RE: Explorations (log #3)

supermonkey :), modified 1 Month ago at 2/8/23 2:13 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/8/23 1:35 AM

Explorations (log #3)

Posts: 91 Join Date: 8/11/20 Recent Posts
Link to first log, link to second log.

keypoints: finding new ways to engage with practice; despite seemingly strong development, I am somewhat troubled by a recurring vague, but pervasive sense of unease. It seems liker there is fear and unworthiness underlying it.

Shortly before last christmas I think I glimpsed what's called lesser non-meditation in "4 Yogas of Mahamudra" by Dharmkirti. The description feels accurate:
At the stage of lesser non-meditation, deliberate mindfulness and meditation are no longer necessary, and appearances arise as meditation. However, merely subtle and illusory fixations are still present.
After a longer phase of Re-Observation and a very short Equanimity in which I'd inquire into the sense of being a meditator, I seemed to have finished a cycle, and shortly after I had the direct lived experience of sensations simply and continously popping up where they are. A bit like a machine, as a friend of mine said. Nothing but raw sensations and imaginings in the mind.
Since then I finshed a few POI cycles (2,3?) with more or less intense dark nights. Recently the experience of insight ñanas becomes less distinct.
I mainly sat without a plan. I couldn't even call that actual practice. But the mind did its thing. For instance, what clearly worked itself out during sits in the last weeks was the ability to see the sense of being a meditator as a sensation. But I had absolutely no frame of reference, and I feel like such a frame would be helpful now. "Need something to do".

In daily life, since short, actually since I am doing the mindful glimpses, me as a person more often than not can feel like a moving picture in awareness, or in a vaster knowing. My own knowing is being known inside a greater kowing/a wider field of awareness. Life can feel like a movie. Or a dream. Depends on the stance taken.

So since a few days there seems to be a shift in interest and orientation. I'm interested in exploring the Mahamudra stages and also the basic jhanas. I still do a regular 1hr sit of just sitting in the morning and during the day I do some mindful glimpses from the book "the way of effortless midfulness" by Loch Kelly. There is a chapter in which there are mindful glimpses, sorted by the stages of mahamudra and I try to get a sense of each. I tried working with several Mahamudra books like "clarifying the natural state", but I was confusing myself with trying to understand concepts like "resting mind, moving mind, non-arising" and so on. Kelly's book seems accessible, although I'm still not entirely sure if it's the right thing to read/do.

The book describes the Mahamudra stages in terms of so-called awake awareness. The correspondence seems to be

Kelly <-> traditional

Awareness of awake awareness <-> Recognition
Awake awareness as aware of itself <-> Realization
Awareness from awake awareness-energy <-> One Taste
Awake awareness-energy embodied <-> Rigpa
Open-hearted awareness <-> Bodhicitta(?)

My explorations of those stages via the mindful glimpses in the book and some (derived) exercises of my own seem to trigger all kinds of jhanic states, and I often find myself mapping, asking if it's clear that this and that stage relates to this and that jhana.

For instance, some notes:

The recognition stage is the recognition that the sense of a self/doer/knower in relation to objects is a known experience in awareness. It has a flavor of first jhana, as trying to stabilize attention on the fleeting sense of self is effortful and can be somewhat wrong and narrow.
The second stage is when the energy/wave of the sense of self is allowed to integrate and then dissipate into awareness/the ocean. This already has a sense of effortlessness, so it's a bit 2nd jhanic, but the open space scenery that emerges has a sense of 5th jhana.
The beginning of stage three is when thoughts are freely moving around as whisps of awareness, and this feels really formless. As the sense of self can come back in the form of being a stable awareness, this stage is somewhat neighbouring the 6th jhana, I think. Then it develops into the sense that form is filled with awareness. For instance my hands feel like they carry a knowing. Here there is some stuckness, as I think I should be able to experience form completely as being awareness, not ony pervaded by awareness.
From one taste, having seen everything as awareness, I can sometimes let the movement of sensations percolate and a sense of nothingness and a sense of groundedness begin to emerge. For me, here, there can be a lingering sense of energy, not being sure whether it wants to be emptyness or form. As if it's shy to emerge. I guess that's my my cutting edge and I'll have to see how gentle I can be here.

I don't know, reading this in hindsight feele like I am having all kinds of jhanic flavors, probably even pureland, and it may take me away from actual realization.

