Logan's Practice Log #4

Logan's Practice Log #4 Logan G. 7/7/23 12:22 PM
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Logan G, modified 11 Months ago at 7/7/23 12:22 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 7/7/23 12:22 PM

Logan's Practice Log #4

Posts: 356 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Been a while since I logged, and only started sitting regularly again about 3 weeks ago.
Been feeling higher aversion again recently, and feeling like I was looking at it and trying to clarify it and understand it without getting anywhere. Some of the tenor of it reminded me of the first dark night experience I had - a fairly specific visceral crummy feeling.

Practice has been pretty tough - tons of mind wandering, super difficult to stay focused. Been playing around with the breath, open awareness, metta, and jhanas, trying to get one of them to stick. Interestingly with seemingly terrible concentration I can still get into the jhanas pretty easily.

Was cultivating 1st jhana today, and realized that not only can I spread the sense of intense elation around in my body, I can also spread it around outside my body, sort of in my percieved sense of the space beyond my body. Did this for a bit, then switched into second jhana and started sinking into that but trying to let it permeate beyond my boundaries. Got curious about this sense of beyond the boundaries and started looking at it directly. Started to develop a clearer and clearer sense of subtle sensations that I percieve to occur as outside the body, sort of 'world tones'. I think this might be related to realms work, but where before I just had a general sense of 'being in a realm', this was more like the specific sensations of my perception of being in a world and its implications for the Self. I could watch a thought occur, which would result in a shift in my perception of subtle sensations of the world outside my body, which would cause a visceral reaction in the body.

I had some weird intense moments where I would be buffetted by these perceptions and reactions and reactions, and then things would calm down a bit and it would be clear, and so on, until things got more chill, and some of the visceral aversion I've been feeling dropped away. Then things were daydreamy for a while. Continued to look at the sense of 'world tenor' for a while.

Practically, I think this is a new area of sensation to wire in, and I think it has something to do with why I have certain visceral aversions that have been hard to let go of - I think they're reacting to sensations of being in a specific tenor of world that I wasn't totally experiencing directly before.
Logan G, modified 11 Months ago at 7/18/23 11:45 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hour sit today, pretty clear dukka nanas. Most were fast (a couple minutes of intensity, a couple minutes of vagueness) but reobservation took quite a while. Once it seemed cleared, landed in a very 'dense' state somehow, like I was packed in tight and close with sensations somehow. This eased over time.
Logan G, modified 11 Months ago at 7/19/23 11:51 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hour sit today. Cultivated 1st jhana, then second, then ended up on a similar trajectory to yesterday. Seemed like I got a little more established into Equanimity. Had some very neutral experience toward the end, and the peripheral 'world tone' or sort of emotional context sensations seem to be a little clearer in investigation.
Logan G, modified 11 Months ago at 7/20/23 11:58 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hr 45 min sit today. Cultivated jhanas, looked at peripheral emotional context stuff, went through dukkha nanas. A little muted today, quite a bit of mind wandering. Towards the end things got very quiet, but there was also substantial dullness. Had some cessation-adjacent experiences, but not the real thing I don't think. Started playing around with looking at the no-self and impermenance aspects of the sensations of how the world seems to be.
Logan G, modified 11 Months ago at 7/21/23 12:40 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hr sit today. More mind wandering, less dull. Ended up on a bit of a different feeling track today, got curious about some tensions in the body and how aversion to them works - tried to see them without pushing or pulling on them.
Logan G, modified 11 Months ago at 7/22/23 1:23 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hr sit today. Started out with a bunch of distraction from something irritating in my personal life, but was able to gradually use this to look at the mechanism that kept initiating the distraction. Feels related to the aversion of tensions in the body somehow. Open awareness for much of the sit, but as I really got the sense that I was looking at the sensation of the initiation of mental holding of discomfort, I switched to just noting the no-self aspects of those sensation, probably 3 times a second or so.
Logan G, modified 11 Months ago at 7/23/23 3:13 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hr sit. Some mind wandering throughout. Interesting that the some of the jhana factors seem to happen automatically when I sit to an extent now, like they've become habits that happen even if I'm not putting much or any attention into cultivating them. Had some normal-feeling dukkha nana stuff at the beginning. Kept looking at the generation of impulse to distraction, which naturally sort of lead me into a choiceless awareness, then had a bit of warping of the sense of my bodies shape for a few minutes and then shifted into a more solid, painful, nauseating place. Maybe some three characteristics stage stuff happening? Kept the choiceless awareness going in this state for quite a while.
Logan G, modified 11 Months ago at 7/24/23 1:17 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hr sit today. Looking at the point of reaction, got back to the nauseating place pretty quickly, though it seemed more like disgust. Much more solid and less familiar feeling than the dukkha nanas I've been experiencing in sits recently, and much more drawn out. Focused on the no-self and impernance of it - sort of how it's discontinuity prevents it from being a continuous sense of self. Eventually this passed into what seem like Desire for Deliverance, which also had a more present feeling with some unfamiliar depths, and then also for reobservation. Kept looking at this point of reaction through the lense of no-self with some impermanence. Eventually got to a sense of calm, but still with a pretty hard edge of discomfort and reactivity present.
Logan G, modified 11 Months ago at 7/25/23 11:47 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hr sit today. Started in Disgust again, and then moved reasonably quickly through into deepening levels of equanimity. I'm letting it run itself a little right now mostly. Equanimity was a bit daydreamy and dull, though had some moments of high-res visualizations and clarity, and some very clear moments of neutrality.
Logan G, modified 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 11:38 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hr sit today. Started out in Equanimity. Pretty daydreamy. Had a bit of a short sleep last night and mind was more wander-ey than normal, so cultivated first jhana to try to ramp up the energy at the start. Went through the jhanas up to 4th as I sat, pretty soft jhana. Towards the end the daydreamy periods became more visual and 3d, and the periods between had a very lucid neutrality to them. Got a bit curious about the bodies tensions and their pressures towards wandering thoughts towards the end and investigated them a bit.
shargrol, modified 11 Months ago at 7/26/23 2:47 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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Sounding really good. Best wishes for EQ and beyond!
Logan G, modified 11 Months ago at 7/27/23 11:47 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 sit today. Cultivated 1st then 2nd jhana, then went to open awareness with the factors of 2nd jhana. When my attention went back to the area where I perceive reactions to be seeded from, some deepening EQ stuff started happening. Alternating waves of daydreamyness and lucid neutrality. Started looking at the suffering inherent in this, was interesting to see that the neutrality was more like a grainy combination of aversions and attractions that about balanced out. Sort of enough calm to have a sense of 'wanting it to continue' that balanced against a background discomfort and bodily aversion. The end result seems to be the mind not landing to heavily on anything which kind of feels neutral, and when it results in the sensations not being considered 'bad' or 'good' because of the even pressure in both directions, sort of actually becomes neutral. Started to get some moments of very low thought activity.

