supermonkey's 4th log

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supermonkey :), modified 9 Months ago at 8/22/23 3:08 AM
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supermonkey's 4th log

Posts: 147 Join Date: 8/11/20 Recent Posts
I'll give it a try to write an understandable log. May it help me improve my attitude and sitting quality.

08/20/23:

Sit, 55 minutes:

I began by settling in on the breath. It felt quite comfortable to do that. Quickly it became softer and softer and at some point it felt like it goes from the nostrils into the eyes. The mind seemed to expand a bit. After a while I began to feel a bit dull and moody, and I saw hovering blue star-like impressions. Eventually I became very tearful, as if the world collapsed down on me. Then I had the insight that the mind can only identify with one sensation at a time. But then the identification process began to feel very smooth, seamless, and "1 thing at a time" couldn't really apply anymore. Conclusion: there is no "one thing at a time" in reality.
Then I began to feel a bit dull and away. There was a split moment, when the mind felt very wide, in which there was a sort of gap and reset. I could notice the reset effect because the visual field began to blink very quickly.
After that the mind began to calm down, stuff had a specific softness, and it became hard to distinguish between what is space and what is sensations. The view became very panaromic. There was a sense sort of effort accompanying it.
 
Then I basically tried to sit with everything until I spaced out.

Remarks:

1. thinking about it, in a way, the ego seems to need objects to identify with. If there is no object, fro what I get from the sitting experiene, it seems that it can still identify with seamless flow.
2. Panoramicity appears more and more often. The mind is really eager to experience it. It's very satisfying. The sense of effort may just be a sort of untangling effort to get there. 
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supermonkey :), modified 9 Months ago at 8/28/23 4:32 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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My overall sense is that the spiritual world and the conventional world are beginning to merge for me. It's almost a visceral experience. I am beginning to see Jhanas as the concentration states they are. I also begin to see POI stages as a series of insight packages, based on normal human processing of experience. What was I thinking?
I guess I somehow thought that Jhanas exist somewhere apart from the earthly domain and insight stages are something other than usual processing of experience. A dualistic distinction. In fancy speak, you could say that I thought that they are "inherently real", i.e., existing as separate entities. But how can that be? The meditator sits and calms and after some time "enters" jhana. "Enter" here is already a misleading term. Better to say a jhanic way of perception develops. It's a bit hard to swallow the truth of that, but there is no such thing/entity as "a jhana". That also explains why there is so much debate about what is and what isn't jhana. It's very similar with the POI stages. They are empty. Still, it's a helpful convention to make it tangible to talk about it. We will never be really talking about „it“, only aspects of experience, but so what? emoticon
 
So, in short: I don't separate as much anymore.

I couldn’t help but being poetic about it:

Like a tree gives birth to apples, Nirvana gives birth to Samsara. And as the apples rot, the seeds grow into a new tree, so is Nirvana born out of Samsara.

Or,

As Samsara rises out of Nirvana, but Nirvana is reached by means of Samsara, they are not two.

I'll also mention that experiencing non-separation brings up an unknown sense of love with it. The big-mind experience can be very forgiving and caring. And extraordinary ordinary! emoticon I think it depends a bit on where you come from whether you have a kind of pleasant, understanding neutrality or more loving and caring qualities. All this energy happens when there is a sense of a gap closing.

Maybe the most important thing here is that it still totally makes sense to speak of me being a person. I mean it’s not obvious when you have seen that much emptiness. In a way I speculate that this realization is a sign that an overall 4th Jhana is developing. I think, in hindsight things were „too empty“, vague, confusing for some time, but now, in a way, I sense a development towards clarity, and ordinary.

I also get more evidence that the degree to which I can smoothly transition into emptiness and back is a matter of clinging. When I cling to the self view I feel stuck after a while - something wants to move. When I cling to the emptiness view (take it as too real/want to keep it) it feels too detached after a while.

08/21/23

Constantly having "om mani padme hum" as an ear worm...

Sit, 57 minutes

Didn't really feel like doing it. Just sat. Had a lot of planning thoughts.  Watched the mind go up from first Jhana (narrow attention with a sense of effort) to stumbling around in formless realms (for me, at that point, mystical, confusing, weird). It felt unsatisfying and I became drowsy.  Took a toilet break. 
Then I asked myself what I want here in this sit. A lot of thoughts about ambition came up. Ambition being a sad thing, an ego clinging... I felt like in the mindstate of ambition, things become less enjoyable. I mean like exactly the same thing can be enjoyed when there is less ambition. I reflected on things that I might not have done without ambition. Then I thought ambition is OK, as long as it's not an identity. Because that's somewhat sad and fear driven. I tried to ask myself what fear it is that drives ambition. I didn't get a concrete answer. Instead I began to wonder why I am so often referring to what I will write into this log. I began to see that it's a kind of reflection, a checking in with my conscience. I really began to enjoy that insight, and I jokingly called it "taking my log as guru." I went a step ahead, finding that eventually I can take any experience as guru. In a way, it seemed like this is what has always happened in my life. I was being guided by my experience without knowing it. So, guiding happens.

Comments:

1. After the sit I remembered Daniel saying that "it's all about inclusion" and it seemed obvious to me that inclusion must indeed be the opposite of ignorance. As in what we don't include gets co-opted by the ego and that causes suffering.
 
2. It seems to me that questions like "what do I want here? " or "what am I avoiding" can be powerful, as they seem to re-center the mind.

08/22/23

Sit, 1 hour

Went from A&P into Dissolution. Didn't really feel like engaging.
 
