MACMAX PRACTICE

MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 4/21/24 9:11 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 4/21/24 7:00 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Martin 4/21/24 8:33 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 4/24/24 6:26 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/2/24 11:49 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Chris M 5/2/24 12:04 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/2/24 12:30 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/2/24 12:33 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/2/24 12:44 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Chris M 5/2/24 2:59 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/2/24 3:43 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/3/24 9:44 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Martin 5/3/24 10:11 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Adi Vader 5/3/24 1:14 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/3/24 12:09 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/3/24 2:40 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/3/24 2:39 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/4/24 6:51 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/4/24 7:05 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/5/24 7:55 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/6/24 10:45 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/6/24 10:53 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/7/24 6:40 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Martin 5/7/24 3:49 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/8/24 9:59 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Martin 5/8/24 10:21 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/8/24 10:44 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/7/24 1:53 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Martin 5/7/24 3:59 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/8/24 10:19 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Martin 5/8/24 10:47 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/16/24 12:02 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Bahiya Baby 5/16/24 4:32 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Bud ‎ 5/16/24 10:16 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/16/24 12:25 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Chris M 5/16/24 4:11 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/20/24 11:06 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/21/24 12:40 AM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/24/24 3:57 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Bahiya Baby 5/24/24 4:26 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/24/24 5:31 PM
RE: MACMAX PRACTICE Mac Max 5/24/24 5:28 PM
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 4/21/24 9:11 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/21/24 6:58 PM

MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Hi,

I've been lurking for a few years, thought about posting a few times but every time I just felt like I should use the time for practice instead. 


The past few weeks I have been having quite a lot of experiences related to the path, I don't know how to express it really, because it doesn't feel extraordinarily or anything, just more cycling through the stages of insight like many times before. I sort of feels like I'm making progress but at the same time like nothing ever happens. It's like the mind does its thing and there is nothing to do, but at the same time I feel like I'm not sure where to go from here. I have this sense of that I'm missing something and at the same time it feels like this must be it, so how can I miss something. And now I just felt like talking about it.

heres some background:

I read MCTB2 2-3 years ago. And a lot of stuff just made complete sense. This what was I had been going through for so many years not knowing what the hell had been going on. I had wanderd out into this territory not knowing if it was a real thing or if I was going crazy. I tried talking to a lot of people about it, but most seemed pretty oblivious to it. Yet I had this sense of it being so obvious to me and also helpful I kept on wandering these to me unknown lands.

Ten years ago I was severely depressed and heard about this goenka retreat. Went there and it was incredibly helpful to me. I saw how it was me who created my own suffering by making up these stories about me and my life and that I could somehow end this suffering by observing the sensations of my body instead of getting caught up in my thoughts, and to some degree also feelings and emotions. I had this bhanga experience, exactly as goenka would describe it, what I nowadays think more of as the A&P. I had a rough time after that until the 9th day and then this at the time incredible thing happened. I was sitting with the most severe pain in my foot. It was the most severe pain I had experienced in my whole life. I had sweat coming out of every pore of my body and my clothes got soaked as if I had have a shower. All of a sudden there was this release from the pain that was fantastically relieving. And when a got up it felt as if I had taken of this backpack filled with stones that I had been carrying my whole life. I felt physically lighter. I remember being incredibly happy. After that retreat I went from being pretty anxious often to having almost no anxiety for several years. The depression felt gone in a sense, at least compared to what I used to feel. We'll come back to that later. 


I went on a second 10-day retreat just 2 months later and I was pretty similar to the first one.  Just after I came back from the second retreat I took an RC-psychedelic drug with some friends. This experience felt transformative in a way that went beyond what I had seen in the meditation retreats prior to this, although I don't think that this experience would have happened without the retreats. I'll try to describe it more from the perspective that I had then, without projecting to much of the descriptions and lingo from MCTB that I'm used to now. I'll just mention that I have had 50-100 psychedelic trips and two more of those where somewhat similar to this one. I'll talk about them soon. So back to this trip. Right away things started to get pretty weird compared to what I was used to. I had the feeling that the room was talking to itself, there were these bodies in the room, me and my friends but non of them were me. They where simply a reaction to a reaction, every thing that was said was just a response to what had been said before. This way of perceiving thing went on for a while. I remember contemplating eternity from this perspective or state or what to call it and all of a sudden I got erased of sorts, my short term memory was completely made blank and I forgot what had happened just before. I went through some old memories and there was a lot of confusion until I came to the same insight, something related to what I had seen when I contemplated eternity and I or everything that I had associated with this I was just I erased again and again. I felt like I was dying over and over again and during these cycles I could see myself and all these embarrassing, pathetic aspects of myself from the outside, I realized how much petty and self loathing I had, how much feelings of inferiority and a lot of ridiculous identity connected to superficial things like my hair and clothes and behaviors. I remember that the last time I died I came back with this incredible feeling of having found what I didn't even knew I had been looking for. I threw away all of my clothes and ran around completely naked, cut of my hair with a kitchen scissor and just screamed out of joy and happiness, I felt so free from this prison that I had locked myself into. All from this completely open perspective. From the outside I think my friends thought that I had gone insane, but the sense of liberation that I felt was just amazing. And then things started to crumble, some pain in my muscles, the weight of the body. And yet something had been lost forever in a good sense, I felt lighter. I had this sense of something amazing that had happened. I knew nothing about it and no one that I talked to felt like they knew what I was talking about.

I went to more retreats, took more psychedelics. And at one point I had another experience were I died over and over again, afterwards something felt somewhat changed. Couldn't put my finger on it. At the retreats all I saw was sensations, arising and passing with incredible speed, very little solidity and every time I directed my attention there solidity dissolved. There was still a sense of self of a doer of sorts, something somewhere in the head a centre. But at this time I had know intellectual knowledge of no-self and suffering as described in MCTB pertaining to the 3C’s, so some aspects of experience weren’t even looked for.

