supermonkey's practice log

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Super Monkey, modified 26 Days ago at 4/20/22 12:13 PM
Created 26 Days ago at 4/20/22 12:13 PM

supermonkey's practice log

Posts: 23 Join Date: 8/11/20 Recent Posts
Hi DhO,

I currently feel like I could really need some companionship and space for ventilation, and because I don't want to keep spamming people I know with my findings and neurosises via dm, I think a log where people are free to comment or not is a good idea emoticon
I think I am going to either do a lot of ventilation or try to post clean sitting descriptions.

For my history I decided to keep it really short, as I could easily write 2-3 books and I don't know what's really relevant for you to know in that respect. I'll also try to use as few dharma lingo as possible.

I started meditation about 2 1/2 years ago, began with watching the breath, which developed into a TMI kind of shamatha-vipassana, then I did kasina on (distinct geometrical) moving light patterns behind my eyes. Then I rode the first 4 jhanas for a while (without intending to), then I basically just sat and tried to be mindful . Very often I started watching the breath and let that open into open awareness, which I partially regret because I often lost intention that way.

Now I split my hour into 30 minutes of walking and 30 minutes of sitting. I note "left,right" or "rising, falling" and then something else either after "right" or "falling". This works ok, but I I'm kinda uncertain whether I should just note strictly sequentially or feel into mindstates.

Usually my sits would develop into 2 possible directions: the first one is a quite state where lots of emotions come up and I fall into a sort of trance at some point. This means that I close my eyes and am sort of entranced by the shivering movements behind my eyelids and there are some thought and I am at some distance to this, conscious but not really aware. So it's not an emotional or thinking trance, probably the mind is taking some kind of break, idk.
Usually I fall into trance twice and then sort of space out. I am getting clearer on a seeming connection between so many emotions coming up and the trances, but it's not totally clear to me, as in I don't see what leads to what on a moment to moment basis.
The second possible ending is that I run into a wall of frustration. But the experience is slowly developing into a rawer and more direct form, and I sense that my body can start to digest it better that way.

I am really trying to get clearer about emotions. The coarser emotions I try to deal with are frustration, fear, anger and shame. The subtler ones are regret, doubt, sadness and misery.
It's interesting for how long we can carry so much resistance within us without really knowing what we resist. And then, in a moment of quititude, as if they lined up to show up, there is a series of shame, sadness, fear, frustration, misery, doubt, and eventually happiness, clarity, hope... It's almost as if they show up in order.

I guess the topic of frustration is gonna stay for a while; although I seem to be becoming able to trace it back to a bare experience without or with less proliferation. Indeed, I seem to be more and more able to trace things back to a bare experience. When confused, I wonder whether the tracing back should stop at the bodily experience or at the awareness behind it. But I sense that in experience there is no difference, and that tracing something back to the awareness behind is just a fixated idea in my head with a lot of aversion behind it.

Yesterday I noticed that I could benefit from keeping up more intention towards the end of a sit. I noticed that a more rigurous noting of thoughts is very helpful. I put thoughts into three categories "past", "comment", "future", and it led me to a beautiful insight: every thought has a past, present and future component! That's very nice and it seems to have some underlying consequences for the understanding of time.

That's it for now, hoping for some interesting comments!
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Super Monkey, modified 26 Days ago at 4/20/22 4:13 PM
Created 26 Days ago at 4/20/22 12:40 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Here is a sample sit description of 2nd of April, a day on which I could get quite clear about what's going on.

walking, 30 minutes, notes/keywords in order.

a bit edgy, felt like using too much concentration
sadness, misery (stood still and noted)
hateful thoughts, aversion, fiendishness (stood still and noted)
dark emotional tone
feet sensations becoming very soft and gentle
feet as integrated experience
"the room walked me/I walked the room?" (weird)
lots of thinking
planning
putting experience into imagined report
sensations very integrated into space
[in this area noting doesn't seem to make sense, felt unanchored, difficulties with localization, time and space stretch]
subtlety
stopped disliking the thinking and spacing out, lost the understanding why it should be a problem
normal tone of experience (still meditating?)
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Chris M, modified 26 Days ago at 4/20/22 3:39 PM
Created 26 Days ago at 4/20/22 3:38 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Hi, Super.

Are you trying to develop a serious noting practice?
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Super Monkey, modified 26 Days ago at 4/20/22 4:12 PM
Created 26 Days ago at 4/20/22 4:07 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Edit: the sit description is not meant as what I literally noted in order. It's meant as keywords, translation problem :/

Yeah, I'd like to have that in my toolbox, so to say. And at the moment it seems to be the only thing with which I can train my mental energy to a level that makes it possible not to completely waste the second half of a lot of sits by spacing out (that realization had a hard learning curve). Or, put less dramatically, I need something that is a bit invigorating, because I think I am letting go into the open too soon.
Been trying that for a while, but it's pretty swingy. When I run into resistance, I tend to space out soon, because I cannot adjust the pacing, I think. Often it's like I try to note "resistance" but produce only more resistance that way and then I sorta give up. I the switch into bare experiencing, which sometimes works very well, but I think that approach is not consistent enough.
George S, modified 26 Days ago at 4/20/22 5:16 PM
Created 26 Days ago at 4/20/22 5:16 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Spacing out is a textbook reaction to uncomfortable emotions. If you continue to note "spacing out" or "resistance" then it should pass.

(Re-)read Mahasi Sayadaw's Practical Insight Meditation to inject some more rigor and focus into your noting practice:

https://www.bps.lk/olib/bp/bp503s_Mahasi_Practical-Insight-Meditation.pdf
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Super Monkey, modified 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 3:37 AM
Created 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 3:37 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Thanks George, I'll try!

Today I woke up at 5 a.m. for no obvious reason, as I often do recently. My mindstate then is a mix of uncertainty and sense of repression. I decided to just sit to try to feel the stuck emotions.

sitting, 80 minutes:

Tried to understand the stuck emotions. After 45 minutes of doing so, I gave up, thinking that whatever I'll do to get rid of these uncomfortable movements and stiffness in the body will result in more resistance and being entangled.

Then the sit become very Dzogchen-like, as I would term it, i.e. mostly sitting as awareness and seeing what's coming up.
The mind started to investigate identification. First I found it as usual in thoughts and the sense of being an observer.
What is quite new is the very direct sense of "this is me" in particular sensations. It sort of reminds me of the advaita approach, because it has this flavor of shining through, as in atman comes into existence/experience as brahman or something like that. What I really appreciate is that with this sense of shining through there always is a sense of happiness. As if the I is playing a sneaky, happy game emoticon
Theorizing a bit more, I'd say that that's what people mean when they say "happiness is our true nature". This happy true nature shines through experience and sometimes decends into an experience of "I am this"... and gets lost in it... which could be called the fundamental mistake to which we are so unfortunately habituated, and the fundamental suffering is caused by clinging to the "I am this", whilst experience keeps changing.
Anyway, the mind really seems to improve doing this investigation.
Another very encouragig finding is that today I could also sense the sneaky I in the background activity of evaluation; usually quite hidden but obvious now. Here it comes with a sense of wisdom.

I'm quite happy (satisfied) with these discoveries, and I could also sense some growing ok-ness with the instability of being an observer.