Remarks:

In the light of conventional and unconventional not being two:
In this sit “being in Dissolution" seemed to be just the same thing as spacing out and beginning to wonder about things. Likewise, later Dark Night  is about saying no to everything, going towards extremes, finally accepting that I cannot escape my experience and let go. Here I can meet my shadows and demons - if I want and I am ready. Until then it might be ok to treat it as „just some magical weird state I am in“.

08/23/23

Sit, 1 hour

Interesting sit.

I started with breath meditation, going „up the jhanic arc“:
1. I watch the breath with some effort, go towards the breath
2. The breath comes towards me
3. The breath coming towards me is a known phenomenon
4. A sense of integration
I stop labelling here because I’m, not exactly sure
- Breath is space
- Breath, space. and me are the same
- breath has no source.
Then basically confusion, noise, flicker.
After that ride there was a strong sense of uncertainty. I tried to merge with that sense of uncertainty. What came up was „breath, space, me, and knowing are all the same“.
___

I can’t help but  that there is some sort of merging going on. Maybe merging with uncertainty is what leads to unity. Maybe „merging with uncertainty“ is spiritual bypassing. Maybe when I say „merging with uncertainty“ I mean „being with uncertainty“.

08/24/23

Sit, 20 minutes.

I let the body-mind settle and didn’t pay attention to anything in particular. It seemed to be a wild ride going on in the background. I chose a sort of holy disinterest attitude, just being the container.

08/28/23

I am experiencing more and more panoramicity and non-duality.
There seems to be a shift towards „this one and only possible perspective“, which isn't actually a perspctive, that in the past has been taken as "my perspective", „my viewpoint". And it still has a sense of a first person perspective to some degree, but it’s a different kind of knowing than the dual „I knows this“ perspective. It’s much more visceral, integrated, naturally intelligent, and wise.
 I like to investigate how it seems to come with a set of qualitites, coming more or less to the foreground: friendliness, lovingness, kindness, redemption, distinctness, „just right“.
I have the visceral impression that seeing non-duality of internal experience leads to the mind opening up into panorama. It can feel like a cleansing. A few clean-ups in (relation to) thoughts and then the mind lifts off.
It can also feel like this panorama is always available and it’s just a matter of veiling that we don’t perceive that way.
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supermonkey :), modified 9 Months ago at 8/29/23 5:06 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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I am falling back into a just for fun attitude. Not sure if I'll continue here.
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supermonkey :), modified 7 Months ago at 11/16/23 11:32 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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I feel like I have to excuse myself. It's not that a just for fun attitude is the problem, but that I have been irresponsible. Actually, what I meant by "just for fun" was "careless".
I guess I wanted too much and ended up pretending to understand and making claims about things I didn't.

Maybe "wanting too much" is a hint here. Maybe "shaming and blaming myself" is another hint. Edit: And what do I want to say here? It's vagueness again. Vagueness with a hint of conceit. You see, I am slowly learning. emoticon Realistically, I guess I produced some inaccuracies because I needed to have the sense of competence.

And, in the end, if we are really honest, it might be that we are not so much afraid of having confused other people, but to admit that we were confused ourselves.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 7 Months ago at 11/17/23 3:24 PM
Created 7 Months ago at 11/17/23 3:24 PM

RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Hey, 

It's ok not to know emoticon 

It's ok to be confused emoticon

It's ok to have fun emoticon

It's ok to fail, it's ok to succeed and sure as hell ok to find some type of middle way emoticon
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 7 Months ago at 11/18/23 1:20 AM
Created 7 Months ago at 11/18/23 1:18 AM

RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Look how it's thinking it has fun. 

Look how it's thinking it has good times. 

Look how it feels shamed. 

Look how it's walking. 

(got this from Kenneth Folk). 

Or ... 

You lovingly say "ok friend" emoticon each time you notice it's experiencing stuff. 
It feels it needs to practice this or that or needs to change its attitude or else, and you say lovingly "ok friend". 
I do this now throughout the everyday experiences. "Ok friend" as in "I hear you". 
(got this from shargrol, which is also part of Radical Allowing for stuff to just arise-pass as is without resistance) . 

or 

if you feel like it do some Tonglen. 
Shargrol's method is what I did and was of help at times when I felt stuck. If interested I will write up the instructions or we can ask shargrol to do it or even Pepe as I'm sure he put those into that shargrol blog. 

​​​​​​​Best wishes! 

P.s. Disregard if of no interest. 
Martin, modified 7 Months ago at 11/18/23 10:14 AM
Created 7 Months ago at 11/18/23 10:14 AM

RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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There seems to be a pattern, certainly for me, but it sounds like this is also true for many of us, in which insights and shifts are really consistently beneficial and life is great, interspersed patches in which life is messy and the progress seems to have vanished, or needs to be understood again. This pattern is actually standard for non-meditators, as well, but they may not notice it as clearly. As Bahiya and Papa have said, that's OK. Steve Armstong used to have this gentle refrain: This is how it is, for now. Seeing suffering, seeing the unreliability of the mind, seeing uncertainly and the desire for clarity sounds like good work, to me. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 7 Months ago at 11/18/23 11:00 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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I second that. I am always going through those kinds of cycles and some of them can really kick my ass. Some of it's the progress of insight, some of it's just life. 

