Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de Waal 6/17/23 6:04 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Bahiya Baby 6/17/23 6:04 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Bahiya Baby 6/17/23 6:04 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. shargrol 6/17/23 6:04 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Dream Walker 6/17/23 6:04 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de Waal 6/17/23 6:04 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Dream Walker 6/17/23 6:18 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Bahiya Baby 6/17/23 6:04 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de Waal 6/17/23 6:04 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de Waal 6/17/23 6:04 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Bahiya Baby 6/17/23 6:04 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de Waal 6/17/23 6:04 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Bahiya Baby 6/17/23 6:04 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de Waal 6/17/23 6:04 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Bahiya Baby 6/17/23 6:04 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Dream Walker 6/17/23 6:06 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de Waal 6/18/23 1:44 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Bahiya Baby 6/19/23 6:39 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 8/16/23 11:03 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 8/16/23 11:53 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. shargrol 8/16/23 2:42 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 8/17/23 12:19 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 8/27/23 6:17 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Papa Che Dusko 8/27/23 8:46 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 8/27/23 2:12 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Papa Che Dusko 8/28/23 1:06 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 8/31/23 2:03 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 8/31/23 2:05 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 11/9/23 1:38 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 11/20/23 12:51 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Martin 11/20/23 5:24 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 11/29/23 10:24 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Bahiya Baby 11/29/23 10:35 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 12/3/23 1:29 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 12/3/23 1:42 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Chris M 12/3/23 2:00 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 12/10/23 1:20 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 12/17/23 1:33 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Martin 12/17/23 3:01 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/17/23 3:05 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 12/23/23 12:58 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 1/28/24 2:33 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Bahiya Baby 1/28/24 3:12 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 2/5/24 12:38 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Bahiya Baby 2/5/24 7:25 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 2/14/24 3:11 AM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Martin 2/14/24 3:24 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Peter de waal 2/15/24 12:51 PM
RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow. Martin 2/15/24 1:39 PM
Peter de Waal, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:04 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/11/23 11:40 AM

Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 7 Join Date: 2/12/23 Recent Posts
Hello!

I have been meditating for a while now (about 3 years on and off), but since last year may I have a steady practice of 2x 45 minutes a day. I started meditating using the TMI method and got to stage 6. After reading MCTB2 and Mahasi Sayadaw’s practical vipassana exercise about insight practice I started to practice that once a day to. So one period TMI the other insight practice. I had a steady concentration and for some instances I was able to know bare sensations.

3 months ago I was practicing Jhana by playing with pity, I would let It rise, take a deep breath and let the pity fade away and repeat the process till pity was very strong. I had a moment where pity would take over and fill my whole consciousness and body. When that feeling subsided I noticed sensations to be very clear. i thought that would be a nice moment for insight practice. I tried to notice if I could see the beginning of the sensations. Then I tried to see if i could notice when they would end. I was noting sensations  for what seemed to be a couple of minutes. Sensations became clearer and clearer each passing instant till out of the sudden my mind would latch to a string of sensations. It was like all sensations were on a string of beads and I got know each passing bead one by one with full clarity. Sensations went faster and faster, there was a strong feeling of fear which fell apart in different sensations to, all passing one by one. The string of sensations continued for a while. Then out of the sudden my mind seemed to fold inside out and there was a blob blob blob and I was back in regular meditation.

For 2 weeks I was feeling wonderful, clinging seemed to have disappeared and mindfulness was strong during the day. After that meditation seemed to be way harder then before. When I try to focus on sensations It feels like they disappear, only to come back when they are in peripheral awareness. I now also have a pressure between my eyebrows which instantly is there when meditating and only seems to go away when I’m at acces concentration.


I managed to get back to a one time a day meditation of 45 minutes, but It seems like there is very little progress. Also the ability to clearly see the sensations seems gone. Still, I am more clearheaded also the clinging came back but not in the way I was before the experience.

Could the "string of beads" experience have been a A&P event?
The question I have would be how to practice, and if there are techniques that you think could help.

Thanks for reading and may you all be free from suffering.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:04 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/11/23 12:10 PM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
 Hi Peter,

If I gently assume that was the A&P then I will make a few practice recommendations.

Hopefully someone more skilled in diagnosis will jump in and can discuss that with you. 

If you are beyond the A&P, it can become really useful to observe your periphery in practice. Let your attention kind of diffuse itself into the space around you. You don't need to try and force it to be focused and more singular. This point of practice can feel kinda sh*tty but that doesn't necessarily mean your practice is bad. 

Continue to Investigate the three characteristics of the presently arising sense field. Notice how sensation is arising exactly as it is. Before you noticed that it was fast and clear. Now you mention noticing the periphery, noticing some discomfort. This is all great stuff. It's ok for experience to be kind of muddy and unclear. That can be a natural thing. All you have to do is notice it and stay tuned into the space in which sensation is arising. Is it broader and more peripheral than it was when things were fast and clear? Do you notice there are parts of you that enjoyed the fastness and clearness and want to perhaps return to that? Where are those sensations? Can those sensations be seen as impermanent, dissatisfactory, not-self? Do those sensations have peripheral qualities? Where there is discomfort what happens when you notice the space around it?

Hope this is helpful!  


 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:04 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/12/23 2:17 AM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
A method I use for my own personal path diagnostics which has often been accurate enough.

Feel through the first to the fourth jhana. Which corresponds, shapes itself most readily to your current phenomenological experience. 

If it's the first then you're in early nanas. If it's the second you're in A&P. If it's the third DN. Fourth = EQ. 

Based on what you've said above, particularly about speed. I reckon you shifted from A&P into DN. Early DN can be somewhat relaxed too for some people and one might only notice the more gnarly aspects of DN as it progresses. 
shargrol, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:04 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/12/23 5:52 AM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 2298 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Peter de Waal:
It was like all sensations were on a string of beads and I got know each passing bead one by one with full clarity. Sensations went faster and faster, there was a strong feeling of fear which fell apart in different sensations to, all passing one by one. The string of sensations continued for a while.  ...

Could the "string of beads" experience have been a A&P event? The question I have would be how to practice, and if there are techniques that you think could help.


It's very possible that this could have been A&P, that would be a good first guess especially because us were using pleasurable sensations (piti) as a meditation object. A&P tends to have fast moments, a sense of excitement/pleasure and a little craziness, and it can really draw the mind into seeing individual fast sensations occuring one after the other. It sounds like this sits created some longer lasting change, so it may have included the "A&P event". 

But the most honest answer is that many of the stages also can be percieved as "mind moments of sensations" if concentration is very good. So really, diagnosis can only occur if someone is practicing regularly and there is good data about what came in the days and weeks before and what happened in the days and weeks afterwards.

In terms of practice... it really is up to you. You should know that it's common for people to go through A&P and then not feel like sitting that much or to feel like they aren't practicing that well anymore. This is correlated with the "Dissolution" stage. If you keep sitting, you go through dissolution and the other stages in the progress of insight. It's also possible that you've experienced something cool and that's good enough for now. Depending on what's going on in your life, maybe there are other things that need attention (career, relationships, exercise, education, etc. etc.)? Sometimes MORE MEDITATION!! isn't the right answer. emoticon

Good meditation practice is less about "technique" and more about consistent practice. Basically the two main flavors of practice is samatha (using calm/pleasurable sensations as an anchor) and vipassina (using sensations, emotions, and thoughts as an anchor). It can be good -- and frankly necessary -- to be able to do a little of both. Sometimes sits are full of piti, but sometimes they are full of dukka. Going through the dark night nanas often means encountering dukka more directly, so a good noticing/noting practice can be helpful. 

