RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 10/22/21 1:05 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 10/22/21 1:02 PM

Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 250 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Hit the 'more messages' threshold, starting a new log. Old log is here: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/22873023.

1.5 hour sit today starting at 10:30am. Focused on seeing suffering and trying find what is 'bad' in it. Gradually felt as though I got a better sense of how suffering is made. Had some tension and shaking, some release. Pretty high clarity throughout the sit, a bit of mind wandering. Eventually got a sense that some tipping point had been reached and that presence was very low effort and and getting caught up in content was less default.
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Chris Marti, modified 6 Months ago at 10/23/21 7:40 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 10/23/21 7:40 AM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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I locked your old thread just now, Logan. Hope that's ok.

Chris
​​​​​​​DhO Moderator
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 10/23/21 1:18 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 10/23/21 1:18 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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Makes sense - thanks for the heads up!
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 10/23/21 1:24 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 10/23/21 1:24 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1.5 hour sit today starting at 10:30am. Some metta to start, then first and second jhana. First jhana came quickly, pretty intense, but also slippery. Second jhana got very stable, and then I just sat in awareness, letting the little feedback-loop of attention burn in the chest like a little ember, gently fanned by each breath.

Looked for self in sensation. Gradual sense of everything being the same thing developed, like even the way that thoughts are held in the mind is also a thought, the way sensations are framed is a thought, and all of these things are just samey mental objects. As this sense stabilized, started trying to see what suffering is. Didn't get a conclusive sense about it exactly - just looked at it. Eventually this sort of all-pervading discontent with the way things are became apparent in awareness as a kind of mental object that habitually manufactures suffering. First reaction to it was to get mad, then quickly also saw that this same reflex has a lot of hope for how things could be in it, and had some self compassion. Then just sat and tried to clarify how this fits into awareness and what it has to do with suffering.
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 10/25/21 1:51 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1.5 hour sit today starting at 11:00am. Just sat without trying to change things. Pretty sleep and daydreamy.
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 10/27/21 12:53 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 10/27/21 12:53 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1 hour sit today starting at 11:00am. Sat in open awareness, and kept attention on what it felt like to exist in each moment, while also periodically checking the factors of awakening. Realized I was pretty zoned out generally speaking, might need to up the concentration and mindfulness.
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 10/28/21 1:55 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 10/28/21 1:55 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1 hour sit today at 11:30am. Tried to see the sensations of the moment as fully as possible, noticing any memories of previous moments, thoughts, feelings etcetera all as things happening in the present moment. Generally fairly high energy and clarity, but some mind wandering. Occaisonally tried to relax sensations of judgeing or analyzing.
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 10/29/21 11:16 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 10/29/21 11:15 AM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1 hour sit today at 9:00am. Sat in open awareness for a while. Had some daydreamyness, then noticed that I was zoning out and things clarified somewhat. Then just looked at suffering for a while, trying to see why it is bad, where the badness is. This led to chasing around in the mind looking for who the suffering was happening to for a while. Eventually, got an interesting sense of feeling the space between things, or the sense of space, like how sensations are localized relative to eachother, as just more sensations. Got curious about this and investigated it for a while. This seems to have something to do with how a sense of a separate self is constructed. It seems like the feeling of 'separateness' is just that - a feeling.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 6 Months ago at 10/29/21 1:00 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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"Realized I was pretty zoned out generally speaking, might need to up the concentration and mindfulness."

Maybe good timing for Tonglen a la Shargrol emoticon 

great subject this one is, the thinking "I need to up the concentration and mindfulness" and also the "not perfect zoned-out ness". 