​​​​​​​
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supermonkey :), modified 6 Months ago at 11/22/23 11:26 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Hey,

 how did you practice taking and sending? For how long and how often? I mean, I have the book "wake up to your life" with the instructions, but I'm not sure what is an effective/usueful amount of practice.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 6 Months ago at 11/22/23 3:21 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 11/22/23 3:21 PM

RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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For this kind of practice I personally would recommend just feeling into your body and exploring the emotionality of it, the sensation of the breath in the body. Just explore and see how it feels to release, to let go, to breath deep. Get to know the practice over a few weeks, instead of worrying so much about how much of it you need to do now. 
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supermonkey :), modified 6 Months ago at 11/23/23 4:31 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Ok, yeah, thanks. That's actually my intuition, too, but there is this part of me that wants to get it right, you know... emoticon I guess I have to honour that part (like "ok, friend"), but that doesn't mean I can't just follow my intuition.
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supermonkey :), modified 6 Months ago at 12/8/23 10:33 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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New A&P, new discovery: I can do something Loch Kelly-ish, which I'd call "who is doing the looking?". It starts with catching attention in the eyes, take "local awareness" from there. After some readjustment, the "looking" goes behind the eyes and it goes a bit back and forth between knowing a part or space. It's as if parts are some sort of energy field in space. Here, by "part" I mean a sub-personality/personality aspect/local identity/mini me. You could say attention becomes the part - or even more generally: attention and awareness merge. It's dificult to really talk about an order here, but as we know, order is a concept...
If it's stable I don't get "lost" in parts, by which I basically mean there is no re-identification/I don't lose awareness. That's really interesting, and I saw it developing over some time now. What's new now is that I discovered how I can go one step further. I can ask "what is doing that looking?", meaning what knows those parts as energy in space? What knows space?. And that, again, leads to a very confident, clear and unobstructed state. Let's call it timelessly grown-up. So i guess it's pretty close to what's called Self in IFS. As opposed to the state before, I can "live" it, it doesn't need so much "concentration". It's more embodied. At least that's what it seems to be like now. It's quite new. I very rarely entered that state and it felt super promising, very much beyond concepts. It felt a bit like the answer. emoticon
Now, I can see the confidence aspect predominate but I'm sure there's other aspects yet to discover emoticon
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supermonkey :), modified 5 Months ago at 12/27/23 10:26 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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It keeps being a phase of deep shadow work, including vulnerability, shame and guilt, uncertainty, traumatic memories and how past experiences led to beliefs about myself and/or others and vice versa...

I stopped formal hour-long sitting for a few days now, I only delve into mindstates, attitudes and deeply held beliefs with or without the help of an IFS chat bot for shorter periods. Sometimes I dig out more stuff than I can digest, but I think I'm learning to adjust it.
One thing seems to be quite clear: less formal meditation makes me need to do more of the usual self-regulating activities I do. 

I get the sense that when I don't push the POI cycle by formal sitting meditation, the mind uses the energy to work on unfettering. But probably it's more like the mind has built up momentum by sitting practice and stopping makes the momentum go into unfettering activities.
One reason I stopped is that recently I became quite annoyed and exhausted by going back and forth between 3Cs and A&P due to inconsistent practice and I didn't want to push through to DN. And it was Christmas time...

I don't recommend doing deep shadow work in 3Cs. Mind is too unstable and sticky.
In A&P it's OK. It's unpredictable when stuff comes up, but I think it's a good idea to find the right spot to really delve into it. Equanimity, of course, is most suitable and it's almost automatic there. 

By fetter, now, I basically mean the sense of something being wrong, restlessness and the sense of I AM.

It seems like those fetters can be very general, as in I can have the acute feeling/conviction that there is something wrong now. Or it can feel very personal, as in there is something wrong with ME. Same with restlessness. It can be just a state of mind or more like "I really need to do something (about this) now". The I AM feels the most nuanced overall. Sometimes it's just the mere sense of I AM, sometimes more like I am this or that, proud, ashamed, better than, worse than...

The I AM cloud can really feel like a refuge - a shelter, a cocoon, a safe habitat. Pride and stuff arise as secondary qualities. They are less direct and feel more thoughty and timey. The basic I AM cloud feels very timeless and sensate. It is somewhat comprised of proto/pre-time-and-space sensations and urges. Very friendly. 

Edit:

by "unfettering activities" I don't mean anything special. It's more like becoming aware of the fetter activities. 

"I AM cloud" is a term I invented myself, just because it feels like that. It's a specific senate environment in and around the body, seemingly comprised of sensations with hints of time and space or duration and location - which gives the cloud-like feeling, I think. 
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supermonkey :), modified 5 Months ago at 12/29/23 11:15 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Warning, the following is quite ramblish and a bit corny:

God says: all I want you to know is that you are known. That's how I love you.

I read the koan shargrol gave in Bahyia's log. I found that it's really great and I meditated on the feeling of "not knowing is most intimate". And it is. Most scary (at first) and most intimate.
What also seemed to be a good idea is to feel into "what is your natural understanding of meditating on something?".

I'm not really clear about fetters, but I more and more often have experiences of "the web of interdependence", or "the web of interpenetration". Nothing arises just by itself.
In a way, I intuit that what I called the I AM cloud, or simply I-cloud, is a personalized version of the web of interdependence. As if you have stuff floating around in space, and when you attract them into a certain radius, they begin to feel personal.
One thing that seems to make the open, self-knowing nature of experience collapse is shame. And shame feels very personal. In a way I believe it makes sense that I am having so, so many experiences of past, present and future shaming. I am interpreting this as the mind's attempt at stabilizing the understanding of the self-knowing nature of experience. So, yes, you can coopt experience, I don't judge you for that, but then we live behind a self-wall (or shame-wall?) and don't enjoy the open purity of experience. Or you could say, a bit less personal: the purity of experience can collapse into a shame experience - but that's also part of the web of interdependence. Seeing it that way leaves more space, I feel.
I can also experience the shameful experience inside big mind. That's more of a concentration state, and feels a bit forced. Probably equanimity ñana here. States, states, fluctuating, poetic tendencies...