The sit, accordingly, became very scenery-like, i.e. experience became a series of several snapshots, where it felt like everything has its place, the I, the room, the view, staying  for a while and then ready for the next scene to arise.
I also noticed a lot of planning thoughts but didn't care too much about them.

Then a third phase arose. It was dominated by undigested memories and associated feelings of desire, longing and melancholy. Also a certain sense of regret. I guess this state can lead to depression easily. I don't really understand why this happens, but it doesn't feel wrong either. Just a little bit like "ok, yeah, now I also have to let this happen, well..."

I finished in this sweet melancholy.
_
After the sit, when noting a few keywords, I began to notice a sense of manipulation in the body-mind, a wish for completion, a sense of holding back and some desire/longing for a better future.

When finished making keywords and going outside I was shown how much drama there still is, but I take it as a good sign that I saw it, because it seems to imply some growing healthy distance to it.
George S, modified 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 11:31 AM
Created 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 11:29 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Super Monkey
Then a third phase arose. It was dominated by undigested memories and associated feelings of desire, longing and melancholy. Also a certain sense of regret. I guess this state can lead to depression easily. I don't really understand why this happens, but it doesn't feel wrong either. Just a little bit like "ok, yeah, now I also have to let this happen, well..."

My experience of depression was that it was a result of avoiding certain feelings. Once I really started to feel them then the depression lifted and, like you say, the emotions themselves have a sweet quality. It's like - oh wow, this is what sadness feels like, it's really quite beautiful, I can't believe I spent most of my life running away from this. So yeah, letting it happen is definitely the way to go emoticon
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Ni Nurta, modified 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 5:29 PM
Created 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 5:29 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Super Monkey
The mind started to investigate identification. First I found it as usual in thoughts and the sense of being an observer.
What is quite new is the very direct sense of "this is me" in particular sensations. It sort of reminds me of the advaita approach, because it has this flavor of shining through, as in atman comes into existence/experience as brahman or something like that. What I really appreciate is that with this sense of shining through there always is a sense of happiness. As if the I is playing a sneaky, happy game emoticon

When I opened this thread I got intrigued because I felt golden colored sensations here. Now it makes sense, you are fan of sunshine filled True Self ways.

I am the biggest fan of True Self if I say so myself emoticon

I also feel doubt of sorts here in this topic.
Worry not, you can realize both Nibbana and Moksha!

In fact these are the same experience pretty much. Their entrance and exit make them however distinctly different as far as mind is concerned and because of that for mind they are like separate attainments. They also have different effect on reality when experienced... you know, we are talking supermundane experiences here. In fact there is not a single thing the same between them, other than the fact one happen as part of the other and that is why they are the same!


Beyond caste, creed, family or lineage,
That which is without name and form, beyond merit and demerit,
That which is beyond space, time and sense-objects,
You are that, God himself; Meditate this within yourself.


George S
My experience of depression was that it was a result of avoiding certain feelings. Once I really started to feel them then the depression lifted and, like you say, the emotions themselves have a sweet quality. It's like - oh wow, this is what sadness feels like, it's really quite beautiful, I can't believe I spent most of my life running away from this. So yeah, letting it happen is definitely the way to go emoticon

You just described plot of this movie Inside Out emoticon

Imho the only thing to truly avoid is heedlessness.
George S, modified 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 6:57 PM
Created 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 6:57 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Looks like a good one to watch with my kids, thanks
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Super Monkey, modified 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 5:45 AM
Created 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 5:45 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Ni Nurta When I opened this thread I got intrigued because I felt golden colored sensations here. Now it makes sense, you are fan of sunshine filled True Self ways. I am the biggest fan of True Self if I say so myself emoticon I also feel doubt of sorts here in this topic. Worry not, you can realize both Nibbana and Moksha! In fact these are the same experience pretty much. Their entrance and exit make them however distinctly different as far as mind is concerned and because of that for mind they are like separate attainments. They also have different effect on reality when experienced... you know, we are talking supermundane experiences here. In fact there is not a single thing the same between them, other than the fact one happen as part of the other and that is why they are the same!
Thank you for your encouraging words, friend! Really appreciate it. When I read this, the happiness began to shine even more! emoticon
Monsoon Frog, modified 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 12:53 PM
Created 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 12:49 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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"George S wrote:
Spacing out is a textbook reaction to uncomfortable emotions. If you continue to note "spacing out" or "resistance" then it should pass.

(Re-)read Mahasi Sayadaw's Practical Insight Meditation to inject some more rigor and focus into your noting practice:

https://www.bps.lk/olib/bp/bp503s_Mahasi_Practical-Insight-Meditation.pdf"

FYI, the above linked document appears to be defective. I haven't read through it carefully nor have I skimmed thorugh the entire publication, but immediately upon opening it I saw it omitted page 'X' from the preface (i.e. it skips from page IX to page XI). Possibly more errors/omittions. Reader beware.
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Super Monkey, modified 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 10:53 AM
Created 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 10:53 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Today, when waking up super early as usual, I felt less sense of repression than usual. After reading Ni Nurta's comment I really felt encouraged to engage with the experience of the happy "true self". This led to the insight that it's also an impermanent experience. So when yesterday I said that true self comes into impermanent existence and cannot find identity there, causing suffering along the way, today I add that the experience of true self is itself impermanent. And eventually identity cannot be found in any experience. Which is very liberating. It seems that the key point was to see "true self" as impermanent. And it makes sense, because as long as you see true self as permanent it's very likely that this true self is going to search for identification in experience.

So let's see how this turns out. I still sense doubt about all of this.

walk/sit (45m/25m)
The general keypoints are: exhausted, still too heroic, too much theorizing

After a while I had the usual coming up of emotions like sadness and misery and fell into a trance at some point and then began theorizing about how this happens, thinking that it must be something like this: after a certain opening of the mind these emotions come. It seems like this is because the mind is only able to further open up and free itself when it resolves the densities in the body around these old emotions. And so this has to happen. But at some point the  mind not able to sustain presence with all these emotions, feels overwhelmed and then falls into protective trance.

All of this thinking involves digesting a lot of what shargrol explained by reference to my own experience.
-
After the sit I felt a sense of clarity, which I have often these days. High color contrast and purity in eyesight. Looks quite amazing.

During the day I thought about whether it's really necessary to wallow in sadness for so long, or if wallowing is just the other extreme of not really allowing, as opposed to repression. Repression has a tone of stiffness and contraction, where wallowing has a tone of slackness. In-between there is presence.

I am also seing some realms again. I have the impression that statements like "I must be sad for long enough before I can do something else" is a kind of wallowing and probably belongs to being in animal realm. It's tricky, because (at least for me) it's hard to tell whether I am still fully experiencing an emotion or if I'm already wallowing.
 I am also becoming  more and more aware when I am in hell realm, or "hating everything", "everything is shit" realm. If the desecent from human to animal is not recognizing that we are already wallowing, what is the descent into hell realm? Anyone?
George S, modified 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 12:05 PM
Created 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 12:05 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Sadness usually passes pretty quickly with a good cry ...
​​​​​​​
For a long time I was blocked and couldn't cry for myself, so I would trick myself into it by watching sad videos or reading sad stories or thinking about something sad. Or even just watching an emotionally powerful film. Whatever it takes to get the tears flowing!
George S, modified 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 12:10 PM
Created 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 12:10 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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There's a really powerful film called The Work, which is a documentary about a group therapy retreat in a high security prison - might do the trick for you!
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Super Monkey, modified 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 12:25 PM
Created 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 12:25 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Thanks!

