyou for sharing this resource! I look forward to trying it out tonight after some yoga.


My own baseline mind state is more like Focus 12 than Focus 1. If you manage to experience it you will understand how this equals not experiencing body. It is especially obvious in the latter parts of recording when there is countdown from 12 to 1 in which case shift is pretty much real-time.

I’ll get back to you on this after trying it. I do have previous experience of not feeling my body.


If you experience these Focus states and wonder how it is possible to sustain them in waking awareness - by being quite secluded from sensuality and free from unskillful qualities, pretty much.

Not there yet. Lots to work on there. Like peanut butter cravings and bingewatching StarTrek.


Or in other words I could bring my mind state to experience body but I simply do not call for the qualities which cause it. Knowing which these are of course helps. Likewise it is possible to get even more refined mind states which in hemi-sync are described as higher Focus levels by not calling up for even subtle qualities like those which keep Focus 12. It is especially easy when this momentary cessation trick is mastered because any quality can be just suppressed by causing cessation the moment it would arise.

I think I understand but I’m not anywhere near this kind of precision.


I didn't listen to these Hemi-Sync recordings all that much all things considered but especially in very far past, like two decades ago up to decade ago I listened to them enough to be able to do things which I would probably not be able to do as easily. After experiencing these mind states while listening it is much easier to learn how to do them yourself.

Sounds promising.


BTW. Those Hemi-Sync were very well researched by years of experimentation and testing by very skilled person and his team. On the other hand people creating random YT videos with binaural beats on just take some audio editing software and slap bunch of frequencies there, like mandatory 432Hz and other nonsense and probably themselves are unable to tune to anything, let alone nonsense they created which might not even be safe to listen to. Hemi-Sync on the other hand is great.

Yeah, I believe you. I find that most recordings available on youtube are bullshit. There are very few that I have found enjoyable without taking them too seriously. Most of the ones I have tried feel off, and so I immediately stop listening. I didn’t know where to find the real deal, so thankyou!


ps. For decalcifying pineal gland you can apparently use something with lots of boron. Do you feel blockade in your pineal gland?

Oh, okay! I had no idea. Nah, I don’t think so, but I do experience brain fog sometimes so maybe a little? Anyhow, I’ll try a supplement out of curiosity to see if it makes any difference. I do have difficulties metabolizing magnesium so maybe it will help with that (along with the B vitamines); a google search suggested that it might.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 28 Days ago at 4/18/22 2:44 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Oh wow! I loved it! I didn't get full jackpot on my first try, and I also wasn't familiar with the terminology in the instructions, but wow! I was floating. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 28 Days ago at 4/18/22 2:56 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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I recognized the movements from my practice, the expansions and contractions and the turning of reality inside out and back and forth. 
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Arena Heidi, modified 28 Days ago at 4/18/22 7:23 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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I had a set of hemi-sync casette tapes that I used to listen to. That gives some idea of how long ago it was! I respected Robert Monroe and the work he did. He was ahead of his time. Your discussing this brings back good memories. Just thinking about it gives me that nice floaty feeling!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 27 Days ago at 4/19/22 4:22 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Cool! emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 25 Days ago at 4/22/22 2:01 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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A cople of days ago I was trying out a simple technique for lucid dreaming (counting while falling back to sleep and for each count saying to myself that I'm lucid), and for a moment my right hand started to vibrate like crazy. Since then I have been back to dullness and poor clarity. Typical dissolution seems to be the dominating ñana at the moment, even if at fractal levels cycling occurs faster. The subtle energetic crackling is gone. It's not exactly working miracles for my motivation. I try to do shamatha and sink into dullness. Yesterday I even skipped yoga, which my body says is a big no no. Today I'll get back on track with the yoga. That's my best remedy for dullness as well. 

On the plus side, dullness feels much less solid now than it used to be. Brain fog subsides as quickly as it appears. In the last RtS class, which for me is 2.30-4.00 am, even in very open focusless meditation there was no struggle to stay awake because there was an effortless awareness of the dullness and that felt totally okay. I need to remember this, or see it again and again until it sticks. So come to think of it, maybe this dullness phase is an excellent opportunity rather than a problem. Huh. I did set the intention the other day to see what I needed to see right now. I guess I was hoping for it to be something more dazzling, lol. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 25 Days ago at 4/22/22 2:27 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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I had to do a brief check-in to test that. It's true. The dullness isn't solid at all. When I stay open to whatever presents in all senses, there's quite a lot going on. Kinesthetically there are waves shifting back and forth between left and right side of things, faster vibrations at the same time. In all (?) senses (or maybe it's just kinesthetically; I have sort of a kinesthetic overlay to all other senses) there's a zooming in and out which entails experience turning inside and out back and forth (between subject-object duality and a collapsing of that duality). And of course there's this entire symphony of sensory experience just being there without effort. Emotions arise and subside at a rapid speed. Typical ñana features flash by. Impulses to do things appear and subside. The same with thoughts. 
George S, modified 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 7:33 AM
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I use the same intention when I feel stuck!
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SigmaTropic, modified 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 11:59 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Sounds good Polly, just some thoughts on dullness. 

Every kind of mind development that I'm aware of involves an intention at the root and it is smart to consciously be aware of our intentions- intentions are easy to cultivate by just telling the mind - this is skillful- keep doing, this is unskillful-stop doing. Intention setting is easy, requires no skill whatsoever, and is the foundation of change, even if not consciously achknowledged. Also it seems for people with a worldy accumulation-type mindset, it makes sense. 1000 intention sets on the same objective is better than 900 intention sets on that objective and 100 conflicting intentions. Conflicting intentions in the mind make development less straightforward. 

When it comes to a thing like dullness it's a typical feature of the ordinary mind to tune out much of experience. Good meditation instructions place a high value on clarity of perception and awakeness. Every good method of awakening inherently moves toward more awakeness- in the literal sense of the word. Any technique that doesn't regard dullness as a hindrance is not a technique toward awakening. 

It can be a fine line to walk with dullness, especially in EQ states- lower 2 paths in low EQ you can have strong dullness (higher paths are different it seems) and a good objective is to clearly perceive the dullness and try to get rid of it. Accepting dullness should never be regarded as a skillful mindstate. The unskillful way to relate to dullness is to be complacent and not regard dullness as a hindrance. Skillfully having dullness is being ok with it right now but doing a practice to refine the mind and remove this obstacle. This clear perception intention counteracts the ignorant intentions in the mind. You can't get out of low EQ without developing further, and In my opinion one flaw I see with common advice for dullness is that you can't really just allow it. You have to intend to see things clearly. You want specific qualities in your mind or else we would not call any of this practice. This is stage 5 TMI practice and my personal experience was that was a long, continuous refinement of perception with the consistent intention to be more awake. 