If you are getting serious about practice, then definitely read MCTB (https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/) so you know what you are getting into and what to expect. Meditation is a fairly serious endeavor, sort on the level of learning to play a musical instrument. It doesn't make sense to buy an electrical guitar if you don't want to practice for at least an hour everyday for several years --- not a perfect metaphor, but hopefully you get my point.

Hope this helps!
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Dream Walker, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:04 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/13/23 7:06 AM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 1644 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Peter de Waal
Hello!
Hello Peter, nice first post. Amazing amount of information but I have a few questions before I can try to figure out where you might be at and what to do next.
I have been meditating for a while now (about 3 years on and off), but since last year may I have a steady practice of 2x 45 minutes a day. I started meditating using the TMI method and got to stage 6.
What exactly is your 45 minutes of TMI consist of and how do you personally define stage 6?

After reading MCTB2 and Mahasi Sayadaw’s practical vipassana exercise about insight practice I started to practice that once a day to.
You read ALL of MCTB2? Good on you! 
How do you practice Vipassana/Insight? What happens during the 45 minutes of practice?

So one period TMI the other insight practice. I had a steady concentration and for some instances I was able to know bare sensations.
During TMI or during Insight did this happen? What is "knowing bare sensations"?

3 months ago I was practicing Jhana by playing with pity, I would let It rise, take a deep breath and let the pity fade away and repeat the process till pity was very strong. I had a moment where pity would take over and fill my whole consciousness and body. When that feeling subsided I noticed sensations to be very clear.
I assume during your TMI practice you practiced Jhana. How did you practice this exactly? You mean Piti/pleasureable feelings? Where in the body did it rise? What was it like to have it fill your consciousness vs body?

i thought that would be a nice moment for insight practice. I tried to notice if I could see the beginning of the sensations. Then I tried to see if i could notice when they would end.
So insight was just noticing sensations, which ones?
I was noting sensations  for what seemed to be a couple of minutes. Sensations became clearer and clearer each passing instant till out of the sudden my mind would latch to a string of sensations. It was like all sensations were on a string of beads and I got know each passing bead one by one with full clarity.
oh, you were doing noting practice? what labels did you use? 
How did the mind notice multiple sensations at once? How many "beads" were there in the string? 

Sensations went faster and faster, there was a strong feeling of fear which fell apart in different sensations to, all passing one by one. The string of sensations continued for a while.
Ok, how fast did it go? did you continue noting/labeling? Noticing? if each bead was one by one, how were they strung together?
Then out of the sudden my mind seemed to fold inside out and there was a blob blob blob and I was back in regular meditation.
That is a very curious experience? Perhaps you could describe it a bit more. What does "blob" mean? What does "regular meditation" mean?

For 2 weeks I was feeling wonderful, clinging seemed to have disappeared and mindfulness was strong during the day.
Nice!

After that meditation seemed to be way harder then before. When I try to focus on sensations It feels like they disappear, only to come back when they are in peripheral awareness. I now also have a pressure between my eyebrows which instantly is there when meditating and only seems to go away when I’m at acces concentration.
So what sensations are in peripheral awareness? Describe how sound and feeling is peripheral. What is Access concentration to you and how do you get there?

I managed to get back to a one time a day meditation of 45 minutes, but It seems like there is very little progress.
doing TMI or insight? What method do you use to judge 'progress'?

Also the ability to clearly see the sensations seems gone. Still, I am more clearheaded also the clinging came back but not in the way I was before the experience.
Explain the difference of clinging before and after

Could the "string of beads" experience have been a A&P event? The question I have would be how to practice, and if there are techniques that you think could help.
It is a pleasure to read your experience and if you can go into more details, I would be happy to speculate on where you are and what you might try next.

Thanks for reading and may you all be free from suffering.

You too!
Good luck,
~D
Peter de Waal, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:04 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/13/23 12:51 PM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 7 Join Date: 2/12/23 Recent Posts
First of all, thank you all for the extended replies! I will try to answer all the questions as much as possible. I will follow Dream Walkers questions since they also include the questions shargrol and Bahiya Baby have asked
What exactly is your 45 minutes of TMI consist of and how do you personally define stage 6?
My TMI meditation was a sitting meditation with the sensations of the breath at the tip of the nose as meditation object. I use the 6p's and the 4 step transition. When transitioning is use the counting of the breath from 1 to 8 and backwards per step. After the last step mostly breath sensations are still weak so i use noting to note the sensations of breath. after a while the breath at the tip of the nose is clear. i can feel the in-out and pauses in between. the breath becomes sort of a continous wave. thoughts, sounds, tactile sensations and such wil be notedwith the labels hearing, feeling, thinking etc. After a while there is a sort of shift from watching the breath to being the breath if that makes sense. 
What is Access concentration to you and how do you get there?
When this shift has taken place i shift my attention to my abdominal region and try to feel my body expanding with each breath. With the expanding of the body a fizzy feeling of warmth and energy and joy comes from my hands and spreads trough the body. This is what i thought was acces-concentration according to Leigh Brasington. Noticable is that the hindrances are subdued and thinking only sporadicly occurs. 
I assume during your TMI practice you practiced Jhana. How did you practice this exactly? You mean Piti/pleasureable feelings? Where in the body did it rise? What was it like to have it fill your consciousness vs body?
The focus during Jhana practice was indeed on Piti. When Piti is strong i glide from the feeling in my hands to a more universal sensation in the throath area which would sort of burst open in an all covering energy burst, like your body is folding open to all sides spreading into this room of energy. This feeling can become quite intense with shaking, mostly it was to intense to stay in for long. The feeling strangely feels very familiar.   ​​​​​​​
How do you practice Vipassana/Insight? What happens during the 45 minutes of practice?
Vipassana for me is noting practice like Mahasi writes about. I start noting the breath, after the sensations in the abdomen are clear, i note distractions in the rest in between breaths. When noting i try to experience all noted sensations as single moments. i note the 5 body sensations with the notes hearing, seeing, feeling, tasing, smelling and the mind with thinking, forgetting or feeling. when concentration seems to jump from sensation to sensation more easily, there also is a noticable distance between me and the sensations. the sensations don't seem to happen in the mind but in a space where i sort of notice them from a small distace. like they are not happening inside my body/mind. though different sensations would feel more like each other, so a sound or a tactile sensation would feel more like a momentaraly happening then the actual sound or feeling. this  During the day i try to remind myself as much as possible that "i am here" which takes me to the present moment and i try to notice what sensations my reality is build up from in that instant. when cooking, walking, eating i also try to note as much as possible. this includes movement. so in total a little more than 45 minutes i guess, haha.
How did the mind notice multiple sensations at once? How many "beads" were there in the string? 
In the experience i was discribing i don't remember there being multiple sensations a once at that point. there was just this automatic latching from sensation to sensation in about 5 moments per second. The fear came up from a feeling that my reality was falling apart into this automatic proces of going from sensation to sensation. the sensations became less and less noticable as sounds or feeling but just as sensations. this The question how much beads were on the string will stay a mystery i guess.
That is a very curious experience? Perhaps you could describe it a bit more. What does "blob" mean? What does "regular meditation" mean?
The blobs felt like sensations stripped completely from their substance. i don't know how to explain it another way.  with regular meditation i mean sitting like i was a the beginning of the meditation just noticing all sensations back in the conventional, daily life kind of way.
doing TMI or insight? What method do you use to judge 'progress'?
TMI style meditation, but it seems impossible to get to get the one pointed awareness at the tip of the nose. still i can manage to get calm enough for hindrances to subside and Pity to arise.
Explain the difference of clinging before and afterL
A lot of thing have lost their shiny or attractive part. for example most cars now seem alike, just metal with wheels. Sex drive seems less but in a good way I don't feel like buying stuff that i don't need. but mostly there is this sort of lessend feeling of things having a pull on you. there is a sort of "it's just as it and thats okay" kind of feeling. Thanks you very much again for the replies!
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Bahiya Baby, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:04 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/13/23 1:49 PM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
I wouldn't worry too much about the one pointed awareness(Based on your description concentration seems good). Does it seem attention needs to be wider than the tip of your nose? Do you find your able to take the whole body as an object?