The sadness has a vibe of growing acceptance, and surrender, but also disappointment, longing, melancholy, uncertainty and some doubt, like "woah...! really...? hm....", "I wish at least.... well, then... hmmm...", *long sigh*, this kinda vibe, you know.
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Chris M, modified 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 1:54 PM
Created 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 1:54 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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... today I add that the experience of true self is itself impermanent. And eventually identity cannot be found in any experience. Which is very liberating. It seems that the key point was to see "true self" as impermanent. And it makes sense, because as long as you see true self as permanent it's very likely that this true self is going to search for identification in experience.

​​​​​​​That's an extremely important insight, Super. I suggest you continue to explore this.
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Super Monkey, modified 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 2:45 PM
Created 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 2:45 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Thanks, Chris! Feels very affirmative and is further encouraging. I feel a bit ashamed to admit, but for some reason I assumed that you would consider all of this bla bla. This tells me, again, that I am myself my own worst critique and was projecting this onto you.
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Ni Nurta, modified 22 Days ago at 4/24/22 3:02 AM
Created 22 Days ago at 4/24/22 3:02 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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I didn't say experience of True Self is permanent or that one can or should find identity there.
Pure advaitans do put their identity needs in True Self but this is not what I am necessarily suggesting in ultimate sense. After all how would someone who literally has Buddha-mind suggest one should identify with anything. That would be silly! On the other hand because genuine Advaita's experience of True Self is quite nice you should not stop yourself from attaining it.

Overall your insights are ok. My only objection is in sentence Which is very liberating. as this whole concept of liberation is just another hindrance and is completely not needed or even useful. Maybe it doesn't feel like that for you now because it feels like liberation was what was main motivation for you but its actually just another thief in disguise.
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Super Monkey, modified 22 Days ago at 4/25/22 12:50 AM
Created 22 Days ago at 4/25/22 12:46 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Ni Nurta
I didn't say experience of True Self is permanent or that one can or should find identity there.
I didn't mean to imply that you said that. I just wanted to report that I for myself have found the experience of True Self to be impermanent, which seemed to widen perspective.

Overall your insights are ok. My only objection is in sentence Which is very liberating. as this whole concept of liberation is just another hindrance and is completely not needed or even useful. Maybe it doesn't feel like that for you now because it feels like liberation was what was main motivation for you but its actually just another thief in disguise.
So you mean that liberation as an idea is a hindrance to actual liberation, so to say?
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Super Monkey, modified 21 Days ago at 4/25/22 4:01 AM
Created 21 Days ago at 4/25/22 4:01 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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04/23/22:

After waking up, I had this experience where I sense a big ball of energy either in the third eye region or in the solarplexus region. It seems to oscillate between those two chakras. When the energy is in third eye, there is a distinct sense of me/identity, when the energy is in solarplexus there are emotions like fear and doubt. And there is a third state, where the energy seems to be evenly distributed and it's not the primary experience anymore - then I begin to feel very intimate and directly connected with the surrounding; I sort of melt with outside sounds, like birds chirping. This intimacy is still subtly distorted by how the sound is referrenced to an imagined stable self (which is actually a small region in the top left area of my head). This referrencyness produces a certain discord, where the mind seems to have difficulties to exactly locate to which point in space it exactly should reference the information, and all there actually is is a resonating vibration.
When you think about it, it's pretty interesting how this sort of indecisiveness in auditorial lacation seems to co-exist with the feeling of uncertainty and indecisivness that I experience on an emotion al level recently.

In formal practice it's very, very hard not do drift off into the thought and emotion space. There is also a sense of oppression and boredom.

Personally I am thinking about more engagement with life, as a decision between depression and involvement, going along and more experience than second guessing.

04/24/22:

The overall waking experience when not doing something is spaced out, vast, inclusive and sort of chewy and  morphing like lava, interpersed with some fear and doubt.
The experience of vastness is new in quality these days. It's panoramic and inclusive but it has a certain weight. That's why I really like the term "vast". I can sense that in the very center of this vastness, here there are subtle entanglements. Seems like those are unresolved conflicts around "me" - how to relate to all of this, how to judge it, what it all means, etc.

It's not always clear which role a general tiredness plays and what comes from insight practice. For instance the "sceneryness" I described above could also just be a dull staring into the

I am really happy that I am discovering more and more that behind a fully experienced sensation, emotion or thought, there always lies a sense of happiness. I still experience it as true self shining behind conditioned experience. But the more predominant experience now seems to be vastness of mind.

What makes me optimistic is that I am at least sometimes able to experience thought without it pulling me into the future. Interpreting thoughts as being meaningful for a future self has very much the same sense of craving as being sexually attracted. Not sure what to do about that insight. There must be a middle way between the two extremes of total identification with the craving mind and some sort of sainthood...

04/25/22:

Re-observing re-observation...

sitting, 1 hr

The classical wall of frustration experience.
I planned a structured noting sit, but the mind was totally unwilling to note anything, and fell into thought over and over again. At some point I began to
accept the mindstorm and sat in bittersweet surrender for a while.

I discovered that the utter frustration that came up can be amplified and thereby benevolently brought into ridicule to some extent. I think laughing about myself could help emoticon (also to untangle from the sense of repression and forbiddenness).

Just now I was told by someone that underneath the anger lies a sense of hurt. I felt deeply into the frustration and there really showed up this sense of hurt that I encountered often lately. The body doesn't see to be able to fully experience it (le go). There's a lot of tightening around, as it seems too dangerous to let it be.
George S, modified 21 Days ago at 4/25/22 9:16 PM
Created 21 Days ago at 4/25/22 9:16 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Personally I am thinking about more engagement with life, as a decision between depression and involvement, going along and more experience than second guessing.
Good!

There must be a middle way between the two extremes of total identification with the craving mind and some sort of sainthood...
Yes!

There is also a sense of oppression and boredom.
Boredom is a subtle mask of anger. If you acknowledge it as such, then it should release like any other emotion.

Just now I was told by someone that underneath the anger lies a sense of hurt. I felt deeply into the frustration and there really showed up this sense of hurt that I encountered often lately. The body doesn't see to be able to fully experience it (le go). There's a lot of tightening around, as it seems too dangerous to let it be.
It sounds like you are getting into the territory of the "core wound". It just takes time for the mind to learn that it is safe (and beneficial) to experience this, a little at a time ...
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Super Monkey, modified 18 Days ago at 4/28/22 6:25 AM
Created 19 Days ago at 4/27/22 2:38 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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04/26/22:

Had a lot of ideas about practice and insights. These seemed all very attractive, yet elusive.