A valuable thing about Loch Kelly's book is that he also treats how psychological stuff can inhibit the experience of awake awareness and gives the IFS approach as a way to deal with it.
In my sits I often feel like towards the end the mind does IFS on its own. I tend to interfer, but I am getting better at understanding what's going on. I seem to have a lot of anger and shame purifications. They seem to come from old abandoned parts of me, breaking free and re-integrating. There really seems to be a strong relation between the sense of abandonment and anger. I am learning that I have to respect the opinion of angry parts instead of seeing them as only annoying and I can feel how that softens the situation instantly. I guess that could be the most useful thing I am learning right now.

On the one hand I assume that it's ok to find the way to a clarified natural state by going through some fabricated jhana-like states, if that's engaging and interesting.
On the other hand I have the gut-feeling that I could be state-hunting and simply paying attention to what's already there would be easier and more beneficial and probably I shouldn't shift the main emphasis of my practice from sitting to these awareness practices. It just doesn't feel really engaging to "do nothing" at the moment.
And yet on the other had, all this interest in Mahamudra could simply be a byprocuct of recent development and there is no real problem, it's just very tempting to make them. The only thing I have to take care of is that true nature thing. Appearances appear, and when thee is a flavor of true nature, that's an experience.


"This is empty" is an emtpy statement.

The only true nature of things is that they don't have true nature.

Lots of shame purification.

I realized that thinking "when it's good, it comes from emptiness" is true, but wrong/incomplete, as it's missing everything else.

Actually it's very simple: the fact that things can appear in different ways, as self, as not-self, as whisps of empty awareness, as solid, and so on makes it clear that they cannot have an inherent existece. It's pretty obvious when you think about it.

Reading in Daniel's post compilation about the higher paths was grounding.
supermonkey :), modified 1 Month ago at 2/8/23 3:31 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/8/23 3:12 AM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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I notice that after practicing the glimpses, I tend to have a lot of energy coming up. Mostly it's sensations of thickness in the head (piti, kundalini,prana...?) and I feel a lot of energy coming into my hands, energy that makes me want to clench my fists (strength, power, engagement, presence). Yeah, I think it's presence-energy.
Maybe it's interesting to explore whether there really is more energy after the exercises for stages 3 (awareness from awake awareness-energy) and 4 (awake awareness-energy embodied).
supermonkey :), modified 1 Month ago at 2/15/23 12:39 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/15/23 12:39 PM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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sit (40min): what helped me get into it was to admit that I have no idea what's going to happen… and that thoughts that seem to be convinced on what is going to happen are hindrances. I started to investigate what feels like me and try to understand the relation between reactivity and thinking that stuff is me. Generally, when there is reactivity there is also a sense of me being the experience
After a while I got to spent some time in what (not only) Loch Kelly calls the goldilocks zone; neither too hot, nor to cold. I notice that I am in the too hot zone when I start reacting (over-identified with experience). The too cold zone is when I start to space out, or seek some general distance from experience (seek refuge from experience).
I noticed an eagerness to stabilize a sense of groundedness and comfort and that the eagerness makes it difficult to establish it.
The goldilocks zone has a balanced at-home feeling of energy moving on its own, where moving isn’t actually the right word, but, in hindsight, it can have an impression of moving forward. I got a lot of energetic sensations. Maybe these are energetic releases which have to happen in order to develop a more balanced state.
After a while I noticed, or rather thought/extrapolated that when I space out, the mind starts to cultivate the other side, and reactivity emerges, and when too hot, a tendency to space out again emerges. Reminds me a bit of realms, where in god realm, over time ignorance and aversion are cultivated. Or, to be precise, in god realm ignorance is cultivated, which the cultivates reactivity.
Then I lost the sense of orientation in space and time. It seemed like too hot and too cold were contained in each other, not really separable, like connected through a strange kind of sphere. I also wondered if this is a later stage of one-taste or if it’s already non-meditation. In hindsight I noticed that I just progressed into Dissolution and that’s also why I began to think so much. It also explains the energetic sensations, direct clarity and sense of power (A&P) earlier.

