Geoffrey's Logs

Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/4/24 6:39 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 11/14/23 12:37 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 11/25/23 5:24 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 11/27/23 11:51 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 11/29/23 6:30 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs finding oneself 11/29/23 7:43 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 11/30/23 9:57 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 11/30/23 10:27 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/1/23 6:23 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/3/23 5:27 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/5/23 4:25 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 12/5/23 4:53 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/6/23 9:06 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 12/6/23 9:09 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Martin 12/6/23 11:10 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/6/23 6:45 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 12/6/23 9:38 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 12/6/23 7:08 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/8/23 7:31 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 12/8/23 7:41 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/9/23 9:33 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 12/9/23 9:58 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/8/23 7:46 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Martin 12/9/23 2:01 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs J W 12/8/23 5:08 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/9/23 9:38 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/9/23 5:03 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs J W 12/9/23 5:49 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Papa Che Dusko 12/9/23 6:09 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/10/23 9:34 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs shargrol 12/10/23 9:45 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/11/23 9:32 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/11/23 6:34 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 12/11/23 10:59 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 12/11/23 7:25 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/12/23 6:17 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/13/23 5:54 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/14/23 6:19 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 12/14/23 6:25 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/21/23 6:15 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/24/23 7:10 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/25/23 6:38 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/25/23 4:12 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/27/23 5:54 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs shargrol 12/27/23 7:38 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/27/23 6:50 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/29/23 4:12 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 12/29/23 7:34 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/29/23 5:49 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/29/23 7:29 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 12/30/23 6:00 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 12/30/23 9:28 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 12/30/23 9:42 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/1/24 6:02 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs shargrol 1/1/24 7:44 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/1/24 4:11 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/1/24 6:12 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Martin 1/2/24 1:06 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/2/24 6:09 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/2/24 7:13 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 1/2/24 7:34 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/2/24 5:58 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 1/2/24 7:35 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/2/24 8:28 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 1/2/24 8:45 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/2/24 10:26 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/2/24 10:56 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Olivier S 1/2/24 11:18 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 1/2/24 1:28 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Papa Che Dusko 1/2/24 1:03 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/2/24 6:00 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Papa Che Dusko 1/2/24 6:02 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/2/24 6:36 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/3/24 6:23 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Papa Che Dusko 1/4/24 3:57 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/4/24 4:20 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/4/24 6:51 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/4/24 6:39 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs shargrol 1/4/24 7:10 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 1/5/24 2:58 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/5/24 6:07 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Papa Che Dusko 1/6/24 10:26 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/7/24 4:16 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/5/24 6:09 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 1/5/24 6:29 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/5/24 7:09 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/6/24 7:41 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/6/24 8:53 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 1/6/24 9:11 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 1/6/24 10:42 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/8/24 5:52 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/8/24 6:12 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Martin 1/8/24 10:41 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 1/8/24 1:06 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Martin 1/8/24 1:56 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 1/8/24 4:19 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs shargrol 1/8/24 2:12 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 1/8/24 2:41 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs shargrol 1/8/24 3:13 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/9/24 5:57 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/9/24 7:40 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Papa Che Dusko 1/10/24 12:17 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs shargrol 1/10/24 4:39 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/10/24 7:27 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/11/24 5:41 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Papa Che Dusko 1/12/24 6:05 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/12/24 7:08 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Papa Che Dusko 1/13/24 2:08 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/12/24 6:23 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/13/24 5:54 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/14/24 6:37 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Martin 1/14/24 11:00 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/15/24 5:51 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/15/24 5:59 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/16/24 6:19 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 1/17/24 2:14 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/17/24 7:19 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 1/17/24 9:21 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/17/24 10:02 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 1/17/24 4:35 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/17/24 6:08 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs shargrol 1/17/24 5:47 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/17/24 10:03 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/17/24 6:02 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/18/24 6:28 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/19/24 6:00 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Papa Che Dusko 1/20/24 4:43 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/20/24 6:19 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Papa Che Dusko 1/21/24 1:09 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/21/24 5:50 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs finding oneself 1/21/24 8:01 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/21/24 5:46 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/22/24 6:22 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/23/24 5:36 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 1/23/24 5:37 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/24/24 6:12 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/25/24 6:12 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/25/24 5:44 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 1/25/24 5:55 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/26/24 7:27 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 1/26/24 7:36 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Papa Che Dusko 1/27/24 2:09 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/26/24 6:06 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/26/24 6:08 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/27/24 6:35 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/27/24 8:53 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/30/24 6:40 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 1/30/24 7:42 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Martin 2/4/24 10:43 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/31/24 6:27 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/31/24 6:43 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 1/31/24 6:46 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 1/31/24 8:30 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/1/24 9:56 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 2/1/24 3:17 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/1/24 6:19 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/1/24 6:32 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Papa Che Dusko 2/1/24 6:35 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/2/24 6:15 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/3/24 6:06 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Bahiya Baby 2/3/24 6:36 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 2/4/24 8:01 AM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Papa Che Dusko 2/4/24 1:58 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Chris M 2/4/24 3:42 PM
RE: Geoffrey's Logs Papa Che Dusko 2/4/24 6:09 PM
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 22 Days ago at 2/4/24 6:39 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/10/23 11:13 AM

Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
So I recently got off of a big retreat, and had some cool, weird equanimity jhana things. However, within a week of getting off of retreat a big family emergency came up, so my deep training in insight has shifted now into deep morality training. Practice wise, I've only been able to squeeze in 15–45 minutes here and there, while mostly trying to do a lot of daily life practice (but it's easy to get swept away by life rn). Things Ive notice

  • Generally, sense impressions feel very smooth. They come into awareness automatically, very briefly, and then smoothly vanish. It's hard to describe thoughts, but they act similarly, and it feels hard to "hold onto" them, they just flow through similar to trying to hold onto water with open hands. Attention just moves swiftly from thing to thing, and that combined with the smoothness of objects makes for very easy meditation that just does itself.
  • There is some attachment-y pressure in my head. Usually in the evenings. But this has seemingly been dying out a bit.
  • Pleasurable sense objects seem to lack the addictive quality they used to have. You experience the pleasure, it passes, and the mind seems find knowing this is it. I picked up a ecig after 4 months of not smoking (ive been off and on for maybe 10 years), and i never really felt super craving for it, and once it was done there was a day after that was physically rough, but I haven't been craving another one. When I grabbed some drinks with my aunt the drinking just felt like another state of consciousness that wasn't too exciting (I could sharply feel the bodily, emotional, and mental state components) and it seemed to lose its oomph. Similar with food and jerking off.
  • It seems like I am very continuously "stuck" in the present moment. My mind can't get absorbed into things like thoughts like it used, and it just feels like I am always here, with this body, at this moment. Time feels like it flows very smoothly and without stop. Fun things feel fleeting, sad things feel fleeting, ordinary things feel fleeting. The only "object" is the present moment, which is fluxing and has a dreamlike quality to it - things just keep happening, and as soon as they happen they are gone, completely vanished. There is an intellectual part of me that wonders how can I build a conventionally meaningful life when life has this river-of-experience quality to it?

Next Log: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/26876944
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 3 Months ago at 11/14/23 12:37 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/14/23 12:37 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
So things have calmed down a bit, and I've had a bit more time to do some more dedicated practice (but not a ton).

The first sit felt weird. There was a big tinge of unpleasantness. It felt like my mind was going from object to object, trying to find relief. Maybe 20 minutes into the sit the unpleasantness just vanished and everything felt much more grounded and open. There was some minor pain in my leg, but it was interesting to see the pain come up, the urge to fidget come up, and then the urge to fidget subside. A lot of emotions feel like splashing water onto a hot stove, it momentarily exists and then steams away really quickly.

Since then, I've noticed an increased interest in using the colors behind my eyes as focus objects. I've tried to do this a few times before, but have never really gotten into it, but now it feels much easier to just surrender to the visual field (also kinda an element of space too?). The colors seem different at this point, and kinda hard to describe. It's like there are different scales of Perlin Noise that generally take the colors of like purple or orange. The small scale noise seems to flicker very fast. Some of the noise has a translucent quality to it (like when one eye can see an object and the other can't, which gives it the invisible look). It's also an interesting object because it's mostly on "that side", whereas I normally do noticing, so my attention spends a lot of time on "this side", so the exact form of what I take to be me is very clear (by being negatively defined).
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 3 Months ago at 11/25/23 5:24 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/25/23 5:24 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I've been playing around a bit with binaural beats. I've found that using 200hz and 4z seems to fairly consistently make me very equanimous and usually causes me to see hypnogagic images. This has been the main one I've been doing, and I've started to notice hypnogogic images sometimes in regular meditation and I've also noticed I can remember my dreams a lot better without writing them down. The no self nature of thoughts also is becoming easier and easier to see. I've also played around with 7hz (creates piti, makes my body shake, and does some metta jhana type stuff) and 30hz (only done once, makes me sleepy). During regular "just sit" meditations there is a a small amount of head oozing. I've been taking the sayadaws last piece of advice where I just "go with the flow" of sensations. It seems to help me remember to de center. Eventually the head oozing will usually turn into light swaying forward and back. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 3 Months ago at 11/27/23 11:51 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/27/23 11:51 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
There was a day when I sat for 3ish hours (back to the monastery now, much more time for practice). The oozing was there until it slowly faded out. Now it will reappear there for a bit per day (maybe a few hours total per day), but now most of the time is spent in a very plain equanimity. It feels extremely ordinary, but I'm not bothered by chores, or walking around, or being cold, etc. But it just feels like my body is there in a big spacious place. And it feels interesting to move around (go for walks, move firewood, etc).
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 11/29/23 6:30 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/29/23 6:30 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Well so the hypnagogic imagery stopped during binaural beats, so I swiftly stopped doing it. It turns out wikipedia actually describe what's going on really well (CEV, and I was having the CEV noise simulation with disappearing flashing image). I started a thread about getting into Tummo, and also listened to two of Delson Armstrong's podcast episodes on guru viking (the first two) and got immediately enthralled with them. It would appear my mind is definately craving for something interesting to happen via meditation.

Practice wise, I've playing around with trying to get the hypnagogic imagery on my own. I was doing mostly just sitting, with a tiny bit of watching my breath. It actually seems to work decently well (I probably get them like every other 1+ hour meditation). This has definitely forced me to start watching my visual field more and also my stream of thoughts more. The visual field stuff is interesting because it appears to be "closer" when im more explictly focused on it and "further" when im tuned out off it (like there is somehow a three layer thing going on - a watcher, the head tension, then the visual field). I normally don't pay tons of attention to visual thoughts, but I was surprised how many tiny proto-thoughts there are. Plus, when you're more mindful of the visual field you can usually see thoughts bubble up, which I couldn't do before (also helpful to be a bit calm for this). There was another interesting thing when a song got stuck in my head, I was listening to it, but then in a flash I was like "wait what the hell is going on?" Like there sound sure, but no listener, so the act of listening seemed so strange. (Sense gate have a weird property where they feel spatially like they are co-occuring, but somehow they are still in different layers of existence). And even forcing myself to think now, its feels more like someone is speaking to me? Its very weird.

One note is that by doing just a tiny bit of anything that induces tranquility seems to transform the tension in my forehead from a squeezing pressure point to something much more flowy and light.
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finding oneself, modified 2 Months ago at 11/29/23 7:43 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/29/23 7:43 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 347 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
" so my deep training in insight has shifted now into deep morality training'"

​​​​​​​I hope you don't mind me butting in and saying this.

I read your log the other day, and appreciated it, for many reasons. But today the above sentence influenced by life. It made me think how sometimes I can't or even shouldn't, maybe, meditate or apply mindfulness. And the urgency of the sitation requires focus in the ordinary world sense. EMS had to be called for some lady at work today, and I realized I shouldn't apply these practices. I need to help this lady, with my full cognitive ability. Maybe later down the path with both. But for the time being simply "deep morality training".
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 9:57 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 9:56 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I don't mind you butting in at all, in fact I like the idea that these practice logs aren't just shouting into the void.

I think you hit the nail on the head. I also think that "doing both" becomes more and more automatic over time. For example, you being able to use your full cognitive ability to help this lady in an emergency was probably aided in some part by good ol' meditation practice and being able to stay with the current experience, despite it seeming difficult, and not getting lost in catastrophic thoughts or shutdown by anxiety. They call it practice for a reason, and imho it's because you're practicing for life.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 10:27 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 11/30/23 10:27 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 5091 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Yes, that's called "being present" and it's a fruit of meditation practice.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 6:23 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/1/23 6:12 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
So I've been doing more simple breath watching. That seems to make the energy ball knot around my sinus/forehead not exactly dissolve, but more like dissipate and become broader, vaguer, flowier, with less sharp boundaries. Occasionally it seems to split in two and be a diffuse pressure around my temples (which can make my ears feel like they need to pop). But I automatically notice the mind stream a lot more. I think because in this environment of spaciousness, calmness, flowiness, etc - the mindstream is the only thing that's loud by comparison. But visual thoughts are more vivid than before, they percolate up (and there are tons of varieties with how they do this which is fascinating), and they last longer (I used to be able to solid daydream, then around crossing into EQ, I lost the ability to see solid movie scene thoughts, and they became super flickery and rapid). Today, verbal thoughts turned into a babble at a certain point, which had never happened before. Those thoughts still has this sense of almost the environment talking to me.

When I'm sleepier, I tend to get a lot of visual thoughts that basically seem like extremely short lucid dreams. They take up the full visual field, they are 3d, and it usually seems like I open my eyes only for me to be on my phone or laptop, and then it quickly collapses.

I also tried getting into jhana today. I was able to get a solid, full body metta and expand it out to the six directions. I got very light piti in my hands, but otherwise, my mind felt very grounded in its current 'ordinary' mindstate, without much inclination to budge.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/3/23 5:27 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/3/23 5:27 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Two interesting sits happened.

The first - for some reason I the idea popped in my head to try and play a game where I "let the system do anapanasati" and just watch to see how well it does. Well curiously enough it seemed to do well - the breath stayed focused, when attention would move to tension the breath would slow down to calm things, etc. Then at the end I asked myself "what's the felt difference between this autopilot breathing meditation and just breathing meditation?" And the answer really is nothing. It then dawned on me how ever present no-self and how just under the nose is (it's basically this realization that "you're" not actually sending commands anywhere, like you would have to to say control a robotic arm, the limbs just move). It's now obvious when I go walking, wood splitting, hauling, etc. Sometimes you lose it when mindfulness drops but that's about it.

The second interesting sit was just following the piece of advice the sayadaw gave me on the last day when I asked for it. He said "youre practicing correctly [the highest compliment a sayadaw can give an American] but try to go with the flow of the objects and not get caught up with them". So I did that this morning and it's a much different kind of feeling. There was more attachment in my head, so when you surrender to it you end up feeling more embedded in sensations and more like a self. Eventually though sitting there, letting attention go wherever (vs the more broad of the experiment beforehand), and the mind calms down, basically all objects faded, and there was just there feeling of space and calm. Soon after hypnotic images started to periodically arise, and my head would slump.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/5/23 4:25 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/5/23 4:25 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
A few interesting overall note (im meditating like 3-4 hours a day in separate chunks and splits)

- some light head bobbing has come up
- the general forehead tension has seemed to go down and relax overall since coming back to practice at the monastery
- weird visiony stuff has basically died down, although in calmer states more hypnagogic stuff still comes up but its more much clearly in the regular thoughts camp that's being seen clearer.
- just sitting will usually end up in a (mostly to complete) formless state of calm

In terms of practicing, I just picked up "seeing that frees", and it's a fantastic book. I've been doing some of the practices suggest there and I have a few things.

So I did a Samadhi sit to see what happens. Normally I use metta and open awareness to do jhanas, this time it was more of just tune into pleasant sensations (which tbh i dont do lots of). What happened was my hands started vibrating, but not in the normal piti since where it tingles, but its like the smooth flux started to vibrate. Some bodily heat sensations came up from my hands to my chest (iirc), basically neutral vedana, and with that the sustain effort dropped. I got the sense this was jhanic experience, but when the EQ stage is way more pressing.

The things I was more interested in than Samadhi was the stuff he talks about in the expansive awareness chapter. I think, interestingly enough, I used to perceive things as popping in from space itself (I have distinct memories of this), but today when I went to do a deep dive I would describe it differently. So how that sit went was basically I just sat until the pressure in my head dissipated, and I was left in a more spacious setting. Basically, it doesn't seem like there is attention really, but objects that pop in (like you will just start experiencing something over there), and those experiences just pop in here and there. Even space itself has attributes to it (ie a felt sense, it's not just empty void), although I'm not sure how to describe those attributes other than maybe like subtle energies. As things got calmer, and activity died down, phenomena got more subtle (this has been happening a lot the last few days). It was there I got a clear picture of what the view "everything is made of the same stuff" sort of feels like. It's like the small rupa that was popping up felt more like a modification of the space-object (like say the vibration of a guitar string), and didn't really feel like a wholey distinct thing (it didnt really even have clear edges), rather created from the background.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 12/5/23 4:53 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/5/23 4:53 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
It was there I got a clear picture of what the view "everything is made of the same stuff" sort of feels like. It's like the small rupa that was popping up felt more like a modification of the space-object (like say the vibration of a guitar string), and didn't really feel like a wholey distinct thing (it didnt really even have clear edges), rather created from the background.

Cool observation ! It can be fruitful to observe things as part of the whole as opposed to being "distinct" or apart from it. Keep it up. 