The overall sentiment of the first half of the day was numb like after crying, mild, a shy gaining back of confidence. Pretty much as described in Daniel's stages table.

walk/sit, 30m/30m:

walk:
mostly bare attention to the feet and occasional noting

mind jumble, much resistance
corewound feeling looming, has a pending character -> trance
noting is swingy in quaility and consistency
highlight: a crying feeling of "I can't do all of this anymore", "I don't want" came up, and I remembered George's comment that the mind will learn that to experience this is safe/beneficial. I felt encouraged.

sit: mostly noting or noticing rising and falling of breath, eyes open

breath very satisfying, saturating
mahamudra flavor, mind wide, thoughts have a ghostish character, very thin and shortlived
highlight: figured that all those thoughts how I would report my sit is (the hindrance of) doubt, paired with excitement.
After this it seems that I made one quick round through several early insight stages.
Felt a longing for intimacy, need for protection and safety, and a sense of pity
noticed reflection (as an act) setting in.
____

During my longer dog walk I had a few thoughts, of this kind:

What we perceive as progress is experiencing to be without craving, resp. fully experiencing, or original experience to a higher degree than usual. So the sense of progress is more like a sense of intimacy with what is than "going somewhere".
Even ambition is an illusion, accompanying actual experience, to which the mind clings to. Funny little story, but enjoyable in principle.

In the evening I came into a romantic, uplifted and peaceful, forgiving state, and I wrote this while feeling into my experience:
____________________________________________________________________________________
ego isn't; peace, love, wisdom, stillness and clarity are ... formations beyond ego. knowing and caring about ego. not condemning ego. loving and holding ego.
experience is never tired of experiencing these.
emptiness knows and smiles.
____________________________________________________________________________________


                                                                             from my empty, knowing heart...

I also found that doubt is twofold: there is a doubt as hindrance and there is a doubt that serves as a driving force for investigation, or is the driving force for investigation - the great doubt, where in Zen they say that arising doubt is what makes you go and stay on the path to enlightenment. As written here.

04/27/22:

For the morning walk/sit I only noted doubt, wanting to experience something else, boredom, interest for other experiences (not a problem per se), and some worry.
I also wrote down that also in this scenario of relatively harmless boredom and confusion, fear and worry as an unhindered experience can be enjoyable, or at least not unenjoyable emoticon

In the evening I sat a tired and half-motivated do-nothing thing for 50 minutes.

I'll finish this day with a live introspection, writing down what I notice for a 1-2 minutes to catch my mindstate:
doubt, subtle anxiety, boredom, peace, curiosity, determination, mostly visual clarity, some drama, intimacy, restlessness, speculation, forgiveness

Thanks for reading y'all!
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Chris M, modified 19 Days ago at 4/27/22 2:43 PM
Created 19 Days ago at 4/27/22 2:43 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Nice comments, Super! Or should I call them super comments?   emoticon
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Super Monkey, modified 19 Days ago at 4/27/22 3:10 PM
Created 19 Days ago at 4/27/22 3:03 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

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Thanks, Chris. My highlight was the experience of raw and pure, supramundane feeling doubt, driving all of this. All seemed to make sense in this moment.

Or should I call them super comments?
Hehe emoticon

btw. the story that my username is written like this, is that when I found that this forum doesn't display the chosen screenname but the fore- and surname (which is quite odd tbh), I just split supermonkey into Super Monkey. And a big part of chosing that username is that I like the avatar emoticon
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Chris M, modified 18 Days ago at 4/28/22 7:03 AM
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Cool. I like my avatar, too. It's a domo.
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Super Monkey, modified 17 Days ago at 4/30/22 12:48 AM
Created 17 Days ago at 4/29/22 2:20 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

Posts: 23 Join Date: 8/11/20 Recent Posts
There are a few perceptional changes that can't be ignored anymore. Especially visual clarity and contrast sensitivity. It can feel very crispy, but the crispiness is state-like and probably a re-wiring phenomenon. Sounds can appear very close and intimate, which is a very joyful experience. Also a sense of beauty and awe. There seems to be a certain relation between the experience of no-self and a sense of beauty. Probably all re-wiring stuff.

04/28/22 (edited on 04/29/22):

Still waking up at 5.30 a.m. I think it may be due to personal worries, but I'm not sure. Could also be Kundalini process or more general emotional energy.

After waking up I noticed a lot of energy in the head again. It felt like a cleansing. I assume that this is the kundalini energy cleansing the chakras. I was once more shown that the heart chakra not only contains emotions but it seems to be related to the perception of space. It's like "focus" in on the heart chakra makes for a "focus out on space", or something like that.
Seeems a possible way to understand no-self for sense of self and space: they can be observed being generated in a respective chakra.

I didn't sit in the morning but thought I'd see what else this energy has to show me. I had quite a strong experience of seeing thoughts as thoughts (which I would later re-encounter when sitting the next day) and a whole lot of believes being uprooted. I came to the conclusion that the whole internal apparatus of thoughts and emotions is nothing more than an epiphenomenon. I had a feeling ot "how could I miss that for so long?"
I could see thoughts and the clinging energy as separate phenomena, and that this accompaniment of thoughts and emotions is made more than it is by clinging.

Although it's clearly situational, this accompaniment can seem to be continuous. That's actually hard to describe with words, but in some sense there is a certain quasi-continuity, as it follows the sense experience closely and intimately. Probably what I'm trying to describe is co-dependent origination.
I'm quite sure that suffering comes in when the co-occurence of thoughts and emotions is mentally extended to an indistinct point in the future. 

In this realm of understanding I also came to think that this better understanding of the mind clinging to a harmless epiphenomenon has something to do with the emptiness of cause and effect. But I'm not sure what I really want to say by that. It's just an intuition.

And I could also see that I'm still (at least subtly) believing in a person in time. Or, better to say, sitting on the toilet, I had the impermanent, not-self experience of an image coming from somewhere behind me, which felt like a memory, had a certain content-ness and a sense of me, myself, showing me that somewhere "in my head" there is the belief in a person in time.

I think it's important for me now to make myself a home here but keep practicing. This is not easy, because when thoughts are seens as thoughts, it can be problematic to find intention, or to raise doubt emoticon But in some sense this supramundane doubt, as I call it, is, in a way, more available than the intention to note. I guess I have to let some time pass to get the mind re-arranged to this new situation.

But still, what is a good practice? Try to be intentional or drop intention? Continue to note? Almost impossible. The mind is either super eager and active, full of plans and ideas, which seems to be easily re-enforced by careless or wrong intention to note. Or it is too ok. I have the impression that there is a lot of energy that wants to sediment and just needs the time to do that. But I don't dare to just let that happen for an hour because a) sleep is a near enemy and b) I'm a bit afraid. Some fear of falling back.
Acknowledgement of phenomena more and more just seems to lead ever deeper into emptiness, groundlessness... which is freedom, but a bit scary...

Suggestions welcome.

