RE: Bahiya Log

Bahiya Baby, modified 5 Months ago at 6/30/23 9:16 AM
Created 5 Months ago at 6/30/23 9:13 AM

Bahiya Log

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I shifted into seeing things with a much greater degree of emptiness after realizing that object and subject were empty in both space and time. I arrived at that through the Sevenfold reasoning practice (and much awesome advice on another thread). This line of reasoning, the seventh, really did it for me. 

-self is not the shape of the aggregates nor their continuum in time. 

Since this shift practice can be much simpler. I take the sense doors as an object and emptiness is mostly immediately recognized in them. Before, practice had more of an obvious sense of doing to it and I even found myself working directly with, sometimes being frustrated by, that sense of doership. Now it seems like 60% of experience is obviously already empty, nothing has to be added to it to see it in that manner. The remaining 40% of phenomena arise with craving, are obviously dissatisfactory and usually can be seen as empty as soon as they are recognized. (These numbers are nonsense but are accurate enough, though it's been a bit more 80-20 the last week or so.)

I’ve been working with Shargrol’s advice “Notice how the spiritual life seems to alternate between ‘I don't quite have it’ and ‘I have it but better not lose it’.”

This quickly became very useful and accurately described my experience. I often found myself oscillating between.

“Ahh everything is just obviously emptiness, I really like that, wait it seems to be slipping.”
“Ohh am I sure this is emptiness, something doesn’t feel right, I better do something to fix this. 

In this way practice becomes sort of like a balancing act and It helps a lot to be aware of the implied duality of either pole as opposed to trying to correct the disatisfactory imbalance. Sometimes it helps to just check out of the game. It’s like watching attraction and aversion try to bind you into suffering and you’re just kicking back, unphased either way. I can see that self is attempting to elicit a reaction. Reacting either way is falling for the ploy.

Nevertheless I fall for it often. I’m trying to get better at moment-to-moment, as in all day long, practice but it takes some getting used to, particularly with work. I often meditate while walking or just hanging out but work really wraps me up in Samsara. 

While there has been some mega gnarly dark night stuff since this shift, overall I much rather perceive reality like this. There seems to be a gentle effortlessness that is more readily available day to day. 

It seems like I spend a lot of time in the early nanas, which is annoying but I’m learning to love them. As soon as I crest into the A&P I rapidly spin through all the other stages, fruition, review cycle and return to early nanas. 

The whole path cycles can have meta nana qualities but I ain't paying too much attention to this stuff, though I have always experienced the nanas to be laid on real thick. 

The main traps here seem to be subtle ways the subject obfuscates itself. It’s very easy to recognize that the object of meditation is empty but there are tricky ways that the subject, or observer kind of hides itself from being seen as empty. 

Something that has had a similar quality to it as the sevenfold reasoning realization I mention above. I can’t remember where I came across this, here, in the post compilations, possibly in Under the Bodhi Tree.

Basically, there’s a difference between sensation arising & passing away VS arising then passing away. If you take each sensation to be simultaneously arising and passing, it has that same kind of “Oh yeah, that’s it” quality to when I first stumbled on emptiness and it seems to be a useful way to practice at the moment. 

Updates may be sporadic, I’ve got a lot going on, but I’ll try to write about anything that seems different, new or insightful. 
Bahiya Baby, modified 5 Months ago at 7/7/23 11:34 AM
Created 5 Months ago at 7/7/23 11:33 AM

RE: Bahiya Log

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Something I should mention, that has become more and more fundamental to the unfolding of all this, is the heart. 

Not in the sense of metta per say, at least not how I’d normally practice it. As I explore the balancing act of emptiness (mentioned above) I notice the heart has become very deeply fine tuned to, what seems to be, good practice. 

What “good practice” now consists of is a radical surrendering into fearless unknowing. Not in the sense of recklessness but in the sense of vulnerability. It’s very paradoxical, very counterintuitive, to totally relinquish control. To let go of any knowing or certainty about how things are, were or will be. I have been taught before about this element of practice and while I have understood it intellectually and to some degree practically it wasn’t until the above realization that it became a fundamental aspect of my experience of this moment right now.  

The mind is busy, suffering occurs, because the self is totally wrapped up in desperately hedging its bets against a completely unknowable future. It thinks it can know the future, or hedge some form of strategy against the potential suffering a future implies but it just isn’t the case. It absolutely can not be known. The self is afraid and "fearlessness", as I’m calling it, is not necessarily about an absence of fear but one's relationship to it. 

I have had a number of teachers who have employed surfing metaphors. When surfing you can’t know how the wave will break, it’s literally a force of nature, no coercion or strategising can change that. This is terrifying to admit, but surrendering to the terror of the situation is oddly rather freeing. It takes a lot of practice, a lot of muscle memory, to even get to the point where surrender is possible. Wave after wave we plant our feet, we find our balance and we learn to feel into the deep mystery of the rolling ocean beneath us. 