Well, I guess it's the same with pride, I just haven't experienced it that clearly. I think it's like a reverse movement. It makes the self-knowing nature of experience go "out", it gives more of an "other" aspect. Maybe shame says "the spotlight is on me (and you are the spotlight)", and pride says "the spotlight is on you (and I am the spotlight)", whereas in between the light (knowing) is in experience itself. When you don't stir up the pond, it begins to show itself...
So on the side of lesser shame and pride, I can experience more of the interpenetration aspect, and/or more of the self-knowing aspect. The interpenetration aspect has more of a fleshy/visceral feeling/taste, the self-knowing aspect more of a clear and crisp feeling/taste/sound. Somehow, all of that is fabricated anyway. Never known but after the fact. But why make that into another problem? Fabricated is itself fabricated. Checkmate, critical mind!

I remember shargrol saying "when you are neither proud nor ashamed, you are just yourself". I really liked that, and it helps me when I remember it. I suggest a non-personified version: "when experience doesn't collapse into self and other, it just peacefully knows itself.". emoticon Well, probably even when collapsed it knows itself... Whatever... That's the thing about emptiness... Is it really true that experience always knows itself behind the veil of ignorance? Who knows? I can only tune into it, or not. Or, it is being tuned in... and I am being tuned out. I like that. emoticon
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Bahiya Baby, modified 5 Months ago at 12/30/23 9:14 PM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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While I got it from Adi Da, it likely came to him through Zen... The Koan "I don't know what any thing is" 

I have often found it very helpful. 

Shame can often be a response to seeing through the self-image. 

The tension between seeing the falsehoods of the tales we tell about ourselves yet still desperately hoping for them to be true. 

The last psychiatrist used to talk about how narcissists feel shame where non-narcissists feel guilt. 

There's some hard to swallow wisdom in that. 

Another great Koan, from old Bubba himself "Avoiding relationship?" 

​​​​​​​
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supermonkey :), modified 5 Months ago at 1/2/24 4:28 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Really like it, thanks! Especially

"Shame can often be a response to seeing through the self-image."

is revealing. Also sadness and fear can be there. In general, grieving seems to be a significant part of the path. Also a lot of Kundalini is coming up for me. I just found out that I am still pretty identified with it, as in I belive that I am doing the Kundalini. That aready started as a teenager. It might help to see the Kundalini as happening by itself.

"The tension between seeing the falsehoods of the tales we tell about ourselves yet still desperately hoping for them to be true. "

is a main aspect of the last fetters, I think. As I understand it, Kevin Shanilec puts that into the restlessness fetter. Like "I have expecations and need them to be true". He says the next step after seeing this is to know that I do have expectations but I don't desperately need them to be true anymore, and then eventually let go of expectations. So being ok with having expectations that aren't necessarily true is the dropping of the restlessness fetter and being ok with not knowing (because I see that I don't need to know) is the dropping of the ignorance fetter.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 5 Months ago at 1/2/24 5:32 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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In general, grieving seems to be a significant part of the path.

​​​​​​​Yeah, for me, definitely. 
Martin, modified 5 Months ago at 1/2/24 12:40 PM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Yup. Sadness with the flavor of loss routinely proceeds/accompanies openings for me. 
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supermonkey :), modified 5 Months ago at 1/9/24 9:17 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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I'll try to give an impression of my recent experience. Sorry if it's confusing, it's difficult to put into words for me.

There is some sort of pain of effort. Having written all of the below and feeling into the subtext, I sense that I am at some sort of edge.

The essential parts of my sits are twofold, as usual:

The first essential part is about watching our for distractions, avoidances and resistances, may they be ever so subtle. I ususally get the impression that these qualities self-liberate upon being recognized. It is like the mind is learning, or re-learning that it can do self-liberation. Or, actually, there is a sense of learning and there are self-liberations. Well, ultimately not even that is correct, I guess... Probably depends on the degree of ignorance.
When there is none or almost none of these protection mechanisms going on, i.e. after they have self-liberated, I get a sense of unification and a core emotion self-liberates, or at least tries to self-liberate, in which case there is still some protection running, I guess. Usually these core emotions are shame-based.
In the second essential part I feel like I am learning how to navigate experience when there is no identity to refer to. It is like sensations have lost the attachment to an identity. Pure, somehow. Sometimes I can see traces of identity with each of the sensations. They can have a very special, glowing quality. But it's rather rare, by this time, mostly there is just this, clean direct experience. There tends to be a core sense of effort, with which I seem to tend to identify.
There can be fear about how I am supposed to manage the scenery without any reference, and grief over how it was before. Over those little identities that sensations carried... As I write this, reflecting on it, it feels like the grief about the lost identities is in the sensations themselves. That says a lot about the nature of time, doesn't it?

Off the cushion:

The following is quite speculative.