04/29/22:

addendum to 04/29/22:

I did do a walk/sit in the evening. I felt extremely exhausted and tired, and at the same time very much awake. I spent basically the whole time being in awe at the sense of everything happening on its own and a subtle, indistinct, but clearly noticeable sense of observation located somewhere on the walls or the room. Any attempt to grasp at this state felt horribly discordant. Similar to how grasping at thoughts can feel.
__

After waking up (7 hours of sleep, yay!), I felt in the body what a huge chunk of my energy is taken up by the constant self-criticism I put on myself. And in particular, that this self-criticism is very sneaky, because it can feel harmless and even right, and we only notice later how draining it is and how heavy it makes us feel.

walk/sit (57m total):

As formal practicing (in the sense of using a method) goes, same thing as in the previous two sessions. Any particular intention is difficult to sustain, I am mostly dwelling in the new perspective. I spent most of the time exploring this seemingly new state of not being an observer but reality knowing itself.
One hallmark is a sense of being surrounded by knowingness. But this sense feels very "mental", or empty. "Internal experience" quickly arises and vanishes and is known for what it is - appearence.
On a more personal level it is as if the person stares at infinity and the former knowing of the per person distributes to everything. Or maybe like reality staring back from around. Not really like an inversion, more like a distribution. And the more the personal focus seems to dissolve into infinity, the more it seems that the room "becomes alive" and there is a watching/knownness of the person.

Also when sitting there is a new state. It's marked by total stillness of the body and everything around, everything that isn't mindstream, and the mindstream itself appears like a movie, moving freely. Like lights out, everything external totally shut down and spot on on the internal movent of thought, which is allowed to dance emoticon. It feels great and very natural and right.
___

After the sit I contemplated this state of changing perspective from watching experience to experience knowing. Then it appeared to me that it is a concentration state and may be inducible by switching the gaze from directed to staring at infinity. I thought about 6th jhana but I'm not sure, at least this way it became clear that it is a state.

Just as I write this I notice a change of state. I sense an edginess and bad moodness. Seems like the cycle goes to early insight stage territory now. Not sure what I have missed or if I have missed something, but if so I'd say that I wasn't aware enough of thoughts about practice.
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Super Monkey, modified 15 Days ago at 5/1/22 6:33 AM
Created 17 Days ago at 4/30/22 12:46 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

Posts: 23 Join Date: 8/11/20 Recent Posts
04/30/22:

This morning I was driving myself crazy trying to be certain about what is going on. Being able to map whether the cycle has truly moved to three characteristics or not seems so important. I made it into an exercise in being with uncertainty. I tried to be with the urge to make corrections in my last entry, deleting that last statement about the cycle or writing that this is just an assumption or that of course I am not sure and warn people who might take that statement for granted... Ridiculous!

In hindsight I felt like most of my morning sit was thinking. I tried to notice thoughts about practice, and I could to some extent, but it was difficult. At the end of the sit I had a hard and fast shaking of body and head. I tried to shake off the boggy, heavy thinking stream and only then did I feel how much I was entranced.
shargrol, modified 15 Days ago at 5/1/22 7:54 AM
Created 15 Days ago at 5/1/22 7:53 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

Posts: 1739 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
My favorite meditator quote about Reobservation comes from Tarin, one of the original Dharma Overground participants: “The Dark Night territory - particularly late dark night - has a habit of making me unsure which methods are best to employ in practice. Should I note? Should I use open awareness? Should I pay attention to the wide vibrations? Should I go with the discomfort? Should I observe the questioning? etc. I would feel very dissatisfied with anything I tried. Eventually I realized that the nature of Re-observation was to have a cow with anything and everything and when I realized this it mattered a whole lot less what I did since I knew I would have no way of knowing if it was effective practice or not! Regardless, my recommendation would be to note or observe frustration, pain, doubt, boredom, distraction, gaming, predicting, expecting, etc when and where they arise and make sure - I mean really make fucking sure - that if you're killing yourself trying to meditate that you note that too." 

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Super Monkey, modified 13 Days ago at 5/3/22 6:28 AM
Created 13 Days ago at 5/3/22 6:28 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

Posts: 23 Join Date: 8/11/20 Recent Posts
shargrol
... Eventually I realized that the nature of Re-observation was to have a cow with anything and everything and when I realized this it mattered a whole lot less what I did since I knew I would have no way of knowing if it was effective practice or not! Regardless, my recommendation would be to note or observe frustration, pain, doubt, boredom, distraction, gaming, predicting, expecting, etc when and where they arise and make sure - I mean really make fucking sure - that if you're killing yourself trying to meditate that you note that too." ...
Thank you, very helpful! It's so easy to overlook things.
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Super Monkey, modified 13 Days ago at 5/3/22 6:29 AM
Created 13 Days ago at 5/3/22 6:29 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

Posts: 23 Join Date: 8/11/20 Recent Posts
I added some underlying tendencies and emotional states in brackets to become clearer about what is actually going on emotionally.

Continuation of 04/30/22:

Felt somewhat raw during the day. (honesty)

Listened to Adyashanti's "healing the core wound of unworthiness" again. Sometimes I wonder to which extent the engagement with such a topic is useful and to which extent it is a form of subtle active avoidance to really feeling the emotion. (problem thinking)
The takeaway of this particular listening is that I began to inquire "what am I punishing myself for?“. (fear and reactivity)
During listening, the mind became curious about investigating what the difference is between this, meaning my internal experience, and that, meaning everything that is not "internal experience". It seemed very clear that stopping to make a distinction after all is key. It felt very sane to sense seeing internal experience as equally peaceful as "external experience" inherently is. (fear)

I did another

walk/sit (30m/30m):

Still almost impossible to keep up the intention to note, mostly letting experience have a date with itself. (aversion)
A shy emergence of ease and acceptance, a bit of cluelessness, some acceptance towards the fact that noting just doesn't really work (still aversion), and that I am still having difficulties letting go (subtle aversion)

05/01/22:

I saw pictures of death (moving zombies or skeletons) before falling asleep the third night in a row. (intimacy)

walk/sit (30m/40m):

The first thing I wrote into my logbook was "unmotivated". I almost let it be with that, but then decided to reflect a bit more. (natural curiosity)

My mental state was mostly unbelieving and questioning, but there was also a sense of devotion and surrender. (neutral)

Highlight of the walking part: I catched the mind in a moment where it would be very critical towards an experience of leaking concentration, and I thought about how absurd my reaction was (reaction to reaction). Why am I doing this to myself?? How could you ever even have such an idea? I mean, you have to savor this slowly...  some little thoughts are escaping a rigidly held, forced frame of concentration and this is considered not only to be problematic but wrong in an absolute sense, absolutely wrong... insanity! Maybe this behaviour is fear-based, maybe a form of self-hatred, maybe self-hatred is fear-based... But how much can you hate yourself?? (bitter, caring)

Highlight of the sitting part: a moment where I perceived two thoughts as not following each other in the usual sense of time. Made me think that this is the proof that seeing time as linear is a convention, and the brain or whatever can equally see its content in a "horizontal way". as opposed to the conventional thinking that time moves in the direction into which the person looks. I call that vertical. In particular it became very clear how stressful it is to see this vertical time convention as absolute! And this seeing of linear time is a construction that happens inside the assumed "internal world" (me), based on the assumption that it's essentially different from the "external world" (not me).
Needless to say that this all happened in an instant is beyond words. But the mind seemed to be really happy to have made this discovery and there is a lot of sanity to be gained. (escaping into concepts, gripping, forcing, aversive, underlying sense of hurt)

02/05/22:

I found that I am being too grimly determined with the practice and that that's a general theme in a lot of things I do. Trying to be the best, clenching the jaw without noticing it. (forgiving) It's funny how we can think we are just innocently doing something but underneath we totally cramp up... (aversive)

So today I decided to be rigorously mindful of self-criticism, self-hate and insecurity. (determined, on the edge of aversion) I did that for a while and it felt like going mad. (edgy) I lay down for a while to digest all this a bit and then sat. (surrender, subtle aversion)

sitting, 1hr:

Just sitting, mostly following the movement of thought. At some point I noticed that I got somewhat entranced in this movement and began to shake my head. Then I started see thoughts as thoughts again, and in particular, how from a wider perspectice the internal world is not different from the external. This wide-range perspective feels very comfortable, natural, right and sane. (still some aversion, hoping that it will finally always be like this)
___
After the sit, contemplation of the problem-complex of criticism and self-hate continued.