It's a great book. I just finished reading it the other day. Take time with each practice. No need to rush through anything. The fundamentals are key.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/6/23 9:06 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/6/23 9:05 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
well i was definitely cruising through the books going like "oh yeah i get this 100%" or "this is a great explanation of the insights i've had." until maybe like halfway through, until I got to a point where Im like "i guess??". But I'm going to do about two weeks of unstructured retreat in a week or so (although I'm a resident at the monastery, so it's likely I'll have a bit more chores than the other yogis). But I'm using the chapters that are about my cutting edge level and a little beyond to come up with some threads to pull on retreat. So far I have
  • what is the nature of awareness? How does it look through time? How is "awareness" different from experience?
  • do objects really appear out of nothing, or do they kinda well up, both, neither?
  • what are the non-conceptual dualities that make up the felt sense of reality? The sense of self (beyond this side, that side)?
  • he makes the claim that the thing-ness come from clinging. So one, does the fading of perception actually align with this view? Would all objects have some element of the solid-ness and "this side-ness" that the self has when it gets made? (Also looking at narrow focus-fading)
Open to suggestions though
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/6/23 9:09 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/6/23 9:09 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 5091 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
  • do objects really appear out of nothing, or do they kinda well up, both, neither?

​​​​​​​Ponder: What is nothing?
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 12/6/23 11:10 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/6/23 11:10 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 730 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Good questions/observations. I read the second half of the book at least twice (might have been three times). There is still plenty that is beyond me. Lots to work with. 

"he makes the claim that the thing-ness come from clinging. So one, does the fading of perception actually align with this view? Would all objects have some element of the solid-ness and "this side-ness" that the self has when it gets made? (Also looking at narrow focus-fading)"

That sounds like an excellent avenue of investigation. Those are questions that go to the heart of it.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/6/23 6:45 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/6/23 6:42 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Oh so a *bunch* of stuff clicked between last night's sit while going to sleep and this evenings.

So last night I was focused more on his notion of duality in my sit. I had a light pressure in my head. But what was interesting was that it popped out of a whole thing, like say a bowl under a table cloth. And so, from a very obvious observation, the "thing" there can only be known by its difference with what is by it. ie there was a contraction there, some feeling of moving, and some disease - but those were all in contrast with the background (light flow, peace, space). And furthermore, it all felt like one smooth surface, with different values, but no sharp edges or cusps (guess who studied math...).

So today I was more curious by his claim that thing-ness comes from clinging. Partial because this semi-aligns with how I think about first path. But also arhants are supposed to eliminate clinging (or at least they say), so is there no more perception? Are there no more things? This seemed like a wild claim.  On first read, him talking about doing jhanas all the way up until 8, which minimizes clinging, and hence there are no objects, seems to throw the whole enlightenment process into "what the fuck are we doing here" territory, when it's used analogously.

But off the bat, it did occur to me that since I'm in EQ after a good amount of stuff "flipping over to the other side", but some remaining stuff, I was actually probably in prime spiritual real estate to see what he was talking about. So I started off the sit, as people came in late, looking at sounds. My first question was, how are these sounds coming to be? And just like a lot of the hypnogogic imagery I've been getting lately, if you really pay attention to them, the loudness curve is smooth, ie they are kinda welling up from space itself. They're not appearing out of nowhere, but also they don't have this middle-path infinite causes and conditions thing that he talks about (although I'm not sure whether this is a thing that can be seen phenologically). But interesting everything "over there" does seem to have more of a flowy quality, no complete boundary or super hard edges. Also, the phenomena in it kind of well up, does energetic stuff, and dies down.

It also dawned on me during this sit (partially because I was grumpy this morning, so I had a very strong sense of self) - I've been under investigating (and reporting) the pressure in my head. Really what's been happening is there have been three states 1. strong no-self (everything is over there, very peaceful, ordinary, spacious, lovely), 2. (not super frequently these days) A distinct separation where my face/head have a rigid boundary, which creates a strong sense of subjectiviness and 1st person perspective and 3. An in-between state where there is the pressure, but it's largely on "that side", and defined in the dualistic contrast that I saw in the previous sit.

But then eventually it clicked, I was misunderstanding what he was saying when he talks about objects. Like, I'm so used to people just talking about the objects of experience, it never really clicked that they are talking about "experiencing objects" and not just experience directly. Like objects are these things with clear boundaries, that appear and disappear (like #2 from above). But how I perceive sounds, hypnagogic imagery, #3, etc - they aren't really object-objects, they don't have that definitive separation. So what I was getting at in the thread I linked to, is really the same idea (even with the idea of clinging causing the solidity), just expressed more rudimentary.

My hunch is also when people talk about "the mirror like nature of consciousness", this mode of perception is what they are talking about. Because it feels like things are "over there" (ie behind another value), the appearances move automatically, and even with the 3d-ness of equanimity there is still almost like this kinda flatness to everything? (like in the same way that a picture with perspective can be seen as both 3d and flat).
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/6/23 7:08 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/6/23 7:04 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 5091 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
When you hear a sound what happens right after that? That's when dependent origination becomes observable. Objects that we experience most of the time have components that are time dependent and occur in very small increments, very fast. Paying attention we can learn to discern the steps - what makes the object - the sum of those pieces in quick succession.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 12/6/23 9:38 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/6/23 9:36 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
"what the fuck are we doing here" territory
Yeah. I assure you this particular insight will deepen over time. It's utterly baffling stuff.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/8/23 7:31 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/8/23 7:31 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
After playing around with this a little bit yesterday, there were two things that kept happening repeatedly. The first was I'd hear a sound, and then my attention would basically go back to my head and it would bounce around my head a little bit and create a sense of solidity. I kept doing it throughout the day, and then later it, especially when i was hearing people talking, its like i could hear the sound flow, but i could tell my attention seemed to look at it in discrete chunks (like it was a smooth sound, but with discrete "knowing" events). And then as the sound was being made eventually there would be a little pop of recognition as the word/meaning would be perceived.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/8/23 7:41 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/8/23 7:39 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 5091 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
And then as the sound was being made eventually there would be a little pop of recognition as the word/meaning would be perceived.

Yes. And then after that?

Take a look at the descriptions of dependent origination - the pieces it is comprised of - and then compare those to your listening experience.

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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/8/23 7:46 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/8/23 7:46 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I had a 3-hour titan/asura sit yesterday. A few of my friends got some deep attainments, and I am very happy for them, but it definitely made me feel inadequate about my own practice. At this point, I've met a lot of people stuck pretty hard who just seem to practice year after year with nothing to show for it, and I worry that I'll fall into that camp.

The sit started off normally (with more tension, anger, frustration, and stubborn determination). Instead of just staying spacious and going with the flow of things, there was more of a narrow attention at the pressure in my head. It did the usual tricks, oozed, shrank down to a knot/seed, etc. At some point, I got some two hypnagogic images of fire, and they were super bright and energizing (it was like someone shining a flashlight into your mind's eye). At the two-hour mark, I changed seats from a chair to a cushion, and the head bobbing definitely got more intense. The advice I've always been given for unintentional movement is to let it happen, but I spent 50 days on retreat shaking, and I don't think the Buddhist teachers I've sat with really know shit about energetics, so I decided to try something different. An analogy I've heard from an energy practitioner is that your energy system is like wiring, and the shaking and stuff expands the capacity for flow. My thoughts are that my energy will go up to a point, then I move - and so my hunch is that there might be something blocked, and the excess energy causes the shaking, but then things stay blocked or the energy well just go to a maximum point, then abide and nothing will happen. So my, some impromptu frustrated strategy was to just hold myself still when I started to head bob. The energy of my system definitely started to increase and increase. I got full body piti (which rarely happens, usually I get it in my hands, then I start to shake or just go straight to j2). After maybe 5–10 minutes with full body piti, that died down and the energy normally in my head felt like it was flowing both in my whole head, and a similar energy was flowing in my whole body (it's more thick and gooey). Eventually that died down, and I was in a fairly calm, ordinary, equanimity state.

Today the energy in my head feels very flowy and it's not as knotted (although this level of flowiness isn't abnormal, so it's hard to say if anything got unstuck or what not). So I think I might try a similar strategy again tonight, since nothing seemed to get fried.
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J W, modified 2 Months ago at 12/8/23 5:08 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/8/23 5:08 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 662 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Hey Geoffrey nice to meet you!

"I worry that I'll fall into that camp"

hmmm... 3 hour titan realm sits ... 50 day retreat ... full body bliss and energetic openings...

I don't think you need to worry about that too much my friend. If anything, just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.


re: head pressure. Something I have experienced as well. I can also relate to the pressure becoming more flowy, 'malleable' (for me, 3 dimensional?), after openings.

To echo something Linda mentioned earlier - this can sometimes just be an result of a narrow and intense focus.  

often the way to get through it is just keep going, and it sounds like maybe you have opened it up,

so if it bothers you again, you may find it easier now or helpful to play with a wider/peripheral focus and/or adjusting the narrowness of focus back and forth.

just my 2 cents! Seems like whatever you're doing is already working well

best wishes
John
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/9/23 9:33 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/9/23 9:33 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
So I tried it a bit more today and a few things happened afterwards. After the hearing, knowing, and recognition the paths taken after were

- a solidification, with negative vedana, and aversion to that (to loud clinking)
- the recognition triggering a thought
- the sound trigger more listening to sound

This does seem to be the next few links. But I always stumble at the becoming, birth, and aging. Like I'm not sure how to understand those.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/9/23 9:38 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/9/23 9:38 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
hmmm... 3 hour titan realm sits ... 50 day retreat ... full body bliss and energetic openings...

I don't think you need to worry about that too much my friend. If anything, just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Haha. Thanks for the reminder. I'm *very* aversive sometimes, and sometimes it's a helpful drive, and sometimes I forget about it and wallow in it.

I did try two more sits.

The first where I tried to have narrow focus on the pressure again. I had the intention to try and make big energetic stuff happen, and hopefully "unclog" the energy system. One interesting thing that happened, repeatedly 4-5 times, was I was able to just incline my mind and find some mild piti in my hands. That's never happened before (but I've never tried). Then what happened when the energy wouldn't get stronger, and I shifted to just keeping my attention on it is my energy actually tanked hard. Sleepy tears immediately started to flow, I was yawning for 10-15 minutes, my body posture just caved in on itself, and after the sit I felt completely wiped.

Then this morning, the thing I was trying for the sit was to just unhook my attention from any particular sensation (ie the head sensation), and just keep bring it back to rest as everything. Under this lens the head sensation just appears as such a non-issue. Its just waves of sensations ontop of the field of everything. It ebbs and flows like everything else, and doesnt appear to have well defined edges or starting and stopping points.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/9/23 9:58 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/9/23 9:51 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 5091 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
But I always stumble at the becoming, birth, and aging. Like I'm not sure how to understand those.

Yeah, those are tricky and there are various interpretations of their meaning. To me, they mean that, like all things, our nebulous, ever-changing sense of self is reborn in every moment because it's the subject that mind creates to perceive every object we experience. So our self becomes, is born, and dies in rapid succession, over and over and over again. Remember that everything is impermanent, not you, and unsatisfactory. These three characteristics of experience apply to the self as much as they do everything else. So in that way, the becoming-birth-death cycle makes sense.

​​​​​​​You can Google a bunch of other meanings. I like mine but others will no doubt like theirs  emoticon

FYI - Rob Burbea addresses this in The Seeing That Frees.
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 12/9/23 2:01 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/9/23 10:47 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 730 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
It sounds like you are really getting things done and pushing up against the edge. Nice work!

You don't mention what kinds of attainments your friends get but my take is that getting is not that helpful. Losing is much more effective. The path may be more about whittling away than building up. It's a bit weird. The path is a bit weird :-)

I have never had much problem with head bobbing, but I've had a lot of shaking, energy flow, and iron-skullcap problems. With those things, there is, for me, always some holding in the body. If I look carefuly, in a broad focus way, for holding or tension, I can generally see it and relax it. This is a whole operation that takes the mind away from the object of meditation but, in the overall, I find it less disruptive than powering through or trying to repress the distracting thing. Once the tension is relaxed, it's easy to go back to the object. For the iron-skullcap thing, where the scalp seems to be crushing the skull, it turned out that I could fix it just by recentering the head on the top of the spine. It was mostly a posture thing that was causing the muscles to tense. I wonder if it could be worth exploring whether a subtle adjustment of head position is ever helpful for the head bobbing. 

In any case, it sounds like all your exploration is very curious and aware at the moment, so you could also just ignore this and keep going. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/9/23 5:03 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/9/23 4:59 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
So I had a pretty dumb, obvious, but critical realization during practice today.

So my two friends had just gotten back from a non-dual retreat, where they got their shiny attainments, and so tonight I was like "lets throw on a lock kelly guided meditation to see if there was something I missed about non-dual". And within 10 minutes it was like, oh yeah wait this pesky tiny oozing that I keep getting caught and causing problems, I can just unhook from it and be free. It's that simple. Like I've spent the last year or so doing basically choiceless awareness as my main practice, and like I almost forgot I have choices. And the downside of choiceless awareness is you can just keep getting hooked lmao. And I've cleared out sooo much of the way via vipassana, it like all there was left was this tiny babystep.

It's also clear I was spinning my wheels and getting into some spiritual materialism - thinking maybe if i learned tummo it would help, or if I picked up emptiness and somehow mastered their Xeno's paradox of walking or whatever, that was the missing piece. But no, just let go and be free. Also for some reason I had the view where I was like "oh non-dual is the thing you do when you're like a second path blah blah blah." And it's like no, just let go and be free.
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J W, modified 2 Months ago at 12/9/23 5:49 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/9/23 5:49 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 662 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
" And it's like no, just let go and be free. "

Noice, thank you for this reminder, very inspiring.

Let go into the sea,
(if you're in equanimity)
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 12/9/23 6:09 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/9/23 6:09 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2641 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"It's also clear I was spinning my wheels and getting into some spiritual materialism - thinking maybe if i learned tummo it would help, or if I picked up emptiness and somehow mastered their Xeno's paradox of walking or whatever, that was the missing piece. But no, just let go and be free. Also for some reason I had the view where I was like "oh non-dual is the thing you do when you're like a second path blah blah blah." And it's like no, just let go and be free."

This is such lovely rich experience to pay attention to and fuel the awakening! Right there is all you need! 

Next time when this stuff happens this way, can you try note all the body  sensations and feeling tones associated with any of these or any of such reactive patterns? 

Pay attention to "what else is there also arise-passing as such thinking arises?" 

Look at body sensations at that moment, the image in the mind, feeling tone, ... 

Yiu can start with one note a second and if it speeds up fine and if not also fine. Even one note every 2-3 seconds is fine. But do try train in connecting the body sensations, feeling tone, mind image and thinking into a puzzle so to speak. To do this one slowly but surely moves more and more from narrow attention to a broad awareness and the mind-scape gets more clear and wide. 

No rush though. Daily consistent practice is proven to be the best way. At times non-heroic and at times in need to just keep on heroically sitting with acceptance and not give up (fear, boredom). 

Sending best wishes your way!
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/10/23 9:34 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/10/23 9:32 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I did have a very interesting sit last night. I was able to start off by unhooking from the tension in my head, and expand my awareness out to everything. This stabilized fairly easily. Then it basically felt like an ocean, with waves of sensations coming out of it - waves of different flavor though, maybe electricity, tightness, flows, etc. My mind became extremely calm and peaceful, and my hands buzzed with a good amount of piti. Eventually the tension came back, lingered for a while, and then eventually was a seeding point for the ocean of awareness to split into a subject and object - meaning that this unified object split into another and me, where the me was a body, with a face, upper torso, and hands. These came for a while, and eventually faded back into the unified oceanianic experience. This splitting and converging process happened maybe 4 or 5 times. At a certain point the pressure got to be a lot, but I realized I was clenching my jaw a bit, and relaxing the muscles seems to help.

But this seems to be the missing links Chris was talking about - birth, becoming and death.

After having a similar sit this morning, I noticed on my walk, a lot more sensitivity to these two different states (where before I probably would have missed this).

I will also say that stabilizing awareness this way does basically seem to be the equanimity state that is both ordinary but super enjoyable. I suspect that working on this is going to be my next practice, at least through my self retreat coming up in a few days.
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 12/10/23 9:45 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/10/23 9:45 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2297 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
best wishes for your retreat!
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 9:32 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 9:32 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Reflections on emptiness

So I'm almost finished with seeing that frees (like 90%), and I'm actually pretty glad I'm finishing it. I think, weirdly enough, the end chapters make sense to me in more of a concrete way than the more conventional reality focused stuff at the start. For practice though, I think there is going to be one main thing I do from it (see below), and then I more or less am just going to let it stew, focus on SE, and revisit at a later time.

The construction of time and space make a lot of sense.

For space - someone on DhO pointed out "just think of reality as a painting starting at your nose" and that made it click for me. It also explains why meditating with eyes close seems so flat usually and why "spaciousness" really seems to be "boundlessness". I remember awhile ago realizing that "over there" only pops into existence when there is something "over there" like a sound, and then disappears with that as well. Today a monk was walking around the meditation hall, and it was interesting to see "over there" come into existence, disappear, and then be unfindable a second later - it disappears back into the flatness. So there does need to be an object and some sort of relation.

For time - the question "how do you know time is passing without the ticking of a clock?" seems to do it for me. I've also had a good amount of experiences related to time dilation, hard timelessness (on psychedelics), and a more soft timelessness in the 7th jhana (where you have no idea how long you've been there for cause there is nothing changing to act as your clock ticking). The stuff about the present moment still seems confusing to me though.

For walking - personally I hate their analysis of (stop, stop, ..., stop, motion, motion, ...) and saying "oh its impossible to tell when the motion started therefore it is empty!". I mean, obviously it depends on time, but take the first instance of motion to be the start of it, like this things do still have some chronological order, and hence there is a first. However, as any good noter knows, the movement is much more complicated than that. You might stay (placing, stillness, intention, lifting, moving, placing), and then It's not exactly clear where the "walking" starts, but thats more because its conceptually empty than because of the weird Xenos paradox.

Some things that have helped me in understanding are from Dreamwalker

To a large extent, you can understand emptiness as the non-application of concepts. That is, the mind no longer automatically applies labels to clusters of perceptions, which previously led to contact and triggering of sankharas related to those concepts.  As Uncle Sid said (something like) - just as there are no elephants in this house, and no chariots, the house is also empty of people. So everything is still 'there', dependently arising and passing away, but we no longer shoehorn it into our preconceived concepts and perceive it as enduring separate object.