Also helpful can be to regard dullness as a confused but compassionate part of your mind trying to protect you. But the meditator has knowledge of the method and the fruit, and you can be like a pissed off parent at the dumb teenager but as long as you show the dumb teenager you're looking out for them they usually don't cause trouble (I don't have kids but I was a teenager once). 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 1:17 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Thankyou SigmaTropic! And George!

I do regard dullness as a hindrance. It's the most frustrating one for me. Thus, the advice is very welcome.

I see now that I expressed myself poorly above, by the way, and that I was mixing apples with oranges or whatever the saying is. In the RtS class I wasn't really dull, at least not as much as I tend to be at that time of the morning. It was rather the case that I didn't have to struggle to stay awake, because even though the body was tired, the heavy seductiveness of sleep wasn't there. I wasn't lured in by it. There is a bit of heavy brainfog today, though, so not the same thing. I believe I know what it is: a reaction to that boron supplement that I decided to try, based on what Ni Nurta said. Either that or something else that I have been eating. I feel rather ill now, in the specific way that is usually the case when I have tried a supplement that doesn't agree with my body. So no more boron supplements for me. I also had a little bit of sweet juice yesterday, which may be contributing, so I need to be more strict with that as well. 

Does it matter which things we see clearly? I find that a narrow focus just doesn't work in dissolution, but if I allow the widening, the following dukkha ñanas tend to unfold, and eventually there is clarity in the wideness. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 23 Days ago at 4/23/22 8:16 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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I'm experimenting with retaining clarity while letting the body fall asleep, as that happens on its own now and then anyway. I did it now, balancing on the verge of bodily sleep with occasional actual bodily sleep but with strong clarity for what I think was more than an hour. I started out pushing the eye balls back into their sockets until they relaxed like that on their own, and I actively listened to the silence behind the sound, even behind the nada sound. I found that such a focus object was open enough to widen the mind while also subtle enough to require attentional discernment. It fostered synesthesia, so I could also sort of see and feel the silence as well as the sounds appearing in front of it, so it was interesting enough for deep concentration to occur. I would say that I was in the territory of fourth vipassana jhana, although the absorption varied a bit and I never got to the sacred geometry part. Now and then a sudden inbreath alerted me to fact that I hadn't been breathing for quite some time. When breathing happened, it was practically frictionless. My sinuses were wide open, and it felt like oxygen poured in from every pore. Experience was cool and equanimous and clear. 

Earlier this morning I woke up with brain fog and bodily pain, but it was very transient. I got out in the patio and started to read a dharma book, and so it was gone. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 23 Days ago at 4/23/22 4:16 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Correction: the pain is still there, but I can tune out from it. Will remedy it with yoga, because bypassing the pain doesn't take away its causes. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 23 Days ago at 4/23/22 4:27 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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There was maybe half a second of total formlessness, which stood out as a contrast mainly to the synesthetic light imagery and its dark background. The body was toned down a lot already, so the total falling away of it (including the sense of an energy field) was not much of a contrast. I wasn't aiming at formlessness so I didn't follow up on that. I was aiming at the clarity of fourth jhana. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 23 Days ago at 4/23/22 4:33 AM
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It's encouraging and fascinating that dullness can be so non-sticky. It used to feel totally hopeless to get out of it.
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Arena Heidi, modified 23 Days ago at 4/23/22 7:16 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I'm experimenting with retaining clarity while letting the body fall asleep, as that happens on its own now and then anyway. I did it now, balancing on the verge of bodily sleep with occasional actual bodily sleep but with strong clarity for what I think was more than an hour. I started out pushing the eyelids back into their sockets until they relaxed like that on their own, and I actively listened to the silence behind the sound, even behind the nada sound. I found that such a focus object was open enough to widen the mind while also subtle enough to require attentional discernment. It fostered synesthesia, so I could also sort of see and feel the silence as well as the sounds appearing in front of it, so it was interesting enough for deep concentration to occur. I would say that I was in the territory of fourth vipassana jhana, although the absorption varied a bit and I never got to the sacred geometry part.
I could really relate to everything that you wrote here (except for the eyelid part and lack of breathing). It fits as an accurate description of my meditations now. Before my medtiations shifted to this kind of focus through sound, my meditations consisted mostly of 3-D kaleidoscopic geometries. I had one meditation recently where the sound and the geometries occurred all together. I don't try and intend any of it. This all happens effortlessly now and I just stay aware and present to it. You (and others here) have a whole context that your meditation fits into that is completely different from my own context out of which this arose. It fascinates me that our experiences seem to be very similar even though our progression into it has been so different. I want to bridge to you and others here and haven't quite known how to do that because my path and language doesn't fit with the norm here. I'm not feeling in need of help in that my meditation does itself. But support in orientation as to where I am at in your constructs, as well as landmarks to look out for might be incredibly helpful. The bulk of what I read here doesn't fit for my experience at all, but then this post of your fits so exactly. I would be grateful for some simple orientation from you and others. And if it's not appropriate that responses happen here in your log, I could begin a new thread with this comment. Thanks Linda (and anyone else). I hope your pain and brain fog shift easily.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 23 Days ago at 4/23/22 9:24 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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I can't even relate to the part with eyelids, lol, as that was a typo or language error. I meant the eye balls. I was using the eye muscles, by the way, not the hands or anything like that. I know from experience that this happens on its own in concentrated states, so I find that doing it manually can help with tuning into it. 

For me, my practice did itself the way you describe when I was pretty close to stream entry and right after it. It happened again around the entrance to second path. I have seen others describe similar happenings at later stages of the path, but also earlier in the path in what is often referred to here as an A&P. Thus I can't tell you where you are, apart from what you already know: you are exactly where you need to be. Maybe some questions could help give a clearer picture? For how long have you had this experience of the practice doing itself? Is it the first time you are having such a period (if period is a relevant wording at all; if it has been like this for years or even decades, this second question feels irrelevant). Did the imagery you used to have gradually develop to 3D imagery or was it like that from the beginning? When you saw the imagery, was it for a long time or did it flash by in rapid sucession? If the latter, can you estimate how many images would usually flash by? How sharp were the images? Were they in black and white or in color? Were they still or did they move? If they moved, can you describe how? Were you a passive witness to it or did you act somehow? 

I love it when people share their own relatable experiences in my log! Please do! And if anyone wants to respond to Arena here in my log, that is welcome too. 

It sounds to me like you are describing sacred geometry rather than hypnagogic color swirling. Caleidoscopic is a good description of that, I would say, as they are perfectly symmetrical. I have had both flat ones and 3D ones, mostly flat ones. They have mostly been in black and white, but not all the time. When I meditate in the dreamtime, I often see tarot card-like works of art rather than sacred geometry. Those are always in color. There has been some movement in the 3D imagery for me and I have occasionally interacted with a scenery, but most of the time it has been like a passive witnessing. 

Furthermore, it sounds to me like you have great clarity and a great balance between energy and tranquility, and also great equanimity. 