sit (40min): basically started in Dissolution and went up to fruition, then back to A&P and then I could chill out. I realized that it’s really possible to just watch these stages move through (regardless of a method). I found that I’ll probably never get used to the dissonance of the late dark night, though.
Later I had 2 large realizations:
1)  it’s so difficult to change behaviour because you are actually working against a system that’s convinced that it’s doing something good. Innate sense of goodness.
2) My mind has always already done/tried to do the right thing in the scope of my conditioning.
supermonkey :), modified 1 Month ago at 2/16/23 2:20 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/16/23 2:20 AM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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There is much mapping. Mapping is grasping. Grasping is mind. Mind is empty. Emptiness is heart-knowing. Emptiness is connectivity. Emptiness is understanding beyond words.
Self-hate is mind. Mind is empty. Emptiness is heart-knowing. Emptiness is radiant.
Doubt and confusion are mind. Mind is empty. Emptiness is clear. Clear not knowing.
Uncertainty is mind. Mind is empty. Emptiness is radiant. Emptiness is clear seeing.
Reactivity is mind. Mind is empty. Emptiness is fluent. Emptiness is joy. Emptiness is complete.

Not knowing is me? I don't know...
supermonkey :), modified 1 Month ago at 2/16/23 11:22 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/16/23 11:22 AM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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When we are afraid of an emotion and don’t allow us to experience it, it gets encapsulated. The encapsulation makes us carry the emotion vaguely in the background (the shadow) until we are able to allow us to feel it.
Trying to relate this to the idea of attachment/clinging: when encapsulated, the emotion lingers around and probably over time it has a flavor of „my emotion“, „me“, and it’s almost as if I don’t want to lose it. It’s as if keeping the emotion hidden somewhere serves as a protection. But then, as a consequence of the identification process, I am afraid of experiencing it and of losing it.
This would also explain why over time it gets more and more difficult to experience old emotions, because the longer they stay encapsulated, the more identification can take place.

In fact, when I manage to feel the emotions that come along with doing what’s necessary (uncertainty, insecurity, shame…), I feel less compelled to meditate. It’s a different quality then. I can then decide. Meditation doesn’t appear as addictive. I feel like I even have to find a new reason to do it. Maybe meditate for cultivating something good then?

I guess the identification tendency can not be undone. But if I learn to understand on a direct experiential level that it’s much less demanding for the psyche if I don’t have lingering unexperienced emotions that I am attached to, which makes it very difficult to liberate them, I can maybe learn to allow what needs to be experienced before it gets increasingly difficult over time.
supermonkey :), modified 1 Month ago at 2/18/23 9:21 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/18/23 9:21 AM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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I'm putting this here so that I don't forget. And, honestly, I hope that somebody will comment.

This hope that somebody will comment is a form of ignorance. It's a need for confirmation, driven by the desire to know for sure. It induces restlessness. Restlessness drives excessive thinking.

The noting mind is the same mind as that which is noted.

Moving mind is like moving clouds. When there is a desire to follow them, it seems like there is no distinction between that which moves and that which desires. As if the desire is in the experience.

Sometimes a part of the mind tries to congeal the moving mind into a solid spot. That's very unplesant, and I think it's driven by the urge/desire to have a real future resp. to know what the future will be like.
When there is no need for thoughts about the future to be true, the experience of these thoughts is gentle. Similarly for past.

Hate-pride always comes with shame-fear.

Sometimes the assumption on a solid reference triggers a referential feedback loop to confirm the (the idea of a) reference. It's like an attractor. It's fed by hunger.

More self/reference = more contraction and more time, less self = more openness and less time.

Suffering is the need for mental fabrications to be true.
Next step: Suffering is the belief that mental fabrications can be true. Real truths.

I need what I think to be a true display of reality. Absurd!
I need the appearances in my mind to be truths. To be more than ideas. I believe that they are more than ideas. Ignorant!
...that they are more than apparances (which are made) into vague guesses, extrapolations. I contract until this seems more true; I ignore. I ignore to make it seem like that. And that contraction is hatred. I need it to be how I think it is and I hate everything that points to it not being so.
Identification with mental fabrications must lead to ignorance, because when we are identified with mental fabrications, we think we die when they slip... when they don't seem to conform.
supermonkey :), modified 1 Month ago at 2/20/23 3:16 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/20/23 3:13 PM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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More stuff:

I hate or ignore what doesn't conform to my convictions. Is the apparent need for conviction a hindrance?

Desire is Aversion. Desire for something is thinking that what is is not satisfying.