Warning, boring elaborations of obvious stuff:

I found that there is two kinds of self-criticism. There is valid self-critique, and there is unjustified self-critique.
Valid self-critique is nothing but the mind telling me that something is improvable, unbiased. I found that this unbiased form of critique is often countered with more critique, because we resist the change. Fear of change can be so strong that we rather choose to bash the idea of an obvious adjustment until it gives up, instead of letting ourselves develop. Curious...

Unjustified self-critique, which can be overly harsh, is a learned mechanism. It serves no actual purpose. It's internalised opinions of other people, especially our parents'. Those are the thoughts and beliefs of type "you must (not)", "you should (not)" and thinking of things as wrong without scrutinizing this belief.
So it makes sense. We had to learn it in some way or the other, a young child simply isn't able to question what parents say, be it out of fear of abandonment or simply because the mind hasn't had enough experience to have a basis for evaluation. (seeking confirmation)

I have the impression that all this is quite coherent. On the one hand the mind starts to see the problem with differentiating between self and other, and on the other hand the complex of self-criticism. Self-criticism cannot survive opennes and honesty. And when we open up enough to stop differentiating, we losie the basis for self-judgement. At least in theory. So interestingly self-judgement is based on otherness! That's how we can call suffering the core wound of separation! The deep woundedness is at its core the wound of separation.
It seems to me that we have to go through our personal woundedness before we can discover that without the notion of personal there wouldn't be any woundedness. Curious.

Very interesting how actually all primary emotions can be seen to have a "fundamental version", arising based on the belief in separation. Seen this way, anger, or primal frustration, is a reaction to the sense of being locked in separation.
Similarly, fear is the fear of never being able to escape this separation, sadness or misery is the reaction to this fearfulness, disgust, wanting to escape and frantically re-observing follow.
So I guess I am beginning to non-intellectually understand re-observation as the ultimate fear of space.

sitting, 1hr (20m of noting with the breath, then watching and noting mindstates):

restlessness, boredom, frustration, mind-wandering. No intellectualization.

05/03/22:

sitting, 1hr (20m of noting with the breath, then watching and noting mindstates):

restlessness, boredom, frustration. No intellectualization.
shargrol, modified 13 Days ago at 5/3/22 6:53 AM
Created 13 Days ago at 5/3/22 6:53 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

Posts: 1739 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Yes, this is good. This is how the dukka nanas actually "teach" us. The trick is to keep curiousity and investigation and really notice how your mind actually works in real time. Books and philosophies don't really help at the level and speed of the mind itself. Only through directly experiencing the needless suffering that arises due to confusion and reactivity does the mind become unconfused and non-reactive. The way past the dukka nanas is by truly going through it.
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Super Monkey, modified 10 Days ago at 5/6/22 9:37 AM
Created 10 Days ago at 5/6/22 9:37 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

Posts: 23 Join Date: 8/11/20 Recent Posts
04/04/22:

sitting, 1hr, not really using a technique:

A lot of pressure on the third eye and squinting
Back and forth between exerting pressure and letting it be
A short moment where it seemed as if awareness takes my experience as an object, or as if awareness meditates on its contents and eventually on itself
A State of witness consciousness, quickly thwarted by trying to understand it
Feeling wistful, mushy, and a bit restless (the usual restlessness when approaching the end of the sit)
___

After the sit I kept sitting for a while and felt like noting and writing down what's going on. I noted
clarity, brilliance, depth, width, but benevolent and peaceful, OK, sense of wisdom, somewhat mushy, comfortable, dry comfort, horizon-like feeling, benevolence, wistful, friendly, colorful, "nice to have", desire, longing.

During the day I continued to contemplate self-created suffering. In my country we say "making an elefant out of a fly", which google translates to "make a mountain out of a molehill" emoticon I found that quite approriate for my mindstate and a general hallmark of self-created human suffering.

In the evening, against all warnings of my exhausted mind and strained body, I sat down to meditate again.
I ended up sitting for 20 minutes, somewhere between trying to develop samadhi and facing impermanence. After a while I concluded that it's all just thinking and stopped.
After this I was in a surprisingly unified, peaceful and understanding state of mind, very direct, far away from too  much second-guessing (but remaining subtle minor doubt and confusion, though).
It felt like quite the opposite to my sitting experience. This is interesting, it shows that I can be entangled in internal struggle without while actually being at peace overall.
I felt very synchronous with reality, a sense of unity, and almost no split. By split I mean that seemingly stable projection of self into space. It can seem as if some parts of experience are used as a mirror. But it's not clear which parts, and this can cause severe confusion.
It can be debilitatingly uncomfortable to try to force this projection away, even trying to do anything with it. And you can't accept it away! What seems to help is to note "hating, hating", even thought it's tough to believe that this is really going on... Also questioning, doubt and fear seem to be going on when looking at this.

Warning, confused, not properly edited reflection on the phenomenon of self and how it is connected to observation/knowing:

It's weird, contemplating it now as I write this on the next day, this projection gives me a sense of "self being other". Self is projected into space, and... what?! ...self is not-self?!... apparently observed...!? Is this what the mind is trying to tell me? It projects self-ness into space to make me understand that what I thought to be self isn't self? Looks like an interesting idea.
Further contemplation seems to lead straighforward into the "natural state", where it's seen as an illusion that there is somebody knowing something. And this can still gives me some shame, bitterness, and a sense of tragedy.
Hm, that's a weird syllogism. The sense of self/identity being projected into space leads me to thinking that self can be observed. OK. But this then leads me to seeing things as knowing themselves where they are... making "observation" obsolete. Hm. It's a bit like observation neutralizes itself by seeing its own nature.

What is the nature of observation?

If observation is an "illusion" with which the mind can identify and create a sense of self.... how does the experience of a sense of observation fit into the picture?
If everything knows itself where it is, observation must be an add-on. But this add-on also only knows itself... Aha... it pretends to know more than itself. Why is this sense of observation? Is it a self-knowing phenomenon? Damn... It's endlessly frustrating to think about it. The only thing I can say is that observation and self are tied together by the mind. The only answer I can thinkof is that observation is a self-knowing phenomenon that is taken to be self by the mind.
When not collected and taken to be self, the sense of observation can feel like an immaterial mist, lightly and peacefully hovering in-between self and other which can solidify into a sense of attraction or distribute itself into all of phenomena equally... and this movement is still observed... and I stop here. emoticon

05/05/22:

The theme of impermanence seems to develop.

