Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/27/22 12:39 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/27/22 11:58 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/30/22 8:44 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/30/22 6:59 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/1/22 4:49 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/1/22 6:47 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/1/22 4:52 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/1/22 11:09 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/2/22 5:28 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/2/22 2:50 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/2/22 4:49 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/2/22 10:21 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Chris M 10/2/22 11:06 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/2/22 12:43 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/2/22 3:52 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/3/22 5:54 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/4/22 1:35 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/5/22 6:11 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/7/22 5:58 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/7/22 9:06 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/8/22 5:07 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/8/22 6:01 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/8/22 12:12 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/9/22 10:25 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/10/22 4:33 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/11/22 5:15 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/13/22 6:14 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/13/22 7:05 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/14/22 5:23 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/15/22 6:59 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/15/22 10:29 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/15/22 4:52 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/16/22 12:30 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/16/22 11:50 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/16/22 10:13 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/17/22 3:00 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/17/22 9:26 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/17/22 9:18 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/18/22 9:06 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/19/22 9:11 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/19/22 6:23 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/21/22 8:10 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/22/22 4:54 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/23/22 11:44 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/23/22 4:06 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/23/22 8:48 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/24/22 5:55 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/24/22 11:52 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Chris M 10/24/22 12:02 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/27/22 10:40 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/27/22 5:47 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/28/22 9:01 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/28/22 3:26 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/30/22 2:45 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/30/22 5:09 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/30/22 8:45 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/31/22 8:55 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/31/22 10:03 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Bud ‎ 10/31/22 11:10 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/1/22 10:19 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/1/22 10:53 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/1/22 5:23 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/1/22 9:03 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/2/22 9:38 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/2/22 10:34 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/2/22 10:57 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/3/22 3:36 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/3/22 1:04 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/3/22 5:14 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/4/22 3:41 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/5/22 11:48 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/6/22 5:29 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/7/22 5:16 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Platu • 11/7/22 6:17 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/8/22 5:37 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/8/22 9:29 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/9/22 8:41 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/9/22 5:40 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/11/22 8:49 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/11/22 1:35 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/11/22 7:59 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/11/22 8:31 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/17/22 5:26 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/11/22 11:41 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/12/22 10:24 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/14/22 1:55 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/12/22 10:17 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/12/22 12:36 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Conal 11/13/22 3:43 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/14/22 2:07 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Conal 11/15/22 8:16 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/17/22 5:33 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Conal 11/20/22 9:06 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/20/22 10:42 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/14/22 3:53 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/17/22 5:23 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/17/22 6:44 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/17/22 7:19 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/25/22 5:40 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/25/22 10:02 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/25/22 11:31 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/25/22 6:07 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/30/22 2:44 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/4/22 3:21 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/5/22 5:43 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/5/22 8:12 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/7/22 12:25 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/8/22 6:55 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/9/22 1:48 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/17/22 5:23 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/22 9:11 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/22 12:49 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/22 1:04 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/22 1:11 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/22 1:37 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/22 4:32 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/22 3:32 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/22 4:53 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/22 5:53 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/20/22 1:07 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/20/22 5:03 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/27/22 6:19 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/28/22 7:12 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/29/22 5:24 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Aviva HaMakom 12/30/22 5:39 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/30/22 6:19 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/30/22 12:54 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/30/22 5:21 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/3/23 10:41 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/30/22 2:54 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/30/22 5:03 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/31/22 7:03 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/2/23 5:08 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/2/23 8:59 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/2/23 3:53 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/2/23 5:21 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/4/23 4:36 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/3/23 4:58 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/4/23 3:27 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/9/23 3:51 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/4/23 5:51 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/5/23 2:45 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/5/23 5:09 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/5/23 5:29 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/5/23 5:57 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/5/23 1:51 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/9/23 3:49 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/9/23 10:41 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/10/23 4:13 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Aviva HaMakom 1/14/23 7:01 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/14/23 10:20 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/14/23 11:07 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/14/23 11:41 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/14/23 4:37 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/17/23 5:34 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Adi Vader 1/15/23 10:02 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/17/23 5:36 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/16/23 1:48 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/17/23 5:55 AM
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 12:39 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 12:37 AM

Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Previous logs in chronological order:

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/10949944
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/11357415
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/13048784
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/15741941 
​​​​​​​https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/17395586
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/18209166
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/18817192
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/20234893
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/21249348
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/21757449
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/22023649
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/22642994
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/23060772
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/23734409
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/24005910
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This log is dedicated to getting back to the habit of practicing both in the morning and in the evening, something that has been lacking since the morning practice partner I had got depressed. Mornings can be tough for me as I struggle with low mood myself. This time of the year here in Sweden the mornings get darker and darker and it's getting colder, so morning yoga out in the sun - which has been a life line during the summer - won't work. Thus I have decided to start the day with fire kasina while it's still dark and then greet the light with chanting to Tara and do some morning yoga. I'm thinking that since fire kasina works best (for me at least) in the dark, it's a great motivation to get out of bed before the sun comes up. Hopefully by the time it's really dark and gloomy here, I will also have someone staying with me who will also practice (so I guess I'll need to check the timing of the chanting so that it doesn't become a disturbance). 

It's still fairly bright in the morning, but I got up early enough to do 20+ minutes of fire kasina and chant to Tara before the sun rose, so that's a start. It wasn't dark, though, so the visuals were somewhat pail in comparison. Nothing impressing about it but enough to stay focused. Now I'll do some energetic movements to some of my favorite hindu rock fusions music, have a cup of tulsi tea on the door steps to my little garden to get some light and then do some morning yoga to wake up my body. That's a habit that will hopefully take me through the winter okay. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 11:58 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 11:58 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I continue to have brief glimpses of a photorealistic image of the candle flame shining through that first screen. This morning it tended to be to the left of the red dot. A couple of times that image chrystallized itself into a bright white stilized dot before it went away. 

No time to log in more detail. Desperately need to write. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 9/30/22 8:44 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/30/22 8:44 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Okay, so now I have submitted that text - finally - and caught up on my sleep. Now I can go ahead and build the routine of starting and ending the day with fire kasina and really delve into it, starting tonight.

Today I have done almost two hours of yoga outside in the autumn sun. 
https://youtu.be/YDVrvke-j0g - a little bit of everything 
https://youtu.be/Hd5Yg02HY7A - working towards king pigeon (didn't actually do the king pigeon, but the asanas working towards it was exactly what my body craved today)
https://youtu.be/mzf2kFNf8Yw

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Lovely!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 9/30/22 6:59 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/30/22 6:59 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
45 minutes of fire kasina.

Interesting symmetrical fractal-like movements in the murk after the dot is gone.
The dot gets very fire-like properties, like ember/burning char coal. It can get very detailed.
There are foggy washes of color that flow and cover the dot as they move. 
The ring around the dot changes color. Especially when it gets dark, it gets jagged and bumpy. Of corse the dot changes color too, ending in blackish or bluegreen before it disappears. Sometimes there is more than one ring around the dot. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/1/22 4:49 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/1/22 4:49 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
When I woke up this morning, the sun was already rising and the weather was lovely, so I started the day outside witha cup of tulsi tea instead of starting it with fire kasina. I need the sunlight to prevent winter depression. Then I meditated outside in the sun together with one of my cats.

20 minutes sitting outside in the sun, eyes closed, starting with noting sensory impressions and letting it organically morph into choiceless awareness. That morphing happens fast, especially since sensory input tend to synch up in a way that makes it weird to even try to separate the sensory input into distinct categories - the formations are aware on their own, so there's no need to think of it as sense gates. Before that synching, there is a phase of sensory impressions washing over or through me in a very energetic way, with all the extremely rapid changes massaging me and being piti.Towards the end of the sit, the mind was naturally drawn to the visual murk even though there was also a wider awareness. 

1 hour of reclining meditation outside in the sun with eyes closed, focusing in the visual murk. Then, after a short movement break, another hour of the same but with looser focus while lying in different restorative positions on the mat. 

The murk is very much alive. Lots of movement. Lots of flickering. The rapid flickering tends to stand out more than the slow flowy movements (water). There are fogs and sparkly mists (air) and glowing ember (fire) that often forms structures (earth). Sometimes there are grainy but fine lines in grey that form spirals or other structures. Sometimes the entire visual field is made up of colored horizontal lines that remind me of what it looked like when one was loading a game from a casette to a commodore 64 when I was a kid, albeit paler. Sometimes there are similar lines but vertical. Sometimes there's a rainbow-like circle around a dark disc. Color washes appear, mainly purple but also other colors. Sometimes they are flowing all over the screen, sometimes they come together to form an irregular centered sphere. At one time a random face appeared with photorealistic clarity and quickly disappeared. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/1/22 6:47 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/1/22 6:47 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Another hour of relaxed focusing on the murk while reclining, after lunch. Skipped the flame.

Immediately upon reclining with a lavender pillow over my closed eyes, bright purple swirls appeared with flowy motions, like in a lava lamp. I the noticed that it's possible to shift back and forth between the slow flow and the rapid flickering. I would guess that's the difference between attention and awareness. It's possible to see both at once or one of the extremes, so it's a gradual thing but can also appear as a qualitative difference if one skips the gradual shift and just jumps between the two extremes. I played with that for a while.

At the end, an image of the seed of life appeared in the black and grey. It was just the seed, not the entire flower. It was centered, in the midst of the murk. It didn't last long. There was no doubt what I saw. 

So - sacred geometry wasn't that hard to find myself back to. It just took a small amount of focusing on the visual field. I know that the imagery can be much more impressive than this short-lived and "geographically" limited image, but this is definitely the right track. I do not intend to jump into the rabbit hole of interpreting the imagery, but I have an aesthetic appreciation of it that helps keep me motivated and focused. I also have a fascination for how the mind can manifest imagery like this, especially for someone like me, who didn't even have access to mental images for a long time in my adult life. The practice seems to unlock something creative, and I think there are things to learn about the relationship between emptiness and form. This is fun! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/1/22 4:52 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/1/22 4:52 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
45 minutes of fire kasina late in the evening. Very pleasant, very easy to breathe, lots of calm, very smooth piti and a sense of ease and curiosity, effortless focus. Lots of action in, around and sometimes in front of the dot. The action was very rapid. Sometimes there were two distinct dots, one red at the center and a very bright white one slightly to the right. The latter didn't last as long. The red dot usually shifted colors. Bright yellow was common. Often there were lots of ember elements in it. Often it also changed shape, commonly inte a spiral-shaped cone that would swirl around. It was like a flat image portraying 3D motion. Eventually the dot would blacken, often to a dark blue-green color, before it faded away. There was usually at least one ring around the dot. Often there were several rings, or several layers of the same ring. The different layers would have different colors. Sometimes they changed colors with each other, or the dot and a ring would change color with each other back and forth. When a ring blackened, it would become jagged and grow spikes around it, and it would rotate fast. This usually happened while the dot itself gradually darkened and shrunk in size. Sometimes another dark blob would develop in front of the small one. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/1/22 11:09 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/1/22 11:09 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Got up at 5:15 am to sit, fire kasina, for 45 minutes.

Fascinating how the dot oscillates in and out of being extremely rapidly and how that correlates with oscillations of the nada sound. When the dot gets more dissolution-y, the highest frequency part of the nada sound falls away. In really murky territory, together with foggy dullness, low pitch wobbling sound hallucinations occur, reminding of a gong bath. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/2/22 2:50 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/2/22 2:50 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I fell back to sleep and had a nightmare about candles, lol. In the dream they were both electrical as part of a lamp and regular candles at the same time, and somehow I managed to break them and the electrical cord in trying to follow a friend's instruction when she asked me to help, and the more I tried to fix them, the more I messed up. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/2/22 4:49 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/2/22 4:49 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Did this yoga session: https://youtu.be/6NhtpBoJgTI

However, my back leg doesn't come anywhere near that high in standing split, and the last few chaturangas I put my knees down to spare my already sore shoulders. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/2/22 5:28 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/2/22 5:28 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:


low pitch wobbling sound hallucinations occur, reminding of a gong bath 

…mixed through a wah wah pedal.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/2/22 10:21 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/2/22 10:21 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I just had the weekly zoom meet-up with a bunch of autistic friends. We were talking about situations that create anxiety. It made me remember how hellish life was for me as autistic before stream entry. Not because being autistic is hellish per se - there are many advantages to this wiring along with the drawbacks, just as with any other wiring, and I'm content being autistic - but because of the insecurities of being the minority and always having to worry about what other people think. Not just while it happens, but also in advance and perhaps especially in retrospect. All the shame and guilt associated with analyzing the interaction after the fact, when interpretations of others' signals have caught up. Streem entry radically changed that, and it hasn't changed back. It's not that I no longer have any sense of self. I do get caught up in narrow perceptions, and I do feel sorry for myself, especially when there's a lot to deal with at the same time. And because of that, I now and then feel disappointed that meditation didn't fix everything. But gosh, how much it did fix! And I'm not even done yet, far from it! What a miracle! How did I at all survive having to deal with all that for all those years? I feel so much compassion for the insecure guilt- and shame-ridden being I used to be. It is such a relief that I no longer take that sense of being a Self so seriously. When the rubber meets the road, "I" know that the I isn't the center of the world, even for itself, and also that it doesn't carry the weight of the entire world on its shoulders and really isn't supposed to. Therefore I can cut it some slack. That's one hell of a difference. 
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Chris M, modified 1 Year ago at 10/2/22 11:06 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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It's always nice to see a positive story about the fruits of meditation practice. Congrats!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/2/22 12:43 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Thankyou!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/2/22 3:52 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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45 minutes of fire kasina + about 80 minutes reclining meditation on the murk

Fire kasina:
Lively detailed dot with lots of action going on inside it, like live amber glowing and scintillating. Common morphing into the spiral-shaped swirling cone. The ring around the dot would sometimes get long spikes radiating out from it, many thin ones, and sometimes it would rotate. There was often a very rapid flickering, but sometimes it switched over to lava-like flows instead. There were at least one instance of a photorealistic candle flame shining through behind the stylized dot, and one occasion with a centered bright white dense little nimitta that did not stay long. Sometimes there were pixels around the dot, but I remember reading in the updated fire kasina glossary that pixels have to do with focusing on a too short distance, so I let the gaze relax into landscape view and the pixels disappeared. Eventually the dot would turn blackish, although there were particles of color in it and the darkness seemed to be blocking a remaining brighter dot that would sometimes shine through again. Breathing was easy and there was a widely spread smooth piti, like a subtle pleasant humming in my entire body. The touch sense was in nondual mode. There was calm ease and effortless focus and a pleasant taste to the whole experience, a taste of second jhana leaning towards third.

Reclining murk:
Although there was a sense of being glued to the jhanic taste, there was also a sense of tension as the eyes wanted to focus on something they couldn't find. There was movement going on in the murk, sometimes with a sense of swirls in 3D, but trying to focus on it with the eyes didn't do any good. I relaxed the eyes back into their sockets over and over again. When I did, I could sense that something was about take shape on the screen, but the anticipation made the eyes want to focus again, and so the moment was gone. There was a while when I managed to relax from that long enough to be absorbed into jhana moving towards equanimity, but after a while I popped out of it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/3/22 5:54 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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1 h of reclining practice letting go of layer after layer of subtle tensions and subtle doing, such as trying to focus my eyes in the murk and subvocalizing mantras that run in the background. Letting go like this feels very healing. There seems to be no end to the layers of subtle tensions. Releasing them leads to jhanic factors becoming uncovered. It seems like fire kasina and this kind of practice are a good combo. The fire kasina stirs the pot and the surrendering deals with what is stirred up. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/4/22 1:35 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/4/22 1:35 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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40 minutes of fire kasina before I went to bed yesterday. I was tired after having worked late, so it was dull. I had a hard time focusing mentally on the flame even though the gaze was glued to it, and that made the dot pale and fuzzy and short-lived in comparison, and also rather effervescent. There were some funny-looking long tangly tentacles from it, though. Some pixelating around the dot, mainly pink pixels in a blue-green haze around the flame, the counterimage to the bright area around the candle flame. Lots of murk. I guess it's time for that.

​​​​​​​Being sleepy made it hard to find the proper curiosity about the murk. I did notice a similar change to the nada sound as reported before, but with less of the cool sound effects. Definitely lower pitch, and the waves were so slow that I could kinesthetically feel them as weird wobbling. They even seemed to affect the eardrum on the right side. I remember that from earlier in my practice (it tends to happen in dissolution when I try to actively focus on something). Maybe there's a pressure regulating effect associated with the nada sound. There were very brief complete silences now and then that I suspect was blanking out from microsleep. I was that tired (there were unusually many people at a gathering for autistics at my job, in a small room, and so the sound was a bit overwhelming from all the talking and from having to be at the center of it as one of the group leaders; yes, we do socialize). 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/5/22 6:11 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/5/22 6:11 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I did about an hour of yoga yesterday, 30 minutes of exercises to improve my skandasana and 30 minutes of hatha sun salutations, but didn't manage to sqeeze in any fire kasina. Stressful day. Did only get 5 min of letting go meditation before housing support, which was insufficient for my wellbeing. 30 minutes later on helped me unclench somewhat. I was cycling the dukkha ñanas. They were textbook examples of the vibrational characteristics as described in MCTB2. Pms didn't exactly help. Reading chapter 3 of the recognition sutras (Christopher Wallis's translation and commentaries) opened things up to spaciousness. Hanging out with a loved one helped a lot. As I was trying to get some sleep before the RtS class, the cycling started again and I was supertense, so I revisited an old favorite new age-y sleep hypnosis recording that did the trick and allowed me to sleep like a baby. 

Doing a more intention-heavy practice such as fire kasina makes things get into motion and decreases both dullness and distraction. It feels kind of dense, though, and it makes the dukkha ñanas stand out more. It tenses me up. I need to find a balance there. So far there doesn't seem to be any bleed-through in daily life, not much anyway. I'm familiar with the terrain. The PoI map helps normalizing it so I don't have to take it seriously. Also, it's all very transient. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/7/22 5:58 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/7/22 5:58 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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On the Wednesday I believe I skipped the fire kasina and did only reclining letting go practice. I slept late because I'd had the RtS class during the night, and then I worked late.

