Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/23/22 2:49 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Freya . 6/23/22 4:28 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/23/22 7:27 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Freya . 6/23/22 10:47 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/23/22 11:01 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Freya . 6/23/22 12:07 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/23/22 12:32 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/23/22 7:41 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/23/22 11:52 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Chris M 6/23/22 12:40 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/23/22 12:48 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Chris M 6/23/22 4:57 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/23/22 5:14 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Chris M 6/23/22 5:21 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/23/22 5:35 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/23/22 5:50 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/24/22 12:40 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Chris M 6/24/22 8:02 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/24/22 8:22 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/23/22 1:01 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/23/22 5:08 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/24/22 12:53 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/24/22 2:09 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/24/22 7:44 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/24/22 11:32 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/25/22 4:15 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/26/22 6:10 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Chris M 6/26/22 7:56 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/26/22 8:17 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Chris M 6/26/22 10:51 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/26/22 11:19 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Smiling Stone 6/27/22 11:35 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/6/22 4:14 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Jure K 6/27/22 4:42 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/27/22 6:02 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Jure K 6/27/22 6:13 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/27/22 8:16 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Papa Che Dusko 6/27/22 1:15 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/30/22 1:30 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Papa Che Dusko 6/30/22 2:57 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/30/22 3:45 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/30/22 4:39 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/1/22 4:00 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/1/22 7:05 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/2/22 2:14 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/2/22 2:35 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 George S 7/2/22 9:03 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/2/22 11:47 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 George S 7/3/22 2:11 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/3/22 3:08 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/2/22 11:02 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/3/22 5:12 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Jure K 7/3/22 6:18 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/3/22 8:29 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/5/22 6:41 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Chris M 7/6/22 6:56 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/6/22 9:32 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/6/22 1:53 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/7/22 7:38 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 George S 7/7/22 9:43 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/7/22 9:51 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 George S 7/7/22 9:58 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/7/22 10:04 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Jure K 7/7/22 8:12 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/8/22 9:31 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/8/22 12:13 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/8/22 2:16 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/9/22 5:59 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/9/22 9:49 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/9/22 10:37 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/9/22 11:48 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/10/22 1:52 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/10/22 2:55 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/10/22 5:12 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/10/22 9:25 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/13/22 8:56 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/14/22 5:26 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/14/22 7:30 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Adi Vader 7/14/22 7:47 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/14/22 8:01 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/14/22 8:30 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Adi Vader 7/14/22 8:37 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/14/22 10:06 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/14/22 11:49 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/16/22 4:31 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Jure K 7/16/22 5:32 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/16/22 6:03 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/16/22 6:34 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Jure K 7/16/22 6:48 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/16/22 10:33 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/16/22 5:23 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/17/22 5:28 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/17/22 10:08 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/19/22 6:37 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Adi Vader 7/19/22 7:16 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/19/22 11:37 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/19/22 11:52 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/20/22 7:45 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Freya . 7/23/22 6:13 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/23/22 6:59 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/23/22 7:22 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/24/22 4:34 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/27/22 9:08 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/28/22 3:18 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Adi Vader 7/29/22 7:35 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/29/22 2:49 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Helen Pohl 7/29/22 1:17 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/29/22 3:23 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Helen Pohl 7/29/22 3:59 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/29/22 7:02 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Helen Pohl 7/29/22 11:09 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/29/22 2:55 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Martin 7/29/22 3:17 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/29/22 3:22 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/29/22 3:17 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/30/22 5:30 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/31/22 11:25 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Sigma Tropic 8/2/22 7:55 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/6/22 4:03 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/1/22 6:26 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/2/22 4:37 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/2/22 9:42 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/3/22 2:44 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/5/22 5:31 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/6/22 2:03 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/6/22 2:18 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/6/22 3:55 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/7/22 12:49 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/7/22 10:11 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/8/22 4:26 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/8/22 5:39 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Martin 8/9/22 1:26 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/9/22 3:22 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Adi Vader 8/8/22 10:11 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/9/22 3:26 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/9/22 3:21 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/10/22 10:46 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/11/22 6:22 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/11/22 3:41 PM
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 2:49 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 2:18 AM

Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 6666 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
In this log I will, for th purpose of seeing patterns in hindrances, report contextual data such as diet, medication, sleep, exercise, and hormones (feel free to skip that part of it's too much information). 

Got up early after about 6 hours of sleep. Remembered to take morning ADHD medication. Took time to set up altar with fresh flowers, water, light and three prostrations. Then worked for a couple of hours before breakfast (work I had procrastinated yesterday and that had to be done before the morning meeating today). Breakfast included healing food (fresh artichoke) but also some butter and rape seed oil. Lovely weather, breakfast outside, good mood in spite of probable pms. 

Short Kundalini Yoga session aiming at healing acute depression: https://youtu.be/UH7ATSiP2y4
It demanded lots of concentration from me, getting the mudra and the gaze right while chanting the mantra fast. For intention I chose Bodhicitta. Nice effect. 

Time to take ADHD medicine again and go to work. I remembered to take the medicines. I hypothesize that this will improve concentration, as it should. There will be a close to 30 minutes fast walk to work, mainly through the woods. 

Edited to add: during my walk to my work place, I did the Yi Rang, which is a simple but rich Tibetan antidepressant practice involving sympathetic joy and wishing all beings well (while also baking into it fresh air, daylight, leaving one's home, regularity, the throat chakra for intention, karma, etc.). I also listened to the dharma (a short section of Tantra Illuminated by Christopher Wallis) and incorporated some of my liberating movements (improvised, feels good for the energy body). 
Freya , modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 4:28 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 4:28 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 31 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Hi

My earlier message to you also disapeared for me too (I saw your message on the technical board). I've been reading your log, but I  can't find your Stream Entry experience on your logs. Would you mind posting it here? I've had quite a few experiences like yours and interested to hear about your perspective. 

Thank you 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 7:27 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 7:26 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 6666 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Sure! No problem.

​​​​​​​Hi Freya and welcome to this forum! I hope you will like it here. 

My stream entry was reported in my second log, and the search engine here leaves a lot to be desired, so here’s a link: 
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/11357415#_com_liferay_message_boards_web_portlet_MBPortlet_message_13066184
I hope it works. Look for March 20th, 2019.

​​​​​​​Edited to add: It looks like you need to scroll up. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 7:41 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 7:36 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 6666 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Contextual data:

During job meeting before noon there were energetic tinglings at the back/crown of my head, which seems to be a good sign for now. There was also spaciousness. When the ADHD medication wore off, the fading of focus and motivation was obvious. I took another pill (I'm suppused to take 2-4 per day, but lately I have mostly just taken one). It helped, for the purpose of work. 

Around noon I had some sweet fruit. That might backfire, we'll see. 

Worked some more. Now I'm on my way home and I'm taking my fourth pill of ADHD medication, the last one for the day. I'll see if that's helpful or too much. Walking home through woods. 

Time to clean my apartment with help from housing support due to disabilty. I'll try to squeeze in some lunch there as well. Contractions due to stress, as I'm late for the appointment. Trying to take in the space and connect with the elements, as well as grounding myself in abll the senses (the fragrance from the woods especially). Yeah, that actually helps.
Freya , modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 10:47 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 10:47 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 31 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Thanks! I've been reading for ages, but have only posted once. 

Your log 2 stops at 2/20/19, although I can see the March links, they don't work for me. So I can't see it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 11:01 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 10:58 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 6666 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Freya .
Thanks! I've been reading for ages, but have only posted once. 

Your log 2 stops at 2/20/19, although I can see the March links, they don't work for me. So I can't see it. 


Sorry to hear that! There’s a whole series of posts around that time and I think they should be read in context, so I’m afraid you will either have to wait for the technical solution or try changing from flat view to tree view. It’s up in your right corner on the screen, once you have opened the thread (it's within the thread) - very easy to miss. You probably have flat view now, so you need to click on tree view. I suspect that should fix the problem. So sorry for all the trouble!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 11:52 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 11:50 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 6666 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
More contextual data:

It was my favorite housing support person, someone who adds energy rather than drains. That's a positive factor. 

On the negative side, I took my antidepressants too late and had lunch too late, in the midst of hurrying to clean the apartment and going through papers within the support time, and I also ate too fast.  That led to a sudden anxiety attack, the kind where the body shouts "If you don't stop and breathe RIGHT NOW, I will make you throw up, and you wouldn't like that now, would ya?" On the plus side: That's my favorite kind of anxiety, because it is so straightforward and can easily be transformed into pleasant streams of energy if I just surrender to it and lay down to let things disentangle. 


Some phenomenology:

So I lay down to let things disentangle, which was awesome. I could feel the nausea transform into pleasant energy waves and light.

Contextual data again: ... That is, until an alarm went off, after 15 minutes, and I realized that I was about to be too late for an appointment to pick up a secondhand bargain. This was the second time I was about to miss it, because I had one of those days yesterday where everything went wrong, so this time I called a cab and contacted the seller and let her know that I was on my way and would be a few minutes late - which was okay, thankfully. 


Practice:

So now I'm connecting with the external elements and my senses in a little park on the way home from that seller, with my feet in the water. I might as well let the disentangling happen here, at least part of it, enough for me to be able to walk home without risk of throwing up. 

...

Weird mix of thoughts about fleeing home (because of people and noice and bodily symptoms) and energy body opening up to spaciousness at the same time. Breathing is easy. Gaze is widened. Stomach ache and tics and other bodily tensions. Pleasant vedana from contact with the elements and some sensory input, unpleasant veda from some other input, all mixed up. 

...

When I connect with the outer elements, I also connect with the inner elements (dualistically speaking). That happens automatically. It's a way of tuning into different qualities. I think that for me the elements fill the role that the yiddam fills for tantric practicioners. It's much easier for me to relate to the elements and merge with them to feel the qualities "in me" than having to involve a persona. I'm not a very social person. The elements feel cleaner and more direct and less complicated. I feel like I have a good relationship with the elements. No unnecessary chitchatting there. 

I notice that some Tibetan everyday magick practices happen automatically. When I encounter happy beings I do the Yi Rang. When a child cries, I sing Om mani padme hung until they are happy again. 

...

More ease and spaciousness now. Just sitting here among the birds with my feet in the water. Will continue to do that for a while and then walk home, when the body says yes to that. It's a lovely weather. Doing metta on the birds and insects and the occasional dog. Not so actively on the people right now (they are scaring the birds and/or feeding them with bread that will make them sick).
Freya , modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 12:07 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 12:07 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 31 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Perfect thank you, the tree view totally sorted out the problem, I'll take a read later. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 12:32 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 12:32 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 6666 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Freya .
Perfect thank you, the tree view totally sorted out the problem, I'll take a read later. 



Oh yay! I’m pretty content with having found that solution on my own. I have no idea why it works and no idea how I got the idea. It just struck me that it might do the trick. Programming works in mysterious ways, just like life in general. Gotta find the hacks.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 12:48 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 12:48 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 6666 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Yeah? That thread clearly shows that I came up with the idea. That's why I reported it already in my post about the problem. I changed to tree view because I wanted to read Freya's post. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 1:01 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 12:51 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 6666 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I just wanted for someone to solve it technically so that people won't have to change to tree view just because they want to read invisible posts. I never learned programming but I have no difficulties finding user hacks. 
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 4:57 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 4:57 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 4484 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Yeah? That thread clearly shows that I came up with the idea.

Linda, did you think I was disagreeing with you?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 5:08 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 5:08 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 6666 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Some schamanic dance, or whatever it is, before supper. Both lunch and supper were consistent with a low histamine auto-immune paleo diet. About half an hour of yoga after supper. Much more space in the body now, flexibility and lightness. Stayed in shavasana for about 25 minutes after the yoga session. Went through very light bit clearly recognizable versions of all the formed jhanas. Got into something that started to morph into the first formless realm, without getting entirely formless, but then jhanic factors started to dissolve. Loud nada sound now, easy breathing, bliss. Yay! However, I have developed allergic rashes, possibly from the yoga mat (I used one made of wool). That's curious. Oh well, they don't really bother me. Oh, that's right, full ADHD medication tends to increase my sensitivities. I believe it's worth that price. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 5:14 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 5:14 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 6666 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Chris M
Yeah? That thread clearly shows that I came up with the idea.

Linda, did you think I was disagreeing with you?