And then after a 10-day course I took a LSD tab and right away something felt different. I felt that I could sense into my partner and a lot of that embarrassment and shame came up that I had seen in the first trip that I described. At one point I closed my eyes and was pulled in to this meditative state, all bodily sensations where gone, only this fractal pattern, then this openness, this known open, empty field and then all of a sudden it all come to a stop, but this was only experienced from the perspective of coming back. There had been no time, no nothing in between, it felt as if i could have been cone for just a moment or for an eternity. I had this profound feeling of having seen something very true and beautiful. And as if a lot of aspects of my life had been in violation to what I just had seen. I think I just intuited something about morality, that I had been hurting myself and others and now I felt as if a couldn’t keep pretending and justifying such behaviors anymore. I felt as wide as space, open to everything that passed through whatever was experienced. And there was this clock of sorts that had a tick and with every tick came a deep feeling of every aspect of reality being eternal and ephemeral and fleeing at the same time. We were outside when all of this happened. Going home I started to have these blipping out moment, I remember reacting to them, asking my partner what that was, not fully realizing that she didn’t see them. Over and over again our conversation was kind of interrupted by this feeling of a cut in the record or something. And all of a sudden a lot of similarities to the first trip started to come up. I went in to this vortex were the body was gone, and I died, everything came to a full stop, and I was spat out without any memory of who I was. This was full psychosis mode. Every time I came back I became someone else. I was a slave and a foot stool to some famous family, i got sucked in to this vortex and came back as a farmer from the American south having an incestuous relationship with my daughter, just to come back in some future world were I as a poor person had been left on earth when all the rich people had moved to a halolike construction orbiting the earth, and so on. It was pretty crazy and in retrospect very fascinating, and the experience itself wasn’t scary really because it kinda was from the perspective of a screen that could watch itself even though it was 3d and included feelings and bodily sensations and so on. When I came back from the trip I felt amazing. I felt like there was a shift, that I felt expanded all the way out to the edge of the room and even beyond that somehow. And this has persisted for almost 10 years now. I had this sense that everything was made out of experience and that it had its own existence where it was, as it was in the room, I still have.

 I had almost no idea about the maps, but I kept meditating, went on I think 3 more retreats, whereof one was for 20 days. And not much more happened that I put so much attention on. All of the above also felt pretty normal and natural. For many years it felt like I had a perspective that was very helpful and useful to me. I could use the vipassana as I had learned it from goenka in everyday life, and most of the time much suffering seemed to dissipate on its own without effort much faster than I used to do. And a lot of times it didn’t arise at all. 

But still I kept looking for something. And then I found Daniel’s book. Read most of it ~3 years ago and I immediately recognized that I was cycling through the stages of insight pretty fast. When I started to observe the 3C’s I could go through these super intense A&P’s 2-3 times a day on 2-3 hours of meditation. Had a lot of semi destabilizing dark nights. Did very little jhana practice but realized that I can drop the body quite easily. 


A lot of stuff going on in my dreams. In periods, several nights a week I have dreams where I realize that I’m dreaming or start to observe the 3C’s in my dreams and then I have these kundalini explosions, sometimes very pleasant and sometimes quite uncomfortable. I also have dreams where I go into these jhanic states, and I pass through what think of the arupa jhanas up to 8th jhana, experience come to a full stop and I come back to this incredible bliss. There is no sense of experience in between. And when I come back I have no sense of self or doer-ship, no sense of a centre. I can have thoughts of wow, I’m done or wow, finally 4th path, but I’m still in the dream and when I wake up this state is gone. Sometimes I also just end up in this agencylessness when I see things from a certain perspective in my dreams. If feels like every aspect of experience is valued equally and there is no centre, things just happen or flow naturally on their own, thoughts are there in their place as they are, but no sense of ownership. Sometimes I wake up and my body is still asleep and there is this feeling of agencylessness once again and I can feel my body turn in bed without feelings of doing or control.


And lastly my practice in general is mostly doing nothing, I just let experience come or pass through as it is, sometimes I try to see the 3C’s more clearly, but most of the time that is kind of baked into the experience without me having the feeling of looking for it. Experience feels very open and light, sometimes I think of it as emptiness and sometimes as fullness. In seeing I don’t have the feeling of looking at objects, objects are just there on their own, in their own place, but there is still some sort of referencing back to somewhere in the head. It doesn’t feel solid and sometime I have the feeling of looking for it and then it’s just like this kind of annoying bee buzzing around, and it seems like I can’t catch it and at the same time I get these confusing thoughts of ”it cannot be missed so what is it that I’m missing”. When it comes to the body I most of the time have the feeling that it takes effort to move it and that I have agency, but when I’m walking for example those feelings can disappear and it just seems like walking is a thing that occurs naturally on its own without any doing. All in all it feels as if I know what it is that I’m looking for since I have felt done or so to speak on several occasions, but that has flipped back into perceiving things the way I’m seeing it now, and that is that I don’t feel done, that there is some subtle aspect that I don’t see clearly that stands I the way of seeing it from this other perspective that right now is just a memory and I kind of see what it is and yet I don’t.

​​​​​​​I don’t know, maybe this isn’t detailed enough for you to give me any advice or if you want more phenomenology. I also think that it’s pretty hard to use language to describe these things, since so many assumptions about what we are are built into it but, I can try to clarify if someone has any questions. 
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 4/21/24 7:00 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/21/24 7:00 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
I don't know where all the space between paragraphs went. Can I change this somehow?
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 4/21/24 8:33 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/21/24 8:33 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 905 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Yes, just click on Edit. 
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 4/24/24 6:26 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/24/24 6:24 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Gonna retreat for ~20 days, starting tomorrow. Rough schedule will be short workout in morning and some breakfast 5-6 then meditate til 12, write and eat til 13. Then meditate til 9-11. Tend to sleep less after a few days. 