On Thursday morning I did fire kasina for about an hour, I think, but I did it lying down as my mood was very low (pms and dukka ñanas and some stirred up old wounds). The dot was effervescent and had some tentacles coming out of it, and there was a lot of murk. No yoga. Great unclenching happening in reclining meditation. Much needed.

I cried a lot during those two days, for hours at a time.

Friday several rounds of reclining letting go meditation, one of them together with a partner who was sitting (that session got some stagnated energies moving again, resulting in bright purple swirls flowing around and a sense of lightness); 30 min yoga, 40 min fire kasina. Bright and well defined dot that soon turned yellow and had lots of movement going on within it. The dark ring got bumps growing out from it. Sometimes there was a shortlived white flame on the screen as well, apart from the dot. Jhanic vibes for a while. There were some sound effects that are hard to describe. Dullness towards the end as it was very late and I was sleepy. When I blanked out for a fraction of a moment, from dullness, suddenly the nada sound was roaring which stood out as a contrast to the silence that had been there for that micromoment. It was relatively low pitch. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/7/22 9:06 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Woke up in first jhana during the night. Spirals and other structures were forming in the murk. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/8/22 5:07 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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45 minutes slow flow yoga for flexibility out in the sun
20 minutes reclining meditation, also out in the sun, focusing on the murk

There was a nimmita embryo, a hazy light sphere, that would sometimes briefly condense itself into a small bright dot - white or some other color.

Then there were color swirls like in a lava lamp. I could control the colors with a long delay. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/8/22 6:01 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I forgot to mention that there was a beautifully bright blue whole screen full of square-shaped pixels. I had read in the fire kasina glossary that pixels just appear when the focus is too short, so I relaxed my eyes into more of a landscape perspective, and then the pixels went away. So did the imagery, though.

---

Half an hour of reclining focus on the visual field in the murk with relaxed eyes. Relaxing the eyes felt great. Nothing particularly interesting coming up on the screen, though. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/8/22 12:12 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/8/22 10:57 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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40 min yin yoga
40 min fire kasina
40 min reclining meditation on just the murk without the flame and mainly just relaxing the eyes

I still get a dot but the murk dominates. It feels gloomy. I am curious about the murk because I know that anything can take shape there, so it's not that I find it boring. I think there is resistance to some subconscious stuff that might be uncovered, stuff that I haven't fully dealt with. 

There were some kriyas, a hand that lifted itself and shoulders briefly rising up from reclining. 

There is a lot of high-pitched nada sound now and a subtle pull from it.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/9/22 10:25 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/9/22 10:24 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Afternoon practice today:

80 min fire kasina
(break)
60 min fire kasina
60 min reclining focusing on the murk

All the time I had a mantra going on repeat in my head, or rather the first part of it:

Namaskaratha Mantra

ॐ नमो हिरण्यबाहवे हिरण्यवर्णाय,
हिरण्यरूपाय हिरण्यपतए ।
अंबिका पतए उमा पतए पशूपतए नमो नमः॥

Om Namo Hiranya Baahave Hiranya Varnaaya,
Hiranya Roopaaya Hiranya Pataye,
Ambika Pataye Uma Pataye Pashu Pataye Namo Namah.

English Meaning: I trust in the divine essence, eternal nature, to form an immortal, eternal Lord, Lord Parvati, and Uma, Lord of wild animals, I submit myself to you.

To listen: https://youtu.be/NXxLJF52Rhc
For the complete lyrics and mening: https://kivabeguide.com/namaskaratha-mantra-lyrics/

Weird how it's possible to have that kind of mantra going on while focusing on a candle flame or a dot and listening to the nada sound and yet somehow be able to squeeze in long complex verbal thoughts, like entire dialogues. I'm not even sure how. Was the dialogue squeezed in during the pauses of the mantra or was the mantra on auto pilot or what? 

In the beginning the dot was pretty detailed. It had that spiral shaped swirling cone thing going on, among other things. However, the murk was what dominated the experience. I could feel that the murk was alive. It had a pull to it and it was in constant motion. There was no doubt that a lot was going on there beneath the surface (or layers of surfaces?). There was a sense of being lightheaded, together with a loud high frequency nada sound. Toward the end intricate patterns were flashing by. I only saw them as glimpses in black and grey. The glimpses were so short that I couldn't see what the patterns looked like, except that they were detailed and symmetrical and filled up the space.

For the main part of the practice I had company, on video chat, with another practicioner. Practicing together helps with motivation and discipline. I'm looking forward to being able to practice together in person. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/10/22 4:33 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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A brief yoga session in the morning, about 15 minutes, and quick check-ins with yoga postures during the day
About 75 min fire kasina in the afternoon
45 min fire kasina in the evening
Possibly more before I go to sleep

The fire feels healing but the murk is associated with some amount of anxiety, it seems. Stories. Just stories.

In the dark, the candle flame has a strong pull. Sitting is easy. Loud high frequency nada sound. The breath gets subtle and silky. In the afternoon sit, the murk flickered like crazy. In the evening sit, for a while the dot turned into a yellow little sun with many beams radiating out from it. The dot sometimes turned black or blackish. It contained static which looked white at first glance but turned out to contain particles of read, blue and green. When the dot turned into a black disk, it seemed that it was actually rather the case that the little black dot melted into the larger spot that was the counterimage to the entire bright field. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/11/22 5:15 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/11/22 5:15 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Hectic day.

At least an hour or so reclining in what felt like a jhanic cocoon, interrupted by a sudden sharp sound in my left ear and the feeling of something happening to the eardrum. I should check that ear out, as it seems like air comes out of it at specific points in my meditation when there is pressure changes in my sinuses (when I meditate with my ears under water, bubbles appear - from both ears, but especially my left ear). 

20 minutes of standing meditation, in two different positions, 15 min in one very basic comfortable position and 5 min in a position that was challenging to my shoulders. It was the first time I tried those positions. I just thought I'd check it out, to see how the positions felt and if the practice would be something I'd want to try. I was surprised that the first position was so physically comfortable and so intense energetically. Energy was rushing and the nada sound was loud. Fear came up as it felt like in that posture all defense barriers were gone and like maybe the ground would actually vanish under my feet or subconscious stuff would flood me. I chickened out because I hadn't expected that at all. Now that I'm prepared, I'll keep doing it. It is the sort of development I'm working towards after all. The second position involved shoulder pain so it didn't get energetically intense. It seems like I still have defenses online in my shoulders. That's something to work on, I guess.

40 minutes of fire kasina. The dot started out bright and sharp and detailed and lively, with the usual developments. Over time it darkened and became more fuzzy, with more focus on the murk. It didn't feel gloomy, though. I would love to keep going, with more fire kasina and some more standing practice as well, but I need to get some sleep before the RtS class.

I'm still loving the recognition sutras. Reading them pops things open and makes experience spacious and exquisitely silky and fresh like the smell of a soft summer rain in the evening. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/13/22 6:14 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/13/22 6:14 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Yesterday

Exploration of the murk in hypnagogia - earth element structures with both organic shapes, lumped together in clusters, and sharp angels. Black and grey.

35 min fire kasina. Nothing out of the ordinary. Well needed mood improver.

Spent most of the day visiting hell realm (the pms from hell, utterly miserable and hopeless, except when I had company). Dukkha ñanas.

A small amount of yoga in the evening made a tangible difference. 


Today:

Waking up in the company of a loved one was a blessing. Morning yoga continued the positive development. Spaciousness - what a grace! Was able to look at life challenges with fresh eyes and deal with them constructively and compassionately. Friendly advised helped with that. 

In total an hour of yoga, divided into three sessions.

Short breaks of spontaneous movement interspersed with tasks.

30 minutes standing practice:
20 min basic - no fear whatsoever. Calm and peaceful. Somewhat less balanced than the last time. Pleasant energy building up especially in the hands. Sinuses popped open with that rhythmical ticking that happens sometimes. Spacious! A sense of being surrounded by tangible smooth energy.
10 min balloon - still challenging for my shoulders but less so than last time. I could feel the tensions move outwards as sore spots relaxed. I think this may do wonders for my old reoccuring shoulder issues. It feels great now. Surprisingly much so. In the posture, I could relax rather well despite local tensions. There was relative equanimity with the pain, and it was good pain, the kind that heals.

High frequency nada sound. Bliss. Subtle but exquisite breathing. Sacred world. 

​​​​​​​Time to do fire kasina! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/13/22 7:05 PM
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30 min fire kasina but the late (or early) hour caught up with me, and so I kept dozing off. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/14/22 5:23 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/14/22 5:23 PM

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Standing practice, 20 minutes in the first position and 15 minutes in the second position. I'm loving it! There's like a wavelike development to it, a rhythm with phases of deep calm and phases with rushes of energy flow and heat building up. It feels a bit like standing in liquid honey, except it's not sticky. There's so much energy in my hands. In the balloon posture it really feels like I'm hugging a balloon of energy, and it's like that balloon is holding my hands up. Surrendering into the posture and relaxing everything that doesn't need to be tense feels so good. I could get hooked on this. When there are really intense upwardmoving energy surges, I'm still firmly rooted to the ground, with my pelvis heavy and breathing in my belly. That seems to have a balancing and stabilizing function. I still get a bit high, though. Amazing that a couple of very foundational standing positions can have that effect! It is very unifying, as all muscles need to work together to avoid leaning in any way. It seems to really open up the energy channels as the alignment is perfect. It's probably the ultimate antidote to dullness, and a great equanimity practice. I'll keep doing this.

Fire kasina 40 minutes. I have come to enjoy it regardless of whether or not there are fireworksy imageries. I seem to have reached a bit of a plateau. The dot does its usual things. The murk feels alive and I just know that there are things going on there behind the veils, but it hasn't quite opened up yet. It's a pretty low dosage so that's only to be expected.

Oh, and I spent quite some time reclining, playing with the threshold to sleep. The first time around I was visualizing things that seemed very real. The second time I was easing into leaving my body. For a while there it felt like I might do it. I have only had it happen on its own, not on command, but today it felt like it could be possible. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/15/22 6:59 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/15/22 6:39 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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It is fascinating how the same external conditions can be experienced completely different depending on one's view, or from what realm one experiences it. The day before yesterday and yesterday were like night and day, and yet the outer world remained as much "the same" as is possible (which isn't much, really, when you look closely, but still...). I think hormonal changes had to do with it, so that's a change in external conditions, though, but it was also influence from dharma friends and doing my yoga.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/15/22 10:29 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/15/22 10:28 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Lol, I think I mixed up the days in that comparison, but oh well, two recent days were like night and day.

So far today I have done some yoga, some spontaneous movement practice on land and in water, the yi rang, a minimal amount of the standing practice (I could squeeze in some of it in breaks at work) and some swimming and water gymnastics. I look forward to getting home from work so that I can do more formal practice. I'm enjoying my current regime, even though it seems to be more of afternoon + evening practice than morning + evening practice.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/15/22 4:52 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/15/22 4:52 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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On the way home from work I played with posture and how it changes view. Fascinating.

When I got home I noticed contraction and embodied irritability, so I did reclining "unclenching" while listening to a couple of dharma talks until I was relaxed.

Then standing practice, 25 minutes in position 1 and 15 minutes in position 2. It's getting more and more comfortable. I kind of like the pain in position 2 as I can feel that it's healing. I listened to mantras while standing. The positions felt both powerful and calm. I like how they cultivate equanimity. Very smooth piti together with sukha but leaning towards equanimity.

Flowy movements to mantras + yoga stretches. Pleasant showers of piti, tangible joy and happiness.

45 minutes of fire kasina while still listening to mantras. Blissful. I got the sense that there was a little Buddha in the candle flame. The dot was bright and longlived and sometimes contained vivid details and movement, often in combination with rapid flickering both in the dot and in the murk around it. Lots of yellow. Sometimes an additional white flame. Sometimes more than one ring around the dot. Sometimes inversions of colors back and forth between the dot and the rings. Mists with sparkling color particles. White static in the dot when it was black. Some spirals and other structures in the murk, mainly in black and grey but sometimes the black and grey was made up of man colored particles. Color swirls. 

Some improvised devotional dance. Rapture! Sacred world (assignment from Michael Taft). 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/16/22 12:30 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Tried a hypnosis recording to astral project. It was great for getting really really relaxed. Then I had some weird kriyas with body parts moving on their own with jerky movements. Then I fell asleep and had a dream in which I tried to get rid of the annoying music. I took off my headphones but the music was still there. I turned off a tape recorder with the same result. I took out the batteries. Still no result. I took out the tape and found that it was playing on its own. I opened up the tape (which did not look like any tape format that I have ever seen) and broke it apart. Somewhere there the youtube video must have stopped, because finally there was silence. What a grace! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/16/22 11:50 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Started the day with yoga.

Woke up with a sore shoulder so I thought I would be unable to do the balloon posture, but it turned out to be quite the opposite. It was much more comfortable today. I had company (over video chat) doing the standing practice today. We did 25 minutes in the first position and 15 minutes in the second one (balloon). Apparently there is a third posture as well, but we didn't do that one. I was surprised that the time run up so fast. I was totally enjoying it. There's a bit of balancing back and forth to prevent subtle leaning in some direction, so that's something to focus on. There's also the energy flow, which is quite pleasant, and the breath. There are cycles of expansion and contraction in the fascia that affect the whole system. There are lots of small muscles that get to work in a way that isn't too straining for them, which is great because I sometimes get a bit too optimistic about training them in yoga and that hurts them. All in all, there are lots of sensations happening and thereby lots of dependent origination to watch. I find that this practice is good both for insight and for concentration. It also helps me tune into the view that Michael Taft calls the sacred world (when emptiness and form go together in a way that gives averything a taste of being sacred). Surrendering into the posture and letting go of all unnecessary tension makes experience spacious and sort of glowing. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/16/22 10:13 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Woke up early in the morning with pain in my right shoulder, but then it popped into position and the pain was gone. This shoulder has been somewhat dislocated and stiff for as long as I can remember, and it's still rather stiff but less so and it seems to be correcting itself thanks to the balloon posture. It is Chinese medicine after all. Oh, and now my stiff left ankle popped into position too. Wow! It just took away the worst part of that nerve pinch. I'll definitely continue with this practice. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/17/22 3:00 AM
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As I lay down to fall back to sleep, disentangling happened. The deeper kind (relative to my own limited experience) that feels like a light seeps through the energy channels to clean up. 

Now I'm finding my way back to awareness walking, which has better posture and s much less effortful than my habitual walking. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/17/22 9:26 AM
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A few minutes of gentle yoga stretches to warm up.

Standing practice, 25 + 15 minutes. Sweet. I'm developing a number of tells for how to get the postures correct (based on my own experience of what feels like it's working).

Both postures: The tilt of the pelvis is correct when the sensations of the diafragm moving in the belly breathing stand out with great detail and the belly moves like a balloon. In the messenger window I can see clearly how the muscles work on the outbreath (they are drawn upwards and inwards) and how the belly puffs out on the inbreath just like when you blow up a balloon. The legs are bent, steady but bouncy. The feet have all their four corners rooted to the ground and there is a generous arch. The knees and the toes are pointed in the same direction. The feet are relaxed enough so that I can lift and spread out my toes. Face muscles are relaxed, like the face is almost melting. 

In posture 1, it's important that the arms are rounded. Otherwise the energy flow gets somewhat stagnated between the shoulder blades, which messes up the entire dynamics of the flow. The height of the hands is where there's a sense of the energy being contained and the hands get tangibly warmer. I can feel the energy radiate out from the lower dan tien, and that's what's contained by the hands. When I get all this correct, there is such an exquisite taste to the experience. Effortless flow of energy, spaciousness, smoothness, delightful breathing, bliss, calm alertness, love, faith/trust/confidence (not sure any of the words has the right nuance), a sense of being empowered but not in any agitated way. 

In posture 2, the roundedness of the arms is important too, but in a different position. The hands are at shoulder height and the hands are at the angle that makes them both look like and feel like they are resting on the surface of the round balloon. The arms need to be rounded as if to give space for the balloon for that to happen. The muscles are relaxed enough for the fascia to get a stretch but supportive enough to avoid sharp pain. Even though this is a more challenging posture, I can still relax and rest in it and really enjoy the energy flow and the breath and the smoothness and delicious spaciousness that develop. I like how it gets clear that the pain is there but I don't need to suffer. 

 I could have stayed in both postures longer.

Some flowy movements inbetween the postures and after the session.

20 minutes of yoga: https://youtu.be/CrdMQdq0uis
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/17/22 9:18 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/17/22 9:18 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Wow, there is such a pleasant feeling of blood circulation in my shoulders now, amd energy circulation in general. However, I think I strained my neck a bit in attempting the headstand without support from the pinkies. I must have misunderstood how to do that. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/18/22 9:06 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/18/22 9:06 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Weird how my hands don't feel held up but like they are floating up in the standing practice.

Had a histamine reaction today, and it's something interesting going on in the brain fog. It's like being inside a wall of fog but glimpsing another world on the other side of it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/19/22 9:11 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/19/22 9:11 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Yesterday was a shitty day in many respects even though it ended on a good note. "External" things, beyond what I can just empty out. Physical things too, and this body has its limits. I did only a small amount of yoga. I missed the shared afternoon standing session because I was knocked out by a food reaction. We did a shorter one in the evening, only 25 min of the first posture, wu chi. I did 5 minutes of the balloon posture on my own, at an odd hour before the RtS class. Then I did some wu chi standing during the class, but that didn't quite allow the right amount of focus. I was disappointed at myself for not taking care of myself better that day. At least the little I did felt really good. It took some wobbling around before I found my way into the correct posture, but then it was good. That sweet relief of open spaciousness.

I need to start over with the fire kasina. 

I woke up jetlagged today after the class, but had an awesome standing session. 25 minutes wu chi, 17 minutes balloon posture. As soon as we started, there was that specific ticking sound in the sinuses that sometimes happens when things open up. I think it's a more gradual version of the popping. I felt happy. I wonder how long I could stand like that. It feels like it would be comfortable for much longer than I have tried. If I find a way to place a candle that high without the flame burning anything, maybe I'll do fire kasina in that posture. Ramping up the balloon posture to 17 minutes today was challenging but doable with some margin. I believe it was a well balanced ramping up. Having a sparring partner for the practice is awesome. It's great to be able to share experiences and insights and give each other feedback as to what made it easier or more challenging, and to motivate and encourage each other. 

