RE: George practice log # 6

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george, modified 1 Month ago at 5/21/22 8:09 AM
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George practice log # 6

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My practice has mostly been just sitting and noticing an hour each day also doing the same before bed and intermittently throughout the day. I notice fear, misery, disgust arise in a sit and also out in daily life. My mood is low, interest level is low too hence why I haven't posted anything in over a week. Did nothing today and slept most of the day. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 5/21/22 8:30 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Tonglen? I think I posted Shargrol's version of Tonglen in your log before.

If you have difficulties with misery and disgust then say "if there are beings out there being overwhelmed by misery and disgust may their experience come to me. May I experience it in their stead fully without resistance so they can experience relief from it." Then you imagine all that suffering coming to you and imagine those beings experiencing relief, being free from suffering, being happy. Then you go into experiencing fully that difficulty you took into yourself. Misery and disgust (or whatever else it may be). 

You go between imagining those beings experiencing relief and back to you experiencing the suffering in their stead without resistance 

Once youre done say "May all beings be free from suffering, may all beings awaken, may all beings be happy". Continue with other practices until you hit another difficult overwhelming situation and do Tonglen again. 

​​​​​​​Just an idea. 
george, modified 1 Month ago at 5/22/22 1:08 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Thanks papa. 
george, modified 1 Month ago at 5/22/22 7:47 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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I sat for 90mins today, sitting still and noticing what arises and also some tonglen. I can see fear, misery, disgust arise in my sits and also out in daily life very clearly.

My last sit was much needed relief when re-ob shifted into equanimity but I'm back in misery. I'm slowly giving up control of what's coming up and letting it all be the way it's intended to be. I feel like a wounded animal, retreating into a cave or burrow waiting to die. It hurts, there are times it opens up but then goes back into a reobservation cycle.

Energy levels are low and the mind is looking for ways out of the misery in particular. There isn't any particular scenario being played out in the mind though that is upsetting me. There is this image of my face with a blank stare and misery etched into it which I notice as an image but also a representation of feeling tone in the body. The physical manifestation of sensations in the body are made up of Heaviness, a different frequency of vibration around the mouth, chest and stomach, apathy, slowed functioning.

I want to open myself to the experience of these emotions as fully as possible and let whatever it needs to come out out.
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 5/23/22 7:23 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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One thing that can be good to notice with misery is that there is a kind of sweet sadness to it... Like how a baby starts softly wimpering as it cries itself to sleep at night... It's very soft and warm, and yes sad, but kind of a world-weary sadness that feels like letting go of trying to control things. It's an acknowledgement of recognizing our limits yet still caring. It makes sense why misery is a stable "stage" and not some instable state that we pass through quickly. Despite all the emotional releases that can occur, there is a gentleness to it.

I like your idea of experiencing the misery as fully as possible.
george, modified 1 Month ago at 5/23/22 8:29 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Hey shargrol, thanks for your post! Yes I agree, I find the misery very humbling and see how the experience of this misery is where great compassion is born. We can be sad and completely miss this opportunity to gain insight into the misery because we just don't like it!

I sat tonight for an hour and noticed going through the jhanas this time.

1 jhana is whole body just comes into attention

2 jhana is pleasantness in the tummy and chest. Breath feels really good, like quenching a thirst.

3 jhana is boundary of body, tingling coolness just as people describe

4 Jhana as far as I'm aware attention moves from boundary of body to higher up in the head/face region?? I haven't read much on jhana I'm just going by exactly what I notice next. 

Beyond that isn't clear for me but if I continue to pay enough attention to what's happening I'll get it.

I just sat for the remainder of the sit, kinda got lost in some fantasy & just ended it there. But very much equanimity kind of territory.

ps forgot to mention, there was resistance, very small amount surrounding the arising of thoughts, like they shouldn't be there. I asked myself to whom shouldn't they happen too? I
want to notice this resistance more fully.
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 5/23/22 8:41 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Nice!
george, modified 1 Month ago at 5/24/22 6:03 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Sat for 45 min. Kept it short because I can't stop burping for some reason, haha.

Again resistance to thoughts arising at times but much less than before and a more stable sense of equanimity now. I can see how the self arises when craving is present. I see it when the self feels like it needs to be mindful and note. It's like Kramer coming in through the door, what did I miss?