Emptiness is closely related to but not the same as non-duality.  Non-duality is the relinquishment of divided knowing (vijnana, or knowlege of this and that), whereas emptiness is the relinquishment of name and form (namarupa, or conceptual overlays on perception).  Obviously there is some processing still going on in the sense data to organise perceptions into something other than white noise, and to place them in some spatial and temporal relationship to one another, but a whole huge layer of top-level processing is just blown away.  The result is access to highly pleasurable states (if those are thought to be important) and a substantial reduction in stress and negative reactions. 

So that is a 'logical' explanation.  But to access emptiness (or non-duality) you need not only the 'logic', but also purify all the contractions that twist you into the dualistic non-empty state. These include the inability to control attention, lack of notice or control over daily reactions, contractions in the autonomic nervous system that prevent full mental relaxation, unskilful tendencies programmed in by past experiences, autonomic pre-processing of perceptions into concepts, and ignorant dualistic notions of the world.  Often (but not always) emptiness emerges weakly at first, or in strong but temporary flashes.  I think of this as the subconsious trying out new ways of perception, or the perceptual systems (including the relevant cortexes) cracking off the rust and starting to realign.  Making emptiness more accessible takes practice. And relinquishment.  And then finally ... 

And from shargrol

Suffering is empty (a vivid but non-tangable mind state) and this is what gets realized. There may be difficult sensations, emotions, and thoughts... but when deconstructed this way, there isn't a "thing" called suffering. Suffering is what happens when individual sensations and emotions and thoughts get lumped together and psychologically avoided. Suffering is some dreaded thing over there that we don't want to experience. Extended awareness of suffering helps lead to this insight.


Awareness itself is similar to suffering. It doesn't exist as a "thing". If you look at awareness, what you see are actually vivid self-arising displays of sensations (and smells and tastes) and emotions and thoughts. Even if you go into jhana, you enter mind-states with particular qualities/bandwidths of experience, but not awareness itself. The name of the last jhana, neither-perception-nor-not-perception, gives a hint that even this experience isn't pure awareness nor pure nothingness -- even in this refined state awareness itself is a slippery idea and can't quite be grasped as a "thing".


Rather than saying that suffering and awareness don't exist, it's better to say that they are empty or "vividly spaceous". And really every thing is like this, all experiences both exist in some way (they are a vivid experience) and don't exist in some way (they are just a mind display). Emptiness doesn't mean non-existance. It means that the thing is not the same as it appears, nor is it unrelated to how it appears. Suffering, for example, is not really the "thing" that we initially see, but it also isn't completely unrelated to the discomfort, pain, anquish we experience. 

And this is actually a view I want to take into my practice - trying to see everything as a vivid display. I tried it this morning, and it does seem like how Rob talks about view thats lessen dukkah. I also think this is just the direct pointer version of emptiness, so I like it. The only thing I would add for myself is not trying to see "the display" as a separate thing from the things on the display.

This also vindicates me in an argument I got into maybe six months ago with some monks where I was trying to get them to explain to me how suffering phonologically was different from just unpleasant sensations, and I didn't feel like they could do it. (These days I take the stance its unpleasant + solidity = felt sense of shittiness)
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 6:34 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 6:34 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I had another integration-y insight today on the back off the "just let go and be free" insight the other night. I was reflecting on a combination of how pleasant and unpleasant things are so fleeting, and it feels now like I'm stuck in an ever-changing and ever flowing Now. And the big error of goal focused practiced jumped out at me - there's a part of me that's hoping for a switch flip into permanent happiness, and then it gets annoyed when that doesn't happen. But couple that with the being stuck Now, it basically means like if you want to get out of suffering, you have to make friends with the Present there is no other way around it - this is it bud. And you can't make goals. You're not going to be a healthy person tomorrow, all you can do is go to eat right and exercise right now. Like so many people, talk about reactive patterns because that is actually the knob you can turn.

Practice is going well. Tonight I found it to be fun to play between two different modes. Basically the first is expanding awareness out and just resting and letting the self flux in and out, and seeing the waves of sensations, etc. The second is just kinda dropping in and being curious about what's happening right now. Obviously they aren't mutually exclusive, but the former has more of an ethereal restful quality, and the latter definitely a more active and engaged quality and a different feeling (I mean I can even feel the curiosity as a mind factor).

After that sit and insight, it does feel like I'm back to excited about meditating, though. I think I'm out of my mini burnout after the 2-month retreat.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 7:25 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 7:25 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 5091 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Nice insight. Keep it goin'.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 10:59 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/11/23 10:59 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Awesome !!
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/12/23 6:17 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/12/23 6:17 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Today, practice was pretty chill. Daily life practice has been interesting, because there are a few bad habits I'm trying to work on (over eating a bit), and its interesting to see that most of what seems to be driving this stuff is there will be a small minor unpleasant sensation, and it seems that behaviors basically get initiated to find some pleasant thing as an attentional distraction essentially.

Another odd thing happened around 1pm. I decided to mediate in my room so I could recharge my phone, and when I was laying down, a feeling of tiredness popped up, but then the feeling spread throughout my body (although it wasnt excited tiredness persay, but like a neutral energy, but there was tireness in my head), and this energy body was trying to leave my body almost astral projection like. But after that faded, I feel asleep. I woke up maybe 20 minutes later, with a bad headache, but the head pressure has seemingly shed another layer. Now it feels duller, less unpleasant, smaller, and a bit more located centrally in my head.

The interesting thing is that it also has seemed to just fall below my threshold of what I consider to be annoying (it also isnt making my jaw clench or my ears want to pop anymore), so this evening I was just able to sit with it the entire time, and just see it be bubbly and warpy and fade maybe once or twice for a few minutes a piece
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/13/23 5:54 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/13/23 5:54 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
It seems like the diminished head stuff has stuck from yesterday. I do maybe 4 hourish of sitting throughout the day, and it was mostly just sitting there, and letting the head stuff warp back and forth, with thoughts here and there.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/14/23 6:19 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/14/23 6:19 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Alright, this is my last practice log of the year, as I'm about to go on retreat. I intend to write some notes at the end of the day and post them after.

But for practice, it seems like there are 2-3 kinds of sits I've been encounter. There is

  1. Some pressure in my head, my attention mostly rests on that for 1-1.5 hours, it oozes, maybe disappears briefly, etc.
  2. I expand my awareness out, and all the solidity in my head becomes softer. Sometimes I see a sense of self (most in terms of a body/subject) disappear, and reappear, and it's murky. This usually feels super restful, and peaceful, but like im not paying attention necessarily too well.
  3. Basically 1 and 2 combined, where I go to just sit, and Im already in this dissolved self state where things are wide and peaceful. This has the advantage of feeling both restful and aware.
So for example this morning sit was 2 (iirc), and this evening's sit was 3. But since the head pressure has gone down in intensity, 1 isn't as bothersome. But these three kinds of sits have been oddly consistent over the past couple of days. I have no real decision criteria for when I decide to do 2, but I imagine on retreat I'll do both just sitting and expanded awareness. Neither seems like better practice in a fundamental way.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 12/14/23 6:25 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/14/23 6:25 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Best of luck with the retreat !!
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/21/23 6:15 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/21/23 6:14 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Okay so this retreat is/was very atypical. Basically we do a 1 week retreat, then a few intermittent days, and then another. However since I'm a long term resident, I have way more chores, and the intermittent days aren't going to be heavy meditation days but more preparation for part 2. So part 1 just finished today, I was doing maybe 10ish hours of practice a day, and a good chunk of working and managing the retreat (so talking every day). But here are the logs.

​​​​​​​Day 1 - first third of the day was hectic. Had to help breakfast and lunch people with their jobs, lots of management. Very tired throughout the whole day, my head was slumping in meditation throughout the day. Got maybe 9 hours in total. Usual stuff - lots of head pressure in different forms, softnesses, existence states. Payed attention to different configurations of self and how they looked and noted many different kinds. Mostly noticing, some Neti neti, some gentle airplane landing. A good amount of the morning was spend angry and annoyed and diving into those sensations. During a period (I may have fallen asleep) I would go from a quiet mind, almost to getting super soaker spray with a string of weird mental activity, then my head would fall down.

Day 2 - morning workload similar to before. Head attachment super low basically all day except for a few minutes. Very tired in the morning, felt clear headed after lunch. Also morning felt effortful and after felt effortless. Had some head gently lowering down, also some head falling backwards. Later on my head would start to automatically nod “yes” or even shake “no” for a few minutes at a time (maybe 10 minutes total before both). Most sitting was just calm and peaceful just sitting. Had a few states of samadhi that had formless elements (could see and hear, but much less body, much more peaceful- probably lasted 20-30 minutes a piece). Had one recentish trauma memory come up, tiredness came up in chest and head like a bubble then went away quickly and it didn’t bother me. Later my mind went through a bunch of trauma memories back to back, then love memories, then sex memories and none of it stirred me at all. I would just sit down and then like 1-2 hours later feel done. 

Day 3 - spent the first part of the morning craving spiritual powers a lot. At first I was averse to it and was trying to reground myself, but over the course of the morning I first went to investigate craving to find there was really not much, then to treat it as a flowing stream of experience that can’t be cling to, and that approach helped a lots. Today there was more pronounced head attachments. Near the afternoon there was more flickering- colors behind closed eyelids, humming sound, and even my eyes twitching a bit, and flickering body sensations. For awhile I was focusing on the attachment in my head and watching it come in and out of existence, which would leave behind still a body but things still seemed to be in 0d. After about 1.25 hours I was getting a little frustrated so I switched into expansive awareness mode, and my sense of self just melted. I was in a semi formless state (there were still bits of my body), it had hints of nothingness, it felt flat, but mental activity ceased and it felt super peaceful. Coming out of that, I started to see the colors behind my eyelids turn into images of fire. This happened maybe 8 times or sou until I inclined my mind to follow the fire, and then I saw images of a burning house and forest. At this point I actually had to go refill our wood stove. Then when I came back to meditation maybe half an hour later I tried expansive awareness again. The imagery came back, but it started to be a stream. Each individual image lasted briefly and there was basically a temporal/spatial patchwork between rapidly shifting images. Eventually the imaginary got more dreamlike and surreal, but kept a lot of fire images. My mind was calm but alert the entire time with no sleepiness. This lasted maybe half and hour or so. 

Day 4- woke up at mind night and couldn’t get back to sleep. Head was definitely running and got caught in mundane craving for a whil, life plans and such, eventually it burnt itself out, and I focused on the diffuse thick energetic and unpleasant feeling. Was tired and angry throughout the day, but I did my best to just let it flow through me. At one point I used the best frequencies to try to calm myself down and nap a bit, and they called me down super fast. Even after that I was still off and on angry for most of the day. Later on the head pressure came back, it was more solid and irritating. Eventually I ended up paying close attention which seemed to move it and gave me the impression I could somehow control it, which I spend a while observing until eventually it died down and over moment to moment stuff became peaceful. And the head stuff seemed to die off for the night. 

Day 5- Woke up at 2am from some dreams that seemed to clearly resolve a lot of the life problems I was wondering about. Couldnt get back to sleep so I meditated in bed. Was tired in the morning. Lots of organizational disfunction today (more than usual) so I was angry. The anger would come in waves. Usually felt like a bit of clinging, energy and unpleasantness. Rested a bit for two hours with the binaural beats, but I didn’t sleep much, it mostly just put me in a calm state where I could se visual thoughts come and go very clearly. When I went to meditate later was still angry and when the anger would drop, a huge wave of tiredness would sweep over my body. At this point the unpleasantness was minimal but was more constant, and I was a bit amazed how little unpleasantness could cause so many ripples. Eventually that faded. Then afterwards there wasn’t clinging in my head and I noticed it going from things going from more formless (like clouds of energy) to formed and back and forth. Played a bit around with trying to do effort. It seems like it is mostly just tensing my body, but it does make “me” feel a bit more embedded in the sensations, and less like a separate observer, but it is very unclear to me what effort is or even if it really exists. For maybe the last two hours of the night things stabilized with no real attachment in my head. Also throughout he day with anger and thinking noticed how many gaps there were (related to the string of beads metaphor), but even during periods of heaving thinking, there is still like 50% silence between the thoughts, it is quite significant! Also throughout the day I was notice there would be small amounts of pressure in my head, but not enough to generate the sensation that there is someone looking (things still seemed in 0th person as opposed to 1st person)

Day 6 - last day of part 1. Had to run into town for some errands and when I got back it was over. Chatted to retreat participants. Most of today was little to no attachment, with a tiny bit coming back in the evening meditation. Very ordinary and mindful day, nothing really too notable.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/24/23 7:10 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/24/23 6:50 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
There was a COVID outbreak and the second part of retreat was cancelled.

Practice is going well. Todays sit was 80 minutes, and had about as strong sense of attachment in my head as I get these days. I was also trying to see if/when I was hooking into thoughts still, and it seemed like there was a bit but mostly when I just wasn't paying attention. The idea of paying attention is weird though, because everything is just occurring on one big space. But when there was more attentiveness, the thoughts would just pop in and out and not really be bothersome. It's helpful to be able to see my bodily state remain fairly consistent to during the thoughts, which seems to decouple the two a bit.

​​​​​​​Ive chilled out a ton about goals lately. I think it mostly has to do with it feels like I've settled into basically a constant stream of presence, where most of experiential reality is rich and vivid and effortless. That plus knowing on a deep level I can't make something happen, plus the fact that the constant presence has eroded the feeling (or shown the emptiness) of a boundary of formal sitting - like there isn't a huge difference between sitting, chores, walking around, etc. So I can't get more present, or somehow practice more. The sense of self and the need to strive have served their purpose. For better or worse we're on the ride. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/25/23 6:38 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/25/23 6:38 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I was reading Angelo's book yesterday and he has a section about beliefs, trying to be skeptical of them and verifying them with experience.

So last night I thought it would interesting to try to look at the belief "I am not awakened", from my momentary experience. It turns out it's problematic 

  • ​​​​​​so if you're enlightened you cycle through insight stages, but what is a cycle in a moment?
  • Okay you've had a fruition. But a memory of a non-experience seems very problematic 
  • There is no self. But I could hardly call this ball of attachment in my head that comes and goes a self...
  • Well suffering? I mean is there suffering apart from unpleasant sensations where a sense of solidity draws your attention into it? Plus there are times where there is no real unpleasantness...

Soooooo
 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/25/23 4:12 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/25/23 4:11 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Today's practice went well. I've been focusing more on the thought stream. It's basically like id be chilling in presense , a thought (visual or audio) would come, and sometimes they flicker but sometimes they propagate. They tend to flicker more when attention is on them. I realized though that the visual thoughts are mostly time travel thoughts, and the audio thoughts are mostly describing thoughts or conceptializing thoughts. Then it dawned on me that these are in some sense creating a "temporal self" and a "egoic self"; and so by seeing the thoughts come in and out and going back to presence that is seeing birth-becoming-death in a way (in addition to kinda the rupa self I was talking about earlier in my logs). Then near the end I tried to just watch the three facets of self come in and out of existence. There was a good amount of piti during the meditation. Some shaking, and I was laying down and my chest like tensed it's way forward.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/27/23 5:54 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/27/23 5:54 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
My formal sit this morning was pretty standard. A lot of just sitting and seeing the self come in and out of existence. The one last night was a stronger determination sit, where I resolved not to shift around at all and to see how pain and discomfort also create thought streams, solidified rupa and things of that nature.

Yesterday I went to nap in the afternoon and something very interesting happened. As I was drifting in and out of sleep, a few times I got into this state where there was just a white visual field and basically energy currents that felt like wind. There was no separation, no I, no effort, no struggle - just experience unfolding. After coming out I got the feeling that it was a glimpse of things to come. And it was almost a bit distorting to completely dissolve then come back. Like even the little bits of self and effort and control that I'm still feeling in these eq days are still radically different in terms of texture. 
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 12/27/23 7:38 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/27/23 7:38 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2297 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
nice, keep going! emoticon
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/27/23 6:50 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/27/23 6:50 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
So I realized I’ve been getting a bit lazy with my logs, but you can only type out “ordinary” or “head oozing” so many times. 

For daily life practice I’ve been having fun watching this body do chores automatically. It doesn’t need to think a lot about stuff, it just goes and does stuff, like automatically getting things for breakfast, putting them where they need to be ect. I also did a fun little test today where I used the stopwatch and lap function on my phone to see how frequently thoughts pop up. Usually it’s like 1 thought every 7-10s. So there is a lot of silence. 

Right before lunch I got maybe a solid 10 seconds of terror out the blue. I decided to just let it do its thing and it didn’t really turn into much.
 
I had one interesting session around lunch. I was laying in my bed, pretty caffeinated and alert, and everything became as light as a feather and the 45 minutes flew by like a breeze. The level of subtly made me realize something. It feels like I have a basically continuous mindfulness, but sometimes it drops out a bit, but really what was happening was the small bit of tension in my head, that acts as a pretty solid anchor/attention sink, will sometimes get to these subtle levels and that blanking out is what’s going on (plus the drop in the feeling of a seeker). 

In the evenings the little ball of tension came back, and felt very distinct, almost like it would pop. I was curious to see instead of just watching, what if I actively surrendered. It sort of merged into my head and created a flood of tingly and warmth. My head slowly tiled forward until it dropped all the way until my chin reached my chest. I let it stay there for a bit and it was just nice and peaceful. Eventually when I brought my head up my body felt very well defined and the active surrendering felt like it was pulling the energy in. 

Also during the retreat when I was confused about life paths, I told myself I would do my I Ching after the retreat was over (I’ve only done it once before and it gave pretty good results). 

The question was “how should I live life after the monastery?” And its response was 

No changing lines 

26 - Twenty-Six
Ta Ch'u / Recharging Power


Heaven's motherlode waits within the Mountain:
The Superior Person mines deep into history's wealth of wisdom and deeds, charging his character with timeless strength.

Persevere.
Drawing sustenance from these sources creates good fortune.
Then you may cross to the far shore.