@shargrol Thanks! It's been honestly a huge relief to be getting through the DN stuff - I'd had some fairly significant bleed through into normal life and it was making things difficult. That seems to be really substantially improved as of the last week or so. The whole thing mirrors my experience with 1st path in a funny way - crazy A&P stuff happens, feel great and think I finished the path, feel like I don't need to meditate anymore, gradually things fall apart, get back to meditating, fix it.

I'm curious where this will go - last time I felt like I was in this territory was before stream entry, and this whole world of how my thoughts arise independantly of anything like a 'me' was revealed to me over several weeks. It was really fascinating to watch. Haven't really seen anything so concrete yet this time.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 7/28/23 11:48 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hr sit today. Kind of an odd one. Beginning there was lots of mind wandering. Eventually this settled down, and started paying attention to the suffering in the 'place of reactivity', but wasn't working as well today, so switched to the no-self characteristic of this place. There were some construction noises, which were useful in that they generated reactions to see the no-self in. Had a bit of stuff bubble of from the past to see reactions to as well. This eventually got a little daydreamy and very quiet, and then had a weird thing happen that I haven't experienced before. Was in the relaxed mind state where I've experienced cessations before, gently looking at no-self, and realized that my mind seemed to have stopped for a moment, though in a way I was sort of present for. The most distinct thing about it was the sense that the visual static behind my closed eyes seemed to have remained exactly the same, like a frozen frame. Retrospectively it felt like it lasted about 3/4 of a second or something. Had a bit of a weird surge of energy after, not a pleasurable one, kind of neutral-nervous. Continued looking at no-self, with a bit of an impermanenence flavor.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 7/29/23 12:06 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hr sit today. Started by cultivating first then second jhana, then start looking at the no-self characteristic of awareness generally. Had some little itches come up, which were useful. Saw that the urge to scratch was not 'me', and the suppression of the urge to scratch was not 'me' either. Got daydreamy, pretty 3D. Also had some moments of nearly pure awareness with almost no thought content.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 7/31/23 11:05 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hr sit today. Cultivated up to second jhana and then started looking at no-self. Generally just trying to look for any self-type things anywhere in awareness. Got daydreamy, moments of 3d stuff. Generally a bit dull and distant today. Interestingly noticed that sometimes when I look for no-self in sensations I am subtly trying to change them to have less self in them somehow, and tried to not do that - just see them exactly as they are.
Martin, modified 10 Months ago at 7/31/23 12:39 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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This (what you describe in your first post) sounds good. I got a lot of mileage out of a possibly similar thing, which I referred to as the wody (world + body). The interpretation of extended boundaries or blurred boundaries can be freeing because, the less closely the boundaries are imagined, the less reasonable it seems that we could be responsible for all the things going on within the boundaries. 
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/1/23 7:30 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hr sit today. Cultivated 1st then second jhana, pretty soft, some mind wandering. Then started looking at no self in awareness, but started getting curious about how thoughts, body sensations, sounds, etcetera, whether 'inside' or 'outside' are all equally suprising in their arising and have the same essentialy character, and switched to impermanence to sort of look at that character with a finer grain.