No, not at all, but I wondered why you posted the link. It seemed like you implied that the thread showed where I got the idea, but it didn’t, so I was a bit confused. That's all. What did you mean? emoticon
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 5:21 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 5:21 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 4484 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I meant to show that you came up with the idea on your own - posted smiley and all.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 5:35 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 5:30 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 6666 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Oh. Well, that was nice! Thanks! 

You need to put in more context in communication with me, lol. Smileys don't really say much, as people smile for so many different reasons. At least that's my impression. Autistic over here. 

Sorry for not seeing that you were being so kind! 

Edited to add: When there is so little contextual information around something, it tends to make me uncomfortable, because I can't see what the point is, and that makes me consider all possible alternatives from earlier experiences, many of which weren't nice at all. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 5:50 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 5:48 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 6666 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Sorry about that! It's a very old survival strategy, deeply ingrained, too often well needed, and not yet disentangled. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/24/22 12:40 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/24/22 12:40 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 6666 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Thankyou Chris for explaining what you meant so that I could see that pattern for what it is! That's very healing. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/24/22 12:53 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/24/22 12:53 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 6666 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I had too much energy to sleep until very late (or early, depending on how you see it), and so I got hungry and ate some coconut (dried), which is supposedly okay with the elimination diet. It didn't agree with me at all. My tongue felt like fire and the rashes got worse. So now I have a hangover from the (pseudo-?)allergic reaction and from lack of sleep. There were thoughts that I probably shouldn't take the ADHD medicine, but instead let my body rest, but then I remembered that thoughts like that are what have made me take too little medication, which certainly hasn't worked well. My body is incompatible with itself. No wonder I'm struggling with hindrances. 

Took medication, aiming at getting out in my little garden. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/24/22 2:09 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/24/22 2:09 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

Posts: 6666 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Tulsi tea in the garden, medication, several chapters of Tim's book, and watching my cat sleep peacefully in the hammock, made the hangover go away completely. It really can be that transient. It's Midsummer Eve in Sweden, so I'm free from work (we are efficient about holidays in Sweden, so we even move the summer solstice to a Friday in order not to ruin the work week too much). I plan to spend the day alone, doing yoga and meditating at a forest lake. 

Conclusions so far: I need to stop expecting meditation to fix my life and instead fix my life in order to get meditation to work. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/24/22 7:44 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/24/22 7:44 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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About 70-80 minutes of reclining meditation, just allowing the breath to be pleasant and letting the focus be wide. Definitely jhanic territory, but with vague contours. I think I glided back and forth between the first three jhanas. Strong and lingering afterglow. 

The process communicated to me that it was time to meditate, just like it used to do. Or maybe I listened, like I used to do.

Before that I was having a food reaction. It seems that seeds are off limit now. Elimination diet is needed again, like I was beginning to suspect. 

I just took my third ADHD pill (after the session). I started a couple of hours later than yesterday, so I won't take anymore today. 

No dullness during the session. There were distractions in the beginning, as I had just listened to a youtube video by Forrest Knutsson on the tranquil breath, and I was eager to comment. However, I chose to listen to the inner calling instead. I ended the meditation not because I lost motivation or got dull or distracted, but because the process told me that it was time to be physically active. 

To anyone with ADHD reading this and wondering about medication: it definitely helps with the practice, and those (like B Allen Wallace) who claim that anyone can be free from ADHD just by training their mind, they simply don't know what they are talking about. Maybe it is theoretically possible if you train enough, but I don't see that much training happening without help from medication. 

For context, I set up the altar properly today and I enjoyed doing it as a tribute to Bodhicitta. 
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 6/24/22 8:02 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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I have a tendency, sometimes good, sometimes bad, to be very concise when I comment, so I'll add more context next time. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/24/22 8:22 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/24/22 8:22 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Thanks! Much appreciated. You know, you used to scare the crap out of me. You don't anymore. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/24/22 11:32 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/24/22 11:32 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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No lake today. I'm having Kundalini symptoms, and there's no way I'm going into any traffic. This was a bit unexpected. I should know by now that when I explicitly say that I miss them, they usually come back, but it surprises me every time. Anyway, they are welcome. I'll listen and learn. 

It's not bad really. I know that I need to surrender to it. As for now, it seems to want fasting and gentle yoga and silence and stillness and staying close to the ground, alone. When I obey, energy flows pleasantly. I can't really do much, but I don't need to. With Kundalini flowing, there is no such thing as being bored. Just touching the yoga mat with my palms without moving them is incredibly fascinating and fulfilling in a strange way. It's so tangible and apparently there, present and vivid, while at the same time totally nebulous. 

Easy breathing, loud nada sound. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/25/22 4:15 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/25/22 4:15 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Too little sleep followed by food reaction (peanut butter for sleep, actually recommended by a Lama; works like a charm, but right now it stagnates energy). Somewhat low. Period. Altar. Lots of rest and tulsi tea until I could retain food. Clean, healthy food. 

Shamatha and liberating dance, then shamatha again. Peaceful, nothing special.
Phase of embodied irritability and contracted fascia; stretching helped. 
Playing with singing bowls on body. Lots of stillness. Something (decentering?) is going on with the senses, but it's very subtle. The nada sound draws focus. Featherlight tingles in the face. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/26/22 6:10 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/26/22 6:10 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Contextual data:

I remembered to take enough medication yesterday, and so far I have done the same today, although I almost forgot to take the morning tablet of ADHD medication because I didn't feel foggy. I've had enough sleep, and I woke up early feeling fine. One of my cats was sleeping on my chest, which was sweet. He was keeping me warm. That was much needed, because I had been coldsweating for hours, sweating out the pms and all the excess water that comes with it. So definitely a hormonal change. I'm able to retain food now but I'm keeping it simple. The system seems to prefer very few ingredients at a time right now. No dairy, no grains, no starch, no seeds, no legumes except for sprouts for the time being. Some fruit seems to be okay, though, thankfully. I started the day slowly, with listening to some wisdom and having some tulsi tea in my little garden, accompanied by cats, and finished Tim's lovely book after making up the altar properly. Then when it got too hot out there, I went inside to practice. It feels like my physical body and energy body are rather in tune with each other today. 


Practice so far:

Yin yoga (which for me is very meditative; I can feel the rhythm of the attentional system and how things move around in the body on different planes).

A brief session of gentle yoga aiming at creating space in the body

20 minutes of sitting in one version of seiza posture, balancing at the edge of first jhana, noticing hindrances come and go and how subtle differences make the change. I got to first jhana by tuning into the silence interspersed in the nada sound, or the stillness interspersed with mind movement. I played with noticing how I constructed a center from which that space came even though there is no such center or space, and with letting it spread. Delicate balancing.

10-15 minutes of mindful movement mixing yoga and stretching with flowy spontaneous movement and making sure that it involved enough of the kinds of movement that makes the lymph flow. 

20 minutes of sitting in another version of seiza posture, once again balancing at the edge of first jhana, but this time using some very gentle pranayama. First I let the breath be slow and light and the gap between outbreath and inbreath long enough to feel a subtle pang in the heart as it demanded an inbreath, surfing on that spike of aliveness coming into being. After doing that a while, I changed to dividing the outbreath into two parts and the inbreath into two parts and synching that with a movement from mind to heart, from heart to belly, from belly to heart, and from heart to mind (temporarily assuming that the mind resides somewhere in the head region, which is a very non-Tibetan outlook). After doing that for a while, I just let the breath be subtle and pleasant. 

Some gentle movements to take care of the body.

Then lunch and now digesting the food while reclining, tuning into the stillness as well as the energy flow. 
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 6/26/22 7:56 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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... finished Tim's lovely book...

Tim Farrington? I'm curious - which book of Tim's? I've only read "A Hell of Mercy."
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/26/22 8:17 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/26/22 8:15 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Yeah. The California Book of the Dead. It's the fourth book by him that I've read. I haven't read A Hell of Mercy yet, but I have ordered it. I have read the monk trilogy before and can warmly recommend them. I'm bringing Slow Work to the lake now. 
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 6/26/22 10:51 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/26/22 10:51 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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I don't want to read more of Tim's books just yet. I miss Tim and I'm worried about Tim. I've reached out to him several times in the past few months and have not heard back, which makes my heart hurt because he was, when he was active here, smart, eloquent, entertaining, engaging, ethically aware, and yet fragile.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/26/22 11:19 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/26/22 11:19 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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I miss him too, very much. Don't take it personally that he doesn't respond. He can't. There is a pulse to his aliveness, and the outbreath and the pause after it are very long. I have been waiting for that inbreath for quite some time now. 

I know that he is alive, because I have him on messenger and send little messages now and then. Today is a good day. Not only did he at some point connect to internet with some device, but he also read his messages. He knows that I do that to check if he's alive, and that's the amount of communication that he can manage. 
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Jure K, modified 1 Month ago at 6/27/22 4:42 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/27/22 4:42 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Hey Linda : ) I'm reading through your log and I like the way you approach things with a gentleness. I also like how you incorporate physical movement into your practice too! Do you do this when you're experiencing dukkha nana type stuff or do you do it just for the enjoyment of it? Thanks 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/27/22 6:02 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/27/22 6:02 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Thankyou for your kind words!

I'd say that I do it because I can't do it any other way. It's a constant balancing act to make anything work at all, living with a minority neuro-wiring and a variety of weird sensitivities and with the responsibilities of a householder, so I have to be kind to my bodymind. If I could go about it more gung-ho without things falling apart, or at least had the energy to do it without having to take all these measures to muster up the motivation to even get out of bed some days, I probably would.

Having said that, I do believe that learning to take care of oneself is an important part of the path (if not in the waking up, which it might very well be too in some sense, then at least in the growing up part). I want my practice to benefit all beings, and I think it's important to remember that I'm a being too. If we all neglect ourselves in caring for other beings, in the end no beings will truly benefit. I often find myself devoted to inspiring others to take care of themselves, in my job and outside of it, so it makes me happy that you seem to find something inspiring in it. At the same time, I also fall back into judging myself for being too soft, lazy and a bit of a failure, so thankyou for reminding me that there's something skillful in it! 
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Jure K, modified 1 Month ago at 6/27/22 6:13 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/27/22 6:13 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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It's very skilful I think and graceful. I totally agree on the looking after the body/mind, I just have this bad habit of pushing myself a bit too much at times : / it's refreshing to see people taking different approaches, I can relax some what, Thank you.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/27/22 8:16 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/27/22 8:15 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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I had been planning to do another formal sit in the evening yesterday, but I lost my keys and it took me some extra time to get into my home and then I was too tired. I also didn't do any formal sit this morning or during the day so far because I went looking for my keys (which took quite some time without a car) and had to make several calls, and now it's time to get ready for work. Additionally, I have cheated with that elimination diet, because I can't deal with loosing my keys while practically starving, so I have eaten some peanut butter which I know that I can at least retain. I have taken my medication and I have connected with the elements in nature (since I had to look for my keys there anyway). I have slept decently. 

It feels like the energies are with me today, in spite of all the mess. I can feel them flow through my body, and there are pleasant tingles and spaciousness and nada sound and easy breathing. It would have been awesome to just immerse myself in meditation right now, for hours, but I can't. Duty calls. Instead I'll squeeze in a short sit now and more when I can, and I'll also try to remain mindful while working (I can't afford to lose any more keys, so that's essential). 
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Smiling Stone, modified 1 Month ago at 6/27/22 11:35 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Yep, I also miss Tim !
Sending him love, right here...
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 6/27/22 1:15 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/27/22 1:14 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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I haven't read any of his books. I'm waiting for this new book of his to come out! (I fantasise about him gone underground to write his new book, called Follow The Music) 

I keep shooting him an email every so often. Got only one reply but none afterwards. I did tell him it's ok not to answer my emails, as long he reads them. But my emails are boring. About me tending to my sick kid and me changing tons of diapers, and making sure my youngest doesn't pull our dog's and cat's tails and such. 

