RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Marzanne Vorster, modified 29 Days ago at 4/17/22 8:32 PM
Created 29 Days ago at 4/17/22 8:32 PM

Marzanne's practice log

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Background:Started Samatha meditation a month ago. Read/heard somewhere that building concentration skills first would lessen the "Dark Night" stage. Read that some people really struggle through this, sometimes for years, and can even have psychotic episodes. This really scrared me, so on to Samatha I went!On 18 March 2022 started doing daily anapanasati meditation for 40 minutes, then 45, then 50. Enjoyed getting into access concentration and had a few pleasureble/joyful experiences. Unsure if I hit any jhanas. Started getting really curious about insight meditation after reading MCTB2 and threads on Dharmaoverground though.  Realised, after reading more about the nanas, that I actually, probably, unbeknownst to me, experienced a few A&P-Dark Night cycles over the last 2 years when experimenting with Psilocybin (started growing it after husband got really depressed and reading about benefits of microdosing).  I did a big mushroom "journey" (6g dried) about 2.5 years ago with an online group which was the most beautiful experience of my life.  Lots of ups and downs over the following 2.5 years, searching for answers, wanting more, needing to know, craving, grabbing , desperation, then hating my life, disinterest, binge eating, alcohol, crying, bed-all-day, then hoping, craving, wanting more..... the beautiful, painful cycle. Hilarious moment when I realised I've been dark nighting for so long.  Scared of something that I'm already experiencing.  Hehehehehe.  Anyhoee, over the last 2 years I've also been doing some Kiloby Inquiries (on and off, mostly off) and softcore, guided Joe Dispenza meditations.  Also did a few much smaller (0.5g or 0.25g, sometimes 1g) mushroom trips. Realised, on one of those 1g days, that "craving/aversion" is gone when I'm on mushrooms.  There is just acceptance, peace, contentness.  REALLY started noticing the craving/aversion in my life after that.  No more mushrooms. Can't trip forever.  The Buddhist way made sense, so thats the direction my craving took. Long story short - Did my first sitting of Insight meditation (Shargrol's noting) today.  Herewith my first log (18 April 2022): Took a long time to calm my mind (distracting thoughts about big changes at work).  Perhaps after 20 minutes started watching sensations.  Struggled to note one on every out breath.  Shocking.  After 5 minutes moved over to Urges/emotions.   Felt like I just cycled through anxiety (tightness), relief, boredom, anxiety, relief, boredom. Then thoughts' turn: ALL kinds - judgemental thoughts, egotistical thoughts, doubting thoughts, worrying thoughts.  My focus kept sneaking back to emotions. Perhaps wanting to experience that "relief" bit? Hmmmm. Decided to go back to sensations:  much better this time.  Lots of vibrations, pulsing, aches, warm, cool, tingles, pain, movements. Realised my mind adds a "like/dislike" judgement after noting each one.  Interesting.  No longer just noting on the out breath. Should I stick to outbreath-noting only? Freestyle noting thereafter.  So many things happening that I'm never aware of.  Illuminating experience.  Might squeeze in another tonight.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 29 Days ago at 4/18/22 1:10 AM
Created 29 Days ago at 4/18/22 1:10 AM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Hi and welcome to this forum!

I would say go with noting all the new things you are discovering. That's dependent origination, the roots of suffering. It sounds to me like you are doing great. 
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 28 Days ago at 4/18/22 10:47 PM
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RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Hi, thanks so much for the encouragement! Really appreciate all the helpful information on this site. 
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 28 Days ago at 4/18/22 10:55 PM
Created 28 Days ago at 4/18/22 10:55 PM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Evening sit, 18 Apr 2022

