Barros's Pratice Log #1

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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 6:58 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/4/24 11:48 AM

Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Total of one hour of sitting practice.
0-20 min: I started the practice excited and with access concentration, noticing sensations in the body. The sensation of breathing was attracting attention because it was pleasant and calm.
20-30 min: The pleasant phase has passed, the sensation of breathing has become neutral. With that I started to notice more emotions and thoughts (started to change from pleasant to neutral).
30-45 min: Mind started to dull. Difficult to notice. I started to wander. Awake from small dreams (10 to 15 seconds). Noticing vagueness, worry, projection, contracted breathing. It started to get unpleasant.
45-55 min: The dull has passed. A solid, sharp pain began in my knee along with images of the knee bent. I started to have a kind of vertigo and nausea. Discomfort in breathing. Feeling hot and sweating a little. I noticed disgust, doubt, irritation, desire to get up.
55-60 min: I focused on breathing and noticing and relaxing the pain in my knee. Then I stopped noticing and just observed the pain in my legs. The pain became vibrant, dissipated and became bearable. I focused on breathing. The discomfort phase has passed.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 5:04 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 5:04 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2807 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Well done for logging your daily practice on DhO like many of us did and some still do! It can also help others by following your journey as it is inspiring to see people go through the same or similar stuff emoticon

As for the logging details please be as detailed as possible. No reason to expose personal info but when you say "emotions and thoughts" please try to always expose their FEELING TONE emoticon was it pleasant or unpleasant or neutral? You mention "pain", but where? Also go more detailed into the pain part of the body! emoticon Is it sharp or dull? Is it covering a very small or wide area of that body part? Do you get some mind images arising with that pain? Is there vibrating or tingling or bubbling or anything else happening in that painful spot? Be curious and dont just skim over the experience but go INTO it! emoticon Thats why just observing is not as fruitful in my opinion and NOTING 1-5 sensations per second is far more useful!

Best of wishes to you Barros and may your practice be of benefit to you and all beings above, below and all around! 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 7:00 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 7:00 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko
Well done for logging your daily practice on DhO like many of us did and some still do! It can also help others by following your journey as it is inspiring to see people go through the same or similar stuff emoticon

As for the logging details please be as detailed as possible. No reason to expose personal info but when you say "emotions and thoughts" please try to always expose their FEELING TONE emoticon was it pleasant or unpleasant or neutral? You mention "pain", but where? Also go more detailed into the pain part of the body! emoticon Is it sharp or dull? Is it covering a very small or wide area of that body part? Do you get some mind images arising with that pain? Is there vibrating or tingling or bubbling or anything else happening in that painful spot? Be curious and dont just skim over the experience but go INTO it! emoticon Thats why just observing is not as fruitful in my opinion and NOTING 1-5 sensations per second is far more useful!

Best of wishes to you Barros and may your practice be of benefit to you and all beings above, below and all around! 

I update the log with more info like you ask emoticon. Thanks Papa Che Dusko!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 8:58 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 7:19 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
I woke up at 5:20 without an alarm, after 6 hours of good sleep. I made and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate myself and started meditating at 6:10.
I sat on my cushion with my legs crossed and eyes closed in the living room of my house. I don't have an altar.
Goal: Sit for 1 hour using notation technique. Goal of 1 notation per second.

0-25 min: I took refuge in the Buddha and resolved to notice as many details as possible. I started by looking at the sensations in the body. But today breathing didn't attract attention. The sensation of breathing remained neutral. So I tried to broaden my consciousness and notice emotions, images and thoughts. However, it was already difficult to notice, being perceived diffusely.
25-40 min: Mind has become dull. Having quick daydreams. Random images (not memories) that absorbed attention to the point of almost losing consciousness. However, my emotional state was more neutral, having very little negative reaction to what was happening.
40-60 min: Dullness has passed. But there were still quick daydreams. Noticing tranquility, neutral sensations, curiosity, comparison, investigation, but with soft energy.
In general, I noticed desires, concerns, but everything was very light and moving towards neutral. I had no pain. I had no desire to get up.
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Dream Walker, modified 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 7:28 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 7:28 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 1732 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
ANDRE BARROS
Total of one hour of sitting practice.
Goal: Sit 1 hour (with the following breakdown of meditation types and ratios as a goal or evaluation) 
time start: x o'clock 
Location: My house, upon my standard cushion, (chair, mixed, standing, walking, whatever) in front of my altar(or whatever)

X min- Access concentration/ jhana1,2,3,4
x min- Noticing and Labeling (body- inside or surface, breath, thoughts, 4 other senses, whatever your goal is)
(This is planning and setting intention, then training metacognition to see if the overall sit is happening to what degree, no need to over control just check in over time to see changes per unit time)
Pre meditation conditions -Mental state: excited
0-20 min: I started the practice excited and with access concentration, noticing sensations in the body. The sensation of breathing was attracting attention because it was pleasant and calm.
0-20 min:
I achieved access concentration by doing X. 
I then started noticing (labeling?) IN the body (vs ON the surface of the body(maybe both, who knows?))
MY sensations(wherever) of MY breath (was like what? (STOP speaking in 3rd party))attracting? (because the transition from x to pleasant to calm was noticeable maybe?)

20-30 min: The pleasant phase has passed, the sensation of breathing has become neutral. With that I started to notice more emotions and thoughts.
The phase of vagueness has predominately passed to sensations of breathing neutralness. (fer Eff'n sake, is neutral a feeling? if so what sense door notices it?) Ahhhhh that clarifies, I once too had thoughts and emotions, but I shan't describe anything about them to you.
30-45 min: Mind started to dull. Difficult to notice. I started to wander. Awake from small dreams (10 to 15 seconds). Noticing vagueness, worry, projection, contracted breathing.
yawn, ya, dull to even read about really.....(really amazing stuff here but too vague for me to notice the details, as there are none)

45-55 min: The dull has passed. Leg pains started. I started to have a kind of vertigo and nausea. Discomfort in breathing. Feeling hot and sweating a little. I noticed disgust, doubt, irritation, desire to get up.
The dull, NOT MY dullness, butt THE dull. Leg pains (not my leg pain, where?) 
A kind? what kind?
What was discomfort able?
Feeling hot? where? sweating? where? 
you noticed what? what does doubt feel like?

55-60 min: I focused on breathing and noticing and relaxing the pain. I stopped noticing and just observed the pain. It dissipated and became bearable. I focused on breathing. The discomfort phase has passed.
Please break down what actually happens, especially in the beginning, so we might know WTF you are talking about.
Or take for granted that we can all read your mind.

Good Luck!
~D
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 8:10 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 8:10 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Dream Walker
...
Please break down what actually happens, especially in the beginning, so we might know WTF you are talking about.
Or take for granted that we can all read your mind.

I understand the spirit here haha! With practice I will observe/note better (which is the purpose of the technique) and improve the description. Thank you very much Dream Walker!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 7:50 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 7:48 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
MY sensations(wherever) of MY breath (was like what? (STOP speaking in 3rd party))attracting?
My english is not so good. I'm from Brazil. Then can you explain better this part? I dont undestand why I can't speak in 3rd party.

Is neutral a feeling? if so what sense door notices it?
I said the "sensation of breathing..." and not "feeling". The sensation can not be neutral? I dont undestand.
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 8:57 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 8:57 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 847 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I have been reading posts here for years but I could not guess what DW was getting at. Your writing seems clear to me.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/6/24 2:41 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/6/24 2:41 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Thanks Martin. This is good to me not become annoyed. But I understand that I need to improve description. I will read other's log to get the way.
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 7:50 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 7:50 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Heh he, let's be nice everyone.  emoticon

I remember when I was starting noting -- it was initially hard to see, note, and remember all the details. I'm sure Barros' reports will get more detailed over time. 

​​​​​​​
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Dream Walker, modified 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 7:59 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 7:59 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 1732 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
shargrol:
Heh he, let's be nice everyone.  emoticon I remember when I was starting noting -- it was initially hard to see, note, and remember all the details. I'm sure Barros' reports will get more detailed over time.  ​​​​​​​

True dat, 
I'm overly interested, I shall back off and be more pleasant.

In the beginning of logging details are useful, later those details have been defined and letting vocabulary slide is fine. I get frustrated trying to help without a place to start.
emoticon
emoticon
emoticon
~D
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 8:11 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/5/24 8:11 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
shargrol
Heh he, let's be nice everyone.  emoticon

I remember when I was starting noting -- it was initially hard to see, note, and remember all the details. I'm sure Barros' reports will get more detailed over time. 

​​​​​​​
Hehe.. thanks Shargrol!!!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 3/6/24 12:11 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/6/24 12:11 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2807 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
emoticon Ha! The spirit here is not at all how it was back in 2011 when I first joined (my old account). I was totally scared away by the bombardment to explain in detail all the sensate experience and I came from a Shamatha background emoticon 

Trust me when I say; you are experiencing the softest DhO attitude to date emoticon It's good you never experienced the Actual Freedom interrogation emoticon emoticon Jeez! 

Best wishes! 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/6/24 2:43 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/6/24 2:43 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Hehe.. thanks Dusko!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/6/24 7:26 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/6/24 7:26 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:10 without an alarm, after a good sleep. I made and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 5:40.
I sat on my cushion with my legs crossed and eyes closed in the living room of my house.
Goal: Sit for 1h20 using mental noting technique with in and out breathing as base. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

Note: I forgot to take refuge in the Buddha and make some resolved.

0-30 min: I sat comfortably. My mind was very calm. I quickly focused on the inflow and outflow of my breath. The sensation (vedana) of breath was quite pleasant. Sometimes I looked wider, the erect posture of the spine and the "body breathing". 70% of the notes were on breathing. 30% of the notes were listening, feeling parts of the body, judgment thoughts, investigating the state of calm.

30-40 min: The sensation (vedana) of breathing started to become neutral and to not attracting my attention.

40-50 min: My breathing was quite calm and short. The sensation (vedana) of breathing stopped attracting attention. Breathing became subtle and boring, then I tried to notice other things (four satipatthana), but it seemed to escape me. I noticed it after it passed. So I tried to broaden the focus of attention, but without much success.

50-80 min: I lost concentration (at least apparently). Breathing began to oscillate (short-long) and become restless. Because of this situation, I started to think that I made a mistake in the noting method. I noticed doubt, worry, impatience, restless, desire to get up. But I stayed there noting with difficulty for 30 minutes.

-----------------------
Is the description improving? You can call me out. Please!
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 3/6/24 11:11 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/6/24 9:40 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Very good. 

So I tried to broaden the focus of attention, but without much success.

Let attention broaden on its own. Work with experience as it is. No need to control the shape. 

I noticed doubt, worry, impatience, restless, desire to get up.

Did you notice it in the body? In the thoughts? What does it feel like? What does it seem like the experiences are made of? There's no real correct answer here. This is just a useful way to improve our ability to speak phenomenologically. 


Practice sounds good. Keep it up emoticon
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/7/24 8:53 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/7/24 8:44 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Let attention broaden on its own. Work with experience as it is. No need to control the shape. 
Ok. I will try. Thanks!

Did you notice it in the body? In the thoughts?
In the thoughts.

What does it feel like? What does it seem like the experiences are made of?
She seemed to last equal with my attachment/desire for her to go away.
​​​​​​​
There's no real correct answer here. This is just a useful way to improve our ability to speak phenomenologically. 
Ok. I undestand. Thanks so much!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 3/7/24 12:07 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/7/24 12:07 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2807 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"Is the description improving? You can call me out. Please!"

Absolutely improving!
Well done and best wishes to you Andre! May your practice benefit many! 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/7/24 8:45 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/7/24 8:45 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko
"Is the description improving? You can call me out. Please!"

Absolutely improving!
Well done and best wishes to you Andre! May your practice benefit many! 

Thanks Dusko!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/7/24 8:46 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/7/24 8:46 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-07

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a good sleep. I made and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:00.
I sat on my cushion with my legs crossed and eyes closed in the living room of my house.
Goal: Sit for 1h20 using mental noting technique with in/out breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.
Note: I toke refuge in the Buddha and make resolution to watch the 3C's.

0-25 min: I sat comfortably. I started noting in/out breathing. 70% of the notes were on breathing. 30% of the notes were listening, feeling others parts of the body, comments thoughts about what I was noting, investigating the state of calm.

25-35 min: My breathing became very subtle and short. I thought I would be absorbed by the focus on breathing. But something else started to happen. I started to see monosyllabic speech. It was actually smaller than a syllable. They looked like syllabic vibrations. Very fast. I watched that. I couldn't notice/label it because it was so fast.

35-45 min: I lost my breath as an anchor. I lost concentration. It looked like a drifting boat. I saw things appearing but I didn't have the precision to notice them. I was a little distraught, trying to find myself. But there was calm. I remembered to just let it go and the confusion pass.

45-55 min: The confusion passed. I went back to anchoring in my breathing, which was coarse/rough.

55-80 min: Pain started at the base of the spine and buttocks. A solid pain that dissipated, moved to the knee, also dissipated and moved to the ankle. The latter lasted a long time, for the rest of the session. All this because my spine was falling and putting the weight on my legs. I just watched and endured it.
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 3/8/24 5:17 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/8/24 5:17 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Remember to note confusion and all of its component pieces, confusion, drifting, worry, uncertainty, searching, anxiety, doubt, etc.  Confusion is just one more thing to note.

