Daily practice aiming for stream entry

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Aswini Not yet there, modified 9 Years ago.

Daily practice aiming for stream entry

Posts: 23 Join Date: 12/10/11 Recent Posts
I have a question regarding daily practice. I will put up a practice thread shortly, but to put context my aim is to attain stream entry as quickly as I can. I have been sitting about 1 hour a day and will go on a short retreat during christmas.

Nikolai wrote on the Yogi toolbox the following. I was going to ask him directly but thought this question was worth asking everyone. Pls let me know if this has been discussed extensively in other posts.

"MOMENTUM! MOMENTUM! MOMENTUM! MOMENTUM! MOMENTUM! MOMENTUM!

Even out of a retreat situation. I know many post-pathers who maintained a daily practice, maybe two hours or even less a day, but kept their mindfulness going during the day, every day. They got stream entry and other paths at home while taking care of kids, working full-time and living a "normal" busy life. IT CAN BE DONE! You DO NOT have to be a monk nor nun to do this."

My problem is I can feel some momentum building when I do sitting practice. However it is really hard to continue the pratice when I am at work or at home. Once I stop sitting practice I can continue for about 10 mins whilst doing other tasks. However if try to note whilst doing other tasks I either speed up too fast and am continually trying to build up momentum but never developing a rhythm, it feels rushed and that I am scrambling to be mindful and never attaining it. Or I have to concentrate really hard on noting to the extent I have to abandon the task I was working on.

The only technique that has some effect is when I am at my desk and continually raise my foot up and down (keeping the heel on the floor), where I know when it moves up and down, but not in any great detail.

If people could chime in with what worked for them or any suggestions it would be much appreciated.
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Andrew Jones, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Daily practice aiming for stream entry

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
I'm always encouraged when someone wants to 'get done what has to be done'. It's good to know you are out there and seeing both the need and possibility of change.

For me, being pre-path (certainly without jhanas or the like), and in the exact situation you described (it may have been my thread Nick posted that in, not sure, I certainly have read it before), Momentum is simply this, stay aware; keep watching that very desire to be free. The knowledge of the benefits of true freedom are not the same as the desire for freedom. follow the first, let the second burn.

"That which is free is already free, that which wants to be free can never be so." can't remember who said it, but I'm pretty convinced it is true. That frustration, that inability to be where you are, when you are- watch that feeling squirm. That is mindfulness that works. You will benefit from learning how to be happy also, it is easy to skip over that part of MCTB instructions in your race to the prize. It could be expanded a bit nowadays to include 'how to generate felicity, naiveté, wonder etc' but that's another story.

I would suggest, without knowing your practice history, but you absolutely must be able to see the difference between wanting something to happen, and knowing the path to making it happen.

You could also think of it as 'increasing your emotional pain threshold'. That is basically what equanimity is, letting it burn until it doesn't hurt. Make pain your friend....

Once you are at a place that 'letting it burn' is OK, (that could take a while, maybe a few weeks, maybe months) you will have the courage to follow the thoughts that lead to freedom without thinking 'I can't feel it working' continually popping up.

As a non buddhist I have no desire to gain stream entry (a rebirth term means nothing to me), but as a human and meditator I have every intention of 'getting it done' for it's own sake. That does not have to include milestones, though it does not exclude their possibility of happening. What will be on that score will be.

in other words, aim for getting it done, know the details of what 'seeking enlightenment' is, start there and work back. Don't imagine yourself at the bottom of a ladder either, what has to be done is plainly obvious once you switch you brain on to your here and now reality. Otherwise stated, one mindful look at your situation will reveal what has to be done.
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Daily practice aiming for stream entry

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Seeking enlightenment:


My problem is I can feel some momentum building when I do sitting practice. However it is really hard to continue the pratice when I am at work or at home. Once I stop sitting practice I can continue for about 10 mins whilst doing other tasks. However if try to note whilst doing other tasks I either speed up too fast and am continually trying to build up momentum but never developing a rhythm, it feels rushed and that I am scrambling to be mindful and never attaining it. Or I have to concentrate really hard on noting to the extent I have to abandon the task I was working on.