Best wishes Logan! emoticon 
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 10/30/21 5:43 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 10/30/21 5:43 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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Thanks! I will keep that in mind! Currently I don't know that it's a topic with a ton off suffering around it currently -- once I notice it it's not a 'problem' haha. Just been noting that the mind tends to go very far away occaisonally these days, and it's only later that I notice that I was just sitting there with pretty low mental activity. I will keep it in my back pocket and try it out though!
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 10/30/21 5:41 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1 hour sit today, starting at 3:30pm. Looked at the space between things. Had some under-water dreamyness for a bit, then things got a bit more intense. Had some waves of muscle-tension and rushing feelings. Kept looking at how every experience of a sense of space existing as a place for things to happen in is essentially a combination of thought/feeling. As I noticed some suffering occurring, this made it more obvious that it wasn't happening to anyone as that kind of sepparation was a thought also - rather it was just happening. I had the thought while this was occuring that it felt like something was close to being seen or collapsing or something, but that's just a thought.
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 10/31/21 1:04 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 10/31/21 1:04 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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Woke up in the middle of the night last night and couldn't fall back to sleep, so ended up listening to a dharma talk. It mentioned something about how the taste of reality is a fruit that starts out bitter and then gets sweeter as its eaten, and that really clicked for whatever reason. Got a sense that the suffering and contraction and tension I've been experiencing are things that are just part of the texture of reality, and that I can just let that be rather than trying to escape it. 1 hour sit today, starting at 11:00am. Really feels like something flipped over. Was able to just see much of what I'd thought of as suffering as more like just 'isness'. As thoughts arose, looked at how they fit into this isness. As pangs of suffering appeared, just looked at how they are part of the texture of living.
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/1/21 1:05 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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Was listening to a Ram Dass talk last night. In one part he discussed loving other beings in an unconditional way, not attempting to own them, etcetera, and it really resonated with me. The whole notion that the other being is in a sense a way for love to arise in our experience, and so we cling to it as a source of love, wasn't something I'd thought about before. It reminded me, funnily enough, about a section from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, where the author recounts speaking to a man who has fallen out of love with his wife - the spark is gone. The author tells him, 'then love her.' Love has always felt that way intuitively to me as something we do or something we are, rather than something we get from someone somehow.

How this all connects with my present experience is that I've been struggling a bit with the notion of 'things being perfectly fine the way they are'. Part of my experience is always yelling 'No! There is suffering here and it is unbearable! It shouldn't be like this!'. I've been getting more and more glimpses of a sort of time-less now where everything is fine, periods of equanimity in meditation where everything is fine, etcetera, but then I end up back in normal life where experience tends to be full of resistance in a very tangible, physical, painful way in the body. As much as I try to accept it, there definitely is a tendancy to just want it to go away.

It never occurred to me that I could just love the present moment. I guess I think of loving someone as loving them, not in spite of their flaws, but rather because of their flaws in some sense -- they are perfect just the way they are. That's what love is, at least to me. And the people I love ultimately exist in awareness, and so does the love for them. Why not allow this love to permeate awareness? It feels like I can finally see some of what Eckhart Tolle is saying when he discusses just sitting in a park bench in absolute bliss experiencing the now, or what the non-duality folks are pointing at with how prescence can become the dominant way of being, or the various discussions of feeling 'one with the universe'. I feel like I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to see 'isness', but I haven't been sure how to stabilize it or even what to do with it really, and one answer might be simply to love it.

Sat for 1 hour today, and just focused on that sense of loving the universe. Put some various self inquiry questions in there to help focus things, but really I think just consciously loving whatever arose in experience was the main thing. Cried a bit. Strong sense of opening.
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/2/21 2:45 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 11/2/21 2:45 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1 hour sit today in open awareness. Lovingly accepted all that arose. Had some mind wandering, but generally clarity and and energy and equanimity were high. A bit of daydreamyness for the last couple minutes.
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/4/21 2:36 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 11/4/21 2:36 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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half hour sit today looking at self thoughts. There is a sense of seeing a 'relational self', sort of the self that gets built in order for there to be something to suffer, something to exist in the world, something to experience feelings like 'spaciousness'. But that self is just part of each of these thoughts - it doesn't seem to exist independantly. Thinking back on experience so far, it seems the most obvious thing that wasn't 'I' was the narrating thoughts, then it was revealed that emotions were also not 'I', and yet somehow 'I' still suffered by being around these things, perhaps via these relating thoughts that sort of bind together different pieces of experience and make an 'I' that they are happening to. Had some body tension and muscle spasms.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 6 Months ago at 11/5/21 9:09 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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Maybe we only "insist" (read believe) that there is some suffering, some self in disguise that hangs there through time. 