Yes, best wishes to Tim! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/30/22 1:30 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/30/22 1:30 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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I have had a bad few days, practicewise. A bad spiral. It started with some solidarity eating outside of my diet. For some time now I have been supporting a friend in taking her gluten intolerance seriously and made sure that staying away from gluten is easy at least at the get-togethers that I'm responsible for at work. Like me, she has difficulties with executive functioning, and I know how challenging that can be. In order for her to accept the "extra trouble", I've had gluten-free sandwhiches as well. So ironically, I have been neglecting my own diet for the sake of supperting hers. It has helped, and it's wonderful to see. However, it's probably time for me to let her diet stand on its own feet now. Apparently she has now started to keep a strict diet at home as well, and she looks so much healthier. Anyway, I did have some sandwhiches this Monday. One sandwhich led to two more (they are so small and so darn tasty). It's fibers and sourdough in them and I topped the dairy with vegetables, but that didn't help (sourdough is actually really bad if you have histamine intolerance). And then I tasted a small amount of Italian soft drink with orange juice in it (which is outside my diet) and sugar (obviously not good, even though it's a soft drink with less sugar). So then I got drowsy in the evening, missed both yoga and evening meditation, and...

The next day I woke up late, feeling like something the cat had dragged in. It took quite a while to get in shape for anything. I had housing support in the afternoon so I had to take care of chores in my home while the support was there. I also had work to do, so then I had to priorotize that in the evening, with the little energy I had left. I did a 20 minutes sit which was awesome, but obviously too short, and I neglected the yoga again, making excuses for postponing it until it was too late and I had to sleep.

When it was time for the RtS class at 2:30 in the morning, I was too tired, so I decided to sleep instead (the classes are recorded so it's okay to miss the live teaching a fee times, but it's very rare for me to miss a live class).  I managed to stay aware while falling asleep, for a while. Then I had a great workday, got lots of things done, but somehow I forgot to take as much ADHD medication as I'm supposed to, and then my judgement slipped and I had some dairy and sugar, and then I got so drowsy that I fell asleep on the yoga mat (thankfully it was at least after the yoga, so I didn't neglect that). It took hours before I managed to get myself into the bed. 

So this morning I woke up feeling like something the cat had dragged in again, with lots of bodily pain, but I've had enough of it, so I dragged myself out of bed early and took my medicine, did some yoga and cooked an artichoke (helps with histamine intolerance) and some tulsi tea (the same). I'm breaking the bad spiral here. 

I remember that somewhere in this I had an afternoon nap with conscious sleeping. I seems most likely that it was on the Monday before I got to work and had those darn sandwhiches. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 6/30/22 2:57 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/30/22 2:57 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Must be terrible not being able to drink and eat whatever you feel like. I don't think I have anything that makes me sick. Well, too much alcohol and even a little hash can make me sick. 

As of late I'm enjoying a couple of glasses of red wine I the evening. Get up with a slight heavy head but have no issues practicing walking for 35-45 minutes later in the day. But I can imagine how bad it would be to meditate the next day  if I drank a whole bottle! 

​​​​​​​Best wishes L! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/30/22 3:45 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/30/22 3:18 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Thanks Papa Che! Yeah, well, small actions have huge consequences for me, so I need to keep on my toes. 

At least the chain of dependent origination works with positive spirals too (I've heard there's a different name for that, but I think dependent origination is a good name for all of it, as long as karma is still happening). One gentle and really brief yoga session led to another longer session (still gentle and not that long, but it was what I could manage to fit in before work) and a brief body scan. 

I forgot to mention that I started the morning with the altar routine. 

On my way to work now through the woods, persistently shifting from heaviness and pain to spacious appreciation of the oneness with the elements beyond the boundaries of this body but including it. Hah, it really does work. Small actions, huge consequences there as well. Doing the Yi Rang too. 

Edited to add: there are theories about autism that suggest that autistic people have increased brain plasticity. That might explain why small actions leave so strong imprints for me. Together with the impulsivity of ADHD, that's a tough nut to crack. I can see why a tradition of collective renunciation can be helpful. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/30/22 4:39 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/30/22 4:39 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Contextual data:

Took all medications today and ate okay (some sweet fruit and strong pepper might backfire). Started the day with yoga and walked to and from work through the woods. Effective work day, physically active. Then housecleaning and laundry (6 machines). My favorite housing support person helped with the housecleaning, so no excess energy drain there. Still body pain from yesterday. 

Evening practice:

20 minutes sit (seiza)
15 minutes yoga for neck, shoulders and upper back
20 minutes sit (seiza, but the last few minutes I had to lay down on a bolster due to intense knee pain)
15 minutes yoga for the hips
20 minues sit (easy meditation pose, switched to crosslegged during the last few minutes)
15 minutes yoga for lower back pain

In the sits I did shamatha with wide focus. In all three sits I balanced on the threshold to first jhana, except for the last few minutes of them due to pain. First jhana is an excellent biofeedback system for noticing hindrances and nipping them in the bud. 

Alternating between sitting and mindfully doing gentle yoga feels heavenly. Both practices enhance each other. Meditation also feels heavenly after a busy and physically active day. It reminds me a bit of a fun exercise we used to do in swimming school when I was a little kid: running around and around in the pool, all of us, to make the water flow round and round, and then lay down and float and find ourselves floating round and round. A day with lots of motion makes the mind flow so pleasantly (energetically) until it settles in relative stillness. It feels like floating in a gentle stream. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/1/22 4:00 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 7/1/22 4:00 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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I allowed myself to sleep in today as I have flexible work hours and was up too late. When I'd had my eight hours of sleep, my mind surprised me by clearing up and getting into a meditative mode by itself. I had been awake earlier (a neighbor woke me up to ask if my electricity was out too; she thinks I'm an early bird because I sleep with the door to my little garden open) and thought about going up to do yoga but felt sluggish. So I took my ADHD medicine and thought I'd cuddle with my cat until it would kick in, and then both me and my cat fell back to sleep. It seems like it was just what my body needed, and so I woke up again suddenly feeling refreshed and clear.

I did the altar routine and found that I really enjoy it as a tribute to the awakening process. Also it reminds me to fill up my cats' favorite drinking cup with fresh water and to water my plants, and the prostrations feel great for the body as a little warmup. 

Then I sat down outside for a little while before I got the timer and a cushion. I was planning on doing the alternation between sitting and yoga. I still will, but I wanted to jot down some observations from the sit first, while I remember them.

I set the timer for 20 minutes and just sat with my eyes open, tuning into experience as it was experiencing itself. I was very noticably cycling through the dukkha ñanas over and over, rapidly, including the A&P as well. Not like in review, just some fractal thing. It was interesting. Previously I have had the subjective experience of the senses turning themselves inside out, but now it felt like the ñanas were turning themselves inside out. It was a very organic unfolding, actually somewhat pleasant in its own way. Kinesthetically it felt like a widening turning back into itself and doing a flip, like a moebius strip. Each flip was a fractal equanimity phase of the ñana and nondual.

The ñanas themselves all had their own characteristics:
A&P - a sense of bright clarity accompanied by sparkling at the crown and back of my head, like static electricity.
Dissolution - perception turning into a confusing jumble that is out of phase and can't be seen clearly.
Fear - a tight grip of the heart accompanied by thoughts that there isn't enough oxygen, rapid heartbeat and tension, but also a surge of energy.
Misery - remaining "bad" feeling but without that surge of energy.
Disgust - remaining "bad" feeling, with energies going heywire. Not clearly directed as in fear but entangled and multidirectional.
Desire for deliverance - the sense of a doer stepping in and thinking that it has to either power through or get away and sort of trying to do both at the same time because it sure ain't a quitter. Scattered. 
Reobservation - "Hey, wait a minute, it's not supposed to be fear now? Oh, the fear has company."

I found myself having to let go of resistance towards the ñanas in order to have the organic unfolding of them turning themselves inside out, and it was kind of cool. Just before the bell rang (or actually the drum roll), I was in misery and happened to see my cat sleeping peacefully. Two thoughts popped up:
"Antidote"
"No, I don't need an antidote. It's fine to just be with it."
Then the drum roll. It felt like great timing. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/1/22 7:05 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 7/1/22 7:05 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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The pleasant organic inside-out unfolding of the cycling continues on and off the cushion. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 2:14 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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I had an awesome day yesterday, remaining spacious and peaceful, even blissful, most of the day. That is, until I had some peanut butter in the evening. It made me dull and lazy. I fell asleep on the yoga mat again, thankfully after having done yoga. Once again it took me hours to manage to get into bed instead, and now my body hurts and I'm feeling foggy. It will pass, is passing already as I'm typing this, but there's no denying: I need to renunciate peanut butter. It messes up my practice. 

I wonder if the problem is chemical or if it's simply the craving and clinging to the taste that messes me up. Perhaps both. 

​​​​​​​Anyone else having problems like this?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 2:35 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 2:35 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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I put a tiny peanut butter jar on my altar as an offering just now, as a message to my craving patterns. It took strong determination not to lick the spoon. I hid the rest of the peanut butter behind artichokes in my fridge for now. 
George S, modified 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 9:03 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 9:02 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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I still struggle with chronic fatigue if I don't respect my limits. I can't work or exercise like I used to. Your food intolerances sound like a nightmare though. I'm sorry you have to deal with that. I'm lucky in that I can eat pretty much what I want. (Lots of people say CFS is related to diet, but I couldn't find much of a connection for myself. Maybe I didn't test diet enough, but my sense is that my CFS was more a case of burnout from driving myself too hard.) Coffee tends to mess with my sleep and energy. I'll have an espresso occasionally, which is wonderful, then the next day I'll be craving another and remember why I gave it up!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 11:02 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Afternoon practice:

- 20 minutes sitting, Matreya posture on the steps out to my little garden, eyes open, "dropping the ball". I managed to dropp the ball gently, not as if it were a hot potato. I could feel the realease happening as I did. Very nice. 
- brief gentle yoga session, close to 20 min, "movement medicine" https://youtu.be/WtVdCsyKrpI
- 20 minutes sitting, Matreya, eyes closed, anapana sati. I visited first jhana but it wasn't stable. I could feel the cycling going on in the background. Strong energetic tingling in the scalp. 
- brief gentle yoga session, a little more than 15 min, "yoga to improve posture" https://youtu.be/NOD2qIO3nKE. I could feel energy flow up through the crown. 
- 20 minutes sitting, Matreya, eyes open, anapana sati. Depth vision fell away. Nice pull towards to tip of my nose. Subtle dullness towards the end of the session. 
- brief gentle yoga session, 15 min, "yoga for hips" https://youtu.be/2znRsDGkcYQ. This took care of the dullness, temporarily.
- 20 minutes reclining, eyes closed, body scan. Improvement since last time I tried it, but I still struggle with dullness with regard to this. There were a couple of shifts when I came over some threshold which made it more lively. Yay for that! However, even after that, there were instances of strange forgetfulnes luring me into dream territory (for instance, I very clearly saw a man smiling, and he seemed so familiar even though I don't think it's anyone that I have ever met or even seen). Definitely room for more improvement. I know that this can be a powerful practice - after all, I have experienced it myself. 


Contextual data:

I have eaten well and taken my medicines and listened to the dharma, but I didn't do any morning sit or morning yoga. Instead I did some DhO reading, some gardening (while listening tonthe dharma) and - uhum - watched some startrek. 

I noticed myself procrastinating meditation even though I felt a pull to meditate. Sometimes it's like a part of me is ready to do anything that will distract me from practicing, even things that I don't even like. I guess there are compulsive patterns of dukkha that really fear extinction. Anyway, I stopped myself when I could see clearly what I was doing, and I could feel a release, and then I started the afternoon practice.

I think the reason that my practice seems to stagnate so often is that I'm resisting the path. Patterns that think that they are me, that is. I need to find ways to release that stuck energy, so to speak. Show it the joy of flowing freely. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 11:47 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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George S, do you get ill from the wrong kind of exercise too? I do if I don't coordinate breath and movement like I do in yoga. I used to have chronic fatigue to the extent that I thought it was ME, but I would also have intense reactions from even the smallest amounts of physical activity, along with the weird food intolerances, which led me to believe that it was mastocytosis, but tests for the latter came up negative. Having read up on Kundalini issues, it seems very likely that it's related to that (I'd had all the classic symptoms, such as energy shooting up through like a lightening bolt and exploding in my head; at the time I though that was either a stroke or panic attacks). A combination of yoga, meditation, strict diet and some supplements have helped me.