@Martin Totally! I was thinking about this a bit today and it helped lead me to seeing this sameness. Felt very interesting.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/2/23 12:34 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hr sit today. Some distraction to start. Cultivated 1st and 2nd jhana, then started looking at impermanence. Some reactivity present, started seeing the process of the self activating. Generally some waves of lucidity and dreamyness.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/3/23 12:04 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hr sit today. Some distraction from personal life reactivity. Decided to just try to watch it happen. Was interesting to see that with a certain level of mindfulness it simply doesn't happen - like that machinery is busy being aware and simply can't be reactive at the same time or something. Tried to hold this awareness and see things happen, and accept the moment for what it contains.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/4/23 12:29 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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Started off meditation with some reactivity again today, unclear territory. Decided to make an effort to surrender to the reactivity, just let it be what it is, and it resolved into a fairly clear desire for deliverance. Suspect this is all part of the fractal nature of second path stuff. Desire for deliverance had a particular burning intensity to it, as well as a jhanic quality. Especially towards the the end, it felt very 'solid' in the sense that strong jhana feels solid, like awareness has gotten dense. There were also waves of daydreamyness.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/5/23 12:03 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hr sit. Started off vague, then resolved into Desire for Deliverance. Lots of distraction, but got to where it developed jhanic properties and self-reinforced into increasing solidity. Had been just trying to notice experience, switched to noticing aversion which helped maintain attention. Had some rapture-ey stuff and then started getting daydreamy and 3d visuals like in EQ, but definitely without going through reobservation, so I suspect this was more fractal stuff. I still felt as though there was an undercurrent of Desire for Deliverance.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/6/23 1:41 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hour sit today. Started in Desire for Deliverance, and leaned into that burning, jhanic sense of desire sort of carrying me along. This took me into a pretty clear Reobservation, which I tried to get a good look at, as it's always been a bit overwhelming and I was curious to see more of it. I got the sense that it's almost an amalgamation of the other dukkha nanas - I at least pretty clearly had a sense of at least misery and fear in there, and desire for deliverance as well. I got curious about what it means to be aware of these sensations, or any sensations, and started noticing that. Got almost a sense of looking through my own eyes through the back of my head or something.

After some intense rapture-ey stuff, settled into somewhere calmer. The disjoint feeling of reobservation was present, and I kept having my attention jolted around a bit, but also had some waves of extreme lucidity. This prompted me to look at what it feels like to just experience vs remember experiencing, and the poverty of the latter was super apparent, sort of this feeling of 'wait but this is always right here - why on earth do I go looking in the past or future for it?'.