The fact that you are asking about where you might be on the path suggests to me that you aren't entirely done. The fact that your practice is doing itself is a sure sign that you have gone beyond your first A&P. Thus, I think it's a pretty safe bet to say that you are somewhere between your first A&P and arahanthood on the map in MCTB2 (like most of us). And since you have had 3D imagery, which is more advanced than flat imagery, you seem skilled to me. Do you know if you have had cessations as described in MCTB2? 

Thanks both for sharing and for your kindness!
---

continued logging:

I have done two more sessions as the one I reported earlier today. For the first one I tried earmuffs. Indeed, that enabled me to hear more different qualities of the nada sound, and I'm pretty sure some of them could be described as elemental the way StillJustJames describe them, but I still prefer to not shield myself from external sounds. I know from experience that when concentration is strong enough, external sounds fall into the background or disappear altogether on their own. When concentration is not strong enough, the slight effort of bringing fort the silence helps me to stay alert. In the session with earmuffs, after a while I became less interested, which led to subtle dullness. In the latest session I thus refrained from using earmuffs again, like in the first session, and tuned into the silence behind the sounds. I had the door to my patio wide open (in all three sessions), so there was quite a lot of external sound in the background: birds chirping, a hedgehog grunting, traffic noise, occasional sirens, the wind janking the patio door etc. I quite enjoyed emptying out those sounds and tuning into the potential from which they are all coming. Effortless breathing with wide open sinuses. No sacred geometry, but lots of bright flourescent color swirls. Quite pleasant, but not extatic. Pretty equanimous, but not in the clear sense that it presents in fourth jhana. So... third jhana territory perhaps, even though the absorption wasn't as full as it can be. It was full enough to completely take the pain away for the time being (but I'm still going to remedy it with yoga). Initially the body janked a bit the way it sometimes does when it falls asleep (it felt more like that than like energetic kriyas). Then it was motionless. My mind remained clear. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 23 Days ago at 4/23/22 11:24 AM
Created 23 Days ago at 4/23/22 11:24 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 6262 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Then it was motionless. 


That is actually not quite true. There were instances of noticing tensions that had either been building up or been there the whole time without awareness, and letting go of those tensions.

I did another briefer session now, this time while listening to that hemi-synch recording, and the same gradual unclenching took place.

The unclenching reminds me of early on in my practice when I was first going through third vipassana jhana territory. At that time there was so much tension to let go of that it was almost ridiculous, and it definitely contracted more before each letting go, so it is quite possible that the same happens now on a much subtler level. Sort of like when putting pressure to a subtle muscle knot, which makes the threads tightening up before they let go. Early in my oractice there wasn’t anything subtle about it, lol. I think I must have looked like someone in an exorcism movie, arching my back in weird positions during the contractions. I have been wondering how all that could stop, but I now recognize that the energetic massage is still going on. It’s just working on subtler knots nowadays. That explains why I seem to go through this subtle unclenching phase before reaching equanimity in the cycling each time. It’s the energetic aspect of the dukkha ñanas. And when it happens with clarity and pleasant yet fairly equanimous absorption, it is third vipassana jhana. What a difference from before, and yet so similar at its core!

I had listened to the hemi-synch recording again a cuople of times between the first time and this time, with little effect. It started out with little effect this time as well, but then I made some kind of intentional move that made a sudden difference. I’m not sure what I did. Maybe it was just the intension in itself that did the trick, or maybe I dropped the subject-object duality, or maybe the intention was the dropping of that. Suddenly the separation from the sound disappeared, or at least a big part of it.
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Arena Heidi, modified 23 Days ago at 4/23/22 6:59 PM
Created 23 Days ago at 4/23/22 6:56 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 52 Join Date: 4/16/22 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I can't even relate to the part with eyelids, lol, as that was a typo or language error. I meant the eye balls. I was using the eye muscles, by the way, not the hands or anything like that. I know from experience that this happens on its own in concentrated states, so I find that doing it manually can help with tuning into it.  For me, my practice did itself the way you describe when I was pretty close to stream entry and right after it. It happened again around the entrance to second path. I have seen others describe similar happenings at later stages of the path, but also earlier in the path in what is often referred to here as an A&P. Thus I can't tell you where you are, apart from what you already know: you are exactly where you need to be. Maybe some questions could help give a clearer picture? For how long have you had this experience of the practice doing itself? Is it the first time you are having such a period (if period is a relevant wording at all; if it has been like this for years or even decades, this second question feels irrelevant). Did the imagery you used to have gradually develop to 3D imagery or was it like that from the beginning? When you saw the imagery, was it for a long time or did it flash by in rapid sucession? If the latter, can you estimate how many images would usually flash by? How sharp were the images? Were they in black and white or in color? Were they still or did they move? If they moved, can you describe how? Were you a passive witness to it or did you act somehow?  I love it when people share their own relatable experiences in my log! Please do! And if anyone wants to respond to Arena here in my log, that is welcome too.  It sounds to me like you are describing sacred geometry rather than hypnagogic color swirling. Caleidoscopic is a good description of that, I would say, as they are perfectly symmetrical. I have had both flat ones and 3D ones, mostly flat ones. They have mostly been in black and white, but not all the time. When I meditate in the dreamtime, I often see tarot card-like works of art rather than sacred geometry. Those are always in color. There has been some movement in the 3D imagery for me and I have occasionally interacted with a scenery, but most of the time it has been like a passive witnessing.  Furthermore, it sounds to me like you have great clarity and a great balance between energy and tranquility, and also great equanimity.  The fact that you are asking about where you might be on the path suggests to me that you aren't entirely done. The fact that your practice is doing itself is a sure sign that you have gone beyond your first A&P. Thus, I think it's a pretty safe bet to say that you are somewhere between your first A&P and arahanthood on the map in MCTB2 (like most of us). And since you have had 3D imagery, which is more advanced than flat imagery, you seem skilled to me. Do you know if you have had cessations as described in MCTB2?  Thanks both for sharing and for your kindness.



Thanks Linda. I appreciate being able to camp out in your log for a bit until I get my bearings. I knew you meant eyeballs, but I don't do anything special with my eyes that I'm aware of. The geometric 3-D vast spaciousness has been with me since 2002. I had experimented with Salvia Divinorum a tiny bit back then and ended up in geometric realities that felt more real than this reality. The experience opened a pathway that I was able to access thereafter. At first my access was out of my control. I would unexpected fall into that kind of space, on occasion before falling asleep. Over the years my access and time there has very gradually increased until it has become common for me. The geometries are always 3-dimensional and in incredible colors and patterns, but the feel of them varies greatly. They are always in motion but the speed and subtlety of the motion varies. The spatial feel of the geometries is incredibly vast. It's a very trippy hallucinogenic experience, which feels like an ordinary underlying reality of things to me.