Now I'll do some yoga and hopefully some fire kasina before it's time to go to work. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/19/22 6:23 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/19/22 6:21 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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The evening practice was delayed until after work, but then I did half an hour of yoga and 70 minutes of fire kasina. The dot made its usual moves. Sometimes it was very distinct, other times effervescent, sometimes it sort of had long thin tentacles reaching out from it. It would go from red to yellow with a red ring and then the ring would change colors and maybe be layered, maybe have bumps or be sort of spiky. Glowing coal would develop inside the dot, and the dot would darken and there would be figure-ground shifts in the colors. The murk around and after the dot would flicker rapidly (as would the dot itself) and contain fogs and mists and colored pixels or particles and fogs and mists and flowy color swirls and like thin threads building the embryos of structures. The nada sound was loud but didn't have the magnetic quality that draws you in. There was spaciousness but not in any wow way. The ticking sound in my sinuses appeared towards the end of the session. I had a mantra at the back of my mind and paid attention to the flame and the dot, but there was still room for discursive thoughts - some neurotic rambling going on, and definitely thoughts about love (those thoughts weren't neurotic, just attached). 

Later I was in a conversation where I noticed cycling in the dukkha ñanas very clearly. It started out with fear showing up without any reason at all. I was paranoid even, so sure that someone I liked had blocked me on discord and of course she hadn't. There was just some glitch or technical quirk I hadn't figured out and it had nothing to do with her at all. I saw how my mind was just making up stories, and I had this tangible reality check where I had evidence that it was just in my mind, and yet I could feel the fear in my body even after the mental aspect of it had fallen away. So I talked about it and described how it was not at the vibrational level but very clear bodily symptoms of fear without feeling afraid anymore. As soon as I had made that reflection, it changed so that the physical sensations gradually but fast transformed themselves into typical fear ñana vibrations. Then as the conversation continued (on the topic of phenomenology and intentions), I continued to feel the vibrations. I could feel the shifts into misery and disgust, entirely at the vibrational level. The chaotic vibrations reminded me of how wave patterns from two different oceans collide at the coast of Skagen in Denmark. Somewhat later there was an additional shift of vibrations and I tried to reminisce what that type of vibrations meant, ñana-wise. Wondering that made me tune into the emotional layer of the ñana, and that made it very clear that it was reobservation. I could tune into how the attitudes of reobservation were embodied and laugh at the thoughts and emotions that came up. And then I could shift back into the vibrational layer again. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/21/22 8:10 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/21/22 8:10 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Yesterday I did 42 min of standing practice (25+17) and 1 h of sitting practice (trekchöd). 

Lately the murk has changed character in hypnagogia. Sometimes structures appear in bright colors. It's more common for me to have structures appear in black and gray and occasionally in black and white, whereas bright colors tend to swirl around more like in a lava lamp. I find this development interesting.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/22/22 4:54 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/22/22 4:54 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Yesterday I did 2 hours of fire kasina except for the interruption of a phone call that I had to take. I did a zoom group sit at r/streamentry that was also announced on Adi's discord server. The fire kasina seems to be heading towards murky territory. It was a good opportunity to just tune into equanimity and notice all expectations for things to be any different. 

Lots of bodily pain and fatigue due to circumstances. I only did 20 + 5 minutes of standing practice and a minimal amount of yoga. Lots of reclining letting go combined with gentle tuning into the visual field in the murk. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/23/22 11:44 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/23/22 11:44 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Yesterday 55 minutes of yoga and 48 minutes of standing practice (24 + 18). Lots of reclining letting go, trying to investigate the boundaries between sleep and wakefulness to see if I can repeat the OBE I had a while back. So far no success. However, sometimes there are flashes of colorful patterns in the murk behind the eyelids, apart from the usual swirls.

Today so far 20 minutes of yoga, 48 minutes of standing practice and 45 minutes of fire kasina. Lots of reclining practice as above, some of it while chanting OM in constructive rest position.

I find that in the standing practice, there are very different feels to the two different postures. In Wu chi there is so much warmth and happiness. It's very easy to tune into unconditional love. Yesterday it generated very tangible heat in the heart chakra. The balloon posture still involves pain, especially as we are ramping up the length a bit, and the feeling tone of transcending that is more equanimous. 

The fire kasina was subtly dull at times towards the end of the sit, but I noticed it when it happened and applied more curiosity. The dot did its usual things, nothing fancy. A new variety was a black star with long thin spiky rays. The bluegreen turned into an unusually bright turqoise. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/23/22 4:06 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/23/22 4:06 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Another 40 minutes of yoga. Lots of reclining letting go, tuning into stillness but staying awake.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/23/22 8:48 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/23/22 8:48 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I had set the intention to wake up in the night to try some techniques for leaving the body, and practiced the techniques before I fell asleep. I have indeed waken up several times so far. I have forgotten to practice the techniques in any systematic way, but one of the times I woke up and intended for an OBE, I actually felt a pull upwards, and I could feel that I was beginning to float up from my body. Unfortunately, the surprise pulled me right back into my body immediately. Still - wow, it works! 

https://youtu.be/YQjAIlFZWWc
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/24/22 5:55 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/24/22 5:55 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Upon trying again, I had a very brief instance of lucid dreaming or whatever is the most appropriate label. It was very trivial. I felt my body (mainly my hands) in a slightly different position than was the case, realized it and woke up. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/24/22 11:52 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/24/22 11:52 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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15 min yoga, 48 min standing practice, 45 min (?) fire kasina (I wasn't the one setting the timer and I forgot to ask). Lots of fear showing up as the tentions holding it let go in the standing practice. Might be work-related. Lots of murk in the fire kasina. I can see that there's a whole lot going on under the veil, sort of, but it remains hidden.

I'm home sick and sleeping a lot so at least I get to practice getting into the "phase" where OBE:s happen. I have had a few instances of noticing that my body was asleep and in sleep paralysis. I was too sleepy and weak to apply techniques diligently, though. 
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Chris M, modified 1 Year ago at 10/24/22 12:02 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/24/22 12:02 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Feel better soon!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/27/22 10:40 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/27/22 10:40 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Thankyou Chris! It seems to be moving in the right direction. Now I can retain both food and medicines. I think it was an acute stress reaction related to a specific work situation. I have the support from my boss and collegues, so it could be much worse for me. Unfortunately, our client is not as lucky. I'm not looking forward to having to say no to being her lifeline. I will still write up some documents that hopefully might be helpful to her in finding a lifeline, because that I can do without breaking apart. 

The day before yesterday I wasn't able to du much besides lying in bed and lying down on my yoga mat in some restorative yoga positions. I slept a lot, rested a lot, listened to some youtube teachings on OBE:s and watched far too much netflix. Oh, I did go through with a job meeting on zoom (about the situation) and ran some errands with my housing support, actually (I had to get a medicine and buy something that I might be able to eat). But I skipped both the standing practice and the kasina practice. 

Yesterday I did two sits of fire kasina, 49 + 46 minutes (weird numbers, I know), the first one alone and the second one with company. Murk territory. The dot does some stuff before the murk shows up, but it feels like the murk is the major thing that needs to be dealt with. The second sit was actually technically today, as it was after midnight for me (time zone issues), so I got very dull towards the end of the sit, but at least I wasn't stressed out any more but in a good mood. Before the sits I actually taught some yoga, very simple and gentle exercises, to some autistic friends at work in the evening. I hadn't had time or energy to prepare, so I improvised. It went well enough. They said that it felt good. It felt good for me to, helped with my wellbeing. The day had been stressful because I took my kiddo to a doctor's appointment that took much more time than we had expected, and I hadn't eaten, amd then it seemed physically impossible to get to work in time, but somehow I made it. 

Today we did the standing practice, 25 + 15 minutes (we shortened the balloon posture session because I had missed the practice for two days, to prevent strain). I was outside in the sunshine and it was a lovely autumn day, windy but relatively warm (and I love it when it's windy) and a partially blue sky. It was weird doing the standing with shoes on, and I struggled a bit to get the balance right. For the first part I worried about hurting my knees, but I recognized that as fear ñana. Still, I kept doing small adjustments for a while, just in case. Eventually I got into the zone, and it was lovely. Unusually many people were walking by, probably because of the lovely weather, and they seemed to all think that my standing like that in front of an ipad outside looked weird, but who cares. I just smiled back at them. 

Then we did some sitting (I was still outside). I think it was about 25 minutes until my housing support person showed up and I had to end the sit. It was a great sit. I just let sensory impressions flow through me with my eyes open. It was beautiful. For a while I was convinced that there was an intricate fractal pattern to how the autumn leaves were spread out on the grass, and it seemed hyper-real. That impression went away after a while. 

I hope I'll manage to do some yoga and some more sitting this evening. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/27/22 5:47 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/27/22 5:47 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I did get some yoga and sitting done, half an hour of yoga and 45 minutes of fire kasina. Inbetween that I did the 9 breaths of purification, some balance exercises and some stretching. I even attended to my Buddhist altar which I have neglected for a while. My focus was pretty sharp in the fire kasina sit. No new developments, though. Getting back on track is a good development per se, anyway, so I won't complain. I look forward to practicing more tomorrow. I love having someone to practice with. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/28/22 9:01 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/28/22 9:01 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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For the first time in a while I woke up without an alarm while it was actually morning and not feeling like something the cat dragged in. I had almost forgotten what that felt like (my memory is short, lol). So I did the altar routine and 20 minutes of yin yoga and then sat for an hour, doing Michael Taft's latest guided meditation.

Then I did 10 minutes of yoga flow.
Then standing practice, 25 + 16 minutes.
Then fire kasina 45 minutes.

Loved the yoga.

The guided meditation felt good, although I didn't get to that sense of everything being sacred. I was able to visualize clearly and I kept my focus except for one time when my mind wandered enough for me to forget what it was I was supposed to do specifically during that moment of silence. At other times, thoughts came up and lingered a bit but without hijacking my overall focus. I didn't get agitated in any way. There was no sluggishness. Sitting felt comfortable and easy. My body and mind felt calm and alert. No irritability. Of course, since thoughts came up, some of which were not directly related to the practice, I wasn't in the perfect sweetspot. 

Loved the yoga. 

Standing in wu chi felt great today. My body found just the right balance, so it was both energizing and grounding at the same time. The balloon posture felt good too, but I had to adjust the rounding of my arms a few times and remember to relax the shoulders down while raising the elbows. It also took some effort to maintain the sense of being pulled upwards by a rope through the spine. When I got into the right balance, it felt awesome but yet challenging. 

The fire kasina entailed some intricate details of very fine rays or sometimes colored pixels around the dot. There were details moving inside the dot as well as in front of it (more so yesterday than today, actually, but I forgot to write that yesterday). Thoughts came up during the fire kasina as well, but they did their own thing and had no emotional investment to them whatsoever. Sometimes there was a sense of me doing the thoughts, sometimes not. Sometimes the thoughts dissolved before they were fully formed. Thoughts directly related to the practice were more likely to be verbalized; there was a bit of log planning going on. Sometimes the flame drew me in with its intensity and beauty. There were generally less thoughts while watching the development of the dot as long as it was bright and shiny. When it got more murky, I had to watch out for distractions. I can see why Daniel recommends doing fire kasina as a retreat practice. Higher doses would probably be helpful in getting past the murk. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/28/22 3:26 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/28/22 1:55 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Another 20 minutes of yoga + 30 minutes of reclining shamatha on the breath. Very pleasant, lots of smooth piti, lots of sukha. However still thoughts going on, preventing full absorption. I plan to do just a little bit more yoga and then give the shamatha another go, perhaps while listening to my playlist "loving the breath" which includes a number of guided breath meditations and short inspiring talks on the breath. It has helped me to get into the right mood before. 

Edited to add: After another 20 minutes of yoga flow, I'll now lie down to do some more shamatha on the breath. It's getting late, though, so I might feel asleep directly after. 

​​​​​​​I'm setting the intention to wake up during the night to practice tech for leaving the body. 

(Yes, I'm aware that I'm spreading myself thin among several different practices, but it keeps me going and helps me cope in daily life, and it's fun.)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/30/22 2:45 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/30/22 12:42 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Unfortunately, that shamatha session was ruined because I had made the mistake to have some cheeze with my late evening meal, and it led to burning nerve pain, irritability and itches all over my body. I wasn’t able to deal with that with equanimity as it got worse and worse. It also made it hard to sleep.

The next day, Saturday Oct 29th, I was zonked out until early afternoon. 

Standing 25+16 minutes outside
Sitting 30 minutes outside

I found a switch to play with, into what Michael Taft calls AA1. I could flip it back and forth at will. It hasn’t been that reliable fast and precise before, but a recent conversation made me recall something I used to do before I started my practice. I had a way of dealing with sensory overwhelm that I used reliably back then by getting myself into a specific state at will, like flipping a switch. I played with that same switch but invited Bodhicitta into it. 

Then it was time to work, but I was able to do my spontaneous movement practice while working as it involved letting some people bathe in a rehab facility. One of the kids inspired me. I spent 90 minutes in the swimming pool, balancing in different ways on a very floppy and wobbly foam plastic mat/board (too thin to really be a board, at least not for adults). I have never before been able to even sit on such a thing for more than a few seconds, but suddenly my body knew how to balance. It was amazing. I could even do a number of yoga postures on the wobbly mat while floating, such as deer pose, cow face pose, bridge pose, reclining pigeon, reclining pigeon with the other leg straight up in the air, sitting butterfly pose with and without forward fold, paschimottanasana, boat pose… All while navigating between other participants and overseeing what happened. 

Evening: Reclining shamatha on the breath 40 minutes. Lots of smooth piti and sukha. Lovely! Not absorbed enough for my criteria for jhana. 


Sunday Oct 30th

Very early morning: intended for OBE and got into vibrational state but after a while slipped into ordinary dreaming.

Morning: several instances of visual fine-lined structures in the black and grey. Practiced tech for OBE over and over again as I slid in and out of the phase. Some jerky kriyas. 

Around noon: 15 min yoga twists
15-20 min flowy movements sitting while chanting, mainly hip opening movements and stretching side muscles

Standing practice 25+17

Wu chi - managed to relax into really stretching out the fascia around outer glutes, hips, outer calves/shins, feet whilw relieving hips and knees. Felt divine. 

Balloon posture - there was a challenging phase but got into a new level of relaxation after that.

Fire kasina 45 minutes.

​​​​​​​Good focus most of the time. Thoughts were related to investigation. Sense of vision being turned inside out. Relaxed into that and got the strain out if it. Synched with both how the dot changed color and reversed color figure-ground as well as focus clarity shifting according to the ñanas as described by Daniel. I could relax into it and see it with clarity. There were fractals to it, to the expansions and contractions. On the grosser level there were phases of less clarity mapping to dissolution, and in those phases subconscious stuff welled up especially in the murky subphases. It was dreamlike and rather confusing. Other phases had great clarity and in them the dissolution subphases could be investigated to really see how focus changed. Overall I could see how this all kept cycling, and I could be with it.  It was fascinating how the expansion and contraction was tangible also in the murk even though I couldn’t see much there. I could sense it kinesthetically. I could also sense how there were layers in the murk and how figure-ground shifted between layers during the cycling, in a circular movement that mapped onto the inside-out movement, with the moment of inside-out shift being the twist in a moebius strip. It was fascinating. 

My gaze now feels relaxed and wide. It feels like a knot has untangled itself. (Written directly after the fire kasina which ended about 2:30 pm).

​​​​​​​Early evening: hemi synch recording https://youtu.be/ze2jcwu4ddA while doing OBE exercises. The expansion and contraction movements of the recording felt very similar to what I had investigated in the fire kasina session. There were some popping sounds (not from the recording). I continued with the exercises a while after the recording had ended. It did feel like I was floating at times, but not in that very tangible way that I associate with an OBE. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/30/22 5:09 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/30/22 5:09 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
40 minutes of fire kasina. This is getting interesting! That photorealistic image of the candle flame started to show up again, and I thought "What if that is the real learning sign instead of the dot?" It would actually match the old texts better. It was clear that the flame image and the dot were not the same thing, because they showed up in different places. The dot tended to be more centered, but I noticed that it didn't start out that way but developed like that as I focused on the dot. So I hypothesized that maybe if I intend firmly to focus on the flame image insted, then it will get more centered. So I did. For a while it was very confusing, as pale flame clones would show up all over the place, whereas the red dot insisted on being centered. I stayed firm, though, and soon a brighter and more vivid extremely realistic flame would show up in the center. I had to refresh much more often, as it wasn't stable, but it really was like looking at the real candle flame through my eyelids. Also, on the other hand, I didn't need to look at the flame long at all, as I wasn't going for the retina burn. So - fuck the dot! I'm going with the flame!

I'm just curious: why have I not seen people mention this real flame in all the fire kasina reports here? The only one I have ever seen mention it is Adi Vader. Do people choose to ignore the flame image? Or is it what is referred to as the third screen? If so, why not mention that there will come a point where you have to leave the dot behind in order to develop the flame instead? Going through long murk sessions really isn't necessary in order for the flame to appear. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/30/22 8:45 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/30/22 8:45 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Another 45 minutes of fire kasina, working on the learning sign. It has nothing whatsoever to do with retina burn. It's about tuning into that mental "space", like a radio station. If I try to look for it in the murk, it's not there. If I tune into the right "space", it's super-vivid. It's very relaxed, involves no strain on the eyes at all, and no mental strain either. The less effort, the clearer image. It's very shortlived, though. 

I got these instructions from Adi:
The flame appears as a mental image. It has nothing to do with the physical eye.
That is the learning sign.

Hold the image in sati
Then try to get absorbed in its brightness / light

The image drops away and brightness / light becomes the entirety of conscious experience.
I definitely need to work on stabilizing the image before I can get a absorbed into its brightness, but there is no doubt in my mind that I can do it.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/31/22 8:55 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/31/22 8:55 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Had a severe food reaction that kept me from sleeping for a long time, so I got up late today. 

10 minutes of yoga
some other warm-up movements
25 minutes standing in wu chi
17 minutes stading in the balloon posture

While standing, I kept dropping into versions of what Michael calls AA1, awake awareness geared towards emptiness rather than form. I figure I probably need to work on getting the quality of AA1 better in order to access AA2 and AA3, since my stress reaction indicates that the emptiness has been lacking recently. It felt good, made even the balloon posture rather effortless. The awake awareness quality was a bit wobbly, but I'll keep at it.