When practicing noting are you able to let go of the labels themselves and just observe things as they arise? Do you find you need the labels? Can you note without making mental impressions of "thinking" etc. 

​​​​​​​Congrats on the "It's just as it is and that's okay". That's a nice feeling. No big deal.
Peter de Waal, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:04 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/14/23 2:28 AM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 7 Join Date: 2/12/23 Recent Posts
Do you find your able to take the whole body as an object?


When meditating it's more calming to just sit, attention seems to automaticly anchor to the sensations of breath at the abdomen. i think Leigh Brasingtons description of shamatha as indistractability instead of concentrations suits my feeling when meditating better. there is a wider focus with absence of the hindrances 

When practicing noting are you able to let go of the labels themselves and just observe things as they arise? Do you find you need the labels? Can you note without making mental impressions of "thinking" etc. 


I feel the labels help to create a impersonal feeling to the sensations. but it also slows the noting down. when there is a certain level of shamatha i seem to notice sensations more automaticly without labeling. 

What i notice in daily life is when looking at object, form and texture seems to be more present instead of the name and emotional associations with said object.
​​​​​​​
Peter de Waal, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:04 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/14/23 11:12 AM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 7 Join Date: 2/12/23 Recent Posts
Today i had a meditation where i would just let my attention settle where it would want to go. within minutes it settled steady on the breath at the abdomen. after the breath has settled pretty soon joy and piti start to rise. When this happened i just let my attention go where it seemed most natural. there where long periods where attention shifted between piti and the breath. Sounds still happened in the periphial awareness but were unable to become distractions or were noted and let go. there was a long period where piti would be at the centre of attention filling awarenes and breath being in periphial awareness occasionaly moving to the front. a few times there were moments when i noticed i havent experienced the breath for a while, after that, the breath came back in awareness. there was no pressure between the eyebrows so all and all a nice experience. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:04 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/14/23 11:41 AM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
 The reason I focused on this: "but it seems impossible to get to the one pointed awareness at the tip of the nose"

Sometimes our expectations about what meditation should be are what can hold us back from deeper relaxation and insight. It can add unnecessary stress, tension, distraction. 

There's a lot of wisdom in this: "i just let my attention go where it seemed most natural". Notice the relaxation of that. Meditation still carried on when you let it, when you allowed it. 

This is great: "Sounds still happened in the periphial awareness but were unable to become distractions or were noted and let go" ​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​Feels good to me emoticon  
Peter de Waal, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:04 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/15/23 11:27 AM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 7 Join Date: 2/12/23 Recent Posts
Thanks @bahiyababy for the little nudge in to the right direction, it seemed that that was a step back into the right direction.

Meditation today:
Attention settled at the abdomen again. when concentration/relaxation became stronger feelings of joy and piti arised. Attention shifted to Piti and i was in a flow of piti with breath in periphial awareness. This piti came in gentle waves ranging from mild to a little stronger. there was a sensory feeling of my body being tilted sideways. as if i was sitting sideways on the wall. after what seemed to be 10-15 minutes piti subsided and my attention was directed to a feeling that was new for me, but very calming. It was a state of neutrality, a very calm state in relation to the piti. This feeling was spread through the body and mind and stayed for what seemed to be about 30 minutes. My girlfriend who was in a different room got a short phonecall during the meditation and although i could hear the sound there was no aversion to be found, it just was there in periphial awereness and attention stayed on the calm neutral feeling. at the end of the meditation there were tears of joy because of how calm it was, it was a calmness i never experienced before. 

For now i'm just gonna go where attention takes me and give TMI and MCTB2 another read. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:04 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/15/23 3:18 PM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
emoticon

At some point you may find some useful info here. https://shargrolpostscompilation.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html#stream-entry

Having a good understanding of the fundamentals is very useful and many of them are laid out in great detail in MCTB2.

Great work ! Keep the updates coming. 

I need to log my own practice more.
Peter de Waal, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:04 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/16/23 12:36 PM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 7 Join Date: 2/12/23 Recent Posts
Oh wow, 

I just had a quick read through the blogpage. I have saved it to my e-reader for more relaxed reading, but so far i like the way how comprehensible it is written. As a teacher i always admire people who can explaining complex manner in a readable way. So thank you @shargrol for the future advise and information that you have shared. 

I will try to make this a weekly updated practice log from now on so there will be more information for future advise. Is there a way to move this to the log section?
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Bahiya Baby, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:04 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/16/23 1:38 PM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
I don't know if you can move it, I'm kind of new. Someone else might be able to help.