From here, things got into oscillation between lucidity and 3D daydreamyness. I noticed as this was happening that I was sort of clinging to the lucid moments and regretting the daydreamy wandering, and tried to let go of that. This lead me into a slighty calmer, somewhat less focused sense of deeper neutrality. Kept trying to see the clinging/aversion.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/7/23 10:44 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hour sit today. Generally low focus and daydreamy the whole time. Tried to see no-self in awareness. Some 3D ish stuff but also a quite a bit of dullness.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/8/23 12:05 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hour sit today. Resolved into Reobservation pretty quickly, again had the feeling I could see other nanas in it. Started looking at no-self in awareness, and got this weird sense of the center of awareness coming back but not being accessible as the same time as peripheral awareness. I think I remember reading something about this in MCTB - will have to review it. Had this somewhat frustrated feeling of having two different regions of awareness (center and outside) that somehow *felt* like they should be continuous, but were not. Just let that be as it was and watched them bounce back and forth for a while. Eventually things got into deep oscillations between dull and dreamy with a weak center and super lucid with a strong center.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/9/23 12:17 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hour sit today. Started out in the de-synced-feeling center-periphery zone, but with the center strong and consistent, which was pretty refreshing. Felt like meditating clearly again. This gradually got into more daydreamy territory, and the mind got generally pretty quiet. Got into some deeper Equanimity where a substantial amount of what was happening in awareness was pretty neutral. Noticed some fear that I think I haven't been able to let go of because it's sort of 'goals' fear - like it feels like drive, but it's actually just fear. Looked at that for a while.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/10/23 12:41 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hour sit today. Looking at the experience of craving, started seeing how it leads to thoughts. As things got more and more quiet and neutral, this was visible with greater clarity. Also had a sense of how thoughts can trigger cravings. I started to get the sense that reacting to the craving isn't necessary - that it can just be experienced as the pure craving and it will arise and pass. Started seeing the craving to see cravings and things got a bit recursive and weird - very solid, almost like jhana. This relaxed until I had the sense I may have had a cessation or a near miss, followed by a sense of energetic calm and the feeling of what seemed like all of the sensations in bodily awareness simultaneously. Could have been suffering door. Started playing around looking at the different characteristics of  how cravings lead to thoughts. Looked at the impermanence of the cravings, and the way the cravings are not self. Had more of what felt more conclusively like near misses, thought towards the end had something more like the whooshing rotation feeling of a no-self cessation. Hard to see the actual cessation though, not confident it was actually there. Regardless, interesting territory. I feel a bit weird right now in a way that's hard to explain - like things are closer, or a sense of distance has dissolved.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/11/23 2:29 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hour sit today. Started off in fairly normal territory, assumed it was going to neutralize into equanimity, but as I got more and more into it, there were signs of that not being quite right: the center felt a little lost, there was some discomfort that didn't melt into pure sensation, etc. Eventually, things resolved into Reobservation. I suspect I've been getting into 1st path Equanimity, which would make some sense, as it felt pretty familiar. Just kept at it in reobservation.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/12/23 9:05 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hour sit. Reobservation. Tried seeing no-self for a while, slippery. Switched to looking for the frame-rate of all of awareness, sort of seeing how every moment is 'fresh'. Eventually added in some unsatisfactoryness as well, seeing how each moment of awareness is fresh and does not satisfy. Things got daydreamy after a while, but some tension and dissonance remained.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/12/23 2:34 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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Did another 1 hour sit today. Trying a lighter touch - was reading the compilation of Shargrol's posts linked from another poster's log, and liked the stuff around letting knots untye themselves and the ping-pong ball floating on the waves thing from Kenneth Folk. Made for a calmer sit, though I also was in and out of falling asleep. I think much of that can be ascribed to the short sleep I got last night though.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/13/23 9:07 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hour sit trying to see vibrations and let things happen on their own a little. Waves of lucidity and kind of dull dreamyness. Even the lucid moments were a little dull. I wonder if I should spend some time on concentration - mine's certainly a little poor right now. I've been telling myself that it's because of where I am, but I also haven't meditated for quite some time before starting up again in the last month or so, and it's possible a base of better concentration could be helpful. That being said, towards the end of the sit, started automatically catching myself as I would drop away into daydreams and avoid that, so maybe this will stabilize.

 I haven't looked for vibrations before. Certainly in the visual field there is always a distinct sense of a frequency that's occurring. Elsewhere it's less obvious though. Sometimes I have the sense that I'm tuning into a broader vibration, but it's very delicate. Last night I had a dream that I was meditating and suddenly got very strongly tuned into a sense of vibrations around 4hz, which then accellerated into a very fast pulsing that also came with a horrible buzzing and the sense that the sense world was sort of rattling apart. A bit weird.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/13/23 3:21 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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Another 1.5 hour sit today. Was getting daydreamy and zoning out for the first 20% of the sit or so, and started getting a bit frustrated about it. Decided to try working in the jhanas to get a bit of energy going. Was difficult to maintain the concentration enough to get it going, but got a soft first jhana and transitioned it into second. Still finding myself zoning out, jhana sort of sputtering in and out. Occurred to me that maybe I should see if, despite jhanas being 1-pointed, if I could coax the periphery into being more jhana-ish even if I was struggly with the center. Holy shit! It was like I'd been sitting in the center of a dark stadium trying to coax a fire to life and suddenly someone turned on all of the floodlights.