Mostly that occurs as struggle, as suffering and only occasionally as the intoxicating satisfaction of getting it right. Despite this, throughout all the ups and downs, over time, a certain intuitive intelligence is cultivated. The technique becomes more and more a natural extension of being and one arrives at a certain sense of balance (and as Will Johnson so often points out - with balance and gravity comes relaxation - and gravity is unavoidable so balance is up to you).

I guess to paraphrase, there comes a point when you’ve done the practice and all that’s really left to do is surf. And no amount of technique can make that shift happen for you. No amount of technique can shore you up against the fear of the unknown. All that’s left is surrender and balance. There’s a heart-intelligence to that which transcends any approach, any worldview, any fixed way of seeing, in favor of spontaneous unknowing. In favor of experiencing reality exactly as it is without prehension or modification. 
Or so it seems to me
Mucho amor, Bb.​​​​​​​
Bahiya Baby, modified 4 Months ago at 7/15/23 9:31 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/15/23 9:26 AM

RE: Bahiya Log

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Carrying on from the last update. I recently began to notice the subtle activity of the doer that still remained and began to bring more emptiness into and through that experience. There were aspects of self on a very subtle level that were still "calling the shots", this particularly showed up in ways I might direct attention or very subtle ways something seemed to initiate the direction of attention. (I really started seeing the above activity after paying very close attention to how authentic, vulnerable or liberating experiences could be reified, solidified and/or jhanified)

It took a week or two to get clear about these processes but as soon as I did I was able to begin perceiving them as empty.

Currently I'm passing through another vulnerable heart-break review cycle. I'm getting used to(less frustrated by) these weird shifts into middlegrounds where something has been realized yet still needs to be taken deeper. Though admittedly a certain desire to be "finished" with all this can arise. I could really go for some salsa, reggaeton and cold beer but I just haven't been in a very social space of late (ok, let's be real, likely since my first A&P event)

It's weird stepping into a way of seeing where all aspects of agency are perceived as tense modifications of sense experience. Even as I write this some things bubble up from the clear luminous experience and then certain words or phrases are the result of tense pinching reactions. It's clear that in some respects the sensation of agency seems to be created by an aspect of experience that ignorantly divides itself from reality and wrestles against it. That friction is necessary for a sense of self to emerge, it seems. 

To continue on the vulnerability thread it's startling how fragile this all is, how liberating yet often remarkably upsetting it can be. It seems there's no guardrails at the edge of reality.

I'm paying special attention to any aspect of agency that arises. Any aspect of experiences that thinks it's doing the nanas. Any aspect of experience that thinks it's doing relaxation or meditation. And of course any aspect of experience that thinks it's anywhere over there or somewhere back here. 

Going to spend the day crying and eating dark chocolate. 
Amor, Bb
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 7/15/23 11:18 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/15/23 11:18 AM

RE: Bahiya Log

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Is it possible that you’re trying too hard? I mean, what harm is there in relaxing into the flow of your experience? I found that continually analyzing, expecting, and searching became the barrier. Giving up and letting go broke the logjam.
Bahiya Baby, modified 4 Months ago at 7/15/23 12:08 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/15/23 12:08 PM

RE: Bahiya Log

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"what harm is there in relaxing into the flow of your experience?"
- No harm and I think that's happening more and more of the time, but there's also experiences that obviously aren't that, though less so, week by week.

Also I find the process of giving up and letting go has just been really sad lately... emoticon

On a physical relaxation level, I have been dealing with a chronic complex muscular issue that can leave my body in extreme, almost unworkable, tension for days or weeks at a time. It can be difficult to walk, sit, lie down, be alive... lol. I believe this probably has hindered me to some extent, but that's just life stuff, it comes and goes and I'm learning to deal with and rehabilitate it. Learning to let go of, or inspite of, chronic muscle spasm has been a fucking journey for me.
Bahiya Baby, modified 4 Months ago at 7/15/23 4:04 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/15/23 4:03 PM

RE: Bahiya Log

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Wait... I think it's possible I just got it. 

3rd path
"Things should mostly seem to be happening on their own: that includes thoughts, actions, perception, intentions, feelings, movements, everything. This should be the dominant waking experience, with portions of experience that are not naturally known as being that way being the minority. The natural causality and self-lessness of action should be clear most of the time and for most things."

At some point today this seems to have actually clicked in.

Any questions, clarifications y'all could provide that might help me determine if that is the case?

Probably need some time to let it settle and be certain. 
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 7/15/23 4:12 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/15/23 4:12 PM

RE: Bahiya Log

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Can you describe your moment to moment experience in your own words? Can you describe the emptiness of objects in your own words? Can you describe what’s different today, and what happened to make it so, in your own words?
Bahiya Baby, modified 4 Months ago at 7/16/23 11:18 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/16/23 11:14 AM

RE: Bahiya Log

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Ok, I had such an intense fruition yesterday I had to take the day off. 