The shift with sound opened up for me this winter and has been so profound that I haven't cared about the geometries. Like you said, I also feel and see the sound. This space is always very accessible to me now. When it's quiet in my external environment, I feel the edges of it like I am always a bit in it. I close my eyes and can move right into it with barely any transition. The immediacy of access is new since this winter. Sometimes I've woken up from sleep into this deep meditative space. That's been new, too. The space feels alive, aware and intelligent. Like being absorbed by an infinite vast unknown mystery. (The dream that I had that relates to this was of rising black water subsuming everything. Then I woke up from the dream in a profound state of peace. I've been surrendering to the unknown since I had that dream.) 


In 2016 and 2017 I had major shifts and began following an inner path in a very dedicated way. My practice has done itself since then. Things show up first in dreams. Then the dream experience shows up in waking life a bunch of months later. Typically, I have mastery with the dream experience in waking life a year so later. My meditation has been the most valuable thing in my life since 2017, but my primary focus has been on unraveling layers of trauma in my body. The practice I do may help others who also have a lot of stored trauma. 


My feeling has been that learning is endless and I'm not looking for or interested in completion or attainment. It will be surprising and unexpected if I do come to some kind of completion. Things unfold seamlessly and gradually for me. I am not really sure what cessation is. If I've had it, I haven't noticed it. I had a lot of special experiences that came and went when I was young. Maybe those were what is meant by A&Ps? I lost interest in them and they mostly stopped happening because I focused on and prioritized that which sustained and integrated into daily life. I don't really care where I am at, especially because I feel a lot of fulfillment. Also, I feel a sense of equality with all beings and don't resonate with hierarchical structures. Maps feel more like location and orientation instead of higher or better than. Everyone has gifts and something special to offer. But I am trying to understand what parts of the maps fit for me simply so that I can communicate with others here. In order to understand the meaning for the language that folks are using here, I have to feel where it fits in my experience. Just intellectually knowing the meaning isn't really all that helpful. 


This ended up being much longer than I thought. Maybe I'll use it to begin a thread. Other folks have linked to other maps that may be more helpful for me. I will check them out and see. Thank you so much Linda for helping me with this initial orientation. It didn't really flow for me to write about my experience, until you asked me all those questions. 
​​​​​​​
You said: "When I meditate in the dreamtime, I often see tarot card-like works of art" Did you mean when you meditate in a dream? Have you tried to draw or paint the art that you see? 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 22 Days ago at 4/24/22 9:13 AM
Created 22 Days ago at 4/24/22 9:13 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 6262 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Fascinating! I sort of envy you, but I'm not sure I would have been able to deal with falling into geometric worlds beyond control like that. Maybe the glimpses I get is what I can handle. I have never tried any psychedelics. I'm intolerant to so many foods and medicines that I fear what drugs would do. I mean, I get knocked out by mineral water that has too much minerals in it. A sip of regular tea gives me strong anxiety of the kind that makes me want to die to get away from it (at least it did last time I checked). It's ridiculous, really. I'm challenging myself a bit now, trying to extend my diet just a little bit; hence the pain.

I don't think you need the maps to relate to people here, necessarily. We can be a bit obsessed with them from time to time, but mainly because advice might differ depending on where one is. Since you don't need advice, there is no need to map your path. I bet that if you describe your experiences with great detail, using ordinary words, it will attract others who are exploring similar territory. Thorough descriptions always trump labels, I find. Anyway, there's no way I could map you. You may be well beyond me, or on a different map. I really can't tell. Also, you have been doing this much longer than I have. I bet I could learn lots from you. 

I have never tried to paint the artwork I see when I meditate in dreams (yes, that's what I meant), because after I wake up I can't recall enough of the images, even though I recall watching them very closely. I mainly focus on how vivid and seemingly real they are even though I know that they are creations of mind. The content of them doesn't stick in my memory. I so wish I vould make a screen dump or something, for the fun of it, but I suspect that the content isn't important. Exploring how the mind fabricates it is more interesting to me, so that's what I do. 
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Arena Heidi, modified 22 Days ago at 4/24/22 2:01 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 4/24/22 2:01 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 52 Join Date: 4/16/22 Recent Posts
Fascinating! I sort of envy you, but I'm not sure I would have been able to deal with falling into geometric worlds beyond control like that. Maybe the glimpses I get is what I can handle. I have never tried any psychedelics. I'm intolerant to so many foods and medicines that I fear what drugs would do. I mean, I get knocked out by mineral water that has too much minerals in it. A sip of regular tea gives me strong anxiety of the kind that makes me want to die to get away from it (at least it did last time I checked). It's ridiculous, really. I'm challenging myself a bit now, trying to extend my diet just a little bit; hence the pain.

I don't think you need the maps to relate to people here, necessarily. We can be a bit obsessed with them from time to time, but mainly because advice might differ depending on where one is. Since you don't need advice, there is no need to map your path. I bet that if you describe your experiences with great detail, using ordinary words, it will attract others who are exploring similar territory. Thorough descriptions always trump labels, I find. Anyway, there's no way I could map you. You may be well beyond me, or on a different map. I really can't tell. Also, you have been doing this much longer than I have. I bet I could learn lots from you. 

I have never tried to paint the artwork I see when I meditate in dreams (yes, that's what I meant), because after I wake up I can't recall enough of the images, even though I recall watching them very closely. I mainly focus on how vivid and seemingly real they are even though I know that they are creations of mind. The content of them doesn't stick in my memory. I so wish I vould make a screen dump or something, for the fun of it, but I suspect that the content isn't important. Exploring how the mind fabricates it is more interesting to me, so that's what I do. 

Linda, you are too kind. The geometries really haven't been a big deal. I've barely told anyone about them. I wouldn't even have thought to mention them, if you hadn't referred to them. I am sensitive also, which is why a drug opened something in me. Tiny amounts of a drug can have a big effect. Though I am not sensitive to the degree that you are, I can empathize with it. I suspect it is actually a huge gift for you, if you can harness the energy of your sensitivity in a good way. I hope that happens for you. Have you tried muscle testing or some other technique of knowing ahead of time what substances your body is going to reject? Most of my practice has been learning to listen to my body and those subtle (or in your case not so subtle) messages. It's been a path of self love to align with my body and work with it instead of against it. It's actually good that I'm typing this to you because I woke up with a headache and could use to do what I'm telling you about! I have had a lot of physical health challenges throughout my life. I had been doing well, but getting Covid-19 set me back.

I have discovered that most dedicated practitioners on a spiritual path tend to only be open to others following the same tradition and teaching. I am here to engage and connect and was thinking that if I could make some links as to how I fit in with what others are doing, it might help. I hope that I am proven wrong about the lack of openness. Meanwhile, I have been grateful for your openness and feel as if I am learning just as much, if not more from you. But I also find that every encounter is an equal and reciprocal learning experience. 