I can ignore ignoring. I can hate hating. I can cling to aversion. I can hate clinging, etc.

Aversion: "I don't want this to be true". Antidote: honesty, self compassion.

Ill will: what's happening is different than what's expected. Clinging to stillness. Feel the sadness of not having stillness. Sadness and stillness are not different.

Feel the sadness of not totally being in charge. That’s how you are in charge.

When I can be honest, desire for change goes away. When I can put myself in someone else's place, aversion goes away. Let yourself be surprised. Spend some time with a different view. If it makes you sad to leave your opinion, feel the sadness. The sadness is joy. Recognize the joy of not distinguishing.

Not sure if I assessed that correctly concerning the glimpse into non-meditation. But I'm quite sure I recently spend some time in a preliminary version of one-taste, one mind, or synchrounous mind. It makes much sense to my how Kevin Shanilec describes it. He says one-taste is experienced when the 6th fetter weakens/drops. He calls the 6th fetter "subjectivity". And that makes sense to me; if there is no subjectivity, then everything has one taste. On the other hand, there can be the sense that the subject has the taste of awareness, as opposed to being "real“/solid, but I guess it somehow depends on the state of mind.
Without shamatha this can all feel raw and manic. It’s the rougher version. Rough, empty reality. There can be fear then.


Life felt a lot like a magical illusion this morning.

In the afternoon I could see how there sometimes is a cone of clarity in front of me and everything else is undifferentiated. Sometimes objects are singled out. There can be a sense of subjectivity in this cone.
Do I synchronize with the object or do I give birth to the object? Clinging to object-ness. It takes a lot of mental energy to assume object-ness when there is no apparent object-ness going on. The transition between object-ness and non-object-ness is fluent.

Aha! It’s not really clear if object-ness or subject-ness comes first!!! It’s not clear at all.
supermonkey :), modified 23 Days ago at 2/28/23 3:33 PM
Created 23 Days ago at 2/28/23 3:09 PM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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I am continuing to shift between the fetter-model approach as suggested by Kevin Shanilec and mahamudra/dzogchen practice either from Loch Kelly's book, WUTYL or "clarifying the natural state". For some reason I see the fetter-model approach on the clear-cut vipassana side. I think they might complement each other very well, although it can be a bit too much this and that.

Recently self-liberation and self-awareness become very interesting, whereas the overall theme keeps being (confused) clinging, mainly to thoughts and emotions.

On wednesday I had a first experience of thoughts being entirely self-aware.
I tried an exercise from Kelly's book where you shift between levels of awareness, more or less alongside the stages of mahamudra, I guess. You take an emotion, say sadness, and proceed as follows, really feeling into each state. Just as an exercise, I put in brackets the three dimensions in Shingon Hokai Sobol talks about in the Hurricane discussions, as I understand it.

1. I am sad (effort dimension)
2. I feel sadness (effort dimension to receptivity dimension)
3. I am aware of feeling sadness (receptivity dimension)
4. sadness is welcome (receptivity dimension to fusion dimension)
5. awareness and sadness are not separate (fusion dimension)

Personally, I have it closer to the following. In a way, it moves from solid form to emptiness to beyond concepts of form and emptiness. I put in brackets which jhana I see here, losely.

1. I am sad (J1)
 1.1 sense of effort dissipates, still some tangling
2. there is sadness (J2)
3. sadness is known, there is sadness-consciousness (J3)
 3.1 the sense of the emotion being stuck (VJ3-ish)
4. sadness knows itself, is its own knowing, or, it recognizes itself and gives way. (to J4)
5. this is it, no separation, natural clarity emoticon (J4-ish)

I usually choose different formulations that seem to get a beter handle for each stage. Can vary each time.

The first step seems to be all-important. Really, really feeling into the sense of I am sad. It feels very familiar but also very narow. The sense of I feel sadness/there is sadness naturally evolves but still has to be regognized as a distinct state. It has a lighter flavour than the first step, but there begins to emerge a sense of contractedness/stuckness of the emotion. This sense of contractedness/the clinging takes a while to be really recognized and then it feels as if the emotion discovers itself as part and is happy to leave its job. Alongside, somewhat magically, there is a shift into openness/presence and a sense of embodiedness. Poetically, it's as if the stuck emotion delves back into the body/awareness and the clinging energy gives power to the system, or so. After that process it's as if there is no duality left and any concept of a this and a that makes no sense. It's very direct, healthy and simple. Very simple.
After doing that on wednesday I felt like trying to do it for thoughts, as there seemed to be the same clinging energy with thoughts. So I shifted attention to thoughts with the intention to go through the process and suddenly thinking presented itself as self-aware for a few seconds.
That same day I got into the experience of self-awareness of thoughts a few times more and I began to notice an existential fear along, but I could take it with enough compassion. to not freak out.