We sure see on cushion when vipassanazing that all objects observed are DO and they are but a fraction that arise-pass very fast so all is but a flicker and yet at times there is this "something" that seems to creep in time dragging along all those sceletons from our closet making things smell bad emoticon 

I have no solution or a tip and just wanted to drop by and say hi and keep up the good work emoticon 

​​​​​​​Best wishes! 
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/5/21 1:04 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 11/5/21 1:04 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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Thanks, I appreciate the visit - there's a lot of wanting and urgency around practicing these days, it's nice not to feel totally on my own with it.

That "something" is heavy these days - you sure you don't have a solution? I could use it haha!

I definitely get the feeling that suffering stems from belief - I just can't figure out how to not believe it it!

Hope you are well!
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/5/21 12:54 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1 hour sit today, self inquiry with 'Who Am I'. Started off very daydreamy and far off, and things gradually clarified and concentrated, and energy got pretty high. Some muscle tension and spasming. I am starting to notice in everyday life that my thoughts are often not true, like for example in the morning the thought/feeling arises 'I'm too tired to get up -- I need to lie here for a little while and maybe scroll the internet a bit', but then I can just get up and everything is fine. It doesn't have the feeling of overriding the tiredness with willpower, which would take mental energy, but rather just realizing that the thoughts aren't true, which takes seemingly no energy. Reminds me of the thing with the snake and the rope. Doesn't work for everything though -- some resistance maybe needs to be more seen or something.
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/5/21 5:47 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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Went for a 40 minute run. I'm just getting back into regular exercise, so it was reasonably difficult and painful. During the whole process, whenever I'd notice the mind would start making problems (this stitch in my side is too much to bear, I should take a break, how much is left, etc.) I would just try to notice it and be present. Part way through, I tried to notice the problem and then ask 'what would it be like to experience this instant with an open heart?'. This made for a nice run and good feelings of presence and well-being. The inherent discomfort in running made the 'making problems' mind activity much more obvious - it was a good teacher.
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/6/21 4:52 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1 hour sit today starting at 2:30pm. Pretty daydreamy, a few moments of high-resolution imagery. Kinda spaced out.
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/7/21 12:51 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1 hour sit today starting at 10:30am. Self inquiry with 'who am I'. Periodically also tried to relax and open the heart. This got very daydreamy for 15 minutes or so. Kind of spaced out, but with a tiny process still asking 'who am I'. Then had a 'bolt-of-lightning' arrival of an isness that was somehow more spatial than I've previously experienced. I'm not reall sure if it was a cessation, as I was pretty out of it prior. After that, presence stayed high for the rest of the sit. After a bit, I felt I was zeroing in on what I was asking 'who am I about' as 'who wants' -- like who wants suffering to stop, who wants to think about something, etcetera. It seems like the only thing I can find is that the wanting sort of arises on its own in connection with sensations, but wanting seems to imply a self, as preference seems to need there to be an 'something' that prefers, but this something can't be found anywhere! In spite of this, there is a lot of wanting. But who wants!?
George S, modified 6 Months ago at 11/7/21 7:26 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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The other meaning of wanting is lacking ... so you could also ask what is missing?!
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/8/21 12:29 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 11/8/21 12:29 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1 hour sit. At first kept asking 'what is wanting' or 'what is lacking' about the suffering in awareness, and didn't really get anywhere with this, other that it just highlighted that the suffering just kind of happens. Went back to asking 'Who am I'. Had a couple more strong and spacious 'isness' events, that I think were preceded by cessations. Tried to really probe at this space when it would show up and see what it was. Had some funny breathing and vague suffocating feelings a few times, tried to just ask them 'Who am I' - i.e. see if they are part of me, are they self, etcetera. Awareness generally quite strong throughout, some periods of pretty high equanimity.
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/9/21 1:26 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1 hour sit today at 11:00am. Asked 'Who Am I' for a bit, got pretty spaced out. Then switched to just trying see the senses in awareness as clearly as possible, then tried to see suffering was, and tried to see how it related to the senses and what the 'mental tone' was when looking at suffering vs looking at sensation.
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/10/21 1:00 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1 hour sit today at 11:00am. Spent some time immersing myself in the senses, got the sense that when suffering triggered from the senses starts happening, the actual sensations under the suffering are kind of ignored, funnily enough. Fair bit of body discomfort today. Also did some self inquiry with 'Who am I?' and 'What is now?'.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 6 Months ago at 11/10/21 2:22 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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Logan G. Thanks, I appreciate the visit - there's a lot of wanting and urgency around practicing these days, it's nice not to feel totally on my own with it. That "something" is heavy these days - you sure you don't have a solution? I could use it haha! I definitely get the feeling that suffering stems from belief - I just can't figure out how to not believe it it! Hope you are well!
Hi mate sorry for late reply. I've got a new job, working the docks, heavy lifting, and lousy pay, mingling amongst the bottom dwellers of our society. Mostly tired emoticon but this work did open me eyes towards reactive patterns. 8 hours of heavy lifting and not much break does create all sorts of unfolding to be clearly observed (simply just seen). Its a theatre show my friend emoticon