Things went much better from here. The periphery felt very solid, and decided to investigate whether that was true. Was gradually revealed to be more oozing/flowing/crawling, and generally quite chaotic. Eventually, this resolved into what seemed like a couple frequencies of vibrations. I also noticed that the center wanted to tend to zone out still, but with energy pumped into the periphery, I could sort of watch that happen. Kind of a weird experience, and I got curious about looking at that phenomena from a no-self perspective, and was able to kind of watch the center of consciousness and even the ability to use language sort of fade out and deactivate. This was interesting because that stuff really feels like 'me'. After doing that several times it felt less like me, kind of half-stuck in an only partially-me state (I don't really have a better way to put this right now).
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/14/23 11:15 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hour sit today. Cultivated the 'jhana donut' again, (jhana with the brightness of it focused in the periphery) - went to third jhana and then started looking at impermanence. Started seeing more and more sensations as sort of tingling ephemeral things rather than solid things. Was still some zoning in and out, but with the periphery bright, was able to sometimes observe it, or at least keep the duration short. Started getting a sense of sensations being aware of their own impermanence.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/15/23 11:02 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hour sit today. Got jhana going, a eventually got into a pretty calm place, looking at impermanence. Switched to looking for self, sort of trying to have the sensations be aware of their no-self. This lead to waves of daydreamyness and lucidity, where I started to see that the moments of lucidity are sort of just more dreams where the content is 'I'.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/16/23 10:29 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hour sit today. Had some tension in the body, looked at its impermanence.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/17/23 10:25 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hour sit today. Cultivated jhanas and then started looking at impermanence of some tensions and aversion in the body. This softened slightly and things got more neutral, and switched to looking for self. As waves of lucidity and daydreamyness occurred, tried to see the impulse towards control that seems to manifest more of an 'I' while lucid. Got into some 3d visualization territory towards the end, and had some near-miss-feeling moments. Felt like I was getting bigger snapshots of my mental state while looking for no-self, like it's running out of room for where a self could be.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/18/23 11:22 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1.5 hour sit. Cultivated some light jhana, then looked at suffering in awareness, trying to make space for sensations to we aware of their own lack of satisfaction. Got very neutral, but also somewhat zoned out. Quite a lot of visual daydreaming. Had a sort of insight at some point that basically worrying is also not satisfying, which is kind of obvious when written out, but I guess is a general sense that the mind might be craving to 'solve' something or other, but that's not satisfying.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/22/23 8:29 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hr sit today and yesterday. On vacation, meditating outside, so there's more going on in the senses - nature sounds and breeze. This has been fruitful for looking at the sense of sepparation between myself and the senses, sort of seeing that it's a manufactured thing that pretends like it's always there.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/23/23 2:29 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hr sit today, looking at the sense of self and the boundary between it and the visual field. Towards the end of the sit, switched to more like focusing, exploring some resistance around work and how that's rooted in identity with it and a fear of failure then endangering a sense of self. Tried to just see the sensations in the body of this resistance without engaging with it or trying to work through it.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/24/23 6:55 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1/2 hr sit today, short sleep, was not quite nodding off, more daydreaming. Sense of self behind the eyes seemed a bit more obviously to be just sensations today.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/25/23 9:06 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hour sit today. Looking at what seems like self behind the eyes. Some daydreamyness. Gradually it's becoming clear that this 'self' is just a point of visceral tension sensations that are impermanent and do not satisfy. I think for now it feels right to just keep the heat on this spot, just keep looking at it.
Logan G, modified 10 Months ago at 8/26/23 8:52 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hour sit. Looking at the no-self / impermanence of the sensation of being behind my visual field. Seeing more and more that it's all parts of processes swimming around and going in and out of existence, that there's no permanent thing in there. Some higher-fidelity daydreamyness today. More energy. Pretty calm. 
Logan G, modified 9 Months ago at 8/28/23 9:35 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hr sit today. Noticing what makes up a sense of self in awareness, more and more seeing that it's just seeing, feeling, and then thinking 'Oh that's me.' Starting to get a sense of letting seeing just be seeing, hearing just be hearing, thinking just be thinking, etc. Also noticed that what I have come to think of as a sense of clarity in meditation seems to be related to having attention sitting in a specific way in the visual field. It's something that would just happen randomly sometimes, but if I focus on it, I can seemingly maintain it indefinitely.
Logan G, modified 9 Months ago at 8/29/23 12:59 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hour sit today looking at sensations trying to see if there's a self hiding anywhere. Didn't really feel like I 'made progress' today, but I think I just have to trust the process here. There's a funny sense that the self is just around the corner, or wherever I'm not looking or something. Can't find it anywhere, but somehow still subtly believe in it.
Logan G, modified 9 Months ago at 8/31/23 7:54 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hr sit. Looking for the sense of self that seems to sit behind the eyes. Had a bit of daydreamyness today, and each time I'd come back to lucidity, it seemed like it was more immediately obvious that there wasn't actually a self to be lucid, that it was more just a different configuration of sensations. Started letting these sensations be aware of their own no-self, and some of the sense of a boundary between feeling sensations and seeing sensations seemed to melt a bit, everything becoming more the same. Had some near-miss type stuff happening, where I'd relax into sensations experiencing themselves and reality would get a little torqued and distant feeling, but would then get a sort of body disturbing rapture shiver that would interrupt it.
shargrol, modified 9 Months ago at 8/31/23 8:55 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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Sounds like good stuff!
Logan G, modified 9 Months ago at 9/1/23 9:08 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hour sit today. Trying to relax into sensations experiencing their own no-self. I started noticing that the feeling of a boundary existing between the visual sensations and felt body/emotion sensations is kind of an artifact of attention generally only selecting one of them at a time - if attention can relax away into a broader experience of everything, the sense of a boundary goes away and the general sense of merging sameness arises. Also started to get the sense that I can just see what attention does and have that happen somewhat naturally, just let things go on as they do but aware of themselves.