SITUATION ANALYSIS:

There are important precedents in this situation.
Others have trodden this Path before you, overcoming the same obstacles facing you now, and making crucial decisions at the same crossroads.
Study their journals, watch for their trail markings.
Gain inspiration and wisdom from the heroes and learn from the mistakes of those who chose a sidepath.
All were Seekers, explorers whose daring mapped a course you can follow.
The words and deeds of the finest can imbue you with the courage necessary to face what lies before you.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 12/29/23 4:12 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/29/23 4:12 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Interesting sit this morning. So I’ve been having two kinds of sits really lately. More investigation sits, and more resting relaxing sits. I was having a more investigation sit this morning and it dawned on me that the investigation is really restlessness, a sense of a seeker, and lots of mental chatter haha. I was looking into the “mirror like nature of consciousness”, and it does seem like even when my body is formed I can usually “put everything onto a screen”. That is until there gets to be heavier attachment, which creates a first person perspective. This is baffling to me, but it feels like there is a me that is now jammed into the screen. And where does that come from??? How is this created sensationally? Like I don’t get how this works and is created from pressure, smaller focus, etc. it seems like a non-sensation based phenomena which seems weird. I also noticed when a feeling of tiredness came up, it was like a cloud in my head, but it was more “on this side”, and I think I’ve been identifying as a person when I rest (which is why it feels so good), but when I noticed that the cloud moved gently to the other side (thanks cloud!). The other thing I looked at was awareness. Awareness is a weird thing, because it doesn’t really seem like it exists. Like experience just comes in where it is and that’s that (normally I’m good at seeing space come into and out of existence). However there was one moment where it did feel like there was some sort of space that things where coming into and out of, which means I need to investigate more. 


Anyways the run in with sleepiness reminds me of one of my favorite dharma-y song lyrics 

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's cloud's illusions, I recall
I really don't know clouds at all

9am  sit immediately started a restful sit. What was resting? Well my body was relaxed and pleasant. The grinding in my head relaxed a bit, but the unpleasantness felt like a need to relax more. Vibrations slowed down. Head started to droop. Slumped back in chair. Everything became light. Thoughts were slip in and I’d find myself thinking. 

After lunch I went to lay down for meditation for awhile. Everything felt light, peaceful and spacious. Two hours basically flew by, but then near the end, you know how you can make positive pressure in your head? And it might pop your ears and it makes like a light engine turbine sound? That started happening automatically, and really loudly, and really intensely. It was strobing in and out. During it I thought “is this it?”. After 10-15 seconds in ended. Then it immediately started back up again and then ended. 

After the meditation it seems to be happening off and on now. It seems like the head pressure is now making that muscle contract (it was making my jaw clench before). According to ChatGPT 

The muscle you're referring to is the tensor tympani muscle. It can produce a rumbling sound and is involved in dampening loud sounds, as well as aiding in equalizing pressure in the ears, which may cause the popping sensation.

Afterwards I took a shower and got back to meditating. This time when I sat down my body was filled with tension and fear. My head shook for a bit. Eventually all of this calmed down, and my body was so peaceful and perfect. Like it was light, and pleasant, and solid but no attachment. Periodically some tiredness and tension would arise in my body, but it didn’t bother me at all. 
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 12/29/23 7:34 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 12/29/23 7:34 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 5091 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Awareness is a weird thing, because it doesn’t really seem like it exists.

It will be worth your time at some point to explore this. And regarding the arising of things like self and awareness, it might help to think of the word "assume."
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 12/29/23 5:49 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 12/29/23 5:49 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
So whatever ear muscle thing was going on seemed to stop. But whatever energy release thing happened yesterday seems to have stuck. Walking around feels so nice. During day to day stuff there isn’t much of a feeling of pressure in my head anymore. Everything feels like it’s happening in the place it’s at, things feel even and balanced. Everything is nice and peaceful. During sits the head pressure does come back, usually for maybe 20-30 minutes, but does seem duller and more gentle today. My mind does seem a bit more thinky today, but I’ve noticed that usually happens when some sort of attachment drops for a day or two.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 12/29/23 7:29 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 12/29/23 7:24 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I did pick up a copy of "the principles of Buddhist pyschology" by kaluphana from our library. So far it's actually the best book I've found in terms of just explaining how the the Buddha model consciousness, self, the stream of experience, etc. It makes the explicit point that the Buddha really did consider these things to be a stream of consciousness/experience (somehow DO and words like 'stream entry' never made it clear to my ass), I think partially because it's kinda assumed in the background, and also partially because there are other models that don't assume it, but this isn't really explicit stated anywhere. Plus tons of people talk about  objects of meditation/perception/of the world. A weirdly deep "oh duh" moment 

The sayadaws parting advice of being with "the flow of objects" seems to have more meaning than I caught onto.

It does make the awareness question more potent. Because the Buddhist model is that experience precedes consciousness (from the eye organ and form arise visual consciousness), whereas others (Kant, adivta Vendanta) take it the other way of a space of consciousness that give rise to experience. But that would/could be a self! 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 12/30/23 6:00 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 12/30/23 5:59 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
This morning I tried to “stay with the flow” of things. It was a very different meditation. At first things were changing super rapidly. It felt like I had to apply a constant and moderate effort just to keep up. Since everything was changing so fast, there was no place for conceptualizeton or getting lost in thought. Thoughts just became a part of the flow. But it was a constant flow changing moment to moment everywhere! There wasn’t time to see if things were this side or that side. All I could manage was to surrender, and there didn’t feel like a separate I or anything (what could be an I in this continuous constant flow). Near the end things slowed down drastically, and the flow kinda congealed back into objects, and things went back to feeling “regular”. 


"Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"​​​​​​​
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 12/30/23 9:28 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 12/30/23 9:28 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Very good. 

Keep exploring. Surrender to the stream. And when you can't surrender then surrender to that. 

That book sounds interesting. ​​​​​​​I just started the Dhammapada.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 12/30/23 9:42 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 12/30/23 9:41 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
I'll add. 

Changes in meditation can bring about changes in state. 

The state changes are nice but they're not themselves an indication that the change in meditation is "working" 

It's actually the deepening of the practice that's important, through both desirable and less intoxicating experiences. 

​​​​​​​
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/1/24 6:02 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/1/24 5:55 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Yesterday was interesting. I was definitely angry for maybe 30 minutes in the morning from a mix of being over caffeinated and deal with a lot of dogmatists. I say the caffeine bit because it felt mostly physical even after I had walked and cleared out everything.

i was trying some of the string of beads method from seeing that frees. It is kinda interesting because even in EQ where things don't flicker, they kinda fade out really subtley and become part of the background, so you can still see tiny holes in them. This was interesting with my head attachment because there are a few components to it, unpleasantness, pressure, and attachment, and you can usually see one aspect of it completely fade out and get a hole in it. But it also worked with sleepiness too.

later on in the night a bunch of people wanted to stay up all night and meditate for nyes. At first I didn't want to, but then I kinda convinced myself it would at least be fun bragging rights (like how often do things like that happen). And so I started to meditate at 6pm. I was doing th string of beads stuff with my head pressure, until it sort of dissolved into energy that went over my whole body but eventually it completely dissolved. Then I mostly just say there peacefully for hours and hours. Space felt/generally feels pretty equal with no center. Experience feels light. My stomach was bothering me a bit because I had some dehydrated milk which causes me issues (not really bothersome but loud). Around 11pm my motivation to stay up and grind things out had gone so I just went to bed haha.

i will say one thing I've noticed a lot is I'll get angry, motivated, wanting to try X, etc - and all these things last for like 10min - 1 hour, and then I'm just back in super chill don't give a single fuck mode. It's pretty interesting 
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 1/1/24 7:44 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/1/24 7:44 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2297 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Geoffrey B
i will say one thing I've noticed a lot is I'll get angry, motivated, wanting to try X, etc - and all these things last for like 10min - 1 hour, and then I'm just back in super chill don't give a single fuck mode. It's pretty interesting 

This is where 6 Realms teaching/practice can be interesting. We see ourselves as being reborn as a angry hell being (angry), ambitious asura/powerful god (motivated), desiring human (wanting to try x). And we can watch how this birth in this world view grows old and dies and eventually becomes another rebirth in another realm.

hell being - hot hell: anger, cold hell: seething hate
preta/hungry ghost - greed/addiction
animal - conforming/enduring
human - lacking/desiring/chasing desires
asura/powerful or warring gods - jealousy/ambition
deva/god - pride/maintaining

when you are born into a realm, you fall for the illusion/promise of that world.

when you wake up to the fact that you have been born into one of these realms, then you are like a buddha that can be/exist/comfort/teach in that realm and relate to the beings there without needing to leave it

​​​​​​​
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/1/24 4:11 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/1/24 4:11 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Huh I've seen you talk about this in a few place, but this does seem like a good time to look into this.

"when you are born into a realm, you fall for the illusion/promise of that world."

That seems like the thread to pull. When I crave an ecig, what's the promise? (That smoking right now would alleviate the subtle discomfort).

When I'm angry at someone over attainments or what not what's the promise? (That my beliefs are correct as is and will get me to a place of happiness). 

for animals it seems that detuning will make unpleasantness not arise.

for humans - there is salvation, you just have to work for it, understand something, etc.

for titans - you're a good person, you've worked hard, you deserve their thing. You're so smart and clever and they aren't, what an injustice! Oh my!

For Gods - Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!

But they are all focused either in a substantial past, avoiding the present, or the promise of a good future 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/1/24 6:12 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/1/24 6:12 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
A weird light went off in my head today. So I started the thread on do views change experience, and basically everyone was like yes. 

Then the obvious question is if this is true, why not then just cultivate a good view? Like metta. (I mean after Daniel talking about how it's good magic, rob talking about it in seeing that frees, all the vipassana teachers making you do it on retreat I guess I finally picked up the hint haha). 

So I'm committing to doing metta at least in the morning and evening for a few minutes for six months, rain or shine.

Tonight I tried it and it went well. I wished it would to specific people for a few minutes and then radiated it to the six directions for another few minutes. I found it to be very sticky in that the warmth feeling then lasted basically the full hour, and I was a lot more gentle with sensations. 

Two interesting thoughts popped into my head while meditating. The first was that "if all beings I encounter are mental fabrications, then the metta wish of 'may all beings be happy' could actually happen" (not sure exactly the implications of this statement). Then when you do metta you can use mental images, specific sensation, behavior patterns, etc. Rob talks about how you can use anything because they are empty. So it really seems that metta is working on a level of the fabric of reality itself. Anyways it seems like emptiness + metta is truely a mindfuck I don't comprehend fully. 

Who knew that Morpheus' red pill was really mdma. 
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 7:34 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/1/24 8:27 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 5091 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
There's an underlying reality that we just don't have direct access to but that clearly exists, even though the mind has to build the interface we see/hear/feel/taste/etc. Without that there'd be no shared experience and we'd all float around terribly alone in our own fictional universe.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 1:03 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 1:03 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2641 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"do views change experience"

Do experiences change views? 
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 1:06 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 1:06 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 730 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
The beings who we encounter are real. It's our perceptions of them that are mental fabrications. Other people's suffering, for example, is real. There are all kinds of things going on in the world, and they all impact each other. Our ways of seeing go into the mix but there are other things too.

The interactions between views and the world are important but not simple. For one thing, it is hard to change a way in which we are seeing until we know what that way of seeing is. Finding out is often a long and delicate process. Another thing is that it is hard to predict the impact that changing a view will have until we try it. 

Metta is a great sauce for life. I find that generating metta for people around me does appear to make them happier, but I am 99% sure that it is only because it makes it easier for me to really pay attention to what they are saying and genuinely care about how they feel. It's not a magical thing, it's a practical thing. It's not the generation of metta itself that is having a direct effect. It's the real-world respect and attention that impacts their mood. And it doesn't always work. In some circumstances, people get really pissed off when they find themselves the object of metta. It's a complicated world. 

Right View is at the top of the eightfold path. It's important. But, as you know, the list doesn't stop there. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 5:58 AM
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I'm not sure that's true though, I'd say that the belief in an underlying reality would be what Buddha would call an imponderable question because there is no direct way to empirically prove it with sensory experience. I'd also say the experiences of lucid dreaming (where the underlying reality seems shakey) and cessation both seem to throw a wrench into the ontology of existence 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 6:00 AM
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Yes. Citation: Personal experience :p
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 6:09 AM
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RE: Geoffrey's Logs

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Perhaps. Philosophical zombies do make other beings hard to reason about though. And saying their suffering is real is an interesting way to phrase it. It's real in the same sense my suffering is real (likewise saying they are real in the same sense I am). 

practical vs magical also depends on view. To the magic people, I think they would see it as a way of altering the world around them (like think about manifesting or whatever), which pragmatically speaking makes it practical 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 7:13 AM
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RE: Geoffrey's Logs

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This I think is an interesting podcast episode to throw into the conversation at this point. The preceding few episodes and following episodes are similar and also good as well! (The link is to episode 183, the url says 179 cause that's where the series starts)
​​​​​​​https://www.philosophizethis.org/podcast/episode-179-consciousness-hard-problem-l8d98-td63g-47g5g-nfwhy
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 7:35 AM
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 I'd also say the experiences of lucid dreaming (where the underlying reality seems shakey) and cessation both seem to throw a wrench into the ontology of existence 

Can you elaborate on this?
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 8:28 AM
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Well so there’s an assumption going on that there is a single underlying reality, which causes both dreams and waking reality. But what if we take the idea of realms seriously for a second and ask “okay what if there are two completely disjointed and separate realities, waking and dream reality?” (Or three if you include the nothingness of cessation), that your consciousness goes between? 

The other way to work the assumption is to ask,  instead of saying there’s an underlying reality we have some distorted access to through our senses, what if there is nothing beyond the experience itself? You might imagine brains in a vat without brains or a vat. 

But this all leads us to the fundamental question, using just your sense data, how can you prove there is anything beyond your sense data? 
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 8:45 AM
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But this all leads us to the fundamental question, using just your sense data, how can you prove there is anything beyond your sense data? 

This begs the question - what kind of proof are we seeking? To put a stake in the ground, I think there's an underlying reality behind our experience. I take the commonality of shared experiences to be at least a minimal "proof." The legal system relies on this, to provide one example. If we're looking for some form of irrefutable mathematical proof well, I don't think there is such a thing. But we all act as if there is a reality that we share, and natural selection has provided us all with a common interface (our senses and our mind) to use to experience this. Finally, believing there is no underlying reality seems silly and odd to me given how our life plays out in real time.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 10:26 AM
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RE: Geoffrey's Logs

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just to clarify I'm not saying I believe there is no reality, I'm saying I believe there are lots of options and you cant decide between the any of them for sure. But I think just like how rob talks about how picking and choosing views to lessen dukkha, I think you can put on different metaphysical hats at different times.

For example, when looking at how people view politics with how polarized it's gotten it might be more useful to assume we don't live in the same reality when it comes to facts and news we see. If you were trying to treat a schizophrenic and t might be useful to assume their reality is a bit different. If you want to do vipassana in a lucid dream it might be useful to question basic assumptions (like do you even have all your sense gates?). Also since you mentioned the legal system, it's no secret that rich people and politicians have a different system essentially. 

I guess one corollary of emptiness and "there is no inherent way a thing is" would by extension be that there is really no consensus reality. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 10:56 AM
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Speaking of all this, you might enjoy the book "the man who mistook his wife for a hat"
Olivier S, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 11:18 AM
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Tetralemmea, guys, tetralemma! 

I like these verses by the IXth Karmapa in the Ocean of definitive meaning.

Appearances are mind

Mind is empty

Emptiness is spontaneous actualization

Spontaneous actualization is self-liberation.
"Under-lying" literally translates to "sub-stance".
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 1:28 PM
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... you might enjoy the book "the man who mistook his wife for a hat"

I did! I've read that twice over the years and I can see it over there in the bookcase. To return the favor, you might enjoy "Ten Zen Questions" by Susan Blakemore. Sam Harris' wife Annaka (she's smarter than he is) wrote a nice book I'd also recommend called "Conscious, A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind." Finally, I'd very highly recommend Donald Hoffman's book "The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes."

All three of these cover the topic of how the mind produces our experience, what we call "reality."
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 6:02 PM
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The viewing experience! 

The experiential view! 

...

​​​​​​​...
emoticon I give up! 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/2/24 6:36 PM
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Back to the regularly scheduled programming. Todays meditation went interestingly. The metta was fine and stuck around for maybe 30ish minutes but didn't seem to influence things downstream (like me relaxing my attention more). The head pressure came back, at first I was trying to do more emptiness stuff where I zoom out and look for certain attributes fading and deconstructing things the object that way. However what I found more useful and engaging was letting my attention be zoomed in on it and focusing on how almost temporarily it shifts so fast that it doesn't seem to really be super coherent. When the tension was in a more relaxed phase, I did notice that the scope of attention seems to mostly just be a bounding box around the prominent sense objects coming in and out of awareness. Eventually the tension relaxed all the way, attention went wide, and it felt like waves coming in. 


Also a yogi with a background in math and pyscadelics as well as a dislike of Abidhamma metaphysics is finding a home in Madhyamaka. Turns out he is a Epistemological solipsism after a lot of vipassana. More news at 11. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/3/24 6:23 PM
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RE: Geoffrey's Logs

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Today mediation was good. I did a tiny bit of metta (already my desire to make this a habit is pretty much gone, especially after a friend pointed out that the levels of metta I was talking about would be a level of control you could call a self). There was a good amount of head pressure tonight. It was more amorphous, lava lampy and sometimes it would diffuse over my upper body. Maybe 45 minutes into the sit it seemed to fade a bit. There was a good amount of thinking tonight, but I never got sucked in, or field like it was anything else than objects of meditation.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 1/4/24 3:57 AM
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RE: Geoffrey's Logs

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"

I would have lava lamp blobs in the peripheral visuals and then around 45 minutes it would flatten and spread out which is the EQ stage. 

Thinking is not an issue. In EQ all just does itself. Arise-passing ... ... 