​​​​​​​I can feel cessations about to come on, it's only a hint though. Notice it particularly in between a thought and sensation or the ending of a thought the eyes start to lag and roll up.
george, modified 1 Month ago at 5/26/22 6:44 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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1 hour sit tonight. I feel like I've been stagnant so I noted in this sit. Looking at thoughts, particularly vague images that are not perceiveable, just blobs of colour and shadow. Like wise with hearing stream listening to mumbling and then watch how the mind gives it meaning. This has got to be my favourite practice. Watching this murky stuff come out of no where and the self appears out of no where at the same time. Very cool stuff. I'm just going to continue to do this until I get sick of it. 
george, modified 1 Month ago at 5/27/22 8:24 PM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Misery stuff coming up past couple of days, crying and grief stricken. Did some tonglen practice but mostly noting. Want to focus on noting more, a gentle, one every second or so note looking at unperceivable mind stuff 
george, modified 1 Month ago at 5/30/22 9:17 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Sat tonight for 45 min. More like a jhana practice, feeling body, then pleasant feeling in tummy and chest, then pleasantness in the face. Attention then moved up into forehead, an opening in the forehead came next and then it felt like it extended out 20cm in front of the forehead. Then I started getting visuals of ripples spreading out from this Center opening. Very cooool.
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 5/30/22 5:32 PM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Sounds cool! 
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george, modified 27 Days ago at 6/3/22 4:11 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Practice has been everyday sits, went through dukkha nana stuff earlier in the week.

​​​​​​​I had a lucid dream last night. First time ever! I was in the dream and realised everything was weird, I looked at my hands and they weren't solid, they were flowing and wavy. I then remembered saying I'm in a dream!! I remember saying what should I do, should I try and contact someone? I tried that but eventually got bored and then decided to meditate. So I sat in meditation and went into a dreamless sleep. I slept through 2 alarms and was 2 hours late for work! So I noticed in the dream state that I still had my "mind" and I was in my body being "me". Wicked experience!
george, modified 24 Days ago at 6/6/22 7:05 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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1 hour sit tonight. Getting glitchy kinda stuff going on during the day.

Was very frustrated during the day, the frustration peaked during the sit and I sat in relative comfort. I did some noting, maybe 20min. The noting then subsided and I sat resting.

​​​​​​​Attention was centred & in the body but then became wide and included thoughts. Focus then was Center of head and felt pressure on top of skull.

I don't know much about jhana and what that correlates to, sometimes I get a good sense of what's happening jhana wise other times it's confusing. 
Martin, modified 24 Days ago at 6/6/22 9:40 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Are you working from any particular book on the jhanas?
george, modified 24 Days ago at 6/6/22 5:46 PM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Martin
Are you working from any particular book on the jhanas?

Hey Martin, no I'm not. Could you maybe suggest one? I've been meaning to look at something but don't know what to go for, thanks.
Martin, modified 23 Days ago at 6/7/22 2:31 PM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Here are some that I think are good, in order of increasing difficulty (for me).

There is the description given by Thanissaro Bhikkhu in https://www.dhammatalks.org/books/WithEachAndEveryBreath/Section0007.html 

This is the mildest, and most accessible and gentle description I have read.  It could be a place to start. The jhanas it aims for are fairly light.

Another relatively gentle approach is  https://library.dhammasukha.org/uploads/1/2/8/6/12865490/the_path_to_nibbana__d_johnson_f18.pdf  (The description of the actual technique starts on page 74.). This is metta-based jhana, but the book says that if you don't like metta, you can do the same technique using the breath as an object. I actually wasn't much good with metta meditation until I tried this technique. For me, this technique produced a much deeper level of absorption than Thanissaro describes, but still of the level that, if someone called my name, I could just turn around and say "What?" Also, for me, the jhanas were a bit fuzzy but that might just be due to my take on metta. Certainly, though, this 6R technique is very powerful and makes short work of the hindrances. 


My favorite by a country mile is Right Concentration by Leigh Brassington. If you are interested in getting a sense of what he is talking about, he covers most of what is in the book in this lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCLT64SLYZk  That said, if you want a practice guide, you would want to have the book. This is the book from which I learned the jhanas, so that biases me.

With Right Concentration, I found that I got exactly what Brassington described. It is uncanny.  In my experience, these states are actually shocking. Which is to say that they are literally unbelievable. Over the past few years, I would have gone through the lower jhanas over a thousand times. And basically every sit still includes "wow, wow, wow, that's ridiculous!" moments. Think: winning the lottery on the 4th of July, and then going to the planetarium, on ecstasy, with your sexy girlfriend (or boyfriend, or for that matter, both), followed by laying in the deep grass on a summer day without a care in the world, and then commensurate quietude. But better. 

What I am getting at is that, in some practices, the jhana factors are present but sometimes it a hard to call to say whether the state is relaxed meditation or actual jhana, while with this type of jhana, it's not a "maybe" thing, or a "probably" thing. It's crazy in your face. The difference between relaxed meditation and what Brasington is pointing to is like the difference between, for example, walking down the street and swimming in the ocean. There couldn't be any confusion between the two. You would never hear anyone say, I think I went swimming yesterday, but it might have been a walk. Same deal with the sutta jhanas that Brasington gives instructions for. And it has an order. In my experience, the real second wasn't possible until first was mastered, and so on and so forth. So it's all very clear, very structured, and very obvious. 

Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond by Ajahn Brahm describes a more difficult technique for "harder" jhanas. I love Ajahn Brahm. He has such a great approach to concentration, and to life in general. If you haven't watched his videos, I recommend them. But this technique requires a lot of work to get to step one. I have gotten in through this technique and found it to be, not so much a visit to the planetarium, as an actual spaceship. We are talking about the complete disappearance of all the non-mind sense doors. But it took a lot of time and I did not find the results to be stable and reproducible. One day, I hope to do a long, self-directed retreat, and this would be a big part of it. 

Some of these things seem to work for some people and not for others. Brasington's approach and Brahm's approach, in particular, just don't seem to click for some people. There are other books out there too, and it may turn out that the one that works best for you is not on my list.
 
george, modified 23 Days ago at 6/7/22 7:09 PM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Awesome, thanks Martin!
george, modified 22 Days ago at 6/8/22 8:05 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Thanks again for putting me onto Leigh brasington Martin!

Please note these descriptions are coming from someone that can only really see the obvious qualities of the jhanas, I'm in no way a jhana pro and can't yet see the subtleties of them. However the qualities I do feel see are obvious and I know I am experiencing them.

I sat tonight with the sole intention of identifying jhanas. I was determined so put just that right amount of effort to concentrate. Now I know as I've read a little of TMI that you can kill concentration by focusing too hard on the object. I knew this already intuitively as I was naturally going through jhanas 6months from when I started meditation 6 years ago, I just didn't know what the hell was going on then!
First jhana was intense when I first started, it really blew my socks off but I don't get the same buzz as I used to. Also the energetics that happened, kundalini snake like stuff doesn't happen like it did back then, It was very prominent then. Now it's feeling central energy channel light up, very small amounts of body movements, shakes & diffuse light behind eyelids that happen in first Jhana. Second Jhana is less of this energy coming up and just really nice sensation in the heart, it's a lot more soothing. Every time I breathe in I feel that beautiful glow in the heart Center, kinda feels like quenching a thirst. Out of all the sensations I get from jhanas 1-4 the heart glow is my favourite.
Third Jhana is pleasant in the body but the sensations are not as pronounced. I can't feel the moment I move into each Jhana but I do notice the qualities as time goes on. It takes about 20-30min to get to forth Jhana on a good day and forth is when I take a deep breath in and body just sinks even more & things are like Leigh describes, neutral, equanimity and still very much in the body.
Five and six Jhana is where it's at for me. I think I spend the most time there. The body is long gone, I try going back to the body when I'm in either one of those jhanas and the mind does not want a bar of it. It just goes back to this boundless sense of space (I always thought of it as an opening, or going through something, that's what it feels like for me) that's in front of my face. It's so freeing and beautiful. 6th Boundless consciousness I think from a phenomenological level it's quite literally my forehead or top of head opening up and going into that space in front of my face. Again these jhanas blow my doors off every time I experience them, haha, I love it.

Seven and Eight I'm not 100 percent sure, I haven't really  looked into it yet as I've only really focused on the earlier stuff. But I do get a sense of focusing on nothingness of seventh. Very care free feeling with really no object to speak of. In fact before reading about jhanas sometimes I'd come out of a sit thinking what the hell was I focusing on then? I know it wasn't dullness because I was alert and I thought maybe I should try find an object? Maybe not needed!