And I really don't recomment suffering beyond an hour if your body is hurting. That endurance doesn't usually help. Better to stand up and continue to meditate while standing or perhaps stop after an hour, but ignoring the body isn't a good habit.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/8/24 12:18 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/8/24 12:16 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
shargrol Remember to note confusion and all of its component pieces, confusion, drifting, worry, uncertainty, searching, anxiety, doubt, etc.  Confusion is just one more thing to note.
Ok Shargrol!
And I really don't recomment suffering beyond an hour if your body is hurting. That endurance doesn't usually help. Better to stand up and continue to meditate while standing or perhaps stop after an hour, but ignoring the body isn't a good habit.
I will change the position of my legs. I did this other times and it resolved.

​​​​​​​Thanks so much!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/8/24 8:16 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/8/24 8:16 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-08

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a good sleep. I made and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:00.
I sat on my cushion with my legs crossed and eyes closed in the living room of my house.
Goal: Sit for 1h20 using mental noting technique with in/out breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.
Note1: I toke refuge in triple gem and make resolution to watch the 3C's.
Note2: My nose/nostrils was blocked. Breathing with difficulty.

0-30 min: I started with my mind wandering. It took about 10 minutes until I was able to anchor my breathing. Even afterwards the mind wandered a lot. With low concentration. After 20 minutes I tried breath counting but it didn't help much. The mind continued to wander. I think the difficulty in concentrating was because I was trying to anchor myself in a pleasant breathing, but it wasn't happening due to a blocked nose.

30-40 min: Then I left my mind playing in its playground without much expectations. It worked and concentration improved.

40-60 min: I notice ill will in pratice. After this the mind became sharp and energetic. I started noticing impermanence in things arising (4 satipatthana). I had mindfulness, investigation, energy, but still not much tranquility.

60-80 min: Concentration improved even more. My nostrils have improved. I could breathe better. I enjoyed the sensation of breathing. I had mindfulness, investigation, energy, and now joy and tranquility. I had no thoughts of giving up and getting up.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/9/24 7:35 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/9/24 7:35 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-09

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I travel to my mother-in-law's house.
I woke up at 5:50 with an alarm, after a good sleep. I drank black coffee of yesterday, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:20.
I sat not on my default cushion, in one bedroom of my mother-in-law's house. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h using mental noting technique with in/out breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.
Note: I toke refuge in triple gem and make resolution to watch the 3C's.

0-20 min: I sat on the cushion that I'm not used to. The position was a little uncomfortable. I tried to relax my body, looking at posture and breathing. I started to relax more and more. But around 15 minutes appeared a pain in my back and became worse later. Within 20 minutes the pain increased and I saw my spine curved. I decided to place my hands on knees and straighten the spine.

20-45 min: Resolved. The pain has stopped. The posture was good. I was able to notice my breathing again. Breathing felt good. I relaxed.

45-60 min: I noticed a tension in the mind. I saw that something wasn't right, because concentration wasn't progressing. I investigated and saw ill will and a desire to change something in practice. Like something was wrong and needed to be fixed. I saw dissatisfaction and desire for progress. Then I realized that it was exactly what I needed to let go of and I let it go. I focus again on breathing and my concentration improved.
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 3/10/24 6:31 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/10/24 6:31 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
nicely done!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/11/24 9:05 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/11/24 9:05 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-10

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I still was in my mother-in-law's house.
I woke up at 5:50 with an alarm, after a good sleep. I drank black coffee of yesterday, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:20.
I sat not on my default cushion, in one bedroom of my mother-in-law's house. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h using mental noting technique with in/out breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.
Note: I toke refuge in triple gem and make resolution to watch the 3C's.

0-30 min: Before I sit I saw the ill will. I note it and sat. I sat on the cushion that is not my usual one. The position was not good. I tried to adjust but I couldn't, but I continued anyway. I watched the posture, the breathing, the relaxing of the body. I noticed the spine curving. I noticed that the posture was not good. I noticed a desire to improve posture. I noticed ill will due to the posture. I couldn't relax. I noticed a lot of wandering.

30-50 min: I decided to change my position. I changed my legs crossed. I folded the pillow. I moved the hand that was on my knee to my lap. It got better for a while, but then my spine fell and I started to notice ill will with the posture again.

50-60 min: I decided to stop, but then I noticed the ill will in it and left it. I also put good desire there (motivating me by the good purpose of the act of practicing). This improved my posture, my mood, my concentration. I investigated the 7 factors and saw that they were better.

Note: In terms of nanas, I certainly didn't make it to the 4th nana.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/11/24 9:42 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/11/24 9:37 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-11

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I returned to my home.
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a good sleep. I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:00.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:20 using mental noting technique with in/out breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.
Note: I toke refuge in triple gem and make resolution to watch the 3C's.

0-35 min: Now, with my default cushion, the posture was 100%. Noticing the breathing and posture I quickly had access concentration. I began to be absorbed by the pleasurable sensation of breathing.

35-45 min: Breathing was very subtle and short. She started to disappear. I started not feeling her and lost my anchor.

45-60 min: I began to wander and notice the blurred images in the center of my vision. I noticed mini dreams, numbness, low energy, low mindfulness, poor investigation.

Note: My hypothesis of numbness is the lack of anchoring in the sensations of the body.

60-80min: Solid pains appeared in the knee and ankle of the leg that was crossed above. I held on for a few minutes and decided to change position, following Shargrol's advice. With that, the pain went away and I returned to having good concentration and everything I had at the beginning of this session, as I once again had pleasant sensations in my body to ground me. This continued until the end.

Nanas: In the first part it seems like I reached 4 nana, then I went to dukkas nanas (numbness phase). With the pain, I change legs and regain concentration, I no longer know who it would be in terms of nanas. Did I go back to the first nanas?

More about numbness phase: During the numbness, I kept investigating, looking at the loss of memory of what I was doing, the difficulty in seeing things emerging, the diffuse center of attention. Blurry images in the center of vision.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/11/24 9:44 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/11/24 9:44 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
In order to improve my log, would you have someone's practice log that you could recommend for me to read and follow as an example?
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 3/11/24 11:19 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/11/24 11:15 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Your log is great. I don't see any reason you need to improve it. Keep practicing, keep adding to the log, things will deepen themselves. 

​​​​​​​Feel free to read through anyone else's log here if it helps. Sometimes just knowing other people are on the same journey can help. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 3/11/24 11:21 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/11/24 11:18 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Generally, don't worry too much about Nana's for now. You will learn them intuitively through continued practice. 

If it is dukkha Nana's be sure to include the periphery of any discomfort you feel. How does the space around you feel? 

Pleasant feelings can be useful but they are not necessarily signs that practice is good. Sometimes we need to work with unpleasant feelings. Sometimes we can grow too attached to pleasant feelings. 

​​​​

​​​​​​​
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/12/24 9:07 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/12/24 9:07 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Thanks Bahiya Baby! Again, this make me feel free!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/12/24 9:05 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/12/24 9:05 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Thanks Bahiya Baby! This make me feel free!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/12/24 9:07 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/12/24 9:07 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-12

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a good sleep, at home. I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:00.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:20 using mental noting technique with in/out breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.
Note: I toke refuge in triple gem and make resolution to watch the 3C's.

0-20 min: I started with a comfortable posture and began to notice breathing and body posture. I noticed a laziness in notice/label. I just wanted to watch and be absorb by the pleasant sensation of breathing. Then I noticed a doubt, whether I was changing methods. That I was doing shamatha instead of vipassana. The doubt remained for 1 min. In doubt I couldn't stay and so I decided to keep focused in breath and see what would happen. But it didn't take long and the desire to notice/label returned. 

20-50 min: I started to notice well. I was more anchored in breathing. The concentration was increasing. It reached a point thar I had never seen. I felt a very pleasant sensation in my breath at the base of my lungs when I was exhaling. Especially at the end when there was a pause. It felt like someone massaging the local, at a specific point. Very pleasurable and absorbing. I noticed that it would eventually end, so I wouldn't get so attached.

50-60 min: The high phase of pleasure has passed. The energy dropped by half. I noticed a forgetfulness of what I was doing. Slightly numb. A gray image in the center of vision. I instructed myself to wait the forgetfulness to pass. The memory came back, I spent observing the senses (sensations in the body and hearing), energy increased, but then dropped again. It had ups and downs. But I had no confusion, worry, dullness, or desire to change the situation. It was a slight numbness.

60-80 min: The numbness passed. The energy came back. I still wandered sometimes. I had no joy or pleasure in my breathing, but I had contentment with the situation. I was fine with the things that came up. I didn't realize dukkha at this stage. I noticed general calm.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/13/24 9:35 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/13/24 9:35 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-13

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:20 with an alarm, after a good sleep, at home. I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 5:50.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:20 (BUT I DO 1H) using mental noting technique with in/out breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.
Note1: I toke refuge in triple gem and make resolution to watch the 3C's.
Note2: I'm married and have two sons. In monday we discovery that we will need to take loan. I have a small company of software development.

0-10 min: I started with a comfortable posture and began to notice breathing and body posture. I noticed sounds, smells, images arising and sensations associated. I noticed thoughts. I noticed pleasure in breathing.

10-20 min: I started to have ideias to help my business. I noticed the ideia. But in this moment was good ideias that could really help my business. Then I let the ideia continue e proliferate. I was with mindfulness and could control that. Then I came back to noticed breath and body. After another ideia arised. I again let it dismember. I managed to control it again and then came back to notice breath and body.

20-50 min: I started to wander. The thoughts was not associated with my business. It was randon thoughts. The energy started to fall. I alternated between wandering and noticing. But noticing was lazy. The investigation was weak. I forced the notation and it didn't solve. So I let my mind wander.

50-60 min: I tried to force the notation but again it didn't work. I was wandering around a lot. I decided to try up to 60 minutes. It hit 60 minutes and was still wandering. I decided to stop and got up.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/14/24 8:41 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/14/24 8:41 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Is there anything I could cut from my reports? Be more objective?

I have spent around 40 minutes every day translating from Portuguese to English. I work from morning until night. And I still take care of the family.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 3/14/24 8:50 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/14/24 8:49 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
I have heard that Chatgpt outperforms Google translate. Especially when translating to English. It could be a useful tool to aid in your translations. 

​​​​​​​As a fellow software developer you may be familiar with it's potential to improve efficiency. I don't even write code anymore really I just supervise AI's. It has gotten to the point where I could likely work two full-time jobs if I wanted... Maybe even 3 if I was an efficient person... Unfortunately I am not. 

​​​​​​​Claude and Devin are potentially useful AI resources you might consider for your business. Though this falls outside of the context of this forum. 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/15/24 6:13 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/15/24 6:12 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Hi Bahiya!

I have heard that Chatgpt outperforms Google translate. Especially when translating to English. It could be a useful tool to aid in your translations. 
I you try this certany. Actually, I just used it to translate this here. Thanks!

It has gotten to the point where I could likely work two full-time jobs if I wanted
"Amazing! I've heard about Devin but was skeptical. I'll give it a try. Thank you!"
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/15/24 8:19 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/15/24 8:19 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
I have heard that Chatgpt outperforms Google translate.
Today I used Chatgpt. It was realy better. Thanks Bahiya!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/15/24 7:54 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/14/24 9:10 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-14

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a good sleep, at home. I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:00.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:20 (BUT I DO 1H:10) using mental noting technique with in/out breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.
Note1: I toke refuge in triple gem and make resolution to watch the 3C's.
Note2: I went to bed late yesterday. I woke up with an alarm but really wanting to sleep more. I noticed ill will to pratice.

0-10 min: I started with a comfortable posture and began to notice breathing and body posture. I didn't get access concentration. I was wandering.

20-60 min: Energy started to fall. The numbness phase has begun. I noticed wandering, mini dreams, ill will, desire to change the situation. Around 50 min I noticed a lot of fighting. Loss of consciousness. Breathing long and forced unconsciously. I say unconsciously because I caught myself in the middle of forced breathing and at this moment that I was aware of what I was doing. I tried to look for where there was discomfort in breathing. But when I looked it, I couldn't find, because just by looking it no longer existed (I think I couldn't express it well). In these moments of consciousness, energy, mindfulness and investigation improved. But then fall again and I noticed ill will and desire to give up. I decide that I would get up after 1h of practice. But when 1h arrived I just noticed the desire. I investigated the self there. Who wants to get up? I find nothing. It passed and I continued there.

60-70 min: Energy, mindfulness and investigation improved. But after fall again. 70 min arrived and I decide to get up. The self won! haha.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 3/14/24 9:35 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/14/24 9:35 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2807 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Well done! Practice is going well but please don't spend 40 minutes to translate all this into English! emoticon It's ok to update us every week with the general stuff about yiur daily practice. I used to update my teacher once a month! emoticon Just general stuff and maybe some things I experienced as "wow!" emoticon 

Btw I too have two sons! One is 8 years and the other little bandit is 3 years old! emoticon 

Best wishes to you and your family! May this practice benefit you all! 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/15/24 6:20 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/15/24 6:20 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Please don't spend 40 minutes to translate.
I record the audio of the narrative in the morning and listen to it at night. I edit by cutting, adding, or improving something, and then I do the translation. That's why it takes me so long.
Just general stuff and maybe some things I experienced as "wow!
But I'll try to put it in general terms and include the 'wow' moments as you suggested. Thank you!"
Btw I too have two sons! One is 8 years and the other little bandit is 3 years old!
It's really cool to hear about your personal life. Thanks for sharing!
Best wishes to you and your family! May this practice benefit you all! 
Thanks so much!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/15/24 7:53 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/15/24 7:53 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-15

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 6:15 without an alarm, after a good sleep, at home. I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:35.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 45min using mental noting technique with in/out breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

Note: I woke up late today because I decided to sleep more as I was very tired.