Earlier in life I have had somewhat compulsive relations to food. I never had any eating disorder, but before I got my ADHD diagnosis, I'd had several rounds of self-medicating with sugar (it could be fruit or juice, but the problem was the same). I thought I had a lousy character, but when I started medicating ADHD I noticed that there is actually such a thing as being content, having enough. I had never experienced that before. Those signals had never come through. It made me realize that most people don't have that intense struggle that makes them eat things they don't even like. Before medication, at my job, when there were leftovers from a coffee break with pastries, there would be a voice in my head that would never shut up. "There's some cake left. It would be such a shame if it were to be wasted, wouldn't it?" it said. "There's nobody there now so if you go now nobody will see how greedy you are", it said. "One of those buns would keep you from getting so sleepy", it said. It would go on and on like that, until there was nothing left. When I got my medicine, that voice stopped. What a relief! However, it leaves my body in the evening, and that's when I fall into temptations. My extensive food intolerances seem like a healthy thing in light of that, and I think they are. I think it's the awakening process stepping in and setting some boundaries. It's tricky though, because for a while I had a hard time getting enough nutrition, or so it felt. I just kept loosing weight, and I was getting weak. When I was able to tolerate peanut butter, it seemed like a life saver. My body is healthy and strong now, though, so I suppose it's time to stop clinging to that lifebouy. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/3/22 5:12 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Thoughts that resonate and feel helpful right now:

- From now on I'll be the best spiritual guide that this body could possibly have. Patient and loving and attentive to its needs.
- What little baby step in a positive direction is available in this moment?
- How does this resonate with my body?

Altar routine, listening to teachings, listening to my body, some well needed yoga, some nice massage (by myself), some letting go, some tulsi tea and cat cuddling, some just being in the garden, and so far a brief formal sit to check in. 
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Jure K, modified 1 Month ago at 7/3/22 6:18 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Sounds great Linda, glad you're looking after yourself : ) I was cuddling our dog and cat earlier, it was much needed nourishment.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/3/22 8:29 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Thanks George! And likewise!

I did some afternoon reclining bodyscan, and as usual lately it made me dull (it was at a time when the second ADHD pill was leaving the system before it was time to take the third one, and right after lunch, so that probably contributed to the dullness). I switched to tuning into the whole body and letting awareness sweep around in any order it liked, and the dull veil lifted somewhat. At one point, there was like a shockwave going through my left hip and into my thigh. It wasn't uncomfortable, just very sudden and surprising and intense. 
George S, modified 1 Month ago at 7/3/22 2:11 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Yes! “Post Exertional Malaise”, a big energy crash after any exercise which is too strenuous (basically anything which gets me overbreathing). It’s slowly getting better. Two years ago I would crash for hours after taking a shower, or be in bed for days after going out. Now I can walk, cycle and swim a bit, but running is still too much. At least I’m able to do the basics.

The CFS started after getting COVID, but in retrospect I think my immune system was already faltering before that. I went on an anti-viral medication when it was at its worst, which gave my immune system enough of a break to pull out of the hole. A couple of months ago I started on Armodafonil, a mild stimulant which is also used to treat ADHD I think. It seems to have given me a boost without crashing, although I’ll have to see what happens when I come off it. Other than medication, the main thing which has helped is respecting my limits and the warning signs of over-activation. Fortunately I was able to cut back on work (I still have to remind myself that looking after kids, cooking and home is also work!)

I feel like meditation has been a bit of a double-edged sword. It’s been good for my mental health and overall well-being, but releasing old stuff has also played into the energy/fatigue cycle. However it’s not like I had a choice given where my life was at, and I’m sure it’s all for the best.

I had some obsessive stuff with food when I was younger. When I got into spirituality in my late teens I thought I had to renounce everything to "get enlightened”. I gave most of my stuff away and a bunch of money, and I also strictly limited my food for about a year and became pretty thin. It was around the time my parents were getting divorced, and my father was controlling with food, so I’m sure that had a part to play in it. His mother was the same way and both her parents drank themselves to death. I’ve read that control issues with food and substances is a common pattern in families of alcoholics.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/3/22 3:08 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Respecting one's limits is really essential. I had to learn that the hard way. Being differently wired, like so many other autistic people (not that we are alone in it, obviously, but overrepresented) I grew up learning that my boundaries and limits didn't count. Like for you, my messed up energy/fatigue cycle can be explained in so many ways. It's complex. Still, I don't think it's a coincidence that we have both had our share of weird Kundalini stuff going on. It seems to me that it's related. I guess the universe got fed up with both of us mistreating ourselves. And yes, the healing process can be tough sometimes, but I think it's for the best too. I'm glad that you are taking care of yourself. 

I was too much of a coward to go for enlightenment as a teen. I tried it, had a clear vision of Shiva (? some blue dude with four arms, not as adorned as Vishnu is usually portrayed, but half-naked) which was very cool, but when I got into altered states and lost the sense of my body I chickened out and stayed away from the whole thing for two decades. You were brave! I can't believe I was so scared of jhanas. How did I even get into them, if I was so afraid? And how come I wasn't curious enough to stay on it? I don't even remember. Maybe I fell in love and got distracted. Or maybe I fell out of love and got distracted. Maybe both. Or maybe it was just too difficult to do that stuff without having anyone to talk to about it. I had never met anyone else who was into meditation and I only had one very new age-y book, and the book didn't say anything about what would actually happen. I still have the book. It sucks. I have no idea how those silly little exercises could have such strong effects. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/5/22 6:41 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Some energetic shift is happening that needs to find its own pace. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/6/22 4:14 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Chris M
I don't want to read more of Tim's books just yet. I miss Tim and I'm worried about Tim. I've reached out to him several times in the past few months and have not heard back, which makes my heart hurt because he was, when he was active here, smart, eloquent, entertaining, engaging, ethically aware, and yet fragile.

Chris, when you do get to read them, don’t miss Slow Work. While it’s heartbreaking in some ways, I think you would appreciate how he makes very human traits stand out as absolutely beautiful, often sort of ”by the way” in some subordinate clause. I haven’t reached the end yet, so I don’t know exactly how heartbreaking it gets, but so far the heartmelting wins. 
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 7/6/22 6:56 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Thanks! I'll read that one next.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/6/22 9:32 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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This is good, watching how all small little actions are intertwined and how one thing seemingly leads to another. It's not like it immediately makes me make all the right choices. Na-ah. I don't think I even get to choose what to choose. It seems to open up for some kind of alignment, though, and hopefully it will gradually weed out some obsessions that were never truly intended anyway. 

Right now the process seems to lean more into some yin type of baby steps rather than the yang baby steps that I had more in mind (?) when I started this particular log. I think it's helpful right now to acknowledge that these are steps too. Another way to think of it is the analogy I think I wrote somewhere above, of the floating part in an exercise we did in swimming school first running round and round in the pool, then floating along in the stream that had been created. It can be so hard to tell exactly when to run and when to float, as the practice isn't quite as straightforward as that kids' exercise, and the contrast of having to run again can feel so big. Thinking that it's all little baby steps takes away some of that polarization. It acknowledges more room for subtlety. The floating doesn't need to be several rounds around the pool for it to be worthwhile. It's not all on or all off. It doesn't have to be at full speed either. I think that sometimes some slowness can open up to nuances otherwise easily missed. 

It feels like I'm seeing something right now without quite realizing what it is that is seen. 

It also feels like confidence/faith/devotion, or whatever one likes to call it, is aligning itself again. That is beyond my control, but it's not random, and the lack of agency (as in a separate individual) does not make anything futile. 

Not sure how much of this is just pretentious rambling and how much is a process worth noting, but it's what seems to be happening right now through the filter that is apparently running right now. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/6/22 1:53 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Contextual data:

I have eaten and slept well and taken my medicines. So far I haven't done any yoga today, but I did some yesterday. It felt like my body needs some rest and lots of listening inwardly, like it wasn't time to push but to be very gentle. 

Practice report:

So I did deeply relaxing reclining meditation in my bed, letting go of layer after layer of tensions while tuning into the energy flow in my body as I was breathing slowly. I didn't measure how slowly, so I don't know whether it was HRV breathing or slower than that. I didn't make any effort to make it super slow, but it's possible that it was anyway. There were several shifts where tensions let go that I hadn't been aware of having, amd it felt deeply peaceful.

Then, like out of the blue, there was this enormous energy surge that blew through blockages in my feet. It's hard to explain why I'm so sure that it went through my feet, because it involved my entire body to the extent that my reclining body jumped up in the bed (!). I don't know how much, but I think it must have been like in the movies when they try to revive someone with electricity. It was not at all like when you are on the verge of falling asleep and your body jerks, but like an electric shockwave. I wasn't sleepy at all, but clear. I could feel that there was free flow through my feet, even my left foot which has had an annoying blockage the last few days with burning nerve pain. It went through that and it felt great, and it was as if my feet were dipped into balm. And at the same time it was so intense that my entire body jumped up and landed again. It was very similar to what happened to my hip in reclining meditation the other day.

A long time ago I felt a very similar energy wave going through a blockage in my hand (a yoga accident) when I swept over it with my other hand. At that time, that cured a main part of that injury. It felt like healing occurred now too. For quite some time after that shoch wave, the pain was completely gone. Some of it has come back now, and I can sense that there is still some blockage, but it's much milder. 

I don't know what the blockage is about, but I do know that my feet have undergone a huge physical change thanks to yoga, enhancing my balance and stability on the mat, and there's a sense of grounding in that beyond the mat as well. It's a much needed change, and further changes in that direction are most welcome. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/7/22 7:38 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Trying to find my way back to a more pliant and focused mind. Adi offers great advice in the recordings posted in this thread: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/24034565. I can feel that it works, because energy starts to build up the way it used to do in my more concentrated phases. I realize now that what I have described as light and unstable first jhana lately is not even access concentration. That's actually really good to hear, because then I know where I have done the wrong turns. 

When energy starts to build up, I can feel blockages on my left side, especially in my left foot and hip (as described in my question to Adi in the thread I linked to above). As previously described in this log, sometimes energy just blows through the blockages, or parts of them. This time it made them shake, but the energy couldn't quite move through, so instead pain was building up. 

Anyway, focusing on the breath felt quite pleasant and not boring. Sensations are getting more vivid. At times, the focus on the tip of the nose was feeling rather magnetic. There were several kinds of piti and times of slight euphoria. This is possible. 
George S, modified 1 Month ago at 7/7/22 9:43 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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I find that if I focus on spreading the feeling of piti-sukha throughout my whole body then it kind of dissolves or neutralizes painful blockages. My focus is still anchored on the breath, but it's like I'm using the breath to spread the piti-sukha around if that makes sense. If I focus too much on the blockages directly then it can sometimes make them seem even stronger or more painful. Ride the bliss wave!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/7/22 9:51 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Yeah, thanks, that's what I do. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I'm not particularly worried about it, as I have had worse blockages before. They will heal. I do wonder a bit, though, what is the wisest approach - continuing to build up energy, and if so, in what pace, or letting the blockages heal first. 
George S, modified 1 Month ago at 7/7/22 9:58 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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For me it seems like the body itself knows the answer to that kind of question, if I can get out of the way and let it do its thing.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/7/22 10:04 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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In that case, I probably need to keep building up more energy, because that is what makes it do its thing. It's probably also what I will do. I'm still not sure that's the sanest approach, though. It might backfire. But at least it's not in my head. 
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Jure K, modified 1 Month ago at 7/7/22 8:12 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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It's quiet the conundrum! Map it to what you have experienced in the past, which I'm sure you're already doing and be honest with yourself. One thing I do is to check if it does back fire will I have the time & space to work through it? Meaning do I have other priorities atm that really need my attention. Lots of love Linda, you got this!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/8/22 9:31 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Thanks George, that's good advice and much appreciated support. 

Since I do know from experience that the cost of backfiring can be too high, I decided to go with the advice by Adi in this thread, https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/24034565#_com_liferay_message_boards_web_portlet_MBPortlet_message_24043136, to address imbalance between attention and awareness, which I believe will help me to follow the advice by George S to stay out of the way and let the body do its thing (which is advice that I myself have given many times) without risking too much of an energy build-up. 

I intend to do all the exercises here, https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/ekrscz/samatha_practices_to_balance_attention_and/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share, one at a time, ten times each. I started with 30 minutes of practice 1. I did it reclining, in a somewhat heart-opening position rather than flat on my back. Knees were pointed to the ceiling. Lots of nada sound. I was feeling alert, no dullness. I kind of rushed though the first parts because it was the first time and I wanted to check if I remembered the instructions. I did feel relaxed, though. It was a very comfortable position. I had to adjust the position of my hands, because at first they were resting on my belly and that emphasized the belly movements too much, so instead I rested my hands on the pelvis where the belly breathing didn't move them as much. 