I will sit for as long as I feel like, then get up and go back to sitting. Will probably be 45 min sit up to 6 hour sits. And I’ll just scramble may way up to good concentration. I mostly don’t plan what to do before hand and when I sit down my mind just does its thing, but the techniques that I mostly do is mostly noticing 3C’s, some sort of do-nothing, kasina practice(fire or just go for the visual snow) and metta.


​​​​​​​Sat for three hours or so yesterday, I notice the cycles, but don’t feel like they do much, they are just there, if unfolds pretty naturally, no sense of doing anything, very little solidity, can have pretty intense sensations in the head but I see clearly how they come and go and are not stable, when I get up to move it feels like a connect to the feeling of being able to control the body and that I’m inside the head a bit more then when I was sitting. Other than that, the distinction between mediating and getting up and doing stuff seem pretty void. It feels as if there is no distraction, and when if feel distracted it doesn’t feel as if I could have been something else. 
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/2/24 11:49 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/2/24 11:49 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
So been meditating 12-15h/day for 7 days now. First few days went well, few cessations, felt like my concentration was better than normal. Then on the 3rd day I decided to double down on fire kasina, before I just did whatever happened when I closed my eyes.

It has been somewhat wierd, because the dot or the nimitta felt stronger in the beginning than it does now. First I had some sessions were I saw the 3rd screen it felt like I had quite a lot of visuals, the dot was stable and colors started appearing and so on. 

And then it felt like the visuals got more vague for every day that past. I don’t know how to go about it really. The vagueness seems really clear, I see distinctly what I see, so I’m not zoned out or anything. Is it just that I’m getting into more murky territory?

On day 6 it felt like I went through a full insight cycle with cessation, no path moment. Is that a sign of making progress?

And today I just decides to stay with the dot. The outlines of the dot gets really vague and blurry quickly, but I just followed what happened. Everything gets grey, and I hang on until after a while the image turns into black mountains with very light grey snow over them, I fly backwards over them until I get to a black room, where these lockers appear. Again the image is very vague, but I know in the mental impression what it is clearly but the image is barley seeable. These lockers has a purple/golden shine sort of in the centre where the dot/nimitta used to be. I recognize that the lockers are full of old left behind dirty clothes. I empty the lockers and get a sense of relief. 

I just keep hanging out here, the body feels amazing and after a while I realize that I’ve fallen asleep. Feels like I sort of cheated my way into fourth screen. Try to notice whats going on in the visual field, goes through kundalini like AP, then just stay with that until it calms down, have a cessation with afterglow more prominent than usual. 

I leave fourth screen, go back to the kasina, even weaker(but clearly so) than before. Can’t get the dot to stay, it’s just this vague nimitta. I stay with it, body feels uncomfortable, pretty dark nighty, I recognize the images that are common for me in fear/misery/disgust. Fear its very often monsters and other evil looking creatures, in misery I often see images of medieval times or the 19th century where people are poor or I see heaps of soldiers marching and stuff like that, and disgust is a lot of bugs and insects. I see all these images but very little color, almost black and white, with just some color in some part of the field. And very not clear outlines. 

The thing is I have the ability to see all this almost in the same manner when I’m not in retreat, so I feel a little bit confused wether I’m making resonable progress or not.

Oh, and I felt kinda sick for 2-3 days, heard that that can effect things. But as I said, the images where more clear, hade more color those days, than they do now.

​​​​​​​Does anybody have any input?
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 5/2/24 12:04 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/2/24 12:04 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 5327 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
MAX, are you really meditating for 12 to 15 hours per day? Can you provide more phenomenological details on some of your experiences like cessations, jhanas, etc.?
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/2/24 12:30 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/2/24 12:30 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Hi Chris!

Yes, meditate 12-15hour per day, have been doing that for 7 days now. first few days i did some walking but after i got sick I just stayed in. other than meditating i just eat and talked a little on the phone with my family and took a shower not much more. 


Well, don't know what more to say about the cessation, been having some cessations lately where I didn't catch the entrance very clearly but coming out feels the same as they have done before. The cessation in and of it self is no experience, but when i come out of it there is this grasping on to sensations, and it feels like that process starts anew. Most of the time when it happens there is mildy pleasant sensations, feel like "ah, that was nice" sometimes its a more cool chilled vibe to it. What is common for all of them is that there is a lot of clarity when coming out, feels open and spacious. When I've had cessations in fourth screen(which i think have happened 5-6 times) there is a lot mor bliss in the afterglow phase. Sometimes they can almost surprise me, like the last image before the cessation is quite distinct from the first image after the cessation, and I get almost uncomfortable or something. A few weeks ago it happened when I was falling asleep and it made me like jump a little. Yea, I’m not great at explaining but I’ve had 100s of what I think of as cessations. 


And in terms of jhanas, I’ve not explored that to much. I mostly do insight stuff. Have basically not read anything about jhanas either. But I can fairly easily have no sensations of the body if I try. This retreat I guess I entered forth Jhana when I saw the forth screen? I also saw tunnels a lot, that I went into, does that correspond to 3rd jhana? I can have very pleasant sensations throughout the body almost immediately if I focus on it, and I can make that quite deep or immersive if I close my eyes, I don’t find that to appealing so I mostly let that go immediately if I meditate and go for more cool, chilled sensations. And that is not by choice I just end up there.