And the more I go into that direction, the more I become aware of clinging. Today this clinging had very much a sense of a need to protect behind it. I may have given this analogy before, but it's the sense of protection that a mother has when unsure if she can let the child play alone on the playground without watching it all the time.

This passage of the hurricane discussion struck me in how well it seems to articulate the situation:

DI (Daniel Ingram): Yeah. So doing it and getting it done, from that point of view, is finally seeing through the last knot of perception. The last subtle distortion of dualistic misinterpretation or missynchronization of thought processes. I mean, I really think of it like a missynchronization. It’s almost like something is out of phase in a habitual way. It just keeps it slightly out of the purview of comprehending awareness. Like, it’s like a phase issue.

HS (Hokai Sobol): One half of experience keeps self-referencing. (!!)

DI: Yes. Yeah. But it’s shifting. I mean, the problem is, it’s so unbelievably malleable. It can shift to an astounding range of patterns. But yeah, it’s almost like there’s a missynchronization of the thing. Something is running slightly out of phase in a slightly jarring way that yet is very compelling until you finally are able to just see things in a complete and penetrating way.


So I sit down and wait until I get caught up in thinking. Then I get curious about an emotion that might be driving it. If present, upon being recognized, the emotion somehow synchronizes energetically and vanishes. After a while things get extremely subtle and I begin to wonder if those sensations need to be liberated.
The process then seems to reflect on itself and it detects mental fixation on many, many tiny energetic spots that seem to have made up the illusion of somebody actually liberating something. I guess you could say that the energetic spots are the fixations itself.
It’s quite demanding to get that subtle. I think it’s somewhat related to slipping into formless jhanas.


A moment where all (clinging) parts seemed to agree, be at peace and retreat themselves, so that the true self could take over. Felt incredibly fresh, positive and in good mood.
More seeing of internal experience as illusory.


Dakinis came to help me! For the first time ever I heard an internal voice saying that I’m doing well and told me to keep going!
I also see deities in on things with structure like tiles on the floor. They tend to be male. Somewhat well-wishing, somewhat serious.

Begin to see clinging and self as co-arising. Begin to see aversion as illusion. "Don’t need to stop it!"

This quote of Nagarjuna in Burbea's book fits well and I think it really had an effect on me:

If all this is empty, then there is no arising and passing away. From the relinquising or cessation of what does one expect to obtain nirvana?
Martin, modified 23 Days ago at 2/28/23 6:01 PM
Created 23 Days ago at 2/28/23 6:01 PM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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​​​​​​​I like that!
supermonkey :), modified 20 Days ago at 3/3/23 3:29 PM
Created 21 Days ago at 3/2/23 9:44 AM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

Posts: 91 Join Date: 8/11/20 Recent Posts
Nice emoticon I like your recent log post, too emoticon
I'm also coming across the topic of view-clinging/clinging to paradigms.
Some thoughts on that: seeking refuge in a view is a "higher order" search for reference. Like a last straw, to put it in slightly negative terms. Like "if all of this is not really true, then at least my views must be". And in a way it's easy to retreat into a view, because a) you have built it up over years and b) it's your imagination. The direct confrontation with views not being accurate can be avoided longer than seeing that "there is no self", as they operate in the background.
When I see that the mind is fixated on a view/lost in search for reference and I can give sufficient attention to that, it goes away. So I guess if you want to see it in terms of DO, clinging to a view is a sankhara, a habit, and removing ignorance (being mindful of it) resolves it. And consequently it makes the suffering go away, as it's tedious to always try to seek reference "somewhere else". You have to hold up the image of this somewhere else and place your imagined self there. Exhausting! emoticon