Im glad I watched that lecture with Leigh (I bought his book too) it's reignited my interest during a period that kinda feels laborious and monotonous : )
Martin, modified 22 Days ago at 6/8/22 12:22 PM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Sounds awesome! I'm also a super big fan of the heart glow. It feels like being ET :-)
george, modified 22 Days ago at 6/8/22 7:52 PM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Thanks Martin. How would you describe 5 & 6 jhana from a phenomenalogical level?
Martin, modified 21 Days ago at 6/9/22 2:52 PM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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I'm not really that good at the arupa jhanas. Sometimes I get them, but most often I do not. Fifth, in particular, changed for me recently. I used to have this off-cushion felt-sense that my consciousness was a sort of dome or container, basically extending to the edge of my visible field, in which things happened. So 5th used to be based on pushing out the edges of this container. That would usually be accompanied by the sense that I was growing in height to, say, 100 feet tall. Then the body would cease to be perceived and only space would be apparent. More recently I was given instructions for seeing through the container, and now I don't have one to work with anymore. That makes 5th seem less "hard." What I still get is a zooming out sensation at the beginning, followed by a surrounded by vast space sensation. There is no verbal thought. There are no body parts (no head, hands, etc.) but there is still a sense of being present at the location that is the center of the space. What I think of as the transition to 6th is the "emptiness" of the space fading. Very occasionally, everything will fade and there will be nothing, which I take as 7th. But after 4th I'm really just poking around with a stick. 
george, modified 21 Days ago at 6/9/22 6:49 PM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Nice, thanks Martin!
george, modified 18 Days ago at 6/12/22 6:40 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Back on the noting practice. Nothing fancy just straight outloud noting for an hour. I go with what feels right intuitively, sometimes there’s a week of resting in jhana but then sometimes I just feel like I really want to get my ass into gear. A lot of dullness yesterday but I’m getting back into vipassana. Fear, misery & disgust desire for deliverance coming up. 
I feel like nothing is really that interesting anymore, things have lost there sparkle. There’s nothing that really fulfills me right now, I don’t even care much about jhana. There’s this desire for freedom, Im sick of states. I don’t want ecstasy or dazzling lights, I want freedom. I want to feel free, I still feel chained and it sickens me. I’m glad this is happening because despite the shittiness, it’s great motivation for some hardcore practice.
So going the way it should I guess. Fuck I feel yuk
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 18 Days ago at 6/12/22 7:09 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Just a hunch but maybe practice 'Look how its ... ' could be good one right now.

Look how it wants freedom, look how it wants to feel free, look how it still feels chained, look how it sickens, look how it thinks it doesn't care about Jhanas anymore, look how it feels nothing is interesting anymore, look how its ... walking, look how its ...seeing ... etc ...

Ignore what Im suggesting if it doesn't sound right to you.

​​​​​​​best wishes g! 
George S, modified 18 Days ago at 6/12/22 10:53 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/30-the-progress-of-insight/9-desire-for-deliverance/

Here’s the “One Weird Trick” to this stage for those who are not going through it at the level of vibrations or kasina-induced visuals, but instead going through it at the level of emotions: honestly feel that crash, that utter devastation, that agony, that bottoming out, that despair, that longing for release, in all its down-to-earth, real, gritty humanity, allowing that plunge to happen inside you deep down, down, down. Then, investigate that, just as it is, because it is a crucial part of the trip, part of the journey, part of the remarkable opportunity to bring the clear light of wisdom to every aspect of our full emotional range, including the bottom of it. So, fall. Notice it. Allow it to be. Notice it is made of sensations: feel them honestly, as well as all the reactions to those sensations. This is the key.
george, modified 18 Days ago at 6/12/22 8:27 PM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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Thanks guys : ))
george, modified 17 Days ago at 6/13/22 7:25 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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This post is going to talk about some personal habits and behaviours but will then go into the practice of it all.

For a while now I've been weary of my spending. I was never in a position to work or investigate any of this because I was a wreck and had no stability, luckily now I'm in a much better place emotionally and don't use alcohol as a coping mechanism, rather I enjoy a glass of wine or cigar purely for the taste and because I enjoy it so much. I don't over do it because I honestly feel sick if I have more then 2 glasses of wine a night.

I spoke to my therapist about this all and she was actually happy that i have been enjoying myself! Im happy that im enjoying these things too but can't help but feel guilt and shame surrounding some purchases. I tell myself this is the first time in your bloody life you have some stability and you're guilty that you're enjoying yourself!? Come on!!

Nonetheless I'm getting more interested in urges! What they feel like & what happens if I don't do something that I want and sit with that wanting feeling. I do notice after a while the feeling of wanting eventually subsides, it loses its grip and it goes away. I still like that cigar though! Tonight's sit was centred around noting urges and it's really interesting watching and waiting for urges to come up while keeping physical pain in awareness. Anyway going to explore this more!
George S, modified 17 Days ago at 6/13/22 9:28 AM
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RE: George practice log # 6

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I think it's healthier to be able to enjoy a glass or two occasionally than to stick to complete abstinence out of a fear of not being able to stop. This is all good ground for investigation - the urges, the feelings, the subsiding, the satisfaction, the guilt/shame etc. I find the initial effects of alcohol to be relaxing and mildly euphoric, light jhanic territory, but of course if you try to get into a deeper jhana using that method then it doesn't work so well emoticon The last time I had more than two drinks was a few years ago and I meditated afterwards to get a really close look at what having too much alchohol felt like in my body. I was amazed by what a heavy and dark feeling it was, even though I'd only had three drinks and I never noticed it when I was younger and would often drink more than that. These days, one is nice and usually enough. If I find myself wanting "more nice" and having a second, I pretty quickly realize it's not having the same effect and leave the rest.