Same routine as morning.
Experienced difficulty with noting thoughts, as if there are tons of hidden thoughts and mental images just under the surface that I can't quite perceive. Some frustration with this. Tried to just keep noting and not get too caught in the content.  Amazed at how many random images and thoughts just flash up and go. Some memory images as well, some of which I got lost in. 
A new type of thought showing up: A narrative type, imagining how I will be wording my experience in this practice log. Just realised, as I'm writing this, I can just note "future thought" here. Aversion to these thoughts. Wanted them to stop and perhaps started questioning them too much, in stead of just noting. 
25 minutes into sit, i got interrupted by K, had to get up to help. Less annoyed by this than I expected. Started timer at 60 minutes again. About 40 minutes into this 2nd sit, I got interrupted by her again. Really angry this time. Interesting to watch all the sensations associated by anger. Sensations more dense, hot, radiating. 
After my sit, I pondered a few things: 
- Very possibly have repressed anger. Realised I'm hardly ever angry. This wasn't exactly a tolerated emotion while growing up. "Mom doesn't like me when I'm angry." "I'm unloveable when I'm angry". 
I might have to do some additional Kiloby Inquiry sits on repressed anger in the near future. Show my body it's OK to be angry. 
- The fact that my mind was so fixated on imagining how I'll be wording things in my practice log - this is tied to the fear of being judged/not liked by people (a strong pattern in my life), needing to be perfect to be loved, being a people pleaser etc. 
George S, modified 27 Days ago at 4/19/22 4:02 AM
Created 27 Days ago at 4/19/22 4:02 AM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Very insightful!
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 27 Days ago at 4/19/22 3:46 PM
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RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Gosh, must admit I feel very intimidated by all the heavyweights here. My "baby insights" doesn't compare. But that's very kind of you, thank you. 
George S, modified 27 Days ago at 4/19/22 10:21 PM
Created 27 Days ago at 4/19/22 10:21 PM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Self-awareness is more important than the more "weighty" stuff! (something I'm still learning)
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 27 Days ago at 4/19/22 3:51 PM
Created 27 Days ago at 4/19/22 3:51 PM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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1 hour
Concentration very poor. Took a long time to settle my mind. So many thoughts popping up while focussing on breath.
Also while noting sensations. But as soon as I started noting thoughts, thoughts lessened. Again, feels like my awareness is not "catching" them. Also went into a dull, spacy, trance state. Moved over to sensations again to snap out of it. 
Emotions: realised all the emotions that I perceive as "bad" really are just the contracting ones. The "good" ones expand. Some love and compassion came up. Tried to just allow it without clinging on. Same with fear and anxiety. Just allowed and witnessed.
Realised that, as soon as I notice and welcome things, they just vanish. Interestingly had conversation with husband yesterday evening talking about "awareness". I questioned whether "more awareness" is actually that much better than just being ignorant. Isn't ignorance bliss, like they say!?  OK, so I was wrong, according to my sit this AM.  "More" awareness is good. I remember experiencing this while doing KI as well. Just kinda forgot! What the heck. 
When freestyling I also noticed the "velcro effect" that Scott Kiloby mentions pretty clearly. Certain thoughts, sensations, images are "stuck together" and follow each other which causes, well, suffering I guess. Is this similar to dependent origination, I wonder? Must read Daniel's book on it. He probably mentions it all the time and I've been missing it. Linda "Polly Esther" also mentioned it in comment above. 

Don't think I'm doing "noting" entirely correctly. Perhaps looking into things a bit longer than needed. Not going to be too hard on myself just yet though. Early days. Enjoying the process.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 26 Days ago at 4/20/22 2:39 PM
Created 26 Days ago at 4/20/22 2:39 PM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Yeah, I'd say that you are acing the dependent origination. And below as well, with the judging/vedana.

I do recommend Daniel's book. It has helped me so much. I think Daniel talks more about the three characteristics than the chain leading to suffering in dependent origination, though. 

Hey, our profile pictures are pretty similar! 
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 3:12 AM
Created 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 3:12 AM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Thanks Linda "Polly Ester" Ö! I ended up watching a short video on Dependent Origination by Bhante Vimalaramsi on YouTube. I don't think it "clicks" quite yet for me, but perhaps starting to get a sense yes.