Oh but EQ is nice! Maybe I could own this EQ experience so to be enlightened all the time being like this, EQ-ey Buddha! emoticon emoticon 

​​​​​​​Please excuse me being silly! emoticon 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/4/24 4:20 AM
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Ok friend 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/4/24 6:51 AM
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Today I woke up very angry. When I crossed into the meditation hall it dawned on me “I have been born in a hell realm”. So I got to work 

“Is hell permanent?”
Well it seems to be four parts, angry thoughts, angry mental state, unpleasant head pressure, unpleasant tightness in my chest. Each for component fades out for a bit, so there are holes in the parts.

“Is there a way hell is?”
No it’s four pieces, but no pieces seems to be “essential” (later on in the sit hell would come back with different pieces)

“Is hell changing my view?”
Well the anger is spawning angry thoughts, that’s making me tense up, and making the unpleasantness stick around. It seems self perpetuating to an extent. 

Later that faded. There was a little bit of sleepiness, some craving and anger came back once. But things felt very flowy. So I decided to zoom out attention to practice the insight “objects are constructed” (by going to a relatively object less place). This was pleasant. Sometimes visual thoughts would appear mid screen, but wouldn’t last too long. Occasionally attention would collapse down a bit (usually to something trying to become an object) and I would just open back up. A couple times my body jerked like when you’re sleepy. 

"And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts
And I looked and behold, a pale horse
And his name that sat on him was Death
And Hell followed with him"
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/4/24 6:39 PM
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RE: Geoffrey's Logs

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Tonight's meditation was much more self-y than most, I can remember, recently. The pressure in my head came in, but attention was zoomed in on it, so that it really felt like the scope of the frame was my head and shoulders. Interestingly enough, the test I always use to figure out if there is a self or not (does visual stuff seem first person or zeroth person) broke down when i realized even from this zoomed in perspective, sights feel the same. The pressure was subtle and morphy a lot of the time, but would strengthen up and become irritating, and at one point I felt restless and like I wanted to escape it, and it also just kinda sucked and was unpleasant. Around half an hour I was feeling restless and kinda wanted to stop the sit, but kept sitting for an hour (most of the annoying irritation stuff came after). Then near the end things calmed down as the system just decided to sit through the self-y unpleasantness.

I thought it could also be useful to write out some of the things I believe (or at least think I believe) to see my view:

  • I'm generally deep in EQ, and close-ish to stream entry
  • There is nothing magic to do to get SE (no special state of samadhi, retreat, practice, or grinding it out with hours will do much) [and as much as I say this, behaviorally I've been getting very into emptiness lately so there's that - but there is not a whole hell of a lot to do at a monastery during winter so  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ]
  • Most things on the path have been pretty loud and obvious to me personally, and SE will be as well
  • Formal sits aren't an important thing, like mindfulness is such that most waking moments are 'meditative'. And since attention is always kinda on, something like noting every few seconds isn't experimentally changing anything except adding thoughts to space
  • Just sitting there in formal sitting is fine. Deconstructing things is fine. Inquiry is fine.
  • The bit of head pressure left in my head is the final bit of gross attachment that needs to 'flip over to that side'. It's been flipping over in layers, it could be more layers left or just one. It basically happens randomly.
  • Only the present exists in a meaningful way, but the present seems to be a teeny tiny ever shifting temporal window
  • With this broad, spacious awareness, basically all mediation techniques just seem like a wrapper around mindfulness. 
  • My ability to get into Jhanas and what not has basically faded out for now (but I never really was a huge fan of them anyway, so I'm not really trying)
  • A part of me thinks that attention may stay broad after stream entry? (But this seems weird to believe, but Im not sure how it could revert to how it was at the start of this path?)
  • I do get stirred up around talk of attainments and stuff. A bit jelous/angry.
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 1/4/24 7:10 PM
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RE: Geoffrey's Logs

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Geoffrey B I thought it could also be useful to write out some of the things I believe (or at least think I believe) to see my view:

* I'm generally deep in EQ, and close-ish to stream entry

* There is nothing magic to do to get SE (no special state of samadhi, retreat, practice, or grinding it out with hours will do much) [and as much as I say this, behaviorally I've been getting very into emptiness lately so there's that - but there is not a whole hell of a lot to do at a monastery during winter so  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ]


Probably nothing to do, but it's hella magical what you need to intend

* Most things on the path have been pretty loud and obvious to me personally, and SE will be as well

* Formal sits aren't an important thing, like mindfulness is such that most waking moments are 'meditative'. And since attention is always kinda on, something like noting every few seconds isn't experimentally changing anything except adding thoughts to space


Formal sits are very important. It's where the magic happens. Don't skip a day.

* Just sitting there in formal sitting is fine. Deconstructing things is fine. Inquiry is fine.


It can't be an "anything is fine" vibe, it has to be a "gently and consistently straight ahead" vibe.  You might not know what you're doing, but it should have a "leading onward" feeling. Feel for your cutting edge.

* The bit of head pressure left in my head is the final bit of gross attachment that needs to 'flip over to that side'. It's been flipping over in layers, it could be more layers left or just one. It basically happens randomly.


Sounds good, that might indeed be your cutting edge.

* Only the present exists in a meaningful way, but the present seems to be a teeny tiny ever shifting temporal window

* With this broad, spacious awareness, basically all mediation techniques just seem like a wrapper around mindfulness. 


Rather than relaxing in broad, spacious awareness... get curious about this teeny tiny ever shifting window -- if the window is your attention, what lies beyond the window? Nibbana perhaps?

* My ability to get into Jhanas and what not has basically faded out for now (but I never really was a huge fan of them anyway, so I'm not really trying)
* A part of me thinks that attention may stay broad after stream entry? (But this seems weird to believe, but Im not sure how it could revert to how it was at the start of this path?)


heh, heh. This is again showing how you're clinging/identified with broad attention... 

* I do get stirred up around talk of attainments and stuff. A bit jelous/angry.


Good. Anger and jealousy is good if it motivates cutting edge practice. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 1/5/24 2:58 AM
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RE: Geoffrey's Logs

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Over time formal sits add up to more than stream entry. Cumulative gains my friend. This is premium tier content right here. This one trick will make all the monks jealous. 

​​​​​​​
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/5/24 6:07 AM
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Thanks shargrol!

bahiya - there are so many people who meditate everyday for decades and don't attain anything (!!)
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/5/24 6:09 AM
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RE: Geoffrey's Logs

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In the morning I was trying to use the temporal window as my object. At first objects were well formed, so it felt like you can be at the knifes edge of time. As things soften it began to feel like falling, and then becoming my body, then like balancing, and then costing along on a ride. There were a few points where objects became so faint and moved so slowly time felt like it slowed down almost to a stop (although thoughts disagreed). Also there was one point where things felt kinda frame ratey, like it was discrete packets of things. Near the end I think I was sleepy, thoughts would take up the whole visual screen, and it just felt like the lightest clouds passing through or like nothing was really happening or changing. Occasionally during the sit I would use the phrase “straight ahead”. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 1/5/24 6:29 AM
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Great stuff. Don't be put off by anything that feels super normal, sleepy, boring. 

All part of the process. 

"bahiya - there are so many people who meditate everyday for decades and don't attain anything (!!)" - there's room in the premium tier for everybody 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/5/24 7:09 PM
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Tonight's sit mirrored this morning's pretty well. It started off knife's edge ->; surfing ->; flickering ->; peaceful floating ->; full body, head was there, no attachment. But then much to my surprise the cycle basically started over and repeated. This time what was different is the head attachment didnt feel as flowly, it felt more like a rock. More stable, and a bit less intensity. Also for the second round instead of flickering I shook for maybe 30 seconds. At the end of the second cycle there was a huge amount of peaceful, but tired energy. It made me yawn, and cry a bit. Afterwards there were a few mini cycles surfing ->; shaking ->; floating ->; surfing .... Then another full cycle. Then another kinda disjoint cycle where the pressure seemed so tiny and diffuse, like if i just kept attention up it might disappear, and right as it was about to happen, a cycle completely. Then I was left with a pretty small, but constant gentle pressure in my head, that didn't really have boundaries. It had been about two hours at this point so I decided to wrap up.

Other notes. I kept using the phrase "straight ahead" and it seems to work well. It hooks me back into the meditation, and gives me a little push to keep going. I also think one way to look at the focus is im trying to stay precisely on the current moment, almost getting ahead of it. But the spatial view almost feels like im trying to "shove myself" into my sense and become full embedded. The spatial version helps when things dont feel as flowly (like during the peaceful parts of the cycle)
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/6/24 7:41 AM
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RE: Geoffrey's Logs

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There seems to be a realm missing in the six. Limbo - it’s like walking through a dark and cold forest, too dark to discern where you are or where you’re going. Sometimes you hear creatures, and it scares you, but other times you are utterly alone. Its marks are confusion, isolation, defeat, fear, and sadness.

Today I started off in limbo for maybe two minutes. This quickly turned into a hell realm, but that didn’t last long either. For the next 10-15 minutes I had off and on anger. Eventually the thought popped into my mind of putting down a beloved pet and I was hit by a wave a of strong sadness. The sadness also was off an on, but after the thoughts disappeared my mental state seemed fine, so it was more the emotional and physiological core of sadness. After that I was irritated for a few minutes and there was an annoying humming in the background, and finally for the last 10 minutes of the sit did everything chill out.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/6/24 8:53 AM
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Reflections on the middle way and emptiness -

So I've been re-reading seeing that frees (after a first skim through), and the Westerhoff book on the MMK (extremely good, highly recommended - I think he does a good job trying to engage with Nagarjuna on Nagarjuna's terms and doesnt try to shoehorn him into Western thought). And I just wanted to think through some of my thoughts (ignoring the thin individualness of a thinker who thinks for now emoticon ).

What’s interesting is these two sources seem to come at emptiness completely differently, so it might be fruitful to make sense of them both. So one of the things the philosophical introduction does really well is it keeps highlighting that these things we make great use of (cause and effect, motion, etc), don't exist 'from their own side', and instead rely on how our brains chop things up to make sense of what is going on. So for cause and effect, you might imagine making a list of all objects/events at time T, and then the same at time T+1. Then, when you define an object/event at T+1 as the effect, that post-hoc creates a set of events/objects at time T that are the cause. So really without how our brains chop stuff up creates these interactions. This leads to

Jan Westerhoff, argues that Nagarjuna's thought is a kind of anti-foundationalism, "which does not just deny the objective, intrinsic, and mind-independent existence of some class of objects, but rejects such existence for any kinds of objects that we could regard as the most fundamental building-blocks of the world.
And I think this idea of anti-foundationalism is not a bad way to build out emptiness into a contemplative practice. Like if you take something like "this was a meaningful experience and helped me grow", obviously none of that exists 'on its own side', and so you can begin to deconstruct that into pieces, and you can see that interpretation is just that, and interpretation. But you can do this on any level - is there a way coffee cups are? is there a way this particular coffee cup ever is? is there a way sadness is?

The foundations of a thing are a powerful route into deconstructing it. What are the pieces? How do the pieces constitute the whole? Are any of them essential? Are there gaps in the foundation?

Rob's stuff is a different approach, for sure. I think the first part of his book is kinda emptiness of view, and it's a lot of what you might cover in therapy of how like reasoning through the lens of the ego isn't always right or helpful. From there it really seems like his thesis has a Theravada lens on it, and the main tool for deconstructing it is Jhanas. Like he basically says everything is created through clinging, and when you start to do formless realms you give up this clinging (to a body, then to space, then to consciousness, then to most things) and those micro hits will cumulate in insight. FWIW his version of insight seems pretty different from what I'd say (also he definitely shits on the POI map, the dukkha nanas, etc in the book, which I thought was funny that his petty politics comes up). To me, this strike me as a post SE practice book, because that's when jhanas become more prevalent. His thesis seems a bit weird though, because like it does seem to subtly say that the formless realms are somehow more 'real' (ie less clining, less fabrication - but it seems to undersell, its equally empty!), but like he does know arhants still have the 5 aggregates? And even from where I stand it seems like clinging is the thing that keeps stuff 'on this side' and when it gets go of it flips to the other side. Like I don't think clinging can play the role in the construction of This that he implies in the book. Anyway, this book is also interesting because I got about halfway through and everything had perfectly matched with my experience, and then it started to diverge. But most of the insights he had talked about up to that point I had figured out fairly naturally, so I'm left kinda wondering, when Im second path and doing jhanas, will the emptiness need to be pointed out to me? (Im not sure it will be).

But yeah I think the useful takeaways from robs book for right now is the pragmatic relativism to bring to things (ultimately there is an objective - to lessen dukkha, so there are ways of seeing that are more or less helpful. But tbh I generally feel more motivated to understand the Truth of things.), also the fact that the “observer dependent” nature of things applies to other people too, so you really can’t neglect the subjective or conventional when dealing with others.

A good question he gives:

What am I making this mean?

I think the best way to summarize everything: you build the building blocks, and you build everything else then from the building block. Even the you and the building are being built.
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 1/6/24 9:11 AM
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Like I don't think clinging can play the role in the construction of This that he implies in the book

Pay careful attention to what Rob Burbea means when using the word "clinging," especially in the latter chapters of "See That Frees." As I recall (it's been years since I read it), he presents a stage-dependent version of the process of realization, so it's cumulative. What he says we see as we start the process is very different than what we see at the later stages.

EDIT for clarity: In the end, Burbea proposes that "clinging" in a very light sense is what causes the creation of a subject/object duality. In other words, it's ever so slightly dissatisfactory to have any kind of experience at all. Without any clinging whatsoever, there is no experience.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 1/6/24 10:26 AM
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I've attained nothing! I've lost it all! 

Like an Onion, pealing off the myriad layers ... lost it all ... where is it? Dunno! What was? Dunno! Where did it go? Who? Dunno! 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 1/6/24 10:42 PM
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Seeing that frees isn't necessarily post-SE it's just that the foundational stuff is at the start. 

For me emptiness was just a word until around third. 

It's a great book and has the potential to be useful to you at many different stages and you may get a different read from it at different times in your life. 

If you're doing a re-read I'd deep dive all the foundational practice. Generally around where he's talking about the three C's. Doing that consistently over time and working towards the sevenfold reasoning practice would build a great foundation for eventually practicing emptiness. That was my own basic trajectory. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/7/24 4:16 AM
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RE: Geoffrey's Logs

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Oh no you've lost it papa! Well I suppose it would be rude of me not to offer to help you find it. The Mahayanan people say everyone has Buddha nature, so let's close our eyes and try to find it real quick. *three two one*. Did you find it? Yeah you're right, I only saw the six sense gates too. No Buddha nature or enlightenment to be found!

I think we need a different strategy. Maybe if you dropped it, it fell around into a tricky spot. I know! Let's use a mirror to look in spots we normally can't see. Unfortunately I don't have one handy, but what we can do is polish this tile into a mirror. Surely then we can find your enlightenment!
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 5:52 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 5:52 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
A bit behind on my logs. DhO keeps crashing at night with a null pointer exception, which gives me flashbacks to college hah.

Anyway about two days ago I realized what the methods I was trying out were doing was basically - there was a separate sense of an all pervasive watcher that was somehow disconnected from the sensation, and those were basically trying to embed myself in/become the sensations. So I started to take that route more directly. So I was trying to almost push myself into my body. Some interesting things happened. During the day I kept getting flashes of sense acuity across vison, tactile, and at lunch even taste (it was the most amazing things ive ever tasted in my mouth, it was like fireworks). Then in the evening I wanted to try to intend to let go of my head attachment. I could feel my mind trying to relax my head, but it ended up causing me to shake pretty intensely for a few minutes, my head to shake, and for the jet engine sounds to come back.

Yesterday was much more busy. I was helping a monk here with some license stuff, had a job interview (well my friend wants me to come work with him, so more like a meeting to see if I wanted it), and a catchup call. But in the evening meditation I was super sleep and my head keep vigoursly nodding yes, and visual thoughts would basically overtake me and get me hooked in.

Today I decided to try out using a bit less effort (I was overefforting a bit), and honestly it basically brought me back to silent illumination practice. But it was good, with less effort less attachment gets made. And then attention is more intimate with the body and the attachment in the head lessened and became more flowly.

While you are practicing just sitting, be clear about everything going on in your mind. Whatever you feel, be aware of it, but never abandon the awareness of your whole body sitting there. Shikantaza is not sitting with nothing to do; it is a very demanding practice, requiring diligence as well as alertness. If your practice goes well, you will experience the 'dropping off' of sensations and thoughts. You need to stay with it and begin to take the whole environment as your body. Whatever enters the door of your senses becomes one totality, extending from your body to the whole environment. This is silent illumination.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 6:12 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 6:12 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Also it is very weird to have a body 
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 10:41 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 10:41 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 730 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Yes, it is. Maybe you don't. For clarity, I don't mean, maybe there is no physical body.
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 1:06 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 1:06 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 5091 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
It is weird!

The relationship between our mind and our physical body is a mystery. Our mind doesn't have any real visibility into the thing, other than nebulous sensations of various kinds. 
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 1:56 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 1:56 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 730 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Yes, very weird! Also, the meaning of "have" is very hard to pin down when we look into it. 
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 2:12 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 2:12 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2297 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
And is my mind in my body? or is my body in my mind? emoticon 
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 2:41 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 2:41 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 5091 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Both. Neither. Like everything else!
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 3:13 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 2:56 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2297 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Each time I look for my body, I find my mind.
Each time I look for my mind, I find my body.
And yet, far from being feeling futile, this is always a rewarding result.

And, at last, when I finally seemed to find my mind-and-body,
it lasted for only a few moments,
​​​​​​​and then something changed beyond mind-and-body.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 4:19 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/8/24 4:19 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Knowing this body is like foam,
​​​​​​​Fully awake to its mirage-like nature,
Cutting off Māra’s flowers,
One goes unseen by the King of Death.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/9/24 5:57 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/9/24 5:57 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Last nights practice went very well. I think I've hit a very good balancing point. Focusing gentle on my body and breath gives me a bit more engagement moment to moment, but also gives me spaciousness so my attention doesnt get sucked into the head attachment and exacerbate it. This makes it so I can see it a lot more clearly, and it caps the level of shittiness and grippiness that it gets up to. But tonight I was able to see it with different levels of water and earth, and also see that the gripiness doesnt always lead to shitiness, just sometimes. I was also able to see clearly how the grippiness and shittiness leads to thoughts of craving, restlessness, etc. As much as it embarrasses me to admit it, this has been a thorn for so long because I’ve let it be a thorn for so long. The moment to moment engagement is a nice change of pace after a lot of do-nothing because I dont feel like Im just waiting around for Godot.