​​​​​​​Yea, sorry if I suck at explaining, English is not my first language. Do you want more details?
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/2/24 12:33 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/2/24 12:33 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Yea, what I mean by forth screen is just fully emmersive experience where I see with closed eyes as if they are open and the body is in that same space.
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/2/24 12:44 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/2/24 12:44 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
please feel free to make comments on anything that I said, but all that aside.

What i mostly think I need help with is, should i try to cultivate a stronger dot/nimitta before i pursue the images, tunnels and stuff like that or is it normal that the dot gets more vague(even to its vaguness is really clear) and it's just the murk and I can use that vagueness to cultivate even stronger concentration?
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 5/2/24 2:59 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/2/24 2:59 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 5327 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Can you explain the goal and purpose of your practice? Why did you start? What do you see as the benefits of meditation?

​​​​​​​Thanks!
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/2/24 3:43 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/2/24 3:43 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
The goal I guess depends on how you see it, meditation has given me so much so I'm just curious where it will take me. I find it fun and interesting to explore the workings of experience in such a direct way. I used to be a lot more depressed and have a lot more weird ideas and complexes about myself, I wouldn't trade what I belive that meditation has given me for any money, status or position. I have the sense that I have flipped it over a few times to what Daniel and others describe as 4th path, I would like to have that as a permanent perspective.

On the other hand, what is there to get? In many ways there just seem to be this unfolding moment, and barely that, and what ever i belive about it is just more ideas, concepts, just as empty as every other experience. Almost the whole field of experience seems empty in my direct experience, yet there is something that I just cant pin down och seem to get that feels like I'm missing and this seem almost like a paradox because this must be it, so how can I miss anything? I must see it, yet there is  this delusion of sorts of what I belive I belive, haha.

I started because I was in pain, and the experiences has been unbelivably freeing. My eyes tear up as I think about it.
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/3/24 9:44 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/3/24 9:44 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Went through another insight cycle yesterady night with fruition. Today everything seems even duller and murkier than yesterday. Tried working more with the dot for a while but not much happened.

Would still appreciate advice if I should just stay in the grey/dull and work with that or try to go back and work with the dot?

Have some huge tension in my nose/forehead. Feels like a invisible force is trying to crack my skull open by pulling it apart. My eyes are relaxed and no muscles are tense. I know I´ve experienced this on retreat before, anyone knows what it is? 
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 5/3/24 10:11 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/3/24 10:11 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 905 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
The forehead/top of the head can get tight when the head is tilted forward. You might try slight adjustments of your head posture, aiming for a neutrally balanced position, and see if it helps. 
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/3/24 12:09 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/3/24 12:09 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Thanks for answering!

​​​​​​​Have mostly been reclining and the head/neck seems pretty neutral/relaxed. The sensation doesn't really feel like tension in the sense of tense muscles but almost non-physical, whatever than means. I would almost say like an energy block or something, I'm not to keen on speaking in those terms normally but I don't know how to describe it, just feels quite wierd somehow
Adi Vader, modified 2 Months ago at 5/3/24 1:14 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/3/24 1:14 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 327 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/s/bJ4ZKXbDqn
Please see if this seems helpful
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/3/24 2:40 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/3/24 2:20 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Thanks Adi, seems helpful, tried it as I was reading through. I will try more of it if it persists after the retreat or if it comes back during my sits.

Just had a long sit where I "figured out" the murk. Found some FAQ-recordings from a fire kasina retreat on denman island on the firekasina.org site. Basically all I was wondering got mentioned and now I feel very confident in my practice again! And almost no tension in the head/nose during the sit, even though it has come back again now.
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/3/24 2:39 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/3/24 2:39 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
So had a long sit, had a great time. In the recording I listened to they said that key is to go out into the murk with curiosity and that most people spend a fair amount of time out there. I thought that maybe I was doing something wrong because most descriptions I've heard about fire kasina-retreats seemed more dramatic than my current experience. And also that I had more visuals in the beginning seems to be a normal occurrence.
The sit in and of it self was really fun when i allowed myself to react to everything with curiosity, which I'm normally very prone to so that felt natural to me. The dot faded pretty quickly and when I just got into whatever was appearing things started to flow much better. First just a weak foggy nimitta almost no colors, maybe some vague red in the otherwise pale and grey poorly outlined field in the centre. Then a spectacular bodybuilding devil on stage flexing his muscles. More muscly monsters and then heading trough some tunnels out into a open cave where there was this viking guy shapeshifting like one of those ai-videos that puts a filter over reality that shifts a lot with every frame. Hands pulling out all of the color from the nimitta making the whole visual field black with small lines of gren and red. With the hands circling the centre in the same color as the rest of the field. Yea, it went on and on with some shifts in the background in accordance with the insight stages. All the way up to eq, no fruition and back to A&P. Very weak, somewhat weird both eq and A&P. Got lost several times and couldn’t clearly map where I was in the insight cycle, a lot more images and bright lights and even some more splashes of color. Everything is still pretty dull color wise, but now that I got a hang of it more I’m really exited to go back to practice.
I have 12 more days of retreat time and then 8 more days where I can meditate hopefully around 8 hours per day, if I can manage keeping up with daily activities. We’ll see when we get there.
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/4/24 6:51 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/4/24 6:51 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Day 10 of the retreat, been doing fire kasina for 6 or 7 days now.
Very thick nice eq last night, the visuals where amazing, there was this thin almost like a fabric that seemed to lay over som type of fluid, the fabric looked like a really cool abstract painting in black, white and grey and when the fluid underneath made slow waves the fabric followed. After a while I started having thoughts about being close to something and trying to intellectually figure it out which obviously took me out of it, went back to beginning of the cycle. 
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/4/24 7:05 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/4/24 7:03 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Today I’ve been in dissolution for a few hours, a lot of mind wandering.