I'll try to speak in general terms today to not take too much time. I started the first 10 minutes wandering. Then concentration increased and I began to immerse myself in breathing. The sensation of the body faded away, leaving only the breath. I just kept noticing the breath, commenting on the experience. I was very calm. Then I had a desire for the absorption to increase and began to lose it. I noticed that, released it, and absorbed again. Then I lost it again. Finally, the energy dropped, I had mini-dreams, the time was up, and I needed to get up. I finished with 50 minutes.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/16/24 9:21 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/16/24 9:21 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-16

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 6:15 without an alarm, after a good sleep, at home. I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:35.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h using mental noting technique with in/out breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

I began by noting the breath and quickly attained access concentration. I had mental presence, investigation, energy, joy, and tranquility. After 30 minutes, the energy and mental presence decreased, and the investigation became poor. After some time, I started to notice anxiety and a desire to change the situation (torpor). I noticed and let go. Then energy and concentration increased again. I tried to observe contact in the senses > sensation > attachment, but found it difficult to see.
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 3/17/24 6:05 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/17/24 6:02 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
 In general, its usually better to put the mind on what is clearly arising rather than trying to go straight to "contact". If attachment is arising, put the mind as close to the "attachment" feeling as possible and it will naturally become "sensations" and maybe even "contact". If sensations are arising, put the mind as close to the "sensation" experience as possible and maybe it might become contact.

(But worrying about all of this is much too technical, the answer is to always be mindful of what is already occuring in the present moment --- simple! emoticon )

Although in theory contact is "better" than sensations which is better than attachment, if you try to move past what is currently arising it creates a sense of unconscious aversion to what is currently arising.  Does that make sense? You have become an "I" that is not directly experiencing the present moment, but rather is being a perfectionist and adversely judging the present moment. See if you can notice this when it happens. This is our egotistical need to be a good/perfect meditation, make progress, etc etc.  It's okay to have those desires, but in meditation it's important to see these desires and not get caught up in the role of "being the perfect meditator". 

It's very important to notice when our "I" wants to change how meditation is occuring, how it wants to manipulate the experience into something "better". This is normally how we live our life, but in meditation we need to learn to drop the self-improvement instinct. 99% of meditation will follow this pattern:
  1. Realizing you are lost in thought or an emotion - you can't control this, the mind will realize this on its own through its natural intelligence. You'll find yourself "back from a trance". 
  2. Letting go of being an "I" that is thinking or planning or judging or trying to manipulate the experience -- and noting it "thinking, thinking", "planning, planning", "judging, judging", "manipulating, manipulating", "fixing, fixing" etc. etc.
  3. Then after noting the general kind of thoughts you are having, note if there was an emotion associated with those thoughts. Were you worried, disappointed, sad, feeling like a failure, feeling powerful, bored, happy, proud? Note that emotional tone.
  4. Now return to the sensations that are already present - the breathing sensations, the sitting sensations. Physical sensations are always in the present moment, so if you are mindful of a sensation you are back in the present moment. Note a sensation, any sensation. Good, you are now present
  5. Now you can decide to continue either narrow noting (focus on just breathing sensations or sensation in general) or wider noting (sensations, emotions, and thoughts). Develop a skill and intuition about how broad/open your mind can be. Sometimes you might feel drawn to narrow noting, sometimes you might feel drawn to wide noting. Both are equally fine, noting is just a general framework to help give you feed back on being present. 
  6. Continue noting at the pace of about one note each exhale...
  7. At some point, you will realize you have been lost in an emotion or a thought. Good! No problem! We actually want this to happen (I say more about this below), just smile and go back to #1.
Notice how your mind's natural intelligence brought you back from being lost. THIS IS WHAT GETS TRAINED. We aren't trying to force perfect mindfulness. What we are doing is creating conditions so the natural intelligence of the mind teaches itself to be mindful. The mind is learning how to come back from a emotional or thinking trance. In order to learn, we need to "fail" many many many times, but it isn't really failing, it's meditation TRAINING.

And then when you do the noting of thinking and emotion (step 2 and 3 above), you are helping your concious mind learn about the things that put you in a trance. These steps are more like psychology training, you are learning about the subconcious ways your mind retreats from the present moment and gets lost. 

Hopefully you can see that meditation training is different than psychology training. In psychology, we look at the mind and try to understand it, figure it out. But in meditation training, we're developing the natural intelligence of the mind, which we can't train intentionally. It just sort of happens the more time we spend being mindful and going from trance to presence many many times. Noting is a very good practice method because it gives us a framework for noticing when we've gone into trance (we've stop noting!) and gives us a framework for psychological introspection by noting the sticky thoughts and emotions that send us into a trance. 

Progress in meditation happens beyond our direct control. But progress in meditation does happen if we keep a consistent daily practice with a method that helps us learn about trances. Over time, the mind will prefer to become more mindful because there is less confusion and suffering in mindfulness. (Trances are seductive, but living in a trance is confusing and stressful and causes problem because we're disconnected from reality). This all takes time and can't be forced, it can only be encouraged through consistent practice.

Hope this helps in some way, definitely disregard if is too confusing or doesn't seem to apply to your practice. Everyone is different and needs slightly different ways to frame their practice. Focus on what works for you.
 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/17/24 8:45 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/17/24 8:45 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Although in theory contact is "better" than sensations which is better than attachment, if you try to move past what is currently arising it creates a sense of unconscious aversion to what is currently arising.  Does that make sense?
It makes complete sense!

It's okay to have those desires, but in meditation it's important to see these desires and not get caught up in the role of "being the perfect meditator". 
Exactly! I notice this desire whenever I enter the phase of torpor.

Tomorow I will continue reading your response.. It's late and I need to go to sleep.

Thanks so much, Shargrol! You are amazing!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/18/24 8:21 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/18/24 8:21 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
In order to learn, we need to "fail" many many many times, but it isn't really failing, it's meditation TRAINING.
Perfect! Now it's clear what NOT TO DO in "moments of unconsciousness": ACCEPT (what naturally doesn't turn into attachment). In other words, to have patience/gentleness when failing to allow the training to progress naturally.

Today I read this before my practice and my heart felt big, I failed several times, but with 70% less dukkha! Later I'll detail this in the daily post.

Thank you very much, Shargrol!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/17/24 8:32 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/17/24 8:32 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-17

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 6:15 without an alarm, after a good sleep, at home. I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:35.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 50 min using mental noting technique with in/out breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

In today's practice I think that I discovered my biggest attachment currently in practice: The desire to not lose mindfulness (mental presence) in order to investigate/notice.

I started by noticing the breath and quickly gained access concentration. The sensation of the breath was enjoyable. After 20 minutes, I noticed my energy dropping and the sensation of the breath no longer grabbing my attention. I lost interest in it. So I began to investigate this. Why did I find this numbness situation wrong? Then I thought, if I'm truly numb, I won't be able to maintain my attention for 10 minutes. And I did a test; I started counting my breaths. To my surprise, I didn't lose count for 10 minutes.

Then another problem arises: which came first, the chicken or the egg? I think counting brought my energy back. Or perhaps it was the interest/curiosity in what such an action would result in.

I thought about repeating this in the next few days. To experiment. Because I believe the numbness turned into paranoia and prejudice. I see the energy drop and project it will turn into torpor.

With this, I discovered that my biggest attachment at the moment is wanting to maintain access concentration throughout the entire session to be able to notice/investigate. How can I progress if I don't have mental presence? That's why I think there's something wrong with the practice when I "THINK" I don't have mental presence.

In summary, I think this is what I should notice and try to accept/overcome at the moment.
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 3/18/24 10:54 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/18/24 10:54 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
You're very welcome.

For what its worth, the only difference between someone who can sit for and hour and someone who can go on a ten day retreat is exactly this set of abilities. Soon we develop a new habit of accepting that trances occur, that trances can give us insights into our subconscious, and that it's normal to "start again" many many many times every hour of the retreat. emoticon

When someone can't accept that trances happen, that they "shouldn't" happen... then they look at trances as "wrong" and start fighting with their own mind... and they burn out in a day or two. emoticon
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/18/24 8:18 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/18/24 8:17 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
I translated your post and placed it on my portuguese blog of your compilations. I will read it many times and focus on accepting the trances in daily practices.

Thanks!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/18/24 8:38 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/18/24 8:38 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-18

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a not so good night of sleep. I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:15.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h using mental noting technique with in/out breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

Today I sat in ecstasy after reading the precise advice given by Shargrol. My mind was restless haha. But I was happy and with a huge heart. I was wandering a lot, reflecting on what he said. But I didn't mind much about it. I noticed myself thinking, wandering, commenting, and then returned to the breath. Soon, upon contact, I perceived, noticed, and had no attachment afterwards.

From 25 to 40 minutes, I experienced torpor. But I could notice it (low energy, weak mental presence, wandering, many random images). But I could let it go. No paranoid. I managed to let go 70% of the time. I didn't notice myself trying to change the situation at any moment. I was very happy about that.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 3/18/24 8:45 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/18/24 8:45 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2807 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I was wondering what do you read about Dhamma before sitting? 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/19/24 9:06 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/19/24 9:06 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko
I was wondering what do you read about Dhamma before sitting? 
Hi Dusko! I usually read Shargrol's Compilation, Daniel Ingram, Kenneth Folk, or Ajahn Jayasaro (a disciple of Ajahn Chah), or watch the dhamma talk semanal videos of the Brazilian Theravada monk Mudito (also from the forest tradition - Ajahn Chah).
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 3/20/24 3:13 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/20/24 3:13 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2807 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Nice Dhamma bunch you've got there emoticon 

I used to do the same and watched Kenneth Folk you tube demos, as well as Shinzen Young and Thanissaro Bhikkhu short Dhamma talks. Was a great motivational boost! emoticon 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/20/24 4:19 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/20/24 4:19 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko
Nice Dhamma bunch you've got there emoticon 

I used to do the same and watched Kenneth Folk you tube demos, as well as Shinzen Young and Thanissaro Bhikkhu short Dhamma talks. Was a great motivational boost! emoticon 
Nice! I wasn't familiar with Shinzen Young. I've read a lot by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, he's very technical, haha. But these days, I prefer to read more pragmatic dharma.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 3/18/24 9:28 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/18/24 9:28 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Nice, keep it up !! Remember to include any negativity or discomfort into the total experience. Get familiar with the space around your experience. 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/19/24 8:56 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/19/24 8:56 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Bahiya Baby Nice, keep it up !! Remember to include any negativity or discomfort into the total experience. Get familiar with the space around your experience. 

Ok Bahiya. Thanks!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/19/24 9:07 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/19/24 9:07 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-19

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:15 without an alarm, after a good night of sleep. I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:10.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:10 using mental noting technique with in/out breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

I sat down with a bit of reluctance to practice, but I noticed and followed through. I began to notice sensations in my breathing and body. I quickly gained access concentration. But after 10 minutes, I entered a phase of lethargy. Today, my heart wasn't really in it, haha, and thus I struggled to accept. But it's okay, I kept noticing as best I could. I had ups and downs, entering and exiting the trance. I noticed reluctance, a desire to change the situation (I knew I needed to accept, but I noticed this desire upon returning to consciousness). As I found it difficult to notice more, the lethargy deepened. After 50 minutes, my energy started to improve, and I began to perceive dukkha better. I noticed discomfort in the mind and breathing (tightness), but it didn't change the situation much, and I finished with 1 hour and 10 minutes.

After getting up and returning to my routine, I investigated the state of my mind and didn't notice any feelings of disappointment or sadness, despite today's practice being 80% in a trance. Now I know that I'm in training, and it's part of the learning process.
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 3/20/24 4:44 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/20/24 4:44 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Perfect.

And one other note to file away for when you need it: the worst sits are the best sits because that's when we learn the most. 

I wish there was a different way, but dukka really is our teacher. But if you make friends with dukka, it really does serve as a guide to insights and awakening.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 2 Months ago at 3/20/24 7:57 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 3/20/24 7:57 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
shargrol
Perfect.

And one other note to file away for when you need it: the worst sits are the best sits because that's when we learn the most. 

I wish there was a different way, but dukka really is our teacher. But if you make friends with dukka, it really does serve as a guide to insights and awakening.
Cool! I'll definitely highlight this advice! 