After waking up, during my usual morning coffee routine (yes, there's a cigarette, too), I horribly suffered from trying to attack the felt split in my experience. I have no idea why it's so strong, the only reason I can imagine is that using this wrong intention has to become so unbearable that I stop trying. Now I go about it by noting "hating, doubting".

The outcome of yesterday's contemplation of this sense of split was that I simply don't really know. I can grasp for hints in thoughts, but "I" cannot really know.
I went back to my sleeping room, thought about whether it's better to sit or get some more rest and decided to give in to the mere exhaustion and feeling devastated.
Of course, this morning nap wasn't just a nap, but I was thrown into suffering right away. At some point the answer seemed to be to realize on a direct sensate level that experience is (ultimately) unpredictable. Or you could also say to establish an understanding of impermanence at the speed of mind (as shargrol said). This giving up quickly led to relief, rapture and excitement (1st jhana-ish). I decided to sit up straight, and the mind went into firmly acknowledging impermanence and then switched into appreciating not-self for a while (4th jhana-ish). At some point I fell into pleasant reverie, dreaming of some future ideas, letting that happen.

After this "sit" my experience was twofold: On the one hand open, peaceful, and natural, on the other hand still reflecting and struggling. It could be that this is what Daniel calls "the chunky phase"...

Felt some shame that I didn't do a proper sit.

05/06/22:

If anybody wondered why I am splitting into walk/sit, I am doing an at-home course with Yuttadhammo Bikkhu in the Mahasi Saydaw tradition. My current instructions are 30 minutes of wallking, noting "lifting, moving, placing", followed by 30 minutes of sitting, noting "rising, falling, sitting". I am not sure if it's the right thing to do right now tbh. It's kinda twofold: on the one hand it adds some more sense of responsibility to my striving tendencies, which might be a bit too much, but on the other hand it's grounding to have the ongoing instruction and reporting once a week.

I appreciate his attitude of "everything can and should be noted", which seems to help me pay more attention.

walk (30m, "lifting, moving, placing")/sit (30m, "rising, falling, sitting"):

I tried to begin the session as lightheartedly and easy-minded as possible. Noticing much less struggle, but a certain seriousness and honesty.

walk:

noting went well
Getting more and more the impression that the noting mind is faster than my personal intention to note. This is kinda spooky an takes some getting used to it, but also kinda cool and encouraging.
Got to a second jhana flavor pretty soon. (rapture, feels like slowly moving through a thick cloud, of fine, yellow sun dust)
Then went into cool, open, tranquil 3rd jhana/dissolution territory.
As pleasant as it is to have everything move away to the boundary here, which the gives open, spacy and tranquil feeling, as much did I notice that the mind then begins to tie itself up in trying to get the thoughts back under control. That's probably the fear ñana. And there seems a lot to be learned about fear here. Trying to grasp back at thoughts that seem to promise security, but as I relaize that they can't really be controlled makes up for confusion and helplessness, misery.
But as I noticed it, it wasn't really a problem. More of an "aha" moment, a learning.

There still seems to be a lot of emotional pain which has to processed. It can go very deep, but my intuition is that I have to be able to let it go deeper to reach a point where it is seen clearly and can get better. I sense some doubt here. I really have to be careful not to act out of unacknowledged self-hate here.

I also noticed an interesting flavor of "happysad" and "optimismdoubt". I seem to become better at realizing that it's not a problem that both can be present. I always thought it's very bad that happiness is obscured by doubt, but now I think I can see it more as natural that both can be the case.

sitting:

I am getting better at noticing thoughts about practice, like speculating about how I should practice, remembering advice, planning on how to report, trying to foresee the reaction of the one I am reporting to, and so on.

When these ideas subside a bit, the sit feels pretty dry.
Then there is this phase which literally feels like mini dark night, as I can see some fear, disappointment and frustration come up in quick succession.
Also some drowsy trance can still happen around the early part of this phase.

In the last part of the sit I once fell into pleasant reverie, but noticed it relatively quickly. Can feel a bit harsh to get out of it, because it's so pleasant and good old reality in front of me seems well-known and not interesting.
The sit ended with a subtle sense of discouragement and a lot of speculation before reflection set in.
____

I concluded the session with thinking that it's a good inquiry to ask myself where my mental centre of gravity is right now.

And I'll conclude with a quote of Angelo Dilullo I just heard: "The discomfort is because you are not living in truth when you feel like you're hiding anything from anywhere, because that's not possible. Very strange, right? And it requires a lot of energy to do something that's not possible." From this interview with ZDogg (22:00, Barrier 2: doubt and the standing wave of identity/thought).
shargrol, modified 10 Days ago at 5/6/22 10:00 AM
Created 10 Days ago at 5/6/22 10:00 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

Posts: 1739 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
I also noticed an interesting flavor of "happysad" and "optimismdoubt". I seem to become better at realizing that it's not a problem that both can be present. I always thought it's very bad that happiness is obscured by doubt, but now I think I can see it more as natural that both can be the case.

That's one of the most dharmic things you've posted! 

I vaguely remember Hokai saying something like "enlightenment is bittersweet, like really good chocolate" emoticon
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Super Monkey, modified 10 Days ago at 5/6/22 1:41 PM
Created 10 Days ago at 5/6/22 1:41 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

Posts: 23 Join Date: 8/11/20 Recent Posts
Ahh, *slaps head*, now I know why I'm not enlightened yet, I don't appreciate the taste of dark chocolate!! *goes out to buy some serious 70%er...*

Did you notice the bittersweet taste of that joke?


But this is fun: confidentshy, motivatedfrustrated, freeconstricted, hopefulworried, losestrict, attracterepelled, stupidsmart... emoticon
George S, modified 10 Days ago at 5/6/22 9:39 PM
Created 10 Days ago at 5/6/22 9:38 PM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

Posts: 2382 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
It's actually an interesting question - how do I know that I'm not enlightened yet?

To answer it requires you to conceive of enlightenment as a specific state to be attained in the future. On the other hand, the future is nothing more than a fabrication of the mind in the present. Hmm ...
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Super Monkey, modified 4 Days ago at 5/12/22 2:40 PM
Created 4 Days ago at 5/12/22 6:08 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

Posts: 23 Join Date: 8/11/20 Recent Posts
After reading George's post, a phase of contemplating time, space and self began, and I let formal noting slide quite a bit, but rather watched phenomena creating time and space.

05/07/22:

sitting, 1hr, no technique:


just some keypoints/observations:

  •  fear of annihilation/non-existence, paired with childhood trauma. I experienced how it can feel like annihilation/non-existence for a child when it's not properly recognized/acknowledged by the mother. Fear of abandonment = fear of death.
  • as usual self seen as tangled to thinker, observer, but this time also, with a different binding qualitiy, the inner critique.
  • being a person in time as a view felt narrow and heavy - exhausting
  • thoughts seemingly moving away from the perceiver creates a sense of distance
  • ideas of dropping the sense of time and space altogether
____

comment: it's interesting to see how the interpretation of thoughts as being distant from the perceiver creates a sense of internal volume. When there is less sense of a perceiver, thoughts integrate into the larger field of awareness and become more like external experience. They appear somewhere in space, not inside the body, just roughly where the body is at. And of course there are infinitely many states between a huge bubble of internal world and thoughts integrating into the larger view.
The sense of time moreover is created by internally compressing the appearance of thought into a linear sequence. No wonder the mind does it that way, it's just the obvious approximation. Just an easy internal model.