I think the sense of an "I" is getting weaker as I keep seeing that it's just sensations. For me, the strongest sense of a sort of stable 'I' seems really connected to the visual field, and I'm starting to more quickly recognize that sensation of a stable 'I' more and more quickly.
Logan G, modified 9 Months ago at 9/3/23 9:32 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hr sit today. I think I may have landed second path. Started by broadening awareness and trying to let sensations be aware of their own no-self. Some mind wandering, but without totally losing the thread, in a way that made it totally obvious that there was not a shred of self happening as the mind wandered off. As the mind would come back, a sense of self would arise that seemed dependent on the attention being in the visual field. As I investigated this further, by deliberately relaxing away that attention and then observing it when it came back, it became apparent that it was slightly more specific than that - it seems that there is a thing that happens when my attention is in the visual field where I construct a spatial sense of my self - like the spatial part of my mind flips on and sort of automatically makes a self, maybe because that spatial sense is defined as relative to a 'self' point. I noticed that I could relax just that spatial sense, and then the visual field was much more obviously 'not self' even when attention was focused on it. Just looking at this quietly, there was a little blip, and then I was back with the spatial sense returned. I thought it was potentially a cessation, so I just relaxed and tried to let sensations be aware of their no-self again, and I got several more blips, one in particular extra twisty-feeling.

I think part of what was interesting was how obvious the no-self is as soon as I get rid of the distraction of the sense of being in space - when that subsides, sight, sound, body/visceral/emotion sensations, and thoughts are very obviously not self. The sense of returning after the cessation was to a sense where the spatial sense is enhanced, and it really seemed to highlight that the other stuff is *not* self, and that this spatial stuff is part of where the next work is to do

I'll be more confident that this is what's actually going on after some more sits - curious to see if it's anything like first path where for a while I just sat and learned more about the nanas and got better aquainted with the cessations in the various doors. Still worth allowing for this also being just some convincing near-miss stuff or a previous path cessation, but it felt pretty right, and the sense of resolving some insight around the senses was quite clear.
Logan G, modified 9 Months ago at 9/5/23 9:46 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hour sit today. Both in everyday activities and in meditation, it seems like the tendancy to create a point behind the eyes that feels like me is gone or at least much attenuated. It's a bit of a weird experience - I still kind of have a sense of being a self in a world, it just doesn't feel like there's a definite point where that happens. Sat just feeling the no-self-ness of that for a while, had a couple cessations. Then switched to trying to see the suffering of that, felt more like near misses. Finally, had a look at the impermanence in this experience and had a very definite blink-blink-gone type cessation.

So far this feels like a shift in perception, that's both kind of underwhelming in that I think I felt like this most of the time before without being aware of it, but also very obvious and kind of ungrounding, in that I feel cut adrift from a tether where the self used to manifest automatically. Curious to keep looking at it.
Logan G, modified 9 Months ago at 9/6/23 9:19 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hour sit today. A bit weird feeling, kind of ungrounded still. Some mind wandering. Looking at no-self, had a couple cessations.
Logan G, modified 9 Months ago at 9/17/23 11:19 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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Back at it - got sick and didn't feel up to meditating for a while. 1/2 hr sit today, started by looking at the point that used to feel like 'I' centered behind the visual field. What I've noticed in day to day life is that I can still summon up that sensation of a point behind the eyes, it just doesn't feel like 'I'. It still feels like 'me', in the sense that say my arm feels like 'me', but it doesn't feel like 'I' anymore - it doesn't seem like the seat of consciousness or something. Some times it feels like that point is thinking, which is a bit weird because it feels almost like there's an entity in here that isn't 'I'. It's a subtle sensation but definitely contributes to a general sense I've been having of being sort of adrift. Not actually a problem at all in day to day life, just kind of weird.

I sat looking at that point and noticing that sense of slight distance and alien-ness of it. It's hard to pin down If I still feel like an 'I' - it sort of seems like 'I' am a fuzzy shell around my body and mental processes or something. Sensations seem much more to just arise now, including thoughts. For a bit of the sit, I focused on some discomfort, and it seemed like I was closer to distinguishing the aversion and the sensation than before. Previously I've looked at aversion, and it was a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack because there was so much other stuff going on. Now it seems like all of that other stuff going on is simpler or better understood in a way that helps the aversion be more obvious.