This reminds me of a 2021 post by Ajahn Jayasaro:


Thanks so much, Shargrol!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/20/24 8:35 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/20/24 8:35 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-20

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a good night of sleep. I make and drank black coffee, not read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:10.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h using mental noting technique with breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

Today I didn't read about the Dhamma; I read about work-related matters instead. I sat comfortably and began to notice sensations in my breath and body. In the first 10 minutes, I had energy but was wandering in thoughts/ideas about work. Since the desire to think was strong, I decided to use the technique of imagining that it could be my last i/out breath before dying. It worked! I started to focus and notice the sensations of breath and body more. Around the 25 min my energy began to decline. I started to enter a trance state, becoming unconscious for a few seconds, experiencing mini-dreams. When I regain consciousness, I realize what was happening. I notice that I was in discomfort, confusion, with a desire to change that situation (dukkha). Then I look at my body and notice the tightness in the breath. I smiled and thanked for being conscious again and returned to noting. I went through this cycle of trance and mental presence several times.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/21/24 8:25 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/21/24 8:25 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-21

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a short night of sleep (total of 6hs) - I usually need 8hs. I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:10.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:10 using mental noting technique with breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

I began by noticing the breath and the body. I didn't have access concentration. The sensation (vedana) of the breath wasn't grabbing my attention. It tended towards neutral. Around the 25-minute mark, my energy started to decline. For about 5 minutes, I managed to stay present and attempted to perceive in the body where the lethargy was. I felt a heaviness in the area around my eyes and forehead. Then, the mind gradually became duller, and I entered the trance phase (unconscious). Unlike wandering thoughts of the past and future (planning), it's a mode similar to dreaming. For example, at one point when I regained consciousness, I found myself in a mini-dream trying to access the dharmaoverground website to read something that would help me overcome that torpor (dukkha). I remained in this cycle of mini-dreams and mental presence until the 50-minute mark when I found myself 'nodding off' (my head dropped forward and I got startled). I changed the position of my legs and started investigating by asking: what do I see in this moment? What can I perceive? The energy improved slightly. Then, I did breath counting to stay more consciously aware. It worked, and I continued observing until 1 hour and 10 minutes.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/22/24 9:11 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/22/24 9:11 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-22

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a decent/moderate night of sleep. (total of 7hs). I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:00.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:00 using mental noting technique with breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

Note: Today I used an app on my phone to listen to my spoken notes and transcribe them. Below is the result (revised):

Sitting comfortably
Noticing the breath
Observing the body and relaxing
Scratchy throat
For now, there's not much to say, as nothing is arising. I'm just paying attention to the body and the breath.
Sensation of the breath drawing attention
Coughing
Relaxing again.
Seven awakening factors OK
Thinking that using this app will work out because it will keep me energetic, not allowing me to relax too much; I think extreme relaxation makes me sleepy.
It's been 10 minutes
Realizing that 10 minutes went by quickly
Dog entered the room, I had to move the phone away from me, as he wanted to lie on the phone and would turn off the app.
Observing him lying in front of me.
Feeling his contact on my legs.
Mental state okay
Energy okay
Hearing rain starting outside
Clearing my throat
Waiting
Relaxing
Awareness of sensations in the body
Calm
Investigating but everything is calm, nothing much happening
Clearing my throat
Noticing details of the breath
Image of the lungs
Hearing a baby crying
Commenting on the experience
It's been 20 minutes
Seeing the echo of "20 minutes" in my mind.
Like an echo in the mountains
Comments on the echo.
Observing the breath
Sensation of the breath is neutral
Neutral vedana
And a perception that energy is decreasing
Feeling unconcerned about comments, as I'm recording them.
Previously, I used to try to memorize the experience. That's why I feel lighter now.
Energy improved
Thinking
Good mental presence
Does speaking interfere with increasing concentration?
Doubt
Observing the breath, but I noticed doubt several times during this time.
Doubt about speaking while meditating.
Noted the doubt and returned to the breath.
I think if it's not good, someone will guide me to change and adjust it.
Coughing
Observing the sensation of the body that changed after coughing.
Body vibrations
It's been 30 minutes.
Not as tranquil as before, but there's mental presence, investigation, and energy.
Thinking
Waiting
Thinking (Wandering)
Returning to noticing
Returning to the breath
Focusing
Was absorbed in the breath (almost 20 min)
Now returning to noticing the six sense doors
Observing the body
It's been 50 minutes
Noticed a mental discomfort
Tried to find where the discomfort was but it disappeared
Thinking...
[I DON'T KNOW WHY BUT STOPPED TRANSCRIBING SHORTLY AFTER 50 MIN]

Summary:
I tried to note the main experiences. Sometimes, I didn't speak aloud as it might disturb concentration. Initially, I had many notes; then, concentration increased, and I stayed more with the breath, noting mentally but not speaking to avoid disrupting concentration. Today, I didn't experience a phase of torpor because this verbal notation doesn't allow too much relaxation, so energy doesn't drop. I'll continue using this technique to see how it goes. I think I shouldn't keep changing techniques, but it'll be good to try for a while to see if it helps with the torpor difficulty. Later, I'd like to hear your opinions.
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 3/22/24 11:46 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/22/24 11:46 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
"I'll continue using this technique to see how it goes. I think I shouldn't keep changing techniques, but it'll be good to try for a while to see if it helps with the torpor difficulty. Later, I'd like to hear your opinions."

Perfect, this is the right attitude. Experiment with your practice and test things out for yourself. Sometime we/I want to jump in and give advice but it's really important for each person to figure out what works for themselves in their own actual experience. 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/22/24 12:05 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/22/24 12:05 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Perfect, this is the right attitude. Experiment with your practice and test things out for yourself. Sometime we/I want to jump in and give advice but it's really important for each person to figure out what works for themselves in their own actual experience. 
Ok Shargrol. Thanks! emoticon 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/25/24 4:20 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/25/24 4:20 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-23

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a good night of sleep (total of 7hs). I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:10.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:10 using mental noting technique with breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

Today I used another app to try to record and improve my timing, but the app was paid, and it had a limitation on the audio size, so the voice notations didn't work out.

Overall, I had good moments of notation. I didn't have any issues with breathing absorption, I didn't experience strong moments of concentration, I had moments of low energy, but I didn't reach a state of stupor.

However, as I was actively noting, investigating, whenever I looked into something, it changed. The act of investigating caused a shift in my state, so I had ups and downs, but with investigation, energy returned. What I noticed most today was that whenever I investigated or looked into something, energy returned, mental presence improved, and it remained like that.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/25/24 4:20 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/25/24 4:20 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-24

I didn't meditate; I had visitors here, and I drank on Saturday. I was tired, so I couldn't wake up to meditate.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/25/24 4:20 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/25/24 4:20 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-25

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a long night of sleep (total of 8hs). I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice at 6:00.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:00 using mental noting technique with breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

Today again I had ups and downs. I could mainly notice when my energy dropped, when drowsiness started to settle in, where I didn't have a clear view of my breath. I was noting the breath, was relaxing, but I sort of began to drift and lose focus on the breath, and with that, random images started appearing in my vision (my eyes were closed). It was a mental vision, random images, they were enticing, drawing attention, and I noticed this. I shifted focus to hearing. It was raining at the time, and I started paying attention to the rain, noting the rain, and there I maintained an anchor to keep mindful attention. Then it passed, I had ups and downs again, I returned to the breath, then lost focus again. This cycle of high and low energy persisted, but there wasn't any strong drowsiness.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 3/25/24 4:39 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/25/24 4:39 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Anchoring your awareness in experience like siight and sound and feeling is great. Continue to do that and try to just honestly feel everything that naturally occurs within your attention. Notice how when things are good we subtly cling to how good it is. Notice how when things are bad we subtly or not so subtly recoil from the discomfort. See can you just continue to include it as part of the total experience. Experiment with being aware of your periphery, the space around you. 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/26/24 4:53 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/26/24 4:53 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Experiment with being aware of your periphery, the space around you. 
When you say this, would it be the periphery and the external physical space? In other words, the senses (sight, hearing, touch, and smell). Right?

Thanks, Bahiya!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/26/24 4:54 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/26/24 4:54 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-26

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a bad night of sleep (total of 6hs). I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:00 using mental noting technique with breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

I used the app to make spoken notations as I went along. Up until the 40-minute mark, I had good energy and was noting well. From 20 to 40 minutes, I noticed dullness creeping in. Energy dwindling.

I've noticed it coming through my sight. When I'm focused on breathing, my vision becomes dull, pulling my attention away from the breath. And then, if I focus on this dullness in vision (it's enticing), it pulls me into drowsiness. So, I try to shift my attention to the sense of hearing or the physical sensation of my spine, my upright posture.

By doing this, I managed to steer away from the dullness until it dissipated. But after 40 minutes, a stronger dullness set in. I tried focusing on hearing, it didn't work very well, I switched to the posture position, it helped for a while, then it didn't work anymore. I tried counting breaths, and it helped. I kept switching my attention between these senses, trying to move away from the dull vision.

I was mindfully observing it happen, but by shifting attention to these points, I somehow managed to prevent the dullness from progressing. After 50 minutes, I opened my eyes to check if the app I'm using was recording properly, and it wasn't. So, I adjusted it and went back to meditating.

After that, I woke up a bit, but I also lost concentration. When I returned to focusing on breathing, I was wandering more often.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 3/27/24 8:05 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/27/24 8:05 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2807 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Dull vision is the hazy vision. Non-clear and defocused. 

This kind of visual space can exhibit very interesting visual experiences which can be observed the same way you observe the sensations of breathing. 

I would suggest putting a bit more effort into "curiosity and allowing" around such dull and unclear, nebulous visual experiences. 

All experiences can be used to fuel our awakening. We are learning on the cushion not to run away from aversion into that we desire. We learn to not defend that which we desire and fear that which we feel aversion towards might arise again. 

All of experience is fluff. Acceptance and curiosity about ALL arising-passing experience. Be it calm or dull or itchy or boring ... acceptance and curiosity (loving investigation). 

Best wishes Barros! emoticon 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/27/24 11:55 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/27/24 11:51 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Hi Dusko!

I would suggest putting a bit more effort into "curiosity and allowing" around such dull and unclear, nebulous visual experiences.
Yes, I have been trying to approach this experience with curiosity. But, allowing it to happen totaly, I'm still unsure if I'm doing it in the best way. Because if I look directly at this hazy vision, the sensation of drowsiness increases, and I end up being drawn into it. But if I try to take a broader view (and not directly at it), focusing on sensations/contact in the body and hearing, investigating energy and mental state, in a way, I have managed not to be pulled by it.

All experiences can be used to fuel our awakening. We are learning on the cushion not to run away from aversion into that we desire. We learn to not defend that which we desire and fear that which we feel aversion towards might arise again.

All of experience is fluff. Acceptance and curiosity about ALL arising-passing experience. Be it calm or dull or itchy or boring ... acceptance and curiosity (loving investigation)
Yes, I understand, I agree, and it aligns with the intellectual understanding of the Dhamma that I have. I've had more difficulties applying this in the past, I still do, but to the extent possible, I've been able to make progress. Your (and all) advice has been very helpful because it's specific, making it easier to remember when faced with difficulty. Thanks so much!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/27/24 11:58 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/27/24 11:58 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-27

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a short night of sleep (total of 6hs). I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:00 using mental noting technique with breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

Note: today I used ChatGPT not only to translate but also to improve the description of the text. Let's see if it helps.

Shift in Focus and Encounter with Seductive Relaxation
As my session progresses, my concentration wavers, with moments of focus but without reaching the desired "access concentration." After about 20 to 25 minutes, I notice a sensation of blurry and hazy vision, accompanied by a seductive feeling of relaxation, which draws me towards drowsiness if I were to focus on it. This experience presents a challenge, as it tends to distract me from my practice. Despite attempting to broaden my focus to comprehend these experiences, I struggle to maintain my attention without being lured by the seductive relaxation.

Doubts and Uncertainties
Doubts begin to arise regarding the effectiveness of my meditation practice. I become uncertain about my method of observation, questioning whether I am noting sensations too slowly or inaccurately. These doubts create an obstacle to my ability to fully engage with the practice, leading to internal conflicts and additional uncertainties about my progress.

Persistence Amidst Doubts and Desire for Progress
Despite the persistent doubts, I persevere in my meditation, attempting to set aside uncertainties and desires for progress. I become aware of the interconnection of my thoughts and sensations, recognizing the challenge of maintaining focus amidst distractions. Through broad awareness and perception of energy, I manage to remain present in the moment, observing my experiences without becoming overly entangled in doubts or desires.

Reflections on Concentration
As the session draws to a close, I reflect on my level of concentration, acknowledging that I did not achieve the desired "access concentration" or a strong focus on my breathing. Nevertheless, I find comfort in my ability to maintain a broad awareness throughout the practice, indicating a sense of acceptance and contentment with the outcome of the session.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 3/28/24 1:56 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/28/24 1:55 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-03-28

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a reasonable night of sleep (total of 7hs). I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:00 using mental noting technique with breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

Introduction
I sat comfortably and focused intensely from the beginning.

Initial Concentration
In the initial moments, I experienced strong concentration, possibly reaching "access concentration." During this initial period, I felt good and connected.

Drop in Energy and Confusion
Around the 40-minute mark, I noticed a drop in energy. This led me to investigate what was happening, observing various mental images and sounds that arose. I experienced moments of confusion, not knowing what to focus on. I dedicated myself to actively observing and investigating these phenomena.

Investigation with Curiosity
I sought to understand this drop in energy, adopting a curious stance and exploring what could be causing this change. During this phase, I observed discomfort and a desire for change. Although I noticed this desire several times, I also sought to allow it to be present, trusting in the natural intelligence's ability to correct it.

Lower Concentration Towards the End
Towards the end, I noticed more images, thoughts, comments (less concentration).

Summary
Overall, the session was of a light nature with minimal discomfort.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/1/24 8:00 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/1/24 8:00 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-01

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a good night of sleep (total of 8hs). I make and drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:00 using mental noting technique with breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

Note 1: In the past few days, meditation has been the same as usual. Perhaps a little less enjoyable because I went to my mother-in-law's house and meditated there briefly, using a cushion that doesn't help my posture. I took more advantage of it to rest/sleep. But today was different.

Note 2: I gave up recording my notations out loud. I found that it wasn't allowing me to reach deeper stages of concentration.