​​​​​​​Looks like we are both into sunsets on the beach yes! Where were your profile photo taken? Mine in New Zealand where I currently live.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 23 Days ago at 4/23/22 12:07 PM
Created 23 Days ago at 4/23/22 12:07 PM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Not so much the sunset for me in that picture, more tuning into the water element and being part of nature. I think the sun had just hidden behind a cloud in the picture. I do love sunsets by the beach, though. Not least how the scents shift. The picture was taken in Stockholm by the lake Mälaren. Wow, New Zealand! I have seen so many beautiful nature pictures from there. 
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 22 Days ago at 4/24/22 6:13 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 4/24/22 6:13 PM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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So beautifully said! I've seen stunning photos of Sweden as well. We are very blessed to have so much nature around us. 
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 27 Days ago at 4/20/22 1:13 AM
Created 27 Days ago at 4/20/22 1:13 AM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Evening sit (1 hour): 
Nothing too remarkable here. Just the following 2 observations: 
- Sensations are always followed by image of the body part where sensation is taking place.- I judge sensations as nice or not nice even before I have time to note the sensation. Happens super fast.
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Chris M, modified 26 Days ago at 4/20/22 8:14 AM
Created 26 Days ago at 4/20/22 8:14 AM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Great insight, Marzanne!
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 3:14 AM
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RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Appreciate the encouragement, thank you Chris! 
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 3:23 AM
Created 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 3:23 AM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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22 April -
(AM) 1 hour (felt much longer!) consisting mostly of:FrustrationDistractionPainIrritationAngerDiscomfortPainCraving for session to stopTirednessThought it might be 3 Three Characteristics phase, but then the PM sit went better again, so will try to not overthink stages too much.
PM (1 hour):Much easier sitDefinitely noting faster. Cant always think of the correct noting word fast enough and mixing English and Afrikaans or just making up a gibberish word that feels right so I don't have to think about it too long. Chaos.Had to remind myself a few times to stop analysing. Also some zoning out.
​​​​​​​
Lots of itches (once 1 is noted, 6, 7, 8 more follows) and "swirling" sensations, for instance swallowing goes: intending, swallowing, swirling (in throat area). Also some swaying of my body (had these in some previous sits too). Oh and noticing much more mental images. Really weird ones too. Some made me laugh.

Some boredom and urge for insights.Pain towards the end but judging it less harshly on the like/dislike scale.Nothing insightful. 
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 3:25 PM
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RE: Marzanne's practice log

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23 Apr - AM (1 hour)A more settled sit. Less swirling and swinging which I probably got too lost in yesterday. Relieved.

Getting a clearer idea of how the mind mechanism works that creates seperation. Every single sensation, whether heard or felt is followed by an image, then a thought or knowing that it's eathier "mine/me" or "not mine/me". After the sit I thought about a memory that came up during that 6g mushroom trip: After the most intense close-eyed part of the trip was over, I was laying on my bed with my legs and arms up (like babies and unfortunate tortoises do) and I had a memory of me as a baby laying in my crib, not knowing what was "me" and "not me". Legs, ceiling, arms, light fixture: everything just IS . Was an extremely peaceful memory. 
This mind mechanism is probably a safety-thing.During this morning's sit, there was a loud sound that my mind could not place. All kinds of images flashed up: machinery, trees falling, earthquake...and there was a moment of anxiety which settled after the me realised it was safe. Bloody ingenious stuff.
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Chris M, modified 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 3:33 PM
Created 25 Days ago at 4/21/22 3:33 PM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Good stuff!

One small coaching item: try not to think of sitting sessions as either good or bad. Whatever happens is cool, and useful, and can help you grok your experiences.

Keep going!
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 4:34 AM
Created 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 4:34 AM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Oh, thank you Chris! Needed to hear this today. And applicable to so many things in my life that I judge as good or bad. 
George S, modified 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 7:43 AM
Created 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 7:43 AM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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I find the trip mindset works as well in life as on psychedelics - whatever I'm experiencing is what I need to be experiencing right now. I usually learn more from the "bad" experiences lol.
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 7:29 PM
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RE: Marzanne's practice log

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So true George! I'm slowly learning this as well....
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 24 Days ago at 4/22/22 6:25 PM
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RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Evening sit: Jaw felt stiff, swallowed so much, had to force my jaw to relax after every swallow. Irritated by the fact that I have to note the process of swallowing every single time....and it's happening so much! Boredom, aversion, craving for pleasure or wanting it to stop, contraction in stomach, questioning thoughts (what is causing this?), then worry that it's the start of a cold (worse, COVID), something I ate causing more saliva? Then...more contraction in stomach. Oh fun cycle. 
23 April (AM): 
Noted a bit off-cushion while having my shower and preparing for meditation.
Enjoyed being so present. OK, I'm hooked on noting now. Will try to squeeze in as much as possible during day-to-day activities. 
​​​​​​​
On-cushion: 
Saw that boredom, craving, frustration etc. can't happen without thought preceding it. Same with compassion, excitement etc. I think hunger as well? Without the thought "I'm hungry" it will just be felt sensations. Not sure about this one yet. Lots more investigation to do....
George S, modified 23 Days ago at 4/23/22 7:43 AM
Created 23 Days ago at 4/23/22 7:09 AM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Swallowing is interesting because it's autonomic with a voluntary override, like breathing but you can delay it longer. It's also linked to anxiety (gulp!)