The parts where I paid attention to phenomena, using moving attention rather than awareness, were filled with dukkha. There's an inherent tension built into that. The separation is annoying. Still, I like the approach of going through all the sense doors and alternating that with letting attention wander freely, because it effectively deals with dullness while at the same time has a grounding effect. There's a bit of a struggle in letting go of a sense door, because some sudden sensory input, such as loud sounds, tend to grab attention. Turning up awareness does help with that. 

For me separating the sense doors pretty soon feels like a strain, as synesthesia kicks in. I don't know if I let go of separating them too soon. Maybe it would be helpful to spend more time working with one sense at a time as background to the foreground sensation of the hands touching. I tried it a little, but when I put a sense door in awareness instead of in attention, synesthesia kicks in automatically. I do know which input comes from the sense door itself and what is the synesthetic accompanying input, but it comes as a package and teasing them apart feels artificial. Thus in the section where the sensations of the hands touching were in the foreground, I spent most of the time letting all sense doors be in awareness in any form of packaging they presented themselves. That felt great. Experience became bright and light and pleasant. There was piti, lots of it actually, but it didn't get stuck anywhere. No stagnation. No pressure build-up. Breathing was very easy, as my sinused had popped open. There was a bit of that kind of vacuum that makes air flow into the sinuses on its own, but not to an extent that felt weird. 

I think the balance between attention and awareness still wobbled a bit back and forth. I'm also not certain that the foreground stayed in the foreground and the background in the background all the time. There are some really noisy birds outside (gulls) and I have the door to my little garden open. Most of the time when they were screaming, their sound sort of morphed together with the touch sensations in a funny way, together also with synesthetic effects such as light. At those points, I can't really say that the sound was in the background, but it also didn't really pop into the foreground, at least not separated from the intended foreground. It's more like they got packaged together. 

I enjoyed this. 

---

Contextual data: not sure why, but I was exhausted this morning, and when I finally woke up enough to see what time it was, it was afternoon, a quarter to one. It could be because I haven't done much yoga, or maybe because I ate too many sweet berries, or pms again. I feel fine now, though. I'll make sure to take care of myself well enough today. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/8/22 12:13 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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2nd round of practice 1 in https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/ekrscz/samatha_practices_to_balance_attention_and/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share, sitting crosslegged, 30 minutes. 

This time I think the ratio between attention and awareness was somewhat more inclined towards awareness from the beginning than the first time. I hope that isn't cheating. Different sensory input was allowed to stand out according to the instructions. However, it felt more organic, like a specific form gradually stood out more from the whole. Fast but gradually. More expansion and contraction, less binary. Less apparent dukkha. 

I took more time with the different sense doors this time, both in the part of using attention and later as background to the sensations of hands touching. In the former, I couldn't exclusively stick to paying attention to the chosen ksense door or doors, because sometimes some input was very sudden and intense, but the intruding input didn't startle me and didn't hijack futher attention but was relatively easy to drop. In the latter, sometimes some other kind of input popped into the foreground because of its intensity, such as when one of my cats suddenly jumped onto my lap, but it didn't linger there. Well, except when my cat walked around in my lap intentionally seeking my attention; that was hard to ignore completely. I decided then after a while to shift to paying attention to the combination of hearing and touch as my background instead of just hearing.

Turning up the awareness part of experience was relaxing indeed, and there were a couple of lapses into subtle dullness, followed by brief instances of distracted thoughts, but I got back on track. Less piti this time. Less clarity too. Synesthesia was there but less prominent. I remember that there was one time when I temporarily forgot which sense doors I was currently playing with and therefore for a moment or two held another type of sensory input in the background before I noticed it. It seems somewhat artificial to me to decide what is allowed to be in the background and what isn't, at least in a practice that is not absorption. I mean, if it's not allowed to be in the foreground and not in the background, then where is it supposed to be? I get that there can be different degrees of periferity, though. 

---

​​​​​​​I have also done some gentle yoga for the hips. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/8/22 2:16 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Some more yoga. Then 30 minutes of anapanasati with an overlay of balancing attention with awareness. Some releases occurred in the hips, but without that sense of being electrified. It was more like some larger bubbles coming out and making the flow more even. 

This kind of balancing feels like less of tunnel vision and more like there is bright space around the focus. 

Some discursive thinking occurred, but it was mainly related to the ongoing investigation. In the beginning, there was some DhO-related discursive thinking, but that dropped away. There was alertness. I was getting closer to jhanic territory, but absorption didn't occur. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/9/22 5:59 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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3rd round. I find the tuning of the balance a bit chunky. Increasing the awareness ratio makes it all too easy to space out. I need to work on that curiosity. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/9/22 9:49 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Anapanasati, for about an hour (?), reclining, tuning into awareness. Focus was glued onto the tip of the nose automatically after a while, or to what started out as the tip of the nose. It sort of morphed into some magnetic center as the breath got subtler. Before that, I recall feeling as if I didn't get enough air, but thankfully I had listened to Ayya Khema earlier today and remembered that when it feels like we need to take a deeper inbreath, that's exactly what to avoid. So I calmed down and trusted that the air was enough. I wasn't greedy for jhana, but equanimous about it. The piti was very smooth and even, except for one jerky kriya in the beginning. There was bliss at times, mainly on the mellow side, like a widely spread niceness. Just a sprinkle of something more euphoric at a couple of brief moments, without any hook in it. It was very peaceful. On occasion some thoughts would slip out, as if some part of me was distracted, but they were easily redirected onto the pleasant presence. No energetic pain. Nice afterglow. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/9/22 10:37 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Argh, now that the infrastructure of my mind is bathing in energy, my Tourette impulses to tic get stronger. I need to be mindful about it and let go of those patterns. Not easy. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/9/22 11:48 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Another hour of anapanasati to counteract the tics. Not enough juice for jhana, but it helped with the tics. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/10/22 1:52 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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4th round of Adi's practice 1, 30 min sitting outside.

Lots of piti just from sitting down on the cushion. The free-flowing kind, nothing that would get stuck.

 I cranked up the curiosity, both with regard to nuances of sensory input and on a meta-level. It's interesting to watch the shifts back and forth between more holistic sensing and the rapid shifting sensory input processed by attention. The holistic sensing is needed in order to get some sense of cohesion at all. Thus, it's definitely not the case that the touch of the hands is always and exclusively processed by the attention whereas the designated background is processed by the awareness. The latter is the case most of the time, when the background stays in the background. However, the touch area of the hands is processed by both systems in the brain. There's a fascinating dance going on there. It's what I often describe as reality turning itself inside out back and forth. It definitely feels less strained to let it do that rather than to insist on staying with the very binary bouncing between little dots of information one at a time that I associate with the attention system. However, returning to the attention system cranks up the investigation and can be used to avoid dullness. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/10/22 2:55 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Altar routine, asking for the awakened ones to work through me, letting me be the vessel and tool for the union of wisdom and compassion for the benefit for all beings. 

Anapanasati, 30 minutes, sitting outside, focusing on that exquicite dance that is the breath at the tip of the nose, with the pirouettes that it does at the end of each inbreath and outbreath. Some distractions (like hearing my cat chew on a dead baby hare - hard to be entirely equanimous about), but generally pretty good focus. Piti such as like hair standing up, warm buzzy tinglings turning my hands into an energy field, a sense of lightness, and brightness in the visual field behind closed eyelids. I could feel the happiness associated with letting go of anything but the breath. Lots of purple swirls which I ignored. Sometimes a very unstable nimitta embryo, like an unsolid bright orb at the center of the visual field. I knew that the light orb "was" the breath. Much too unstable to focus on it, though. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/10/22 5:12 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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15 min yoga, 5 min sit
some chores and a healthy breakfast (alfalfa sprouts and a fruit)
30 min yoga
second round of ADHD medicine
40 min reclining anapanasati 

Varying degrees of focus. Sometimes vivid clarity, sometimes subtle dullness, sometimes distracting thoughts as the mind let the breath slip into a solidified background while occupying itself otherwise. Lots of bringing the breath back into focus, which felt good. Loud nada sound at times. No sleepiness. Generally pleasant. At times the breath at the nose felt magnetic, but not enough to get into absorption.

Now my gaze is widened and breathing is easy, and the nada sound is quite noticable. Face muscles are relaxed. I can feel impulses to tic flooding the system, but it actually feels like ticcing would require effort. I'd say that's a good sign, as long as it lasts (starting to fade somewhat already, but I'll try to be mindful about it and let go of the reactive impulses when they kick in). 

time to cook lunch 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/10/22 9:25 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Afternoon sit, about an hour, guided meditation: Michael Taft's latest one at the Berkeley Alembic, https://youtu.be/5R1KGQlJc9Y

Imagining things is still not my strongest suit, but it's less difficult compared to what it used to be. I made some modifications. Instead of having visualized objects and their qualities move into me, I submerged myself in them and merged with them that way, similarly to when I submerge myself into a lake and merge with it.

I managed to stay away from dullness, except for a few brief instances of subtle dullness inbetween instructions in parts with very little to no focus. At one point I found that it was helpful to cheat a bit and turn the vastness itself into an object (a construct) when I risked getting spaced out. I know that's not the real deal, when the instruction is to let the mind be vast and refrain from paying attention to any object, but at that point I needed to back down to something more tangible. From there I could sway back and forth a bit between vast focuslessness and focus on vastness, enough to push my limit just a little bit without sinking into dullness. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/13/22 8:56 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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5th round of Adi's practice 1 for the purpose of balancing attention and awareness. 30 minutes, reclining. No dullness but a few instances of distractedness (worry, planning). Apart from that, the exercise felt fluid and vivid. The different sense doors really came alive. There is still a noticable aversion towards directing attention to some sense doors over others, though. At times it caused rather intense nausea/anxiety. Getting to the parts of the exercise with open awareness was always quite a relief. Keeping something in the foreground feels okay as long as all senses are allowed to be in awareness without "ranking" them with regard to which one is closest. The most nauseating part was keeping the touch of the hands in the foreground with only visuals in the closest awareness while ignoring both hearing and body sensations apart from the hands touching. I don't know why, but I felt like throwing up. I rushed to letting the other senses in for a while before I could return to it for a while again. Even writing about it I feel panic struck. I really don't know why. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/14/22 5:26 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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30 minutes of reclining shamatha with varying degress of jhanic factors, nothing that I would qualify as jhana. 

The same yesterday evening. 

I have been neglecting my yoga and been less strict with my diet. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/14/22 7:30 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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In my previous log, I jokingly had a little rant about how it should be time for that God complex phase that seems to be part of the path. I take that back. Hear that, Universe? There's got to be a better way. Please spare me and the people around me from that sort of development, for the benefit of all sentient beings! Please let me wake up in a way that doesn't involve huge investments in ridiculous views, shadowside reactivity and megalomania! 

How's that for an intention? Aced it. 
Adi Vader, modified 1 Month ago at 7/14/22 7:47 AM
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I am sorry if I am breaking the flow of your log, but just felt like expressing my thoughts here.

There is something called a human personality which develops through our life and which stays even after awakening. Often in writing what  is visible of the human personality is but one facet of it which is currently shining through the writing. The thing about the personality is that it always develops and changes through out our lives through life experience. The individual pushes in one direction, society pushes in the other and the personality lands somewhere in the middle. What may seem like a God complex could simply be an individual having a bit of fun emoticon. A fundamentally decent fantastic human being who has decided to show the middle finger to the world emoticon emoticon HAHAHAHAHAHA emoticon

​​​​​​​OK I will see myself out now emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/14/22 8:01 AM
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Well, I'm going for something less fundamental while keeping the decent and joyful part. I don't mind for things to get a bit nuts, but when it starts to get oppressive and power-hungry, I'm out.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/14/22 8:30 AM
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My disgust is just divinity having fun too. 
Adi Vader, modified 1 Month ago at 7/14/22 8:37 AM
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Yes I think it is!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/14/22 10:06 AM
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I figured you would say that. emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/14/22 11:49 AM
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6th round. Great clarity, no dullness, little to no distractednedd, no aversion, no doubt, no greed. No nausea. Great fluency in the shifts between parts. No sense of pushing sensory input away. At the end section, after a while the foreground disappeared quite a lot whereas the background stood out much stronger. If I hadn't read MCTB2 about how focus varies between the different ñanas, and experienced it so clearly many times before, it might have bothered me, but now I knew that it was still in the center. It was just the case that the center had dissolved. I had fun playing with that balance. When I tuned into it, I could clearly construct a center that was located where the touch between my hands probably was located. The dissolved part grew into a larger field of pulsating energy, and I thought that it's difficult distinguishing foreground from background when it's all just an unsolid energy field, but it turned out that it was possible to construct a foreground within that field with the rest of the field as background. No painful energy surges. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 29 Days ago at 7/16/22 4:31 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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I did a 7th round yesterday, which started out okay but ended up in lots of dullness. Not the sleepy kind, but the losing track of what I'm doing kind. It turned out that I had missed the alarm (I had accidently put a pillow on my ipad so I couldn't hear it) and ended up doing an hour instead of half an hour, which meant that I spent quite a long time with very wide focus, and I was reclining and it was time for my next ADHD pill (somewhat late even), so I guess the dullness was to be expected. I did get back on track, and at the very end I ramped up the curiosity and got rid of the dullness. 