Edit: I found that what I wrote was a bit sloppy and thought about it again.
So when I cling to a view (want it to be permanent), I am always, at least to some extent, holding it up against that which is actually happening and it creates dissonance/confusion. Hm. As I think about it, I begin to feel like the aware of this dissonance fuels an actualization process. You say that you begin to see clinging as fuel. That's interesting, because as I write this, I feel like the being aware of the dukkha involved in clinging to a view fuels presence. And I am not sure if clinging really requires a clinger. It's more like a micro-dream, where the mind imagines/dreams a self in a past or future circumstance. This process doesn't seem to need a somebody doing it, even though there is a dreamt future or past self. Or maybe that process is not clinging but craving... Maybe the wish for a future self (craving) makes us fall into a dream and it becomes unpleasant when we want the dream to be true, wish to stay in the dream (cling to it).

Edit 2: Something feels off in the Edit. I think I can now see what Martin means with clinging as fuel. It can be very strong. The micro dreams I am talking about is something else, maybe rather related to ignorance. And I am, as usual, trying to talk about something I haven't really understood (yet) and I'm confusing myself.
Martin, modified 18 Days ago at 3/5/23 9:02 PM
Created 18 Days ago at 3/5/23 9:02 PM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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I was especially interested in what you had to say about bringing up thoughts as self-aware. The things impinging at the sense doors being self aware or not (nondual or not) is not something I have not been able to specifically cultivate. It just happens. I will poke around with your technique. 

As for views, the term "view" can be applied to a lot. I think that the way Thanissaro is using it actually crosses the line into sankhara. I like the way Adi talks about sankhara as grips that we habitually use when engaging with the world. A view so fundamental as "I can improve on this situation," which is what Thanissaro is talking about, is likely so habitual that it is a sankhara. 

I suspect, by the way, that what you are calling a "micro-dream" and what I am calling a "dust-devil" are very similar things: causally determined mental sequences, seen without being imbued with a sense of ownership or agency. Is this what you were pointing to?

The upadana as "fuel" or "clinging" is not super significant to me. I have a little translation of DO (which I sing to the tune of Big Rock Candy Mountain) and I change the English terms I use a bit every few months. It's like an optometrist changing the lens on one of those machines they use to determine the prescription for your glasses. You know how they ask you "Which is clearer, this ... or this?" Sometimes a different word gives me a clearer view but that doesn't make particular words wrong or right. In any case, it is not the lenses that we look through, but the habit of looking and things that are seen that are important. 

That said, I do like being able to say "five piles of fuel" instead of the rather unwieldy "five aggregates subject to clinging," and, in that sense, I like to notice which kind of fuel has been thrown on the fire at any particular time. 

In any case, this stuff is both really hard to talk about and really fun to talk about. 
supermonkey :), modified 17 Days ago at 3/6/23 2:45 PM
Created 17 Days ago at 3/6/23 2:26 PM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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For fuel: after I read your post I realized that giving specific atention to something, fixating on it in a way, opens up a lot of energy "in that direction". And then I thought that this could be what you mean by calling it fuel instead of clinging. And the fixating of attention, experientially, is a clinging. I was surprised how powerful the energetic window became and it was very compelling. It was always very harsh to not stay in this "energetic window". I suspect that's what is meant by the suffering that's caused by clinging. Lamentation, death.

...and then I crashed into a re-observation. One sign being that I became very, very neurotic about whether it was "correct" how I interpreted what you were describing or if I was just a stupid, naive dilletant. And then I began to debate whether I should delete what I wrote and what exactly was wrong about it... what is wrong?? ahhh!!? yeah, you might know it...

On the other hand, I think it's just the nature of re-observation to exactly show us how clinging creates suffering. Often in that stage I have the impression that I need to go into a concentration state and I just don't understand why I can't. And I feel like it's the most needed thing. Thinking about it, the fuel situation, created by fixating on something is very similar to a concentration state. Maybe it is some sort of momentary jhana, if you will.