Can you become aware of one of the following while at work or at home?

1. Thoughts arising: Here you can just pay attention to what type of thoughts are arising in the moment and label them as the type they are. E.g. Planning thought, worry thought, curiosity thought, searching thought, frustrated thought, happy thought etc.
You can also play the cat and mouse game with thoughts. Be the cat and watch for the very beginning of a thought. The very moment it arises. The thought is the mouse. You can also observe strictly the middle of a thought or the end of a thought too, switching it up to then include each part of the thought in the observation, the beginning, middle and end. Make the job of momentum practice be interesting as one will be more inclined to maintain the momentum.

2. Becoming aware of the specific mood of the moment: Here you just simply become aware of your current mood and label it as well just like the thoughts. E.g. worry, agitation, happiness, relaxed, angry, nervous, etc. Simply label your mood every now and then. Also make it more detailed if time permits. Become aware of it mentally and physically. Get interested in what a 'mood' is made up of. Is there a physical component? What is it? Is there a mental component? what is it? Momentum will be maintained when one starts to cultivate interest in what is happening in this very moment of being alive.

3. Body movement: Here just simply pay attention to every body movement no matter how subtle or gross for a minute or so, whenever possible. Maybe make it more detailed and interesting by trying to catch the intention to make a body movement BEFORE the movement is made. Make it interesting.

4. Even though this question is used in an actual freedom practice, it essentially leads to paying attention to the current moment (vipassana). How Am I Experiencing This Moment Of Being Alive? (HAIETMOBA). Ask this question every so often and just simply pay attention to exactly what is going on in the very moment. Maybe a mood will become apparent. Then label it like I mentioned above. Maybe even investigate its components. Maybe a thought will become apparent. Then do as mentioned above concerning thoughts. Maybe another sense door (eye, ear, tongue, nose, body /sensations) will become apparent. Label them as they do. Ask the question WHENEVER and WHEREVER you can as often as you can.

Also, with any of the above, you can simply watch them with one of the 3 C's in mind. For example, watch how thoughts just simply end. Pay attention to thoughts with this notion in the forefront of the mind. Switch it up. Pay attention to how thoughts arise and pass seemingly without 'you' controlling them. They can just arise so out from control they seem so very impersonal. Simply watch thoughts with this notion in the forefront of the mind. Watch how thoughts might actually seem to create tension in the mind, perhaps seemingly unsatisfactory in nature. Contemplate how thoughts can be seen to be impermenant and impersonal and how these two notions when seen can make thoughts seem quite unsatisfactory . Watch them with this notion in mind. Do this for all phenomena.

Get really interested in your experience in any given moment. Put sticky notes around your house and work place where you can to remind you to ask HAIETMOBA and simply pay attention. Pay attention to whatever is taking centre stage in the field of experience. What is making up this very moment of experience of 'seeking enlightenment' (you)?

Personally, I took it quite intensely on board to do this at all times a month or so before the course where I got MCTB 1st path. I got very very very interested in the experience of a felt sense of self. I began to simply note everything it seemed to be made up of in any given moment I remembered to. Image, sensations, thought, image, sensations, thought etc. as each of these phenomenon arose to give the impression of a felt sense of existing.

Get interested in the current moment, the whole field of experience. It takes this type of interest to be able to progress rapidly. Resolve and just simply pay attention to the whole field of experience as much as possible. When you have responsibilities at work and home, then lend all attention to what you need to do there. But in any given moment when able, bring the mind back to this very moment. What the frack is happening right now in this mind/body organism? Right frackn now!!!!!!!!!! Notice and note it if needed. Noting it will reinforce the noticing of it. It being any phenomena of mind and body arising in the moment.

Nick
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Seeking enlightenment, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Daily practice aiming for stream entry

Posts: 23 Join Date: 12/10/11 Recent Posts
Thanks very much for the replies, they are very helpful.