​​​​​​​Thanks to the practice we do , we get to the point of seeing stuff unfolding in "real life" and we see it as Not Me, as Impermanent and as Dukkha (if clinging to it). Now, at home, amongst my family I find the unfolding to be more "solid" and gives more of that "solid" sense of self, or at least , "Im in it" kind of, "more invested" into annoyance or other stuff. Work in progress I guess. Yes, if you insist on a practice, I can warmly suggest using Shargrol's Tonglen! It doesn't seem much I know but boy does it do things once you give it time (use it daily as soon you find stuff being too much or lacking or ... ) I did copy-paste it to you once in here if I remember correctly! I have it in one of my journals.

Best wishes!
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/11/21 1:20 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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Glad to hear the work is conducive to presence! Mine is a bit the opposite these days - lost in my own fabricated world doing remote work on the computer. Lots of time in the same place. Trying to get out more.

I've tried out the Tonglen a few times, and don't feel like I've totally cracked the code on it yet. There's part of my mind in the background that goes 'but you're not really taking on this suffering from others', and it kind of derails things.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 6 Months ago at 11/11/21 1:35 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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If it does not resonate with you at this time put a cork in it and test it another time. emoticon 
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/11/21 1:07 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1 hour sit today starting at 11:00am. Sat in open awareness, just looking at the contents of awareness. Had some daydreamyness, then moved into higher intensity, had some fear/suffocating feelings. However, these feelings were more apparently 'not me' than I have experienced before - they didn't derail the open awareness, and I just saw them as things arising. Likewise for some tensions and spasms. Had moments where everything seemed to have the same character to it, suffering, visual sensation, body sensation, etcetera. It was all the same 'awareness stuff'.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 6 Months ago at 11/11/21 1:46 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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" It was all the same 'awareness stuff'. "

Hmm, ... maybe you could consider the 'Look how its ..." practice instead. What you report here seems like the "You" knows all this awareness shoit so well emoticon Time to reflect onto this knower of all this awareness stuff emoticon 

Look how it thinks it knows all this awareness, look how its bored with all this stuff, look how it thinks its in EQ Nana, look how its anticipating attainment, look how its having fear and spasms ... etc ... i usually do this aloud but silent is as good. 