Sometimes I have reflective experiences on the nature of ignorance. It feels like the mind teaches itself that the usual experience of ourselves as we know it is a consecutive narrowing of experience by ignoring parts of reality. So first there is the unknown, bare sense "experience" without any reference. Then, due to some ignoring, consciousness arises. If you wonder how that can be, as in, without there being consciousness, how can I know that consciouness arises due to ignorance, well, one the one hand, that's just what it feels like experientially. On the other hand, looking closer, consciousness seems to carry that information. In the same manner as it knows itself, it knows how it originated. Just like the grief about past identities is in the sensations that grief their lost identitiy. It's just there. This information seems to be inherent. Then, with further ignoring of some part of experience, there seems to evolve the "stream of consciousness"; so it seems to require further ignoring that experience appears like a stream. Then, after some more ignoring, there is the usual internal stream of my experience, as I know it. None of this is really a problem. In that respect, the usual stream of self is not associated with suffering. Somehow, having the information that the every day experience is nothing but a shrinking of "the big mind" or whatever, makes it appear harmless.

Shame and guilt are still a thing, and I get many, many, partly dramatic purifications. All of the stuff is related to adolesence or earlier. The mind is learning how to purify itself. That's mostly done by self-liberation, as I already mentioned above. It's very eager to understand how to liberate these core emotions and beliefs that seem to drive the whole show. I am getting very clean experiences of sadness, shame, anger, disgust, but also joy (which is getting cleaner and cleaner, but is somewhat tainted by doubt and hesitation, which of course could have mundane reasons. I just don't think so...).

Some ideas:

Today in the morning I had a mix of hints of experience and thoughts about the core knot of the self. The essence was: "I am protecting an illusion". That started a cascade of further hints of experiences and reflections.
The mind went back and forth, trying to understand how the knotting happened. A key role has a sense of fragility. Seemingly that bare sense of fragility is not a problem until we make it into a thing. Because then, when it's a thing, it is something that can be shamed and needs protection. Viscerally it reminds me of the kernel of a cell, floating freely, and then a cell structure is built around it. At least that's what I got out of those few quick mind moments.
I was reflecting whether it is the sense of fragility that needs protection or the fear of non-existence. Maybe the fear of non-existence. Maybe it is somewhat encoded in the sense of fragility. I have no idea.
And what drives all this? What is the core drive? It seems like in the urge to protect there is a core sense of I. With the urge to protect, the I is born...
All this is funnily perpetual. Because there is this core urge to protect, then the first protection is making the sense of fragility into a thing, then this is shamed, and then the sense of shame is defended/protected again.
Whenever it may have started...? Well, thinking about it, it could have started around the time from where I get all those purfications...

So, in a way, the whole mechanism of thingifying, problemifying, protecting, seems to be a knot that holds itself together. Because it doesn't really seem clear what comes first, what the core drive is, the knot has a perpetual flavor. But the whole protective system seems to habitually and somewhat happily perpetuate around something that doesn't exist. And it made me think that it must be that way. It wouldn't perpetuate if there actually was something there. Reflecting now, it can seem like a happy game with no further intention than to keep playing that game.

Although there is some sense of redemption when they recognize their self-knowing and self-liberating nature, I guess I can't deny some fear of death and loneliness at times....

Some poetry like writing:

The more I seek, the more I am absent.

The more I seek, the more I confirm abscence.

The more I seek to be better, the worse I think I AM. The worse I think I AM, the more I seek to be better.

The more I seek for an answer, the more restless I get. The more restless I am, the more I seek for an answer.

The more I seek to understand, the more ignorant I feel. The more ignorant I feel, the more I seek to understand.

The more I ignore, the more I assume absence. The more I assume absence, the more I ignore.

The more I assume there is a problem, the more I seek for an answer. The more I seek for an answer, the more I assume there is a problem.

01/09/23

I cry a lot. Really intense crying. And I laugh a lot. Can be slightly manic.

Sometimes everything appears self-aware and interconnected at the same time. When that happens, the body-mind relaxes a lot.

I'd like to share this passage of Martha Sweezy's book "Internal Familiy Systems Therapy for Shame and Guilt":

If we superimpose internal experience on external experience, we run the risk of looking either crazy or mendacious. If we undo reality in favor of a fantasy, we end up feeling depleted and defeated. But if we hold both subjective and objective realities in mind, we access a generous, spacious reality that is greater than the sum of the two realms. We want to remind our parts that subjective reality is their prerogative. We cannot go backward or forward in time objectively, but they can. We cannot shift shape at will, but they can.
What really striked me was the insight that there is subjective time. And that made me see that in the background there is already a timeless knowing of these personal times. Put another way: this subjective experience of time can be witnessed, or, is already witnessed in the context of "objective time", or even no time. With an eternal, timeless knowning as a parent, they can create their own time and space.  Eventually those "parts" are their own knowing, but it seems to be an important first step for these little creatures to know that they are seen. When that is realized, they can finally let go of that need and discover that they already know themselves. Kinda like little ones need to be seen by their parents until they don't. Does any of this make sense?

To me, this seems to demarcate the shift from the eternal knower to luminosity. The eternal knower comes with some sense of effort. Eventually that may be seen as an effort to fabricate it.

So, in a way, I am speculating that this parent-like background of an eternal knower is what's called a golden chain, isn't it? It is very useful, though.
There is a going back and forth and even mix of these states. It might be the way forward to see clearly, or just often enough, that the eternal witness is itself self-knowing, and thus it cannot really be the eternal knower, watching from apart. That would make clear that it's not actually separate.
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supermonkey :), modified 5 Months ago at 1/9/24 3:09 PM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Speculation, indecisiveness, complications, neurosis, obsession, compulsiveness, possessed, driven, shame, fear, guilt, anger, berating, edgy, second guessing, numb, heavy yet agitated, feeling of wrongness, need to correct, belittlement, futility, hopelessness, moaning, grieving, loneliness, despair, finding reasonable reasons not to practice, over-efforting, scepticism, getting caught up, painful, wrong no matter what, insanity, confusion, behind a wall, wide but flat... guess the stage!