​​​​​​​Best of luck, chime in if you have any questions emoticon 
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Dream Walker, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:06 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:06 AM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 1644 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Peter de Waal
Is there a way to move this to the log section?
Done,
​​​​​​​
Good Luck,
~D
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Dream Walker, modified 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:18 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 6/17/23 6:18 AM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 1644 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Peter de Waal First of all,
thank you all for the extended replies! I will try to answer all the questions as much as possible. I will follow Dream Walkers questions since they also include the questions shargrol and Bahiya Baby have asked
What exactly is your 45 minutes of TMI consist of and how do you personally define stage 6?
My TMI meditation was a sitting meditation with the sensations of the breath at the tip of the nose as meditation object. I use the 6p's and the 4 step transition. When transitioning is use the counting of the breath from 1 to 8 and backwards per step. After the last step mostly breath sensations are still weak so i use noting to note the sensations of breath. after a while the breath at the tip of the nose is clear. i can feel the in-out and pauses in between. the breath becomes sort of a continous wave. thoughts, sounds, tactile sensations and such wil be notedwith the labels hearing, feeling, thinking etc. After a while there is a sort of shift from watching the breath to being the breath if that makes sense. 
What is Access concentration to you and how do you get there?
When this shift has taken place i shift my attention to my abdominal region and try to feel my body expanding with each breath. With the expanding of the body a fizzy feeling of warmth and energy and joy comes from my hands and spreads trough the body. This is what i thought was acces-concentration according to Leigh Brasington. Noticable is that the hindrances are subdued and thinking only sporadicly occurs. 
I assume during your TMI practice you practiced Jhana. How did you practice this exactly? You mean Piti/pleasureable feelings? Where in the body did it rise? What was it like to have it fill your consciousness vs body?
The focus during Jhana practice was indeed on Piti. When Piti is strong i glide from the feeling in my hands to a more universal sensation in the throath area which would sort of burst open in an all covering energy burst, like your body is folding open to all sides spreading into this room of energy. This feeling can become quite intense with shaking, mostly it was to intense to stay in for long. The feeling strangely feels very familiar.   ​​​​​​​
How do you practice Vipassana/Insight? What happens during the 45 minutes of practice?
Vipassana for me is noting practice like Mahasi writes about. I start noting the breath, after the sensations in the abdomen are clear, i note distractions in the rest in between breaths. When noting i try to experience all noted sensations as single moments. i note the 5 body sensations with the notes hearing, seeing, feeling, tasing, smelling and the mind with thinking, forgetting or feeling. when concentration seems to jump from sensation to sensation more easily, there also is a noticable distance between me and the sensations. the sensations don't seem to happen in the mind but in a space where i sort of notice them from a small distace. like they are not happening inside my body/mind. though different sensations would feel more like each other, so a sound or a tactile sensation would feel more like a momentaraly happening then the actual sound or feeling. this  During the day i try to remind myself as much as possible that "i am here" which takes me to the present moment and i try to notice what sensations my reality is build up from in that instant. when cooking, walking, eating i also try to note as much as possible. this includes movement. so in total a little more than 45 minutes i guess, haha.
How did the mind notice multiple sensations at once? How many "beads" were there in the string? 
In the experience i was discribing i don't remember there being multiple sensations a once at that point. there was just this automatic latching from sensation to sensation in about 5 moments per second. The fear came up from a feeling that my reality was falling apart into this automatic proces of going from sensation to sensation. the sensations became less and less noticable as sounds or feeling but just as sensations. this The question how much beads were on the string will stay a mystery i guess.
That is a very curious experience? Perhaps you could describe it a bit more. What does "blob" mean? What does "regular meditation" mean?
The blobs felt like sensations stripped completely from their substance. i don't know how to explain it another way.  with regular meditation i mean sitting like i was a the beginning of the meditation just noticing all sensations back in the conventional, daily life kind of way.
doing TMI or insight? What method do you use to judge 'progress'?
TMI style meditation, but it seems impossible to get to get the one pointed awareness at the tip of the nose. still i can manage to get calm enough for hindrances to subside and Pity to arise.
Explain the difference of clinging before and afterL
A lot of thing have lost their shiny or attractive part. for example most cars now seem alike, just metal with wheels. Sex drive seems less but in a good way I don't feel like buying stuff that i don't need. but mostly there is this sort of lessend feeling of things having a pull on you. there is a sort of "it's just as it and thats okay" kind of feeling. Thanks you very much again for the replies!
Hey,
​​​​​​​Thanks for answering some of my questions-
Progress can be evaluated in many ways.
You are definitely experiencing something new!
Congrats!
The feeling of not progressing seems to be new to you, periphery sensations also seem new.
All the other newnesses are a long list...as you describe.
Investigate these new things!
New stuff is new territory....keep going.
~D
Peter de Waal, modified 8 Months ago at 6/18/23 1:44 PM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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Last 3 days meditation: relaxing rollercoasters & maelstroms.

Fridays meditation (1h) i let attention go where it wanted to go. It had the feeling of being a relaxed rollercoaster. pity was strong and coming in waves, the buzzy warm feeling made it feel like chilling in the sun while riding a rollercoaster at the same time. 

Saturdays meditation (1h) had a lot of feelings that urged to get me to stop meditating. when i investigated the feelings and let them unfold they turned into maeltroms of sadness that i could feel without getting lost in them. Standing on the sideline the power of sadness/grief felt strong, dark, disorienting and had a feeling of having an empty stomach. I watched the maelstroms come strong, fully evolve and ceasing after they have been investigated & noted, making place for a calming feeling. The grief/sadness could have had something to do with a reunion party of my highschool i had planned for later that day. two good friends and two classmates have passed in the last 15 years so it was a emotional day. 

Sundays meditation (1) was a meditation with awareness of the breath. My body felt tight so most of the meditation was spent on noting distractions and inspecting physical and mental knots
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Bahiya Baby, modified 8 Months ago at 6/19/23 6:39 AM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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 Maelstroms of Sadness !

I love the language and can totally relate. Often there's wounds that need us to give them some quality time. As our hearts open compassion can be offered as a healing salve to old wounds. No need to push it, just work with what comes up. 

"I watched the maelstroms come strong, fully evolve and ceasing after they have been investigated & noted, making place for a calming feeling."
Great stuff. The storm imagery is amazing. I can see it. 

Sorry to hear about your classmates. 

You might notice the body can get a bit tense and crunchy after big emotional openings. Totally normal. Let attention go where it needs to go. 

Peace emoticon
 
Peter de waal, modified 6 Months ago at 8/16/23 11:03 AM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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Here I am back again. Got a new account because I couldn’t log in on the old one.

I’m back to Mahasi noting practice. 
Last week 7x30min:Hard to observe sensations. They are fleeting and hazy. Feeling like I’m one step behind the whole time. Feelings of doubt which I note. There is a constant feeling of displeasure. Sensations arise pass and are nowhere to be found after. The mind doesn’t stick anymore. It’s crazy to see how few sensations give actual pleasure. On the other hand. Sounds and distractions don’t give the same aversion as they did before. Now they are welcome sensations to note. Outside of meditation sensations are a lot clearer. 

This week 7x 45min:Sensations are faint. there is a displeasure with them. They are unsatisfactory. When they pass there isn’t an echo anymore. They are instantly gone. There is a lot of wishing for them to be more clear, I note the wanting. It’s like my mind is trying to stay with them but it’s to slow even though sensations are only about 1-4 per second. 
​​​​​​​
Outside of meditation there is a tranquil background that is constantly within reach. It’s a nice feeling but without joy. It’s more of a calming baseline from where I can watch reality unfold. There is a huge increase in awareness outside of meditation. My girlfriend has noticed my reactivity has lessened a lot.
Peter de waal, modified 6 Months ago at 8/16/23 11:53 AM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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Also: I discovered there is a Buddhist temple close to where I live. When I get back from holiday I'm going to look for a teacher there.
shargrol, modified 6 Months ago at 8/16/23 2:42 PM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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Your sits sound good and very classic post-A&P sits. In this stage of practice, it's very common to notice the ending of sensations predominantly. It has a totally different feel than the precision and clairity of the A&P --- but you are not doing anything wrong. It is normal and appropriate for this stage of practice to be vague, hazy, slippery, hard-to-grasp...
Peter de waal, modified 6 Months ago at 8/17/23 12:19 AM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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Bonus meditation today.
had some free time before bed so I decided to meditate, just sit and let my attention go to the sensations it want to be. No noting, just noticing.

sensations are more clear and mind jumps from sensation to sensation with more ease.
edit: when noting I was looking for complete sensations. Looking for what I expected instead of looking at what I'm experiencing.

Sometimes when sensations are fully observed as impermanent I get this burst of energy throughout my body for about 2 seconds. A warm tingling sensation. Sensations are noticed about 4 per second with periods of faster observations. 

at the end of the meditation the warm tingling feeling was constant and throughout the whole body. Giving rise to feelings of joy.

maybe I'm focussing to hard on the noting practice. Maybe I should try to find the middle way between noticing and noting. Where I can just let attention notice sounds and tactile sensations but I will note more mental and profound sensations to stay on the path.