Some clarification upfront. As far as I understand it phenomenologically, when I'm talking about experiencing emptiness, what seemed to bring it on, is that the three characteristics became automatically known, without any practice really necessary other than the process of continually seeing reality as empty of self which is what this series of posts has been exploring. 

A while ago, as I write above, a lot of reality seemed generally empty (empty of self, arising without craving) while some chunks of sensation arose with craving, were obviously dissatisfactory but could ultimately be seen as empty once awareness was directed towards them. The empty chunks were open, bright, waving and very free. Where as in contract the chunks that arose with craving were sticky, painful, darker and were immediately obvious as dukkha. 

I wrote then it was kind of a 60-40 type deal. 

That basically progressed until almost all of reality seemed generally empty except, and this is what I noticed yesterday morning, certain qualities of mind were directing attention like little pinches of "do this" "look at that" "meditate like this" "relax like that"

When I started to observe this and relax that process, I got really sad, but also ended up having a nuclear fruition. The difference afterwards being that the dualistic balancing act that I talk about in above posts, where I was balancing between "this ain't quite right" and "Oh I've really got it now" just stopped. It no longer feels like a balancing act, there's just kind of a flowing, fluxing, rolling moment.

I feel remarkably free and unhindered by the addmittedly quite subtle anxieties and discomforts I had been experiencing recently. Thoughts happen, good and bad feelings come and go, attention moves here and there but none of that seems to happen in a way that's somehow seperate from anything else. Nor does it happen in away that's somehow heirarchically directed. Things really seem to just be happening, pretty naturally. The way I move, type, walk, act, shift my attention... that all happens very organically. 

Before, as I described, there were very subtle ways that this sort of rolling, empty space was interrupted by pinching "no, like this" type inclinations. It was very obvious that "something" wasn't right. 

I was practicing a sort of relaxing into and merging of the senses into the wide open, empty world. It was easy to do that practice but it was still a practice, now it's much more just the default. 

I can intuit ways that this can deepen, but it's very hard to point at anything and say "This, this right here, is not empty" or "That, that needs some practice". Before, though addmittedly quite subtle, I still always could see something, usually some little twitch of attention or sticky craving. (I assume things will eventually present themselves that will require practice when this needs to deepen) 

I'm in a review cycle. It has lasted so far all of 18hrs. Not very long, but definitely the longest review cycle I've had in a considerable amount of time. I've been quickly flipping in and out of review/path cycles for months. 

Even the tension from my physio issue can weirdly be seen as simultaneously uncomfortable but also obviously empty. 

I feel thoroughly relieved. If it's third path cool. If it's not yet, really no big deal. I'm happy to just keep deepening and I'm really very happy with whatever this is. This absolutely has qualities of whatever it is I've been after. That in itself is very freeing. 

Will stay vigilant. 
Bahiya Baby, modified 4 Months ago at 7/16/23 7:33 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/16/23 7:32 PM

RE: Bahiya Log

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Hmmm... Not so convinced atm. That "fruition" may have been an A&P event. Will give it a little more time.
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 7/16/23 9:46 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/16/23 9:45 PM

RE: Bahiya Log

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Maybe you should slow down and confer with someone (a reliable accomplished teacher) who can help you sort out what appears to me to be some confusion. I think you’ve been reading a lot about the progress of insight but it’s not finding synergy with your actual practice and related experience of the POI. You can’t force fit this stuff. Do you have someone you can talk to about this?
Bahiya Baby, modified 4 Months ago at 7/17/23 8:33 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/17/23 8:32 AM

RE: Bahiya Log

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Yeah, certainly more and more my experience does not relate to the POI or even how other people describe their experience of it. (Save for Mind over easy, I find their logs some of the most relatable stuff I've read)

I used to have someone to talk to about all this but not anymore. It's kind of complicated. That's what led me here.

​​​​​​​I may need to find a new teacher. 

Though, I actually think I'm going to take a few months, years, lifetimes off for now. This process has been getting progressively more gnarly, there's always some deeper aspect of self festering further around the corner, deeper under the surface and I don't really have any confidence that will ever change, it has certainly gotten a lot more bareable and that's a victory.

I've been holding out for a time, place, space to just return to regular life for awhile. Now might be the time. "Giving up meditation" has a good resonance to it 
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 7/17/23 9:13 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/17/23 8:56 AM

RE: Bahiya Log

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From way over here, it appears that you want "it" so much that you call every insight or change a large, impactful revelation, or a path moment. I do think a recalibration of why you're doing this practice would be a good idea. Why, as in what do you really want?