One thing you gotta give to Goenka is that he was a pretty good storyteller. He sometimes during his discourses mildly bashes on people in a, to me, very funny way. And this story he tells keeps popping into my mind(as I remember it):


These religious people, they keep repeating ”Jesus Christ was son of the God, Jesus Christ was son of the God”… 


Do you really think Jesus Christ would have needed you to validate him about that?


Isn’t it obvious that Jesus Christ was son of the God?…


Here you have this man, nailed to a cross, and these people keep torturing him…


And the only thing he has left, even for his tortures is love and compassion…


Do you really think that he would have needed you to tell him the he was son of the God?


Of course he was son of the God…


For what is God?…


God is love… God is compassion…


This man is in great pain, he’s dying and he asks you to forgive his tormentors, because they don’t know what they are doing, because of their ignorance…


He didn’t want for you to run around saying ”I’m this great devote of Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ was son of the God”


What he wanted was for you to cultivate those same qualities of love and compassion, that he had cultivated, in yourself…


This is what it means to be a great devote of Jesus Christ…


Only love… Only compassion…
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/5/24 7:55 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/5/24 7:55 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Day 11 of retreating

The pressure in my face seems related to the dark night insight stages. Kept getting worse yesterday day. Was in DN the whole day until evening. Started to incorporate more body sensations and moved through a cycle in one sit. 

I’m not to good with theory, like how to handle different situations. How do people think about it? Is it better to try to move through the cycle by any means necessary or is there benefit in staying in the cycle longer? Or do people think about it as you see what you need to see and then the cycle moves along?

Because when I incorporated body sensations it felt as if I could pretty easily go through the cycle.

After that I came back to DN and the pressure behind the nose came back even worse. Decided to do some metta and right away this nice bliss spread through out the body, relived the pressure and in one hour and a half I passed through two cycles. The bliss calmed down, very nice cool joyous feelings that permeated everything while the insight cycles kept rolling, two more cycles pretty rapidly, and then I felt equanimity spreading thought experience. Was really nice to still keep on working with the visual field, to see how it all looked like an image. I saw the image as a plane, sort of like a topographical map, the plane was made of this sheet of equanimity and in the middle of the sheet the insight stages arouse as a topographical map, like popping upp in 3d made out of this sheet. In the beginning the images kept looking like they had in the different cycles.

So in fear fo example there were reptiles and dinosaurs, but after a while the images kept spilling into what felt like other insight stages. So for example it felt like equanimity but there was AP energy bursting through the body and then the images that I associated with fear, and this kept on going and now since everything sort of got mixed into everything I just though of one cycle as when the AP-energy came bursting through the body and tried to notice the different state shifts but it was hard, felt pretty cyclical though still. And then I came back to fear but the images where different, children with monstrous faces, without eyes, felt as if I was thrown back to childhood and it kept changing rapidly and an infant in purple and orange came up that I recognized as me, heard my crying in my ears and there was this shadow of a mother that rejected me, with this all being made of equanimity there was a tremendous sense of relief.

It felt almost like how you can deal with stuff when on MDMA. It felt as if a got a relief from those feelings that held me back for my hole life of feeling rejected, feeling that something is wrong with me and so on, like I managed to find the OG trauma and deal with it, that was sort of like the psychological effect that it felt like it had.

And I was almost like in shock, I heard myself saying out loud something like ”so that happened” I kept it rolling for a few more cycles and when I opened my eyes 4 hours had passed and I just felt very happy and content, my body felt amazing, and I just relaxed into sleep with the practice still somewhat going on. Went through the A&P three times in my sleep and when I woke up I just eased into the day with a short walk and some coffee.

​​​​​​​Now I’m going back to practice
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/6/24 10:45 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/6/24 10:45 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Practiced a lot yesterday. Second to last sit was like the last sit of the day before with some huge trauma relief thing. After that I was trying to sleep. Couldn't power down, had first cessation since several days, got the most concentrated that I've been on whole retreat, second repeat fruitition after 30sec, could also have been 10 minutes, had very little concept of time. Even harder to sleep with all that concentration. Had a really uncomfortable A&P with out of body-experience. I lifted up 2 meters over the bed where I was laying, and hung there as the energy felt as if it was going to kill me, got pretty scared but stayed with it, got put down really gently could feel my back first making contact with the bed, then shoulder blades, lastly arms, then it all started over again and I started hovering over the bed again, had to open my eyes and I was back in bed. 

Guess I'm in review today, cycling rapidly, passed a&p about five times the last 1,5h hours. 

A lot less visuals today, more body sensations incorporated in my sits. Seems more concentrated though, don't space out as much in dissolution for example. Fun thing about visual representation of dissolution is that the image is very blurry, and unfocused making it almost look like you are spaced out event though you aren't. Starting to notice the frequencies of all the states more and more. 

And just realized now a wired powersy thing. For years I have had this wired sensation at times in my right hand, and I never really figured out what it was. In some neurotic state i thought about it as maybe the onset of some neurological condition. It doesn't come up often, first noticed it after a psychedelics trip.

Right now I was just sitting hear writing this I reached for something to drink, and I noticed the sensation just before touching the bottle. So I pulled my hand back and just massaged it a bit, and when I reached for the bottle again the sensation was there again. And the closer I got to the can the more intense the sensation got. So I closed my eyes and tried it again and the same thing happened. And then I tried it out a bit with closed eyes and feels like I have sort of a "thing detector" in my hand. Whenever I get close to some thing the sensations just intensifies, works even with eyes closed over stuff that I wasn't sure was there, reached into the closet without looking beforehand. Haha

has anyone experienced anything similar?
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/6/24 10:53 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/6/24 10:53 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
And it's synched with the framerate of sound and visuals, making the flickering more intense when I move closer to something
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/7/24 6:40 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/7/24 6:40 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Almost two weeks of retreat


I’m having a great time! At night the vibe gets really different, feel like a quest, I’m on the heros journey into the underworld, the imagery in fear gets more scary and yesterday there was a lot of pale fires of different colors and I was pretty frightened at time, bunch of neurotic thoughts about stories of people who have died practicing kundalini yoga without teachers and psychosis and stuff. Absolutely delightful! Everything felt very mythical/archetypal. 