Just a quick note on where I am at the moment. I have been majorly lurking on the old dharma underground, KFD and Dharma Overground sites for about 2 yrs. My username on KFD is Putthajana. Earlier this year around March I had a one session with Kenneth which I found very useful because up until then I was not able to develop rhythm easily in noting, once I learnt the method of noting in 3s I synched into a rhythm where I have made a little progress. Maybe I have hit 1-3 of the insight Jhanas. Mostly after noting for about 40 mins, and if I hit a good rhythm I would get a very pleasant energy surge going on around my head and would feel very much at peace and relaxed.

I meditate everyday for about 1 hr atm.

I will start a practice thread soon.

Andrew - there is much in your post that I am trying to digest. I realise now that adjusting my attitude to what is required in order to complete a path is vital. I will write more in reply when I grasp some understanding of the concepts you wrote on. And thanks very much for replying and for the pointers in regards to practice.

Nikolai - Thanks heaps for replying. Again I am reviewing what you have written. Yesterday I actually put into practice noting whilst doing tasks. I noted thoughts and emotions as much as I could after I finished sitting. Sometimes it was difficult to maintain any momentum but instead of getting frustrated that I should be getting "something", I accepted what was happening and carried on noting until about lunch, after which I felt my energy was depleted. I still took very long to finish some tasks at work, so I feel that I will have to selectively note when at work.

After lunch I didn't have any energy to note and could not muster up the interest or the curiosity to note until the very late evening, other than the time I spent on the train which is about 30 mins as I live in Sydney. Once my mind has some rest, after the long rejuvenation of dinner and cleanup there was some last reserves of energy and I could note a little.

I am trying to develop an interest in this present moment as much as possible, putting gentle pressure on my mind to focus every now and then into what is going on right now. I can feel a lot of resistance, particularly if I am having a puzzling task at work or I come against something that requires a lot of work (in general, around work or at home). I feel frustration and an instant desire to chillax by surfing the net or playing games on my iphone. Sometimes I can catch this feeling and watch it, often I cannot and slide back into behavior where I avoid beginning on a task that requires a lot of effort.

Will report more on daily practice once I have done some more hehe. I hope other people found the two posts above helpful because I certainly have.

Aswini.
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)( piscivorous, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Daily practice aiming for stream entry

Posts: 36 Join Date: 12/8/10 Recent Posts
Aswini:

Could you please describe this method of noting in 3s: "once I learnt the method of noting in 3s I synched into a rhythm where I have made a little progress."

Thanks! And a great thread by the way emoticon
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sawfoot _, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Daily practice aiming for stream entry

Posts: 507 Join Date: 3/11/13 Recent Posts
)( piscivorous:
Aswini:

Could you please describe this method of noting in 3s: "once I learnt the method of noting in 3s I synched into a rhythm where I have made a little progress."

Thanks! And a great thread by the way emoticon


It is inspired by the 4 foundations of mindfulness found in the Satipatthana Sutta.

So you note the first 3, with the idea that they follow each other

noting: rupa-vedana-citta, one after the other

i.e. body sense door - emotional tone - mind state

e.g. seeing/touching/hearing etc..., pleasant/unpleasant/neutral , agitated/annoyed/joy/confusion/spaciousness etc....

edit: just realised this is a year late
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Tony K, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Daily practice aiming for stream entry

Posts: 18 Join Date: 2/9/11 Recent Posts
Thank you, Nikolai. I find them to be very very helpful. emoticon
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carolin varley, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Daily practice aiming for stream entry

Posts: 55 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
Posts like this make me wish there was a like button on dharma overground like there is on facebook emoticon
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Shashank Dixit, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Daily practice aiming for stream entry

Posts: 282 Join Date: 9/11/10 Recent Posts
Here is what got me stream entry in 2 months of ever starting the whole meditation thing and without a single retreat :-

1. An understanding of what makes my entire experience and existence and that is nothing but the 5 selfless aggregates ( body , consciousness , feelings , perceptions and volitions) coming together to give the illusion of a concrete self. If you can see that there is no-self in all of these aggregates and hence in your entire existence/experience , your false-view about the self will be broken and you can hit the stream.