EDIT: Practice's purpose - I don't think seeing practice as a self-focused exercise is healthy. To see the self as the bugaboo of our lives, a thing to eliminate isn't a good way to proceed. The insights we gain from practice will lead to wisdom about the self, but that's only one aspect of it. Self is just another object and being able to drop our preconceptions about the evil self (sometimes engendered by our readings) is a good idea. 
Mind over easy, modified 4 Months ago at 7/19/23 10:05 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 7/19/23 10:05 PM

RE: Bahiya Log

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Hey, just jumping in to wish you well, and that I feel your struggles emoticon it sure is tough! Feel free to PM me if you ever want to talk it through, or even just here on your thread, or mine. As long as it doesn't become something detrimental to the integrity of your daily life and well-being/safety, I hope you don't give up! As you know, I've definitely felt similarly at times, but I hope we both succeed in keeping life together and seeing it through. I don't have the "answers" but hopefully my sympathy and encouragement will do for now... Best of luck and hope you're well!
Bahiya Baby, modified 26 Days ago at 11/8/23 9:19 AM
Created 26 Days ago at 11/8/23 9:19 AM

RE: Bahiya Log

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Hey !! emoticon emoticon

A lot of the above resolved itself pretty swiftly after my last message. I needed to give up the selfish activity and neurotic processes that had powered my meditative journey up to that point. It took a swift dose of very dramatic, all encompassing, surrender. 

This led to a very profound shift in my relationship to time. It became always immediately obvious that the future and past where just ideas being fabricated in the present and that the vast multiplicity of reality was always implicit in the atomic structure of this sense experience. 

Besides a few days nerding out about UJI, I basically lost all interest in meditation. Practicing it, reading about it, speaking about it, etc it all completely fell away. A lot of the processes that led me here in the first place, or led to me voraciously reading meditation books, were seen to be basically kind of neurotic and obsessive.

I spent awhile making art and reintegrating into society... to some extent. emoticon

As the weeks and months passed, I gently and very naturally inclined towards more and more meditation. I'm now back to having a consistent daily practice. For quite awhile it felt like I was doing the worst possible meditation, it was very vague and dull and my concentration was shit, but I also couldn't do anything about it. Any attempt to change it felt like selfish action and for the first time I was really just being with everything, in a consistent, ungamified kind of way. 

As things progressed meditation seemed to improve. It became clearer, more open, spacious, more inclusive and accepting of everything (and seemed to do all this without any meddling from me). Path cycles and stages came and went. I barely noticed them, or cared too much about them being there, just more stuff happening.  

Recently I notice meditation oscillates between really nice open inclusive stuff and sticky fantasies. These fantasies all tend to have something to do with distracting me from a sense of inadequacy or deluding me into a sense of superiority. It's usually kind of the same process which will show different faces. Probably pretty classic stuff... delusions of spiritual grandeur mostly, occassionally stuff to do with my art. As I've mentioned it can feel a bit weird applying too much effort in meditation at the minute, which is a nice shift compared to how things were before, though I am trying to gently delve into these fantasies explore why it is I'm attached to them. Why do they occur.

My early insight seems to be it has a lot to do with strategies around recieving love and being validated by others. A lot of it has some of that same heartbreaky kinda feel to it I was getting before but I feel a lot more integrated and prepared to really recieve these experiences. There isn't that same level of gamifying meditation to procure spiritual results happening and I think my heart is a lot more comfortable exploring these depths. 

I'm generally just letting the process unfolded. Cruising luxuriously, in whatever direction the winds are blowing, trying to notice any particulary sticky stuff and what might lie underneath it. 

Anyway, thanks for all the support I've received here. I appreciate you all. Sorry for being a neutoric mess. 

And I hope to start logging here more often again, I ultimately don't know what's going to happen, but here's hoping. 


Bb xxx

Martin, modified 25 Days ago at 11/9/23 12:42 PM
Created 25 Days ago at 11/9/23 12:42 PM

RE: Bahiya Log

Posts: 647 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Good to see you logging again!

​​​​​​​It seems like you are noticing some useful stuff. There is so much stuff, so many patterns, to work through (for me anyway) but the understanding (the gradual clearing away of ignorance, or as Chris recently said, illusions) is massively helpful in so many ways. 
Bahiya Baby, modified 25 Days ago at 11/9/23 5:51 PM
Created 25 Days ago at 11/9/23 5:51 PM

RE: Bahiya Log

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Hey Martin !! Endless patterns... one long strange trip ;)
Bahiya Baby, modified 25 Days ago at 11/9/23 6:27 PM
Created 25 Days ago at 11/9/23 6:08 PM

RE: Bahiya Log

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Today's meditation. 
Started, warm, fuzzy, a little muddy and poorly defined. (Often meditation starts off with bad concentration and I can't like hot wire my way to good concentration like I used to, the process has to slowly gear up.)

Eventually became brighter, refreshing. I was reveling in "there's nothing I can do" "there's no future or past" “I have no control over anything”. Around this time I noticed a natural inclination towards the 6th Jhana. Oceanic space.