I also did some anapanasati, not with my best focus, and I got back on track with my yoga. Since I'm broke, I ate some foods outside of my current diet because I was hungry. Generally foods considered to be healthy, like soy beans and chickpeas, but my body begs to differ, and so today my body pain is a bit worse. It's not too bad, though.

I started this morning with yoga, which felt great. 

I'm watching my own reactions to a disappointment go through all the dukkha ñanas, visit equanimity for a while, and then cycle the dukka ñanas again, and so forth. It's all different perceptions of the same apparent happenings, and they all feel equally real and equally unreal. I'm suspecting that the "real" equanimity is not to stay in equanimity ñana but to see the empty aliveness of all of it. But of course that assumption is also a view. 

I'm watching myself avoid my writing projects. There is aversion in seeing that, and it's clear that the aversion isn't helping. 

My little garden smells of death and decay as a dead bird is rotting on the ground. I'm watching the flies being very happy about it, and the limitations to my own sympathetic joy. At least I did include it in my Yi Rang. It is sort of wonderful that someone is happy about it. 
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Jure K, modified 29 Days ago at 7/16/22 5:32 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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I think I need to ramp up my curiosity too. Excellent stuff Linda!

Edit : its George btw Jure is my real name. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 29 Days ago at 7/16/22 6:03 AM
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Thanks Jure! Now you have me curious about how to pronounce it correctly.

I think it really is a lot about curiosity, which can be such a joyful thing and an amazing drive for the practice.

I remember an experience I had quite some time ago, around the time when I started to look into Dzogchen. In that session I had the experience of being God, not as a continuous entity but as being newborn in every moment and clueless in a wonderful way. Really experiencing every moment as new without any previous conditioning (not saying that there was no conditioning, just that the experience was that there wasn't). There was nothing to regret, no guilt, no shame, no shoulds or shouldn'ts. Just this incredible joy of coming into being, and lots of curiosity in that joy. I suspect that the experience was very similar to what people often feel when they experience salvation. It didn't stick, but what an experience! 

I also used to experience such an abundance of curiosity in my practice. I guess I sort of took it for granted. Now it seems like it takes effort to cultivate it. Maybe the sense of curiosity taking effort is something to investigate with curiosity. It really is a curious thing. It doesn't add up. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 29 Days ago at 7/16/22 6:34 AM
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Watching my avoidance of witing and really seeing the dukkha in it while refraining from self-bashing finally made a change. I'm now on it, reading the comments from the editors and ready to finish that text. Weird how anxiety lives its own life. The text is not the mess I remembered, but actually quite good, especially since it deals with what could very well be a minefield but in a way that adresses that risk pretty skillfully, and the editors love it. We create our own private little hells. 
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Jure K, modified 29 Days ago at 7/16/22 6:48 AM
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U-re is how it's pronounced. 

Yes I hear you with the "newness" of experience. I experienced it as a sense of wonder and amazement with everything. It comes up every now and then but not as much, it feels child like. I guess the curiousity comes back around eventually.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 29 Days ago at 7/16/22 10:33 AM
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8th round, reclining, timer set to 30 minutes but continued longer as I was in the midst of curious investigation. Some restlessness in the beginning, with discursive thoughts, about the writing among other things. Very little dullness. Lots of curiosity. 

The curiosity was mainly about what happens in experience when something is constructed as the foreground:

(1) There was no nausea this time in combining the sense of the hands touching with the visual field, but I noticed taking measures to avoid the kind of tensions that I think may have caused it before. It has to do with how I approach the visual field with eyes closed. Even without putting touch in the foreground of it, it can sometimes feel nauseating, probably precisely because of the issue that this exercise is designed to address (unbalamce between attention and awareness). Even though I know that the seeing behind closed eyelids isn't done with the eyes but with the mind (that's over-simplifying both the differences and the commonalities seeing with eyes open vs closed, but I won't get into that now), I still often need to intentionally relax the eyes from trying to focus. Adding the layer of hands touching as foreground increases the complexity. Keeping both in experience at the same time, both zoomed in in comparison to other sensations, and one more so than the other, takes some concentration. With the door to my little garden open, sudden and/or loud sounds compete about the focus, and the sensations in my visual field behind closed eyelids without absorption can be very subtle. In trying to bring them closer to the foreground than the sounds, I sometimes slip into using attention rather than awareness. This creates two different kinds of tensions - the already mentioned problem with trying to focus the eyes and the tension between the designated foreground of the sense of the hands touching. Attention in the sense of a narrow detailed laserbeam-type and "binary" focus doesn't seem to be able to embrace that much of experience at the same time, and I suspect that the nausea I felt before was due to trying to make it so anyway. This time I could feel very clearly how my eyes de-focused and how the eyeballs were "sucked back into their sockets" with the muscles around them relaxed, and I noticed as so many times before that it doesn't in any way hamper the "seeing", but rather the opposite. It would be interesting to investigate further how different combinations of foreground-background and sense gates can elucidate glitches in the optimal usage of awareness and attention, if there is such a thing. 

(2) I got curious about a very specific kind of bouncing in experience. It's not the kind of bouncing that stood out so annoyingly clearly before stream entry. Or at least, my experience is not the same. If it is the same phenomenon, my interpretation differs a lot. The experiences have something in common, though: they both relate to a center. This time it does not feel like there is a center that is the subject that has the sensation of something that is an object; it's not the bouncing between subject and object, or that kazoo player that Daniel describes in MCTB2 (bouncing between the sensation as it is and the interpretation of it, with the annoying sense of having access to sensations only through the interpretation that is just a pale echo pf the real deal). The bouncing that got me curious this time was the sense of sensory input from the designated background causing a reverberation in the designated foreground sensations, very automatically. Chirps from birds and other sudden sounds would be followed by an intesification of the sense of the hands touching for the same duration but with a slight delay (except some times when there seemed to be no delay, as it was all merged in unity). Like there was an anchor to those sensations, and any movement that would draw the boat away from the anchor point would be followed by the countermovement of the anchor pulling it back again. The louder the sound, the stronger the reverberation of the touch sensations. 

(3) Then I got curious about the difference between the modes with the above bouncing and the mode without it. I played with inclining myself back and forth between those modes. I'm not sure about this, but it seems like in order to establish a sense of something in the foreground, this kind of bouncing needs to appear. The bouncing is essential to constructing a center, and that involves both spatiality and sequentiality. I suppose that might pertain to different senses of there being a center. I saw before (in stream entry) how a specific kind of bouncing constructed the sens of self as a subject perceiving objects, and this foreground anchor-bouncing does something as well. The anchor doesn't stand out as something that knows the other sensations, but it does stand out like some kind of reference point, a here to the there of the other sensations maybe, or maybe simply as an anchor (which may not necessarily involve a sense of here and there, can't say really). In the mode where that bouncing didn't occur, I don't think that there was any sense of there being a figure-ground, but I'll have to investigate that further. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 28 Days ago at 7/16/22 5:23 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Ended the day with yoga, about 75 minutes. I have taken my medicines, spent time outside in daylight, ended a painful cycle of procrastination, and eaten well (although some salsa and sorghum flour and honey might backfire). I still have some body pain (mainly right shoulder and nerves in left foot), but there is a general sense of embodied wellbeing. There is spaciousness, and sensations have a pristine taste and a synesthetic quality. The nada sound is soothing and the silence behind it is rich. Breathing is very easy. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 27 Days ago at 7/17/22 5:28 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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I have taken care of myself fairly well today. Yoga, some anapanasati, some more yoga, and Adi's practice 1 for balancing attention and awareness. I just love it when the senses go into nondual mode. I have eaten well, taken my medications, spent time outside, and listened to the dharma. My muscles are sore because of the large amount of yoga yesterday so I had to keep it gentle today. Gentle and sweet. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 27 Days ago at 7/17/22 10:08 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Can't sleep due to lightshows and loud nada sound. Too restless to get into jhana. Bah! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 26 Days ago at 7/19/22 6:37 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Interesting! In Adi's discord channel there was a question about whether choiceless awareness can be taken to jhana, something like that, and the answer that done correctly it will take you to Niroda Samapati (forgive me for the spelling, which is probably incorrect). The short discussion there and some tentative playing with it was full of key pieces to the puzzle for me. Among other things, it helped me see how I have been stuck in false polarization in trying to understand how various practices relate to each other. It also opened up to an intriguing hypothesis as to why shamatha practice can be such a struggle for me although I stumbled into the whole jhanic arc without trying to do shamatha. What if choiceless awareness is the easy way into jhanas for the aversive type?! I've got to experiment with that! 

I had to feel into it immediately and so I set the timer for 20 minutes as a minimum, but I got so into it that I completely forgot about the timer. As far as "correct" choiceless awareness goes, this was a failure mode sit, but a very interesting one. There is so much subtle grabbing going on in my mind, and some not so subtle grabbing as well. It was interesting to notice the difference between getting into a chain leading to birth and getting into a chain of liberation. So subtle differences in responses leading to such huge differences in outcomes. I mainly noticed differences in affective responses. I still haven't memorized the names of different steps in those chains, but I could see that vedana would often be brought in automatically but that building upon the vedana was optional. I noticed that when there was no building upon the vedana, there would be a little outburst of bliss. I also noticed that building upon that bliss was optional as well, and it dawned on me that that's where I go wrong when I fail to get into fourth jhana. That subtle little inclination to let the bliss be born. So that's how to incline oneself towards a specific jhana! So I played with letting go of that little inclination, and my experience definitely got closer to 4th jhana. More often, vedana would not automatically be brought in with sensory impressions. I wasn't absorbed enough to call it jhana (I set my bars pretty high, and that goes for "vipassana jhana" as well), but I would say that I was playing with and investigating some factors of it. I also recognized that this was how I stumbled into the jhanas in the first place. It was no coincidence, not some grace bestowed upon me out of the blue. 

I think most instructions for how to get into jhana are based on what works for the greed type practicioner. They are most likely to have an affinity for absorption, after all. Maybe that's why there is so little of that in the oldest texts. It seems to me that the historical Buddha was an aversive type practicioner. He probably stumbled over the jhanas too just by getting tired of the steps leading to birth, rather than by falling in love with the breath. 
Adi Vader, modified 26 Days ago at 7/19/22 7:16 AM
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Hi Linda, you might find these two articles interesting. Please check them out.

https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/patiw3/samatha_vipassana_the_midl_practice_of_nirvikalpa/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

https://www.reddit.com/r/Arhatship/comments/s96m8v/a_comparison_of_cessation_in_the_progress_of/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 25 Days ago at 7/19/22 11:37 AM
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Yes! Awesome! I just started reading the first one and got so excited that I felt the urge to express my enthusiasm. This is exactly what I needed. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 25 Days ago at 7/19/22 11:52 AM
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It is very much in line with what I already do (intuitively) and how I already understand things, so it resonates a lot, and it provides hands-on tools for doing it better (adding systematicity) and understanding the process better. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 25 Days ago at 7/20/22 7:45 AM
Created 25 Days ago at 7/20/22 7:43 AM

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It was time for my regular "disantangling" practice today, which I have now learned is an immature form of nirvakalpa samadhi, jhana without support, just as I had suspected. It feels good to have that confirmed. It took me some time in my earlier practice to figure out on my own that it was indeed about concentration, just not with a specific focus, and that it was leaning more directly towards nonduality but that the Theravadan jhanas do that too, albeit more indirectly and in very distinct steps. And then I had to figure out just how much duality is still left there as it's still not the real deal. Interesting territory, playing with the different ways to let go of dualities and the different ways of getting absorbed, and thereby finding out where the remaining glitches are. It is helpful for me to make it an investigation quest rather than to get invested in a specific outcome, at least at this point. Outcome goals tend to ensnare me. 