45 minutes of fire kasina

The sense of really seeing the flame with eyes closed kept appearing very reliably. I have received more elaborate instructions from Adi now, and they will keep me busy. We haven't formalized any binding teacher-student relationship as far as I'm aware, but I'll definitely not let these instructions go to waste. I'll do it. This is super-cool! 

The PoI cycling goes on while I keep returning to the learning sign. The vividness of the image varies, and sometimes a black disk blocks the view (partly). Sometimes echoes of the image appears in the periphery. I just return to the image over and over again. Sometimes the image lingers a little bit longer - or rather reappers for a longer time (it flickers/bounces), which correlates with when it's more vivid. Sometimes the image is more effervescent. But it keeps coming up. I guess one could say that in Daniel's terms, it varies between second and third screen. Third screen is the learning sign. 

With the learning sign, it's easy to stay both focused and calm. If distractions come up, you'll notice it immediately. Awesome biofeedback system, free of charge and doesn't take up any extra space, and no need to worry about the electrical bills or maintenance apart from the usual. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 10/31/22 10:03 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/31/22 10:03 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Here is a screen shot of Adi's instructions, shared with his permission:


​​​​​​​
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Bud ‎, modified 1 Year ago at 10/31/22 11:10 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/31/22 11:09 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Thanks to both of you for sharing that, this practise is unfortunately rare these days and the language varies somewhat. Always interesting to see descriptions of the sign and countersign in particular. Though terminology varies, it's nice to see how they all seem to be pointing at basically the same process.  emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/1/22 10:19 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/1/22 10:19 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Thankyou for your kind post! emoticon I'm glad if it can be of any benefit. Adi's instructions are indeed gold, som I'm happy to share them.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/1/22 10:53 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/1/22 10:53 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Yesterday I was working late. Then I did 25 minutes of yoga. I was too tired to trust myself with a live candle flame, so I found myself a candle flame video on youtube and used that in bed for a few minutes before I went to sleep. It worked, but the flame image that I got from it lacked vividness and realism. I wouldn't recommend it. 

This morning I did 20 minutes of yoga and one hour of fire kasina. Like yesterday afternoon, the image was reliably there but very shortlived and varied in vividness and realism, flickering a lot and bouncing around in space. It gets most vivid (and less bouncy) when instead of looking for it I just assume that it will continue to be there when I close my eyes because it's in the same place anyway. Always in my mind regardless of whether or not it's supported by vision. Just as yesterday there were sometimes echoes of the image in several different places. This happens especially when my mind gets scattered. For instance, I was wondering whether one such "phantom flame" was the after image of something else in the room, so I checked briefly. That resulted in a number of phantom images showing up shortly thereafter. I was going through dukkha ñana territory, so sometimes a black disk covered the flame image, but it would reappear. There were cycles to it, and it correlated with sleepiness showing up. I couldn't do much about being tired, but I could and did refuse to give in to the temptations of getting lazy. When subtle dullness appered, I made sure to sit up even straighter and to investigate with curiosity and visualize with determination. After the session had ended, I took a nap. 

Afternoon:
Standing practice outside in the sun
Wu chi 25 minutes - tuned into AA2 (awake awareness geared towards form), very pleasant taste.
Balloon posture 17 minutes - challenging due to a sore shoulder, tried to relax into AA1 (awake awareness geared towards emptiness) but the AA was wobbly.
Sitting practice 30 minutes outside (no longer sunny). First I just relaxed for a while with eyes open, tuning into awake awareness to the best of my ability. Then I closed my eyes and visualized the flame. It was hard without support from the candle, but I kept on with it. I couldn't see the flame image like in the fire kasina, but at times I may have very vaguely glimpsed a faint and ghostly reminder of it. Of course I could imagine it, but that's not at all the same thing as really seeing it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/1/22 5:23 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/1/22 5:23 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Late evening: One hour of fire kasina while at the same time listening to a recording from the latest RtS class (I was short on time). Interestingly, listening to the class had no negative impact on the reliability, vividness and realism of the learning sign. Thaf photorealistic (or video realistic) candle flame image just kept showing up as soon as I closed my eyes. 

Then I did a ten minutes long guided visualization which was part of the recording. It involved letting myself be filled with light with every breath. Doing that with this amount of concentration was amazing. It was instant jhana. It has never had that impact on me before. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/1/22 9:03 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/1/22 9:03 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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A fun little observation: When I go back and forth between seeing the live "external" flame and closing my eyes and seeing the "internal" flame (the distinction is starting to blur), the nada sound consistently goes into a higher pitch with the latter and a lower pitch with the former.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/2/22 9:38 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/2/22 9:38 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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25 minutes wu chi:

Very pleasant. Still, my mind made itself busy while I was standing and doing the belly breathing. For instance, I was curious about whether my visual memory has improved, so I looked at parts of a very complex and large dharma picture that I have had framed, and checked whether I could visualize them with closed eyes. It seems that it has improved, but there's a lot of room left for improvement. I can see the dukkha both in keeping busy and in feeling the need for improvement, but for the purpose of reaching my spiritual goals I find that it's at least better than settling for dull and ignorant. 
tamas --> rajas --> sattva


17 minutes balloon posture:

It started out feeling unusually comfortable. I was doing the visualization that Michael taught - a bright sphere of light above my head radiating light into my body with every inbreath, and letting the light infuse every cell of my body on the outbreath. However, after a while it took more effort to stay mindful about the posture to avoid being sloppy, so the visualization kept falling away. I have a tendency to let my elbows drop and move my arms closer to my torso while tensing my shoulders, so I repeatedly needed to relax my shoulders back down while lifting up my elbows and correcting the distance. It was a bit challenging at times. I could sense cycling happening. Still, I overall enjoyed it, and afterwards it felt really good.


45 minutes of fire kasina:

Lots of discursive thoughts were happening, but they were related to practice and investigation. There were som phrasing going on too, in thinking about how to ask about other practicioners' experiences with the same things, but over time the thinking got more and more investigative. It seems to me that working with the photorealistic mental image of the flame as it presents itself is less attention-based and more awareness-based compared to how it was for me when I was focusing on the dot and trying to investigate the murk. It feels incredibly effortless. No strain of the eyes. If there is grasping going on, the image goes away, so I hold it very loosely. It seems like it works best when I sort of just take the image for granted - and I do. Boy, is that bound to lead to disappointment at some point, lol! But for now it's just there, very reliably. For a short time, but almost invariably every time I close my eyes without having to refresh for longer than a couple of seconds. Lots of blinking going on. Very short cycles. A couple of seconds eyes open, a couple of seconds eyes closed, back and forth for 45 minutes. This builds a certainty of the flame being there. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/2/22 10:34 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/2/22 10:34 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Half an hour of reclining shamatha, holding the breath and the energy of it loosely while being what knows the arising. 1st jhana. Not luminous jhana, but there was light swirling around and sometimes concentrating itself into a bright white centered dot, sometimes turning into something that looked like a bright star circling around a black hole. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/2/22 10:57 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/2/22 10:57 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Personal notes:

1) God, I don't want to ever lose jhana access again! How I have missed this!

2) Still forgetting to eat and loosing track of time, but at least now it's because I'm meditating rather than just wasting time with meaningless entertainment. I guess that's an improvement. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/3/22 3:36 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/3/22 3:36 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Yesterday evening - half an hour of yoga, 45 minutes of fire kasina while chanting along with this: https://youtu.be/PFMfmuylRKQ

The flame image lasted somewhat longer, whereas the refreshing time was shorter. I estimate that I was on average looking at the live flame for 0,5-1 seconds and holding the mental image for 2,5-3 seconds. The quality of the image was however degrading, so the photorealism didn't last for that long. I loved the chanting. It made the practice feel sacred. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/3/22 1:04 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/3/22 12:39 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Today around noon:

Standing wu chi 25 min - dropped into AA2

Standing balloon posture 17 min - unusually relaxed (after re-checking the instructions, I found that the elbows are actually supposed to be dropped a little, and that made a big difference)

Fire kasina 45 min - the brightness and realism of the flame image varied a great deal, from being as bright and well defined as the live flame to barely being there at all. Sometimes I could see a part of the image. Now I understand what Daniel means by third screen being spotted through a crack in the second screen, or however he phrased it. It really looked like there was a photorealistic image behind the murk, only partly visible through a hole/rip/tear.

---

Early evening: 

Was trying to watch StarTrek but jhana wanted to happen so I shut it off, set the timer for half an hour, reclined and closed my eyes. I was drawn in gradually, weirdly enough with my body first while my thoughts and emotions weren't quite on board (I was pissed off because a friend insisted on doing dharma poking instead of... well, being a friend). Eventually thoughts and emotions were dropped (no thanks to the poking but in spite of it) and I was submerged in a relatively smooth first jhana. I heard the alarm but the jhana wasn't done with me so the session kept on a while longer. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/3/22 5:14 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/3/22 5:12 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Later evening:

slightly more than half an hour of rather challenging yoga

45 minutes of fire kasina with mantra chanting to invoke the fire

15 minutes of yoga

45 minutes of fire kasina with mantra chanting

---

Too bad I have to cook dinner and sleep. I want to keep sitting! The photorealistic flame image is enchanting. The chanting makes time fly. I love how the vibrations from the mantra fill my body and how the sound and the vibrations and the flame and consciousness become one. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/4/22 3:41 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/4/22 3:41 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Morning: half an hour of yoga, 45 minutes of fire kasina with chanting. The photorealistic image keeps coming up, bounce and flicker for a while and then fade. Some distracted thoughts about a diffucult work situation, equanimous response to them. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/5/22 11:48 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/5/22 11:14 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Yesterday the only evening practice that I did was chanting Aum Japa in the chakras selectively to clear out residue from another stress reaction caused by having to set boundaries to the (ex-)client whose life I have been trying to save, eventually leading to saying no entirely (with an opening for her to calm down and take in the offer I made that would actually be doable; not likely to happen). My body said no to the conditions for the whole thing. There is only so much you can do when someone is self-sabotaging in spite of the very real and desperate needs, and I can't get drawn into playing out someone's else's drama and getting mindfucked for not doing what is impossible. I don't know whether or not that Aum Japa made a difference, but I managed to let go. It took a while longer for my body, but so far I have been able to detain both foods and liquid today. Gotta listen to the body.

The standing practice today was... something else. Definitely A&P. There was cycling going on at a fractal level, which I could sense at the vibrational level, but A&P was predominant throughout the session. 25 minutes of wu chi, 17 minutes of balloon posture. There were these incredible waves of euphoria building up together with strong piti, sometimes resulting in a climactic energy wave with champagne bubbles bursting all over the place, often centered in the heart. Other times I could feel a craving for that to happen, and seeing the craving, the hook in it dissolved. Then there were lightness and bliss. I went through several cycles of this. The energy of the piti was so strong that my body would shake a bit. It was quite invigorating. 

45 minutes of fire kasina. The learning sign was shining very brightly at times, and at other times less so. Sitting was comfy and easy. Time flied. I recalled a dream from the night, and realized that I have forgotten to log when this happens. It seems to be a pattern for the dreams to come up during meditation.

​​​​​​​In this dream I gave birth to a baby boy through my chest. Without my having anything to say about it, the baby was given the name Nivet. I didn't even know that it exists as a name, but apparently it does, and its meaning has to do with feeling extremely deeply and being very sensitive and intuitive. In the dream I was protesting against the naming but then realized that in focusing on that, I had neglected to nurture the baby which I was holding to my heart. He had gone blueish and lifeless. I shifted my focus to him, massaged his little chest to get his heart pumping, and soon he was alive and well. I breastfed him and was surprised to notice that the milk was already flowing in abundance. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/6/22 5:29 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/6/22 5:29 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Log entry Sunday November 6th, 2022

​​​​​​​Yesterday evening there were instances of sudden ”face melting”, starting with my lips, with the sense of my face dissolving into an energetic field. 

Early morning lucid dreaming: was in a beautiful environment when I suddenly realized that it was mindmade and that I was dreaming. I explored it and was amazed by how tangible and vivid the sensory impressions were. I could read signs on the buildings and study details of the architectury both visually and with touch. I started to open doors to see what was behind. I made the mistake of assuming that I wouldn’t need to feel shame or guilt for opening doors since it was just a dream anyway, but that’s not how it works. I broke the rules of the dream. Those were private doors, and in the dream there were consequences, so that took away the lucidity. 

The rest of the morning until noon sliding back and forth between awakeness and phase and occasional sleep. Lots of screen 2 and screen 3 phenomenology. Also vibrations and nada sound. Tried a bunch of techniques for leaving the body. Several impulses of actually leaving it, but the physical body reacted with jerky movements to resist it. 

Screen 2: structures in the black and grey. I could see that the grey was really made up of tiny colored dots. Pixelated.
​​​​​​​
Screen 3: often preceded by everything turning white. Then either like screen shots or videos playing out. Text, like on a message board. Mainly regular text, but occasionally unknown symbols. Too quick flashes to read. Video of someone’s living room, with people moving around in it, like captured on a screen with frames around it so the range was limited. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/7/22 5:16 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/7/22 5:16 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Yesterday afternoon: 25 minutes wu chi, 18 minutes balloon posture, 45 minutes fire kasina. Still processing that work thing, so that came up during sitting, but with an equanimous stance, and it didn't affect the learning sign.

Today evening: 25 min wu chi, 18 min balloon posture, 45 min fire kasina with the fire mantra running in my mind. Strong sense of energy in my hands during the standing practice. In the ballon posture, the space where the balloon would have been felt warm to my touch. Generally equanimous. The fire kasina felt very spacious and had this exquisite sublime taste to it. The learning sign, that photorealistic image, keeps coming up effortlessly. It still bounces and flickers and fades away quickly. 
Platu •, modified 1 Year ago at 11/7/22 6:17 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/7/22 6:17 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Chuckle on your baby dream and opening the doors emoticon))
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/8/22 5:37 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/8/22 5:37 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I'm glad I can provide some hearty laughs. emoticon

Today so far:
30 min reclining body scan
15 reclining letting go
​​​​​​​20 intermediate yoga flow
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/8/22 9:29 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/8/22 9:29 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Somewhat later today:

Some warm-up movements 
25 min wu chi
18 min balloon posture (minus some extra warm-up movements)
45 min fire kasina 

A sublime spacious stillness, despite some shoulder pain during the later half or so of the balloon posture. High-pitched strong nada sound. Rhythmic ticking sound from sinuses popping open.

Some work-related processing came up during the fire kasina; I decided that I will write some documents to help that client after all, since I'm the only one with all the relevant information. I just won't deal with the client personally. I need to do it to get closure. That's the line of action that feels calm and spacious. 

No change with regard to the learning sign. Sitting is easy and comfortable. No agitation, no dullness, no restlessness. 

Calm pleasant spaciousness afterwards, but also motor tics showing up as resistance from some part of me. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/9/22 8:41 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/9/22 8:41 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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25 min wu chi
18 min balloon posture - unusually comfortable despite bad mood
45 min fire kasina - learning sign showing up reliably despite bad mood, and sitting was comfortable and pleasant
Thankful for the company.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/9/22 5:40 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/9/22 5:40 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Another 45 minutes of fire kasina late night. The big contraction is gone. The photorealistic candle flame image still flickers and fades, but it keeps showing up. I'm trusting it to be there. Having someone to practice with on a daily basis really helps. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/11/22 8:49 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/11/22 8:49 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Yesterday I missed out on the shared standing practice due to job logistics, but I made it to the sitting practice, during which I did 45 minutes of fire kasina. I also did small amounts of yoga. During the fire kasina, I got into a flow of seeing the "external" flame as just as mind-made as the "internal" one - not just intellectually, but in my intuitive stance. 

Today so far:

20+ minutes of yoga
25 minutes wu chi
18 minutes balloon posture - challenging but at the same time a pleasant taste to the experience
45 minutes fire kasina - at first the flame image lasted somewhat longer than it usually does. Then I got sleepy, remedied it with increased curiosity at first, then by chanting the fire mantra. The mantra chanting made the image brighter, more vivid and more realistic, and it took away the sleepiness. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/11/22 1:35 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/11/22 1:35 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Evening:

About 35 minutes of yoga
45 minutes of fire kasina while chanting the Agni Gayatri mantra

There were phases when the learning sign was very faint and only a remnant of the photorealistic image, but there were also phases when it was bright and vivid. Afterwards it feels like after a good pranayama session. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/11/22 7:59 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/11/22 7:59 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I had trouble sleeping so I listened to this, using earphones: https://youtu.be/sm4fL_ANK6o. On the threshold between sleep and wakefulness I meditated and got into jhana, first and second. It started with the murk brighting up, sometimes with rainbow-like shimmerings in it, sometimes just white light. In first jhana I felt incredibly light. In second jhana there were visuals. I could see the test screen for Swedish television that would be displayed inbetween TV programs when I was a kid, in bright colors. There was also a countdown on a black and white screen. There was a scene showing a couple with a baby. For a while there was static, like it used to be in jhana earlier in my practice, together with strong gross vibrations. I'd say that was in a phase of descending back to first jhana again. Then the dots in the static clustered together to form intricate patterns, and I was back in second jhana with less gross vibrations. Around here I fell asleep and dreamed a non-lucid dream in which I was meditating and was still in an altered state in the dream. Then I found that the jhana juice was running out and I decided that it was time to log it, before deep sleep would lead to forgetting, so I woke myself up, which indicates that even though the dream itself was non-lucid, there was still - on some level - awareness that I was dreaming. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/11/22 8:31 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/11/22 8:31 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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It was vipassana jhanas, not shamatha jhanas. I was investigating the murk, or rather the awareness of the murk, going back and forth between focusing on visual phenomenona on the one hand and on the other hand the sense of there being awareness. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/11/22 11:41 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/11/22 11:41 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Then I listened to this - https://youtu.be/YQjAIlFZWWc - and followed the instructions. I went in and out of dreaming, back and forth, many times and it was lucid all the time except maybe for a few seconds. Very unstable, though. Letting my eyes move left and right rapidly was the most effective tech, even though it didn't always lead to an experience of rotating as intended in the instructions. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/12/22 10:17 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/12/22 10:15 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Log Nov 12th 2022

Half an hour of yoga outside in the sunlight
A few minutes of chanting and spontaneous movement practice 
Standing wu chi 25 minutes 
Balloon posture 18 minutes
Fire kasina 45 minutes
An hour or so of spontaneous movement practice in water

The balloon posture was less challenging today. 

