Plantguy's Practice Log 1

plantguy *, modified 2 Months ago at 1/21/24 4:37 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 1/21/24 4:37 AM

Plantguy's Practice Log 1

Posts: 5 Join Date: 10/25/23 Recent Posts
Hello everyone, I have wanted to set up a log for some time now in the hopes of feedback and accountability for myself.

I've been practicing for around 4 years. In that time i've never been truly consistent and able to stick with one technique / tradition for more than 3 month. I was always out for fast progress, and frankly that was extremely exhausting. My main practice nowadays is MIDL. I don't know how familiar everyone is with that so i'll try my best to express myself in my own words.

The motivation for my practice has changed from trying to improve myself in some way to really wanting to suffer less. The last year has been quite difficult and i just noticed the times where i practiced were easier all around. There's also some excitement about really deeply getting to know the experience of a human being from an experiental perspective.

Meditation has uncovered some serious psychological issues around attachment that i'm also working on with IPF (Ideal parent figure protocol) in parallel.

In the MIDL system i'm currently doing Mindfulness of Breathing. I'm trying to work somewhat systematically. That's why i'll be posting weekly or byweekly reflections on the past week of practice and plans for next steps.

SPRINT 04 22.01 - 28.01
Reflections on the last Sprint:
Doubt has increased, it's mainly about doing the technique right. But it rarely goes past that initial thought - tension combination, because the mind is learning to let go of the grip. Another main hinderance was Gross Dullness which occured in 7 / 13 sits. It's hard to say if this was caused by an increased abillity to relax or the poor sleeping hygiene i had this week.

The goal of this Sprint was to learn how to pay attention to the breath without controlling it. Which i've kinda accomplished but would like some more practice with.

Daily life wise there hasn't been any major developments. Or maybe there have been, i've been barely caught in any stuff this week, and normally i run trough a whole gauntlet of depression, disgust, frantic desire and anxiety. Anytime anything of the sort comes up i just remember to relax and soften against those feelings and it's not that bad anymore. In the sense of they can be here and it's no biggie. And my mind is slowly getting familiar with the "taste" of all these different kinds of suffering so that i notice pretty quickly when one has appeared.

Misery especially is easier to handle. That one thing i read on shargrols compilation that said something along the lines of misery beeing an image of a miserable distant future that is of long duration really helps objectifying it. The same with fear being an image of a future scenario with intense suffering but of short duration.

Another great development has been that i'm starting to see this meditation cultivation as a cherished hobby instead of merely a means to achieve some future goal.

What am i going to be working on?
MIDL - Mindfulness of Breathing which is at MIDL 05 at the moment.

Why?
I would like some more practice with the whole progression, especially doing the relaxation without falling into gross dullness.

1. body relaxation
2. mind relaxation
3. bringing mindfulness to fore
4. bringing the pleasure of letting go into the mind
5. becoming aware of the natural breathing in the body

And 1 week is really to short to learn a skill and make it automatic, especially with the short sitting time i'm currently doing. Which is why the next SPRINT will be two weeks long from now on. The sitting time i'll be increasing by 5 minutes by making that one 15 minute sit a 20 minute sit.

Formalities
2x 20 minutes a day
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 1/24/24 4:09 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 1/24/24 4:09 PM

RE: Plantguy's Practice Log 1

Posts: 2710 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Best wishes with your practice! 

How is it going? Any reports on actual matter of fact body sensations and their feeling tone during meditations? 
plantguy *, modified 2 Months ago at 1/25/24 8:27 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 1/25/24 8:26 AM

RE: Plantguy's Practice Log 1

Posts: 5 Join Date: 10/25/23 Recent Posts
Thanks!

It's going pretty good. I've had some issues with gross dullness the first few sits so i have put a lot of effort into staying curious about the elemental qualities of various body sensations while relaxing. That has helped and lead to less dullness. I have a hunch that dullness can start during the relaxation part if there's no interest in anything going on and in addition to the mind and body relaxing awareness turns down.

The feeling tone has been unpleasant in the sits with gross dullness, because it was often paired with doubt and restlessness. Restlessness presented as an urge (tension around the throat area) to stop the meditation, but when not indulged in it passed pretty quickly. Doubt was pretty strong this time around so it was sometimes hard not to believe all the stories about "I'm not doing this right" and so on.

Honestly now that i'm logging publicly like this there's some performance anxiety around not writing stuff thats insightful enough. That anxiety presents as tension in the body, and my breathing has become shallow. There's also all kind of thoughts that pertain to expectations i have around the things people will think about my subpar skills at expressing myself.
‎ ‎Nihila, modified 2 Months ago at 1/25/24 12:00 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 1/25/24 12:00 PM

RE: Plantguy's Practice Log 1

Posts: 328 Join Date: 1/19/23 Recent Posts
plantguy *
There's also all kind of thoughts that pertain to expectations i have around the things people will think about my subpar skills at expressing myself.


Welcome!

I think you're expressing yourself very well. Good on you for starting a log. I was meditating on and off for many years too, and I've just recently taken it up again. There's a lot of depth and width to meditation that I never knew of before I started again. Keep it up!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 1/26/24 2:29 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 1/26/24 2:29 PM

RE: Plantguy's Practice Log 1

Posts: 2710 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
plantguy *
Thanks!

It's going pretty good. I've had some issues with gross dullness the first few sits so i have put a lot of effort into staying curious about the elemental qualities of various body sensations while relaxing. That has helped and lead to less dullness. I have a hunch that dullness can start during the relaxation part if there's no interest in anything going on and in addition to the mind and body relaxing awareness turns down.