Just an idea which of course might not suit you. You claim your practice!
Enough of me emoticon 
​​​​​​​Best wishes!
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/14/21 2:55 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 11/14/21 2:55 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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I've been playing around with this, and I like it! Thanks! It seems to keep things a bit more metacognitive, as well as making it less likely that I become what ever suffering is kicking around.
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/14/21 2:52 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1 hour sit today. Watched a video about strong determination sitting recently, decided to try that. Resolved to not move at all throughout the sit. Sitting in a chair, so not so painful to start out with. Tried to keep attention in the senses. When the mind would freak out a bit, I'd mentally note 'Look how it's freaking out', or 'Look how it thinks it can't keep going'. Eventually had some pretty terrible itches, and some weird pains. There was one moment when all of the suffering in the body clarified and became somehow luminous and joyous for a moment, but that faded quickly and it only really happened once. Had some zoning out, but that was lessened quite a bit by maintaining posture.
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/15/21 12:55 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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1 hour sit today at 10:30am. Awareness in the senses, but tried to also notice any thoughts with the 'Look how its ...' thing. Pretty daydreamy.
Logan G, modified 5 Months ago at 11/18/21 1:14 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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30 minute sit today, occaisonally asking 'What would it be like to experience this moment with an open heart'? Just kept asking that around whatever arose, some suffering, some tension, some mind wandering, etcetera. Awareness was quite bright.
Logan G, modified 5 Months ago at 11/28/21 3:41 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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30 minute sit today loving everything that arose in awareness. Mostly peaceful sit, with a few moments of intensity, and generally high clarity.
Logan G, modified 5 Months ago at 12/5/21 4:21 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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Finished a 3.5 day non-dual zoom retreat earlier today. Each day had a guided meditation, a talk, a Q&A session, and a poetry reading session. Much of the rest of the time was made up of 40 minute solo meditation sessions with 10 minute breaks in between, and a 3 hour break in the middle of the day. During that break, I would generally prepare food for the day and go on a long walk in nature, trying to be very mindful throughout, and generally experience everything with an open heart, trying to suffuse awareness with love.

On the first day I zoned out quite a lot, but had a couple meditations with higher energy and muscle spasms. I generally either rested in awareness or did self-inquiry, according to what felt right. I also had one meditation with a very distinctive sense of awareness warping, like parts of me were getting bigger/smaller.

On the second day, there was less zoning out and more energy, as well as some fear. I used more self-inquiry this day, in particular trying to get at the sense of who is resisting emotions/sensations, with questions like 'Who suffers?', 'Who is opposed to this?', and 'Who wants?'. This all felt like it wasn't getting anywhere throughout the day, but kept at it. While listening during poetry reading, I found myself very emotional and ended up silently crying through a fair bit of it.

On the third day, more of a sense of what I was getting at: specifically trying to de-identify from emotions, so that they can just occur without me pushing them away or chasing after them. During the talk, the notion that there's no reason that all experience needs to feel good came up, and that kind of clicked with me. I realized that, for example, I love backpacking in the mountains. My legs burn and the pack chafes and I sleep on the ground, but these things make the experience more, not less, despite at face value being considered 'uncomfortable'. I most of this day examining uncomfortable emotions and sensations, trying to split apart the sensations that make them up from the resistance to those sensations. I also noticed that much of my behaviour is driven by a sort of background 'wanting', like a void that I'm trying to fill. In the past, this 'void' feeling has had me overeat, binge-watch TV, etcetera. I was outside on one of my nature walks when I realized that I could just look at this void feeling as sort of my own personal void that I get to carry with me, and that it doesn't actually need anything, it just is.

This morning, we went through a guided meditation on 'formlessness' which clicked with me in a way it never has before. I was able to intimately experience the way things are all sort of empty and all perfect. I sat with this feeling without taking breaks for the rest of the morning. I noticed at one point that the 'suffusing awareness with love' thing was happening automatically.

It will be interesting to see how much of this remains as distance builds from the intensity here. Currently, I feel as though what I consider to be 'resting in awareness' has gotten 'more' somehow - not bigger, if anything, more intimate and close, with less of a sense of space involved and more of an intermingling. I'm not totally sure I'd say that I've de-identified from emotions, but I've made progress for sure.
Logan G, modified 5 Months ago at 12/6/21 10:47 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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30 minute sit today, drinking coffee and resting in formless awareness. Worked to let down my guard and let in everything.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 5 Months ago at 12/6/21 2:03 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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Sounds like a good cup of coffee me friend emoticon 

​​​​​​​Best wishes! 
Logan G, modified 5 Months ago at 12/8/21 1:07 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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Thanks! It's been a bit of a funny couple days - yesterday, I was operating on very little sleep, because I was kept awake by a strong nervous energy, as well as a very pointed tingling/pressure directly between the eyes and about 3/4 inch up, right where it seems like 'third-eye' stuff is reported to happen. That's something I'd thought of as basically woo stuff, but it's interesting to see that it might come from some real body phenomena that can happen somewhere along the path. All of that's gradually subsiding and I was able to get to sleep quicker last night.