The fire kasina practice is starting to color other practices as well. I noticed today that I get photorealistic image flashes when I close my eyes, not only of the flame but also of the image I’m standing in front of in the standing practice on a daily basis, which happens to be the live video screen of a person. It’s fascinating how there is no qualitative difference between mental images and seeing something in the ”external” world. Making the mental image project ”outward” as something one actually sees, albeit not really with the eyes, is a very gradual process of very small changes in the processing. It seems to be the same process as going from the brain interpreting that maybe one heard the phone ring in the midst of noice from the vacuum cleaner to hearing the exact mobile phone signal as clearly as if it was ringing even though one holds the phone and can see that it’s dead. I have gone through that process a few times; apparently it’s a rather common stress induced hallucination among us autistic people. So - kasina practice is a way to develop convincing visual hallucinations. And now I’m not only in the process of developing flame hallucinations, but also practice partner hallucinations, lol.  Oh well, I can live with that. Getting to see this gradual development also makes it very clear how much our entire reality as we know it is basically a hallucination too. I’m not saying that it isn’t real, though. It’s as real as it gets. 
​​​​​​​
After 43 minutes of Sam kasina - lol - the fire kasina was a piece of cake. The photorealistic image was bright, vivid and more longlived. I still had to blink a lot, as the refreshing cycles are still quite brief, but the refreshing time was only a fraction of a second whereas the visualization was a few seconds, so the ratio is slowly changing. Sometimes the brightness of the projected image increased into an enticing nimitta, but of course it was far too unstable for any real absorption to happen. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/12/22 10:24 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/12/22 10:24 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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At times there were instructions to go to a mirror. Most of the times I just imagined going to my bathroom mirror without actually getting the sense of being there, but there was one time when I was lucid dreaming and got to another mirror. The person looking back at me in the mirror wasn't me, but a darkhaired white solemn-looking man.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/12/22 12:36 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/12/22 12:36 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Another 45 minutes of fire kasina while chanting the mantra. It feels like I could keep going for hours, but I have a partner here celebrating my birthday so I'd better be social at least part of the time. I love this practice. I love being able to really see mental images. 
Conal, modified 1 Year ago at 11/13/22 3:43 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/13/22 3:43 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Hi Linda,
I often read your posts and find them very interesting and informative. Thanks for being so open about your experiences and for describing them so well.
I was interested to see that you are doing zhang zhong as I have been doing it for about six months too. I saw in one of your posts that you didn't know the other standing positions apart from the main two ones. Have you got "The way of energy" by Lam Kam Chuen? Chapter six describes the more advanced poses.  I haven't advanced that far yet so I can't comment on them.

Best regards,
Conal
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/14/22 1:55 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/14/22 1:55 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I forgot to mention that when I was instructed to hold my hands in front of my face, not my physical hands but my dream hands or astral hands or whatever is a suitable label, I did actually see a couple of hands in front of my face very suddenly. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/14/22 2:07 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/14/22 2:07 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Hi Conal!

That's very kind of you to say - thankyou! I'm glad that my log is helpful for someone. 

I hadn't checked out that book but will now that you made me curious. Thanks! It seems like an interesting book. I just tried the exercises out of curiosity after having heard about them and seen them being practiced, and I have the opportunity to do the practice together with someone whom I was practicing together with anyway. It seemed like it would be convenient to piggy-back a bit on someone else's motivation, especially at this time of the year when it gets very dark and gloomy here in Sweden. So I tried it out, not expecting much, but it turned out that it suits me very well. 

What effects have you had from doing it for six months? 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/14/22 3:53 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/14/22 3:53 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Yesterday:

25 min wu chi
18 min balloon posture - challenging 

45 min fire kasina - I was so sleepy, probably due to a food reaction (yeah, I get weird symptoms), that I had trouble staying awake even while chanting out loud. At one point I saw microsleep coming and saw reality come back. It wasn't a cessation, because I was way too dull for that. There was a strange noice falling into sleep and the same noice again waking up, and when I fell asleep everything went black. I was quite surprised that it was that abrupt and that I could see both the falling asleep and the waking up so clearly. Despite my sleepiness and dullness, the learning sign kept appearing, albeit sometimes less vivid.

practice discussion in Adi's discourse group

a small amount of yoga

Tried the DMT music recording again, and this time nothing happened, except the weird thing with noice while falling sleep and waking up happened again, and I found myself gasping for air as if I hadn't been breathing. 


Today:

Cycling the dukkha ñanas. Woke up in a very low mood. Spent a long time on the threshold between wakefulness and sleep, watching movements in the "molten gold" in the murk. 

Wu chi 25 minutes
Balloon posture 18 minutes - challenging 
The standing practice started to pop up my sinuses with that ticking noice and opening up my stuffed nose. I could feel lots of smooth piti, but the mental joy lagged behind.

Fire kasina 45 minutes (with a brief disruption from the caretaker of the house in which I rent my apartment).
Vivid and bright photorealistic image of the flame. The practice improved my mood and made breathing easy. I was still rather low afterwards, but not as much.

While I was at work (evening shift), spaciousness developed and equanimity developed. 

Have been listening to teachings on OBE:s and intend to do some exercises when I go to bed, after doing some yoga. 
Conal, modified 1 Year ago at 11/15/22 8:16 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/15/22 3:36 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 75 Join Date: 6/3/17 Recent Posts
Hi Linda,

I experience a lot of shaking of the body and hands when I'm doing it.  This is quite normal it seems.  The book has a table listing common reactions and how long they are likely to last for.  Mine has been going on a lot longer than they predict though!  This is probably because I have some deep-seated physical issues to work through.  It's hard to be precise on the effects of it in isolation because I am dealing with the same issues in my meditation practise (TWIM).  Both practices seem to complement each other nicely though.  I experience a lot of tingling in my hands and feet too and this is clearly a healing process at work.  There seems to be a cycle of shaking and then relaxing into a deeper pose.  I am very conscious of the weight of my body sinking into the ground so there's definitely a grounding effect occurring too.

The book is not very clear on whether you do wu chi or the balloon stance in the same session or not.  I have been doing them on alternate days and I do 20 minutes now.  The book brings you up to this duration very gradually.  It's a pretty cautious approach., but I suppose they don't want people to overdo it.  I see that you do both in the same session, so I think I'll start doing that too.

​​​​​​​Conal
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/17/22 5:23 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/17/22 5:23 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
The day before yesterday was super hectic so I didn't do much formal practice. What I did was the disentangling, which I could feel happening on a subtle energetic level, with lots of poppings in the headspace. During the night I had a check-in with Michael before the RtS class. I was worrying that the practice I'm doing isn't nondual or tantric enough for his class, but he assured me that it is. He also said that my path has been energetic all along. Even when we were working towards my stream entry it was all energy. That's true.

Yesterday: yoga 10 min as a warm-up, wu chi 25 min, balloon posture 18 min, fire kasina 45 min. 

Today: wu chi 25 min, balloon posture 18 min, fire kasina 30 min. Later today yoga 20 min, fire kasina 60 min.

My mind is getting still and silent. Lots of smooth energy. I have been super low but thankfully it turned out to be pms (I have pmdd). I feel better now. It's weird how there can be smooth energy and spaciousness even when one is so low. The practice pops things open, even a stuffed nose. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/17/22 5:26 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/17/22 5:24 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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This is the TV test image that presented itself as a vision during the absorption. Probably the first "mandala" I came in contact with as a kid, lol. 


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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/17/22 5:33 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/17/22 5:33 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Thanks for sharing! _/\_

I still haven't had time to read the book, but it sounds great that it adresses the energetic phenomena. For me the shaking has become very subtle, but occasionally I seem to bump into a new layer of tensions to work through, and then heat builds up and there is some shaking. I sometimes even get sweaty for a little while. There's a lot of very smooth energy building up, soft and warm and fluffy sort of. Some minor kriyas occur. 

It's amazing that just standing makes so much happen, isn't it?

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/17/22 6:44 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/17/22 6:44 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I had a weird though-feeling construct today during and after the fire kasina - that the flame was the only thing that was real. It was rather confusing. 

Lately I have had moments of sudden super sharp hyper realism, which is sort of the opposite to the above. I have also had moments of sharp clarity in the midst of falling asleep. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/17/22 7:19 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/17/22 7:19 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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For a while there was an episode of depersonalization and derealization. I couldn't even tell whether or not it bothered me because it didn't feel like it happened to a person. It was all just fragmented happenings. 
Conal, modified 1 Year ago at 11/20/22 9:06 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/20/22 9:00 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 75 Join Date: 6/3/17 Recent Posts


"It's amazing that just standing makes so much happen, isn't it?"

​​​​​​​Yes, they have a picture in the book of a foetus and the body shape is very similar to the balloon stance, so it seems that these positions are very natural positions for the body to adopt and which facilitate the flow of chi. 
By the way, there is a series of 10 YouTube videos featuring Kam Chuen Lam from a tv series that he did for the UK channel 4, that are worth a look too.

​​​​​​​Conal
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/20/22 10:42 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/20/22 10:42 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Makes sense. 

Yes, I saw that and I'll definitely watch them. I looked for it thanks to you, since you mentioned the name of the author. That was a well timed little push. emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/25/22 5:40 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/25/22 5:39 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Log Friday November 25th, 2022

During the Friday a week ago (Nov 18th) I did the usual shared practice routine with standing practice and fire kasina, a routine that I look forward to getting back into. During the weekend I was otherwise occupied with different workshops at a conference for polyamorous people, so I missed out on it. I had planned to sit anyway, at some other time, but instead I went with the flow of the event, which was extremely energetic and involved lots of mindfulness and lots of uncovering of sankaras. I did lots of spontaneous movement practice, as we had workshops on dancing with blindfolds and drama exercises and voice exploring exercises. They involved both introspective and interactive elements. I also did some yoga asanas now and then, but not in any disciplined way. Dropping into versions of awake awareness felt easy at the time, but I’m now suffering the consequences of dialing down on the yoga and the standing practice and the fire kasina.

On the Monday (Nov 21st) I had a crisis to deal with. I may have missed out on practice entirely, I don’t remember. On the Tuesday I did a shorter fire kasina sit and was relieved to find that the learning sign is still there. Or have I mixed up the days? Not sure. On the Wednesday we tried a new posture for the standing posture, so first 25 min wu chi and 10 minutes of the balloon posture, and then 5 minutes of a posture with the hands higher up. It felt good. I look forward to doing more of that. Then I did fire kasina, a somewhat shorter session than usually. One of the days, probably the Tuesday (?), I did Michael’s latest guided meditation from The Alembic. There were lots of light bursting out and sort of disentangling itself during the session. On the Thursday (yesterday, Nov 24th), I woke up with severe brain fog due to compromising with my body and eating stuff at work that I shouldn’t have (social demands and yada yada). My meditation partner struggles with some health issues too, so we took it easy and skipped the standing practice as we were also short on time, but sat together until my housing support arrived. It was less than 40 minutes, but it felt awesome to sit through the brain fog like that. 

Today I again woke up with brain fog, and my body hurts. The last few days I have only done minimal amounts of yoga, some days not at all, so I need to get back on track with that. 
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There have been lots of energetic stuff happening in daily life. During the conference there was mainly an A&P touch to it, with lots of light shows in color and soft warm silky energy around my body and a sense of everything being immersed in waves. Since then there have been more purification-like stuff. I can feel dukkha ñana vibrations as well as spaciousness opening up on a regular basis. Spanda. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/25/22 10:02 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/25/22 10:02 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Today we did 25 min of wu chi and 10 of the balloon posture before sitting for 45 min during which I did fire kasina. It felt great, except I could feel that the muscles in my feet were tired. The fire kasina felt like it was doing itself. It wasn't the most vivid versions of the learning sign, but it showed up reliably. Lots of piti. Sitting was comfortable and pleasant. Easy breathing. Loud nada sound. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/25/22 11:31 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/25/22 11:31 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Evening sit with cat: https://youtu.be/ZWC6dK0_O2g
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/25/22 6:07 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/25/22 6:07 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Ended the day with 40-45 minutes of gentle yoga. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 11/30/22 2:44 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/30/22 2:44 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
The next three days were logistically challenging and both my pawo and I have been ill, so we did somewhat less shared practice and I haven't prioritized logging it. I fitted in some yoga nidra and some guided meditation, not in any systematic way. Now we are back on track.

Yesterday:
15 min wu chi
15 min balloon posture 
10 min third posture with arms above head slight in front of body and with hands turned forward, arms slightly curved, face slightly raised
1 h fire kasina
later 45 min fire kasina
a small amount of yoga

Today so far:
15 min wu chi
15 min balloon posture 
10 min third posture 
50 min fire kasina 

I plan on doing some yoga and some more fire kasina before going to bed.

The third posture opens up something new energetically, together with blood flow. I can feel it. 

I have come to realize that I'm burned out for real. It just doesn't feel the way it used to do before I was on the path - the burnout, I mean. This time it's obvious that there isn't any continuous self that is burned out. It's situated, contextual. Some specific patterned programming is broken. Very much so. Totally non-functional. Other patterns are less affected or unaffected, just subjected to the ordinary dukkha. And then there's a notable portion of unpatterened liveliness that is just fine! (I have great people in my life, including my boss and collegues, so I'll be fine - strategies are in place. I went through a trauma at my job and we are dealing with it.)

In the fire kasina, the learning sign is getting somewhat more stable again, and it's getting brighter. Outside the sessions, I notice that there's often a delay before images in the visual field go away after I have closed my eyes when blinking. If I tune into this "momentary visualization" while walking, a nimitta embryo forms. It's hazy and probably somewhat bigger than a real nimitta, and with eyes open it's like a black nothing at the center of the image while it's relatively bright with eyes closed. The black version (eyes open) stands out more and earlier than the bright version (eyes closed). The visual image of the en environment that lingers when blinking is sometimes tangibly visible (often selectively), sometimes more like "ordinary" mental images and sometimes something inbetween. 

I have been noticing that sometimes in daily life it no longer feels like consciousness is located in my body. However, it doesn't feel like it's somewhere else either. It hasn't moved. It's more like the body feels like an avatar rather than a center. It is much more subtle than I have imagined this kind of experience to be. A while back I think I would have been very disappointed. Now... well, it is what it is. It's more like "oh, okay". 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/4/22 3:21 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/4/22 3:21 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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 I did do some yoga and another half an hour of fire kasina before I went to bed that night in the previous post.

The next day, Thursday December 1st 2022, I did 15 minutes of wu chi, 40 minutes of fire kasina, a very brief yoga flow and then yoga nidra. 

Friday December 2nd and Saturday December 3rd: 
15 min wu chi
15 balloon posture 
10 min third standing posture 
45 min fire kasina 
some yoga

Today:
15 min wu chi
15 min balloon posture 
​​​​​​​50 min fire kasina 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/5/22 5:43 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/5/22 5:43 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Neglecting my yoga yesterday had consequences for both my practice and my wellbeing. I woke up sluggish.

Afternoon:
15 min wu chi
15 min balloon posture 
1 h fire kasina

Doing the standing practice felt really good, as it decresed the sluggishness and opened up energy flow. It wasn't enough, though. Sluggishness hovered over the fire kasina practice. I was able to work through it with curiosity, but it took effort. According to my partner, I looked both alert and serene throughout the sit, but I felt how there was temptation to give into oblivion now and then, and that's not how it's supposed to be. 

Evening:
Slightly more than half an hour of yoga, "intermediate level"
40 min fire kasina

​​​​​​​No dullness! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/5/22 8:12 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/5/22 8:12 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:


Evening:
Slightly more than half an hour of yoga, "intermediate level"
40 min fire kasina

​​​​​​​No dullness! 


Spaciousness opened up. Sinuses popped upen gradually with that rhythmical ticking sound. Sukha.

——

Late night (or very early morning):
A few minutes of improvised yoga flow + slightly more than 15 minutes of yin yoga
20 minutes of fire kasina - tired as f-ck, but the learning sign kept appearing and I didn’t lose mindfulness of what I was doing.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/7/22 12:25 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/7/22 12:25 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Yesterday was logistically challenging, like most Tuesdays, so there wasn't much time for shared practice. We managed to squeeze in half an hour of sitting together during which I did fire kasina.

Very early this morning, after the RtS class, I did at least half an hour of rather intense spontaneous movement practice. Then my pawo and I got to catch up and sat together for 40 minutes, during which I again did fire kasina. The cycling was obvious from how the learning sign manifested, but the feeling tone was equanimous. 

I have this weird synchronicity thing going one with the Recognition Sutras. Every time I read a section of it, it addresses exactly what I have been discussing with people or trying to make sense of or trying to describe. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/8/22 6:55 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/8/22 6:55 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
On the Wednesday afternoon (same day as last report), we did our usual shared practice but extended the standing to four postures in small dosages, to try it out:
15 minutes of Wu Chi
15 minutes of balloon posture
3 minutes of the 3rd posture (hands above the head as if one is about to catch a beach ball, looking upwards)
3 minutes of the 4th posture - hands extended out waist high, palms to the floor, like wading in a river with one's hands floating
45 minutes of seated practice - fire kasina for me

In the evening before I went to sleep I was drawn into first jhana. 

Today, Thursday December 8th 2022, we sat together for 45 minutes. Fire kasina. Very sweet.
I squeezed in some wu chi here and there during the day. In the evening I did an hour of yoga. 

Lots of vibrations in the body throughout the day. Cycling the dukkha ñanas at the vibrational level, but with great mood, feeling very content. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/9/22 1:48 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/9/22 1:48 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Morning Friday 9th

10 min wu chi
5 min balloon
3 min 3rd posture

(I had some time during which I had to wait patiently for someone to open the laundry room and there was a watch display there, very convenient).