Today I came back to my house.
I slept very well last night. Last night I also prioritized resting instead of meditating, waking up early. So, today I gathered a nice energy, a nice motivation.
Because I was rested, I came back to my house. I was in the environment I'm used to, especially with the pillow that I have a good posture. I don't have a posture problem when I'm with it, not lately.
Then I sat down, I quickly had an access concentration. I was centralizing, concentrating. And around 20 minutes I started to have a pitch in my hands.
Meditation was very light and easy. I noticed a very good energy, an energy that I even had in retreat.
Energy that seems to be the apex, at least in my practice it was the apex. This energy and this concentration was increasing. 40 minutes I was changing the points, let's say pitch or what I was concentrating on.
So I saw myself concentrating, changing points, but I left it. I realized that this continues to be changes and impermanence. There is no one place.
I was already 40 minutes well concentrated, but I changed the points where I was looking, that I was interested in looking, the mind was interested in looking. And around 40 to 45 minutes I wanted to cough. It was another point too.
I was sleeping badly because I was coughing a lot. This cough improved, I had a cold back there. That night I didn't cough, I slept well too because of that.
And then, after this cough, it shook the concentration a little.
But then I came back to concentrate again. I was concentrated, the nice energy continued. After the cough, I only had a moment of disconcentration of the apex I was in.
But I came back to concentrate again. 
There was a moment when I was very focused on the body's broad vibrations, and my son started coughing in your room (far from me). I felt my body vibrating with each of his coughs. It was as if it were waves when stones fall into the water.
In the end of the session, I began to perceive images, memories and feelings associated. A little bird singing, feelings associated.
Images, thoughts, feelings associated. My son talking, baby crying, feelings associated. It was very nice to see this too, very subtle.
And after an hour, I needed to conclude the meditation session. I think I had A&P nana.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 4/1/24 8:53 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/1/24 8:53 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Note 2: I gave up recording my notations out loud. I found that it wasn't allowing me to reach deeper stages of concentration.

Very good. Notice if you can notice without any labels at all. Simply notice that you can notice. I don't know if this will translate well but you are probably beginning to intuitively understand this is possible. 

There is no one place. 

Yes !! None !! This is an expression of the A&P.

There was a moment when I was very focused on the body's broad vibrations, and my son started coughing in your room (far from me). I felt my body vibrating with each of his coughs. It was as if it were waves when stones fall into the water.
In the end of the session, I began to perceive images, memories and feelings associated. A little bird singing, feelings associated.
Images, thoughts, feelings associated. My son talking, baby crying, feelings associated. It was very nice to see this too, very subtle.
And after an hour, I needed to conclude the meditation session. I think I had A&P nana.

Very nice !! Maybe the A&P !! Maybe... Não é nada !! Keep practicing, keep exploring. 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/2/24 5:44 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/2/24 5:44 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Notice if you can notice without any labels at all. Simply notice that you can notice. I don't know if this will translate well but you are probably beginning to intuitively understand this is possible. 
Yes, I can just notice without labeling. Just observing. Sometimes I'm noticing one thing, another thing arises, and I just observe. Actually, since my meditation foundation was shamatha and I learned notation later on, I kind of already did this.

Thanks Bahiya!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/2/24 6:04 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/2/24 6:04 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-02

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a moderated night of sleep (total of 7hs). I drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:00 using mental noting technique with breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

Today was different from yesterday. Yesterday I sat with a good posture, it was a nice posture. It was easy to concentrate. I didn't put much effort, I was taken, I was taken like that. During the practice, I noticed the mental state and energy, and couldn't help but compare it to yesterday. It was noticeable how yesterday was easier (effortless). Yesterday I just looked and concentrated. Not today, today I had to put effort.

Yesterday I didn't even need to notice, I just observed practically. Not today, I had to notice, I had to look, I didn't have, in the first ten minutes, I didn't have access concentration. I was still vague.
Around thirty minutes I hadn't reached that level I had yesterday. Yesterday, putting effort, so I had concentration, but it was weak. And after thirty minutes I felt that energy fell. It's likely that the energy dropped due to the effort.

Around thirty-five minutes I noticed my spine falling, it was already fallen. And I straightened my spine. I made an effort to keep it straight. And it didn't go beyond that, I stayed like that, putting effort, I was vague, more forward. In the end I was realizing that there was a conversation, a nap. I wasn't thinking intellectually. Not even commenting on the meditation. They were mini-dreams, when it starts with a nap, and then this nap leads to sleepiness. Although today I was rested, I slept well, I didn't have physical fatigue. Anyway, sometimes I wonder why this is happening. If there is something I need to let go. I was trying to investigate, but I couldn't see anything.
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 4/2/24 1:24 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/2/24 1:24 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 847 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
"Anyway, sometimes I wonder why this is happening. If there is something I need to let go. I was trying to investigate, but I couldn't see anything."

I think that noticing that it is happening, and noticing that it is happening without you intending that it happen, and without a mechanism that you can easily explain is a job well done. I would keep going like that. Sometimes questions are more useful than answers. 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 6:33 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 6:30 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Very good point of view. I undestand, Martin. I need try to put this in practice. Only notice and forget.

​​​​​​​Thanks so much!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 6:40 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 6:40 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-03

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 5:30 with an alarm, after a moderated night of sleep (total of 7hs). I drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:00 using mental noting technique with breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

Today, before sitting, I reflected that the desire for progress, to ascend through the nanas, might be my biggest obstacle in practice. Because I think I have 7 years of practice, a retreat, and have reached the DN, deep down I think I'll quickly pass through the first nanas. But to be honest, that hasn't been happening in recent months. I've been stuck in the early nanas, not even reaching the 4th nana.

So today's practice repeated like most of them. Having good concentration on the breath and body until the 30-minute mark. Then I had a cough that disrupted concentration, and after that, a drop in energy and a phase of lethargy.

In summary, I think I need to reset my expectations. To be more content with what I've achieved in my spiritual practice so far. To accept more. To be more humble about my accomplishments. To change my mindset.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 4:22 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 4:22 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Relax, include the space around you and be willing to face the suffering.

Notice how things change after the A&P. Meditation goes from being high powered to a fuzzy mess. That's normal. Notice that. Notice how experience is right now. Notice when you think "experience should be different". Experience never needs to be different it will only ever be just this. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 4:35 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 4:28 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
The A&P is like being at a party where everyone thinks you're cool and the DN is like being left on your own to clean up the next day. 

​​​​​​​It sucks but you can just do it. You need to just accept the reality of it. You need to accept that meditation isn't this big shining thing. It's just doing dishes and scrubbing the floor. 

​​​​​​​There may be trauma to it. There may be psychological aspects to it. That is part of growth. That has to be faced too. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 4:35 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 4:35 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
The A&P is sex !!

The dark night is changing a shitty diaper !! 

​​​​​​​It's all part of the cycle !!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 4:09 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 4:09 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Yes. Some days I accept it well and some days I don't. It's okay, it's part of the learning process. As they say: The worst sits are the ones we learn the most from. But my biggest discomfort is that it seems like I'm not making any progress.
I have a family (a 5-year-old son and another one of 5 months). I would like to dedicate more time and even attend retreats. But there's no chance. So, it's really about working to accept the situation.
Thank you very much, Bahiya!
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Ashley K, modified 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 6:02 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 6:02 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 88 Join Date: 4/14/23 Recent Posts
I have a family (a 5-year-old son and another one of 5 months). I would like to dedicate more time and even attend retreats. But there's no chance. So, it's really about working to accept the situation.
I also have a 1-year-old and a 5-year-old - and have also felt at many points in my practice that I wish I could have more time or attend a retreat! I've also had to work to accept this. Just wanted to share to at least say, you are not alone! Keep working to fit practice in however you can (and continue to enjoy daily life with your family emoticon )
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 2:01 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 2:01 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Cool Ashley! Thank you for caring!
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 8:20 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 8:20 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
I think that makes a lot of sense.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 12:25 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 12:25 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
@shargrol, any reading recommendations to help me reset my mindset?
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 1:32 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 1:32 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 4:17 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 4:17 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
I like very much Ajahn Chah. Thanks!
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 7:57 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/3/24 7:56 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Very true. But it's also wise to only bite off what you can chew, so to speak.

Everyone needs to decide for themselves how to moderate their practice, otherwise facing too much suffering and trauma just triggers more suffering and trauma. 

Practice should have a feeling of almost alchemy and transformation, at least most of the time. If it is a pure sufferfest, then something is being overlooked... probable the "view" isn't quite right. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 2:35 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 2:29 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Yeah that's true. DN definitely gives us gristle to chew on and can be quite disruptive to our day to day lives.

​​​​I guess get a taste for it and make a decision yourself on whether or not you want to continue or how you want to continue. 

Spending time in nature and talking to close friends often helps me through. 

​​​​​​​Let us know how you're going emoticon

*** Toward the end of this log there's a great discussion on metta. If I could change anything about my early practice it would be adding more metta. I still don't do enough. ;) Might be a lot to translate but ask if you have any questions !!!

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/25858268

 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 4:39 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 4:37 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Yes, Bahiya! I think that the reset a need is actually bring more metta and contentment to my life. ​​​​​​​I will read this post after. ​​​​​​​Thanks!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 4:31 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 4:26 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Everyone needs to decide for themselves how to moderate their practice, otherwise facing too much suffering and trauma just triggers more suffering and trauma.

On this point, I just want to clarify that I don't feel like I'm suffering a lot during meditation. It's more of a feeling like: "Oh, suck! This lethargy again. I've been stuck in this for years."

But in daily life, I haven't been having psychological problems. In fact, outside of meditation, I think I've never been happier than now. And I just realized that it's looking at it from this angle, being grateful for how much better my life has been, and taking that gratitude to the cushion.
​​​​​​​
Thank you ALL very much for helping me see the situation more clearly!
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 6:11 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 6:09 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
My hunch is that you need to figure out what "making progress in practice" looks like for YOU. In other words, regardless of what other people report or what other traditions say, what do you want to get out of practice? If lethargy is the problem, what does not having a problem look like? And what is the result if that happens? What do you think you are missing in life due to this meditation problem? How do you know this to be true?

There is a funny technique called the "5 Whys", where like a child you ask yourself Why? five times. Sometimes it shows you there is a deeper answer, and sometimes it shows you that there is just circular thinking. In any case, it can be good to explore different ways of asking the 5 Whys:

I don't want to experience lethargy halfway through my sit.... why?
Because I want to make progress in meditation... why?
Because I...

Or,
I have to get rid of lethargy halway through my sit... why?
Because experiencing dullness isn't good meditation... why?
Because the mind needs to be clear and precise... why?
Because...

etc.

Just something to play around with, especially since it does seem like you are a bit stuck.

And definitely be open to the idea that meditation practice might not even be the problem or solution. There were MANY times in my life when I was (unconsciously) hoping that meditation would fix something else, but when I saw my motivation clearly I realized I needed to work DIRECTLY on that thing/problem/project and not just hope meditation would fix it.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 2:16 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 2:16 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
I will sit and ask these questions. But I think where my answer will lead. It's a trauma I had when in 2017 I discovered that I might not be born as a human again, that I could be born in lower realms, and that the chance was high: 80%. Since then, I have worked to try to enter the stream.

Thank you, Shargrol!
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 3:53 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 3:53 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 847 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I wonder if it would be interesting to try Shargrol's five Whys for the worry you felt over non-human birth. Many people want to avoid this fate, but another perspective is to consider that the vast majority of experiences are non-human experiences, so perhaps we don't need to fear them.

There is even a way of looking in which those experiences can be seen as our experiences already, and after, and before.

One of my favorite Buddhist poems is on a related note.

https://www.parallax.org/mindfulnessbell/article/poem-please-call-me-by-my-true-names/ 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 6:07 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 6:07 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
I wonder if it would be interesting to try Shargrol's five Whys for the worry you felt over non-human birth.
Good ideia!

Many people want to avoid this fate, but another perspective is to consider that the vast majority of experiences are non-human experiences, so perhaps we don't need to fear them.
It's true. And being human, we create a mistaken idea of what it would be like. Birds don't worry (suffer) about whether they'll have something to eat, they simply seek when they need it.

There is even a way of looking in which those experiences can be seen as our experiences already, and after, and before.
Very good!

One of my favorite Buddhist poems is on a related note.
I loved this part: Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow—even today I am still arriving.
Very good poem.

Thanks Martin!
Olivier S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/5/24 2:41 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/5/24 2:41 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

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Ah yes, thanks Martin, I remember how much I loved this poem back in the day! I'm gonna read that again.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 4:20 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 3:57 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
In Portuguese do you have the phrase "take it with a pinch of salt" ??

It was once revealed to me that 500,000 years ago I went to war with God and exterminated almost all life throughout the universe. 

A compelling narrative but can I really ever know this is true? Can I know without doubt that this narrative is true or is it just a way a certain trauma is expressing itself through words? 

A lot of the trauma of this lifetime was revealed to me to be a consequence of certain actions I took in a past life where I became a sakadagami. I was a Japanese salary man that struggled with retirement and spent the last of his years practicing Zen though not enough time with his lovely wife and kids. 

Once again, a very compelling story, but, it is just a story. 

​​​​​​​Perhaps you might examine how you've reacted to what has been revealed to you. Does it cause fear? Where is that fear? What does it feel like as it moves in the body? Etc. 