2. I had 3 hours of travel by train everyday to and fro office and during that time all I did was non-stop noting of all the sounds that happened around me(its easier with eyes closed). Although I resented travelling so much but it was a blessing in disguise. The more I noted , the more sure I became of my experience. Not sure if its idiosyncratic but too many sounds just did it for me. If you can find such a place , find a safe corner to sit and note the hell out of the sounds.

3. I cannot stress enough the importance of the sila - Right Speech . Simply avoid talking anything that has the potential to agitate the mind.

4. When dejected , I used to go online and read articles on dhamma to get inspired.

Go ahead and note the hell out of everything..it can be done !
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Dauphin Supple Chirp, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Daily practice aiming for stream entry

Posts: 154 Join Date: 3/15/11 Recent Posts
Shashank Dixit:
Here is what got me stream entry in 2 months of ever starting the whole meditation thing and without a single retreat :-

1. An understanding of what makes my entire experience and existence and that is nothing but the 5 selfless aggregates ( body , consciousness , feelings , perceptions and volitions) coming together to give the illusion of a concrete self. If you can see that there is no-self in all of these aggregates and hence in your entire existence/experience , your false-view about the self will be broken and you can hit the stream.

2. I had 3 hours of travel by train everyday to and fro office and during that time all I did was non-stop noting of all the sounds that happened around me(its easier with eyes closed). Although I resented travelling so much but it was a blessing in disguise. The more I noted , the more sure I became of my experience. Not sure if its idiosyncratic but too many sounds just did it for me. If you can find such a place , find a safe corner to sit and note the hell out of the sounds.

3. I cannot stress enough the importance of the sila - Right Speech . Simply avoid talking anything that has the potential to agitate the mind.

4. When dejected , I used to go online and read articles on dhamma to get inspired.

Go ahead and note the hell out of everything..it can be done !


I had a very similar experience. It took me a total of about 4 or 5 months, but I also only sat maybe an hour or two per day. Whenever something is bothering you, like constant noise, it's very true you just have to keep in mind that it doesn't matter whether there is absolute silence and you note 1000 thoughts or you are in a noisy environment and note 1000 sounds instead.
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Travis Gene McKinstry, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Daily practice aiming for stream entry

Posts: 208 Join Date: 7/26/12 Recent Posts
Shashank Dixit:

3. I cannot stress enough the importance of the sila - Right Speech . Simply avoid talking anything that has the potential to agitate the mind.


This thread is tremendously motivating. I'm wondering if you might be able to expand a bit on 'agitate'. Do you mean the primary understanding of agitate as in 'bother, annoy, dislike' etc? I'm only asking because I don't want to misunderstand the word.

Thanks a ton for this thread. Very very motivating.
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Richard Zen, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Daily practice aiming for stream entry

Posts: 1624 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
You are replying to an old thread. Try this:

Access to insight - Right Speech
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Travis Gene McKinstry, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Daily practice aiming for stream entry

Posts: 208 Join Date: 7/26/12 Recent Posts
Cool. Thanks emoticon
Hrvoje Sambar, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Daily practice aiming for stream entry

Posts: 8 Join Date: 1/29/14 Recent Posts
This was a very cool thread. I became a member on Dharma Overground just a couple of days ago, and wow how inspiring to get Stream Entry in just a couple of months.

Thank you all
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Travis Gene McKinstry, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Daily practice aiming for stream entry

Posts: 208 Join Date: 7/26/12 Recent Posts
This was a very cool thread. I became a member on Dharma Overground just a couple of days ago, and wow how inspiring to get Stream Entry in just a couple of months.

Thank you all


I totally agree with you Voje. You'll find (if you haven't already) that this community is compassionate, wise and very helpful.

May you continue to meditate and practice to awakening!

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