How's the new job?
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 5 Months ago at 12/8/21 1:15 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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New job is getting older emoticon and me body stiffer as the Xmas packages are getting more numerous and much heavier with each passing day. 
Just now took a painkiller as the stiff muscles of neck and shoulders are creating some kind of dull but strong headache. 

Im getting too old for this shit! emoticon 
Logan G, modified 5 Months ago at 12/8/21 1:03 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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30 minute sit today, looking for the distinction between uncomfortable sensations and the rejection of that experience. Good clarity and energy. Starting to notice that uncomfortable emotions seem to have a 'weight' more like uncomfortable sensations now, like a sensation of mild anxiety bothers me about as much as a mild stomach-ache.
Logan G, modified 2 Months ago at 3/2/22 12:45 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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Back after a break from meditation since Christmas. Noticed a bit more anxiety than usual cropping up recently, so figured best get back to it! Have done a few 30 min sits in the last couple weeks that were a bunch of zoning out. Went back to basics today with something pretty TWIM flavoured - just focused on noting any impulse triggering thought occuring in the mind other that just feeling sensations and then relaxing and accepting that impulse as part of the panorama of sensations. Still some mind wandering, but wasn't at all startled when the timer went off, which seems in general to be a good sign.
Logan G, modified 1 Month ago at 3/20/22 12:03 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/20/22 12:03 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 250 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
30 minute sit today. Was listening to a Dhammarato discussion around fatigue yesterday, in which he recommended more active involvement during the meditation making use of the breath, i.e. breathing deeply and trying to be aware of the effect of the breath on the sensations around fatigue (or at least that's how I understood it). Decided to try to incorporate that into my practice as a way to mitigate dullness and stay alert.

Made up a technique that goes as follows:

Breathing in deeply, let a feeling of love for the universe suffuse through awareness with the in-breath. In particular, there is a sensation of opening in the center of the chest. This is with broad awareness generally, but letting attention find any tension sensations of 'holding on to something' and especially suffusing that part of awareness.

Then breathing out, letting awareness dance across any tension sensations associated with thoughts or emotions and gently relaxing them, kind of in a TWIM style.

This produced a consistently bright and panoramic awareness with some bliss. I've noticed that extended deep breathing can produce some blissey sensations, so that might be part of what's going on. Definitely some mind-wandering in there, but I've noticed that when I change techniques there's usually some of that, as though because the ruts in the path are not very worn yet, it's easy for the mind to jump out and go somewhere else, so not a big deal.