I learned quite a lot from studying the urge to swallow - seeing how an urge arises and develops into an intention which leads to an action. If you sit with the urge to swallow without actually swallowing, it feels uncomfortable at first but you can separate the involuntary reflex from the voluntary action. Either a swallow will happen involuntarily at some point, or else the urge to swallow voluntarily will pass and you realize that your mind was tricking you into believing you had to swallow!
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 22 Days ago at 4/24/22 6:17 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 4/24/22 6:17 PM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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This is so interesting! Definitely going to just sit with the urge to swallow and see what happens...
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 22 Days ago at 4/24/22 6:22 PM
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RE: Marzanne's practice log

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25 April 2022:
I read MCTB on Impermanence again, as I feel like I'm not quite grasping it fully yet. Well, understatement of the decade! Daniel says that nothing lasts for even a microsecond. It is a constant in-and-out-flashing that is occuring. Whaaat!? 
So I tried his index-fingers exercise for an hour and my experience is quite different from what he explains and very much continuous still. Yes, I feel the vibrations, but it still has a fluid quality. Really tried to feel whether sensations are felt for just a "blip" and exactly when they are occuring vs when a mental impression is there. I can see how this could be a good additional exercise so will continue looking into this...even though my concentration sucks and I experienced much frustration.Starting to see how much of my experience is actually just mental impressions and not "real" at all. 
​​​​​​​
Decided I might also come here to update my practice log a bit less frequently (still intending to sit minimum 2 hours per day though). Just focus on practicing more, reflecting on progress less. 
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Chris M, modified 21 Days ago at 4/25/22 7:19 AM
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RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Yes, you have to stay with it - keep a steady, consistent investigation/observation practice going and your ability to resolve the finer aspects of your perceptions will grow. I'm not sure practicing more is helpful. In my case, two 30-minute sessions a day was plenty of time. Frustration, boredom, and other issues will arise if you're pushing it too far. Consistency FTW!

JMHO, Marzanne.
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 3:53 AM
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RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Thank you, thank you, thank you Chris!  
I am known for overdoing things too soon and collapsing in the process.  So slowly, steadily, consistently....FTW ;) 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 15 Days ago at 5/1/22 10:50 AM
Created 15 Days ago at 5/1/22 10:50 AM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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I totally agree. I started out with just 20 minutes per day as my minimum, because I knew that I would be able to maintain that no matter what. Anything beyond that would just be a bonus. I made a vow to myself to have a daily practice. A consistent daily practice works miracles. 

​​​​​​​You are doing great. It is a pleasure to read your notes. 
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 2 Days ago at 5/14/22 2:38 AM
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RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Thanks Linda. Struggling a bit with lack of motivation currently so good to hear 20 mins a day is also OK. 
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 4:00 AM
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RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Update: 30 April 2022:
Most days this week sat for only 1 hour due to colleague being in isolation and therefore having to work some double shifts.
Meditated on chair instead of zafu for 1st 3 days of week due to lower back- and hip pain. Also had some stiffness in shoulders.
Read Practical Insight Meditation by M Sayadaw and started doing his style noting (no longer Shargrol's noting). 
Experienced lack of motivation, tiredness and doubt during the week.  Not sure if I'm noting fast enough (roughly 1-2 per second).  Daniel puts so much emphasis on fast noting. (Will take Chris' advice though and not rush things, thanks Chris!) 
Also lots of "this is too simple"/its not working!" etc.  Off course these are all just thoughts.  So #eye-roll. 

Craving/aversion cycle very noticeable.  Even when I have moments of peace and calmness, there is a craving to hold on to it. Decided to "love" the discomfort as much as I "love" the peace.  Beautiful, blissful moment.  Almost shed a tear. 

Absolutely amazed at how much of my reality is made up of thoughts and "mind images" and most of them refers to "me/I."  Mind-images (seeing) seem to come up more frequently than word-thoughts (auditory).  Mind images are more difficult to catch and easier to get lost in and identify with. 

Day-to-day-life:  slight increase in mindfullness, possibly being a bit more patient and laid-back and having more fun at work. 
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Chris M, modified 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 7:47 AM
Created 16 Days ago at 4/30/22 7:47 AM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Absolutely amazed at how much of my reality is made up of thoughts and "mind images" and most of them refers to "me/I."

Excellent. Great insight.