It reminds me of something William James said in The Varieties of Religious Experience:

The next step into mystical states carries us into a realm that public opinion and ethical philosophy have long since branded as pathological, though private practice and certain lyric strains of poetry seem still to bear witness to its ideality. I refer to the consciousness produced by intoxicants and anaesthetics, especially by alcohol. The sway of alcohol over mankind is unquestionably due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature, usually crushed to earth by the cold facts and dry criticisms of the sober hour. Sobriety diminishes, discriminates, and says no; drunkenness expands, unites, and says yes. It is in fact the great exciter of the YES function in man. It brings its votary from the chill periphery of things to the radiant core. It makes him for the moment one with truth. Not through mere perversity do men run after it. To the poor and the unlettered it stands in the place of symphony concerts and of literature; and it is part of the deeper mystery and tragedy of life that whiffs and gleams of something that we immediately recognize as excellent should be vouchsafed to so many of us only in the fleeting earlier phases of what in its totality is so degrading a poisoning. The drunken consciousness is one bit of the mystic consciousness, and our total opinion of it must find its place in our opinion of that larger whole.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 17 Days ago at 6/13/22 2:35 PM
Created 17 Days ago at 6/13/22 2:35 PM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 2451 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Nice you are watching those urges my man emoticon and also nice you like that fucking cigar emoticon Nice! 

I haven't been drinking for a while. 2 years I think. Just lost the taste for it. But as of late I'm starting to enjoy a glass or two of red wine. Love it! emoticon No guilt no shame no moralising. Just good old plain red wine. Organic, may I add! emoticon 

I think I get to about two glasses and im drunk! emoticon 

But I do recognise my main protective reactive patterns which are in form of the Air Element (businesses) and Ghost Realm (consuming). Mostly.

I'm not stopping with these actions of acquiring guitar related gear but only observing the urge, that thirst for new or better gear, to give me a better guitar tone etc ... 
Its my hobby after all so not meaning to kill it but to wake up to how it comes about. That way I might even stop it at certain times if indeed I don't need XY and Z. Or the third glass of red wine emoticon 

Slainte! 
george, modified 16 Days ago at 6/14/22 6:45 AM
Created 16 Days ago at 6/14/22 6:45 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 395 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Thanks guys for your posts! I'm the same now George, I find the feeling of being drunk pretty shit to be honest!

Papa I wish I could play an instrument! 

I’m comfortable enjoying the odd cigar or wine, it’s I think compulsive spending that I’d like to be mindful of or rather notice the urge to spend money on “stuff”. I didn’t mention this in my last post maybe because I was embarrassed and ashamed of it. There have been many occasions this year where I really didn’t need to spend large amounts of money on some things. It’s very addictive looking up and searching for items to purchase, particularly if they’re nicely constructed things. It's a bit of a thrill, mind you that thrill is actually a really shit feeling! It's like fear, anticipation, nervousness all combined. I think this habit is used as a coping mechanism and I want to uncover this. I also find that time could be better spent doing something productive rather then spending hours online looking at stuff to buy. Anyway I want it out and want to work on it hence why I'm putting it on the imaginary table : )
Tonight I sat for an hour noticing urges. I found the same scenario in my head of me being embarrassed and ashamed after spending money being played out, then the self that justifies everything. So doing like papa has suggested in the past and "watch how it is embarrassed etc" I just watched this whole thing until it disappeared!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 16 Days ago at 6/14/22 7:01 AM
Created 16 Days ago at 6/14/22 7:01 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 2451 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
If you want to develop a constructive 6 realm practice I would suggest meeting up with Shargrol! 

In this example you are dealing with a Hungry Ghost realm. There is a way to visualise your online experience for the sake of practice so to easily see it in off cushion situations.

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George S, modified 16 Days ago at 6/14/22 4:59 PM
Created 16 Days ago at 6/14/22 4:59 PM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 2464 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
There's nothing wrong with the intention, it's cheaper to treat yourself to jhana though emoticon
george, modified 8 Days ago at 6/22/22 2:44 AM
Created 8 Days ago at 6/22/22 2:44 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 395 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Practice is now consisting of noticing things gently. Primarily very subtle urges like expectation, subtle tension, central observer and then upon seeing those things watching how the sense of a good meditator arises. These are whispers in awareness that come about, I like this practice, you have to be very precise. 
george, modified 7 Days ago at 6/23/22 8:25 AM
Created 7 Days ago at 6/23/22 7:15 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 395 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
I had a scary moment just earlier. Felt like the old familiar impending doom coming upon me, everything changed I felt like a helpless little child scared in a big world. It was terror, it paralyses me. I can’t believe I survived living like that for years. I don’t know why it was so intense. I was talking to my father earlier about my brother, maybe something rubbed off on me, I don’t know. It’s the same old stuff coming up in dark night, it’s this fear of abandonment, or like I’m abandoning my family, like I’m leaving or going. I don’t know why it’s the same thing! Or it doesn’t matter what the content of it is, it’s purely the mind making sense of a part of me that’s dissolving? Anyway I’m feeling ok now after sitting for an hour, it just went away and I perceived a more subtle version of fear, misery, disgust and and of course after  a pizza.