One interesting thing I've noticed is that sometimes it will feel like I dont really have a head, and there will/wont be attachment. If there is attachment, it just feels like its floating in space. And it feels a bit like there is an observer that see my body and maybe the attachment. Othertimes, there will definately be a feeling of a head, but in the same non-obtrusive way there is a body, and then it feels like im much more embedded in my senses.

This morning wasn’t too special. There was a more diffused dull pressure throughout my head. As I sat it basically linearly went away over maybe 45mi and when it reached the bottom i shook for a few seconds. Then it arose and passed here and there, and a few times I was completely overcome by strong emotions but I dove into them and fully became them and they passed quickly. In general this seems like a great way to deal with the strong emotions that have been popping up - it makes me seem them as papar tigers 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/9/24 7:40 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/9/24 7:37 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Meditated a lot today (like 5ish hours), mostly because its winter and things have slowed down dramatically here. Anyways, for the first few hours, things were pretty chill and pretty consistent. It was mostly just a dull, spread out attachment in my head slowly fading. Then during my last two-hour sit, the pressure started morphing and moving around a bunch, changing in size, etc. I was also getting nicotine cravings (I've been having bad cravings for the past few weeks). There was a moment when I was trying to go through the standard stuff, "the cravings will pass, the pleasure you get from smoking passes" etc. Then there was a moment where I was looking at the changing sensation of my head, but then also the ones in my body. And the whole picture kinda looked like maybe tennis ball size clouds/cotton balls coming in and out of existence, and it also dawned on me the "self" phenomena is also moving around that fast (it keeps being in different parts of my head and moving constantly). So not only was the body not a stable self, but really the self isnt stable at all either. Both were/are a super unstable house of cards, and the moderately stable constellation of stuff that I had been using as a reference (at least in that moment) was no more. There was no person or stable entity to crave to enjoy nicotine.
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 1/10/24 4:39 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/10/24 4:39 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2297 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Great investigation/insight!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 1/10/24 12:17 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/10/24 12:17 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2641 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/10/24 7:27 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/10/24 7:27 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I probably got like 4.5 hours of stting in today.

This morning was similar to last night. I can feel the looker constantly moving around my face. Also my body/thoughts/attachment is just coming into existence like bubbles, one bubble at a time, so it’s very easy if craving or a thought comes up to just wait for the bubble to pop. Perhaps this is groundless-lite. Space seems pretty stable now though.

I was pretty annoyed, angry, upset, afraid for a couple hours this morning as well. A mix of things that kinda just built up on itself. During my afternoon session, this just completely dissolved after about an hour of sitting. During that sit it seemed like it would alternate between what was happening this morning, and a more stable view that was happening before. Afterwards it was extremely peaceful for a few hours.

Tonight the sit again had components of both stable, and body/face fluxing. Every time things got stable though, my mind naturally started to look for the looker, which was moving around constantly as a weird fluxing in my face. This also had the effect of gradually making the head pressure lessen. But occasionally the stability would win and it would feel like there was just a constant looker as the pressure in my head. Eventually it died down into tingles in my body and a very light pressure in my head, and then eventually everything went formless for maybe 5-10 minutes. The pressure in my head returned, but without an attachment component and it was interesting to see that, and the pain in my legs (this was like maybe 2 into that sit) be there and be unpleasant, but be fine and formless. Then afterwards everything reformed, but things were very peaceful.

The thought also occurred to me that maybe the bouts of fear, anger, annoyance, head tension, are like mini dark nights. I think one model for DN/EQ could be that the DN is basically when there is a lot of clinging, so a huge sense of self. But obviously those are impermanent, so when they fade, the clinging and zoomed in go away, and that leaves you in EQ. But when they reappear, you "fall back into" the DN. However, as you let this process continue, eventually things "flip over" (ie the clinging gets perma dropped), and so the average bottom of the DN cycles gets less shitty every time.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/11/24 5:41 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/11/24 5:41 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Morning sit was really just big broad and peaceful the entire time. Occasionally getting sucked into a thought here or there.

2.5 hour sit after breakfast. Similar to te morning sit. Some very subtle sensations. Some thinking. At 1:45 stretched my legs for a little. At 2 my head would nod down occasionally. Afterwards my knees hurt but not as much as you’d expect.

1 long sit after long - similar to above, except i got sleep so I decided to take a nap

1.25 hour evening sit - started off with some <5s bursts of fear (mostly that I was cycling in the DN). Eventually the feeling of being hurt came up for a few minutes, and being sad/disappointed came up for a few minutes. Tried to hold all these with gentle attention. Then things alternated between almost being able to view my hold body from third person perspective (a bit OOemoticon, and more first person from being inside my head. Eventually it settled on a first person perspective. Then it basically cycled between everything being chill, a slight pressure in my head, and the occasional pop up of anger or something.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 1/12/24 6:05 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/12/24 6:05 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2641 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Is this the moment when a Zen master would smack a student with a kyosaku? emoticon 



Just kidding emoticon emoticon emoticon 
​​​​​​​Best wishes! 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/12/24 7:08 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/12/24 7:08 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Idk man, I think I could use it right about now if we're being honest...
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/12/24 6:23 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/12/24 6:23 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Last night was interesting. I was laying in bed and couldn't fall asleep. The head pressure was up, and in a moment I thought "why am i pushing this away its just another part of experience. Be here now" and I could feel some of the attachment dissolve then.

This morning's sit felt big open and peaceful again.

For about two hours in the mid-morning I got extremely angry. It felt like an energy that was all-compassing though (like it flavored space itself) , that I couldn't hold onto.

This afternoons sit I was very tired and my head kept dropping, but aside from that broad peaceful and nice.

For a 45 minute sit this evening, the head pressure came back. But this time it stayed under the level of "needing to do something" like it never got unpleasent enough for me to feel like I had to make space bigger, settle my mind with my breath, etc. It wasnt pleasant, but suddenly manageable in a continuous way. There was some shaking.

About half an hour later I did another hour long sit, and you could tell the pressure was starting to die down naturally. It was more peaceful and broad, but still had a bit of the pressure, but nowhere near as obnoxious.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 1/13/24 2:08 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/13/24 2:08 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2641 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/13/24 5:54 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/13/24 5:54 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Couldnt make this morning's sit because I had to drop someone off at the airport. There was a bit of head pressure during the drive, but it mostly felt non-intrusive, although it would sometime be unpleasant and get to a moderate pressure intensity.

Sat three 45 minute sits today, and they all felt similar, so I'm going to roll up up into one general report. The all started off with a good amount of vibrations. These were hand and body vibrations and felt "deeper" like when youre at a concert with loud base. Also some high pitched ringing in my ears. These usually drop off like 30/40 minutes into the sit. The pressure sensations in my head have seemed to have mostly flipped over to the other side, and now just seem to be a part of the broad flow of stuff (it does feel cool! like all of space is one big ocean just slowly flowin'). Occasionally, but not very often, the pressure does appear to be kind of a partial object? Like the bottom half of it will have an edge or something or that it's on "this side" (however the idea of 'this side' seems to be starting to get pretty murky. Like its unclear if the pressure is on 'this side' or is just a more defined object in 3d space).

So yeah it seems like whatever ram-dass flavored thingy happened last night has been persistent today. Thanks Daddy Dass!
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/14/24 6:37 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/14/24 6:37 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
It's worth noting, these last two days, daily life stuff has been fantastic. Basically all today and a huge chunk of yesterday I've been walking around, feeling great, peaceful, loving life. Visual acuity has been sharper than normal and things seem beautiful. I've been regularly just walking and sitting in the woods and enjoying the trees and stars until basically the point my body becomes painful from the cold. There is a huge sense of space, and no real this side or that side.

Today was a busy day though. I got two sits in. The first was after a huge amount of work, and little sleep. So I was tired, and there was a lot of head pressure, and it was most a grind it out sit. Not very pleasant.

The second sit was great though. Just shy of two hours. It started off with a moderate amount of head pressure, and it dawned on me that I was still trying to look at it, so I just tried to relax and accept it. Then it got fun to be with (also softened quiet a bit). I realized the looking was creating a sense of an observer. I tried to go even more gentle. Then I noticed that it was really two things happening - the head pressure would come up to the foreground, then another pressure more around my jaw which was much more subtle and vauge would switch places with it, and it was this latter sense that was creating the sense of an observer. Then I just used the tiniest amount of gentle attention, and basically just watched these two go back and forth into the foreground and background for probably an hour? Its like they were dancing. Over time they both started to dimish, and as they diminished other things would start to wave into attention (like piti in my hands, ringing in my ears, having a body). I was getting very excited that I was figuring it out. Eventually, they both faded and I was left in a unified space of stuff, with things coming in and out like waves on an ocean. The ringing in my ears started to chop in and out (like turn on and off), and that initially freaked me out because thats never happened before. I stayed with the fear with my gentle attention, and then everything went decently formless with a broad amount of space. Eventually my foot started to hurt (first pain of the two hours), and when i readjusted it, i went back to a more regular "everything in one unified space", and decided to wrap up the meditation.
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 1/14/24 11:00 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/14/24 11:00 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 730 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Excellent!
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/15/24 5:51 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/15/24 5:51 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
This morning sit went well. It started off with a small tension in my head. I gently noted it. A few minutes it I got body distortions (it felt like I was a giant), then I stayed with the head pressure. It mellowed out and eventually faded. At certain points visual thoughts would come up in the wavey form too, I could see them usually arise and pass. They were very clear, high resolution, and took up a lot of the visual field. They also lasted a long time (like from a quarter of a second to the longest was two seconds). There were probably a dozen or so of these? They were stuff like the forest, the monastery during summer, someone rearranging chairs, etc. For one or two, they were spacious, full field, and detailed enough it felt like I was there…

did another 45 sit mid morning, and about an hour lay before a nap, and not going to lie, i dont remember them well. I was very tired in the mid morning sit, and had some head pressure? Then the afternoon lay there was little bits of gentle pressure, but i dont remember anything else.

Tonight I sat for 1.5 hours. No pain or anything. There was a gentle pressure that eventually gave way and then I sat in broad space. Everything was coming in going in waves, even occasionally head pressure, but also my body. Some piti and energy flow. Right before the sit ended a bigger head pressure came in but quickly faded.

During today, the pressure that has come up during daily life has always been gentle and very subtle.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/15/24 5:59 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/15/24 5:59 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I don't know why everyone seems so jazzed about these spontaneous awakenings. These spontaneous naps seem like where it's at right now emoticon
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/16/24 6:19 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/16/24 6:19 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
The two earlier sits today weren't anything special. Some light head pressure, ringing, and body vibrations.

After my nap today, I woke up to my whole body vibration pretty intensely. I felt well rested, and there was a high amount of sensory clarity. It felt like every sensation was effortless presenting itself, so i meditated on that for maybe 20 minutes.

In the evening 2 hour sit there was a lot of head pressure (well a lot for what I get these days). At first I was trying to gently note it, but at a certain point I switched to "instead of watching these, try to inhabit these" like sort of merging with the pressure and stuff. That greatly diminished the head pressure, but almost like concentrated it together. After that, I started to get the full field visionary stuff again, and this time (probably because I was much more awake an alert) I could easily see that most of them had a 3d component. However, they were much grainier than the other day. But it still created a sense I was there. Again it was different places around the monastery, but a distinctly different set of locations. After that the head pressure came back, and was relatively concentrated. The merging feels a bit weird, because it usually focuses on the head pressure, and that usually is creating a first person view. There was a few minutes though were the merging felt like "it completely worked" and there was just my whole body sitting there, with a denser head pressure, but no first person view, and the body felt stable. Afterward this faded, and went back to the more wrestling type feeling it normally has with the squirming head pressure.

One more interesting thing to note is the "awed to be in nature" feeling has left. I feel kinda bored these days. My desire to read anything spiritual is basically zero. I did spin up a few episodes of a philosophy podacast which was interesting enough.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 2:14 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 2:11 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
 I feel kinda bored these days. My desire to read anything spiritual is basically zero.

Nice, a-ok to let all that go, there are times when it's useful and times when it's just feeding a habit. Keep sitting. 

Lethargy, disenchantment, disinterest, chronic non-chalance. A-ok, keep sitting. 


​​​​​​​I've never had those kinds of visuals. Sounds cool. 
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 5:47 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 5:47 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2297 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Keep it very simple. Keep noticing the sensations, emotions, and thoughts that are happening -- even the sensations, emotions, and thoughts associated with "noticing" or "being aware" or "knowing". It is what it is. 

Don't make any experience into a problem. "Problems" or "obstacles" or "frustrations" are just more sensations, emotions, and thoughts. They are not really problems or obstacles or frustrations unless you fail to have a complete experience of them as they are. Experience them intimately, but don't make them any bigger or smaller or different than they are. It is what it is.

No mapping, no strategizing, no manipulating. Straight ahead!
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 7:19 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 7:19 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
This type of stuff has been sprinkled in here are there since my A&P. I think my mind has a natural talent for being able to construct new places, like lucid dreams, etc. It is very trippy to watch reality form in real time. My hunch is that this might turn into a deep emptiness practice down the road post second path.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 9:21 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 9:05 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
As someone with a very magical background I do want to offer a piece of advice. It is advice I wish I had received myself though likely at the time I would have ignored it. 

I offer it only as someone who has read quite a bit of your logs here and it is purely an intuitive thing. Feel free to cast it off into the underdark and forget it. 


As you cultivate more powerful concentration be very gentle with lucid dreams, remote viewing, divination, intention, magic, spirits, jhanas, psychedelics... Whatever you're having yourself. 

These are the places my neurosis often festered as I moved through the paths. Power can be rather seductive and a high powered mind can tie itself up in all manner of extravagant knots. 

The devil's game is all about leverage. If you've got something to win then you've everything to lose. No matter how you shuffle the deck, if cravings the game, you've got a losing hand. 
​​​
I heard once a tale of a banshee. On a dark night when the fog rolled in off the sea. A young fella, fierce drunk and daft with the banter, began hobbling his way home. The fog being thick he couldn't see but an inch from his face which of course made the journey a terrible danger to his person. For bogs and cliffs and every manner of treachery awaited him if he chanced to veer off from the path. 

Now you might think this a divilsome matter. But I'll raise you twas worse. For the Devil himself came up from the pit, weary of the hosts of hell. They do be moaning and bickering something awful, that is of course why we do not wish to end up there. They say the noise is atrocious.

Anyway, eager to get into a little mischief and seeing the precarious path that lay before our good friend upon the road. The devil throwed out every manner of vision and fancy that'd be appealing to a young man like himself. Hoping he might be seduced from the road and out into the fog. Where every sort of evil you could imagine, and several varietys you'd rather not, would be done upon him. 

So as our fella walked down the road, inebriated as I've already mentioned, he began of course to veer and stumble. But as he approached the edge of the road, and the sheer drop of a cliff that twas there, a great and howling voice did roar in the distance. Hearing it he grew alert and corrected his course. 

Further, as he walked he swore he saw strange lights upon the hill and slender figures there dancing round with streaming ribbons in their hair. They beckoned him to join them but as he stepped towards their party the voice rang out once more. Hearing it he grew alert and corrected his course. 

At last, the road being a long one, he came up on a familiar house. Warmth poured from its windows, sweet smoke wafted from the chimney and all the finest friends and familiar gathered about the doorway to welcome him within... But as he stood before the gate, a gate so many times before he'd entered, he heard that fateful voice echo once again... 

"Hah, mighty stuff, sure twasnt his gaf at all. Only a trick"

"Twas his gaf alright" 

"Nevermind that, what about the voice?"

"The voice?"

"Sure what was she saying man? The banshee"

​​​​​​​"Straight Ahead!"
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 10:02 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 10:01 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Yeah, I think you're right on the money. They do seem very seductive from time to time. My big worry though is that whether I want to or not, this may be stuff I have to deal with. Since my A&P I've been a pretty straight vipasanna practitioner, however I seem to have high concentration (I've gotten into pretty hard jhanas a couple of times, and up to the 7th on my mahasi retreat). In addition, I'm not inclining my mind towards strange things - like the visions, waking lucid dreams, strong dreams at night, etc. But they seem to be coming up anyway. I worry as I go deeper and my concentration becomes deeper naturally, that they will become more developed as well.

In a big sense of irony, my fortune warned me against this

There are important precedents in this situation.
Others have trodden this Path before you, overcoming the same obstacles facing you now, and making crucial decisions at the same crossroads.
Study their journals, watch for their trail markings.
Gain inspiration and wisdom from the heroes and learn from the mistakes of those who chose a sidepath.
All were Seekers, explorers whose daring mapped a course you can follow.
The words and deeds of the finest can imbue you with the courage necessary to face what lies before you.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 10:03 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 10:03 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Aye Aye captain, straight ahead!
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 4:35 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 4:35 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
This may be stuff you have to deal with and that's ok. The thing to be aware of is any meta cognition that becomes attached to having these experiences or thinking it's responsible for them.  

I'm not so visionary myself but I've had a few elves in my attic over the years. Stuff comes up. The great thing about the middle way is that it can be neither real nor unreal. 

With fortunes that pithy who needs dharma friends emoticon
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 6:02 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 6:02 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Morning sit and prenap lay were pretty normal today.