​​​​​​​
Peter de waal, modified 6 Months ago at 8/27/23 6:17 AM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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@shargrol thanks for reading and giving feedback.
It's nice to know this is what is whats to be expected. 
There is also this insecurity about what method to use and how to meditate. there is only so little time and so many ways. Metta, Noting, Shamatha, contemplative . Still experimenting and trying out what suits best.
18-7
Choiceless noticing, noting when mental sensations appear. Took a while to get grounded. There is very few mind wandering. Bird sounds get chopped up into small bits with other sensations alternating. Sometimes noticing accelerates. Some feeling of fear. There is a change of perspective from watching sensations to noticing how awareness jumps to sensations. And gets distracted. I can stay mindful. There was no frustration when sensations weren’t clear. Sensations were neither pleasant nor non pleasant. There is still some craving something but I don’t 
19-7
Choiceless noticing. Got grounded pretty quick. There was an energetic buzz going trough my body, this was a pleasant, noted that and disappeared . Also there were feelling of fear, sinking into the earth, and spinning around. The (unpleasant?) Feelings were accompanied with tight spots in the body. noted the mental sensations. Sounds and sensations were still in peripheral awareness. 
21-7
Choiceless noting. There is no mind wandering. Noting flows easy. Energetic buzz spreading trough the body, this time i just let it spread trough my body till it was in every part of the body. I stopped noting. When I smiled because of the pleasantness I saw a sort of sunlight with my eyes closed. There was only this glow and pleasantness. Sometimes I thought I stopped breathing because it was very faint. But when I shifted my attention to the breath I could still feel it very clear. After the meditation times I felt energetic and mindfulness was sharp for a few hours after.
23-7
morning meditation. Focussing on sensations of the breath. Not much mind wandering. Relaxing.24-7
Didn’t log some days because of the starting of a new school year. which means a lot of preparations for work
2 days of 2x30 
1 day 45 min & 4x15 minutes 

27-7
Metta meditation. Focussed on the pleasant feeling of well wishing for others. Feeling of metta feels like the energetic warm buzz I get with the other meditations, that feeling is my meditation object. Return and smile when getting distracted. not many distractions. no mind wandering. Later in the meditation when the warm buzzy feeling spread in the whole body there is a loss of breathing. I don’t know if I subconsciously stopping my breathing. There is no shortness of breath but still there is an urge to check it.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 6 Months ago at 8/27/23 8:46 AM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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I too went through a phase of confusion regarding which practice to do. Then shargrol kindly helped out by suggesting a "structured meditation" and do it no matter how much doubt or uncertainty would arise. So I just do that structured meditation now without questioning it. 

maybe Shargrol can say more about it if you are up for it? 

​​​​​​​Best wishes! 
Peter de waal, modified 6 Months ago at 8/27/23 2:12 PM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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@che thank you for the advise. I looked up shargrols post on the structured meditation. I think i'm gonna follow that one in my afternoon meditations. for the morning meditations i will stay with metta because the dukkha thats currently present in daily life.

I don’t really know how to word this feeling that is there for a few weeks but I’m gonna try anyhow. During the last couple of weeks there has been a shift in perspective that’s getting more noticeable. More and more I’m seeing urges and greed as things that I can objectively observe during the day. This observing gives a certain distance to the thoughts and it hinders me from identifying with them. Sometimes when I’m less mindful I still identify with them. So im now in conflict from being both the observer and the observed. there is a cognitive dissonance. Being able to observe the thoughts I notice that what I think I want/need is not what I want, because the thing that wants is not me (I hope you follow). Still there is a feeling of needing the things that I want. This is I think a perfect observable form of suffering.Also, being more aware of sensations, I have the impression that there are less positive and negative feelings coming up with them. For example: first i thought that a bite of food whould give a pleasant sensation. but it's mostly chewing, tasting, feeling texture, temperature and movement. Also, there is less to reminisce because i feel the sensations disapearing into nothingness. So the cognitive dissonance, together with the fleeting nature of sensations makes the suffering very observable and present.

So a little loving-kindness to start the day is more then welcome.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 6 Months ago at 8/28/23 1:06 AM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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Yes, loving kindness indeed is helpful. 

May you be free from harm, may you be free from suffering, may you awaken, may you be truly happy. 
May practice lead the way. 

Best wishes Peter! emoticon 
Peter de waal, modified 6 Months ago at 8/31/23 2:03 PM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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@che and best wishes for you to!

28 -8
Metta 45 min
Structured 45 min
Easy to get centered. Body sensations not very clear but noted the ones most presentAfter that noted positive neutral and negative feeling. This feelings are longer in duration. Positive feels warm, negative feels like a subtle sinkingUrges and emotions were also noted on breath. What to do when it’s not exactly clear what I’m feeling?During the free noting sensation started getting more clear. There seemed to be a gradual shift to sensations being more separated from each other. Sometimes there was a sensation popping up, being there and passing away without leaving a residue. Evaporated into nothingness. 

29-8
Morning metta 30 minutes
Lunch 15 minutes 
Structured meditation 45minutes
Grounded pretty quick-on outbreath 3-4 consecutive sensations-on outbreath lots of sensations on abdomen area. -there are not always thoughts or emotions 
What to look for. Daniel is talking in mctb about body sensations and mental impressions following each other quickly but for me there is the sensation and the knowing simultaneously.

30-8
Structured meditation 2x45minutes
Grounded pretty quick
​​​​​​​While noting sensations I had the thought that I shouldn’t look for sensation to note but rather to let them come and observe them. This made me relax a whole lot more and brought a tranquil feeling in the background. After noting some emotions and hindrances there was the insight that emotions as fear and pain in meditation are essential to see the harmlessness in them. This insight turned what use to feel like negative emotions into a sort of friends that tried to learn me something. I didn’t know if I set my meditation timer but I could now easily just let the feeling of ‘having to know’ with all its bodily sensations be in awareness without having its desired effect, it even had something funny to it. After this there was this feeling of chilling in the sun, my vision mostly a golden glow and there was a bodily tranquility. There was no tears of joy and shaking what I used to have, but rather a restful warm glow of allrightnes with sensations and emotions still coming up, unfolding and passing away in awareness. 
Peter de waal, modified 6 Months ago at 8/31/23 2:05 PM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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31-8
2x 45 minutes structured meditation
Body Sensations are a bit overlapping.
​​​​​​​Sometimes my mind chooses just to notice instead of noting. It’s not mind wandering because I’m still fully aware. It seems like I’m getting deeper and deeper relaxation while sensations are getting clearer. 
Peter de waal, modified 3 Months ago at 11/9/23 1:38 PM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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​​​​​​​So going to start logging again. Had some difficulty meditating. although i managed to meditate every day for about 30-60 minutes, most of the sessions felt awfull. pain in the face, urge to move and get up, no patience to sit. I almost started to hate it and just give it up for a time, luckily it seems like it was just a fase to go trough. it feels like the clearness of awareness is back, and there is a calm and quiet awareness off the cushion

Sunday30 minutes:Am I mindful right now. 
I breathe in, on the out breath I ask myself: “am I mindful” and the next 3 sensations I feel have to pass a test of mindfulness. After noticing 3 sensations I repeat it. it worked like a charm. For the full 30 minutes I was engaged with sensations. They were crystal clear. The sensation of breath was broken down into an expansive feeling with small tingling sensations where my belly touches my shirt and sensations of coolness entering my nostrils. Feeling of happiness was broken up into warmness, floatiness and a golden glow. when fear showed up, there was a twisting sensation in the stomach, a feeling of shaking and space narrowing, when investigating it falls apart and fades away. When my mouth filled with saliva I first noticed the wetness and a sucking feeling, then a restlessness with a contracting of space followed by a mental urge to swallow. when swallowing there was the feeling of contraction of muscles, the saliva going down my throat, passing of the tactile sensation and the feeling of relief. near the end of the meditation there were short formations. For example I noticed a sensation arising out of nothingness, being there in full clarity and passing into nothingness. It was only the sensation had passed I knew was a sound.

there were no hindrances during the meditation.