Correct me if I'm wrong community but seeing the not so painful sensations as they are leads to seeing ALL sensations purely as vibration? Meaning you don't have to sit with painful sensations with concentration, clarity and equanimity, you can also sit with pleasant or neutral ones and gain insight into fearful sensations? Can anyone shed light on that?

Im still frazzled, I feel a big sense of urgency. I'm going to do some breathing exercises.
George S, modified 7 Days ago at 6/23/22 12:21 PM
Created 7 Days ago at 6/23/22 12:21 PM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 2464 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Yeah, basically it's "just an old feeling", with a habitual story/explanation attached. Feelings don't really need to be explained, they just need to be felt (i.e. experienced in the body). When they are fully felt then they are released and there is no need for the story any more. A certain amount of story/explanation (a.k.a therapy) is probably necessary if the feeling stems from old trauma and is having a destabilizing effect off the cushion, but the more ability you develop to simply sit with the physical sensations of the feeling without getting caught up in stories about it, the easier it will pass through your system.

That basically sounds like what you are already doing, so you're doing all the right things. It can feel overwhelming and draining at times, but with practice the intensity and frequency will diminish. The more jhanic ability you develop to access pleasant feelings like sukha, the easier it is to sit through unpleasant feelings because you have a kind of baseline of bliss to return to. One day soon you'll be sitting in meditation and the whole trauma feeling complex will arise & pass through your system in about 30 seconds and you'll be like - holy crap, meditaiton is amazing, I love life, I love everything ​​​​​​​emoticon
george, modified 6 Days ago at 6/24/22 9:29 AM
Created 6 Days ago at 6/24/22 9:29 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 395 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Thanks George : ) there is the intuitive sense that that's what will happen but yeah I still freak out and question wtf I'm doing.

I sat for an hour tonight. Kinda weird, a lot of chopping and changing throughout the sit. I'll be noting every conceivable thing I can mostly in the mental stream, gently, but then I'd get a feeling like I need to let go of someone noticing. This switching happened many times throughout the sit. The letting go of a somebody is like a balancing act I feel, you need to get the right ingredients so to speak for it to happen. I get confused I don't know if I should try everything or try nothing!

Either way off the cushion I'm shitty and presumably in dukkha nanas then on the cushion I'm getting into equanimity territory.
george, modified 4 Days ago at 6/26/22 4:12 AM
Created 4 Days ago at 6/26/22 4:12 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 395 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Fear coming up during the day regularly now. I started drinking coffee because I love how a good espresso tastes but I think im sensitive to the caffeine & it's bringing on these fear states, nonetheless I meditated on this fear. I sat with this doom, low vibratory sensations around me, very palpable feeling in the air. I looked into the body and thoughts like I don't exist came up, there was this sense of vaccuity, like i wasn't anywhere except the fear was still there. I said if I'm empty then this fear is empty too, I can't be this fear. Vibration changed to a lighter, freer flowing sensation. I sat like that for a little, like being pure spirit. Whenever anything came into my head I just noted empty, empty, empty. I opened my eyes and looked at my body and it all looked very strange, like what the hell is this thing?! Incredible sit, I still feel the sense of fear, it changes from empty then back to a sense of self in fear. Today I feel like I got a greater sense of how fear is simply vibratory phenomena and nothing else. 
george, modified 3 Days ago at 6/27/22 5:51 AM
Created 3 Days ago at 6/27/22 2:54 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 395 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Off the cushion I'm feeling fearful & miserable. Im putting on a brave face but im hurting. When I sit I get clarity and calmness over comes me but when I stop practice I feel the full brunt of dukha nanas. I'm going to keep sitting, but it's going to be restful sits for now. I ask myself how hard does it have to get until I just pull out and take a break from practice. I don't know the answer and I DONT want to do that! I just hope the body holds up, it seems to be regulating emotions ok.

45 min sit tonight just simply sitting, the mind wants to note but I just redirected attention to the body. Mind was scattered and noisy, again redirected to the body. There was a deeper movement and pulsating in the lowest chakra, I guess that means the pot is being stirred up.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Days ago at 6/27/22 9:42 AM
Created 3 Days ago at 6/27/22 9:42 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 2451 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Can you maybe consider experiencing the Dukkha for other beings? Tonglen. If there are beings out there having same experience as you, may their experience come to me so they can experience relief and awaken and be happy. May I experience their suffering in their stead so they can be free from it and happy. 