It's really special to be in Review and in Re-Observation at the same time... Equanimity and Fruition give a short moment of clarity... then pulled back again. I mean.. really?!
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supermonkey :), modified 5 Months ago at 1/9/24 3:20 PM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Ah, I forgot remorse and regret...
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Chris M, modified 5 Months ago at 1/9/24 4:42 PM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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This sounds sort of like the spiritual version of analysis paralysis emoticon
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supermonkey :), modified 5 Months ago at 1/12/24 6:46 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Thank you Chris, that was a truly helpful observation! Sometimes I am too blind to see it myself. I tried a course correction and felt into the underlying emotions which might need to be seen. Usually, underlying indecisiveness, there is a sense of fear or guilt. Fear seems to be a fear of the unknown. For guilt, I can see the underlying belief that "I must have done something wrong". When I truly acknowledge that I truly seem to believe that, it brings relief. What starts to emerge then is the ability to see others' motivations beyond the feeling that there is something I must be doing wrong. Also, "I must be doing something wrong" can have a whiff of pride, and a related tendency to deny others' agency, to the point of becoming intrusive/obtrusive, or even manipulative.
While acknowledging deep beliefs and related emotions, the tendency to find a way out seems to come back at times, but is much "smaller" then. Also, I begin to discover that I (or a part of me) don't (doesn't) actually understand why that belief is there; whereas before it felt unquestionable. It's like a confused, little, happy waking up from that belief. As if the belief was a sedative/trance.
Probably, the more I can be with those feelings and beliefs, the more those mechanisms of desperately needing to find a quick solution will melt. Practically, the essence seems to be that not only those beliefs but also those tendencies to seek immediate relief need to be truly acknowledged. But as I said, they can be quite hidden. So thanks again! emoticon
So, yeah, I see a big chunk of my recent practice to truly become aware of the tendencies to prevent feeling core emotions. And when I have acknowledged a bunch of those I am automatically led to a sense of fear or guilt. Being with these feelings is the second step. They ususally don't require much more than a sense of validation. And when they had enough validation, they self-liberate. emoticon
Martin, modified 5 Months ago at 1/12/24 2:16 PM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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This may not be helpful at all, because it is kind of orthogonal to the direction you are working in, so please feel free to disregard it, but I wonder if you might want to play more with the idea that the sensations that you are working with can also be seen as not conforming to any conceptually explicable narrative.

Earlier, you said "Sometimes I can see traces of identity with each of the sensations. They can have a very special, glowing quality." and "it feels like the grief about the lost identities is in the sensations themselves".

For me, this line of investigation has often been useful.

It's also interesting to see how this way of knowing differs from conceptual knowing in which some sensations are more significant than others because they point to underlying beliefs or core emotions. It sounds great that you've got both ways of knowing going on. I just want to give a shout-out to the nonconceptual way so it doesn't get lost in the wash. 
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supermonkey :), modified 4 Months ago at 1/24/24 10:20 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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All those core beliefs... "I'm unlovable, I'm a mistake, I'm a problem"... OK, what else...?

Edit: "I can't handle this" is interesting. Not so painful, but still... Angelo DiLullo pointed to this.

​​​​​​​
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Bahiya Baby, modified 4 Months ago at 1/24/24 5:32 PM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Good to feel them. Sit with them. Good to accept that you don't understand them. They're just waves, bubbles, happenings. 
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Geoffrey Gatekeeper of the Gateless Gate, modified 4 Months ago at 1/26/24 9:48 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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It could help to look for the I. In current experience what exactly is unlovable? What is a mistake?
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supermonkey :), modified 4 Months ago at 1/26/24 3:24 PM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Hm.

That's what I can say, basically...

Trying to formulate something I'd say, apart from all that trauma energy, it seems like my go-to jhana is 7th. While walking home I thought I'd try tilopa's 6 words. I almost instantly went to 7th jhana. It's this nothing sticks, sleek and round, wide thing. There is not really bliss and no form, so it's not just 4th. Also, it can have a strange kind of sense of dissociation, at least when walking around. Maybe that's when more formed experience mixes with the jhana..
Afterwards I reflected on the process, in particular on the sense of agency that came with it. So, in a way, the idea of doing the exercise arose, then the sense of doing it, then the jhana appeared. Pretty logical. So, in a way, it felt like the jhana used the exercise as a vehicle. And there was a sense of agency with it. And in way, I didn't really do tilopa's 6 words, it's more like I remembered the moment when I did it last time and how it sent me to 4th jhana.
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supermonkey :), modified 4 Months ago at 1/26/24 4:41 PM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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I think I can describe that dissociation thing a bit better. It's like everything considered to be me becomes very fine-grained and moves to the upper left hemisphere of the body. This movement cen feel a bit yucky. It can have taste of "get me outta here". The rest of experience is like a field of non-agency then. Very high clarity and complete non-agency. I mostly focus on my hands then, how they do something. Can feel quite pristine.
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supermonkey :), modified 4 Months ago at 1/28/24 6:29 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Okay, yucky could have something to do with agency... Dualistic split... Subtle grasping, sense of loss, dissatisfying sense of agency, distortion...
Yesterday I watched this flow of energy somehow morph into a sense of observation for a while...
And then, in the course of watching this flow, I fell into some reverie, there was a big fruition and I had everything where it is... For quite a while... Later I went to a I party and couldn't help but look hold my longdrink glass in front of me to check whether it is where it is. And it was... No distortion...
Today morning I was seemingly back to the other mode... Because just now I watched a relaxing video on facebook, and *flip* again...