I had an hour and a half interesting sit. I started off gently noticing the pressure and my body would wave in then the pressure back and forth. They would all just subtle float into attention. Eventually a more formless component came in, and the form around the pressure dissolved. Interestingly enough my mind started taking the formless elements as its objects with the other objects backgrounded, back and forth with the pressure and occasionally my body and face would come back too. There were a few bits of like energized strobing around my head, and my eyes fluttered and jaw vibrated. Then the pressure disappeared, the body came back and I could see the underlying sensation without the clinging, with no sense of an observer. After a few minutes the attachment came back again but was a lot more pleasant, like a balloon massaging my brain emoticon . I did a second cycle of the above, and the energetic fluttering was more subtle. Then eventually the formlessness died down and the attachment came back, but diminished. I did occasionally break shargrols rule about not manipulating experience by swallowing a few times when my mouth was full of spit, but I'm just a bad boy like that emoticon

About 20 minutes after, it was time for our evening sit. I only sat an hour (only! haha). The head attacment came back in full force. The main differences I noticed was that the vedana has moved pretty squarely into the neutral camp after always being in the vaguely to moderately unpleasent came, which is nice. Also normally my attention would go back and forth from head to attachment, but tonight it seemed to be going from attachment to open space. When the attachment died down a lot, it mostly just felt like my whole body sitting there, with some pressure in my head.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 6:08 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/17/24 6:05 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
This may be stuff you have to deal with and that's ok. The thing to be aware of is any meta cognition that becomes attached to having these experiences or thinking it's responsible for them. 

That's good to hear! I feel you always just hear these intense warnings or just meet people who straight up dismiss it, and then its easy enough to pysch yourself out about it
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/18/24 6:28 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/18/24 6:28 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
This morning sit was all subtle. There was sometimes when it felt like a whole body sitting there, other times when I was in my head, more in the back of my head. Again my attention would go from head to space. Sit ended in a very peaceful formless place

Consciousness has been expanding and contracting all morning. It comes onto my body for a bit, and then expands to space, then back down onto my body, etc. it’s likes it’s breathing.

I rested on the couch for like an hour and a half. I didn’t fall asleep, but my body was so light and gentle. Then consciousness would expand to gently be everything, the come back down. So nice.

In another lay before lunch, it kept flipping back and forth until eventually the head pressure stuff just seemed to completely go over to the other side and any tension pressure or moment just seemed to be a part of space itself moving. Some light visions, a few at the monastery, some at places that seemed unfamiliar, less 3d this time, more like memories.

Since then, big wide open space now seems stable and constant.

Meditating after lunch and all the weird tensions and stuff came up and just kinda integrated themselves where they were. Then my body got soft and I napped. Zzz

Meditating in the afternoon some of the head pressure stuff is still there but formless, still goes and runs through my head. But it feels like much less of a big deal in the whole big space. That meditation sometimes seemed peaceful and sometimes boring.

In tonights meditation the head pressure came back with a vengeance though. It grew to be massive (most of my head and neck), extremely grippy, and moderately unpleasent - the high magnitude of stuff I can remember in recent memory. It did its tricks like the constellations that normally would give me a 1st person view impression, but this time my attention didnt get shoved down into it. There was space the entire time. That whole flurry of stuff emerged, died down, came back stronger, etc, until eventually it started to lose steam. My attitude the entire time was basically like "lol, okay whatever dude". It never really bothered me. It didnt really seem 100% on "the other side" and seemed more like a tall guy sitting in front of you at the movies. Eventually it died down to just a fairly static low grade pressure and i called the sit 80 minutes into it.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/19/24 6:00 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/19/24 6:00 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I forgot to write down how this morning sit went, and at this point I've forgotten. TBH I don't think anything memorable happened, which is a reason i didnt write it down.

Just finished a two hour sit which went interesting though. The first hour I was really sleep. Memories pop up and definitely caught me a few times and had that feeling of returning to mindfulness after getting absorbed into them. About an hour in my head nodded hard and that woke me up. After that things got interesting. It felt like my attention turned into a sequential mode, going from thing to thing, only for a couple moments a pop. Then the rate at which stuff came started to become faster and faster, and at the peak it felt like I could hardly keep up. There were even moments it felt like it landed on an "I" sensation only for that to get drop basically right after. Eventually things slowed down a bit, but they still felt jumpy near the end.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 1/20/24 4:43 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/20/24 4:43 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2641 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"I forgot to write down how this morning sit went, and at this point I've forgotten. "

​​​​​​​emoticon emoticon emoticon 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/20/24 6:19 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/20/24 6:19 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Realized after last nights sit that I was over efforting. Me trying to use gentle noticing made it be not gentle.

This morning i was to see if I could do nothing, and that immediately got me to gentle noticing space. For the first part of the meditation there was still a feeling of tension with the effort but eventually that went away and it settled into a very nice place of just being there with everything as it was happening right then. Some head pressure stuff. But generally a nice and pleasant sit.

Layed for two hours and didn’t sleep. My body and attention felt very soft and gentle. At first I kept getting swept into thoughts and was a bit adverse to them, but I just kept doing nothing and watching and they started to pass and my mind calmed. Some head pressure stuff. Eventually the softness switched and the pressure in my head felt very raw, like it was the muscles themselves in my forehead tightening and contracting and what not.

Had an interesting sit in the afternoon. About 1:40. Basically I sat down, everything was soft and gentle. Head pressure was there, and my attention auto focused there. Today it felt different and was moving around to places it usually doesn’t go, like the crown of my head, flickering more, changing in size more. I got excited figuring maybe if I just keep paying attention something will happen. Eventually the softness faded, but the pressure kept doing its stuff. At a certain point I started shaking yes, and nodding no rapidly, in small movements but at a pretty high frequency for maybe 10-15 minutes total. Eventually the pressure went away (I think after the head movements). I started seeing rapidly shifting vision for maybe 20 minutes, then there was a sensation like I was falling and and my spine immediately straightened, and my body felt very heavy. Furthermore the sensation in my head felt much more “real” and I could see more parts of them at once and they seemed more complex.

The last sit was like 1:15. Standard head pressurey stuff. Things felt clear but pretty plain. The only interesting thing was about halfway through, it dawned on me that the reason all of todays sits have been going so well, is once I get settled, then the meditations are happening all by themselves! Thank god what a relief. Maybe this new guy can help me find nibbanna....
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 1/21/24 1:09 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/21/24 1:09 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2641 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"it dawned on me that the reason all of todays sits have been going so well, is once I get settled, then the meditations are happening all by themselves! "

... and the settling down wasn't happening all by itself? emoticon ... 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/21/24 5:46 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/21/24 5:46 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Couldnt fall asleep last night for a few hours and just felt the head pressure going at it.

Today the head pressure has been significantly less all day. Heavy chore day though. I did a 50 minute sit in the morning and the head pressure just did its thing until it eventually vanished at it was very nice and peaceful for the rest of the sit. I was tired though so I kept nodding down. 1:40 sit in the evening. Nothing too exciting. The pressure came, and would cycle between being flat at the front of my head, and more of a ooze above my mouth. Lost some strength near the end.

I did nap today for a few hours, so I suspect I wont be able to sleep easily and will get a few more hours of practice in later.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/21/24 5:50 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/21/24 5:50 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
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finding oneself, modified 1 Month ago at 1/21/24 8:01 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/21/24 8:01 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 347 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko
"it dawned on me that the reason all of todays sits have been going so well, is once I get settled, then the meditations are happening all by themselves! "

... and the settling down wasn't happening all by itself? emoticon ... 
LOL
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/22/24 6:22 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/22/24 6:22 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Three sits today. First one was 45 minutes, head pressure was a pretty stable meditation object. would go flat diffused then ball back up. Second sit was 1:30. Very little head pressure, basically gone most of the time. Attention would flow everywhere. I was also very sleepy so I kept nodding, and there were times where it felt unclear, but I stayed aware the whole time. Third sit was 2 hours. The head pressure was weird this time. My attention kept going back and forth between it and my face for the first hour maybe.  It felt more solid and like rods. It did feel different though this sit. My mind became stubborn to try to see if I could do a long sit and finish the job and have it flip somehow. Just kept gently noting though. I got pretty intense skin crawling and shivers, and at a point the humming in my ears basically dropped down and things went very quiet for a second. The head pressure kept moving back, and then near the end eventually felt  like it almost went down my throat.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/23/24 5:36 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/23/24 5:34 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Lots of sitting today. The first three (40 minutes, 1:45?, 1:00) all had a similar pattern. After last nights sit, I wanted to try to be welcoming. So they all started with attention on head pressure, eventually opened up to space, and then eventually all went to a super peaceful tranquil state. The second ended with me coming out of that state super concentrated (as evident by the colors on the back of my eyes super blobby and hyperactive), and I felt everything going on in 3d crystal clear and changing super fast.

The next sit (1 hour), there was head pressure, but also a lot of micro-emotions (fear, craving, doubt, etc), so i ended up reverting back to labeling.

The last sit (1 hour), i felt tired and burnt out going into it. I noticed these and eventually it faded. Then my sense of self was going crazy. It felt like I would be in my face, then in my head, then in my body, then formless, etc. Eventually it settled so I felt like a body sitting there, but everything kept constantly shifting and my body kept morphing and remaking itself. It was straight out of the kronenburg sutta. Eventually things settled, but I had a strong feel of feeling everything in 3d space, all kind of "at once". I opened my eyes near the end to help things settle, and I could see things undulating between 1st person and 0th person.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 1/23/24 5:37 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/23/24 5:37 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
It was straight out of the kronenburg sutta.

Made me laugh !!
​​​​​​​
Eventually things settled, but I had a strong feel of feeling everything in 3d space, all kind of "at once"

Cool, keep exploring whatever arises. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/24/24 6:12 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/24/24 6:12 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
30 minute sit this morning. Mostly just head pressure grinding through.

2:30 hour sit later on in the morning. It followed a similar pattern as yesterday. Head pressure to space and back and forth, eventually that settled, then launched into a deep tranquility, where my head would occasionally slowly drop. Coming out of that I was excited because now I was on the cutting edge of practice. Head pressure came back very solid. Excitement was replaced by fear. Hands were sweaty, body hurt in a few places (probably around 1:45 at this time), stomach unsettled. Eventually it passed. Things ended up feeling more normal for a bit and then I ended up back in tranquility land.

2 hour lay. My attention went straight to the head pressure. This was mostly in my jaw. It built up up and up and then eventually disappeared. It moved around my jaw from place to place and gradually seemed to lose steam as it did so. Coming out of it though it seems as if some of it got dissolved. Head pressure felt much lighter across the board. Also seems to have stopped bubbling (at a certain point in the lay I could feel muscles relax and the bubbles stopped)

1 hour sit - more head pressure. Light little bits of head pressure. I would stay with it until it dissolved then it would move slightly adjacent. Did this until it went all around my head and then seemed to die off. Then out of nowhere my left hand released a huge burst of flashing energy and I could feel it all the way up my shoulder, and I could feel the electricity in my flow for a bit after. Afterwards the pressure came back but as a big flat thing with multiple parts so I relaxed my attention. After awhile it dissolved, and my attention stopped caring. There was still a big pressure in my head but it felt like it flipped. Afterwards I still feel a tiny bit of grinding in my head, but only a microscopic amount. No weird jaw grinding during that sit.

1 hour more sit- this time some head pressure appeared at the back of my mouth, upper mouth area. Stayed with it. Eventually it turned into a tension oozing around my whole head. Eventually that died down, and for a brief 30 seconds everything was on the other side and it was glorious. Then little subtle bits of face kept coming back and it was hard to tell if they were on this side or that side. Then like my body came back, and it felt like "I" was kinda like the skeleton that went up to my neck, and there was a bit of solidy head pressure that we me to. grumble grumble grumble....
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/25/24 6:12 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/25/24 6:12 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Then out of nowhere my left hand released a huge burst of flashing energy and I could feel it all the way up my shoulder, and I could feel the electricity in my flow for a bit after.

definite transverberation energy here 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/25/24 5:44 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/25/24 5:44 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Hour sit in the morning. Head pressure came up. It felt super weak and gentle compared to yesterday. It didn’t take up the center stage on my attention as much but my attention naturally stated on it. It did its thing of expanding, solidifying, formlessnessing, etc. eventually my attention hard switched over to looking at everything. A few minutes into that the pressure dissolved, and I just sat there, as everything, super chill like. In the few minutes afterwards, the subtle grinding appears to have vainished when i walk. But it does seem like there is this ever so slight teeny tiny pressure still there.

Hour long sit. Vague pressure came back, solidified and spread. Sat with it awhile and awareness eventually turned spacious, but maybe at the 40 minute mark. Eventually there was an energy blast in my head for a few moments, it felt very similar to the hand shock yesterday, and the pressure lost all of its solidity and became very fluid and starting going all around the place very quickly.

Over the afternoon, the pressure basically comes back to where it was awhile ago - very pronounced, oozy, and big. It seems like most of the unpleasantness/grippy part is gone, and my mind mostly seems unbothered by it. But it did come back intensely. Like at one point it seems like it had fully solidified in my head and I hated it and all my face muscles were like tightened pretty hard (figured out that it was reobservation, relaxed and it basically all vanished), but then there was a big amount of like pyschic pressure all over my head for a couple of hours afterwards.

During the evening sit I decided to try completely unhooking my jaw. Seems to help a lot with the weird build up of stuff in the head. Causes me to yawn a bunch though, shake more, and some of the muscles around the side of my skull and neck to clentch up a bit (3d space awareness coming in handy I guess). Overall these seems like a better way to handle this than what I was doing before.

But like what the fuck is this? Im not super concerned that its a medical issue (like you see a pretty good amount of head pressure reports on DhO, and it doesnt seem to fit the bill for Sinusitis). But like what the fuck is goddamn nonsense?
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 1/25/24 5:55 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/25/24 5:55 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
So...

Head pressure stuff is weird. In my experience it can be sinus issues, allergies, posture issues, pelvic floor issues, energetic stuff, meditating too much, meditative stages, etc. I had crazy head pressure stuff go on for months last year that was similar to an allergy(??) issue I get but it wouldn't go away and it was also similar to how my head feels in the early nanas. Turns out it was an issue with a muscle inside my pelvic floor which is mostly fixed but I still get the wierd allergy and notice discomfort in early nanas from time to time. 

... it could be anything, it could be a number of things. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/26/24 7:27 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/26/24 7:27 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Yeah I had this big story that the head pressure was just the remaining bit of attachment to a doer/seer/controller. Then when it released it would go away. And then it flipped and nothing.

​​​​​​​Howd you figure out the pelvic floor issue?
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/26/24 6:06 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/26/24 6:05 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Today was more heavy on chores, so lighter on meditation. Honestly, it was a good break. Plus it was 65 today after two weeks of being in the 10s so good to go outside.

This morning sitting was very light and easy. No head pressures or anything, just inhabiting and being alive. Very nice and peaceful. Some switching from body to space and the like, but nothing crazy.

Around the afternoon the head pressure came back. Its much different today though. It definitely feels more like something my body is doing, and it doesn't have that attachment. So its way more tolerable, and do I even dare say, interesting? Cant remember much of the half hour of meditation I snuck in around then.

Meditated for maybe 45 minutes in the afternoon while I was in the waiting room while a monk saw a doctor. There was head pressure, it did build up, at a certain point it felt like big parts of my skull were really solid. Eventually I got into a deep peaceful and tranquility space, with not a ton of form. Eventually I came out of that and felt super rested and alert (so maybe I was conscious during light sleep or something). Eventually the head pressure stuff climax, and then over an hour slowly went away.

Was back by the time it went away. I went for a walk, and everything was light, in 3d, and just happening on its own in place. This was super refreshing and lovely, but after 15 minutes I got bored.

During the evening sit, I started off getting some very subtle attachment to my face. Then a gentle head pressure, more in my forehead. Then the head pressure came back (the big one I usually talk about in my sinuses). But never really up to the levels it got to even this afternoon. It feels noticeably less of an issue now.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/26/24 6:08 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/26/24 6:07 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Today was more heavy on chores, so lighter on meditation. Honestly, it was a good break. Plus it was 65 today after two weeks of being in the 10s so good to go outside.

This morning sitting was very light and easy. No head pressures or anything, just inhabiting and being alive. Very nice and peaceful. Some switching from body to space and the like, but nothing crazy.

Around the afternoon the head pressure came back. Its much different today though. It definitely feels more like something my body is doing, and it doesn't have that attachment. So its way more tolerable, and do I even dare say, interesting? Cant remember much of the half hour of meditation I snuck in around then.

Meditated for maybe 45 minutes in the afternoon while I was in the waiting room while a monk saw a doctor. There was head pressure, it did build up, at a certain point it felt like big parts of my skull were really solid. Eventually I got into a deep peaceful and tranquility space, with not a ton of form. Eventually I came out of that and felt super rested and alert (so maybe I was conscious during light sleep or something). Eventually the head pressure stuff came back, built up, and climaxed (like it very obviously broke, and the relief felt instance and palpable), and then over an hour slowly went away.

Was back by the time it went away. I went for a walk, and everything was light, in 3d, and just happening on its own in place. This was super refreshing and lovely, but after 15 minutes I got bored.

During the evening sit, I started off getting some very subtle attachment to my face. Then a gentle head pressure, more in my forehead. Then the head pressure came back (the big one I usually talk about in my sinuses). But never really up to the levels it got to even this afternoon. It feels noticeably less of an issue now.

Also started reading Teresa of Avilia's auto-bio today. So far fascinating.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 1/26/24 7:36 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/26/24 7:36 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
I needed to do a ughh... Special kind of massage emoticon 

Tension headaches are another big culprit. 

I obviously can't diagnose you. Stay open to it and you'll figure it out. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 1/27/24 2:09 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/27/24 2:08 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2641 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I would get headache kind of pressure which was really coming from stiff muscles of the neck, shoulders and the shoulder blade. 

After a chiropractor explained this daily exercise to me I'm not having these headache pressures and also less neck stiffness too. 

Here is a video on how to 
https://youtu.be/t-1Z2ZYpmt0?si=1tY56RxaRfFZ6RvJ
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/27/24 6:35 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/27/24 6:35 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Havent meditated a ton today, mostly because i took a 4.5 hour nap after not being able to sleep yesterday. One interesting thing about the dream though, was that while it wasn't lucid, I do remember being able to feel physical form in the dream.