The fire kasina practice is nice, very dynamic and versatile, it’s easy to incorporate more of the body or more sounds if that is needed. It’s really cool also that it seems like you can mix the jhanic aspects of practice with vipassana much more than I’m used to. I find that noticing and pure vipassana has pretty good psychological effects on myself, but it’s nice that this practice also bring a lot of insight into more psychological aspects of reality, maybe even more so.


This morning it felt like I cheated my way into 4th screen mode again. Woke up early and started practicing right away, after about an hour I fell asleep without noticing it. Dreaming about holding my phone, and try to get up only to realize that I’m having a sleep paralysis. Thinking to myself, great! 4th screen! Let’s GOOOO! Starts to tune into impermanence aspect of sensations, everything starts to vibrate like crazy, but not like A&P, more like the the whole thing starting to shatter and then boom, cessation. Intensity unhooks and come back to even better concentration, use that to repeat fruitions, gets five more, and then I get out of 4th screen, feel like odysseus washed up on the shore as I lay in my bed afterwards.


Next session was in review, very fast cycles. In the end of that session I wasn’t to sure about what was going on but felt like the cycles got shorter and shorter, subtler and subtler, maybe I was just focusing on some subcycle aspect of the cycle because started to having very subtle A&Ps in shorter and shorter cycles, the shorter the cycles got the subtler the A&P energy got, in the end it felt like it the cycles synched up with the breath and then they started to get longer and longer and the A&Ps started to get stronger and stronger and I could notice the eq and DN more in between as well. Tried to check out if there was anything going on in the background, to see if this was part of a macro cycle but couldn’t really find anything. After a while I think a new cycle began with mind and body. 


The whole time I tried to get the sense that ”this is it”. I see how the selfing aspects tries to pretend that it can watch other aspects, everything seems to stabilize for a while and the it wobbles and I get confused when it feels like I’m getting caught up in some sensation and it feels like I jump between things, then all of a sudden I can see the jumping around from a less contracted perspective and it kinda goes like this. For parts of the practice it also feels like I’m not practicing, like I’m a little bit spaced out, but still not really, get a little bit confused about this, wether to put in more effort/attention to whats going on or if I should just chill. 


Not too much to worry about I guess, everything seem to go fine, I try to have a lot of faith. I feel quite lonely at times, try to feel it as fully as possible, not sure if I push it aside with more practice and so on. I felt really lonely for many years before when I had no idea, except from my own experiences about what was going on, with all the cycling and all that. Was really happy when I found MTCB and a friend got stream entry. 


​​​​​​​Still think that maybe I should reach out to a teacher, someone who is further ahead just to talk and maybe get a little bit of help/clarity into things. Anyone who has any recommendations?
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/7/24 1:53 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/7/24 1:53 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Feel like an open wound, a lot of hurt and insecurities and my addiction to anger has come up. Think it was user shagrol who wrote about ill will in a thread few days ago, came back to that advice, really useful.

Took a brake from practice before, walked a little have been practicing closer to 14 hours eyes closed several days now. Feel wierd in the body, almost sick, very sensitive, chewing food feels like it rips open reality, walking shakes the whole body in a wierd way and my heart beats feels so much on the outbreath and becomes very distracting. Think I should balance it a litte, gonna walk more now and maybe do some exercising.
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 5/7/24 3:49 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/7/24 3:49 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 905 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Teachers can be very good. Even looking for a teacher is good, because it bring practice and goals into a pragmatically oriented focus. "What am I trying to do here? What needs help? What do I not want?"

This thread is one place to start:
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/21564331

Many of the teachers mentioned in the thread have taught people on the DhO, so you can ask about them here. 

Also, if you have access to any kind of F2F sangha, that can be useful as a reference. 
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 5/7/24 3:59 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/7/24 3:59 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 905 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Walks, exercise, nature, socializing, mindless movies, they can all be skillful means.
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/8/24 9:59 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/8/24 9:59 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Thanks Martin!<br /><br />I used to do goenka-retreats, but their teachers mostly gice cookie cutter answers, and they couldn't explain much of my experiences. Think i managed pretty well without two eay interactions with teacher, but sometimes the process feel that it is slower without the interaction. Have a friend who is comfortable with talking maps and paths and detailed phenomenology and all that, I'm really grateful for that.&nbsp;
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/8/24 10:19 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/8/24 10:19 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
When through one more insight cycle yesterday evening, one repeat fruition and after that i was exhausted and fell asleep. 
Oh, yea the re-observation in that cycle was quite demanding, almost got up several times and it reminded me of my first retreat. Was a 10-day goenka-retreat 10 years ago. Knew nothing about maps other than "bangha" which is what goenka calls total dissolution, but he describes it rather how i would describe A&P. I had passed through that few days earlier and now it was day 9 and this incredible pain in my foot started to come up. I sat with it and it got excruciating, but I still kept at it. It was the most intense pain I ever felt in my whole life but I just kept trying to penetrate the pain by observing the sensation of it. After a while it developed to a full on panic attack, the whole world fell over me, everything got really dark, felt like I was going to die, sweat came pouring out of every pore, but I had some faith in the practice and still kept at it. And just like that it dissipated, a cool quite calm and the most amazing sense of relief washed over me. I got up and it felt like I had taken of a back pack filled with rocks that I had carried my whole life without realizing it, my clothes were drenched with sweat as if i had taken a shower with them on, but I was light as a feather. 
The sit yesterday was very similar to this, some intensity in my foot but no way near the pain I experienced back then, the transition to early eq was just the same, and also a bit weird that I could remember that 10 years later but haven't really seen the connection before. It also reminded my of how incredibly useful it is to know how to discern reality at a sensate level. This is what it means to be lucky I guess.