Using sound has been more helpful for me than the geometries simply because I can feel and hear the sound while I am typing this to you. It helps me integrate meditation and the unknown into daily life. I have felt that you and I might be in a similar place on the maps used here, even though we have developed different skills. The learning how to let go of control and fall into something is hugh and helpful. There's initial terror but then the feared thing becomes a source of comfort. As I type this I feel the goodness of all the ways I've let go, and awareness of all the ways I am still attempting to control the uncontrollable. 

Thank you. It's been a blessing to converse with you about all these subjects. Wishing you much healing and wellness.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 20 Days ago at 4/26/22 2:18 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 4/24/22 9:18 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 6262 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Sunday April 24th, 2022, 2 amThere were tangible widening movements of perception/experience in the evening the fay before. I meditated myself to sleep. At 2 am I woke up noticing that I was focusing on the nada sound with pretty strong concentration. Then a strong energetic surge, like a wave of bliss, accompanied by a psychedelic light show. 

Meditation during the day has been uneventful so far. Open focus. Subtle dullness. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 20 Days ago at 4/26/22 2:53 PM
Created 20 Days ago at 4/26/22 2:53 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 6262 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Standard dukkha ñana meditation issues. Minimal leaking into daily life interactions, but it definitely doesn't help with my difficulties with executive functioning. Impermanence is a blessing. Not-self too. I remind myself as often as I remember to (hehe) that identification with the hardship is a too tight costume that I don't have to wear. 

When it feels like it would help the most, dropping into jhanas doesn't come so easily to me. I know that the vibrational level of the dukkha ñanas can be quite pleasant. Squeezing in the "unclenching" that would take me there "full-on", so to speak, just doesn't seem doable in-between school meetings and job meetings and various doctor's appointments for my kiddo, along with all the other life challenges. The life duties that pay the bills seem to make it logistically impossible some days. Taking a step back to notice the space around and behind it all is usually more doable, even if it sure can be wobbly. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 20 Days ago at 4/26/22 11:59 PM
Created 20 Days ago at 4/26/22 11:59 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 2394 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Apparently even THE Buddha failed to enter Jhanas when he was in pain, before his death. He did try though. The master of masters of Jhana. Even more famed than Ni Nurt-Bhikkhu himself the rider of the Jhana bliss! (Just kidding with Ni). 

So if Buddha failed at getting rid of suffering through Jhana than why should we place any effort in pursuing it? 
I did learn my lesson on Jhana being a fragile carrot on the stick, back in 2009. Maybe you too need to realise this. 

BTW, Dark Nighting over here too so ... 
thinking if it's possible for experiences to self liberate instead of me needing to call Jhana for help emoticon 

In any way we are losers.

Btw, best wishes to you and your kiddo! My eldest just started school this month! emoticon 
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Sigma Tropic, modified 19 Days ago at 4/27/22 1:31 PM
Created 19 Days ago at 4/27/22 1:22 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 283 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
I would like to kindly point out a story I found about about the death of the Buddha: source: http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/lifebuddha/2_31lbud.htm
After the conversion of Subhadda, the Buddha spoke again to Venerable Ananda. "It may be, Ananda, that some of you will say, 'without the Buddha, the Sublime Teacher, there is no teacher for us'. No, Ananda, you should not think in this way. Whatever doctrine and discipline taught and made known by me will be your teacher when I am gone."
Then the Buddha, addressing the other monks said, "If any amongst you has any doubts as to the Buddha, the teaching, or the order of monks, ask me now so that afterwards you may have no cause to regret that you did not ask me while I was still with you."
But at these words, none of the monks said anything. None had any questions, and all of them were silent. For the second and third time the Buddha addressed the monks in this way. And for the second and third time, all the monks were silent.
The Buddha said, "Perhaps it may be out of respect for the teacher, that you do not question me. Let a friend, O disciples, tell it to another friend." Still the disciples remained silent.
Then Venerable Ananda spoke to the Buddha, "It is wonderful. It is marvellous, Lord! I do believe that in all this great company of monks there is not a single one who has doubts or questions about the Buddha, the teaching or the order of monks, or the path and the method of training and conduct."
"With you, Ananda," said the Buddha, "this may be a matter of faith and belief. But, Ananda, I know that not one single monk gathered here has any doubt or question about these things. Of all the 500 monks here, Ananda, he who is the most backward is a sotapanna, not subject to fall back to a lower state of existence, but is certain and destined for enlightenment."
Then the Buddha addressed all the monks once more, and these were the very last words he spoke:
"Behold, O monks, this is my last advice to you. All component things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting. Work hard to gain your own salvation."
Then the Buddha lapsed into the jhana stages, or meditative absorptions. Going from level to level, one after the other, ever deeper and deeper. Then he came out of the meditative absorption for the last time and passed into nirvana, leaving nothing whatever behind that can cause rebirth again in this or any other world.
The passing away, or the final nirvana of the Buddha, occurred in 543 BC on a full-moon day in the month of May, known in the Indian calendar as Vesak.

I would also like to kindly point readers to another source: https://factsanddetails.com/world/cat55/sub355/entry-6452.html
The Buddha Enters NirvanaAshvagosha, 'Buddhacarita,' XXVI, 83-6, 88-106 reads: “Thereupon the Buddha turned to his Disciples, and said to them: 'Everything comes to an end, though it may last for an aeon. The hour of parting is bound to come in the end. Now I have done what I could do, both for myself and for others. To stay here would from now on be without any purpose. I have disciplined, in heaven and on earth, all those whom I could discipline, and I have set them in the stream. Hereafter this my Dharma, 0 monks, shall abide for generations and generations among living beings. Therefore, recognize the true nature of the living world, and do not be anxious; for separation cannot possibly be avoided. Recognize that all that lives is subject to this law; and strive from today onwards that it shall be thus no more ! When the light of gnosis has dispelled the darkness of ignorance, when an existence has been seen as without substance, peace ensues when life draws to an end, which seems to cure a long sickness at last. Everything, whether stationary or moveable, is bound to perish in the end. Be ye therefore mindful and vigilant! The time for my entry into Nirvana has now arrived. These are my last words!' , [Source: Edward Conze, in Conze (ed.), “Buddhist Scriptures” (Penguin Books, 1959), pp. 62-4, Eliade Page website]“Thereupon, supreme in his mastery of the trances, He at that moment entered into the first trance, emerged from it and went on to the second, and so in due order he entered all of them without omitting one. And then, when he had ascended through all the nine stages of meditational attainment, the great Seer reversed the process, and returned again to the first trance. Again he emerged from that, and once more he ascended step by step to the fourth trance. When he emerged from the practice of that, he came face to face with everlasting Peace.“And when the Sage entered Nirvana, the earth quivered like a ship struck by a squall, and firebrands fell from the sky. The heavens were lit up by a preternatural fire, which burned without fuel, without smoke, without being fanned by the wind. Fearsome thunderbolts crashed down on the earth, and violent winds raged in the sky. The moon's light waned, and, in spite of a cloudless sky, an uncanny darkness spread everywhere. The rivers, as if overcome with grief, were filled with boiling water. Beautiful flowers grew out of season on the Sal trees above the Buddha's couch, and the trees bent down over him and showered his golden body with their flowers. Like as many gods the five-headed Nagas stood motionless in the sky, their eyes reddened with grief, their hoods closed and their bodies kept in restraint, and with deep devotion they gazed upon the body of the Sage. But, well-established in the practice of the -supreme Dharma, the gathering of the gods round king Vaishravana was not grieved and shed no tears, so great was their attachment to the Dharma. The Gods of the Pure Abode, though they had great reverence for the Great Seer, remained composed, and their minds were unaffected; for they hold the things of this world in the utmost contempt. The Kings of the Gandharvas and Nagas, as well as the Yakshas and the Devas who rejoice in the true Dharma-they all stood in the sky, mourning and absorbed in the utmost grief. But Mara's hosts felt that they had obtained their heart's desire. Overjoyed they uttered loud laughs, danced about, hissed like snakes, and triumphantly made a frightful din by beating drums, gongs and tom-toms. And the world, when the Prince of Seers had passed beyond, became like a mountain whose peak has been shattered by a thunderbolt; it became like the sky without the moon, like a pond whose lotuses the frost has withered, or like learning rendered ineffective by lack of wealth.”
It seems from my reading that the Buddha in fact did enter jhana before his death. It seems timely and helpful and true and kind to mention that this is what the literature says, so I would invite the reader to consider this when reading Dusko's comment above.
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Ni Nurta, modified 19 Days ago at 4/27/22 4:02 PM
Created 19 Days ago at 4/27/22 4:02 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 927 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
leaving nothing whatever behind that can cause rebirth again in this or any other world
Would be cool if someone convinced him to give it another try, this rebirth thing emoticon