Ended the sit by just immersing in the impermanence of sensation as they arise and pass. Felt like a string of cessations or near misses, very quiet and calm.
Logan G, modified 9 Months ago at 9/18/23 10:33 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1/2 hr sit. Feel like there's something more to see about this sense of there being a center, even if I don't identify with it anymore. Looked at its impermanence, sort of seeing its frame-rate in awareness, and got curious to try to slightly phase as to see the space between the frames, which felt a bit weird and got some near-misses and then cessations happening. Over the course of the sit things got daydreamy, though that could be attributed to still being a bit sick and having had a poor sleep last night. I'm not sure exactly where to go next - part of me has been feeling for a while like it would be worth biasing practice towards jhana for a while and seeing if I can get some harder jhanas happening, especially the formless ones. On the other hand I feel like I'm closer to directly seeing aversion/craving than I have been before, and am curious about that. Then again, I also feel like there's something to learn about how space is constructed. Could be compatible with the first formless jhana.
Logan G, modified 9 Months ago at 9/19/23 11:07 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1/2 hr sit today. Looked at the space between frames for a bit, got an impermanence cessation pretty quickly. Got curious about aversion/craving and started looking around for it. Tried to see if sensations are aware of their own aversion/craving, and felt like I was getting nearer to being aware. Still getting over being sick, so there's a general unwell fatigue that's generating a fair bit of aversion to look at.
Logan G, modified 9 Months ago at 9/20/23 11:55 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1/2 hr sit today. I'm getting a little more comfortable with feeling unanchored from a center, and it's starting to seem obvious how that makes meditation a bit easier. The sense that there is a point to which aversion/craving is happening is gone, so now it's just happening in a nebulous cloud. It's less personal and easier to look at. Spent the session looking at aversion in experience. There's a basically constantly present source of discomfort that lives in my upper chest and throat, and I tried to see how the sensations there lead to aversion. I've noticed that when I have a cessation, the first thing that comes back is the raw sensation, which is basically weightless, and then the aversion to it returns very quickly after (maybe 1/4 of a second or so after), which is where the weight is. Throughout the sit gradually grew better able to distinguish the weightless sensations from the weighty aversion. This noticing itself causes cessations via the suffering door, which helps better resolve it. Noticed that there seems to be a habitual mental posture involved in this, like there's a tendancy to go into those sensations bringing aversion or something like that. Tried going into those sensations with a sense of love and acceptance instead. 
Logan G, modified 9 Months ago at 9/21/23 10:00 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1/2 hour sit today. A bit of mind wandering. Tried to go into the suffering in awareness with love and acceptance. Got into some cessation-ey stuff towards the end.
Logan G, modified 9 Months ago at 9/22/23 1:10 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1/2 hour sit today. Looking at sensations, trying to see how aversion/craving arise. Had some very neutral moments.
Logan G, modified 9 Months ago at 9/24/23 1:58 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1 hour sit today. Looking at craving/aversion. Some playing around with seeing if sensations are aware of the craving/aversion they lead to, or if that seems to only come with attention. Not totally sure. Tried to see how sensations lead to an 'I' that can crave/be averse. Very low thinking activity towards the end but also potentially a bit dull. Feeling like I'm starting to get a sense of how craving/aversion arise.
Logan G, modified 9 Months ago at 9/25/23 12:45 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1/2 hr sit today. Looked at the spaces between frames of consciousness a bit to slow the mind down, then started looking at aversion/craving, started to see some of what happens before aversion/craving arises. Sort of a process of assembling relationships or a sense of grouping of things together. In the dependent origination model, this maybe is name and form? Or maybe it's muddled together with consciousness and volitional formations as well. Don't really know. Definitely a sense of being prior to aversion/craving though. Had some cessations through impermanence and no-self doors and tried to be aware of what emerges.
Logan G, modified 8 Months ago at 9/26/23 8:06 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1/2 hour sit today, trying to let sensations be aware of themselves. A bit of mind wandering but pretty uneventful.
Logan G, modified 8 Months ago at 9/27/23 11:45 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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45 minute sit letting sensations be aware of themselves. Started off a bit dull with some mind wandering, but at about the 1/2 hour mark got suddenly brighter and more focused.
Logan G, modified 8 Months ago at 9/28/23 10:26 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1/2 hr sit today. Trying to let sensations be aware of themselves. A fair bit of mind wandering, and some dullness.
Logan G, modified 8 Months ago at 9/29/23 11:43 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1/2 hour sit today. Started with letting sensations be a aware of themselves, but ended up a bit dull and mind-wandery, so switched to trying to see aversion/craving. Started noticing what seems like the underlying subject-object organization that happens to make aversion/craving possible.
Logan G, modified 8 Months ago at 9/30/23 10:30 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1/2 hr sit, looking at aversion/craving. Daydreamy, some quiet moments, a bit dull.
Logan G, modified 8 Months ago at 10/14/23 1:07 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1/2 hour sit today. Started with letting sensations experience themselves for a bit, then started cultivating first jhana. Been feeling like it's a good time to see what's going on with the jhanas. Noticed it's possible to sort of let the jhana cultivate itself, in that it's basically just letting those specific sensations associated with the 1st jhana experience themselves. This made for the nicest first jhana I've ever experienced, in the sense that I didn't keep tripping over myself trying to get it going. Normally the combination of the effort of getting it going and the intensity of the sensations causes a bunch of muscle tension in the body, and that was also not necessary. Looking forward to reaquainting myself with all of the jhanas. I also noticed today that it is possible to let thinking experience itself, in the same spirit as letting sensations experience themselves.
Logan G, modified 8 Months ago at 10/15/23 11:52 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1/2 hour sit today. Had a poor sleep - pretty distracted. Some cultivation of first jhana but a lot of mind wandering.
Logan G, modified 8 Months ago at 10/16/23 12:17 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1/2 hour sit today. Let sensations be aware of themselves for a bit then cultivated first jhana. It was a bit hard to hold on to today, so when it got intense let it settle into second jhana. This was very solid despite not being super one-pointed. Or maybe like the one point was allowed to expand to include more of awareness than normal. Kind of a chunky block of jhana. Quite nice. A while in, the bottom sort of dropped out of it and I ended up going to third. Also very nice, same wide solid feeling.
Logan G, modified 8 Months ago at 10/25/23 10:25 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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I had accupuncture for the first time a couple days ago. As it was happening, I felt like some kind of sensation was waking up in my belly, like I was more aware of the nerves in there somehow. Had the sense at the time that this might help with 3rd/4th jhana, where I would say the sensations have never been as strong as 1st/2nd for me. 1/2 hour sit today and yesterday, this seems to be true. Both days, got to a very strong 3rd jhana that had the kind of nearing-overwhelming intensity that I associate with 2nd jhana. In general, it seems like I am aware of emotions more completely in my body now. Before the accupuncture, that awareness really dropped off below the sternum, and now it extends all the way down to my waist. Looking forward to cultivating some very hard 3rd/4th jhanas.
Logan G, modified 7 Months ago at 10/27/23 11:06 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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1/2 hour sit yesterday and today. Yesterday, got down to third jhana and sat in that, very present and strong. Today, went down to 4th jhana. There's a sense of trying to wire in some new sensations into awareness, it's a bit flighty sometimes, but much more solid than I've ever had 4th jhana be, and no dullness (which was always a danger in 4th for me before). Think I've got a shot at getting the super hard white-light 4th jhana I've read about.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 7 Months ago at 10/28/23 1:43 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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For me 4th Jhana was always about the "whole field" either darkish grey with many small bright or black doors popping in and out all over the field. 