Today I'm not sure if I'm "kicked out" almost no visuals, at least the most vague of the whole retreat. Not sure whats going on. Worked out and ate some chocolate just to keep the balance a bit.
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 5/8/24 10:21 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/8/24 10:21 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 905 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I've been to a few sitting groups where people, including the teacher, were not very interested in pragmatic dharma and, to be blunt, weren't getting very far. But, in those groups, I would hear things in readings or in group discussions that I would probably never have sought out in a book by myself. These injections of random dharma were really balancing for me. 

Working with a one-to-one meditation teacher was transformational. Being told what specifically to work on, what drills to do, how long to do it for, etc. sped things up massively. Of course, you have to have the good fortune to find a teacher who has mastered the stuff that you happen to need to work on next. I don't believe that there are only variations on one progression, and so I don't believe that having a certain attainment means that you have mastered the path that any individual yogi will take. But it's not crazy hard to get a sense of what a person is good at teaching, and it's OK to work with a teacher for a few months and then switch. All of this is easier, and safer, for someone such as yourself, who already knows the lay of the meditative land. 
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 2 Months ago at 5/8/24 10:44 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/8/24 10:44 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Never thought about it in that way before, I almost always just did what my mind decided to do when I gave it room and time to do so, within some loose bounds of practice ideas. But I remember also the early days of really strict practice on goenka-retreats and now when i kinda forced myself to do fire kasina for several days I feel that discipline and sort of "outside" input has a place. 

Yeah, thanks for elaborating this idea about teachers, gave me some perspective!
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 5/8/24 10:47 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 5/8/24 10:47 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 905 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Shinzen Young tells a very similar story about pain in the early part of his practice, as does Ajahn Maha Bua, but more in the middle stages of his practice. You are in good company!
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 1 Month ago at 5/16/24 12:02 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/16/24 12:02 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
The retreat is over. I feel pretty weird. Last couple of days felt quite rough. The cycles doesn't seem to do much. Mostly stayed with the feeling in my chest/stomach. 

Quite a lot of self hatred, for not feeling like I'm enough, not feeling like I do enough. I feel like a failure. I cried a lot today. I knew I had been mentally ill my whole life, but not to this extent. It's not that it is some big thing that it was like 10 years ago, it's more that it's this low key, subtle thing that affects everything, every decision, every thought, all my relationships and so on. Just a subtle feeling in my chest that's often there and covered up by projection and thoughts about external causes and so on. 

The sadness and grief comes with a lot of compassion. Felt like facing all this and just staying with it was helpful.

After that I walked and I realized another thing about anticipation or kinda looking for something that is not there, it's quite subtle but that is another thing that has been there as long as I can remember. It's not something that happens in a contracted way, and there are no thoughts, but it feels like it's some sort of not being able to stay with what's actually here. I don't know if anybody else can recognize what I'm talking about. I'm trying to catch the sensations of it, I think it's in the face combined with feelings in the chest. 
thumbnail
Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 5/16/24 4:32 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/16/24 4:31 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 555 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Wonderful insights. Great work. 

The reality of the situation is usually somewhat of an affront to the ego. To see that the narratives, patterns and activities that make up our lives are rooted in a desperate struggle against the world as it is. 

​​​​​​​Take care of yourself and keep up the practice... If you can. Metta is a great way to smoothe out difficulties or ease into vulnerability. 
thumbnail
Bud ‎, modified 1 Month ago at 5/16/24 10:16 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/16/24 10:16 AM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 29 Join Date: 4/29/22 Recent Posts
The sadness and grief comes with a lot of compassion. Felt like facing all this and just staying with it was helpful.

It's common for some emotional difficulty to bubble up after a period of practise like you just went through. Like Bahiya pointed out, it can be stressful or difficult to see your sensory experience be broken down and laid bare, and to see your thoughts and behaviours clearly. The higher concentration also tends to amplify more than just the meditation object. However that compassion you mentioned will allow it to be much more bearable and possibly more insightful than otherwise.

You did well, even if it didn't turn out like you expected (this caused me a fair bit of anxiety during similar retreats). I agree that metta is a great way to find some balance, take some long walks in nature, give it some time to integrate and keep practising in a consistent yet sustainable way. As concentration levels return to your usual baseline you'll likely feel much more like your usual self, but with a few new questions and insights to explore.
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 1 Month ago at 5/16/24 12:25 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/16/24 12:24 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Thanks for your replies


Bahiya, yes it’s exactly like that. And this retreat seems to have opened me up to seeing this on a much subtler level than before. That this has to be dealt with on the tiniest level. Much of what has come up in memories for example have been stuff that I would never have though of as something that I would have resistance to, micro annoyances and, I don’t know, nothing. But yet it is this that is in the way of letting it be as it is, of accepting that this is all there is. Just minimal things in the stomach that I normally would think of as no biggie and this whole compartment of thought and ideas that I would just think of as something thats gonna go away on its own or something. And now when I see it it feels very easy to just stay with it(probably also because my concentration is still pretty strong, but still), and it feels much better than pretending that this moment isn’t it or that is due to some external factor beyond me. I don’t know if that made any sense but it is as if just because most if it is good, the whole field feels so vast and free and open and most of it seems to be where it is as it is and for some reason, fear, ignorance etc I’ve allowed myself to play this game of pretend and starting to be more honest about it feels like the right way to go about it.