The disentangling feels heavenly. I call it disentangling because that's what it feels like: constricting tangles being sorted out. And I don't even have to do anything to make it happen. Not at that point. However, I can't make this my only practice, because then it loses momentum. 

Sometimes when something disentangles, the energy that was invested in keeping that tangle together is released in a way that manifests as light. 

Sometimes in the midst of the disentangling, a strong sense of clarity and presence comes about that does not feel like absorption but more like rigpa. When that happens, I can see how dense and "in a bubble" the disentangling state still is, even though when I'm in it, it feels very flowy. I'm hoping that a mature version of it, the real nirvakalpa samadhi, can help pop the bubble rather than being yet another trap. At the same time, I kind of like the option of going into pleasant bubbles too. Being able to go in and out would be nice. 
Freya , modified 22 Days ago at 7/23/22 6:13 AM
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How interesting, I experienced something very simmillar on my recent retreat when working on the 8th fetter. The more I unravelled the sense of the self and other (ie comparing myself to others etc) the strong sense of it came on. By "it" I felt something that was not an absorbed state, but becoming one with infinite love, or  infinite peace. I felt I had finally seen my true nature. Rigpa is a great word to use. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 22 Days ago at 7/23/22 6:59 AM
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Nice!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 22 Days ago at 7/23/22 7:22 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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I did the 9th round of Adi's exercise 1 twice, because the first time (the day before yesterday) it was too bad to count. It was the peak of an extreme heat wave and I had had some dairy and run out of tulsi tea, so I was dull. The second round (today while travelling by train) was better. I'm very tired but I was able to stay with the task anyway. Inbetween those sessions I have done some more disentangling, revisited the spontaneous movement practice, and done some standing meditation with eyes open while waiting for the train, anchoring my eyes loosely on a surface while allowing the gaze to widen, and from there relaxing into nondual awareness with jhanic overtones. It's the perfect thing to do while waiting for trains. I used to do it very often, but I haven't travelled that much since the outbreak of covid. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 20 Days ago at 7/24/22 4:34 PM
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Today's practice has involved yoga, spontaneous movement in water, and enjoying the sensations of being dissolved. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago at 7/27/22 9:08 AM
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I have had a couple of days with poor focus. While waiting for my little salary, I ate some foods that aren't included in my diet, because, well, I was hungry and the opportunity was there. I played a bit with letting go of the dullness rather than efforting through it. There's a little sweetspot available sometimes that allows that, in the midst of brain fog. Amazing that it's possible! But it's not like I can go from there to doing advanced exercises. I merely stay on that threshold, balancing. Now I'm in the fog, now I'm not. Now I am, now I'm not. It's like dropping a heavy veil. Really dropping it rather than lifting it. It habitually comes back, but it seems possible to eventually drop that habit entirely. I'm not saying that it would take away tiredness and lapses in focus, but there seems to be a layer to it that is just optional. 

I have also done some yoga and some spontaneous movement and some disentangling. I just spent an hour disentangling and really soaking in it. Ah, that was so well needed! I feel renewed. 

This very early morning (before I went to sleep), I attended an RtS class with Michael Taft. We are now working with the recognition sutras, translated and commented by Christopher Wallis. That's nondual tantra, Kashmir Shaivism. Michael doesn't necessarily agree with Wallis about the origin of the tradition being hindu, as it might be the case that both hinduism and Tibetan buddhism both got the influences from something that was prior to them. Since we have spent quite some time exploring Tibetan Buddhism before this, it's interesting to compare notes. We have only started this exploration, but so far it feels a bit like coming home. In reading Wallis's spiritual introduction to the book, I recognized a lot from my own log over the years. That was somewhat funny, because some of my classmates (and Michael too!) commented that those phrasings were overly sugarcoated and woo woo. And here I thought I was the aversive type and a bit of a tech nerd.  

It's very cool that the text has survived for so long, throughout all sorts of historical tumult and chaos, thanks to families who kept the tradition of retranscribing it on birch bark regularly over many generations so that it wouldn't be forgotten. What a gift to the world! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 16 Days ago at 7/28/22 3:18 PM
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30 min yoga in the morning (gentle)
40 min yoga in the afternoon (more challenging)

10th round of Adi's exercise nr 1 for balancing attention and awareness, sitting, 30 min
very brief stretching
30 min anapanasati, sitting

Adi's exercise is getting more fluent. No uncomfortable tensions in the focus. Some emotional stuff came up, and for a short time it was distracting, but then it was so obvious that the emotions aren't me or mine that they could no longer distract me. It made me wonder how I could have forgotten that, how that identification could grow back again. At the end of the exercise there was some subtle dullness, but when seen through it was let go of. 

The anapanasati was not jhanic, but more about laying a foundation. A friend was snoring in the background and my back hurt a little. I watched out for hindrances and was pleased that I noticed them and could let go of them. New ones kept coming up, but they were all subtle. Earlier in my practice I would have been annoyed by the snoring, but I wasn't, except for the fraction of a second when the sound got extra loud. There was a nimitta embryo and some pleasant tinglings. No coarse piti. 

Edited to add: another 30 minutes yoga session. There was a nimitta embryo.
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Helen Pohl, modified 16 Days ago at 7/29/22 1:17 AM
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Actually I do think I know what you mean by "nimitta embryo" but could you elaborate?  What was it like? How long did it last? emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 16 Days ago at 7/29/22 3:23 AM
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It lasts a long time sometimes, like the most part of a session, and when it doesn't, at least it reappears very often and stays long enough for me to get the sense that it's a fairly reliable presence. However, it's not stable enough to shift the focus to. Also, it's not a strong light, not one bright star. It's more like a cluster that forms an orb, and it's red (actually it's made up of several arising and passing little lights, but the cluster orb that it keeps manifesting as gives a red impression). 

Earlier in my practice, this has been a stage in developing concentration, so I'm familiar with it.
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Helen Pohl, modified 16 Days ago at 7/29/22 3:59 AM
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Thanks!
​​​​​​​I've seen similar things for short periods. A small point, or sometimes like the bottom third to bottom half of the field of 'vision" lights up for a while, as if someone pulled up a blind.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 16 Days ago at 7/29/22 7:02 AM
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Sometimes (but not always) when specifically the bottom field lights up like that, it's because the eyelids blink open with a tiny little gap, I remember noticing (to my disappointment). The small point, on the other hand, is mindmade. 
Adi Vader, modified 16 Days ago at 7/29/22 7:35 AM
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Hi Linda. Has the energy blockages and related discomfort mellowed down
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Helen Pohl, modified 15 Days ago at 7/29/22 11:09 AM
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You may be right. Just one third like that seemed very odd to me.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 15 Days ago at 7/29/22 2:49 PM
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Yes! emoticon Thanks!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 15 Days ago at 7/29/22 2:55 PM
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It did to me too. You said it yourself - as if someone pulled up a blind. And yet it took me quite a while to realize that someone actually did. The eyelids are like blinds, after all. emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 15 Days ago at 7/29/22 3:17 PM
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I started the day with devotional dance and chanting, for a couple of hours. Lovely! I did the altar routine too, and later some yoga. Then I worked like crazy and forgot to take my medz in time, and thus had a very contracted phase. But then I went to the lake and did some spontaneous movement practice in the water and took a swim, and then meditated with eyes open for about an hour, merging with the nature on that magical threshold where both emptiness and form are present together and engage in a dance. The boundaries of my body were dissolving. Then I did some walking and noticed that the ability to see about 240 degrees around me when looking straight forwards is back - at last. It disappeared in a winter depression, not this last winter but the one before that (where I live the sun didn't shine for a single hour, maybe not even a minute, during the entire month of November; it was an extremely dark and cloudy autumn and winter). I never really got that mode back after that - until today. It feels sooooo good. It's like the texture of reality is so smooth. Walking and experiencing involves much less effort. It sort of feels like I could float. 
Martin, modified 15 Days ago at 7/29/22 3:17 PM
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I get cluster nimittas, too. Mine are blue but at one point I used to play with them. If blue stars showed up, I would try repeating "red" and they would change to red. Other colors weren't as easy. Also, I found that I could call up a nimitta with very little preparatory concentration by just repeating "blue". This would work as a kind of a filter that brought attention to everything blue that showed up behind closed eyes, and sort of maintained those blue things, or at least inclined the mind toward maintaining blue things. Anyway, the interesting thing is that it seems to be possible to develop and manipulate these cluster nimittas by nudging. I don't know of any particular benefit to playing around in this way, but it can be fun. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 15 Days ago at 7/29/22 3:22 PM
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I used to do that too. Thanks for reminding me! I could change colors back and forth for quite some time. However, Michael Taft adviced me not to. I suppose he thought it would be better to let it stabilize before meddling with it. But I agree that it was fun.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 14 Days ago at 7/30/22 5:30 PM
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First round of Adi's practice 2 for balancing attention and awareness, sitting, 30 minutes.

I find the concept of touch points describing large areas somewhat confusing, as each of those areas have a myriad of touch points, but okay, I did some heavy generalization there and tried not to be so perfectionistic about it. I chose a sequence of touch areas to shift focus between in a predetermined order, and I let the focus shifting begin. There was a bit of delay in the shifts a lot of the time, but there was improvement. I find that shifting focus deliberatly takes a great deal of effort, so both gross and subtle dullness arose. I managed to get back to the task over and over again, throughout the sit. The dullness increased when I tried to tune into more awareness while maintaining the deliberate focus shifts, so I had to go back to more attention in order to maintain the sequence. I wasn't able to play with different combinations of senses and increasing the complexity by adding more. There's definitely room for improvement there. I would guess that the ADHD makes this tricky, so repeating a structured exercise like this is probably very helpful. 

Context: health not at its best, as I'm still waiting for my tulsi delivery. My home feels a bit crowded as I have a visiting friend and I'm too introvert to fully appreciate the company the way it deserves. Did the exercise too late at night. Had only done a small amount of yoga today. 

I woke up with heavy brain fog today and pain basically everywhere, but it really helps to look at brain fog as a matter of tuning into a radio channel. It's not really fog, but rather the case that the mind is only partly tuned into consensual reality while at the same time also partly tuned in somewhere else, like a dream realm. While being perfectly tuned into consensual reality feels clearer, one could argue that it's ignorant if one doesn't know of any other possible tuning. That kind of clarity is delusion. Being partly tuned into something else can feel very hazy, but at least there is knowing of more than one channel being there. That knowing also makes it easier to let go of the suffering, and so, as if by magic, suddenly both the fog and the pain are gone. My visitor was very surprised by that sudden change. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 13 Days ago at 7/31/22 11:25 AM
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So far today my practice has been a fusion between yoga and spontaneous movement/liberating dance. I have also practiced some headstand, with support. I'll continue to use support until I'm sure I won't break my neck, but I was surprised that it was so easy. 

Funny how apparently the dude who claims that I disillusioned him from teaching now teaches spontaneous movement after I told him about it. I guess talking to me wasn't such a sacrifice after all. May it benefit all! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 13 Days ago at 8/1/22 6:26 AM
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Second round of Adi's practice 2 for balancing attention and awareness (https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/ekrscz/samatha_practices_to_balance_attention_and/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share), 30 minutes reclining, followed directly by 15 minutes of focusing broadly on the breath, also reclining. 

I really don't like this exercise, which is probably pretty much exactly why I need it, so I'll keep doing it anyway. Intentionally steering around the attention is a drag, and there seems to be a glitch between doing that and having the chosen area come alive feeling itself. It seems like two different gears that don't know how to work together. Yet. So I get dull and forgot what I'm doing, or forget where I'm at in the sequence. I start the sequence over, again and again, and it gets less dull for a while, and then I forget again. I bring back the focus again, rinsing and repeating. At least this time I got to working on the awareness part, just a little bit. I started with adding the breath to all the touch points, and after a while I broadened it to more of the touch sense. That was complex enough for this time. 