Remark: remarkable what a powerful force (the rubberband or standing wave of) effort has in proliferating the internal space-time bubble.

05/08/22:

Three equivalences of neurotic and compulsive thinking:

  1. it has to happen instantly <-> it will surely happen some time in the future
  2. not good enough to fulfill a self-set standard <-> have no standard at all
  3. my life depends on this. "This one thing" decides everything <-> nothing matters
Comment on 1.: Here I have the strongest sense of internal conflict, thus I'll proliferate a bit on this: both of these options can be seen as indicating an underlying urge of the mind to return to its natural, timeless state (because both instantly and somewhere in the future (aka never) are timeless). The problem is that usually the mind creates the sense of time and space subconsciously (out of ignorance/stupidity), and not knowing this, it thinks that momentary phenomena are of mind nature, takes them to be " me/mine" and clings.
And so it's very important to teach the mind that phenomena happening in time and space are actually created by the mind and not of original mind-nature. When that is realized, the mind naturally stops clinging ("this is not me/mine, I am not of time-and-space-nature, only my creations are"). And only when the mind eventually stops clinging, it is free to have further realization and even drop the conceptual distinction between "timeless" and "in time".
Finally, seeing time and space as empty (self-created), we come to see that there was no time and space to begin with, and that it doesn't even make sense to call something empty, because it didn't exist in the first place.
The attentive reader my have recognized this as an attempt to understand the key statement of the heart sutra: "form is empty, emptiness is form".

05/09/22:

A lot of psychological stuff.

I am getting myself familiar with the feeding your demons technique.

05/11/22:

Very challenging day of re-observation. But it's getting clearer that it's the sense of being torn apart into space that causes all the freak out.
I can chase down reactivity to the fraction of a second level and then realize that on a certain level there seems to be nothing but reactivity.

Feeding your demons technique seems to exacarbate surfacing of trauma and mania. This was the first time I really understood what manic behaviour is and I'm grateful for it.
Intellectually, mania could be understood as a result of avoiding to be confronted with trauma. Could be any trauma.
The reactive mania of re-observation though, seems to be a reaction to the core trauma of being a separate person. The sense of being vulnerable and hurt come along. As I said above, the mind clings to phenomena out of ignorance of the fact that time and space and everything inside are its own creations. The ultimate struggle thus comes from not seeing the sense of being a person in time and space as a mere mind-creation.

When it comes to actual practice, I am getting better at knowing how it actually feels to note things without greed or aversion.

05/12/22:

Feeling a bit better again, less manic.

walk/sit (30m/30m, noting):

Dark Night still gets me struggling from Dissolution onwards: "should I note something? But I can sense no intention... Should I try harder to find intention? Should be possible... Those waves of attention seem to want to move freely... But there are all those densitites, seeming to prevent it... Everything seems to run into a vague nothing..."

After that phase, although the felt inensity was very high, I tried to go for the mindset "the fuller the experience, the lesser the suffering" and tried to experience at the speed of mind, which partly worked.

Had almost no notes without greed or aversion, but I'm surprisingly at ease with the restlessness.
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short remark: thinking and mental proliferation are not the same thing.
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Super Monkey, modified 15 Hours ago at 5/16/22 10:54 AM
Created 16 Hours ago at 5/16/22 10:42 AM

RE: supermonkey's practice log

Posts: 23 Join Date: 8/11/20 Recent Posts
So I'm not so sure about my elaborations on mind-nature in the last post. It gave me a lot of food for thought. But the process of checking in with these claims seems to do something.

Things I notice in general/off the cushion:

Thoughts about how simple all this actually is, like "the assumption that there is a stable self is not inherently problematic, but the clash with impermanence is. And that's it." Doesn't have to be complicated.

I more frequently notice moments of "just seeing", seeing without a seer, being without a beer (*g*). Seeing without a seer can feel like being transparent to some degree. And that feels very normal and natural - problem-free.

O a good day it seems very clear to me that the mind switches back and forth between third and fourth vipassana jhana. It seems to be like this: after some time in fourth, there is a dive into third to get its energetic information to understand and resolve the remaining conflicts between perceiver and perceived, especially for emotional complications. There seems to be the intention to be kind and help resolve those conflicts, and it's clear that the solution is to see problems as problems without judgement, but it's not yet fully digested. So still some wriggling out movement. It's funny how helpful it was for me to simply read Daniel use this word here.

[...] naturally tracking all the crazy stuff the mind is doing as it tries to wriggle out of Re-Observation, is really helpful. [...]

Practice:

I got new instructions for the at-home noting course. The walking instruction is "lifting heel, lifting, moving placing", and the sitting is "rising, falling, sitting, touching (a point at the right side of pelvis), rising, falling, sitting, touching (left side of the pelvis).

On the one hand it seems like this is an excellent way to really occupy the mind, so that the practice takes almost all of the available bandwidth of attention and I am becoming extremely swift at noting this way.
On the other hand it's quite a workout and I tend to cramp up trying too hard to perform the instructions. Sspecially in the walking part, when I'm not warmed up yet. Teacher says no need for a warm up because I can just note what is hindering the noting, and that it's just "moving the body". But my intuition is that starting with a weaker version like "left, right", then "lifting, moving, placing", could reduce being so tight. Again, on the other hand, it's a good practice to see what actually hinders me from "just moving the body" and directly work with too much ambition. I guess I'll try for a week if I'll losen up, otherwise reconsider.
Being honest, good old ambition just remains to be a problem.

I consider my cutting edge for formal noting practice to be the misery part of the Equanimity ñana. I am regularly ending the sit with a phase of strange trance, flavored with existential fear, followed by a phase of unworthiness and shame, and the work I need to do is to be able to clearly/energetically acknowledge those states. Or at least be aware enough of them not to fall into mindless trance too much.
The difference to the Fear and Misery ñanas seems to be the subtlety. Fear in fear ñana is more direct, like suddenly being shocked, thinking "oh no, later I have to do this and that". Here it's more pervasive but harder to detect, more hidden. Misery in misery ñana is like "oh my god, how could all this ever take a good turn?". Here, again, it's more subtle, pervasive and harder to detect. One sees how the mind-states of unworthiness and shame will make you feel miserable in the long run.
It makes sense that one has to have a baseline of equanimity to be able to deal with those subtle states that are more prone to cause long-term suffering. The direct emotional reactivity which one encounters in the Dark Night just doesn't allow that.

Did more feeding your demons and feel some progress in performing the method. On a serious attempt it takes me a whole hour to go through the steps. It feels like a samatha-vipassana-trauma-work with a surprisingly strong jhanic component. I see some tendency to be so fascinated with the jhanic and magical aspects that I forget to learn the lessons about myself that I am supposed to learn. But as I write this I see an important lesson: don't be so harsh and critical with yourself!

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