​​​​​​​I don't know if I personally believe in rebirth. I'm not saying I don't. I just can't know. What I do know is that through these experiences layers of complex trauma have been revealed to me and that trauma needed to be dealt with, through meditation, conversation and so on. 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/5/24 4:16 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 6:30 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
In Portuguese do you have the phrase "take it with a pinch of salt" ??

Dont have. But chatgpt say: not taking something too seriously. Then I understand well.
​​​​​​​Perhaps you might examine how you've reacted to what has been revealed to you. Does it cause fear? Where is that fear? What does it feel like as it moves in the body? Etc. 
Yes. Many times I've sat down and tried to see this associated fear. It used to be very strong, but nowadays it's much calmer. If I'm mindful, it doesn't last long. It comes in waves but each time smaller.

​​​​​​​I don't know if I personally believe in rebirth. I'm not saying I don't. I just can't know.
Yes. You are right!

What I do know is that through these experiences layers of complex trauma have been revealed to me and that trauma needed to be dealt with, through meditation, conversation and so on.
Very good! I see a light at the end of the tunnel, because I've already seen this huge trauma (back in 2017 I even thought about leaving my wife and becoming a monk. Crazy!). But today it's much calmer.

Thanks Bahiya!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/5/24 4:35 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/5/24 4:35 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
In Shargrol's compilation I find these books maybe can help me:
  • In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness by Peter A. Levine
  • Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing by David A. Treleaven
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 4/5/24 6:02 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/5/24 5:55 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Yes, those are both good books, especially since you brought up trauma in your recent post.

By the way, it's important to say that some trauma heals much better with professional help (and I'm not a professional, and I don't think others are here) so definitely don't rely on just meditation advice if you are working on significant trauma.

Aspects of trauma and mental health are the kinds of things I mentioned above where it can be tempting to hope meditation fixes it, but usually it also takes some DIRECT methods to uncover, make conscious, and develop good coping strategies. I dealt with depression for years and I think meditation helped quite a bit, but it was really looking more closely at things like family context and reactive patterns that I saw how I was exhausted from pushing away aspects of my psychological life and running toward big projects and adventures... I just mention this because we each need to "fine tune" how we work with our mind to also fit our life experiences.

Generic mindfulness meditation is rarely enough (even for awesome meditators like Shinzen Young, so definitely for all of us emoticon  I'm not saying we all need to go into therapy instead of meditating, but we need to be open and aware of those sorts of practices/modalities, too... and that will probably help make better and quicker progress in meditation.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/5/24 6:56 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/5/24 6:56 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
I mentioned it was a trauma back in 2017; today I don't think it is anymore. Why do I think so? Because this topic rarely crosses my mind. What does come back and bothers me more is the desire for progress. What I'm going to do is investigate this desire for progress. Maybe it will lead back to the trauma again, which might be dormant. If that's the case, I have to face it and resolve it. But I keep wondering how a professional would understand this "religious" trauma of mine.

Anyway, today during my practice, I focused on letting thoughts flow freely, especially those related to the trauma. I noticed my mind wandering, but I remained attentive, observing thoughts arise and dissipate. Throughout the session, I alternated between being aware of my breath and allowing my mind to wander, always returning to the breath when necessary. The first 25 minutes were relaxing, followed by a brief period of drowsiness around the 30-minute mark, but I quickly regained energy. I concluded the session after 40 minutes of practice.

​​​​​​​Thank you Shargrol!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/5/24 7:15 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/5/24 7:15 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
I forgot to mention more specifically that I brought up the theme of trauma during meditation, let my mind wander on it, and observed the associated sensation. The first time it came up as a pit in my stomach, dissipated, and I saw only peace in the mind and body. Then I brought up the theme again, but it didn't come up as strongly. I repeated it a few more times. It came up weaker each time.

​​​​​​​So, it's like other things that arise in the mind: impermanent and insubstantial. If I were someone else, I would have a different kind of trauma. Ultimately, trauma is just a wrong way of imagining how it would be, because it adds negativity by projecting the experience.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/7/24 7:14 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/7/24 7:14 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-06

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 6:00 with an alarm, after a good night of sleep. I drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 1h:00 using mental noting technique with breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

In the beginning of the practice, I explored possible traumas or feelings present in the body, but didn't identify anything relevant, giving the sensation that the issue was resolved, as if it were a closed chapter.

For the first 35 minutes, I quickly focused. I experienced discomfort in my hands, forehead, and spine. The sensation in the spine was somewhat strange. It felt like I was leaning to the right. Then, I felt discomfort in my neck. It seemed like my head was completely tilted upward. After 35 minutes, my energy dropped a bit. I drifted a little. Then, I refocused on my breathing. Later, I began to feel discomfort in my buttocks. I focused on the pain and tried not to resist it, letting it pass. I observed it. It became numb and then disappeared. Then, I returned to focusing on my body. I stayed there, but it wasn't as enjoyable as in the beginning. I was focused, I was there, there wasn't much to look at. I scanned my body, searching for where to release energy, where to concentrate. But there was nothing remarkable, and I stayed there until the 50th minute.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/7/24 7:22 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/7/24 7:22 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-07

CONTEXT BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE
I woke up at 6:00 with an alarm, after a good night of sleep. I drank black coffee, read a little about dhamma to motivate and started to practice.
I sat on my default cushion, on my house's living room. I sat with my legs crossed, eyes closed and with my hands in my lap.
Goal: Sit for 40min using mental noting technique with breathing as anchor. Goal of 1 note per in/out breathing.

In the first 10 minutes, I tried to bring up the theme of trauma. If it would bother me in any way. But it didn't bother. Then I tried to bring up the theme of the desire for progress, the desire for progress. The why of the desire. I was asking the 5 whys of why I want progress. There were also several explanations to the mind, until it reached a point where the questions were no longer necessary. So, I stayed there, observing the breath, the body. The breath was tight, it wasn't relaxed. I couldn't anchor myself in a pleasant sensation in the body. So, I also tried to accept that. I didn't want progress. I wanted to face this here. Why am I not accepting this here? I tried to feel that, accepting that. Trying to figure out how to accept that. Investigating, looking, sometimes I asked questions. I stayed with that. I haven't had much success in this discovery yet. It didn't relax, but it's okay. The idea I wanted to convey is that my ideal of meditation, which I have been carrying so far, is helping. So, I'm going to change, I want to reset this way of meditating. Change this ideal view of meditation. I want to discard it. So, it's okay. After 30 minutes, drowsiness started to set in, wandering a lot. I wasn't able to pay as much attention. I decided to stop, because I don't want to force it. I'll try to change some things, because I used to force it, I used to go along, I tried to take it. Until the point where I tried to investigate and was following, fine. But today I was trying to investigate and I couldn't. Also, I didn't want to force it, so I stopped at 40 min.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/8/24 7:38 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/8/24 7:29 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-08

Today I sat down and once again attempted to challenge the "hypothesis" of trauma. Nothing arose, so I returned to notation using breath as the foundation. I meditated for 50 minutes without any new insights.

But something curious happened after meditation. I was washing dishes, and it became very clear to me some of the psychological defense mechanisms I have. There was an anxiety to finish quickly what I was doing, as if something more important was about to happen. I reflected that it was the start of my work. But I saw that it wasn't that. Urgency always arises in my mind, a desire to improve something within myself. To not be perfect. I noticed that as a defense mechanism and returned to washing the dishes. Shortly after, the nervousness returned. I investigated and again it was the desire to quickly finish cleaning. I noticed it, accepted it, observed it dissipating. I stayed there watching it and letting go. And it became clear to me that this is human nature, a defense mechanism to strive to be doing something, to be better, rather than enjoying who we are and being content with the present moment. This feeling is not new. I've always had it. And I understood it better after reading what I'm going to talk about below.

I went to Shargrol's compilation, searched for defense mechanisms, and found the excerpt from the link below. After finishing reading, this became even clearer to me. Highlighting this part:
"Ultimately, meditation will point out our very very very basic sense of "woundedness and lack" and shine a big spotlight on it. It will never heal that wound or fill that lack, but rather point out how we were confused in the first place about being wounded and lacking."
https://shargrolpostscompilation.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html#droppingdefense

​​​​​​​It became clear that I just need to notice, accept, and let go, because it won't disappear forever; it will come back at other times, as it's a defense mechanism of the psyche, of the human being. I don't have to try to change that. And that in itself is a relief. In summary, it's pretty much this:
"meditation gives you stability by becoming acquainted with instability"
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/9/24 6:29 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/9/24 6:26 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-09

​​​​​​​I practiced for an hour. I started by setting metta/intentions. Then I focused on my breath. But in the first 10 minutes, my mind wandered a lot. From 10 to 25 minutes, I managed to concentrate. I was present, observing my breath. However, the breath didn't pull my attention, didn't anchor me. I felt neutral towards everything that arose. So, I broadened my attention to the five senses, alternating my focus on them. Everything felt neutral. It started to get a bit boring, to be honest, without any excitement. But at least I wasn't wandering. It seemed like a sort of "low equanimity," but I'm not sure since I have little experience with equanimity, or maybe none at all.

From 25 to 40 minutes, my vision became dark. Like a blackout. I tried to anchor myself in the sense of hearing. My energy dropped. I tried to regain it, trying to "fix" it.

After 40 minutes, I managed to regain the focus on my breath. And a sensation in the middle of my forehead. In the third eye. Then I became more anchored in my breath and forehead. But there was a sense of tension. I had to exert effort to maintain it. I wandered a bit, but only briefly.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 4/9/24 9:05 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/9/24 9:05 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Practice sounds good !! Translations are good too !! 

Boredom is ok. Being ok with "bad practice" can be difficult but it is the key to great practice !! 

​​​​​​​After you focus on the senses one by one can you relax your attention and let all of them come into focus? What's that like for you?
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/9/24 2:01 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/9/24 2:01 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
​​​​​​​After you focus on the senses one by one can you relax your attention and let all of them come into focus? What's that like for you?
I've managed to do this before. Today, I couldn't. I think I tried to seek pleasure through one of the sense doors and that's why it led me to a feeling of disinterest. I'll try to work on it better next time.

​​​​​​​Thanks Bahiya!
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 4/9/24 6:24 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/9/24 4:56 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
The trick is to relax attention. Notice how relaxing attention can include more sensations than doing attention 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/9/24 6:54 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/9/24 6:54 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
The trick is to relax attention. Notice how relaxing attention can include more sensations than doing attention 
Bahiya, I was really thinking about this after I read this:
"Becoming absorbed (which means becoming very intimate with your experience) is about the best thing that can happen for a post A&P and pre-SE yogi."
https://shargrolpostscompilation.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html#becoming-absorbed

Maybe I need try now the "herding chickens" taught by Kenneth Folk.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/10/24 6:36 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/10/24 6:30 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-10

Today I meditated for 1 hour. I began by intending metta, gratitude, loving-kindness for all beings for the first ten minutes. I noticed that gratitude fills my heart the most, it touches me deeply. Wishing loving-kindness for other beings also touches me, but not as much as gratitude. And wishing loving-kindness for myself is neutral.
Note: It's not just today that I've seen this. Every time I do this practice, it's the same.

From 10 minutes onward, I focused on breath counting. During counting, I didn't achieve access concentration. After 20 minutes, I started to observe the breath more broadly, trying to notice the other five sense bases, looking for anything bothering or blocking in the body. There was some tension in the body, but I couldn't locate where. I believe it was due to excessive effort. I think I exerted too much effort trying to find a way to relax.
Note: before practicing notation (and before the retreat), I could relax more. I don't know if it's because today I practiced less shamatha or because I'm in another POI, or both, I have more difficulty.

After 30 minutes, my energy dropped, I felt a bit dull, I tried to fight it, improved my posture, changed the position of the cushion, and the energy improved, but then dropped again. I investigate dull.

At 50 minutes, I straightened my spine again. The energy improved, concentration improved. Somehow I managed to relax. There was relaxation, and meditation became easy, there was no effort. It was effortless to stay there after that. It reached 1 hour, and I needed to stop.

Note: @bahiyababy, I see that I really need to balance effort/energy and relaxation/centering. I'll try to work on this.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/11/24 6:48 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/11/24 6:48 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-11

Today I did an hour of practice. Yesterday, I was thinking a lot about balancing effort and relaxation. I think the issue of drowsiness, of lethargy, comes from putting too much effort into my practice. Forcing oneself to be attentive and concentrated. So I saw that I need to relax that ("centering" instead of concentration). Balancing effort and relaxation. So, before the practice, I read a bit about this subject. The text also talked about the issue of shamatha and vipassana, which is another point I had doubts about. I thought it had to be either one or the other. But not everyone purely does one or the other. And that comforted me, to practice with my intuition, where I balance both.

And I sat with that mindset. And quickly I concentrated, relaxed. I put in the correct effort. I was quite concentrated during the initial 30 minutes. Then I ended up relaxing too much. I saw that my spine wasn't straight. Energy dropping and drowsiness. So I corrected my posture. And at that moment, the energy returned. I had other insights that I was having thoughts about the practice because the dull. I was comparing, judging. So I note and let go of those thoughts.

I returned to concentrate, to feel the body, relaxed again. After those final 30 minutes, this happened a lot. Relaxing too much and energy dropping. Noticing comparisons, judgments, and letting go. Returning to have energy, to concentrate. So I saw a lot of that at the end of the practice. There was also a moment when I felt the other side. The opposite of thinking I was doing very well, that I was perceiving, praising myself. I let go of that too. And then I returned to the sensations of the body. Returned to being "centered". And I finished with an hour, having the feeling that I did well.