I was doing the practice with somewhat fewer touch points this time to make it simpler. I think that next time I'll choose even fewer touch points to start with, and continue with that until the whole exercise works well enough, and then after that I can add some more touch points. I wonder how few touch points I might need to work with in order to go through with the entire exercise without losing focus. I suspect that I'll have to build it up very gradually. Perhaps I'll try just two or three touch points and stay with that 10 times before moving on to increasing the complexity. 

After that practice was done, I was eager to jot down some notes, and discursive thinking started spinning. Since this is a tendency that I know holds me back, I delayed acting on it by focusing broadly on the breath. Both restlessness and dullness showed up, but I knew that it wouldn't kill me to wait for 15 minutes, and since I wasn't going to give in to the impulse to write, I might as well just enjoy the breath for a while. And part of the time, I really did. There was bliss. No coarse piti. 

Contextual data: still waiting for delivery of tulsi tea, so somewhat foggy. I haven't done any yoga today yet (will do, now). I had only taken one ADHD pill, and too late (took the second pill just now). I had stayed up too late, and yesterday I had both starch and dairy. I have missed a deadline for a writing project, again, so I'm stressed about that. Not beating myself up, though. At least not actively fuelling it. I have eaten a fresh cooked artichoke, which is healing food, so that's helpful, and had sage tea. I have also had too much sweet fruit (dates and frozen cherries), which probably wasn't a great idea (especially not the dates; I get a jhanic taste from the cold sensations on my lips from the cherries, so they don't seem to hinder me quite as much). I haven't been outside in my garden, because I just got back a missing cat, and I want to keep him inside for a while now, so I need to keep the door closed. Not Morpheus this time, but Ezekiel. He didn't like it that Morpheus came back, after he had gotten used to having more space, so he started to stay away from home. And when he stays away from home, he eats more mice and gets worms, and that makes him want even more space (he has both downward spirals and upward spirals as well). So now I'm deworming him and spoiling him with cuddling, the latter of which is great for both of us. However, my body needs the daylight, especially in the morning, so conditions aren't optimal. Of course, they never are. Can't just hang around waiting for that to happen. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Days ago at 8/2/22 4:37 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Did Adi's practice nr 2 for balancing attention and awareness, limited to three touch points. 30 minutes reclining. Didn't get to developing the awareness part as I'm still struggling with intentionally shifting focus. I did notice something, though, or return to an old observation again: Every time I managed to shift attention to a new touch point, it was very clear that it was already aware. That old kazoo player again. Gotta love that analogy. 

Oh, and by the way, yesterday I learned that overturning from a headstand need not involve breaking one's neck, just crushing some furniture and one's ipad. I guess that's good news, because obviously I'm not always as cautious as I think I intend to be. 
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Sigma Tropic, modified 11 Days ago at 8/2/22 7:55 PM
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö

Funny how apparently the dude who claims that I disillusioned him from teaching now teaches spontaneous movement after I told him about it. I guess talking to me wasn't such a sacrifice after all. May it benefit all! 


I learn something from everyone
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Days ago at 8/2/22 9:42 PM
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I'm loving the recognition sutras. It feels like coming home. I have been that unconditional joy that is God coming into being every moment. I think I'm starting to find the handle to that recognition. Going back and forth between nigraha (concealment) and anugraha (revelation) is fascinating to play with. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 10 Days ago at 8/3/22 2:44 PM
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I'm freer than I tend to think that I am. This has very little to do with attainments. It's rather an observation on the infinite availability of openings. Things pop open, and when they don't, I can just take a step back and notice that things are just happening and that identification with it is often just optional. Also, when I'm on the right track with something, there is resonance. Thanks to that, I can act with confidence. When reactive patterns are at play, I can recognize the contraction and take a step back. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 8 Days ago at 8/5/22 5:31 PM
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Online retreat with Michael Taft. Prioritizing sitting over taking notes. 

Was able to do headstand for a little while without tipping over. On the second try I did tip over, and my neck is still intact. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Days ago at 8/6/22 2:03 PM
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Still on online retreat but was held back by some avoidance issues re a book chapter that I should also finish pretty much yesterday. Got som help from a new dharma friend that lured out my curiosity about facing the fear. So then I actually did some work on that book chapter. Until I found myself all confused and tired, and then I realized that I had forgotten to eat and take my medz. So then I did that, and with some yoga, and then meditation got better. I went outside to meditate and listen to Michael's dharma talk. In my meditation I used a mantra (Om namah Shivay; it's not like there's a solid Buddha entity that's gonna be jealous anyway) and tuned into how it was doing itself and how even the subtlest subvocalization is doing itself and how tiny sparkles of attention activate sensations (those champagne bubbles) on the lips for sounds where the lips would touch, but how there is no need to identify with the doing of it. Then I had my interview with Michael and got some well needed advice on a small fork in the road. Then I did some chanting and devotional dancing out there on that little hill, and accidently scared someone away. So that's how you get to stay undisturbed in your meditation outdoors? Ha, I can do that. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Days ago at 8/6/22 2:18 PM
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This time when I tipped over from headstand I managed to roll around rather gracefully, but ouch, how that hurt my clasped hands. I managed to bruise them. I need to remember to let go of that grip before rolling.

My plan is to do some shamatha now, but my mind is racing, so we'll see how that goes. At least then I might be able to lie down without getting dull. It's not so much discursive thoughts spinning around, more a sense of movement and a frantic entusiasm from the dancing. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Days ago at 8/6/22 3:55 PM
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Now that actually works. It seems counter-intuitive, but it works. I have a pathway from frantic into jhana. I guess that basically means that I'm nuts. Can't say I'm surprised. 

So. 
1. Get extatic.
2. Calm down fast with slow breathing while reclining.
3. Direct the energy onto the breath or some other object of choice.
4. Soak in the object that merges into the energy (this dissolves the duality).

This gets very dense as it's crazy attention-based, and it's important to find body positions that allow the energy to flow freely, because otherwise it will zap you.  It's probably not very safe and probably not very sane, but God does it feel good once in a while.

This was a light absorption, but I recognized the pathway. The static screen was on its way. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Days ago at 8/6/22 4:03 PM
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Okay, I'll give you this: you encouraged me to trust my intuition and develop that practice. It was a well-timed little push. It turned out to be an amazing practice. Thanks for believing in me!

I learn something from everyone too.

It might be a rather insane practice, though, lol. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Days ago at 8/7/22 12:49 AM
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There was lucid dreaming, exploring how the mind could develop such a seemingly stable environment. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Days ago at 8/7/22 10:11 PM
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Energetic sensations throughout the day (like being carbonized + loud vibrating nada sound). Can't sleep. Kriyas in my left hand. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Days ago at 8/8/22 4:26 PM
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45 minutes of shamatha focusing on the breath at the nostrils + a mantra in the background (internally). Strong jhanic factors apart from discursive thoughts distracting from real absorption. No dullness. Reclining constructive rest pose, then shifting to reclining butterfly. Experience not nearly as fine-grained as I know it can be, but getting there. It's getting bubbly, or foamy, or a bit sparkling at times. I think the mantra addition brings more spaciousness. It makes it feel less dense and somewhat smoother. Since I love listening to mantras and chanting them, they tend to be there as earworms anyway, so I might as well make use of them. They mix well with the breath and the energetic sensations that represent the focus on the breath. My former aversion to shamatha is gone. It's hard to imagine how I could find it boring. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Days ago at 8/8/22 5:39 PM
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By the way, after pondering some forks in the road, asking around for more meat to the bones of my hypothesis about some axis in the practice, and eventually discussing it with Michael, I have come to a decision with the regard to my practice for the time being:

I miss having reliable access to the jhanas, so right now I will prioritize getting into them in whichever way works best for me right now. I will play around just a little bit to see what ratio of attention/awareness does the trick most effectively. Then I will focus on the chosen ratio and learn to do it well. After that, I will play with the parameters more actively to explore the entire axis and increase my flexibility. Michael said that if I want to do the jhanas, I should focus on that and put anything else in my practice on hold for a while. I have been feeling scattered for quite some time, so it's a relief. Even just coming to that decision feels a bit like opening the tap to something. Several people have encouraged me to get back on track with the jhanas, all in their own helpful ways (not least Sam, actually, before "the shitstorm"; reality isn't black and white), but since Michael talks so much about awakening not being about special states, and Lama Lena too, I guess it hasn't felt like my main priority. Theravadan-based practices - the combination of vipassana and shamatha with an object, using lots of strong focused attention - have pretty much felt like a guilty pleasure. At the same time, I've had the nagging feeling that maybe it suited me better after all. I find that the differences between the different yanas tend to get exaggerated, but it's also true that sometimes a small shift in a stance makes a big difference. It's not like anyone else decided for me or told me what stance to take. It's rather the opposite - I have been encouraged to explore what works for me. It was just my own hang-up that kept me scattered. 
Adi Vader, modified 5 Days ago at 8/8/22 10:11 PM
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I think your decision to deepen jhana practice is a really good decision for two reasons:

1. Being a regular jhana practitioner supercharges insight practice. The deep samadhi makes insights richer, sink in deeply and cause transformative changes in our mental models and therefore affect / emotional states

2. Your intuition is driving you in that direction. Once sufficient direct experience in practice has been accumulated, its good to heed intuition.

Regarding the attention - awareness balance. Its my opinion that pain in meditation - head pressure, meditator's iron skull cap, painful energy in the spine, painful energetic phenomena anywhere in the body - these are all unnecessary. And to a large extent - based on my small sample size - they are all related to excessive power in attention. My suggestion would be that you use such phenomena, in case they occur as a bio feedback mechanism telling you to shift power towards awareness. Settle on a mix that does not include painful or disfunctional phenomena of any kind. 

I see theravadan practices as requiring 'flexible attention'. You should be able to stabilize it on demand or use it like a whip or a rapier, move it around intentionally or permit objects to self select. But theravadan practices require sampajjana or clear comprehension. This is Metacognitive introspective awareness in TMI terms and it develops only when awareness in general or introspective awareness is also powered and trained to be sensitive. But different people do have different semantic interpretations of the term sampajjana. The point I am trying to lead to is - Shamatha and Vipashyana are both much more effective with very very stable / flexible attention in conjunction with powerful awareness.

I had this in my mind, so I thought I would share.
Martin, modified 5 Days ago at 8/9/22 1:26 AM
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When I met my current teacher, I was practicing jhana, but it was pretty meh. He told me what Michael said. Just focus on that one thing, until I really had it down. Good advice. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Days ago at 8/9/22 3:26 AM
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Thankyou for the advice! I appreciate it, and it rings true.

It seems to me that my wiring sometimes requires that I take a little detour to bypass my executive dysfunction. When I manage to do that, very strong intuition tends to kick in, as the process already knows the way. I aim to use that kind of momentum to then go back to basics and build that kind of flexibility. It's a different sequential order, but I'll do my best to make sure that all the parts of it are properly worked through. Doing it strictly the TMI way with the standard progression would take me forever as I'm not wired for that. TMI is a system that builds on executive functioning. 

I'm familiar with my energetic limits and have learned to get energy build-up to dissipate at will. I might stretch it more than you would consider wise, because while being very aware of the risks, experience so far tells me that my mind tends to catch on when the tension - within a safety margin - is exposed just long enough to make it obvious. 

I'll definitely keep your advice in mind to inform my safety margins. Does this sound sane enough to you? 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Days ago at 8/9/22 3:21 AM
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There are parts of my mind somewhere on the threshold between conscious and subconscious that have much stronger awareness than the entirely conscious parts. I need to let them do the job, to guide the way for the rest of the mind to follow. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Days ago at 8/9/22 3:22 AM
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Thanks for sharing!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Days ago at 8/10/22 10:46 PM
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Lots of self-liberating going on. Very spacious. Very light. 

Of course there are contractions too. But the self-liberation stands out in experience (which it probably wouldn't if it were the default). 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Days ago at 8/11/22 6:22 AM
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Right now, seeing the Buddha nature of all beings doesn't feel hard at all. I'm not under any illusion that it will stick this time or even last very long, but I'm noting it here as a reminder for times when it feels impossible. It's not impossible. We aren't all screwed. We really are unfuckupable in some respects (gotta love that wording from Lama Lena). 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Days ago at 8/11/22 3:41 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 15

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Did a metta meditation that started out with strong jhanic factors but gradually slided into the kind of subtle dullness that I suspect that some think is jhana. 

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