@Papa
Jhanas should not be treated as dukkha bail out card emoticon
There is no such card.

Best just be nice sentient being giving your best and help others so they help you when the need comes. Wouldn't you think...
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 19 Days ago at 4/28/22 12:50 AM
Created 19 Days ago at 4/27/22 11:51 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 2394 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Hi Sigma! 

What I've stated was heard from Daniel Ingram mentioning that Sutta (name?) to Armstrong and they both agreed that Sutta does mention that Buddha failed to enter Jhana due to strong stomach pains. This was during his last days I think. This was in that Guru Viking video. 
https://youtu.be/znX6w6shQ7c
​​​​​​​

So if they are lying about this Sutta existing so am
I emoticon in that case I do apologise. However I do tend to believe Ingram without double-checking on all he states. Call me biased. 
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Sigma Tropic, modified 18 Days ago at 4/28/22 10:58 AM
Created 18 Days ago at 4/28/22 10:58 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 283 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
It's hilarious how Steve labels himself as a mere muggle when everyone knows he's a wizard.  
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago at 4/28/22 10:29 AM
Created 18 Days ago at 4/28/22 10:22 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 6262 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Thanks all of you for chiming in and for caring! All the best well-wishings right back at ya!

Whether the Buddha was able to access jhanas through any hardship is not something I have given much thought, and my practice choices do not in any way depend on that. I know that it's possible to have the pathways to jhanas more open than what I have now, because I have been there myself (and those were challenging times too). Those pathways take some work to clear out, but I know that it's doable. Papa Che, if you are concerned that I would put all my eggs in the jhana-basket, you can stop worrying. That has never even been on the table. Nor have I ever expected jhanas to solve my problems in life. However, working on concentration together with working on insight is what makes it possible for me to see the space around stuff. It's not an either-or thing. When I work on my concentration I mainly do it for the purpose of increasing clarity in my insight practice, because otherwise I get dull. Also, it gives me some rest, which is well needed so that I can deal with life. I'm not expecting jhanas to do it for me. It's lubrication. The most environment-friendly kind of lubrication. 
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Sigma Tropic, modified 18 Days ago at 4/28/22 11:42 AM
Created 18 Days ago at 4/28/22 11:42 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 283 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Sorry for hijacking your thread Polly, you mentioned things are rough with the dukkha nanas, maybe that's all passed by the time you see this, but in any case I feel for you, it's tough to maintain mental peace amidst all the happenings of everyday life, especially when you have to buy kitty litter and and the kids are screaming and fighting. Sometimes you just gotta say well shit, today I'm just gonna give myself a break and hang out with the cats and watch netflix. I'm wishing you and your kiddo all the best, and just know you are not alone in these scary times.   
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 17 Days ago at 4/29/22 7:13 AM
Created 17 Days ago at 4/29/22 7:13 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 6262 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Don't worry about it! You are always welcome in my log. You all are. 

Thanks for caring, and for the support!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 18 Days ago at 4/28/22 3:17 PM
Created 18 Days ago at 4/28/22 3:17 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

Posts: 2394 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"However, working on concentration together with working on insight is what makes it possible for me to see the space around stuff. It's not an either-or thing. When I work on my concentration I mainly do it for the purpose of increasing clarity in my insight practice, because otherwise I get dull."

Let me try understand this better emoticon So you say, you need concentration and insight (investigation) for seeing clearly the space around the experience of being Dull? emoticon 

Yeps! emoticon That'll do it! emoticon I know it too well! I could easily go to my Jhana move and kick the Kanika Samadhi (via full-on noting) which always leads to Jhanas for me but to what end? emoticon Its like licking ice cream, then its finished. Then I go back to licking icecream. etc ... to what end? To feel better in life? Watch a comedy for crying out loud emoticon Get a massage. Go have fun with friends. ... etc ... 

That Dullness is the shit! That is my HOME! Right here in this DULLNESS, lovely dullness, watching the mind move from one solution to the other, so many reactive patterns unfolding "to do something bout it" emoticon That "experienced yogi" that "wants to master stuff and feel better in life" emoticon "Get less dullness in my insight practice" emoticon 

Please do excuse my babbling! As per usual its not meant to harm! I might not even know what Im saying right now. emoticon 

Best wishes Linda min kompis! emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 17 Days ago at 4/29/22 3:45 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Dear friend,

I can't have any ice cream due to extensive intolerances, so perhaps I can trust you will not not begrudge me occasional resting in the jhanas, just as I wouldn't begrudge you your occasional ice cream licking? 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 17 Days ago at 4/29/22 7:32 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Or massage, of course. 

All the best wishes to you and your family!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 3:04 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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You missed my point Linda emoticon I have nothing against the absorption states and feelings and sensations associated with them. 

I wish you ease with getting such states and may they be of benefit. 