Had and interesting 1:40ish minute sit this evening though. There wasn't any head pressure to start, so my attention went automatically to the breath. As things progressed there was a tingling in my hands (its worth mentioning, this has been happening so consistently during my sits, I usually don't bother to log it or pay any really attention to it...). Then eventually my whole body goes warm and pleasant, but again my mind doesn't really pay it any mind, and the meditation becomes automatic. At this point it dawns on me Im in uber soft jhana land. Eventually I climb up to 4, and its like "wait this has been territory thats been happening to me almost daily", then I expand my awareness out and boom, im in the formless place I accidentally go to a bunch. From there some head pressure did come in (which is interesting, because my experience has been formlessness usually erased your body, but if you have globs of attachment you see those clearly, so I think I might just have dull globs of head attachment now. Which explains why its both much less obtrusive, but still a bit annoying). And then I eventually drop back down to 4.

It was interesting though, because I definitely had the "jhanic experience" (from ap and dn) in mind and not the jhanic factors when I think about jhanas, so I completely miss 1-3 [plus my attention would naturally focus on my head attachments]. 4 I was just thinking was good equanimity. The dropping of vitaka/vicara so consistently, I just thought, was like all my no-self insights piling up. 5-6 I thought were just something weird that happens to you in EQ. Like even the logs from yesterday, I didnt think it was jhanic anything. I honestly thought my awareness was getting stronger, so it was extending into sleeping more.

Eventually I got into a deep peaceful and tranquility space, with not a ton of form. Eventually I came out of that and felt super rested and alert (so maybe I was conscious during light sleep or something).

This is also interesting my mind would get to these deep restful formless places, the visions and stuff would come up, and a part of me was just like "well maybe im falling asleep and just being able to see my dreams", and its like oh no youre doing the thing to cultivate siddhis and you dont even know it. omfg.... And its like oh this explains why I can just suddenly sit for like 2 hours at a time where before I'd usually struggle from my body with 1.

The good news is I don't think I have to worry about my concentration abilities for the time being (I mean I wasn't worried, but its still nice to know I dont have to haha). It's also useful to know because I thought I was at 0% risk of maybe mistaking an 8th with a fruition, because obviously I hadnt had any jhanas since my mashsi retreat, but now Im like, okay maybe keep an eye on that a bit better.

Anyways, I was humbled by my idiocy today emoticon
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 1 Month ago at 1/27/24 8:53 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 1/27/24 8:53 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Okay I had just a super interesting 2-3 hour sit. It is dark and rainy here, and I wasn’t going to sleep early anyway. So I thought it would be fun to just fire kasina a shot. I used a led lamp, which was nice because i could usually get a good afterimage in a few seconds. 

Visually the nimitta would stay for like 2-10 minutes at a time which was nice. It started off green, wild pixelate, sometimes flux between different colors, get different color dots within dots, go complete red, become small, get washed away in the waves of diffuse background colors etc. a lot of times it would fade out and I’d just have to wait for it come back in a few moments. it brought me through stronger jhanas than I’ve been getting lately. What was interesting, is maybe like 4-5 times when I’d get to the murk face my face would start to go wild. Like my eyes would start twitching and my muscles would spasm for a few minutes, and there would be energetic flickering. The first time was the most intense. However o noticed after ever complete cycle, the pressure in my head was noticeably lower. Eventually my mind naturally fell out of any jhanas. Then I did one more cycle, and at that point there was just really eye twitching and it felt like it was so smooth and just happening easily and on its own. Also at this point because of the twitching I started to see the veins behind my eyes as lightening and started to see eyes looking at my eyes, so i figured it was a good time to stop. The other thing worth noting is opening your eyes during the dormeless realms is trippy for sure. My vision would be sparkly, strobey and diffuse (kinda like it was breathing) 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 27 Days ago at 1/30/24 6:40 PM
Created 27 Days ago at 1/30/24 6:40 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Sorry I have been a bit lazy with my logs. (But also lazy with my sits too emoticon ). Whats happened over the past few days

  • My inclination to sit has drastically gone down (sitting 2-3 hours now)
  • I've been getting the eye twitching regularly
  • Since the fire kasina stuff, the pressure has gone down, and is now super subtle.
  • The repeated attempts at fire kasina haven't been as productive
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Bahiya Baby, modified 27 Days ago at 1/30/24 7:42 PM
Created 27 Days ago at 1/30/24 7:42 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
These things ebb and flow. That's all good. Sometimes we lose a little interest when we go hard at it for awhile. Sometimes we lose a little interest when we've dropped attachment to the practice. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 26 Days ago at 1/31/24 6:27 PM
Created 26 Days ago at 1/31/24 6:19 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Had an hour kasina sit early today. Honestly, I was sleepy for most of it, because my circadian rhythm is kinda fucked atm. The image was always hazy.

Had an interesting 1:45 sit. It started off fairly normal. Attention was more zoomed in on my face. There was head attachment. It was pretty unpleasant. At a certain point though, I realized a lot of the discomfort wasnt into the head attachment, but was instead in the mental state (geospatially they overlap a quiet bit though), but basically like the mental state feels like the emotional-energy of the head (and is generally very subtle and for me often gets overshadowed by rupa), and is distinct (for me) from the objects in it. So I was more curious about this. So I brought my attention there, and then it would go back to my head pressure, so Id dehooked and bring it back, it would switch, id repeat, etc. Eventually it stabilized. The unpleasant/aversive/dismayed mental state quickly faded. Because that was nice, it was then replaced by a pleasant mental state. The attention on the pleasant mental state then caused pleasant sensations to come up in my body (bookmarking this technique for a later date). But then it just kinda dawned on me, "gently notice everything" just like hasn't been working for me at all. Like it's easy to dehook from this attachment and the suffering goes down. If I relax my body when there is an unpleasant mental state, the suffering goes down. If I broaden my attention, this softens the attachment and the suffering goes down. Instead, I've opted into a technique where I just kinda passively sit there, with this head attachment, and usually it lasts for several hours at time. But I do that day after day, and that's just kinda slowly been building up aversion to meditation. Like at this point I feel like I'm grinding through suffering now, in the hopes of being free later. But like I have all the tools I need. Fuck the instructions. Fuck the future. Be free right now!

Then the rest of the session was spent in mostly broad open awareness, where the head attachment was soft, and everything was fluxing in 3d. This was punctuated by periods of playing this new mini-game called "calm the body-mind", which was actually pretty fun. I did shake a bit for maybe 20s. Then 2-3 times the pressure in my head did seem to start to strobe a bit, with some eye flickering.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 26 Days ago at 1/31/24 6:43 PM
Created 26 Days ago at 1/31/24 6:43 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Upon further reflection, I think this is the move right now. One of the things I noticed when my meditations first started to be "automatic" is that my attention would occasionally switch to the breath to soften things when it needed to. So I think practing dehooking from attachment will be fruitful. After all they say
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...sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 26 Days ago at 1/31/24 6:46 PM
Created 26 Days ago at 1/31/24 6:46 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
How effortless can being be? How much of what isn't effortless can be noticed? How much of it can be relaxed? Can you relax by accident?
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 26 Days ago at 1/31/24 8:30 PM
Created 26 Days ago at 1/31/24 8:30 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I was listening to this podcast series about Simon Weil, and I observed myself relaxing out of tension automatically several times. The podcast was quite nice itself. She has a more life affirming view on mystism then you see in a lot of Theravada. I like this notion of being a vessel of God

​​​​​​​https://open.spotify.com/episode/2C0INFBExtMXBFH5lnrBr9?si=2tY7ism3RFCYq5uypaItzg
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 25 Days ago at 2/1/24 9:56 AM
Created 25 Days ago at 2/1/24 9:54 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I've been reflecting on styles of meditation and traditions lately. I think one thing that goes very underappreciated is people epistemological bents. Like for me, I studied math (which puts a heavy emphasis on analysis, but also the idea that if you really want to know something, you have to prove it to yourself, even if that means deeply understanding someone else's proof), then statistics (which gets you out of black and white thinking, and that there is a specific way the world really is that can be known with certainty). And also it colors the relationships we have to ancient sources. Like obvious, Euclid was a titan when it comes to geometry and even how we think about Truth in math, but clearly he missed the boat on non-Euclidean geometry. But it goes deeper, in that if you rethink how your notion of parallel lines, you get completely different geometries! Which geometry is the "right" one? Well it depends on what rules you picked. This all leads me to a more analytical view of the world, a more come and see view, and like a view where there might be good stuff in Theravada, but there are limitations as well (but like Madhamyamka emptiness seems to ring very true). Compare this with one of my yogi friends who is a lawyer for the government. His background is more in hierarchies, structure, precise meaning, and arcane rules. Naturally, he is way more of a traditionalist than I am (he even speaks pali to "really get" what the Buddha meant!). And his style is a lot more like "i do this because this is what the book says to do".

But these things seem to have deeper implications. Like a lot of the more hardcore Theravada people I meet, really do seem to have deeper inclinations towards believing in an Ultimate Reality, or a world of things-in-themselves, or a substantial basis for dependent origination. For me though, I take a much more  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  approach to all those questions.

The interesting thing about all this, is I have a hunch that people's epistemological bent + personality + mental wiring really does heavily influence where a yogi finds a home. I was recently listening to a podcast where Daniel talks about how his mind loves to deconstruct, and pleasure states never could hold his attention, and his jhanas just did themselves, and I was like "wow that just like my practice!". I think, combine that with the fact that he leans much more empirical and has an anarcho-Buddhist leanings, cumulates in me really resonating with him as a teacher.

Another interesting idea that I've been playing with is that the spiritual path smooths some of these out (but maybe not others?). Like I've found EQ to be much more challenging than the DN, mostly because my style is deconstructive, future oriented, and aversive (all things that I really have to start getting over). But I've met a few of these jhanic practitioners, and they do really just seem to like pleasure more than I do. So I wonder if their path is to do the jhanas a billion times so they gradually learn to detattach from that. Or like a lot of these strongly faith-based 10 fetters people start to seem to struggle post 2nd path, I speculate partially because at that point things don't exactly seem like what the tradition says it looks like.

Anyways.

</rant>
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Bahiya Baby, modified 25 Days ago at 2/1/24 3:17 PM
Created 25 Days ago at 2/1/24 3:17 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
This is great. 

I notice that I am a sort of systems alchemist. I can consume the pertinent information from disparate systems and blend them into more pragmatic and effective approaches in life. I fundamentally believe this ability and the flexibility and slipperiness it allows me is what has made me an effective meditator. 

Aesthetics also play a similar role. 

In my journey I've encountered a lot of people who are just aesthetically obsessed with Tibetan Buddhism and certain magical notions about what their practice provides. They've also wholesale bought into this sort of Tibetan superiority over theravada. 

I'm personally not invested on any level in any traditional Buddhism. It all gives me the wiggles. I just found the pragmatic dharma community were being honest and authentic about their experience in a way I never encountered in Buddhist circles when I was seeking. My dharma upbringing was in a non-buddhist cult and for years I couldn't find a lens to view the Buddhas work through that trumped their dharma... Until MCTB, etc 

That cult was much more my scene in terms of aesthetic and language and I found their dharma quite effective but ultimately the candid nature of the pragmatic dharma scene won me over because fundamentally I don't need aesthetics... I came here to end suffering and this is exactly the right community for a systems alchemist like myself. My brain has scanned through many different communities and this is the one I feel most confident saying is providing authentic dharma that seems to really work. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 25 Days ago at 2/1/24 6:32 PM
Created 25 Days ago at 2/1/24 6:15 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Dr: Manhattan or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the shamatha

Last night/today was very interesting. So Bahiya gave me the instructions to notice when the mind relaxes itself, and I started to notice it when I was listening to a podcast last night. That carried into the two morning sits I had today (maybe 30 minutes and 45 minutes), and I got the sense that the mind was starting to play with the threshold it would calm the system down at. But it started to get very good at it.

Then I had an 1:45 jhanic meditation later today. It followed the similar pattern. But I've really started to appreciate it because basically you get to J2 and the meditation starts to basically do itself, which is convenient. You get to J4, and the struggle is just gone. You get to J6, and basically all that's left is the bit of attachment, but its free to do as it pleases, come and go, and relax itself.

Afterwards it felt like the pressure in my head was more flat, less rubby, and much less irritating.

Then there was another 1:30 meditation, this was watershed one. My mind instantly inclined to J6 territory, my body had disappeared, things were spacious, but there was a soft metta quality to everything. But the attachment in my head was there. A few minutes later, I saw that trigger resistance/muscle contractions in my body, but those slowly relaxed away. A bit later, I saw it trigger mental resistance, but that slowly melted away. Eventually even the head pressure had faded, and I still saw unpleasantness in my body and some pop up in my head and it occurred to me "oh these things dont necessarily have anything to do with the head pressure, sometime that gets projected onto it". (edit: the unpleasant things seems to pierce the formless veil if that makes sense...)

This finally made me realize what the point of gentle noticing is. Like if you get your mind super relaxed, since you are in formation land and watching the whole show, you can see all the attachment and reactions, and those just get gentle let go. When those get let go, your mind relaxes further, and you can see subtler patterns. Repeat.

Why was this so hard yesterday? haha emoticon

Then I did another 1:30 sit in the evening, but with more perspective (hah!). It started off more emotional, where sadness and grief popped up a few times, but they came, did their thing and then left. Eventually things were just pretty ordinary and very 3d, and the head pressure came back pretty substantially, somewhat unpleasant, but there was a lot of it. My mind never really got sucked into it or bothered by it though. Eventually I noticed that while my mind was very equanimous, it wasn't soft, and then my breathing automatically kicked in and the head pressure softened noticeable. Eventually the head pressure was still moving a lot and was a little annoying, so my mind automatically softened the experience more automatically, and it just kinda played around with those thresholds for the last part of the sit.

Thank you Bahiya for the right advice at the right time!
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 25 Days ago at 2/1/24 6:19 PM
Created 25 Days ago at 2/1/24 6:19 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Oh those are really good points that I didn't consider. You see people into Zen I think similarly because of aesthetics.

... but ultimately the candid nature of the pragmatic dharma scene won me over because fundamentally I don't need aesthetics... I came here to end suffering and this is exactly the right community for a systems alchemist like myself. My brain has scanned through many different communities and this is the one I feel most confident saying is providing authentic dharma that seems to really work. 

Yeah there was definitely a moment where I was like "wait there are just arhats and anagamis and shit over there just like hanging out on this message board and teaching people via practice logs. I gotta get in on that!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 25 Days ago at 2/1/24 6:35 PM
Created 25 Days ago at 2/1/24 6:34 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 2641 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"Thank you Bahiya for the right advice at the right time!"

Bahiya gets gored by a cow protecting her calf! Just sayn' ! emoticon 



p.s. me being silly. Do I even have to say it?! 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 24 Days ago at 2/2/24 6:15 PM
Created 24 Days ago at 2/2/24 6:15 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Something feels different today. Its like the camera isnt shoving as much into the head pressure I think?  (it still sometimes focuses on there, but doesn't zoom in). Things feel more like just objects in space I guess. But there is much more equanimity around the board today, as just kinda a baseline.

Anyways two sits this morning 40 minutes and 1:30. Mostly just gentely relaxing, seeing head pressure come up, seeing reactions etc and letting them fade.

3:00 hour sit. Head pressure went bersker the entire time. Wasn't super bothersome though. (Maybe I was in J4?). Eventually around the 2:15 mark, this cumulated in about half an hour of shaking, muscle spasm, vigorous nodding, eye twitching, etc. Also had maybe like 45 minutes of rave-grade jaw chattering. Rodeo of a sit for sure.

1:30. Felt much more plain and regular. Mostly felt like just sitting. Saw the head pressure come back, and got a deeper appreciation for like how it actually constructs a felt sense of an I in my head, depending on if my attention is focused in or zoomed out.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 23 Days ago at 2/3/24 6:06 PM
Created 23 Days ago at 2/3/24 6:04 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 328 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Last night when I was going to bed I tried switching to a flow base model instead of an object based one - like try to stay with the present moment. I noticed I didnt get sucked into my head pressure as much so it helped me sleep. Decided to give it a whirl today

2:15 - sensations started off like raindrops, eventually formed into waves. The waves gradually slowed down and got bigger, until it turned into one object, ie everything right now. Eventually attention finally synced and it felt like it wasnt playing catchup and everything was just appearing where it was.

1:45 - started of very EQ. Got very sleepy. Eventually got into a wavey space and eventually attention synced up again. A lot of flickering of the blobs behind closed eyes.  Cant remember too much from the rest of the sit, remember walking away thinking it was rather boring. Head pressure came back at the end but wasnt too bad

50min - more wavey, and attention out of phase. Some head pressure but it never really bothered me.

Ultimately this style does seem a lot more engaging than what I was doing before. I think part of that engagement means I dont identify as much with the head pressure, which seem nice.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 23 Days ago at 2/3/24 6:36 PM
Created 23 Days ago at 2/3/24 6:36 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

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Sounds good !!
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Chris M, modified 22 Days ago at 2/4/24 8:01 AM
Created 22 Days ago at 2/4/24 7:58 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 5091 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Good morning, Geoffrey.

This topic is getting to be to be very long. When that happens it becomes harder to read and it loads into a browser more slowly. DhO best practice has been to start a second topic that references the previous topic in the new topic's first post. Would you mind doing that, please?

Thanks!
Martin, modified 22 Days ago at 2/4/24 10:43 AM
Created 22 Days ago at 2/4/24 10:43 AM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

Posts: 730 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
It's not impossible that the eye twitching has a physiological basis. I had eye twitching and sometimes mouth twitching for quite a while, which I found distracting and a bit disconcerting. They went away when I started taking magnesium and calcium supplements. Physiological things other than low mineral levels can cause eye twitching too. If it keeps bugging you, you might check with your doc. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 22 Days ago at 2/4/24 1:58 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 2/4/24 1:58 PM

RE: Geoffrey's Logs

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