20 min vinyasa yoga
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/17/22 5:23 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/17/22 5:23 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I haven't prioritized logging recently, but I have been practicing. Fire kasina is still my main practice. I think I overdid the standing practice a bit, building up to four different standing postures. In combination with some food reactions, my shoulders got sore and I felt heavy, so I took a few days' break from that practice and did yoga instead, as I had been neglecting that. I need to have more movement than standing still, as it seems to balance things energetically. I got better, and now I'm back to doing the standing practice, albeit with a softer touch. Still doing shared practice over video. We have developed a little ritual of dedicating the practice to the benefit of all sentient beings with a verse that I came up with. 

I think I'm less burned out. It's going in the right direction. In a few days the light will start coming back as well. 

I have been noticing lately that I'm much less entangled in stories and that lots of situations have less of a hook in them. Sometimes it's a bit confusing. There used to be a sense of continuity that isn't really there anymore. My identity is falling through the cracks. Thoughts pop up that I don't know what to think about it, and then thoughts that I don't even know what would be there to have any opinions about it. And then I sort of shrug. It doesn't seem to be that big of a deal. 

There are aspects of my situation that can involve suffering if I let myself contract into that, like being far away from someone I love, but it also doesn't need to involve suffering. Contracting like that doesn't do any good. Why inflict a second arrow when I don't really need to? 

Other situations still occur where I do contract into suffering. 

Chapter 7 in the Recognition Sutras made me realize that the layer of the body that I tend to identify most with is the prana layer, so that's something I'll need to find a way to empty out. Michael Taft said that the energetic aspects have always been strong in my practice and that it can be a powerful way into liberation, but of course overidentifying with some layer would be a problem. It's funny how my weird food intolerances are exactly in line with what the Recognition Sutras say about the prana layer. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 9:11 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 9:11 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
So yesterday I was talking to my pawo about energy practice, and I heard myself saying that actually retrieving energy is very simple: all you need to do is open up your arms and hands to receiving it. The next thought that popped up was "Then why the heck don't I just apply that whenever I get dull during meditation?" So today I did, and it worked. I don't know whether it was a fluke or if it's something I can continue to tap into, but I'm thankful for the experience. It was a grace. Very subtle and yet powerful. Just the right amount of energy, nothing distracting. It made the learning sign somewhat more stable and took away the temptation of getting into a dull trance from watching the candle. At the same time it was humbling. The energy isn't mine. It's a grace. Concentration isn't mine, but a grace. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 12:49 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 12:43 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I asked Adi for advise on how to apply his recommendations for changing one's practice systematically (every two weeks or every four weeks, for the purpose of allowing enough time for progress without getting habituated) to staying with fire kasina to deepen it. "Ask and you shall be given" seems to be the theme for the day, lol. I got some very thorough instructions. Since right before asking, I had just read his recommendations for practicioners to memorize the instructions (at a preverbal level, not to the letter), I'm now somewhat nervous. That's a lot to memorize. I have done some of this practice before, so it's not completely new, but there are enough steps to it for my limited executive functioning to be challenged. I guess I'll need to trust that the process knows the way and that the process isn't limited by my executive functioning. Preverbal knowing seems to be in touch with source. 

Okay, so for two weeks I will alternate my fire kasina practice with this: 
https://www.reddit.com/r/Arhatship/comments/tuc8ij/vipashyana_geared_towards_the_quality_of_anatma/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=android_app&utm_name=androidcss&utm_term=1&utm_content=share_button

Alternating in the sense of doing one sit of each.

​​​​​​​Then for the following two weeks after that, there is a new set of instructions:


Bring in an anatta investigation flavour to the fire kasina practice

Broadly there are three things that 'the mind' is appropriating

1. The sankhara of furnishing the learning sign
2. The samjna or perception of the learning sign
3. The vijnana or consciousness of the entire process

'I' the yogi who is doing firekasina is like a post-it note stuck on top of one of these 3 things or a combination thereof

While doing the firekasina can you unhook the post-it note


And here's a link to read about how to do the unhooking: https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/lun8bp/vipassana_samatha_vipashyana_within_the_jhanas/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=android_app&utm_name=androidcss&utm_term=1&utm_content=share_button

​​​​​​​I was alerted that this will make dukkha ñanas arise, and that the point is to let go of any stickyness appropriating it as mine. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 1:04 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 12:53 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
The recommendations from Adi that prompted my question in the first place was a discord version of this post: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/24752224

Adi is still not formally my teacher and has no responsibility to give me instructions, but he has been very generous in doing so anyway when I have asked, and I have formally given him the right to poke me whenever he sees the need for the purpose of liberation (those who have followed my activity here at the forum over the years probably know that I don't take well to poking in general, lol, so that says a lot). I defintely respect him as a teacher. He's an accomplished practicioner, a very decent human being and a great friend. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 1:11 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 1:11 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Oy vey, I may very well be busy doing all this til the day I die. I'm going to start over with exercise 1.1 again, to make sure that I'm doing it right. 

Copied from Adi's reddit text:

​​​​​​​Exercise 1.1 - Set up a gross grounding object
  1. Take your posture either seated or lying down on your back
  2. Your posture is decided by your physical constraints primarily and secondarily by temporary mental qualities - excessively dull - sit up straight, excessively energetic, restless - lie down
  3. Slowly parse through each sense door simply noticing that it exists. spend a couple of minutes on each sense door familiarizing yourself with the sense door and maybe tracking a couple of objects within that sense door.
  4. Take 4 to 5 slow deep abdominal breaths and make the outbreath long and thin. Piggy back on the relaxation of the diaphragm slowly relaxing all major muscles. Try to particularly relax your forehead, your eyelids, your jaws, your paws, your thighs. Typically our body has markers of 'doing'. Let go of the 'doing' in the body
  5. Place your attention on the aggregate sense of heaviness in the body
  6. Include the sense of temperature
  7. Include the sense of touch of wherever the body touches the chair or the floor
  8. The sense of heaviness, temperature and touch is now a gross / very large grounding object
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 1:37 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 1:37 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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This is something I very often do anyway when I sit down to meditate. I just don't tend to think of it as a number of steps, and I probably don't typically follow that exact order. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 3:32 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 3:32 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Moving on to exercise 1.2, the instructions from Adi's reddit text are the following:

​​​​​​​Exercise 1.2 - Set up a subtle grounding object
  1. Do steps #1 to #4 from exercise 1.1
  2. Place one hand in the other if seated and rest your attention on the touch of the hands
  3. If lying down, rest your attention on the touch of one of the hands on the floor or the yoga mat
  4. This limited sense of touch is the subtle grounding object
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 4:32 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 4:22 PM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
After digesting my dinner and doing 45 minutes of yoga (a challenging class), I went through the instructions for exercise 1.1 and spent 20 minutes doing them, sitting on my yoga mat without a cushion. This is a very fundamental exercise but I noticed how I have come to sort of take this kind of drill for granted and rush over it to get to the "good stuff", and how that completely misses the point. I set out doing this as if for the first time, making sure that I didn't skip any step and taking the time to really savour it. What a joy! 

I chose sitting on the yoga mat since I had just done a yoga class and gotten into a mode that was balancing relaxation with alertness, and staying on the yoga mat maintained that stance. 

See - a few seconds with eyes open but then light particles and shapes and swirlings and oscillations and so forth in the murk behind closed eyelids, with occasional mental images popping up very briefly. There is so much going on in the murk on a very subtle level. 

Hear - the amazing symphony of nada sound, the silence behind it, high frequency sounds from technical equipment, cats washing themselves, cars rolling by outside, occasional body sounds, sometimes interspersed with the mental sound of some mantra. When I tune into this, the world is a rich complex soundscape. 

Feel (touch) - the sweet touch of the air against my body, getting silkier as concentration grows; the energetic sensations of the breath in the entire body, the wawelike grosser physical sensations of the breathing which harmonize with the more delicate energetic sensations, and of course the touch of the ground, which is an intricate dance of sensations changing through the rhythm of the breath. There is so much to sense. Changing the flow of the outbreath ever so slightly - the tiniest little change - affects the whole body and the space around it. I can feel the spiralling little movements that the air makes on its way out through the nose, or on its way in through it. I can feel so many nuances of pressure changes in the nostrils and in the different sinuses, and how vibrations transplant themselves, and how that interacts with the how the movements of the belly also has energetic effects, and how the energetics have effects on the physical as well. It's like all the space is alive and aware, sensing, interacting internally. I can also feel the energetics of subtle thoughts popping up, and how they sort of bounce around. So that bouncing is actually still there - I just don't identify with it anymore. None of the points that pop up like that feels like me. Funny how the energetics of touch interacts with the nada sound and that complete silence that is also tangibly there to be heard at the same time (yes, I would say that the no-sound is there to be heard too, on a parallell channel), and with the subtle shifts of light particles in the murk. 

Smell - ah, hyacinths! The scent is there, not there, there, not there... It vibrates. It comes in and out of being so fast that it's amazing. It's all beyond control. 

Taste - so many nuances there can be to my own saliva. Not sure I have ever thought of that before. Constantly changing, and with gaps in it. It too vibrates. 

Mind - noticing the mind movements, how the mind reaches for a sensory impression and lets go of it, the vedana, subtle distinctions, subtle categories. Discursive thinking is minimal here but pops up occasionally to comment on the investigation. 

By the time I get to the deep abdominal breaths, I'm alredy deeply relaxed, but I go through the list to make sure I haven't missed any tensions. I'm already attuned to how the breathing soothes my bodymind. I feel like I'm floating. I allow myself to sink into the ground. I have no idea how anyone could not sense the temperature and how it oscillates around the body at this point. I feel very grounded but also uplifted.  
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 4:53 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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After doing another ten minutes of yoga, I sit again, moving to exercise 1.2 for 20 minutes. I can see why Adi talks about avoiding habituation by changing the instructions on a regular basis, because it wasn't quite as easy to approach all the sense gates with the same alert curiosity even the second time, although it was still quite the joy diving into them one at a time. I noticed similar aspects of them as in the first exercise, but there were a few times when I had to remind myself of which sense I was supposed to focus on because I was distracted by planning my logging. That's ADHD - the second time around the brain is already impatient, lol. Well, the practice was back on track pretty fast each time. I may have forgotten to separate out mind as a sense in its own right here, can't remember. 

I wouldn't exactly say that the sense of touch between two hands is subtle. There's plenty of touch to go around there. I wouldn't exactly say that it isn't dynamic either, as there are so many touch points between two hands and the sensations keep changing all the time. Of course, at times it synchs up in a way that makes it feel still and very holistic (taking away the sense of subject-object), but that's transient too. But yeah, it's not quite as grounding as tuning into everywhere my body touches the ground. Thoughts do pop up sometimes as if the brain thinks that it might as well keep itself occupied with other stuff since it isn't really doing anything important. That's something to work on. I think I'll work on this exercise until my brain is more pliant and settles with the object effortlessly, before moving on to the next exercise. However, I'll make a slight change: instead of placing one hand in the other, I'll place my hands on my knees, as I find that more comfortable. 

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/19/22 5:53 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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To sum up, my practice today has consisted of the following:

- half an hour of chanting Karpura Gauram, sitting outside in daylight
- some warming up movements
- standing, 15 min wu chi, 10 min balloon, mantra running in background (on my stereo, not just in my mind this time)
- 45 min fire kasina (still with mantra)
- 45 min yoga
- 20 min Adi's exercise 1.1
- 10 min yoga
- 20 min Adi's exercise 1.2

As always I try to have metaawareness throughout the day, noticing expansion and contraction and tuning into awake awareness as much as I can. 

Now I'll do some final yoga before going to bed. 

Edited to add: did another 25 min of yoga. I have noticed that I need 80+ minutes of yoga per day for my health. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/20/22 1:07 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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This morning when I woke up there were psychedelic imagery in the murk, and I noticed how it takes a lot of tension not seeing it, and how in relaxation it's just there. However, as I got into a more habituated state (misnomed as awake, in the mundane sense), it got harder and harder to relax those tensions until the imagery was out of reach. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/20/22 5:03 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Morning chanting to Tara

---

Shared practice:

Standing practice combined with noting based on the sense modalities - 
Wu chi 15 min, balloon 10 min (we have found that's our sweetspot at the moment).
I decided that it's better to keep my mind occupied with something predetermined instead of having it run amok planning the day, and I was reminded yesterday how much I enjoy just taking in the senses. I find it fascinating how fast this makes dualities collapse for me. I start out with sensory impressions coming in through one door at a time, from out there to in here, but very soon they synch up so that everything is here and aware. Like, when I hear a car rolling by outside, I am the car and I can literally feel the ground under my wheels while also feeling the air against my skin and see images, and it's all in one holistic package. This is the formations that appear in EQ, I'd say. Complete programming seqences that create the world as I know it. 

Sitting practice 45 min - for me fire kasina.
The learning sign was generallt brighter, sharper and more longlasting. The cycling through the dukkha ñanas was apparent, though, which affected the learning sign as well as the body. The first time fear showed up I reacted somewhat, wondering what was wrong for a few seconds, because I could see no reason whatsoever to feel fear. Then I realized that it was probably just the natural sequence for the mind after the dissolving of the learning sign in dissolution had reminded it of the lack of reability of everything, even though I know that by now, and so I didn't engage with it anymore. The cycling kept going on and on. All ñanas weren't always clearly marked, but the overall development was very typical. On and on it went. No problem. The mind stayed alert and relatively focused as the sequences played out on their own. 

---

Yoga 20 min - heavenly

---

Yoga 40 min, followed by Adi's exercise 1:2, sitting for 45 min. I thoroughly enjoyed both. My mind is super-greatful for the variation and for knowing exactly what it's supposed to focus on, and that makes it surprisingly pliant all of a sudden. I get into this spacious mode with that exquisitely pleasant taste to it, and I relish the texture of all sensations, including traffic noice. The vibrations of it are just beautiful. It was easy to remember the instructions that I had read again and gone through before the sit. There was plenty of smooth rich piti and plenty of sweet sukha. My hands immediately got warm and smoothly buzzing and felt large and heavy on my knees. There was brightness and loud nada sound and lots of very tangible silence and stillness. By the time I got to the part of focusing on my hands, the mind had already built up to that and welcomed it wholeheartedly. Strong focus was building up. However, as I got even more tranquil, dreamlike scenes popped up along with some memories. There were short instances of starting to forget what I was doing. I kept coming back to my hands, though. There were also instances of extremely strong silence popping up, shouting out everything else so that there were no perceptions and no thoughts going on. These silences are marked by a very tangible presence without there really being anything there to be present to. They are followed by a "whoa!" as the senses come back online again. I have had that happen a lot recently. All in all, it was a very pleasant sit. I feel rejuvinated and both relaxed and alert. The nada sound is loud. The exquisite texture to sensory experience remains and I feel like I could float away on them. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/27/22 6:19 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I'm lagging behind with the logging. I have been practicing, but the quality has varied considerably. On the Wednesday, the day practice was delightful. I felt like I could have continued sitting for hours, and the learning sign was brighter and sharper and more longlasting, and the standing practice was a joy. Then I worked late and had some foods that didn't agree with my energy body, and I got really sluggish during the evening practice. I tried Adi's exercise 1.3, as quoted below:

"Exercise 1.3 - Set up a dynamic grounding object
  1. Do steps #1 to #4 from exercise 1.1
  2. Choose 3 to 4 touch points - buttocks on the floor, ankles on the floor, touch of the lips, touch of the hands etc
  3. Cycle between the touch points in a set repetitive pattern. If too repetitive intentionally change the pattern. Add to this. Listen to 3 sounds, pay attention to 3 thoughts, come back to your touch point pattern - rinse, repeat
  4. This planned, deliberate, intentionally chosen movement of attention is your dynamic grounding object"
It didn't go very well, as I could barely stay awake, let alone remember the instructions. I was sleep deprived together with the food reaction. It seems that I regularly misjudge what I can eat so that I trigger dissolution. 

Since then it has gone up and down. I have done standing practice, fire kasina and one of Adi's exercises each ari except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (Sunday and Saturday) during which I only did Adi's exercises combined with my old practice of looking at the ground with a relaxed gaze while waiting for the train, letting the ground dissolve into waves. I did Adi's exercises while on the train, with fine clarity and focus. I have varied between exercises 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3. I find that it seems to work best for me when I let the grounding object self-select. Apparently, the lips make up a great one. As for 1.3, the different touch points want to present themselves rather than adhering to a specific order. I don't know if adjusting the instructions like that robs the exercises of some central aspect. It did make the sitting almost jhanic, which was a welcome change after so much dullness. 

I have squeezed in as much yoga as I have managed, together with some spontaneity movement practice. 

Since I was so fatigued around Christmas, I think I'd better add a week to the first two week slot in the instructions I got from Adi. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/28/22 7:12 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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15-10-45 minutes of the shared practice. Was tired but remidied dullness by asking "What if what feels sleepy isn't actually me?"

40 min exercise 1.3 with the modification of letting the different objects self-select their order of appearance. It was during the night and reclining so I had expected dullness but there was none. By the end nerve pain led to restlessness, though, and there was crankiness. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/29/22 5:24 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Woke up late with body pain and fatigue and bad mood. Felt low. Did very gentle yoga, mainly a number of restorative positions for extended time, then 20 min of fire kasina. 

20 min of guided somatic meditation, Reggie Ray, reclining, imagining breathing from the belly with actual nostrils there. Then yoga nidra.

Pod meeting (RtS).

More gentle yoga. Then 30 min exercise 1.3, modified to letting the focus points self-select. The first points to self-select were lips, nose-tip, hands to kness/thighs and touch points to the ground. Soon the fingers touching were added (gian mudra), and the sense of the breathe at the tip of the nose started to migrate. It moved to inside the nose very briefly and then to sinues around and behind the nose and then to behind the forehead, mainly third eye. The vibrations were strong there and correlated with flourescent light swirls. Sometimes it was more in the eyebrow region, and sometimes at the top of the head, in the scalp. It went back and forth between third eye and top of head for quite some time. Then there was a figure-ground shift where the body moved into the background and emphasis was on spacious awareness without center. There was also a shift from movement to stillness. 
Aviva HaMakom, modified 1 Year ago at 12/30/22 5:39 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I wish you good practice and speedy and total awakening for the benefit of all beings- but it is helpful to see someone who is a stream-enterer also struggle with things like dullness, or energy body issues, or it being hard to write things down consistently. Ie, these things are actually signs of progress because it means doing the work consistently. And that it happens in middle paths too. 