Monday:40 + 30 minutes:
Am I mindful right now.Within seconds I’m concentrated. During meditation there is no mind wandering, no dullness and no distractions. I was engaged with sensations. The concept of inbreath is just tingling, expansion, pressure temperature etc. an itch in the face is broken into the sensations of pressure, tingling, and moving sensations. There was a certain calmness during meditation. Like it didn’t matter what sensation would come up. It was welcome to be there and show itself and pass away. Sounds, tactile sensations thoughts, the spaciousness of awareness. All is broken down into observable sensations.At first I thought there were pauses between sensations. when investigating deeper I noticed this pauses were just moments of either spaciousness, subtle craving (waiting), feeling tone. Etc. Although there was a calmness there was also a feeling like there was something about to happen in the background. a feeling like a curtain was about to drop. I’ll try to investigate this further when it will show up in the future.

Tuesday:2x30 minutes:
Am I mindful right now.After a short period of noticing sensations there is a feeling of calmness getting stronger. Sensations are easy to note. When inspecting this calmness I tried to notice when thought would arise. The calmness is there, sensations are noticed. Thoughts are more like formless blabla coming up. They are not concrete thoughts but they feel more like thoughts to be. As I continue doing noticing thoughts the periods of calmness get deeper and longer. I also noticed if there were any feelings of dullness but mind was sharp and very awake. The “room” of awareness seemed to get larger. like a 5x5 meter room of consciousness.

Wednesday:1x30 minutes
Am I mindful right now.I think there are little feelings of doubt. Mind is mindful of sensations. sometimes my mind wandered off for a few seconds. off the cushion there is a noticeable absence of blabla thoughts. It is easier to be mindful and I can sometimes notice the exact moment my mind jumps to another thought. Its like watching mind wandering 3rd person view..I notice there is a sudden urge to meditate more, and meditation feels more natural. some moments it feels like the most important thing in the world. The itching sensations in my face are gone.

Thursday:1x40 minutes
​​​​​​​Am I mindful right now.Meditation is effortless. I can just let awareness notice and observe. Very few distraction. feelings of very awake calmness. When trying to catch my next thoughts I notice they don’t have a place to stick to and stay preverbal. Sometimes a thought sticks but I can notice it and it fades instantly. when I focus on where the thoughts should stick to the calmness  deepens. it feels like I could just meditate and notice sensations without ever getting tired of it. There is no wanting to go deeper, just being aware of the sensations is perfect as it is.  When the meditation timer goes off I don’t get startled. the moment I heard it I thought: “that was to be expected" without expecting it.
Peter de waal, modified 3 Months ago at 11/20/23 12:51 PM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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Log 
Friday45 minutes:
Am I mindful right now. Noticing sensations. calm feeling. Tense forehead at beginning, goes away after a period of meditation

Saturday:Broke my little toe. 

Sunday:
55 minutes:
Am I mindful right now. 
Noticing sensations. Awareness feels open. Pain.

Monday
30 minutes:
Am I mindful right now. 
While driving I try to notice when my mind jumps to random thoughts and try to direct all my awareness to driving. (getting lost in thoughts is reduced to only a few times a day). While driving there was a calmness of mind in where I could see the absence of a self controlling the driving. My footwork, handwork and looking all happened without there being someone who does it. Steering, braking, using signals all happens without the need to think. It al just happens out of itself, there was both the feeling of being in control and also being on an automatic pilot at the same time. 

Wednesday
30 minutes:
Am I mindful right now. It’s easy to stay with sensations. meditation feels like I’m right awake and paying attention. nothing special. There were feelings of sadness, didn’t get lost in thought.  

Thursday.30 minutes:Mahasi noting.
was tired after a long day of work. Did noting meditation.I just take the sensation that’s most present. I group the sensation. All the small sensations in my belly, shoulder and chest when taking a breath are noted feeling just one time. 

When I look back at when I began meditation the difference is that sensations are now noticed in much smaller pieces. Mind is clear and I’m In a very stable mood. When meditating I count my breath to 10, three times in a row. when I first started out this was very hard. Now, when I sit down I already know I am concentrated. 
For me there are some questions about jhana, or absorbtion states. Sometimes there are very pleasurable feelings when meditating. These are mostly of joy, a quiet calmness that has a nice feeling in the background or a 
I hope to have some longer moments of meditation this weekend. 

Weekend:
3x45 minutes.
​​​​​​​
Meditation feels like nothing is happening. It’s just noting and noticing sensations. Sensations have a good clarity. When meditating it doesn’t feel like I go deeper or something. I will try to investigate this expectations when they will arise next time. I can sit down, watch sensations without any gross distractions or getting lost in thought which is pretty neat and something special. Still it feels really normal when I’m doing it. 
Martin, modified 3 Months ago at 11/20/23 5:24 PM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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>>Still it feels really normal when I’m doing it.<<

That sounds like a good thing. 

>>Sensations have a good clarity. <<

That sounds like a very good thing. 

One thing that I have noticed is that progress is not linear. Practice can have sudden results, and can have imperceptibly gradual results. Not seeing any change is not always the same as not making any progress.
Peter de waal, modified 3 Months ago at 11/29/23 10:24 AM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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I stopped using my ADHD medication, this has some effect on concentration and emotional availability. 

Saturday:
1x30

Sunday
2x30
Monday Felt like shit. So didn’t do anything all day.

Tuesday1x30

Wednesday
1x45 minutes
Noting sensations of the breath
Meditation was relaxed and easy going. ​​​​​​​Got centered quickly, terrible itch in legs, after noting it went away. After a couple of minutes got a fearful feeling, noted it and went away. After this only a happy, calm noting. When sensations are less clear, I make intention to watch them more closely with more curiousness and then sensations are clear again.   When noting sensations of the breath, on one in breath the sensations are something -like feeling the touch of my belly on my shirt times on ten different points - the rising of the abdomen - the mental impression of being aware of them and seeing them clearly - the positive feeling tone that follows it. the tactile sensations are grouped together as “in”, the feeling tone is noted as “positive”. Sometimes there are small moments of pure calmness between sensations, these have spaciousness, are silent and have a neutral feeling tone. Sometimes, my mind gets a dip, as if consciousness drops and jumps to a sensation very quick. These are micro moments and feel very short. Meditation in itself is rewarding enough, don't feel the need to get deeper or bliss out or something like that.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 3 Months ago at 11/29/23 10:35 AM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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Really great phenomenological descriptions and practice in general. 