The feeling tone has been unpleasant in the sits with gross dullness, because it was often paired with doubt and restlessness. Restlessness presented as an urge (tension around the throat area) to stop the meditation, but when not indulged in it passed pretty quickly. Doubt was pretty strong this time around so it was sometimes hard not to believe all the stories about "I'm not doing this right" and so on.

Honestly now that i'm logging publicly like this there's some performance anxiety around not writing stuff thats insightful enough. That anxiety presents as tension in the body, and my breathing has become shallow. There's also all kind of thoughts that pertain to expectations i have around the things people will think about my subpar skills at expressing myself.


Nice! You are already seeing stuff that really is important within insight meditation. That is insightful emoticon I will put it in bold in your reply here ...

BTW, if you doubt you are not doing it right, the best and safest is to "return back" to noting actual body sensations. 

Keep it up, you are doing well! Best wishes Plantguy! 
plantguy *, modified 2 Months ago at 1/28/24 3:57 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 1/28/24 3:56 PM

RE: Plantguy's Practice Log 1

Posts: 5 Join Date: 10/25/23 Recent Posts
Welcome!

I think you're expressing yourself very well. Good on you for starting a log. I was meditating on and off for many years too, and I've just recently taken it up again. There's a lot of depth and width to meditation that I never knew of before I started again. Keep it up!
Thanks for the warm welcome. It means a lot. I'm really excited to get to explore that depth in my own experience. Meditation really keeps on giving. emoticon
plantguy *, modified 2 Months ago at 1/28/24 4:02 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 1/28/24 4:01 PM

RE: Plantguy's Practice Log 1

Posts: 5 Join Date: 10/25/23 Recent Posts
A little update from this week.

On the cushion it's been going great. The instructions are getting automatic, and i'm basically just along for the ride. Dullness is still an issue, but drowsiness hasn't occured the last quite a few sits. It's only light hypognia or lowered awareness.

This sprint i've noticed that the less that "I" participate in doing the instructions the better my sit develops. The participation get's reestablished when certain things happen like for example the sit is developing in a good direction and the mind get's excited and wants that to continue it'll forget the instructions temporarily and try to manipulate the meditation to keep going in that direction, which obviously stops it from going in that direction because i'm not doing the instructions anymore. I've noticed that pattern before but only in the grossest most obvious situations.

In daily life there's a big pervading calm and lots of space. Reactivity has reduced a lot it's getting easier to just let things go. That space has an unnerving aspect to it because it feels like there's no where to grasp on, no reference point if that makes sense. Not always but sometimes i can see that distress about that aspect of the space as just another reaction arising and then passing away again.

I'm also noticing a letting go of certain activities / interests that were mostly ego driven. There's less interest in pursuing things just for the sake of self improvement.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 1/28/24 4:22 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 1/28/24 4:22 PM

RE: Plantguy's Practice Log 1

Posts: 457 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
This sprint i've noticed that the less that "I" participate in doing the instructions the better my sit develops. The participation get's reestablished when certain things happen like for example the sit is developing in a good direction and the mind get's excited and wants that to continue it'll forget the instructions temporarily and try to manipulate the meditation to keep going in that direction, which obviously stops it from going in that direction because i'm not doing the instructions anymore. I've noticed that pattern before but only in the grossest most obvious situations.

Very nice !! Keep it up. 
plantguy *, modified 1 Month ago at 2/13/24 9:17 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/13/24 9:11 AM

RE: Plantguy's Practice Log 1

Posts: 5 Join Date: 10/25/23 Recent Posts
I have written no notes on the last 2 weeks of practice except the ones I keep on my formal sits. So it'll be a bit hard to reflect on my progress in the last two weeks.

I've continued doing 2 sits a day of mindfulness of breathing and I increased the time by 5 minutes each week. I procrastinated at times, resulting in some night sits. Gross Dullness didn't occur as much. This may be because I'm getting the hang of accessing the pleasure from relaxation. Some sits my mind inclined to be a hinderance mess. When that happens, I set my body as the reference point and observe the autonomous nature of attention and the hinderances.

One sit, while observing that, sensations and thoughts became very subtle and things were being let go of very fast. With occasional breaks from that where attention seemed to rest on ??? in a very stable way. Then the visual field darkened, and it felt like i was being sucked into a tunnel. Fear came up, and I dropped out of it. Afterwards, appropriation reestablished as anticipation and craving for the state to come back. I noticed that but I couldn't quite calm the excitement.

Yesterday my girlfriend was anxious about a particular topic. From the outside, it is often easy to disregard such imagined fears and be kind of flippant about it or want them to see the same thing you're seeing. But i noticed my craving for her to join my world and i calmed it. What was left was a lot of space and out of that space i was able to offer some encouragement and reassure her that i'll be there for her if she needs anything. Without wanting something for myself out of that. I attribute this to my meditation practice. First the ability to see the craving for control in the first place. Second the ability to calm it or at least not act out of it.

One day last week when i was sitting in a full train i felt a lot of shame. Feeling very exposed, and hot. Associated thoughts were judging other people, feeling bad about myself, wanting to flee the situation. Tension in the body kept reestablishing itself, but i kept relaxing it. Me and my girlfriend exchanged some words. During that i was very self conscious of what i was saying and said few words. None of that is new, but what was new is that i noticed that there was no resistance to it. Everything was just happening. The thoughts, feelings and word i was saying arose and they eventually ceased. The knowing of all this also happened in the moment i wasn't embedded in the situation.
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 2/13/24 1:01 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 2/13/24 1:01 PM

RE: Plantguy's Practice Log 1

Posts: 775 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Sounds very good. 

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