​​​​​​​Can you do this as your main practice and see what patterns come up? 
george, modified 3 Days ago at 6/27/22 5:27 PM
Created 3 Days ago at 6/27/22 5:27 PM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 395 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Hey papa, Yes I can do that and I was doing it last week a little. Maybe it's something I should start to incorporate more. One thing I notice during these difficult times is how my attitude towards people changes, there's a lot more compassion and care when talking to people, maybe this is something that needs to be integrated more.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Days ago at 6/28/22 12:45 AM
Created 3 Days ago at 6/28/22 12:45 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 2451 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Just to be clear I was pointing towards Tonglen practice as suggested by Shargrol.

Good to use during overwhelming times. 

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george, modified 3 Days ago at 6/28/22 1:41 AM
Created 3 Days ago at 6/28/22 1:39 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 395 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
The thing is it's never really overwhelming with fear on the cushion! Fear is present but not really an issue because I know if I just sit it will sort itself out. It's when fear comes up in daily life that it can knock me off my feet somewhat, that's when I get home do a sit and I'm sweet but then as time goes on the fear in daily life becomes more and more intense & that's when it gets overwhelming
george, modified 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 7:13 AM
Created 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 7:13 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 395 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
40 min tonight just resting and noticing. Very clearly in A&P territory. Saw the arising and passing of thoughts on a magnified level and energy rising up through the body.

On another note I've made changes to my diet, like no caffeine and avoiding other things that may trigger unnecessary pain. The past few times the fear past through quickly, so I'm confident I'll be ok and I'll soldier on. When the going gets really tough I will employ the tonglen practice too. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 8:45 AM
Created 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 8:45 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

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What I came to realise after the cessation was; 

oh, I'm in dark night , no problem! I'll sit two times daily and within two days it's over and done with. Which indeed always worked. 

As time passed I came to realise that I was using the practice to stop this unpleasant experience. But this unpleasant experience kept coming back. Again and again and again and ... so I stopped treating practice as a painkiller. It doesn't last. 

So I looked for a way to accept it and be very intimate with it. 
Tonglen was just a start. A way to mix it up when needed but now im more into Chöd Mantra (Gate Gate mantra and visualisation) which is more effective as 30-45 minutes daily practice. It's a supersized Tonglen to me at least. 
George S, modified 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 9:14 AM
Created 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 9:14 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 2464 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Are you able to do micro sits during daily life? Even a 5-10 minute "bathroom break" can be enough to sit and fully experience/release fear!
george, modified 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 10:23 AM
Created 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 10:08 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 395 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Yes I totally hear you papa. That's what I want to do, I want be able ride it out and I'm doing that albeit some what reluctantly at times. I have kept a consistent practice going even though I know that it will come back. I know that fear itself never dissolves completely, you just have equanimity with it all but I'm still getting used to that I think. I've also come back to practice after going on some meds so I can function day to day and I'm stable but I'm also not used to being able to regulate the fear and what my limits are now. When it came on I got the feeling that eventually it will get to the point where it will get so intense that I'll spin wildly out of control like on previous occasions. I did miss a few days of meds and I think I have to cut out caffeine that's for sure because that messes with me. I can be fine for a few weeks drinking coffee and then it throws everything out of balance.
Yes I probably could do that George & I think I'll do that when things get rough next time.
If I didn't have to function in the world then I'd just sit with the fear and not give a shit but I have to make decisions, talk to friends and family, socialise and hopefully find a partner & I can't do that if I'm constantly fearful, it screws everything up.
Thanks guys, I'm not giving up!

PS When I first encountered a dark night I did the same as papa stated. I sat more thinking if I sit with this it will eventually go away but it didn't, it got worse and worse and worse to the point I couldn't work for 2 weeks. Then I recovered and tried again, this time I went way overboard and had to go hospital because I was that shaken and pretty much lifeless. Fear like other emotions are subjective and not to mention traumas that people have been through. I read people just meditating through it and that's what I did and it really hurt me because it didn't go, it got worse.  How am I supposed to know where to draw the line? The line I think is getting clearer, I haven't got there gracefully but I've learnt a lot along the way.
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Chris M, modified 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 10:55 AM
Created 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 10:55 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 4421 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Fear like other emotions are subjective and not to mention traumas that people have been through. I read people just meditating through it and that's what I did and it really hurt me because it didn't go, it got worse.  How am I supposed to know where to draw the line? The line I think is getting clearer, I haven't got there gracefully but I've learnt a lot along the way.Fear like other emotions are subjective and not to mention traumas that people have been through. I read people just meditating through it and that's what I did and it really hurt me because it didn't go, it got worse.  How am I supposed to know where to draw the line? The line I think is getting clearer, I haven't got there gracefully but I've learnt a lot along the way.