You're cooking. Keep it up.
Peter de waal, modified 2 Months ago at 12/3/23 1:29 PM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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@martin and @bahiyababy. Thanks for the replies, apreciate it and it gives me some confidence which is much needed when practicing alone. 
Peter de waal, modified 2 Months ago at 12/3/23 1:42 PM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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A small recap of this year
When I look back on my meditation last year there are some changes worth noticing.
  1. There is less solidity.
    in meditation there are less solid feelings. Where at first the in-breath was just one sensation. It now consist of lots of observable micro sensations. Emotions are broken up into smaller sensations.
  2. There less one-pointedness.
    Where there is more detail in what makes up my reality, there is also less one pointedness. Where at first I could focus purely on the breath, now there is a lot happening in peripheral awareness. This makes it harder to get into absorption states.
  3. There is a change in perspective.
    This one is quite hard to explain. Things are the same and yet there is something completely different about life. When I’m walking my dog for example and very mindful of my surrounding, there are moments when what I’m seeing is all there is. Inner and outer experience cease to exist and there is just the seeing. These short moments only happen when my mind is still and I’m actively staying present. The detail in everyday objects is also hugely enhanced. i can get lost in the patterns of tree bark, stone, leaves, clouds, the sunlight playing on the walls of my living room, getting sucked into a candle flame. everything brings a certain serenity and i'm always available to calmly enjoy it.
  4. There is less suffering.
    Last but not least, there is a huge drop in suffering. There is less getting caught up in emotions, whether my own or someone else’s. It’s like I shifted gears in how fast life is going and I’m now in a calm gear. It’s like I’m not caught in the speed of everyday life but move on a constant easy going pace. 

What i hope to do next year:
  1. Keep meditating everyday.
  2. Find a teacher
  3. Go on a small retreat.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/3/23 2:00 PM
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Peter de waal, modified 2 Months ago at 12/10/23 1:20 PM
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Wednesday
30 minutes
Dropped the noting. Sensations follow each other faster than I can note, It only makes me frantic. There is just as much mind wandering as when I’m noting so for now I just go with the flow. Legs were itching, back was hurting between the shoulder blades BUT!! There was no wanting to make it any different, no changing positions but a noticing of pain pain pain, positive feeling tone, breath, pain, pain, itch. It didn’t matter what happened, all is sensations. I guess this was a taste of equanimity. 

Thursday
30 minutes noticing
20 minutes laying on sofa watching sensations with a focus impermanence.

Calm feeling. Focused on sensations of breath. Short periods of distraction. Mind wandering is down to 1-5 seconds when it happens. 

When focus is on impermanence the concept of what the sensation is sometimes falls away. mind is more prone to mind wandering this way, or maybe it was just because I was laying on a sofa before dinner. felt good so gonna do try that more often.

Friday:
30 minutes noting practice.

Saturday. 30 minutes
walking meditation.
​​​​​​​There was wind, there was rain, it was nice.

Sunday
30minutes seated noticing/noting.
​​​​​​​Sitting is easy going. Although my girlfriend was cooking in the kitchen with all the noise that comes along with it, the sounds were just labeled as such and seen as food for meditation. there is a noticeable neutrality of sensations. The space between sensations get longer and filled with a calm/bliss being. some moments joy rises up, this gets noted too. The need to go into deep concentrated states is gone. Sitting is good enough
Peter de waal, modified 2 Months ago at 12/17/23 1:33 PM
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RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

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Monday 
30 minutes noticing

Tuesday
45minutes noticing
at the end of the meditation there were short moments of bliss. 

Wednesday 
20 minutes noting

Thursday
43 minutes noting
There is a constant back pain between and slightly below the shoulder blades on the left side. 

Friday:
30 minutes seated noticing

Saturday:
20 minutes guided meditation.

Sunday:
When sitting on the couch after a nice long walk today my dog came laying next to me. Feeling the warmth of my dog, as he let out a sigh an insight rose: my dog is a combination of sensations. As I touched his hair I felt like a child or somebody on shrooms (without the mindfuck) being completely fascinated by the sensation.  I looked at the flowers in the room and saw they are sensations too. As the insight unfolded into noticing everything as sensations it gave a huge feeling of being content and I had to laugh. i touched the chair and could feel and see the exact sensations that make up a chair. It’s not a chair! It’s seeing the form, the color, feeling cold, feeling texture, feeling the hardness. The mental concept chair is just a cheap knockoff! The view turned around and I saw what I am is these same sensations. Just as the chair is emerging in awareness, the chair is also emerging me in awareness. Thanks to the chair I know where my hands are, what cold feels like, what form is. Me and the chair are the same experience! . There was something different about the merging of inner and outer world now. I could see the sensations as being both me, the chair and the sensation as one. This feeling of unity made me cry until the thought “you must look crazy right now” entered consciousness and wiped away the non-duality.

Now 6 hours later the unitive feeling and the afterglow are gone. Still I’m a bit baffled by the sensation and how everything seemed to fall in place out of nowhere.
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 12/17/23 3:01 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/17/23 3:01 PM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 730 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
So nice!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 12/17/23 3:05 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/17/23 3:05 PM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Good work! All my best wishes for your practice and wellbeing!

Hey, how is it going without the ADHD medz? I'm asking because I have ADHD too. I know that there are risks associated with the medicine. Personally I take them, but I'm on a very low dosis, probably less than I actually need. I have stopped taking them before, and it seemed to work well for a while, thanks to better habits that I had created while taking them. Then gradually life just got more and more challenging, little by little. It was sneaking up on me. If for some reason you can't take the medz anymore, or have decided that it's not worth the risk, then I hope you have the support in place around you that you need. This wiring can sure be hard to live with at times, even though it also has its advantages. Much metta to you!
Peter de waal, modified 2 Months ago at 12/23/23 12:58 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/23/23 12:57 PM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 19 Join Date: 8/15/23 Recent Posts
@pollyester Thank you and a lot of metta to you!

I’m doing better than before actually. they prescribed me atomoxetine 2x40mg for the last 5 years. The question is whether it’s ADHD or (childhood)trauma that caused my coping mechanisms to go berserk, i have CBT to help me work through that part of me. While I took them I had a lot of stability to get into meditating and learn a new way of living. On the other side the meds made me emotionally numb which now had a counter productive effect on my psychological healing. With my new healthy coping skills I don’t have the need to numb down emotions again so I hope I can keep it that way. Time will tell.

Monday
Morning commute metta 20 minutes:
Wishing everyone that passes me good health, a nice day or to experience love. While doing this my awareness seem to expand as far as could see. my  awareness was like a half dome stretching out in front of me. This experience isn’t something out of this world, but feels very normal and subtle. Just as tactile awareness spreads through my body, my visual awareness stretches out to all that I can see. There is not a visual shift, but an expansion of what feels like awareness.My field of view is a focal skin and all sensations are part of this happening. Feeling very connected to everything.

Tuesday
Morning commute metta 20 minutes
20 minutes noting
Noting is easier again
When walking it feels like im walking through awareness. the visual field fiels like a part of awareness instead of me looking out.

Wednesday 
Morning commute 20min
30 minutes noting
20 minutes noting

Thursday 
None

Friday
Hospital visit and emotional day. 

​​​​​​​Saturday:
2x30 minutes noting
Noting is steady, very short mind wandering (1 sec). Meditation feels awake and easy. girlfriend was calling during second meditation, fireworks going off. Still the mind stays neutral and calm effortless. 
Peter de waal, modified 1 Month ago at 1/28/24 2:33 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/28/24 11:36 AM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 19 Join Date: 8/15/23 Recent Posts
So hopefully I will be back at logging. Had some health issues that luckily turned out fine and work took a lot of energy. Still managed to do a minimum of 20 minutes each day. 