​​​​​​​Che out to find some ice team. Or massage. emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 17 Days ago at 4/29/22 7:32 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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A small observation: a new tendency is that during challenging times, subtle pleasant vibrational sensations by the nostrils stand out more in my experience. It's like a gentle reminder from my body to be more present and less narrowed down. Even though the nostrils are in themselves a narrowed down area "geographically", for me it wakes me up to how what I'm currently caught up in and identifying myself with is equally narrowed down, so it results in a widening. It gives perspective. Both the thing I'm caught up in, causing suffering, and the pleasant nostril sensations, are small focuses compared to the totality of what is aware. I can zoom in and I can zoom out. I can zoom in unskillfully or skillfully. I can also zoom out. What I can't do is stay zoomed in or zoomed out. That's not how it works.
George S, modified 17 Days ago at 4/29/22 12:37 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
What I can't do is stay zoomed in or zoomed out. That's not how it works.

​​​​​​​That's right!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 17 Days ago at 4/29/22 12:57 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Well, duh. emoticon Impermanence. 
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Sigma Tropic, modified 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 12:52 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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The zooming aspect you can save for the cats, at least for the scope of this discussion. I have a differense sense of things than most here it seems- the basic MCTB framework is not really what I'm referring to here when I talk about attainments, and my idea of progress may be different than some here, 

But with that caveat, what I see in your small observation is actually a Big Observation if properly pointed out. 

Typical worldling attitude is thus:

I do not like suffering. Ouch. Pain strain ouch pain, get me outta here - sex, entertainments, objects of the world can save me! Course objects will solve my problems. People can spend their entire lives in this mindset and most do. 

Typical enlightened person who doesn't know what their mind is capable of is thus:

"I see all this suffering everywhere but strangely my mind is doing something with it, automatically. I actually don't know what I'm doing yet but there is a strange tendency for my mind to sort of .... transform the energy of suffering into something ... more skillful and useful. No big deal, but when stress comes up, part of my mind converts part of the energy into factors of awakening. My perspecitve automatically widens and I get pleasant tingles of energy - almost like a stress release response - no big deal but worth mentioning"

Typical enlightened person who knows what they're doing and has good instruction is thus:

"I see this tendency for the mind to release dukkha automatically and being a good yogi I've studied it and learned a lot about how the mind works. In taking a keen interest in this newfound superpower I have learned the rachet-like predictability of conditioned arisings in the mind. There's this tangled mess of mind phenomena associated with every experience, but it seems possible to unravel the thing and I see it now!. Now I can zap most dukkha, either with this Fruition of mine or these jhanas that seem very skillful to use. I seem more useful when I'm blissful and carefree. 

Further development which is beyond the scope of this discussion but a worthy and possible goal looks something like:

"I have mastered the mind, and attained to the state of autovipassana. I have fully realized the 3C's in all experiences. I have fluid ability to change my mental, subjective experience, and with my knowledge of intention, dependent arising, and my mental tools of jhana and cessation, I no longer suffer in any real significant way. I have mastered dukkha and the end of dukkha through my clear insight into dependent arising. Maybe I have half-second instances of subtle dukkha every now and then. There is something more basic about the nature of mind that's beyond the assumption of objectively observable self-existent things in the world. There's also something illusory about these basic assumptions upon which all of my mind-studies have been based..." (Anagami territory for example see "Energy, Devotion, Magick, Bliss" practice log)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 1:45 PM
Created 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 1:45 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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That brings hope. Thankyou! 

Different framework or not, it resonates. Reading it popped my sinuses open and made the nada sound loud, so I know it's the way forward. The energy body always knows. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 6:54 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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I just had a reclining meditation session in which it felt like something behind the third eye point in the forehead was partly melting and moving around. Also, my hands were jerking. It was a surrender-type meditation. 
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Smiling Stone, modified 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 12:04 PM
Created 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 12:04 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Hello Linda,

I wanted to chime in on this post by Ni Nurta :
If you want nice binaural beats to practice with I recommend genuine hemi-sync recordings.
Like this one https://soundcloud.com/abiyauniverse/hemi-sync-wave-ii-threshold-1-introduction-to-focus-12

My own baseline mind state is more like Focus 12 than Focus 1. If you manage to experience it you will understand how this equals not experiencing body. It is especially obvious in the latter parts of recording when there is countdown from 12 to 1 in which case shift is pretty much real-time. If you experience these Focus states and wonder how it is possible to sustain them in waking awareness - by being quite secluded from sensuality and free from unskillful qualities, pretty much. Or in other words I could bring my mind state to experience body but I simply do not call for the qualities which cause it. Knowing which these are of course helps. Likewise it is possible to get even more refined mind states which in hemi-sync are described as higher Focus levels by not calling up for even subtle qualities like those which keep Focus 12. It is especially easy when this momentary cessation trick is mastered because any quality can be just suppressed by causing cessation the moment it would arise.

I didn't listen to these Hemi-Sync recordings all that much all things considered but especially in very far past, like two decades ago up to decade ago I listened to them enough to be able to do things which I would probably not be able to do as easily. After experiencing these mind states while listening it is much easier to learn how to do them yourself.

BTW. Those Hemi-Sync were very well researched by years of experimentation and testing by very skilled person and his team. On the other hand people creating random YT videos with binaural beats on just take some audio editing software and slap bunch of frequencies there, like mandatory 432Hz and other nonsense and probably themselves are unable to tune to anything, let alone nonsense they created which might not even be safe to listen to. Hemi-Sync on the other hand is great.

ps. For decalcifying pineal gland you can apparently use something with lots of boron. Do you feel blockade in your pineal gland?

Thanks for bringing this up, Ni, I have been curious of binaural beats for a while but had never bumped into Bob Monroe. The interesting soundcloud channel you linked to has some interesting guided stuff that will make more sense to the newcomer after listening to these introductory ones :
I -  gateway-voyage-introductory-exercise
II - gateway-voyage-open-exercise
The Monroe Institute is a for-profit organisation which proposes very expensive zoom seminars ($1065 for their Gateway program). I certainly do not endorse this... and it sounds very new-agish in the worst acception of the term. Monroe might have had some good intuitions though...
What is of interest to me in the introduction is that he throws in some efficient altered breathing patterns to modify our innerstate (in through the nose, slowly out through the pursed lips) in addition to the beats and the good old programmation ... So I will look for more !

My personal exposition to binaural beats has been quasi exclusively through the Deepware Brainwaves android app, which enables you to program your own binaural landscape and which I find really nice (I already said that in an old thread a few years ago but well...). So it's only as new age as you want it to be... and can get very trippy (I must admit a bent for these) !

I always follow your adventures, Linda, and appreciate your dedication and honesty. Not so active myself these days, but the drive might come back (today is a first try)... A silent partner on a never-ending journey...

with a cool bucket of metta
smiling stone
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 1:54 PM
Created 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 1:54 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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It's so good to hear from you, Smiling Stone! You are one of my favorite dharma friends. Programming your own binaural landscape? Cool! But can one mess it up? 
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Smiling Stone, modified 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 1:58 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Is there anything we CAN'T mess up ?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 2:07 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Hmm, good point. 