Note 1: I think this desire for progress stayed in the subconscious, it became a habit. Despite that initial trauma no longer existing, I think it created this desire for progress deeper in the subconscious. Created this karma. So, I have noticed it, letting it flow and relaxing, because it is automatically related to effort.

Note 2: Yesterday in practice, I intended metta and didn't relax as much as today. It seems that trying to balance effort and relaxation had more effect.
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 4/11/24 8:35 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/11/24 8:35 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Nicely done. Gently but dynamically balancing is the way. In time the balancing becomes intuitive but we need to practice/gently train ourselves. This is the only way to access insight that are deeper than intellectual/philosophical/egotistical thinking. 
Olivier S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/11/24 11:05 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/11/24 11:04 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 940 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
I agree that spending time understanding what experiential qualities exactly are referred to by e.g. the spiritual faculties, and the seven factors of awakening (that is, what does having a lot of faith and energy feel like?), figuring out what makes these qualities arise/what makes one feel those things (what generates faith for me? What generates tranquility? etc.), learning how to voluntarily develop each of these qualities, and understanding how they relate to one another and how to "balance and strengthen", as Daniel says in MCTB, is really neat. emoticon
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/11/24 1:48 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/11/24 1:48 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Thanks @shargrol and @oliviers!!!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/12/24 6:15 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/12/24 6:14 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-12

Today I did an hour. I started the session with a single concern: maintaining an upright posture. This would be my primary object of meditation. The second would be the breath. And so I began.

I already started with access concentration. I managed to relax. I noticed, during the exhale, the body relaxing upon the erect and firm spine. Like a cloth falling over a standing broomstick. I saw the solidity of the spine, the solidity of the upright posture. I noticed tranquility, energy, and pleasure. And I went on like this for the first 35 minutes. Then I felt a slight drop in energy. And so, I focused even more on the upright posture. I stayed there with access concentration.

Around the 40-minute mark, I felt my left leg very numb and starting to ache - I have a problem with this left leg. I have a large varicose vein on it. I have to keep it under the other leg, but I forgot to do that, and that's why I had pain. So I switched legs. I went back to maintaining my upright posture. And the energy returned.

After that, I noticed once, I was wandering in thoughts (for 10 seconds). I became aware of it again, noticed it, and set the intention to stay on the breath and the upright posture. Concentration quickly returned. I didn't wander anymore. And that gave me a great satisfaction. A gratitude. I noticed the pride, let it go, and continued. And so I stayed until an hour had passed.

I finished this session with a lot of gratitude, a lot of happiness for having succeeded. I felt that I did the work that needed to be done.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/15/24 6:48 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/15/24 6:48 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Note: today I did not review the translation made by ChatGPT.

DAY 2024-04-13

I did an hour. I started by focusing on the breath and the spine, but today I wasn't as concerned with solely maintaining attention on posture. It wasn't my primary object of meditation. I was quite open, feeling the body relaxed. With access concentration from the beginning, observing the body. I was very calm, relaxed, enjoyable. Around the 15-minute mark, I began to notice that I wasn't paying much attention to my spine and became concerned about energy dropping, sort of comparing it to yesterday, where I managed to maintain an upright posture with energy for a longer time.

Around the 20-minute mark, I noticed that my spine wasn't very straight. I was comparing. So, I decided to reposition the cushion, the posture. That shook my concentration a bit, but I relaxed, didn't worry about it. I kept observing the body, noticing any tension, and relaxed.

Around 35 minutes, the energy dropped, there was a moment of torpor, I continued noticing, investigating. By 40 minutes, the energy returned, I tried to look at my posture, how it was, and I couldn't see, it was blurry, I didn't have a clear image of the spine, somehow I knew I was upright, but the image was blurry, I wasn't sure how the spine was. But I continued noticing, it was fine, I was alert, could notice sounds, that I was calm, tranquil, had mental presence.

Around 50 minutes, I had a bit of mental confusion, I tried to see myself, notice things, I had difficulty in precision to notice, see things arising. I stayed there, looking at it, curious to see, that there was no fixed point. I had spasms in my hands, arm, slight spasms (I had had this before). It seemed like energy was rolling to adjust the posture.

This confusion lasted about 4 minutes, I returned to tranquility, could see my body clearly again, the body relaxed, I was being calm, breathing, seeing the breath flowing, and remained like that until the end, until an hour passed. I wanted to stay a little longer. I stayed a few more minutes because it was enjoyable, peaceful, and thus I finished.

DAY 2024-04-14

I did 50 minutes. I was at my mother-in-law's house. I arranged a mat and folded it instead of using the cushion that was there. With this, my posture was very good. In the first 20 minutes, I had a few wanderings, longer thoughts. As soon as I returned to my awareness, I tried to investigate the seduction, why it was so seductive. Why did I wander? And I understood some things about it. With that, they didn't come back. I understood more deeply the desire behind that thought. They didn't come back.

Around 30 minutes, I had some discomfort in the body. I tried to remember where it was, but couldn't. I tried to investigate the discomfort by asking: what does it feel like to feel this sensation? I remember accepting the situation and putting myself in the position of an investigator. Just by doing that, the situation changed. I felt and relaxed. And that went away, didn't come back.

At 35 minutes, I was completely present, with great energy, calm, tranquil. The breath was very short, gentle. Something arose, I investigated and it disappeared quickly. I was very calm, very present. It seemed like equanimity, because everything that arose I experienced, looked without reaction. Sometimes it wasn't pleasant, but it didn't affect me. For example, someone entered the room, opened the door. A jolt of surprise energy ran through my body because I didn't expect that. This energy ran through my body and dissipated, I accepted it and just observed it. It didn't bother me. And so it went until the end. I finished with a very good feeling because here at my mother-in-law's house, I usually didn't have deep meditations like this, and today I did.

DAY 2024-04-15

I did 50 minutes. I started by focusing on the breath but wandered quite a bit. I investigated the thoughts and saw that it was due to things that happened yesterday. Attachment to two ideas (one religious and one financial). I wandered a lot today in these thoughts. As I became aware, I returned to focus on the body, the breath. I let the mind wander, didn't force it back to awareness. I already understand that this doesn't solve anything.

Around 40 minutes, I saw my youngest son coughing inside. He was sick yesterday, we'll have to take him to the doctor shortly.

I felt an even greater urge to get up. But my wife was with him. So why? I saw that it was just a desire to leave the meditation. I saw that agony of wanting to get up because the meditation wasn't enjoyable. I looked at it and thought, what is it like to feel this agony? How does this agony seem? I looked at it, saw it dissipating. In fact, I saw it was just a thought of agony. As I looked and returned to the body, it disappeared. So it was a mental agony fueled by thoughts. As I was present, it dissipated and there was no problem there. The body calmed down, the breath became calm, and that was it for me.

In the end, I was very calm. When the 50 minutes were up, I got up because I had to get up anyway.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 4/15/24 6:59 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/15/24 6:59 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2807 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
May your child heal fast! My two sons have been coughing for almost 4 weeks. The doctor said its just a certain virus but we shoud not worry unless they have high fever. My youngest 3 yo is still coughing. 

Best wishes to you and your family! 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/16/24 6:47 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/16/24 6:45 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Thanks so much, Dusko!!! emoticonemoticonemoticon​​​​​​​

I wish improvement for your children as well. All the best to your family!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/16/24 6:48 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/16/24 6:48 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-16

I did 50 minutes. Before starting, I read about relaxation and effort. A reading that came out today, by Ajahn Jayasaro, whom I follow. Coincidentally, the subject was what I have been trying to practice lately.

After reading, I sat down to meditate. I focused on the breath, observing the body. Trying to balance effort and relaxation. However, despite having slept well (7 hours), I woke up strained, feeling very sleepy and it took a while for the sensation to pass. During meditation, right from the start, I began to feel sleepy. Usually, it comes later, after reaching a peak of "good meditation." But not today. It started earlier. I entered the phase of lethargy earlier. I observed, tried to maintain experiencing, investigating, had ups and downs (lost consciousness, then regained). I stayed like this until 50 minutes passed and then my patience ran out. My son woke up and then I decided to get up.
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 4/17/24 12:53 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/17/24 12:53 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 847 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
This kind of sit can be a great teacher. If the conditions are a certain way, we expect a certain result. For example, if I have slept well, I expect to meditate without getting tired. Then, sometimes, it does not work out that way. The opposite happens too. What is going on? We don't know. Because the conditions are so consistent when sitting, there is not likely to be any obvious explanation that we have missed. It's not likely that, if we just thought about it a bit more, we'd figure it out. We just don't know and we are not likely to ever know. This is a nice opportunity to be with the Don't Know Mind. Being OK with not knowing is a superpower.  
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/17/24 3:32 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/17/24 3:32 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
True! It makes complete sense and aligns with the non-self. Being calm even when there's confusion.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/17/24 6:24 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/17/24 6:24 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-17

I did an hour of meditation. I started by observing my breath and body. I gradually relaxed, observed, and balanced effort and relaxation. Quickly, I attained access concentration. I began to see very subtle things. I was noticing very subtle things. The noting was easy. It seemed like I was a great "noter", effortlessly using the noting method. Normally, I think I'm bad at "noting." Today, I felt like the best noter, noticing very subtle things.

Comparison, for example, something that always happens in meditation. But today, it was very subtle and clear that I was comparing the experience to other days. When I started to lose the speed of noting, awareness, and concentration (because I started coughing), I noticed very clearly, comparing, judging, trying to correct.

Today, I coughed a lot, so around the 25-minute mark, the coughing increased a lot. And it made me lose concentration, the "centering." Then I began to notice coarser things; I lost that subtlety. And I noticed a lot of ill will, laziness, desire to restore the "centering". But I couldn't let go of it. I noticed it, but didn't let go. Then a slight torpor came. Later, I managed a bit, noting this is ill will, I returned to centering on the body, on the breath. But images started to come, many images in my mind.

I noticed comments, those comments we always make, they were very close to me. At the beginning, when I was noting well, that comment seemed far away (it didn't affect me much or I didn't identify with it). I could note it and it would disappear; it was far from me. It was more like background noise. But at that moment when I lost concentration, I heard the comment very close to me. It was very coarse and I identified with it.

Around the 50-minute mark, leg pain, impatience, I decided to change leg position to have more energy and be able to stay until the end because I felt like giving up and ending the session. Energy improved, I managed to enjoy exhalation again, but it didn't deepen like in the beginning. And then an hour passed, and I finished.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 4/17/24 11:58 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/17/24 11:55 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2807 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
When experiencing dull concentration on breathing try not to force it but let go of it and just breath calmly with the whole body relaxing with each in and outbreathing. The "whole body" is just sitting there and calming down. It's coughing. It's itching. It's feeling joy. It's feeling cold. Hot. Stiff. Equinimous. 

Keep the whole body in mind and calmly breath in and out. Allow calming of the whole body. It's ok. Whatever comes. I breath out calming the whole body. I breath in calming the whole body. 

Our lizard brain is a simple fight-flight mechanism that stresses the body easily. So we train it to calm down. 

This is where Tibetan Shamatha (calm-abiding) can help. 

​​​​​​​Best wishes! 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/17/24 3:31 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/17/24 3:31 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
I think my difficulty lies in balancing effort and relaxation. When dullness sets in, I believe it's either because I relaxed too much or because the initial pleasurable peak of meditation has passed and mind lose interest.

Just to clarify, when you mention "dull," are you referring to torpor, drowsiness, low energy?
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 4/17/24 6:52 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/17/24 6:52 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2807 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I refer to the state that is not sharp and precise and clear. It can lead to frustration to get the sharp and precise concentration back. 

However everything is subject to Anicca. It's normal for sharp stages and states to pass and something else to arise. 

But yes mind can lose interest and just blank out into sleep. In this case try noting out aloud so you hear your own words clearly. 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/18/24 3:51 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/18/24 3:51 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Cool Dusko! Now I understand. I will try this. Thanks!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 4/18/24 5:56 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/18/24 5:56 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2807 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Not sure if I've shown this video to you. This is me demoing noting aloud as I did for a long while and can help during difficult stages of the Dukkha Nanas and also for dull or sleepy states. 

You just note 1 matter of fact sensate experience per second. Then follow the tempo which comes up on its own. If clarity and precision returns you continue silently. Switch to noting aloud when stuff gets too dull or too scary or too disgusting or too miserable to continue. Remember we want to sit for the entire sitting period. Once finished we can then do other things in life. 

However do be gentle with yourself. If stuff seems unbearable and too strange or painful then of course stop. 

May this practice be of benefit to you and May it cause no harm. 

https://youtu.be/9FeajWRJcXA?si=x4wYIf5xlN8KqbI6
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/18/24 6:32 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/18/24 6:32 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Yes, you sent me this video some time ago. I tried a middle ground of this method, which was speaking aloud but still with eyes closed. I'll try that when drowsiness hits hard.

​​​​​​​Thank you, Dusko!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/18/24 6:28 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/18/24 6:28 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-18

I meditated for an hour. In the first 20 minutes, I quickly focused, relaxing my body and breath. I entered the access concentration phase, a state of sharp and clear mind.

After the first 20 minutes, I entered the dull phase. I tried to apply what Dusko suggested, to relax, observe the entire body, and calm down. I observed the mind's fight-flight patterns and continued noting.