Then darker, painful, lots of sticky thoughts. Lots of rumination on interpersonal and social matters. The interpersonal stuff seems to be a really big part of this. 

After a time it became much more empty, lots of 7th Jhana, light sort of faded away and left that particularly odd “there’s literally nothing in every direction” j7 feel. Next I began noticing these tiny pin pricks, like a swarm of biting mosquitoes, every bite seemed to interfere with my perceptual field. It would sort of momentarily collapse around these “bites”. (I had a similar experience to this on first path. Like watching a still forest pool with all these insects skittering across the surface)


Generally I’m trying not to get too involved in the meditative process. 

I have really been noticing the sticky stuff, noticing how they shift or bend the perceptual field. Noticing how they seem to center or focus attention. I explore whether or not I can notice them without it collapsing the field. Can they just arise as transiently as everything else now seems to. 

I notice how when these sticky experiences arise, how there are processes that fire off like “Ohh let this go so we can return to groovy feelings“ or “Oh this is bad meditation why not do xyz”. I like where I’m at now because even though I have these thoughts, I’m not entirely convinced I can actually do anything about it. So you’re just kind of watching this stuff fire off. 

There are moments of very subtle annoyance or frustration with these experiences. But when I look into them I see that they have something to do with how I relate to the world. How I want to be treated, how I want to be loved, who I think I should be… and while they are pure neurotic madness, I feel massive compassion for myself and my experience when I enter into the stickiness. 

All my sticky thoughts have an interpersonal bent. How things could have been, the way things are, the way I would have liked things to be.

Also it has to do with the avoidance of pain, shame and embarrassment. These are like the roots of the strategies I employed to avoid the potential of pain in the future.
shargrol, modified 24 Days ago at 11/10/23 6:01 AM
Created 24 Days ago at 11/10/23 6:01 AM

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good stuff!
Bahiya Baby, modified 19 Days ago at 11/15/23 9:18 AM
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RE: Bahiya Log

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Meditation is much the same as before. I do notice a recurring experience. As I relax into the practice sometimes there’s this feeling of a series of veils being lifted. As these veils lift, everything becomes clearer, the heart becomes brighter, softer and more vulnerable. It kind of peaks into this very beautiful, inclusive, all encompassing state. At which point there’s a lot of subtle “Ohh this is very nice” “How did we do that?” “Hope I can do that again!”.

I just watch this happen as while the state is very compelling it is also always obviously just a state. I don’t get too wrapped up in it. It only happens sometimes. When it isn’t happening, there might be memories of it having been nice, but there’s no compulsion to reproduce it.

(I loosely associate this “lifting of veils” with the fetters. For example I see the activity of desire for material rebirth and seeing it causes it to sort of clear away and so on up the list. Though I’m not super dialed in to the phenomenology of the fetters, so that’s just kind of my best guess.)

Overall this is a really big change in my practice. I keep finding myself laughing at how nonchalantly I can let things come and go. I had a really big problem with perfectionism for many years, which I think was amplified by my entry into the paths. Seeing it fall away has been really transformative and I’ve even had a number of friends point it out.

It’s like in the past I was frantically obsessing over my preferences. I needed reality to be different to how it was and the persistence of that obsession was causing me a lot of discomfort. And in the face of discomfort and the dissolution of the self, I think I felt deeply unstable and I was trying to find some kind of state based stability.

A certain unease with specific situations or phenomena does remain but it’s more of a smoky annoyance and the idea that anything would need to be done about it tends to make me laugh. (Doubly so that I ever thought anything could be done about it)

I sometimes find myself asking:
What does it mean not to be able to do anything when everything is motion?

I sometimes find myself noting:
"look at this restlessness" when I observe flickering thought patterns and the body responds “that wasn’t restlessness but this surely is”
Bahiya Baby, modified 18 Days ago at 11/16/23 10:30 AM
Created 18 Days ago at 11/16/23 10:30 AM

RE: Bahiya Log

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Last night I experienced an intense dose of desire for deliverance. It came in like a storm and I was a bit too scattered to maintain mindfulness. It showed me a lot of the areas in which I still have very tangible attachments. It played into the fear that I couldn't do anything to fix my failings in life. It showed me all these variables that are out of my control that prevent me from pursuing my passions and that may prevent me from earning a living. I was stuck just feeling shit about things I couldn't change.

There was practical stuff that underpinned a lot of it and I may need to make some tactical rearrangements to my life. But ultimately I saw how identified I was with survival, with the need to make money and also with the need to make art and live meaningfully. Really fundamental things.

It’s like I’m afraid the universe won’t permit me to be the person I am at my core. Which is a weird take on a number of levels but that was the jist of the experience. 

I think desire for deliverance can highlight situations in life that are sort of “damned if you do damned if you don't”. This was the first overtly nana-esque experience I’ve had for awhile. Mostly things just cycle around. It’s interesting because usually reobservation gets me the worst.