Now I think that could be what Daniel describes in the wobble and fall chapter. Pristine self-knowing, centerless experience followed by agent, yucky, disappointing, with Jhana, cycles, and this unsettling, distorted movement. Looking at my coffee cup feels "wrong" then. That same sense of distortion comes up, with watcher sensation and yuckiness.
And there are a lot of in-between states, when I sort of remember the pristine state, this sense of freshness, but it's not really there, but this weird, subtle sense of holding, morphing, observing, dissatisfaction. It would be ok if it didn't give me the sense of something being wrong. Restlessness, panic, confusion, losing it...
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supermonkey :), modified 4 Months ago at 1/28/24 6:48 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Ah, and it seems like part of the problem is the agent trying to go somewhere, but there is nowhere to go, and that creates a congestion which feels wrong. A wrong-feeling sense of dualism, somehow. As if internal experience could go somewhere, do something, apart from the rest.
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supermonkey :), modified 4 Months ago at 1/30/24 9:50 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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So, the more I reflect on those 2 flips and what hinders "this", the more it seems like I'm subtly avoiding it. The perceived dissonance is a trap. It makes me try to either ignore it, grasp at it or hate it. But I think it will be the usual game, - I react to it until I become aware enough of the reactivity. Seeing this as an overall Re-Observation, it makes sense... Stream entry for me was after having spent a lot of time in Equanimity, going back to re-obs and finally realizing how much I'm trying to manipulate experience...

​​​​​​​I may be deluding myself, though... 
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supermonkey :), modified 4 Months ago at 2/3/24 8:35 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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I am getting the idea that my mind refutes to deliberately go to jhana. Like I cannot contract the mind enough. It's more like memories of jhana are displayed into the void, or something like that. Yeah, it's more like a memory or an overlay. They seem to have some gooey substrate. It's a bit sad, to be honest... emoticon
There can be cessation, though. When I am relaxed and I defocus my eyes it's likely to happen.
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/3/24 8:42 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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I am getting the idea that my mind refutes to deliberately go to jhana. Like I cannot contract the mind enough. It's more like memories of jhana are displayed into the void, or something like that. Yeah, it's more like a memory or an overlay. They seem to have some gooey substrate. It's a bit sad, to be honest... emoticon There can be cessation, though. When I am relaxed and I defocus my eyes it's likely to happen.


The last thing one should do when accessing jhana is to contract, so that may be causing the problem.
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supermonkey :), modified 4 Months ago at 2/4/24 3:39 PM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Let me try to formulate it a bit better. I notice two things:

1. In general, experience is wide, natural and open. There are attempts at going to a concentration state, but from here it feels like I need to "shrink the mind", resp. I'd have to downgrade into a smaller domain of experience, and it is somehow "denied", because it feels like a contraction the mind doesn't want to do or cannot do. There can be hints of jhanic energy, or maybe "egoic energy", but it's kinda running out of fuel.
2. When I sit, I don't go through the usual 1,2,3,4 movement of different jhanic ways of perception. There are rather a few shifts I can't really identify (yet?) and then basically nothing special happens.

Also, when I am mindfully present when walking around, experience tends to be a bit flat and can have a hint of a diffuser. Edges are edges but they are not really perceived as such. Sometimes there is a soft buzz in the visual field.
Martin, modified 4 Months ago at 2/4/24 6:18 PM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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That makes sense to me. There can be a narrowness to the access via 1, 2, 3, 4. Have you tried starting at 3, just seeing the sufficiency/content/wishlessness in the openness? If that is available, you could stay with 3 or add sukha to gently move to 2. 
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supermonkey :), modified 4 Months ago at 2/11/24 12:40 PM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Thank you, and sry for deleting my message, I got carried away and felt uncomfortable afterwards.
I have never really practiced entering accessing deliberately - I would usually more or less fall into them. It's difficult to identify with that anymore. I guess if I want to have those jhanas back I'd need to (re)learn them.
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supermonkey :), modified 2 Months ago at 3/22/24 7:00 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Recently getting a better direct experiential understanding of those very, very, subtle "this isn't how it should be"s. Even more subtle is the identification of whether these reactions are due to a predominant sense/state of self, or whether the current sense/state of self is an immediate respond to such an agitation. In theory, the sense of self is a response to those restlessnesses, which on a grosser level I at least think I can see. But on the level of subtlety that seems to be  needed here... Well, I guess even the idea of needing to figure that out is conceit or restlessness itself, as shargrol said somewhere...
Apparently, these little agitations can blow up into actual restlessness. And this is something I experienced for quite some time now, not knowing what's actually wrong. It was disastrous. I made working with inner parts, shadow work my priority, but I'm not sure if that was in some way a means to evade. 

The good thing is that meditation goes more smoothly again, as it didn't for many, many, weeks. 
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 3/22/24 7:59 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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In theory, the sense of self is a response to those restlessnesses, which on a grosser level I at least think I can see. 

You might want to re-examine this. Meditation not going smoothly is often a sign that the meditator needs to address/investigate the cause. If this doesn't happen, then the issues will continue to arise. It would be helpful not to gloss over these things, don'tcha think? It's not conceit to work through these things - it's the practice.
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supermonkey :), modified 2 Months ago at 4/10/24 8:55 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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I'll try to give some comments on these things:

Although I can see that thoughts don't constitute a continuous stream, I do impose a sense of continuity. A space of continuity around the thoughts. Maybe this kind of fabrication is a form of ignorance. A deeper layer after recognizing that thoughts do not arise uninterruptedly. This would align with the question "what am I looking for?" Permanence. This permanence has to be built on top. Superimposed. 