I think the motivation for this technique is that I've noticed that I'm basically a collection of habits, like tense up and worry when this kind of thought arises, or hunt for answers when this kind of thought arises, etc. It seems like at this point a productive thing to do, in terms of reducing overall suffering, might be to attempt to actively build different habitual responses. Certainly during meditation I have had periods where I can seemingly just not bother with the thoughts at all, but off of the cushion, some kind of habitual response seems inevitable (or is it?) so I might as well build 'good' habits. In general, I'd like to encourage habits of panoramically loving the present moment and relaxing, so I think I'll focus my meditation on that for a bit, and try to make that practice happen as much off of the cushion as I can as well.
Logan G, modified 15 Days ago at 5/1/22 11:08 AM
Created 15 Days ago at 5/1/22 11:08 AM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 250 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
30 minute sit today looking at sensations of self arising in awareness. Pretty bright mind generally, some wandering. Most practice lately has been off the cushion, but it feels as though it's stagnated lately, so feels like it might be time to sit more. Not totally sure what's the best thing to do these days. Whenever I bring my attention to it, it seems reasonably clear that sensations just arise and pass, and that's all there is. Still reasonably easy to find myself mindlessly being a self in everyday life though, with all the troubles that brings. I catch it quicker though!
Logan G, modified 14 Days ago at 5/2/22 10:38 AM
Created 14 Days ago at 5/2/22 10:38 AM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 250 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
30 minutes sit today trying to see the self arise with preferences, like seeing a bodily discomfort make a self, or seeing a preference to have wandering thoughts give rise to self. Good energy, some kind of rapturey stuff, generally bright mind. Started even seeing the preference to have the meditation go the 'right' way as distinct from awareness of it occuring.
Logan G, modified 10 Days ago at 5/6/22 2:22 PM
Created 10 Days ago at 5/6/22 2:22 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 250 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
30 minute sit. Went through jhanas 1-3 then stayed there, looking for traces of self throughout. A little dullness and dreamyness toward the end.
Logan G, modified 9 Days ago at 5/7/22 11:06 AM
Created 9 Days ago at 5/7/22 11:06 AM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 250 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
30 minute sit today. I've been feeling like I'm at a sort of cross-roads, like in meditation it's been a lot of doing stuff, and what I need is not-doing, but how does one do not-doing haha? I guess part of it has been noticing that a lot of life is sort of not-doing anyway. Yesterday I was washing the dishes, and I kept noticing I had absolutely no idea what specific action I would do next, like 'oh I guess I just flipped the pot sideways to check if it was clean on that side - I had no idea that was going to happen', or 'I guess I'm putting this in the dishwasher - that actually happened by itself and I didn't know it was going to happen'.

For my practice today, I sat noticing sensations and basically trying to embrace my reaction to them. Like would note some discomfort, and then would see how the physical sensations would result in a 'not-wanting' reaction, and would just open my heart to that and say 'Hey, it's working exactly how it's supposed to - it's all perfect!' Similar with mind wandering, etcetera.

Mind was very bright the whole time - quite alert.
George S, modified 9 Days ago at 5/7/22 12:44 PM
Created 9 Days ago at 5/7/22 12:42 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 2382 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
This sounds like "noticing the not-doing in the doing and the doing in the not-doing"

It raises the question - what is the difference between doing and not-doing, other than the presence/absence of the thought 'I am doing X'?
Logan G, modified 8 Days ago at 5/8/22 1:01 PM
Created 8 Days ago at 5/8/22 1:01 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 250 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Yeah that's interesting! Is that from a sutta or a map or something? I played around with that in meditation today, sort of trying to tune out all of the spatial-relationship subject-object thought texture and just tune into raw sensation, and there really seems to be no sense of 'doing' in the sensations. But also, when I tune into the sort of 'relationships between things' texture and try to just see it, it's sort of made of the same stuff as the raw sensation, and it's not apparent that there's doing anywhere other than in those 'I'm doing X' thoughts. Even under scrutiny those thoughts are revealed as not actually doing, like they have the same quality as the thoughts from doing the dishes, like I have no idea those thoughts are going to show up.

30 minutes today, good mind was quite bright and attention/focus seems to be improving.
Logan G, modified 7 Days ago at 5/9/22 12:04 PM
Created 7 Days ago at 5/9/22 12:04 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 250 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
30 minute sit today, in and out of dullness and brightness, looking for self and trying to have a light touch and let things happen. Some discomfort, tried to see where the raw sensations ended and the aversion began.
Logan G, modified 6 Days ago at 5/10/22 1:01 PM
Created 6 Days ago at 5/10/22 1:01 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 250 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
30 minute sit today. Had some discomfort, tried to find how self emerged from it. Gradually this shifted into a more explicit rapid noting of the no-self characteristic of the discomfort. Had very distinctive misery, disgust, and desire for deliverance nanas show up. Some weirdness that could have been reobservation. Interesting how little 'teeth' they seem to have now. Misery felt somewhat sweet, disgust purifying, and desire for deliverance oddly exhalting. They almost felt more like properties of space rather than things happening to me, though that might not quite be the right way of putting it.
George S, modified 4 Days ago at 5/12/22 11:07 AM
Created 4 Days ago at 5/12/22 11:07 AM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