I like to read about your yoga practice and it makes me want to get into it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/30/22 6:19 AM
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Thankyou Aviva! Reading your comments was helpful. I'm glad that it can be encouraging for someone else and grateful for the reminder that it is progress even though it doesn't necessarily feel like it. You are right, it is. 

Yes, I do struggle sometimes. Regularly. It varies considerably. A lot of work remains. I once heard Adyashanti say that the first awakening (or something like that, which I interpreted as stream entry) is a grace that is bestowed upon us without us having to deserve it, and after that we need to do the work to deserve it. What I find uplifting about that is that it means that struggling after stream entry is normal, so it doesn't mean that I somehow lost it. 

And yes, I have energy body issues. I have eaten what most people would probably consider very healthy foods during Christmas, but it still wasn't good enough for my energy body. It contained some dairy and dried fruits and potatoes and some pickled herring. I even ate some mints and a small amount of chocolate. It really isn't worth it. I had to pay for that for several days with sluggishness and body pain. But I feel better today! What a grace! (Haha, I'm predictable - my ipad suggested the word grace and then the word predictable, lol).

Yoga is a life saver. It makes such a huge difference for me. Right now I mainly do videos from Livinleggings, BrettLarkinYoga and Yoga with Kassandra on youtube. Yoginimelbourne is another favorite. I miss my yoga studio, though. Working with live teachers is awesome. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/30/22 12:54 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Woke up early, not in pain and not exhausted. Got some work done, took a quick yoga break and then worked some more. Then I did 30 min of yoga followed by fire kasina for 30 minutes with decent focus.

Later I did the shared practice, 15 min wu chi, 10 min balloon posture and 45 min fire kasina. The video screen turned into a kasina already during the standing, with photorealistic images of my partner popping up in the murk together with loud high-frequency nada sound and my sinuses gradually opening up with a rhythmical ticking sound. In the fire kasina the learning sign was bright and clear and more longlasting than average. It varied with the cycling, though. Towards the end of the sit there was some dullness. At first I played with investigating to what extent the dullness was some kind of aversion that could be relaxed. The first couple of times that subtle dullness appeared, that investigation was enough to spike curiosity that took away the dullness. Later the dullness became somewhat more persistent. I managed to maintain mindfulness except for a brief moment when I forgot not only what I was doing but also who I was, to the extent that I was caught up in some totally fictive problem that could have been a snippet from somebody else's life. Like a dream scene or a scene in a movie. It wasn't my life but I was in the midst of it. I snapped out of that very quickly, and even though the scene was as vivid as my daily life while it played out, I think, I soon couldn't remember it. Now, obviously that was gross dullness, as it made me completely forget that I was meditating, but I also cannot but wonder if that sort of thing is actually a real scene in someone's life. Maybe we have access to that when we get out of our own sense of being centered in this mindstream, but forget about it when we get back to our usual mindstream, who knows? I really have no way of telling. Regardless, I'll keep working towards more mindfulness. If that means that I'll stop dipping into scenes like that, that's fine, and if it means that it will still happen but with maintained mindfulness, that's fine too. Honestly, I think I would prefer the latter. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/30/22 2:54 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I intend to try out the next exercise in Adi's instructions now:


Exercise 1.4 - Set up awareness itself as the grounding object
  1. Do steps #1 to #4 from exercise 1.1
  2. Become aware of your left foot, can you be aware of the awareness of the foot
  3. Switch to your right foot, can you be aware of the awareness of the right foot
  4. Alternate between taking your left foot and your right foot as the object of awareness, can you be aware of the awareness that is alternating between the objects
  5. Become aware of your left foot, include your lower left leg, exclude your lower left leg, rinse repeat can you be aware of the awareness that includes and excludes parts of an 'object'
  6. Become aware of your left foot, include your lower left leg, include your entire left leg, include the entire left side of your body, sequentially reduce the size of the object till you go back to your left foot as the object, take only the toes as the object, take the big toe as the object, take the very tip of the toe as the object, in one step include the entirety of the left side of your body, can you be aware of the awareness that expands and contracts to include and exclude experience within the object
  7. In these exercises where you are setting up contrasting objects or expanding and contracting the scope of the object of awareness, it is the way in which awareness works, its flexibility that becomes the entry point into approaching awareness itself as an object. Do these exercises very very slowly. Often simply returning to the breath to take a break. Through simple repetition, you will find what the exercise is designed to point you towards
  8. once you 'find' awareness, rest with awareness as the object of awareness
​​​​​​​


Shit, I think I’ll need to sneakpeak on the instructions for this one.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/30/22 5:03 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Okay, so I started with doing half an hour of yoga to get more clarity, first 15 min focusing on feet and ankles, last 15 min focusing on hips. 

Then I did the exercise, sitting for 45 min. I enjoy starting with one sense modality at a time, waking them up. I notice how it gets the alfa waves going, as flourescent swirls come up. I tend to loose momentum a bit in the part with relaxing breaths, maybe because I have already been doing that while focusing on the senses, so suddenly there is less for the mind to occupy itself with. Reading through the instructions I realized that what I have thought of as the sense modality mind is what this exercise is about, so I have already been practicing that. However, I had let it self-select. Now I was to be in control of the directions it was to take. You know that exercise that kids get taught in order to fall asleep, counting sheep? For me black sheep would always pop up, refusing to jump over that gate. I had a similar feeling now. There was a delay in its response, until I found a way to tune into how the awareness was already alternating between those different locations and scopes. Then suddenly it was super-fast. Maybe that's cheating? 

Towards the end of the sit, there was a sense of awareness falling in on itself and becoming super aware, with a huge crescendo of the nada sound, then a fraction of a moment in complete silence, and then roaring nada sound again. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/30/22 5:21 PM
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I forgot to mention that I also got back on track with my Yi Rang today, a Tibetan antidepressant exercise that I have described in earlier logs.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 12/31/22 7:03 PM
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The usual shared practice. Felt good. Some subtle dullness but applied remedies and managed to stay mindful.

A 15 min group sit during which I did the exercise 1.3. The quote "Don't focus on the arisings - be what knows the arisings" sums up the feel of it pretty well. 

Yoga

live guided New Year's meditation with Michael Taft on youtube: a mainly open shamatha with some very subtle grounding in the breath; okay focus but not jhanic

​​​​​​​Yoga
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/2/23 5:08 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Yesterday I did the standing and the fire kasina. Minimal dullness issues. More distracting thoughts. Was still able to focus on the learning sign.

Had a rather severe food reaction to a soup that was too spicy, so I spent a lot of time sleeping. 

Today so far I have done 40 min of yoga and then tried to do 45 min of exercise 1.3 reclining, but I kept spacing out. At times it was more like lucid dreaming than meditation, and at other times more non-lucid dreaming. My physical body fell away and instead I imagined having a body and it seemed real. It was weird. Then I figured I might as well try for an OBE instead, after the 45 min had passed, but then I fell asleep. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/2/23 8:59 AM
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Wu chi 15 min + balloon posture 10 min. Energetic effects: sinuses popped open, body trembling (not from strain). Comfortable.

45 fire kasina. The learning sign was pretty bright. Lots of worry about my economy. Fire mantra running in the background, mentally.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/2/23 3:53 PM
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Have listened to Lama Lena for several hours now, while doing chores. It was exactly what I needed. There is spaciousness. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/2/23 5:21 PM
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Ended the day with half an hour of yoga and then exercise 1.3 while still lying down in shavasana. A cat was in my lap so I couldn't reach any alarm or watch, so I don't know how long I practiced. Probably a relatively short time. I went through all the sense modalities with good focus. While doing the deep breaths and the relaxation, flourescent purple light swirls appeared. I spent a short time going through the suggested changes in scope of awareness and then I let the areas self-select and played with that for a while. The latter feels much more effortless. I seem to have an aversion to trying to control where the mind is supposed to go. It almost feels abusive. It's easier to be mindful of where awareness goes on its own. It's faster and more flexible when it gets to self-select. Is it important to be able to steer it? If so, why? It seems to me like it knows better than me where it needs to go, so why mess with it? 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/3/23 4:58 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Started and ended the day with yoga. Nothing advanced or sweaty. Energizing stuff in the morning, short and sweet. Grounding slow explorative stuff in the evening, spanda inspired, for a longer time but with low intensity. 

My pawo got up at 4 am, in spite of not getting much sleep, so that we could practice together before my housing support, so that was luxurious. 15 min of wu chi and 45 minutes of fire kasina, with a couple of brief interruptions from job phone calls. I was fascinated by how the image of the flame stays for a while when I close my eyes. It's like a cache memory thing, with the visual input in storage so that it's still accessible even though the vision is offline. 

After the housing support, reclining entangling wanted to happen, so I just lay down and let it happen. It went on for at least an hour without me doing anything. There was a sense of mild absorption and releases happening as those energetic tentacles did their disentangling. 

I had planned to do more work after that and to also do more structured meditation, but I fell asleep afterwards and slept for a few hours. Then I listened to a couple of RtS class recordings, partly while doing my yoga thing. 

I'm struggling a bit with the darkness, the literal darkness, that is, the lack of sunshine. The sun is so low here in Scandinavia at this time of the year. At least today I got some sunlight. My drive to do anything is pretty low too, just like the sun. I sort of feel like hibernation wouldn't be such a bad idea. There are persistent ideas coming up that it "shouldn't" be this heavy, and of course that doesn't help at all. Trying to find that narrow little sweetspot of accepting the feeling while still not indulging in it. It's fuckin' hard! I still too often get stuck in trying to avoid it. At least now I can see that, which means that there's an option of not actively avoiding it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/3/23 10:41 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

I managed to maintain mindfulness except for a brief moment when I forgot not only what I was doing but also who I was, to the extent that I was caught up in some totally fictive problem that could have been a snippet from somebody else's life. Like a dream scene or a scene in a movie. It wasn't my life but I was in the midst of it. I snapped out of that very quickly, and even though the scene was as vivid as my daily life while it played out, I think, I soon couldn't remember it. Now, obviously that was gross dullness, as it made me completely forget that I was meditating, but I also cannot but wonder if that sort of thing is actually a real scene in someone's life. Maybe we have access to that when we get out of our own sense of being centered in this mindstream, but forget about it when we get back to our usual mindstream, who knows? I really have no way of telling. Regardless, I'll keep working towards more mindfulness. If that means that I'll stop dipping into scenes like that, that's fine, and if it means that it will still happen but with maintained mindfulness, that's fine too. Honestly, I think I would prefer the latter. 


I asked Michael about this in the RtS class today, since it’s not the first time this happened and I was curious about what it is and if it’s something I could work with. He said that it can be a powerful opening into dream yoga if I can see that awareness itself isn’t dull. He also said that it is the kind of stuff that is often framed as previous life stuff. I obviously don’t know about that, but I like the idea of getting to be more lucid with it. At least I think it might challenge remaining sticky over-identifications with my current lifestory. I mean, these scenes seem just as real while I’m in the midst of them, and then - poof! - gone. This last time I’m pretty sure I was a man.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/4/23 4:36 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

I seem to have an aversion to trying to control where the mind is supposed to go. It almost feels abusive. It's easier to be mindful of where awareness goes on its own. It's faster and more flexible when it gets to self-select. Is it important to be able to steer it? If so, why? It seems to me like it knows better than me where it needs to go, so why mess with it? 


I have gotten some great nuanced input on this from dharma friends. One conclusion of this is that it’s worth looking into what part hindrances are playing here. Another is that I’m probably falling into the trap of autistic literal thinking here, thinking that it involves more of a leash than it actually does (background impressions don’t need to be banned). I can make it more into an inquiry thing, exploring what it is that makes me know that I have a left foot, etc. It’s not like I can’t feel it. It’s rather the opposite, taking in a wider scope than requested. But zooming in at will reliably is probably a useful skill. It might make it easier to focus in daily life too, even make the world less overwhelming.

I think I’ll approach this in an explorative and playful way rather than with the approach of disciplining my mind. After all, I have both attention deficit and difficulties with stuff that requires executive functioning, and there are probably parts of me that still have more experience with failure than success when it comes to this and therefore need a soft touch. I have heard that children learn from succeeding whereas adults learn from their mistakes - but only after they have succeeded enough for that switch to be flipped. Maybe it hasn’t flipped yet for this sort of thing. So - short playful sessions where I get to succeed might open things up a bit. I actually started out that way, with other exercises, and that worked well. I remember that if I limited the practice to 20 minutes per sit, the quality of it would increase notably. I could do a bunch of 20 minutes sits, but I needed that time limit. Maybe that will do the trick for this as well. Maybe I have underestimated some subconscious fear of failure or something.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/4/23 3:27 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I get it now. Haha! I realize now exactly what exercise 1.3 good for. And it’s not about attention, really, but learning how to apply awareness to something more focused. That’s exactly what I need both in order to move forward with my fire kasina and to approach daily life challenges with less suffering. I don’t have to get into a super-dualistic attention mode in order to be focused on one thing.  That’s what it’s about. 

It actually just took a few seconds of unshattered focus in the fire kasina to grok these pointers, much thanks to conversations with dharma friends. That says a lot about how shattered it has been lately, that I couldn’t see that before. Haha! 

I mean, of course the learning sign bounces when I put most of the juice into attention mode in looking at the flame. Attention flickers back and forth between left and right eye in order to create a 3D image, which means that I actually see the flame from two different angles which positions it differently in space. That bouncing image is what attention sees. Attention can never be stabilized. But awareness can. 

This is also why I have encountered some dullness lately in the fire kasina. Attention mode is exhausting.

So I need to get out of having attention mode be the default approach to anything with a narrow focus.

I bet that if I read Adi’s instructions for what to change in my fire kasina practice for the next time slot, those instructions point to this. 

I haven’t read them yet, because I knew myself well enough not to. I need to grok things empirically - and I need to stay in the moment rather than trying to plan ahead.

A few seconds of fresh curious looking at the flame enabled me to go from ”it still bounces around and it shouldn’t” to ”hmmmm, fascinating that the image so consistently bounces between left and right like that - I wonder why that is… oh, that’s right, I actually have two eyes… oh, of course! The cache memory is a biofeedbach mechanism! This is just a slow motion replay of the focus I just had!” So - I was focusing on what was arising rather than being what knows the arising. Can’t fool that biofeedback.

The bouncing is not some random bug.

Of course, this means that I actually do need to train that skill. There’s no way around it. That’s the ”downside”. But on the upside, it’s not attention that I need to train, so attention deficit won’t be a problem in the long run. 

---

That's the report for the 45 min fire kasina. Before that, we did the standing practice, 15 + 10 min. In wu chi, the muscles in the arches of my feet cramped a bit because they did what they are supposed to do, which they still aren't quite used to. After some flowy movements in between the postures, they felt much better. It also felt like the balloon posture somehow balanced the energies in a way that made that part easier.

Later today I have so far done one 10 min session of exercising the flexibility of awareness. Just 10 minutes, and then I was exhausted! Not too exhausted, though. I have actually felt great since then. It was a time span that made it possible for me to avoid spacing out in spite of the effort it took to go against habit. Then I had a pod meeting for the RtS class, which was inspiring. 

Moodwise this has been a great day, but I have procrastinated work stuff. I sincerely hope that I'll be able to break that pattern tomorrow. I also haven't been outside in daylight or done my yi rang (slept late because of the RtS class). 

Time for yoga! At least I'll do that. And then give the awareness flexibility exercise another go. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/4/23 5:51 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Okay, suddenly steering awareness around to different parts of my body and zooming in and out have become instant and very tangible, with lots of piti and light behind my eyelids and loud nada sound. Not sure what happened. I guess I let go of the resistance. 

Finally! I remember it being like this before, but somehow I forgot how to open up to it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/5/23 2:45 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Apparently one of the practicioners in the second cohort of Michael Taft's Reversing the Stack class has developed a spontaneous movement practice of her own and has a lot of videos about it on youtube. Very interesting! Her name is Laura Ward. I was excited to learn about it and was adamant that I would do lots of it. It turned out, however, that it isn't well synched with my particular energy body. So… I tried out Laura Ward’s movement practice for a few minutes - this was in between the yoga and the meditation that I did before I went to sleep. It was a video on Tibetan rites plus extra. I had to stop because it made me sick (it involved spinning around 13 times and then doing some pretty forceful movements in a quick pace), but I did have a bit of a breakthrough in my meditation afterwards. I woke up with a hangover. 

I think I’ll stick to my own intuition about what movements my body needs. I might ramp it up just a little bit, though. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/5/23 5:09 AM
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Integrating practicing flexibility in scope of body sensation awareness (and the intentional steering of it) while walking. Much less likely to get dull, and an effective way of making use of time for practice. 

Got daylight, did Yi Rang. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/5/23 5:29 AM
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I think what got in the way of body scanning and similar exercises was the development of my visual thinking. When I started practicing, my visual thinking wasn’t online, so it was easy to feel the body ”from inside” as the default. With continuing practice, my ability to visualize developed, which is great for many reasons, but it started to get in the way of more direct experience. So in a way, my development has been a bit backwards. I guess it’s time to integrate that. 

Now (during this particular walk) I have like two modes that I go back and forth between. In one mode, steering the awareness of body sensations (moving it and changing the scope) is instant, and it's like awareness simply moves into that part, experiencing reality from there. In the other mode, which happens when I try to think about what I'm doing, I slip back into imagining the body from the perspective of seeing it. The latter feels more dualistic and gives a sense of separation, and there is negative vedana from that. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/5/23 5:57 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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When continuing with the exercise while walking, there was a sense of widening and almost coming out through the back of my body. Walking through thick snow in the cold with lots of heavy clothes and a running nose didn't cause any suffering. I didn't tense up. When there was slippery ice, my body dealt with it with much more skill than it would do in a contracted state. At times, the visual field expanded to like 280 degrees. Obviously not with much detail that far behind me, but still. 

Sukha, loud nada sound, spaciousness, a sense of being content, peace. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/5/23 1:51 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Wu chi 15 min - great focus, lots of smooth piti and sweet sukha. Stillness. Peaceful bliss.