What does this mean to you? How does this insight change how you see yourself and the rest of the world?
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 9 Days ago at 5/7/22 6:59 PM
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RE: Marzanne's practice log

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Yeah, really good questions, Chris, thank you! It's all a bit funny actually. Everything is so "made up" by the mind. I'm definitely taking myself less seriously. There is a huge part of me that wants to hold on to the drama though. Getting lost in thoughts is so yummy! Hahahaha! 
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 9 Days ago at 5/7/22 6:50 PM
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RE: Marzanne's practice log

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1 May 2022 (1 hour)
 Lots of calmness, contentness, comfort during sit, so looked into why "the me" is thinking it's such a good sit:(1) I enjoyed the sounds of wind through trees and birds, which there were plenty of today. Not many irritating sounds (lawnmowers, screaming kids etc), as it's a quiet Sunday morning. When hearing liked sounds there is an expansive, warm, tingly feeling, followed by "happy" thoughts. Some tightness in tummy when hearing loud car sounds. "The me" (so irritating to use this term, but not sure how to explain this "me-mechanism" I'm starting to notice) clearly doesn't like cars. I guess it explains my driving anxiety.(2) "The me" thinks i'm a better person now: diligently sitting every day, being more aware, seeing things a bit clearer. Feelings and thoughts of superiority, being proud of myself. Thinking I'm making progress. Less doubting thoughts = content me. Frequent images flashing up of me sitting oh-so-buddha-like. Followed by happiness and peace off course. #facepalm
This "me-mechanism" is so damn interesting (and strong). Every time a sound is heard, an image of my ear /side of head also flashes up, just to ensure that I KNOW this sound is being heard by "me". Or if an itch appears, an image of the area where the itch appears flashes up. Just in case I forget it's happening in "my body". God forbid, cant have that. Clever trickster.
So the difference between a sensation happening inside me and one happening outside me, is just an image/thought telling me so? Towards the end I started asking "what am I" and thoughts such as "the one that is hearing that bird" or "the one that is feeling this mixture of bodily sensations" or image of me-sitting-oh-so-buddha-like flashes up. Such bullshit. I deserve the truth! Hehehehe, hello anger. 
PM (45 mins):Started with some concentration first, 10 - 15 mins. Feelings of ease and comfort again. Noticed itches dont stay itches. It morphs into tickles or cold or hot or pressure or vibrations or gone quickly. Noticed heaps of sensations during last 15 mins. Too fast to name. Tingles in hands and rest of body, sounds that I didn't pick up on before etc. 
First lucid dream in ages at 3am on 2 May. Was too excited and forgot to use usual tools for staying in the dream longer. Woke up pretty fast, but was fun: was in Africa again, flying (both common themes in my dreams).
2 - 3 May: Time reduced to 1x 45 min each day sit due to 2 other colleagues being in isolation and doing even longer/more shifts. Concentration OK, noting lots of "pulses" or vibrations throughout the body, so fairly fast noting. Boredom and dullness towards the end. 
4 May (again only able to squeeze in 45 mins at end of long shift). Difficult to concentrate, getting lost in thoughts of how tired and overworked I am, feeling sorry for myself, sadness, anger, typical victim mentality stuff. Even had a teensy weensy cry. Then realised these are all just thoughts, hahahaha! 180 degrees shift to feelings of relief and gratitude. 
5 - 7 May: again mostly only 1 sit per day due to busy work schedule. Also doing 10 min concentration at beginning of each sit now, as it's fairly shoddy. Not much to report. 
George S, modified 9 Days ago at 5/7/22 9:04 PM
Created 9 Days ago at 5/7/22 9:04 PM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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So the difference between a sensation happening inside me and one happening outside me, is just an image/thought telling me so?

Yeah, since the signals travel through the same nerve cells, there is no a priori distinction between "internal" and "external". As the brain develops it learns to construct a workable model of self vs world, adequate for survival. But when you look closely you start to realize that the distinction is not nearly so clear-cut as is typically assumed!
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 2 Days ago at 5/14/22 2:36 AM
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RE: Marzanne's practice log

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So is this how you experience sensations on a daily basis, George? This happens with awakening? Apologies for my ignorance. I am such a noob! 
George S, modified 2 Days ago at 5/14/22 9:53 AM
Created 2 Days ago at 5/14/22 9:50 AM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

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 It depends how closely I'm paying attention. When I'm meditating or just being or doing something without clinging/aversion then "nondual awareness" is more pervasive. If I'm caught up in something like rushing to get my kids to school on time, then it tends to be less so! However it's always kind of there in the background, such that it only takes a moment to check in and be like 'ah ok, there it is, no problem.' Part of the process of awakening involves training yourself to tune into this quality of awareness until certain kinds of "shifts" occur where it seems to get hardwired into the brain and become more automatic.