I once got seizures from the sound effects in an avantgarde dance show, but that was actually sort of pleasant, so maybe I'll try if I manage to install it on my job phone. 
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Smiling Stone, modified 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 2:15 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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You have pre-programmed sounds for about everything. It means it generates a beat between the two ears that varies from 1 to 40 Hz depending on the effect you're looking for (the higher the frequency, the more agitated your mind gets, it seems)... And they superpose sounds and frequencies as well (like in the monroe tapes).. The "tripping" ones can be unnerving but you may just skip these ! I recommend giving it a try, because the music is sweet to my ears...

You sure don't NEED these to get into jhanic territory, but I can feel some kind of weird  -subtle- effect (first time in ages when I read this thread yesterday).
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Days ago at 5/5/22 9:48 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Thanks! Interesting.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Days ago at 5/5/22 9:57 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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My practice has come to a halt at the moment. So much for that dedication. One of my cats has gone missing, on top of lots of other challenges lately, and I fail at refraining from identifying with thoughts and feelings around it that are in pretty sharp contrast to the dharma. I'm angry at it. There are stubborn patterns popping up that are convinced that the universe is screwing with me on purpose, as silly as it sounds. I'm super-angry about the suffering that so obviously occurs. If emptiness can't help my cat if he is hurt and/or trapped somewhere, then fuck it! [hissing]
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Siavash ', modified 11 Days ago at 5/5/22 10:12 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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 I hope your cat gets back to you Linda.
May be it would be helpful to connect to him mentally-emotionally, and ask him to come back if you haven't done so already?
 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Days ago at 5/5/22 10:18 AM
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Thankyou! 
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Chris M, modified 11 Days ago at 5/5/22 10:12 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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It's obvious from your comment that you care deeply about your cat (I have three, so yeah). That's not halting practice. It's caring. Practice continues, which is also obvious from your comment, because you are self-aware of your feelings in the moment.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Days ago at 5/5/22 10:17 AM
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Thankyou, Chris!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Days ago at 5/5/22 2:00 PM
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Hang in there, Linda! Sending best wishes! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Days ago at 5/5/22 4:31 PM
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Thanks!
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Sigma Tropic, modified 11 Days ago at 5/5/22 2:23 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Polly, I hope you find him. I would suggest finding the cat. Take catnip with you. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Days ago at 5/5/22 4:33 PM
Created 11 Days ago at 5/5/22 4:33 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Thanks! 

I grow my own catnip on the patio. He's not that impressed with it, but it's worth a shot.
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Chris M, modified 10 Days ago at 5/6/22 8:09 AM
Created 10 Days ago at 5/6/22 8:09 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Yeah, we grow catnip in our garden but our cats aren't interested. The dog, however, is very enamored of it!
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Smiling Stone, modified 9 Days ago at 5/7/22 5:24 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Any news of your cat, Linda?
Hopefully he comes back after a little adventure...
I always enjoy your log, but it is so dense that you don't want to have to look for something in an old one... and reading it on the phone is an ordeal after the 60 posts mark... so I wait to be in front of the computer... just saying)
much metta (and a little prayer for the goodhealth of your cat!)
smiling stone
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 8 Days ago at 5/8/22 8:40 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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No news about the cat. Some anonymous witnesses to having seen anonymous cats. It's like looking for a needle in a whole bunch of gigantic hey stacks. I love it that someone has the good sense to send the wellwishings to the cat, not just to me. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 8 Days ago at 5/8/22 9:11 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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I was on meditation strike for a few days as the practice felt meaningless, but today the bodymind demanded a long session.

Now I think I can understand why it's so common for people to be shocked by the amount of thoughts running around in their mind when they start meditating. I never had that shock when I started, and I always wondered how it was even possible for people to be unaware of the chatter. I mean, it's so obviously there, going on, being loud. How does anyone not notice that, I have been asking myself. For me when I started a regular practice, it rather opened up some space with less chatter as a contrast to the constant chatter off-cushion. Over time, space also opened up off the cushion as well, even though the chatter keeps coming back often enough.

These few days I guess I actually managed to not notice it all of the time but to suppress some stuff that would otherwise have reached the surface, because I had closed a door with this meditation strike, being pissed off with the whole thing. It was quite the whirlwind now when I opened the door again. Nothing disturbing, just chaotic. So much movement going on! And that was after just a few days with the door to it closed, and not even entirely closed (I don't even have the filters that would enable me to do that). If people have had the door closed for years or even decades, I can understand that it must be shocking when they finally open it. 

So... I think I can understand that part now. I still don't understand how it is possible for people not to notice when the door demands to be opened. Maybe people in general have some kind of security doors with advanced locks... and a soundproof bunker system or something. Or defense mechanisms that actually work. People are weird. 

Anyway, it felt good to open up again. I think I need to spend some more time just letting the whirlwind whirl on its own and not do anything. Just being both the space and the whirling going on in it and not identifying with any of it. Or whatever wording actually gives some justice to it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 8 Days ago at 5/8/22 9:32 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Now there's actually some motion sickness coming up, from the impressions of that whirlwind. Meditation strike was a really bad idea. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Days ago at 5/13/22 2:41 PM
Created 3 Days ago at 5/13/22 2:41 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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The last few days, the formal sessions have been peaceful. Not much coming up. No difficulties worth mentioning and no cool special effects. Equanimous and nothing special. 

I just did Michael Taft's latest guided meditation at The Berkeley Alembic (youtube recording), which was mainly Tonglen. It felt healing, in a subtle way. I was able to maintain focus throughout it, or non-focus when that was the instruction, without getting dull or restless. There were jhanic factors. Lots of warmth in my hands. Lightness. Spaciousness. 

My cat is still missing so I'm generally feeling low. I had a great meeting with a client at work, though, with strong presence and lots of spaciousness. 

I had dreams within dreams this morning. Strong grief coming up. The usual dream editing, sort of like when kids play pretend and change the conditions to make the storyline more interesting. I do that a lot without being explicitly lucid. It's more like I just take it for granted that I can make changes like that. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 8 Hours ago at 5/16/22 6:38 PM
Created 8 Hours ago at 5/16/22 6:38 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Okay, so now I'm officially accepting the "challenge" of starting and ending every day with the same weird eccentric devotional practice for a month, based on advice from SigmaTropic (filtered through my own conditioning, for which SigmaTropic is not to blame). I'm going to improvise movements as a tribute to the aliveness inherent to the emptiness and as a means for transformation. I just spent about 40 minutes doing it  and I'm sure it looked weird as f-ck but it felt heavenly or nibbanaly or whatever the technical term is. I have already started planning a retreat on this theme together with some autistic friends this summer, so I might as well get started. 

What's great about this practice is that it so obviously happens on its own. Also, it does something energetically. It opens things up, heals, connects, and generates both piti and great presence. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 39 Minutes ago at 5/17/22 2:02 AM
Created 39 Minutes ago at 5/17/22 2:02 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 14

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Now that was an awesome way to start the day. 

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