Was barely able to meditate while it was in full swing, a little exhausted now but I’ll be mindful of it if/when it arises again.
Bahiya Baby, modified 17 Days ago at 11/17/23 3:17 PM
Created 17 Days ago at 11/17/23 3:17 PM

RE: Bahiya Log

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Meditation is very scattered. Phases of “good meditation” weaving in and out of scattered thinking. I’ve got a lot going on and I’m a bit high energy. Not clinging or grasping after anything which is key. When meditation is messy I let it be messy, I let it do its thing and just try to stay observant.

I noticed the very clear state return, but it did so in the midst of some very dark energetic stuff. It’s mad experiencing a negative emotional body with total stillness and acceptance. Quite cool. 

I’ve been tripping out on quantum mechanics a lot. I have often noticed how the “particles” that make up my sensations blip in and out, but now I see them as blipping out and into vast entangled realms of the universe, like great swathes of the cosmos are streaming through my nervous system as pure sensory data. Not in a spacious Jhanic kind of way but in a very “everything at the same time” quantum sort of way. Just another way to see things but a cool one and feels like a way of seeing that has 3c’s automatically built in. I find this useful when practice is difficult. 

But, I also notice, especially when things are messy. I notice the inclinations, the intentions, the choosing, of subtle states or meditative processes. Sometimes those happen spontaneously, sometimes they’re very consciously chosen. Interesting to see the difference. Interesting exploring the roots of those changes. Because at a fundamental level, there are things that feel like they happen naturally and things that it feels like the self is doing. But like, really, I’m not fucking doing anything. So why would it feel like certain things are done and certain things just happen. I want to explore this more but I’ve been a bit too scattered the last few days to get a good look. No rush. 

Some personal BS. 

Last few years I’ve been working freelance but I’m thinking about getting a corporate gig. I started working freelance so I could spend more time on self development as I had a lot of mental health issues. So over the last few years I’ve committed a lot of time to very regular meditation. I have a work schedule that lets me spend six hours a day meditating. If I want to. 

I think getting back into the dusty hustle of the world might be fun. But, and these are just wispy thoughts, it does feel like I’d be compromising my “meditative”-fucking-”evolution man”. 

I really like having space and time to practice, to integrate, to deal with whatever comes up. I fear that if I dive back into the world I won’t have time to do the meditation I need to do and if anything wiggy comes up I’ll be stuck in some corporate hell gritting my teeth through it. I don’t make a lot of money but I’m very privileged in terms of free time

I may never get the chance to have this kind of free time again and the idea of only being able to do like 30 mins a day feels so restrictive to me. Ultimately I’m afraid to lose what I have. I get that these are just thought patterns, I get that, but life has to be lived and plans have to be made. 

Overall things are a lot less wiggy/edgy/whack/difficult these days. I have a lot more faith in this journey to just carry on in whatever way it happens to. I don’t really believe I have any horse in that particular race. 

I need to keep a daily practice. That’s what’s important. 

Bahiya Baby, modified 16 Days ago at 11/18/23 2:03 PM
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RE: Bahiya Log

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-Really enjoying the hollow bamboo practice. The body really appreciates the movement and the spine just starts to flex and bob with the breath in a very organic and spontaneous way. Natural movement in sitting practice helps my body get into a sort of relaxed flow where there’s no attachment to holding any aspect of the posture. 

-It's interesting to see different layers of reactivity. Lately I feel like a boxer unsure of his opponent and reacting to every feint. I’ve got a lot of panicky real life stuff coming through and I’m sticking to it like crazy. It's all “if you do this you're going to die” “if this happens you'll be homeless”. It's weird because I generally do not care about that kind of stuff. All of a sudden these are very compelling arguments. Very serious matters that need my immediate consideration. It has a very different quality to the stuff that has been tough for me in the past. 
Bahiya Baby, modified 14 Days ago at 11/20/23 5:21 PM
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RE: Bahiya Log

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Today: I had an interesting experience while walking through a hospital earlier. Movement just happening, conversations (in a second language) just naturally unfolding. A very nice experience. 

Generally: I’m exploring identificatio/non-identification. Before I was very identified with experience, states, doing meditation etc. Now I’m very “Everything is transient, no big deal, there’s nothing to do”. But that is itself a sort of duality. Like are there aspects of the self that are identified with non-identification. What aspects of attachment have been shifted out of my focus. A springer spaniel hunting for truffles in the undergrowth. 