Balloon posture 10 min - when I took the posture, there was a sense of energy rushing up from the ground through my body and further up through my crown, like a whoooosh. Towards the end, there was some pain in my right should that popped up and went away with a cracking. I think an energy block was partly dissolved. That shoulder has troubled me for quite some time to a varying degree, and now it feels better. 

Fire kasina 20 min (we were short on time before my housing support was to arrive) - wow! The learning sign was more vivid than it has been for a long time, and it didn't bounce around in space much. It was as if it knew its own location independently from my eyes. It still flickered, though, and faded so that I had to refresh it. Lots of sukha. Effortless. No dullness. None of that heavy sleepiness that it has induced lately, and it even felt very strange to think that dullness could occur from it. It was so relaxed and free from strain, and so far from boring. Good focus. For a brief while, thoughts popped up that represented views related to the dharma, comparisons between practicioners, but in the midst of it, it sort of dawned on me exactly how empty those thoughts were and that in fact I don't know. I really don't. And I don't need to know. Sounds trivial but felt incredibly freeing and joyful. I repeated the thought "I don't know" several times and I was so happy! There was a sense of sacredness when I thought about all those other practicioners, all being on the path, all exactly where they are which is unknown to me, so beautiful, 

Have continued to check in with awake awareness while going about my daily business, and continued to practice flexibility of its scope. I feel equanimous and spacious and alive and so fuckin' grateful. Being less contracted is such a grace. I haven't had any issues with procrastinating today. Somehow I have just been doing what I have needed to do, without anxiety building up around it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/9/23 3:49 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Friday Jan 6th

wu chi 15 min
fire kasina 20 min
ballon posture 10 min
fire kasina 20 min

exercise 1.4, don't remember if I timed it

---

Saturday Jan 7th

wu chi 15 min
fire kasina 30 min

Kasina on the light presenting behind closed eyelids drew me in when I went to bed. Continued until I fell asleep. Kept meditating while sleeping. Was drawn through a tunnel made of some structure with rapid speed, hard first vipassana jhana. Then there was a shift to notably higher clarity, and the tunnel was apparently made of text. Kept being drawn through it very fast so I couldn't read it. Hard second vipassana jhana. Then I popped out of the tunnel and started dreaming what very soon developed into a regular non-lucid dream. 

---

Sunday Jan 8th

yoga

fire kasina 30 min

1 h of trying to do exercise 1.4 but loosing track of what I was supposed to do as I got absorbed in sensations instead. Lots of kriyas. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/9/23 3:51 PM
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Correction: exercise 1.4, not 1.3.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/9/23 10:41 PM
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Log Monday Jan 9th

Yesterday evening we did another round of shared practice: half an hour of yoga and 25 min of fire kasina.

Observation from some of the previous days: tiredness can be uncoupled from dullness. I was really tired but not dull at all during a fire kasina session.

Today:

Wu chi 20 min
Fire kasina 20 min
Balloon posture 10 min - piti flowing upwards through the body and further out through the crown without any pressure building up
Fire kasina 20 min

Somewhat distracted by stress from daily life.The fire kasina basically varied between bright but bouncing learning sign (attention mode) and paler and relatively still (but flickering/blinking) learning sign (awareness mode). It was mostly the latter.  I need to work on maintaining a sharp and narrow focus with awareness. 

45 min yoga, very allround, building strength and flexibility 

While walking: exercising flexibility in scope and location of awareness. It basically feels like I move into different parts of my body, and occasionally outside my body.

Somatic practice with flowy swirling movements, 24 min, Laura Ward live on youtube. https://youtu.be/NxAM51baexo Very much in line with my spontaneous movement practice! Felt great. 
​​​​​​​
Exercise 1.4, 45 min
Long periods of just resting in awareness. There was smooth piti and sukha and some degree of absorption. Yes, I can be the awareness of the different scopes and the awareness that shifts between them. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/10/23 4:13 PM
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Log Tuesday Jan 10th 2023

Early morning shared practice: 25 min fire kasina
Lots of smooth piti and sukha. The learning sign wasn’t bouncing around much, and yet it was fairly bright.

50 min yoga outside in the daylight. Challenging, as my muscles were already sore. Could see a nimitta embryo during the practice. Got into mild absorption during the shavasana afterwards.

45 min reclining meditation, Adi’s instructions for Vipashyana


Exercise 2.1 - Grounding in Anatma
1. Set up your preferred grounding object
2. Notice that maintaining a grounding object takes some effort
3. Taking slow deep abdominal breaths with the out breath long and thin, relax your brow, relax your eyelids, withdraw the effort needed to maintain the grounding object
4. The structure of awareness that you have set up will collapse
5. Every time that happens, notice it, appreciate it, hold the realization that the structure collapses in short term working memory - you can say 'collapsed' ... 'collapsed'
6. Slowly recreate your grounding object and withdraw the energy needed to maintain it
7. The structure collapses and attention moves - 'collapsed' .. 'moved'
8. The structure collapses and attention moves to a sense door - 'collapsed' ... 'moved' ... 'sense door of sound'
9. The structure collapses and attention moves to a sense door and takes another object - 'collapsed' ... 'moved' ... 'sense door of the mind' .... 'thought'
10. The structure collapses and attention moves to a sense door and takes an object which has a life cycle - 'collapsed' ... 'moved' ... sense door of body' .... 'itch on the ass' ... 'begins, fluctuates and ends' ... 'temperature' ... 'fire element' .... etc. etc.
11. From step#5 to step no #10 lies vipashyana geared towards the quality of anatma
12. Keep simply returning to the grounding object as many times as you need, whenever you need
Notes: Shunyata, Anitya, Dukkha are very easy to notice for most people, but this shit! ... is tricky! ... very tricky! But also very rewarding. Patient peaceful repetition, sets and reps, wax on - wax off, wax on - wax off .. is the way to go.
For the entire text, see https://www.reddit.com/r/Arhatship/comments/tuc8ij/vipashyana_geared_towards_the_quality_of_anatma/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=android_app&utm_name=androidcss&utm_term=1&utm_content=share_button

This is actually something that I’m very familiar with, by accident. For one thing, this is what tended to happen earlier in my practice when I tried to do shamatha with an object and found that the object requires effort and I wasn’t motivated enough to make the effort because it felt so good just resting like this (this is how I found my way into the disentangling practice). Second, it’s something I have done with the RtS class a lot. Michael often says ”Now let go of that”, or talks about dropping the ball, but I prefer the very precise phrasing here, to withdraw the energy needed for maintaining the object. Michael describes it like that when he explains what letting go or dropping the ball means, so it’s the same thing. So yeah, I know how to do this. I do it regularly, as a doorway into the disentangling. This is one of my favorite practices. As grounding object I chose the sense of spaciousness in my sinuses, as that self-selected (as it often does). Having done the exercises leading up to this exercise was helpful for increasing the clarity that can otherwise vary lot. So from now on, if I find that the disentangling doesn’t seem to want to do itself, now I know how to build up to it in a more systematic way. Loud nada sound coming out of the meditation.

Shared practice:
- Warming up mpvements
- Wu chi 15 min. My sinuses opened up with a rhythmic ticking (sounding like a clock). Some minor adjustments of my posture was needed as I sometimes got out of the balance, mainly tilting the pelvis too much in one direction.
- Warming up movements
- Fire kasina 22 min. Lots of sukha. Had to stop a catfight somewhere in the middle of it; sang Om Mani Padme Hung, and as usual that made the attacking cat stop and go outside to burn some excess energy instead - I’m fascinated that it works so consistently well.
- Warming up movements
- Balloon posture 10 min. First there was a phase with clear 3rd jhana qualities bit without the kind of absorption that would make it fit my criteria of jhana. After that, there were som distracting thoughts (planning). At the end, there was some negative vedana due to pain in the shoulders. As I noted that as vedana, the pain turned into piti. Piti also appeared as a warm fluffy buzzing in my hands.
- Fire kasina 20 min. The breath was very subtle. The word ”ethereal” popped up as a description of how the practice (or the world for that matter) felt. There were instances of tingling in my scalp.
Aviva HaMakom, modified 1 Year ago at 1/14/23 7:01 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I can't believe you mentioned the clicking sound in the sinuses- I get that every so often and have never heard anyone else say that they have. A lot of body sensations can seem more normal, but stuff like that is just abundantly clear that it is energy doing an expansion. 

I admire how developed your physical practices are.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/14/23 10:20 AM
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I have heard one person here describe that exact ticking in the sinuses. It was one of the guys that use their initials as their alias, can't remember which one of them (I think it was one of the two guys that use the same two letters but in the different order from each other, and none of them is very active nowadays). He said that was how he knew he was in review. Maybe that was true for him, but it's not for me. It is a positive sign, though. 

Well, thankyou! It might sound better than it is, though. Regardless, it sure is a lifeline for me.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/14/23 11:07 AM
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Log Wednesday Jan 11th, 2023, shared practice 

Wu chi 15 min: ticking of sinuses, images turning themselves into kasinas in the form of shortlasting photorealistic images when eyes close. 

Fire kasina 22 min: bouncing learning sign for a while, then more stable, then varying back and forth. Subtle sleepiness appeared but determination was enough to turn it into alertness, which came together with piti thanks to the unification of the mind.

Balloon posture 5 min: lots of piti, kasinas self-selecting. 

Fire kasina 22 min: relatively little bouncing, sometimes with great clarity, sometimes with not so great clarity, and varying staibility. Thoughts came up adressing urgent tasks. I managed to let go of the thoughts for the purpose on focusing on the kasina --> piti.


During the night between Wednesday and Thursday 

Meditated in my dreaming. It was jhanic. First psychedelic imagery appeared, shining through the murk - intricate swirling patterns in clear colors. Then I got into a hyper-3D starfield, black/white/greyscale, with extreme topography standing out. I was moving through it as if in warp speed.


Log Thursday Jan 12th

Wu chi 10 min: balanced, tranquil, kasinas self-selecting as a biproduct.

Fire kasina 30 min: using the pointer of not focusing on what arises but being what knows the arising (Jigme Lingpa, Trackless Path, translation and commentary by Ken McLeod). 

Late night yoga 40 min: aiming at quieting the mind and calming down the nervous system - hypnagogic imagery without dullness.


Log Friday 13th (oh, that explains a lot, lol)

Morning: OBE exercises. I recognized the phase but didn't accomplish any tasks. 

Morning/noon: 50 min of yoga outside in the sunlight (my neighbors are used to me being weird by now so I have nothing to lose). 

Shared afternoon practice:

Wu chi 15 min - nothing special to report.

Sitting 25 min: Instead of doing the fire yoga, I did the exercises 2.1 - both of them, grounding in awareness as well as the continuation:

Exercise 2.1 - Sense door of the body - body parts
  1. Forget about Anatma
  2. Send awareness out, wield it like a tool and scan your body from top to bottom and back -looking for skin on the downward pass, flesh on the upward pass, bones on the downward pass
  3. Remember what it means like to have body sensations that originate in skin, flesh, bones
  4. Create and ground yourself in the grounding object
  5. Define the scope of interest to be the body
  6. As the grounding object collapses do vipashyana oriented towards anatma on body parts
  7. Notice collapse, attention moves, object, skin/flesh/bones, track the lifecycle


It felt like free-falling. In the latter part I eventually allowed the different fields to merge into one energy field, as I withdrew the energy needed for keeping them distinct from each other (that is, maintaining that construct). 

Balloon posture 10 min: I felt the energy from the breath very tangibly. At the end, there was negative vedana from a shoulder hurting.

Sitting 25 min: a bunch of exercises, starting with grounding in awareness and moving on to (or back to) setting up a dynamic grounding object (the breath reverberating in the sinuses, hands on knees, contact with the ground beneath me), then varying the scope of awareness (after completing the instructions I did the same thing for the right side of the body). In the two latter exercises I included one instance each of visiting all the other sense modalities. Then I did some choiceless awareness, which developed into the awareness turning back into itself. 

In both the sitting sessions, access to steering awareness happened instantly. 


Daily life

Manged to challenge my difficulties with executive functioning in task (writing) associated with anxiety, thanks to mental support (it was a mutual thing, a win-win deal, as we both got more done than we would have alone).


Today (Saturday Jan 14th), so far

During the night lots of swirling imagery.

Shared practice with Wu chi 15 min, 25 min of sitting (fire kasina), a break for hanging out and talking about the dharma, then another 25 min of sitting (fire kasina). The learning sign was relatively pliant without yet evolving. There were distracting thoughts coming up, with some reactivity, but it felt good to let go of them for the time being. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/14/23 11:41 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Very tangible energetic sensations. Not course piti, bit rather lots of poppings. Champagne bubbles without the sense of them being contained in any way that would cause pressure to build up. Loud nada sound, high pitched. A weird sense of slight delay in the visual field, like the images are lagging behind just a little bit, especially when I move. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/14/23 4:37 PM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Shamatha. Lots of it. Because my body insists on doing it. It's weird, because my brain is still rambling on about stuff, but my body finds stillness and finds an incredible aliveness happening energetically in that stillness. Lots of high-pitched nada sound. Lots of light in the murk, both the lava lamp-like flourescent swirlings that sometimes overlay the murk completely and on the other hand a sparkling and a strobing going on which gives a gold-shimmering and rainbowlike quality to the murk itself, revealing that it's not at all banal. The breath energy seems to fill up the entire space with its smooth foamy rich texture. It's like it doesn't really matter what thoughts are hovering around me, because this energy field does its own thing anyway. It seems to find that it's all just vibrations anyway, and it luuuvs the vibrations. It's not like we (the senses of self coming into being) are all in agreement about that, but it just keeps feelin' groovy anyway. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/17/23 5:34 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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I have booked two hours of sensory deprivation floating for tomorrow. I have been wanting to do this since I first heard about it but always thought it would be too expensive and hard to find a facility. It turned out that there is a facility within walking distance and I only had to pay what corresponds to 32 US dollars per hour. I'm so looking forward to it. I just fear that I will mess up the experience, partly because of my expectations bit mainly because I'm sad and upset about something going on in my daily life that I have a hard time letting go of.

[unnecessary ramblings about personal life stuff deleted.]

And I feel like a failed practicioner because this upsets me the way it does. I feel like I shouldn't be so concerned with how others think of me, whether or not they think I'm trustworthy. I know that I can be trusted, which is important for morality reasons, and anything besides that is just attachment to identity. I'm letting this be a hindrance in my practice, because it distracts me, and there is nothing I can do about it. Apparently I'm attached to the view of myself as someone who can be trusted. How does people let go of that? It hurts as fuck. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/15/23 10:02 AM
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RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

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Wu chi 15 min
Fire kasina 20/25 min (I forgot to ask; I wasn't the one setting the timer)
Balloon posture 10 min
Fire kasina 20/25 min

At least practicing actually helps when I'm sad and upset. Earlier in my practice I wouldn't have been able to stop engaging with the rambling. Now I kind of did. The thoughts kept happening and I didn't suppress them but I also didn't fuel them. I did cry at times, though. There were emotional responses to the thoughts. I let that play out and watched how the contraction around the thoughts led to suffering. I saw how little control there is and how futile it is, trying to be in control. I saw how I can't even control the urge of being in control, and how that made me feel helpless, or rather, how that made a me come into being that felt helpless. And in a weird way, that was okay. There were lots of negative vedana, but it was okay. Crying was okay. Not being in control was okay. Seeing that there is no way of being in control somehow felt comforting. I saw that there are selves coming into being that would rather be liked than awakened and I could feel compassion for that. Well, something did, anyway. There were a sense of peace at times. There were phases of more contraction too. The thought popped up that this is actually a great opportunity for practice, and I'm so fucking grateful for that thought popping up. Contraction keeps showing up in waves, even as I write this, and tears mess with the touch pad. Well, what do you do? I will try to approach this as an opportunity for practice rather than just feeling sorry for myself, and if that's all I get to do in the floating tank tomorrow, then at least I get to see the three C:s.

There were energetic releases and a sense of freefalling during the wu chi, that ticking in the sinuses during the first fire kasina session, and in the ballon posture that thing happened again that happened the first time I tried the standing practice: it felt like it took away bodily defenses and I was left without that shield. There was a rush of fear coming up from that, but I didn't identify with it but instead thought it was interesting. I let the sense of being defenseless be there and be aware. In the second fire kasina session, most of the time I treated the flame more as an anchor that sort of felt safe and did less of the actual kasina thing. It took a while before I fully realized that, and then I made an effort to do the kasina thing. The learning sign pliantly showed up. 
Adi Vader, modified 1 Year ago at 1/15/23 10:02 AM
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Really good kind decent people sometimes think the worst of me.
At such times I remind myself that we are all human beings and misunderstanding (each other) is a part of our shared humanity.

My suggestion as a friend would be, in recognition of goodness kindness and decency try and patch up with your friend. Try and find a middle ground. Sometimes we see 'compromise' as a dirty word, but its not! It is ... pragmatic!

Inter-personal relationships, and whether they are smooth or full of friction, is not a good barometer of practice or attainments.

Some attained people are horrible at inter personal relationships, some are good at it. In any case, it takes two hands to clap, the quality of our relationships is a function of two people's contribution to it.

Concern with what other people think of us is a feature of the fetter of 'mana' or measurement (mistranslated as conceit). It drops away only at arhat attainment. That does not mean we are left incapable of measurement, all it means is that the heart is no longer trapped in it.

I find it very helpful to frame action as being driven by agendas. I try to make sure my agendas are 'clean' and in alignment with my moral compass, and I act to meet my agendas. After that ... let the chips land where they will.

While I do this, I am super clear in my mind that other people's agendas may be in conflict. ... well ... such is life.

I don't know if any of this makes any sense. I just thought of sharing.

​​​​​​​P.S. One thing that I personally am not is a fair weather friend. I stick with my friends through thick and thin. I dont abandon them because they goofed up and screwed the pooch. I admire this quality when I see it in others emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/17/23 5:36 AM
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Thankyou Adi! You said a lot of things there that I needed to hear. As usual. You are good at that.

[unnecessary rambling about personal life stuff deleted]
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/16/23 1:48 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 1/16/23 1:48 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Weirdly enough, after that I hit both jhanic territory and a cessation. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 1/17/23 5:55 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 1/17/23 5:53 AM

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 16

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
God, I'm such a mess. I'm so lucky to have people in my life who stand by me anyway. 

Seriously darknighting. It's fucking with my mind, and not in the fun way.