Or it can be the whole field as a light grey haze but slightly granular (not as gaseous/cloudy as the purple haze of the 3rd Jhana). 

Certainly never a super hard white light. 
Interesting to read folks having different Jhana images/lights. 

​​​​​​​Best wishes! 
Logan G, modified 7 Months ago at 10/28/23 12:55 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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Thanks! I tracked down where I read it it's from 'Right Concentration' by Leigh Brasington in his description of what can happen in 4th jhana. The passage:

"However, if you spend far more than the 5 to 10 to 15 minutes in access concentration recommended in the chapter “Entering the Jhānas,” the diffused white light mentioned in the chapter “Access Concentration” will become quite steady and strong. After spending an hour or two or three in access concentration, if you then enter the jhānas and work your way down to the fourth one, you will find that your visual field is filled with a bright whiteness, just as if you were sitting in an open field on a sunny day, covered from head to toe with a white sheet and you had your eyes open. At that level of concentration, the simile makes perfect sense."

Rereading it I'm not sure if I'm going to do two or three hours of access concentration very often haha, so might not be something that happens immediately.</p></blockquote>
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 7 Months ago at 10/29/23 12:51 AM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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Oh I see now! From that quote I can relate to the very light greyish colour of the field. This is when stuff to me "flattens out" and stuff "just is". Feeling tone is neutral or just "whatever , all good ,  ... or not ... or whatever". 

wonder if the previous dark field with bright and dark tiny doors popping in and out are early EQ or pre 4th Jhana stuff? 
Just me pondering aloud emoticon 

Best wishes L! 
Logan G, modified 6 Months ago at 11/26/23 3:18 PM
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RE: Logan's Practice Log #4

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45 minute sit today. Jhanas 1-3. A little hard to get it all going, and some dullness. Work's been stressful and meditation has fallen off a little recently, but picking it back up. Generally only getting in 1 or 2 sits a week, would like to get that back to daily.

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