There’s a transition between perceived dualities. Like a fluttering. When I look at it the self-bubble seems to pop. More interesting phenomena. There’s something beautiful here I’m not yet ready to say nor have yet fully understood. 
Bahiya Baby, modified 12 Days ago at 11/22/23 2:01 PM
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RE: Bahiya Log

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Some advice I received 
If everything is chill, non chalant, effortless then experiment with applying little bits of effort 

Explore the 7th and 8th jhana 
Explore the flickering at the center of the self 
Explore the quantum stuff 

-8th jhana is really interesting. It seems like the only jhana that doesn’t have a point of view. Like in the 7th jhana there’s nothing, but that nothing is in a sort of infinite space. In the 8th jhana that space seems to disappear as there’s no point from which to relate to it or give it shape. I don’t really know how to say this. 

There are times in meditation and walking around day to day where I seem to incline towards 7th jhana or 8th jhana. I was noticing the 7th jhana a lot and I now see that some of these very clear experiences I’m having are much more like the 8th. 

-Exploring the sort of origin of the self, or this sort of flickering, fluttering activity at the core of the self. I try to not look at directly but instead include it in the totality of perception. This tends to lead to more of these j8 type clear experiences. 

-Quantum stuff. Seeing the world as this multi dimensional implicitly entangled super position. Tends to lead to j8 as well. 

-Overall I find myself quite disenchanted with states. Things that feel good, or seem like good meditation have much less hold on me. 
My inclination is always to just steep in nothingness. There is of course some attachment to that nothingness as well. 

-Lots of agencylessness seeming stuff. Walking around, in the shower, day to day stuff. Nothing as total as the experience in the hospital. 
shargrol, modified 11 Days ago at 11/23/23 10:45 AM
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RE: Bahiya Log

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Really good stuff. I have a feeling that you are going to be having a lot of experiences that "are huge insights because they are so subtle and small". Sometimes at this stage you can sense the insights deepening without really being able to say what the insights were...

Some more ideas to play with:

Try some walking meditation. Go to a wide open space outside like a community park or school ground where you can walk about 20 steps or so. Before you start, think "here I am", maybe even say outloud "here", and open up to the space/intimacy of your location, basically gently intending to re-experience the hospital "view" again while you're at the park. Really be there in the park and in the moment with the feeling/view of "this is my entire life, just right here and now, there is nothing more than this" Then start walking "into and through" the space, just like walking through the hospital again, except now you are walking through the park. Allow non-agency to arise if it does and let the walking do the walking. Watch your body stopping itself after 20 or so steps, watch yourself turn around. (No big deal if you have to "do" it, but if non-agency is doing it, let it do it.) After you turn around again, take a moment to reconnect with the whole of the experience again, maybe say "here" outloud again, and then walk back "into and through" the space to the starting point.  (Being outside is important so you can feel the space above you, to the sides, in back, in front, and you might even want to think about how underneath your feet is miles and miles of earth. In some way, you are intimate/embodying the whole of your experience, "drinking the ocean with one gulp")

Another thing you might want to try is a very very simple open-eyed metta practice. Breath in and thinking "may all beings be well", breath out and think "may I be well". The goal here is radical simplicity. Just be a body that breathes and thinks these simple thoughts. You're not trying to accomplish anything except a very simple and heartfeld desire for all beings to be well and for you to be well. (Sometimes this simple stuff hits the hardest.)  
supermonkey :), modified 7 Days ago at 11/27/23 1:24 PM
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RE: Bahiya Log

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Could you say a little bit more on how your walking around experience of 7th and 8th, possibly also 6th jhana looks like?
Bahiya Baby, modified 7 Days ago at 11/27/23 1:31 PM
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Thanks Shargrol!

​​​​​​​Supermonkey, yup I'll add it in a moment. 

Metta practice is great. Simple and refreshing. Interesting in this more j8 space watching the wish for well being sort of emanate from a centreless place, like it has no point of origin. 

I certainly notice, particularly on days I practice a lot, the sense of agency is generally much more transparent. After practicing in the manner recommended above I find I can lean into this dissolution of agency. I can sort of let stuff occur, for example, I had a really silly experience in my Airbnb just walking back and forth and not stopping myself walking into a door or wall and yet somehow magically pivoting right on time 

I can notice things that seem to reassert agency and watch as they dissolve once more. Broad movements like walking are easier than say complex hand movements like typing or some kind of manual activity but even these too can happen with much less sense of agency if I really relax and let myself get out of the way.

I also notice that there have been quite a few things occurring without agency already. I had just always been too busy to see them that way. 

I can sort of feel agency as more of a sliding scale than an on-off switch. At the upper end of that scale It’s like intention and action arise contiguously. (Not in the sense that there’s an intention being set but just a spontaneous thing)

I’ve been thinking about Nana's as a lens through which certain aspects of dukkha can be experienced and released. 

I’ve been exploring very subtle levels of dukkha, these roiling pools of dissatisfaction. These aren’t so much the skittering sticky reactive thought patterns I have spoken about before but more bubbling tar pits of gentle discomfort. 

I work with them in much the same style as previously mentioned, not focusing on them directly but letting them be included as a part of the totality of my perception. In this sort of weird j8 lack of point of view kind of way. 