It's good to notice the knowing of location/space as you are doing below. You can take this further and investigate how the mind creates the entire sense of space. Incoming sense signals have no a priori spatial distribution, the mind has to do a lot of work to keep a workable model of space running. You don't need to get rid of that model, but by noticing more clearly how it operates you can reduce clinging to the concept of space as a pre-existent reality, which knocks out another form of dukkha. It's one of the more subtle ones, which tends to come more into focus further down the path, but no harm in being aware of it if it interests you emoticon

Regarding these troublesome core beliefs, there's a practice called "feeding your demons" which may be interesting for you (thanks supermonkey!) 

https://www.lionsroar.com/how-to-practice-feeding-your-demons/

For example, you take a "demon" like the belief 'there is something wrong with me' and try to get a feel for it in your body, visualizing it possibly as some kind of entity. Then you try to imagine yourself as the demon, see things from its point of view, and ask it 'What do I want? What do I really need?' How will I feel when I get what I really need?' For example, maybe the response is 'I want to be better. What I really need is to be unconditionally accepted and loved for what I am. When I get that then I will feel happy and at peace.' Then you muster up all the unconditional acceptance and love that you can and visualize yourself "feeding" it to the demon until it is satiated and you can bask in the feeling of happiness and peace. After that you may notice a kind of shift where the demon either transforms into a different kind of entity, or another entity appears, which is the "ally". This is the liberated form of the demon, which represents the good intentions that the demon always had (to accept and love yourself) without the unskillful baggage of the old conditioning. There's nothing "wrong" with the demon (the old conditioning), it was a totally appropriate and necessary solution to whatever issue initiated the chain of conditioning (e.g. a child whose parents only tend show love when the child has achieved something). It's just that the demon has done its job and is no longer necessary. Next time it arises you can just check in directly with the ally to release the demon. It might sound a bit kooky, but it can be very powerful in practice. It's basically a tantric version of Internal Family Systems, which is another great resource for understanding and working with these kind of issues (see e.g. the book No Bad Parts). That's more than I intended to write, but I hope it's helpful!
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Marzanne Vorster, modified 2 Days ago at 5/14/22 2:43 AM
Created 2 Days ago at 5/14/22 2:43 AM

RE: Marzanne's practice log

Posts: 23 Join Date: 4/7/22 Recent Posts
8 May 2022
2x 40min (incl 10 min concentration). AM - sat outside where lots of sounds can be heard. Interesting how each sound is followed by a knowing of WHERE it is taking place: far, over there, here, above, waaay over there etc.PM - Low energy, noting a bit slower, some spacing out. 
9 May 20222x 40 min (incl 10 concentration). Sense of ease during both sits. Fairly good concentration. Noticing more subtle sounds, hums, pulses, vibrations. All the different sensations that are contained in "swallowing" for instance. As if everything has a more static quality. 
10 May - no sit, too tird after another double shift.
11 May - 1x 40 min. Similar to 9 May. Not much developments to report. Also decided to do a Joe Dispenza's guided meditation "Blessing of energy centers" as I remembered having lots of lucid dreams during my "Joe days". During the 50 minutes, lots of pleasurable sensations and feelings of love and openness. 
12 May (AM) 40min - underlying feeling of not OK-ness, boredom, irritation, wanting excitement. Lots of comparing, regret, self-hate ("I should have meditated more on my day off yesterday", "I shouldn't have eaten all those chocolates"). Almost an "Urgh, this shit again" after every noting. A general sense of aversion and negativity. Escalated to "there's something wrong with me" which is one of my core beliefs, so no huge surprises. Was interesting to be a bit more mindful of the feelings that followed (sadness, anger despair...) and how I tried to zone out, restlessness, desire to end the sit. Thought this woud cloud the rest of my day, but felt grateful for being able to observe the process semi-more-aware. My mind kept returning to this during the rest of the week, how hard I am on myself and how it loops back to another core belief "I'm unloveable". By believing these things about myself I create the conditions that causes the strengthening of these beliefs i.e. socially withdrawing or overeating proves that "there is something wrong with me". Having an avoidant attachment style off course also proves that "I'm unloveable" etc.
PM sit - just good ol' noting. Definitely more doubting thoughts creeping in: "this is not working", desire for excitement. 
Rest of the week also not much else to report. Experiencing some lack of motivation for sitting lately. Might incorporate Metta to create that positive feedback loop. Also, some self-compassion would probably not hurt.

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