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This is a typical experience of the dukkha nanas in the latter stages of awakening.
Logan G, modified 3 Days ago at 5/13/22 10:26 PM
Created 3 Days ago at 5/13/22 10:26 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 250 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Ah it's nice to hear I have the appearance of being on some kind of reasonable path -- I've had the sense that I've been kind of ambling along in the right direction lately, but a fair bit of it's a bit vague feeling!
Logan G, modified 5 Days ago at 5/11/22 3:35 PM
Created 5 Days ago at 5/11/22 3:35 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 250 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
30 minute sit. Some dukkha nana-ey stuff, some daydreamyness and minor visuals, some sleepiness.
Logan G, modified 3 Days ago at 5/13/22 10:40 PM
Created 3 Days ago at 5/13/22 10:40 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 250 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
30 minute sit, reading another log saw a prompt from SigmaTropic about buzziness and impermanence and it occurred to me I think I've tended more to dullness than not lately, so I decided to get some impermanence in there. I've been on a real no-self kick lately though, so I basically tried to see all sensations that have a sense of self associated with, noting them as rapidly as possible, probably 7 or 8 per second.

Something interesting I noticed while doing this is that I think I have a mental habit of trying to sort of 'relax away' the sense of self, that I probably picked up from the TWIM stuff. I think at that point in my path that might have been basically fine, in that it helped quiet the mind and let me get into equanimity. However, I've been reading a variety of stuff that basically posits the essential notion that we're all already enlightened or whatever, that there's nothing to get, etcetera. I'm hesitant to totally buy into this line of reasoning, but it's prompted me to be a little less forceful with things, allowing for the possibility that the whole thing is sort of just right in front of me if I could just get out of my own way a bit.

So today I tried instead to not do this (haha which since it is a habit became sort of a 'doing' which is funny, but hey) and just instead let those self sensations do whatever they want. It's clearer now that they're just sensations, and it seems silly to have tried to make them do anything, and further more, in a way it was those sensations sort of trying to make themselves go away and sometimes getting frustrated about it. Not messing about actually let them sit more clearly in awareness, and also kept awareness bright.

Interestingly, after doing this for a bit, the self sensations got a sudden tendancy to sort of really diminish, like kind go away underwater, and awareness got super slow and quiet, but not in a dull way - it was still noted pretty rapidly. This oscillated a little, sometimes with thoughts getting curious and trying to see the self senses clearer again, sometimes with things diminishing, then the bell rang.
George S, modified 2 Days ago at 5/14/22 10:13 AM
Created 2 Days ago at 5/14/22 10:13 AM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 2382 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
"You are already enlightened" is true ... on the understanding that 'you' does not refer to any kind of persistent stable entity or identity emoticon

I like what you say about the silliness of sensations trying to make themselves go away emoticon
Logan G, modified 14 Hours ago at 5/16/22 12:11 PM
Created 14 Hours ago at 5/16/22 12:11 PM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 250 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Haha yeah in some ways the meditation feels oddly futile these days, maybe that's the wrong word, more like predetermined or something, like whatever's gonna happen is gonna happen. It's all just kind of stuff happening, including any preferences show up about how it's going.
Logan G, modified 14 Hours ago at 5/16/22 12:06 PM
Created 14 Hours ago at 5/16/22 11:57 AM

RE: Logan's Practice Log #3

Posts: 250 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
30 minute sit today. Noticing the impermanence/no-self characteristic of sensations. Had a mind wander where I sort of noticed through the transition back to attention that the only difference was the return of a sort of 'I am meditating' thought. Distinctive dukkha nnanas sense today, got into equanimity for a few minutes before the bell range. Not much dullness to speak of. Another thing I noticed was that even awarness isn't 'I' - it's no more than whatever subtle cascade of sensations is arising.

I'd say trying to make things be a way in regular life is decreasing, including trying to be super mindful all of the time. Hard to say if this is just laziness or actually starting to let go of something haha.

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