There's some pretty manipulative shit here, it’s like the root of all my strategizing and seeking. It’s weird to look at this in the context of the potential for agencyless experience because who am I without these core drives. What is the self without any of this activity to bootstrap itself off. It’s interesting because it’s not the typical trauma or neurosis I’m used to. It’s even things I’m excited about or things I should definitely do with my life but there’s this process combining with them, whirring away under the surface that just like manufactures dukkha. I see how seeking is bound up in my deep dreams and my deepest understanding of who I am. 

I can’t fathom what an absence of that would be like.  
Ideas like chanda, purpose, skillful means and so on. That these things could arise without selfishness and be a foundation for wholesome action in the world is so compelling and refreshing for me. But in a way I can’t see it. I suppose I find myself frustrated by the suffering which remains. 

Practice is great. Going to keep doing what I'm doing. 
Bahiya Baby, modified 7 Days ago at 11/27/23 1:43 PM
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RE: Bahiya Log

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 Ok dearest supermonkey,

So I was talking to a meditation teacher and they were talking about how the jhanas sort of correlate to the deconstruction of the self. They asked me what jhana seems to be naturally occuring in your experience. At the time it was 7th jhana and had been that way more or less since my last path. A lot of nothingness, non-identification, this isn't me, these phenomena are not me. So on. Basically it's Identification with non-identification

After some practice and realizations that occured, see above, that transitioned into somewhat more of a 8th jhana walking around feel but it can flip between the two.

Note I'm not exactly talking about doing jhanic practice, this is just sort of how my experience is presenting itself. I had noticed in meditation where I would be practicing basically not doing anything and then 7th and 8th jhana experiences would just arise very naturally without any intention or doing behind it. After that I noticed that my experience as a whole always had a very 7th or 8th jhana feel to it. More conscious practice with the jhanas seemed to deepen this whole process in some way that I've been sort of writing about here.

Previous path, I had a lot of 6th jhana stuff going on. Walking around merging into woodlands, other people, fairys. The 6th jhana can be very tantric like that, I think. But my tantric teachers get a little spooked when I say things like that so season with pinches of salt ;)

6th jhana walking around has that very I am the world quality. Very second path. I am the leaves on the trees and the breeze in the air. I AM ALL THIS.

If this doesn't answer your question just ask another.

I only recently realized how interesting jhanas are. 
supermonkey :), modified 5 Days ago at 11/29/23 5:30 AM
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Thanks! I'm also not so much into jhana practice right now but I'm also noticing formlessy states during the day, like being the witness, being everything, being totally detuned, and I was curious to find out how the aspects of 8th might show up for me walking around.
For 7th, I find it interesting that you mention identification with non-identification, because it made me find that in fact that sense of being detuned can be taken as a reference.
NB: I reread in MCTB about formless realms and Daniel says 6th and 7th jhana are sort of inverse to each other. It seems to make some sense, as you say 6th for you is "I am all this" and 7th "I am none of this".

Have you read the part of "Seeing That Frees" where he relates formless jhanas and insight?

And, maybe something to play with: if 7th (walking around) is identification with non-identification, what is it in 8th (walking around) then?
Bahiya Baby, modified 5 Days ago at 11/29/23 10:44 AM
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For 7th, I find it interesting that you mention identification with non-identification, because it made me find that in fact that sense of being detuned can be taken as a reference.

Right. Well I saw in 7th that to be able to experience infinite nothing there had to be a point of view to see it from and 8th jhana is the lack of that point of view. (Adi Da often spoke about his divine revelation being beyond yet encompassing all point of view)

Have you read the part of "Seeing That Frees" where he relates formless jhanas and insight?

I think I've read it and don't remember that part. I'm going to dig it up. I actually have a few chapters left to read in that. I'm struggling to read any dharma stuff atm emoticon
Bahiya Baby, modified 5 Hours ago at 12/4/23 9:44 PM
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While practicing metta I had one of the most staggeringly beautiful experiences of my dharma life to date. It's difficult to write about in anything other than poetic terms. Though I will do what I can to communicate it. 

I was practicing, as recommended above and letting the mantra, the intention and the breath all happen on its own. I lean into the diminishment of agency by directly seeing the emptiness of the sense of agency. 

At a certain point something lifted off me and I began to have this very pure, perfect experience. I could see the bright emptiness of the heart and all of a sudden there was this really staggering beauty and dimensionality to everything. Seeking seemed to stop and every experience became incredibly raw, sensory and immediate. 

I’ve had a number of compelling experiences recently, as I have documented, but all arose with that no big deal, no identification, type reaction. This has been the first view for quite some months that really has me grasping after it when it faded… but also everything that isn’t it, is grasping. 

The hospital "view" had some subtle heart stuff to it but this was on another level. Staggering yet simple. Utterly obvious. A heart free of ill will. Bornless & unwoven.