Sunday: 1x40
Monday: 1x40 1x35
Tuesday: 1x40 1x30
Wednesday: 3x20 minutes with 10 minutes breaks
Went to a buddhist temple. I had a conversation with the lama that runs the temple before the meditation started. Asked her some questions what led her to meditation. Next to a Lama she is also a medium and fond of paranormal stuff. This made my alarm bells go off. The group meditation itself was fine and I thanked her for her time but I don’t feel like that was the place for me.

Thursday: 1x40
friday: 1x20
Saturday: 1x20
Sunday 1x30

I switched to a more relaxing approach of ‘do nothing/ silent present moment awareness ’ meditation. Being aware is nice, there are short distractions and very little mind wandering. After give or take 20 minutes body goes buzzy, talking-mind goes still and there is happiness in the foreground with sensations in peripheral. Sometimes body awareness and mind merge to a more wholesome awareness of the happy-buzzy feeling. Sits are easy.

Booked a ticket for a 5 day, mahasi-style retreat in the summer. I still have about 6 weeks of holidays before that so I will try to do some mini one day home retreats and return to noting at the end of meditation.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 1/28/24 3:12 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/28/24 3:12 PM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Trust your nose when it comes to communities and teachers. That being said, if you've found a good source for quality dharma practice, a little bit of community can be great even if it is hokey. 

In my experience lots of people who I've met in public facing dharma roles can be a bit obsessed with states, magic, orientalism, aesthetic. (Many beginners tend to be too) I've met more than a few teachers who did good quality meditation until they started to feel more like the guru they wanted to be and then just hung out there as long as they could. Usually until personal crisis comes along and kicks their ass. 

​​​​​​​Good to see you back. Happy the health stuff sorted it. 
Peter de waal, modified 23 Days ago at 2/5/24 12:38 PM
Created 23 Days ago at 2/5/24 12:38 PM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 19 Join Date: 8/15/23 Recent Posts
@bahiyababy thanks for the reply. The teacher was more into manifestation and looking for what you deeply want inside. There was also stuff about past lives, talking to dead people and more paranormal stuff. Things that i doubt (while it may may benefit some maybe) will help me on this path to whatever it is i'm looking for. I still hope to find some nice people that i can see face to face to help me with the path and speak my native language. For now i am gratefull there is this this forum where you and the others are so friendly to guide, clarify and help me with all this stuff.

Monday 
1x30 got grounded pretty quickly.
1x10 lots of back straining. When focussing on the pain there is a lot of emotion. 

Tuesday
1x30 
back strain is less because of stretching. Present moment awareness, girlfriend keeps talking to the dog, aka sounds of life in the background. a year ago I would get frustrated and angry and give up the meditation for not being able to concentrate, now I can let it go. There is growth! There is a deep rooted conviction that acceptance the way to practice, as acceptance turned out to be the antidote to a lot of hindrances. Pain is the biggest obstacle in practice now, pain is hard to just let It be there.

Thursday 1x25
When focussing on present moment awareness, after a Time there is this calmness at the centre with sensations happening in peripheral.

Saturday 1x45
No back strain, relaxing meditation. 

​​​​​​​Sunday 1x37
Stopped because of tightness

Monday 1x20
Short meditation, after staying with the breath for 3 set of 1-8-1 counting I focussed on the impermanence of the tightness, noted this as feeling. Other sensations were noted as wel. As long as I can see the sensations of tightness as short bursts of pain jumping across a small area of my back the wanting to change position or stop meditation doesn’t come up. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 22 Days ago at 2/5/24 7:25 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 2/5/24 7:25 PM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
There was also stuff about past lives, talking to dead people and more paranormal stuff.

While I absolutely adore this kind of sh*t, it often binds us deeper into seeking and is in that sense the antithesis of letting go of attachment. 

Acceptance: Very good !!

Pain: Try mixing up meditative postures. Try sitting in a chair. Try reclining. Do some walking meditation. Maybe check out breathing through the whole body by Will Johnson also. He's the posture master emoticon
Peter de waal, modified 14 Days ago at 2/14/24 3:11 AM
Created 14 Days ago at 2/14/24 3:10 AM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 19 Join Date: 8/15/23 Recent Posts
Tuesday
1x30 min
Reclined meditation (sitting in a lounge chair)
To combat back pain I tried a reclined meditation today. first did 3 rounds of following the breath for counting 1 to 8 to 1. After that I focussed on a friends face, thinking "I hope you are happy, I hope you are safe, I hope you are loved". When the warm feeling of love formed in my body, I focussed on this feeling and let it spread trough the body and radiate outwards. Sometimes there were huge bursts of light and tingling. It feels a bit like fainting except being fully aware instead of losing consiousness. This warm love feeling took over with huge periods between the in and out breath. Although there was stuff happening in peripheral, there was no mindwandering or feeling of falling asleep.

Wednesday
2x20 minutes 
​​​​​​​Morning sit: Had some extra time in the morning. Did 3 sets of counting the breath. After that noting sensations on the out breath. There was no mind wandering. When trying to notice Vedana I mostly notice a calmness. There is almost all neutral feeling. Evening reclined: after breath counting switched to noting. Noticed mind slipped off to mind wandering a couple of times. It’s easier to get distracted. There is a split between the happening and the mind the happening. In the happening there is calmness and tranquility, in the knowing there is the mind wandering.

Thursday
1x20 minutes

Friday
1x30minutes awareness of breath

Sunday
1x30 minutes reclined. Awareness of breath

Wednesday
1x30 minutes awareness of breath.First did 3 rounds of breath counting to get settled. After that just noticing the breath until a tingling sensation arises in my hands and spreads to my throat. Let this tingling pleasant sensation spread trough my body. There is a pull towards it. there is still some thinking, and other sensations happening in peripheral. after some time sensations became more clear. Like fishes leaping out of the water. I can see them come into existence and flow away into nothingness. 

​​​​​​​Last week is started reclined meditation. At first the main obstacle was not to get to relaxed. Now when meditating mind stays sharp and no worries of falling into sleep.
Martin, modified 13 Days ago at 2/14/24 3:24 PM
Created 13 Days ago at 2/14/24 3:24 PM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 730 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Nice! Your Tuesday entry reminds me of the sort of results that I get with TWIM. Are you using that technique/framework?
Peter de waal, modified 13 Days ago at 2/15/24 12:51 PM
Created 13 Days ago at 2/15/24 12:50 PM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 19 Join Date: 8/15/23 Recent Posts
Hey Martin,
​​​​​​​The metta meditation is indeed the TWIM method. I noticed the feeling I get from awareness of breath, metta and noting practice(in lesser intensity) eventually gets me the same mindspace of golden lights and happiness so i use them whatever feels best that moment. Sometimes I can also see a clear bulb of light in the centre of attention. I guess this is what they call a unstable nimitta. When I meditated 2x45 each day I could get to this place almost instantly. Now it takes me about 15-20 minutes. Still when walking down the street I can tap into this stillness/gladness which is like having a bubble of peace around me.
Martin, modified 12 Days ago at 2/15/24 1:39 PM
Created 12 Days ago at 2/15/24 1:39 PM

RE: Meditation advise for a stuck fellow.

Posts: 730 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Nice! Being able to tap into it in the walking around state sounds incredibly useful. I will put that on my To Try list :-)

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