George, you can go at your own pace and do the practices that help you, not hurt you. If trying to stay with fear is dangerous for you then don't do it. You are under no obligation to practice what is suggested here if you feel you believe it's dangerous for you. What works for some may not work for others - one size does not fit all. Please take your meds, be careful, and gentle, with yourself. Better be stay safe than sorry.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 11:38 AM
Created 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 11:38 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 6434 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
It sounds to me like it could perhaps be a good idea for you to find some practice (or a whole tool box of practices for that matter) that grounds you and makes you feel safe, something that you can also draw on in daily life when things are shaky. Something that has a stabilizing effect (not in the sense of solidifying stuff), regardless of the cycling. A resource or set of resources. It is okay to do practices that build up your wellbeing and gather any resources you need before powering through a rough passage. 

There are so many layers to our senses of self, so many patterns, many of which are subconscious. Some of them fight hard to protects us from what we might see when we try to power through. There's compassion in that, often misguided compassion, but perhaps not entirely misguided all the time. Sometimes I think we need to build up and strengthen our more constructive patterns before we deconstruct some entanglements that have made our lives function at all, with all the ad-hoc scaffolding and patchings put in place. Putting in some more skillful scaffolding before taking such an entanglement apart probably makes the process less jarring. Then we can work with our minds rather than against them, and there will probably be less protective reactions from the subconscious as there is a more firmly rooted sense of okayness among all parts. 

Does this make any sense? 

It is simplified, of course, but I believe it holds some truth. 

I can see now why you wrote what you wrote in my log. I'll try to keep up with your log. I think we might have some things in common. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 3:52 PM
Created 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 3:52 PM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 2451 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
George I second what Chris Marti said! I thought you spoke of the Fear Nana but I understand now that your fear might be something more psychological. I have suffered terribly from paranoia in my past. I know how debilitating that can be. 

Meds, therapy and Jhanas (5th Samatha Jhana) helped with that. Still can pop out a bit here and there but it's lost it's power it once had. 

Take it slow with insight practice or even Tonglen!!!
Whoever is experiencing traumatic stuff should not meditate longer than 7 minutes and only on breath, for calming purposes. 

​​​​​​​Sending best wishes! 
george, modified 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 9:49 PM
Created 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 9:49 PM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 395 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Thanks everyone. Yes Chris, I will switch my practice to a more calm abiding one when things get difficult and pace myself. It's all taught me to take care of myself more then to just push through hence why I felt it important to log the fear patterns arising. I'm keeping tabs on it. I'll never put myself in the position where I'm going to hospital again, no way. 

Thanks Linda, yes that makes sense! I'm figuring out what I need right now and I think a sitting without effort and rest being the main priority, along with some changes in diet and regular meds is working atm. I will however look into other avenues to help me so I have more tools at my disposal. I'm going to look into shaking therapy and breathing practices more.
Thanks papa, yes it is very debilitating but like I said im managing ok. 7 min is very specific! I'll stick to 45min calm abiding for now! 

Thank you all again for your advice : )
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 11:34 PM
Created 2 Days ago at 6/28/22 11:34 PM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 2451 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
7 minutes was suggested by my therapist. He told me there was a research done with those suffering PTSD and anything over 7 minutes would be too much, but several 7 minutes a day would actually be helpful. 

We are talking folks being in a very bad shape. 

You seem to know your limits, that's good! 
george, modified 1 Day ago at 6/30/22 2:22 AM
Created 1 Day ago at 6/30/22 2:22 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 395 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Ahh right, thanks for clarification papa!
I sat last night for 40min. I was really tired from work so called it early. I'm relaxed & feeling good. I can think clearer and I can now see how I was really striving for a path moment, cessation, fruition. I feel like I've let go of the striving for now and I'm enjoying things again rather than the constant efforting. Also I have to understand that this is a life long thing, it's not done and dusted after a little bit of meditation. So patience is very much needed!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 57 Seconds ago at 7/1/22 2:22 AM
Created 58 Seconds ago at 7/1/22 2:22 AM

RE: George practice log # 6

Posts: 6434 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Sounds good! It's all too easy to get trapped in striving, don't I know it. I have to remind myself now and then that I actually love the practice itself, when I'm doing it right, regardless of whether it leads to anything beyond that. Even if I don't get anywhere further on the path, it's still very much worth doing because it feels good and gives perspective and is restorative. In that respect, it's liberation here and now. It only gets boring or hard when I turn it into something instrumental. 

It's good to see that you are taking care of yourself. That inspires me too, so we can inspire each other and create a positive spiral. 

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