For micro-dreams: I think what you call "causally determined mental sequences, seen without being imbued with a sense of ownership or agency" might be when beliefs about a self are seen as empty and they just pass by, are not fueled with energy resp. not clung to.
I experience it like this (and please keep in mind that it's difficult to talk about it ;) ): Say I am angry, or there is anger, or whatever, and the mind creates the view that I am an angry person. The mind, as if it wants to confirm it, brings up a situation in which I would act accordingly. Maybe I would say something harsh to my partner. I call it a dream because in that moment it really feels like I am there being there right now. And then I experience the clinging as the mind wanting to hold the sense of me there (in this imagined situation). So I set myself into a future (or past) point in time.
And now that I reflect on it it's as if the whole thing really can only survive via believing that it's actually me in that situation. Or you could say it survives via believing that the future is real (if that situation is in the future, can as well be in the past).
Interesting and actually obvious at the same time. A belief only works if in the "belief situation", you really think you are there. Or, in a way, you are the belief...
Even further reflection makes me completely lose the definite sense of time with that thing. It's not really like "I am now here and in this future I am there and do that". That's not how it feels. The expansion into a future situation happens in an eternal now. It's only suffering when the mind thinks that the future is real, meaning that it tries to mediate between the sense of "I truly exist now in this moment in time" and "I truly exist now in this future moment in time". It tries to truly exist in two moments in time. Fundamental confusion. Why do we suffer? Because we have a linear sense of existence, and when we imagine ourselves as being in a different moment of time, which inevitably comes with a sense of true reality now (dream), something feels violated, because at the same time we know it's not true. We belive in actual existence of future self. Imagination is not what we think it is. We don't actually imagine "a future". That's just not possible. The mind can only actually produce one sense of existence. Everything else is fundamental delusion.

If you remember, I also talked about that being mindful of the delusions seems to lead to presence. I'd now include that an emotion (like anger) can either be fully experienced, or the mind will slip into a duality. It will create a split sense of (two real) time(s). Fundamental confusion anyone? emoticon

Anyway, I guess what I wanted to understand here is that what I thought of as clinging energy could also have been presence energy. Mindfully embracing an emotion instead of slipping into delusion.

Does any of this make sense?

Edit: sry for the many edits, had to edit out the seeming compiling error.
supermonkey :), modified 17 Days ago at 3/6/23 3:07 PM
Created 17 Days ago at 3/6/23 3:02 PM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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One more thing: I just realized that it could be that what I call mindfulness is or is related to clinging to a present self.
Martin, modified 16 Days ago at 3/7/23 4:18 PM
Created 16 Days ago at 3/7/23 4:18 PM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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Thanks. I think I have it now. I was way off base before. In terms of presence versus thought identification, and how clinging relates to that, it may not be as complicated as I was making it. 

I agree and I think you have described it well. When the mind goes off to some other time or place then the mind is generally completely there and not here. 

The questions you are bringing around clinging to a present self are interesting. I have never really thought about that before, but I will roll it around a bit. Do you know Angelo Dilullo? 
supermonkey :), modified 16 Days ago at 3/8/23 1:17 AM
Created 16 Days ago at 3/8/23 1:16 AM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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It's good to hear that it seems to make some sense what I'm trying to convey. After all, I just follow my experience and tend to drift into theorizing at times. emoticon

I think the answer is that I need to be able to hold that dichotomy of existing now <em>and</em> not now in awareness. I think this is important. When I don't, it's like the mind plays tricks on me, and the self seems to ping-pong between "existences". Suffering is when those possibilities are believed.
In theory, that would answer the question of neither clining to existing "now", nor clinging to existing "in the future". Holding both those concepts as a gateway to "actual presence", free from the concepts of either existing or not existing.

I know Dilullo, I have the book and watch his videos from time to time.
Martin, modified 15 Days ago at 3/8/23 10:11 AM
Created 15 Days ago at 3/8/23 10:11 AM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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That makes sense. I tend to focus on the moments when these worlds are formed and look at how that happens, rather than what happens once they are in existence, so I'm not really sure, but I certainly agree that when we believe in an imagined future we are doing what Dilullo calls pushing and pulling on thought, and that is uncomfortable. 
Martin, modified 15 Days ago at 3/8/23 10:42 AM
Created 15 Days ago at 3/8/23 10:42 AM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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By the way:

As an odd coincidence, I recently stumbled across a poster on buddhism.stackexchange whose answers to questions I really like. In fact, I like them so much that I have been reading all of his answers, one by one. After replying to your post, I came across this answer, which sounds very similar to what you are saying: 
supermonkey :), modified 11 Days ago at 3/12/23 12:00 PM
Created 11 Days ago at 3/12/23 11:59 AM

RE: Explorations (log #3)

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@Martin: yes, that all makes sense.