When I see thoughts as dependently arising, there is a sense of "I don't want to deal with that". What am I looking for? Separation? Pretty difficult to distinguish mere thinking from thinking as a means to distract. 

When I see may hand moving without a commander, there is a sense of love, but also mourning. 
​​​​​I seem to use thoughts as a means to have a sense of control. What was or am I still looking for? Control. Again, in theory the sense of I AM arises before the sense of control. But in direct experience so far, they arise together. Inseparable. 

Sometimes, when the sense of I AM is not there, there emerges restlessness and a lot of thinking. The thoughts seem to be suggestions on what will happen next. What am I looking for? Predictability? Knowingness? Safety? 

Sometimes I manage to let the restlessness "morph" into a healthy and unified state and there is no need to know. Indeed, what hinders this natural effortlessness is the fear of not knowing what will happen. Predictability. As I understand it, this is returning the air element into its natural state. It sort of makes sense: the uncomfortable unknowing can feel like dense thought clouds, swirling through the head. Following such a suggestion can feel familiar, but also outdated and a bit off. Like not being myself then. 

Groundlessness: experiences of groundlessness can be particularly terrifying. 

There are a few relatively new uncomfortable states arising frequently which I haven't yet clarified, might be related to geoundlessness. It's like the felt sense of a headache. Maybe it's (personal) remorse, maybe it's a reaction to groundlessness. 
​​​
Sometimes it can feel like I am having resolution issues. A sense of fragmentation. 
Sometimes the fragmentation resolves into a unified state of knowing. The contraction opens into a larger view with no center. 
​​​​​​​

In theory, experiencing anxiety is opposite to being led by it, feeling groundless is opposite to being it. Safety in the direct experience. I'm sure there is still a lot to get here, experientially.

I seem to make the most progress in short periods of really being with it. 
But sitting is necessary to build up that mindful presence, I think. Lately I spend most of the second half of an hour long sit by just staring out of the window. Slowly, slowly, when being there, there emerged a sense of sadness. And again, slowly, slowly, I realized a disappointment underneath. It seemed to co-arise with a sense of this just being it. 
Maybe it's true, maybe what I was seeking for in meditation was more than skill and recreation. Maybe I did seek for the ultimate fix, the one thing that is more than any other stuff that can be practiced. Something with a hidden component. A promise of living forever, flawlessness, reliability... 
​​​​
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supermonkey :), modified 2 Months ago at 4/10/24 12:54 PM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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Also interesting: I just observed the phenomenon that when an idea comes up, and that idea seems good, an inner voice with a sense of self repeats it, as if claimed by the self. I often find that annoying and distracting, but this time I noticed that there is a soothing quality to it. I asked myself what actually is supposed to be soothed. Maybe it's not directly related, but I began to notice a sense of remorse coming up. It seemed to make sense - I remembered that the restlessness hindrance is sometimes described as being due to worry and remorse. It felt like a missing piece, as I was pretty aware of the worry, but didn't see the remorse clearly. Well, I guess it could be said that remorse is in some sense worry about the past.

Reading up on five elements, the groundlessness is associated to air element, and the sense of fragmentation to void element. So probably it's void which resolves/unifies into the centerless panorama (totality pristine awareness).
The need for continuity is maybe related to air element, because it seems like that need for continuity seems to be what causes business. In the same way it makes thoughts appear gapless, it makes me act "gaplessy", as in mindlessly doing the next best thing.

I'm not sure if these are the right things to consider.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 4/10/24 3:49 PM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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What is the difference between a pristine open wide awareness on a top of a high mountain, and awareness in a tiny narrow and dark cave?

What is the difference between paying attention to the pristine open awareness and pristine open awareness aware of the paying of attention?

Just felt like writing this emoticon Ignore if silly! 
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supermonkey :), modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 11:34 AM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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On the one hand I have experiences of clarity, no distance, no-self, non-duality, whatever you may call it. The most prominent is when there is no apparent observer and everything melts into a moment of highly intimate, hd, colorful beauty. It can feel like that which was previously taken for an observer is somewhat surrounded by observation, or knowing. Not actually gone, but included.
On the other hand there is deeply felt sadness, frustration, and nausea. Also upheaval and a lot of thinking, but that has dimished compared to the past weeks. The nausea seems to relate to the sadness. When I let the sadness be there, it says "I have achieved nothing in my life". Also more and more prominent is a sort of untouchability or grandiosity attitude which I know from my whole life but have never seen it so clearly. Also the sadness is something I know deeply. It's just more up front now.
It makes me think of the six realms. Achieving = titan and grandiosity = god. Also hungry ghost = "I NEED" and animal = "I have to endure" are there. Maybe the achieving thing is a titan mindset, causing animal like frustration.

So, although there isn't much self left in terms of an agent, the mind still goes through these realms.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 4/22/24 9:45 PM
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RE: supermonkey's 4th log

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The vulnerability of that sadness is to me a great indicator of progress. 

Notice the sadness is vulnerable and true. It is here with the reality of the situation. 

​​​​​​​The grandiosity is off over there, it is out of touch, delusional, obsessive and cruel. 

These are difficult emotions and it takes much gentleness and bravery to see them and be honest about them with ourselves and others. 

​​​​​​​Great work friend emoticon

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