Around the 40-minute mark, dullness transitioned into drowsiness. But at 45 minutes, I started feeling pain in my right leg. Today, I tried a different position, with my foot turned upward, resting on my thigh. It was quite painful at that moment. So, I decided to change leg positions, naturally bringing more energy.

My son woke up at the 50-minute mark and came to the room with me. This activated my interest in auditory sensations. Naturally, I became curious and my energy increased. I remained there, noting, in this state. An hour passed, and I concluded my session.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 1 Month ago at 4/19/24 1:00 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/19/24 1:00 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-19

Today I meditated for 50 minutes because I needed to take the kids to the doctor. I started by relaxing my body. In the first 10 minutes, there were many thoughts. I was wandering quite a bit. After the first 10 minutes, I managed to concentrate, being more present by observing my breath and body. However, the concentration wasn't very strong. The subtleties of what was arising weren't very clear.

Then, around the 30-minute mark, I began to feel dull. I kept looking, trying to observe my body, to relax it. My vision was blurry, and it was hard to notice things. After 40 minutes, I decided to follow Dusko's advice, but I adjusted it in my own way. I opened my eyes and tried to observe more frequently, focusing only on thoughts. I forced the notation. And it worked. The energy returned. Initially, I was very confused, not knowing what I was doing. Noting a lot, seeing, seeing, seeing. But then it began to clear up. The energy came back. And I noticed my breathing calming more. I noted, seeing, seeing, seeing. Tension, contracted breathing. I knew there was tension somewhere. I felt pain in my leg. But it was very confusing, not knowing what I was doing. But then it calmed down, and it worked. I managed to stay calm, with energy, until the 50 minutes were up. I would have stayed longer, but I needed to get up to take the kids to the doctor.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 29 Days ago at 4/20/24 5:32 AM
Created 29 Days ago at 4/20/24 5:32 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-20

Today I woke up with a very frequent cough. I tried to meditate but couldn't. So, I decided to go to the hospital.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 28 Days ago at 4/20/24 6:41 PM
Created 28 Days ago at 4/20/24 6:41 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2807 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
May you heal fast!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 28 Days ago at 4/21/24 4:19 AM
Created 28 Days ago at 4/21/24 4:19 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Thanks Dusko!
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Bahiya Baby, modified 27 Days ago at 4/22/24 5:10 AM
Created 27 Days ago at 4/22/24 5:10 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
I pray you recover swiftly Andre 
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 27 Days ago at 4/22/24 6:41 AM
Created 27 Days ago at 4/22/24 6:41 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Thanks Bahiya!
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 27 Days ago at 4/22/24 6:46 AM
Created 27 Days ago at 4/22/24 6:46 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-21

I did a long practice session, 1 hour and 30 minutes.

I started by focusing on breathing throughout my body. The urge to cough and clear my throat was predominant. So, I observed my body calmly, but the discomfort of phlegm going down my throat, itching, and the desire to clear it were present. I tried to avoid coughing and clearing my throat. I kept watching it, noticing the discomfort. It was bearable. There came a point when I really needed to cough, so I did. I continued this for about 20 minutes. The energy was good, early in the meditation, so it was even pleasant to stay there observing.

After about 30 minutes, the energy dropped, leading to a phase of dullness. I tried to notice, but it started to get difficult, imprecise. I decided to open my eyes, following Dusko's suggestion, and with open eyes, I observed in thoughts. I noticed confusion, just observing. A lot of confusion and observing. Then it calmed down. Around one hour in, I began to notice aloud, speaking as I noted. The energy returned. I noticed a lot of pain in my legs. In the meantime, I changed legs, shifted positions. I was more present towards the end.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 27 Days ago at 4/22/24 6:46 AM
Created 27 Days ago at 4/22/24 6:46 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-22

I did an hour of meditation. The first 20 minutes were very solid. I was very much identifying with the thought. It didn't even feel like I was meditating. I thought, "today it's not going to amount to anything." After 20 minutes when I realized this, I let go and said: "So be it. Screw it." And then the attention began to return to the breath, to the body. It started to relax and there, I was present, I was attentive. Not very concentrated, but I was there.

Around the 35-minute mark, my energy dipped a bit. There was a moment of dullness. But that was okay, I just stayed there watching it, I wasn’t sleepy, just dull. It was bearable, it wasn’t bothering me. I said, this has happened before. It’s okay. No expectations. If it was going to get worse, let it get worse. I was already thinking about starting to note loudly, to open my eyes. But before I knew it, the dullness passed. I found myself very calm and tranquil, to my surprise. It's worth noting that I was coughing a lot at the beginning. And now, at this end, little cough. When I coughed, it also didn’t bother me. I had no expectations about what was going to happen. It was different today because I had no expectations. Whether it was going to be bad or good. And so it seemed like equanimity. I was there, calm, observing what was happening. I didn’t care. An hour passed, I felt like staying more, but I couldn’t stay. I had to get up.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 26 Days ago at 4/23/24 7:16 AM
Created 26 Days ago at 4/23/24 7:16 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-23

I did an hour of meditation. I started by observing my posture, which was very pleasant. Watching my breathing. I quickly entered access concentration, noticing very subtle things. I found a lot of pleasure in the meditation. It was an easy meditation.

After 25 minutes, my energy dropped. Dullness set in. I kept watching, trying not to create expectations, but expectations were formed. I compared it to yesterday's practice, which I think was good.

From dullness, it turned into sleepiness. I opened my eyes. I began to notice more. Seeing, feeling, blinking, swallowing, sleepiness, heavy eyes, confusion, wandering. After noticing a lot, it improved slightly. I decided to close my eyes again. The sleepiness returned. I opened my eyes again. I resumed noticing.

A spider appeared in front of me. Truly, I was with open eyes and saw it. It was coming toward me. I kept looking at it. It was about to climb on the foam that I sit on. I decided to shoo it away. It left. With that, my concentration fell. After that, I began to wander. This led to a feeling of discouragement about the practice. Wanting to give up. Wandering. I tried to reestablish focus, but I was no longer able to perceive subtle things. Everything was coarse. I continued until the end. An hour chimed, and I stopped.
Olivier S, modified 26 Days ago at 4/23/24 7:54 AM
Created 26 Days ago at 4/23/24 7:54 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 940 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
ANDRE BARROS

A spider appeared in front of me. Truly, I was with open eyes and saw it. It was coming toward me. I kept looking at it. It was about to climb on the foam that I sit on. I decided to shoo it away. It left.
Question: was it a real spider or did you just have a strong visual? 

​​​​​​​
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 25 Days ago at 4/24/24 4:07 AM
Created 25 Days ago at 4/24/24 4:07 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
It was a real spider. I live in a new neighborhood of the city, and there are many vacant lots with bushes near my house, besides my garden where they come from.

​​​​​​​I've always meditated with my eyes closed. So they must have walked near me and I didn't even see them, haha.
Olivier S, modified 25 Days ago at 4/24/24 6:04 AM
Created 25 Days ago at 4/24/24 6:04 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 940 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
I see! Big spider?
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 25 Days ago at 4/24/24 3:25 PM
Created 25 Days ago at 4/24/24 3:25 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
No! It's small haha.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 25 Days ago at 4/24/24 3:30 PM
Created 25 Days ago at 4/24/24 3:28 PM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-24

I did an hour of meditation. I started by observing my body and my breathing. I quickly entered a state of access concentration. I noticed many comments, observing that pre-thought babble. I kept noticing this, noting my breath, looking at my body. Investigating. I stayed there until the 20-minute mark with good energy, access concentration.

Then the energy dropped, I felt dullness creeping in. I began to investigate the dullness, observing it, noticing the changes. There was calm, imprecision, low energy, blurred vision, confusion, and a desire to correct it.

Around the 30-minute mark, the energy dropped further. It shifted to drowsiness. I decided to open my eyes and start noting aloud. I did this until the end, from 30 minutes up to an hour. At the end, the energy returned. But I'm still getting used to this method. With the other method, I had a lot of calm, a lot of tranquility. This one is uncomfortable. It still causes a lot of confusion. Because I see myself jumping from one thing to another. I can't explain it very well, but I still have discomfort with the method. Observing the four satipatthanas. A chaotic rotation among them. Nothing subtle, all coarse.

I think the reason for the discomfort is not having the breath as a base. Maybe it's the SELF trying to grasp something and failing. Perhaps that's exactly what I need.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 24 Days ago at 4/25/24 9:04 AM
Created 24 Days ago at 4/25/24 9:04 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-25

I did an hour of meditation. I started by observing my body and breath. I gradually relaxed. Soon, I reached access concentration. I set a goal to observe thoughts of comparing practice, and desire for progress. I continued observing. Indeed, thoughts of comparing practice and desire for progress appeared. There were many thoughts of comparison. Whether the practice method was correct. As I noticed them, I let them go. Then, my concentration greatly increased. The thoughts stopped coming. I stayed more in the body, vigilant, attentive, watching the thoughts. They significantly decreased.

After 20 minutes, I entered the dullness phase. I spent 40 minutes investigating the dullness. Around the 40-minute mark, I was noticing many random images, like mini dreams, trying to resolve the dullness. Then, I decided to open my eyes. So, from 40 to 50 minutes, I was with my eyes open, noticing confusion, low energy, drowsiness, heavy eyes. Trying to correct the energy, putting more effort, trying to improve the precision of noting in this sense.

Around 50 minutes, the energy was better. But I was noticing a lot of pain in my right ankle (recently I found that turning the sole of my foot upwards, onto my thigh, improved my posture). I decided to change positions, as it was the only discomfort I was noticing and it was keeping me from relaxing. I changed positions. The discomfort went away, and I began to relax. Thoughts of comparing, progress in practice, returned. I noticed them and let them go. Thus, I was more present in the body, in the breath. I returned to being focused. That moment was pleasurable. And there I stayed until an hour passed.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 23 Days ago at 4/26/24 6:19 AM
Created 23 Days ago at 4/26/24 6:19 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-26

I did an hour of practice. I started by focusing on the body, the breath, and the posture. Soon, I achieved deep concentration. I focused on observing thoughts about the practice, about comparing practices. Trying to become intimate with the types of thoughts. Trying to become intimate with these practice thoughts that occur often. This attachment to progress. As soon as I noticed a thought, I let it go. Then observed the relief in letting go. I returned to the body. It was clear that this causes me discomfort. So much so, that when I let go, the body relaxes.

Then came the phase of dullness. I tried to investigate the dullness. I saw the bundle of mental objects, etc.

Later, around the 40 minutes mark, I had to open my eyes. Same thing as the last few days. In summary, I am seeing coarser things, confusion prevailing and trying to correct energy. I continued noting, had to speak out loud to bring the energy back. And it stayed like that until the end.
shargrol, modified 22 Days ago at 4/27/24 5:46 AM
Created 22 Days ago at 4/27/24 5:46 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
One aspect of using noting practice is to look at your notes and see if there are certain categories of experience that are more heavily seen and other aspects which are overlooked. I'm curious if you notice any patterns?
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 21 Days ago at 4/28/24 9:56 AM
Created 21 Days ago at 4/28/24 9:56 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Recently, I have noticed patterns of thoughts about spiritual path progress. Thoughts of comparing practices. Doubts about whether I am practicing correctly. Thoughts and comments about the general mode of practice. For years, I ignored such thoughts, thinking they were normal and did not interfere. But now I see that they cause me great suffering.

And this is where I have been investing more investigation. I sort of make a resolution at the beginning of the practice to watch for such thoughts. So when they arise, I am more curious to investigate them. In yesterday's practice (which I will post now) and today, this became even clearer.
shargrol, modified 20 Days ago at 4/29/24 6:55 AM
Created 20 Days ago at 4/29/24 6:55 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
shargrol
One aspect of using noting practice is to look at your notes and see if there are certain categories of experience that are more heavily seen and other aspects which are overlooked. I'm curious if you notice any patterns?

For what it's worth, what I notice is:
1. a lot of descriptions of thoughts/beliefs
2. some sensations, mostly related to energy levels. very little noting of uncomfortable sensations
3. almost no discussion of emotions

Obviously I can only say this about the practice logs, I have no idea what you are actually seeing/noting.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 20 Days ago at 4/29/24 8:48 AM
Created 20 Days ago at 4/29/24 8:48 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
Well, I'll try to discuss the aspects that are lacking in the logs but that I still observe. Please let me know if this is indeed what I should be paying attention to and try to notice more.

2- Very little noting of uncomfortable sensations.
I notice discomfort when consciousness becomes poor (dull phase). I find myself trying to correct the lack of awareness. I experience discomfort as if I'm driving a car but feeling sleepy and trying to stay alert to continue driving. Then I take deeper, more forced breaths. So, I have discomfort in the forced breathing, and mentally due to the dullness situation.

3- Almost no discussion of emotions.
The negative emotions also arise during the dullness phase. Anger and frustration emerge because I can't note precisely/subtly, due to the situation of dullness (the case of the lamp varying the intensity of light that I reported today). I try to let go of this, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. I can't let go too much otherwise the dullness turns into sleepiness and I fall asleep.
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ANDRE BARROS, modified 21 Days ago at 4/28/24 9:56 AM
Created 21 Days ago at 4/28/24 9:56 AM

RE: Barros's Pratice Log #1

Posts: 178 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
DAY 2024-04-27

I did 50 minutes. I started by observing my body, breath, and posture. I quickly entered access concentration, and I brought up the theme I want to be more vigilant about, which has been bothering me the most—the issue of thoughts about practice, about the evolution of practice. I watched that closely,