Bud E, yea and that pain feels really meaningful. Right now I feel very grateful that I got shown that. And I really look forward to exploring it more, made me realize also why I love meditating so much. It’s just fascinating and fun and my excitement and curiosity just gets to get cultivated in a very free way that I appreciate a lot.


It has also been nice to see that when I just stay with it there is this natural open, radiance, metta-like quality that comes out after a while spontaneously that doesn’t have to be cultivated with any effort for it to shine.
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 5/16/24 4:11 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/16/24 4:11 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 5327 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Welcome to deeper knowing of the experience of being human!
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 1 Month ago at 5/20/24 11:06 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/20/24 11:06 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Thanks!
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 1 Month ago at 5/21/24 12:40 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/20/24 11:28 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Kept meditating 6-8h/day while working. I have a job where it's possible to meditate for a few hours per night. Concentration is still fairly high.

I'm not too sure about this, but seems like the thing that I'm resisting is this feeling or emotion, it's barely anything but still it's there. It doesn't seem to set of any reactivity but still it feels like im resisting it sort of. The weird thing is that I see it clearly and I see that it just arises without any control on it's own where it is. And that it's impermanent. It's like a hot grain of sand that bounces on a surface, and every time that it hits it almost burns to the point where a reaction is set of, but there is no reaction, and until it bounces again the surface has cooled down and is no problem any more. It's located in the stomach or in the heart slightly to the right. And when I compare it to other sensations of similar intensity those other sensations don't seem to annoy or create some slight resistance as these things do. 

yesterday I just stayed with this and there was some energy jolts that came like a release in response to just staying with it.

ill keep investigating.

Some semi agencylessness when I'm walking for example, the body does its thing without any feelings of doing but it feels like I could break in and take control and stop the process. I try to catch the sensations of the feeling of being able to break in. 


some energetic thing that goes on in the background in the body, where cyclically this energy rises and stays for a while and diminishes in intensity and then it goes like that, not related to the breath. The insight cycles seems to be going on as well, not as clearly as during the retreat. Not sure if it's related to this.


meditation has mostly been staying with emotions and whatever is going on in this moment. It feels like I have opened up to some honesty about what I feel that I didn't have before, we'll see how it holds up when I go back to a more normal routine next week when I can't keep meditating this much anymore 
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 1 Month ago at 5/24/24 3:57 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/24/24 3:57 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Felt like a major breakthrough yesterday, sort of what the last weeks have built up to. 

It was one of the most shocking experiences of my life. I realized that I have this aspect of myself that I keep outside of everything else. I tried to google/ai it and seems similar to what people describe as dissociation/compartmentalization. And yesterday it felt like I saw it more clearly than ever. I saw this aspect as a box, where my normal values and feelings don't apply.

It was completely shocking. I could never have believed that something like this could be applicable to me. After I saw it all these sort of suppressed emotions came up. A lot of shame and embarrassment. Shame is something that I've historically not felt to much(though not totally absent). And I just felt completely cheated on. The feelings was similar to what I imagine it would have felt if your best friend fucked your wife and stole all your money and then ghosted on you. 

How could I not have seen that I was doing this to myself? That I don't love myself, that I think I'm worthless because I'm not where I want to be, because I don't do enough and so on. That I hold myself to a completely different standard than I hold anybody else to and even most of myself. 

It was really weird. It felt as if I had this part of myself that I just didn't allow myself to touch. That the love and compassion and understanding that I have for others and most of myself just didn't apply to this part of me. 

I just cried and cried and more and more emotions came up. After a few hours of this it felt like I had a fever and at the same time it was an amazing experience. It felt so good also to finally be able to just feel all this, to not push it aside, to no pretend that this isn't me. 

The whole day today felt pretty good, still some residual anxiety left. But mostly I had a lot of compassion for myself and those around me. Some low level of fear also that I have more major hidden aspects of myself that I haven't figured out, but it really feels like I've cut my self some slack finally. And also I noticed that some micro projections of judging others that I think was just this compartmentalized part of me that spilled over was not there today. 

yea, felt like this aspect of me became a lot more integrated. We'll see how it holds up
thumbnail
Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 5/24/24 4:26 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/24/24 4:26 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 555 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Hey friend
 

​​​​​​There were aspects of certain paths where I had to go through these kinds of experiences. Cycling through deep emotional insights and healing old traumas was a big part of my first two paths. 

I just want to say this is all normal. I'm glad you're sharing your experience here and make sure to take it easy on yourself. 

​​​​​​​It can be useful to see a therapist, though you seem to be dealing with this stuff alright so I recommend what works for me... Find a friend you can really talk to about stuff. If you have one. Sometimes when we go through this stuff we end up making one. But having someone to be utterly candid with about our experience can be a big help. 

​​​​​​​Great work. Be gentle. 
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 1 Month ago at 5/24/24 5:31 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/24/24 5:26 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Thanks for your answer. It feels warming that someone can relate and seems to care.

Yea, I think that it's important to try to normalize it. I felt quite lonely for many years after I got(what I think of as) 1st path. I had almost no idea of what it was and nobody seemed to be able to relate. There was a lot of crazy stuff for a few years, similar to this. I was lucky that I went through all that not messing up my whole life. 

It wasn't until five years later that I found Daniel's book and began to make some sense of it all. Then a friend of mine got stream entry, which was very reliving. And we could sort of confirm each others experiences. And I didn't feel quite as alien anymore. And around there I met my wife who might have gotten stream entry as a kid. She has many vivid experiences of a&p and spontaneous meditative states and she always seemed to get what I was talking about even though she can't remember when she had her first cessation even though she experiences them regularly. She just knew what it was when I explained it to her. So know I feel very supported.

I realize that I'm insane, but compared to how it used to be this seems quite mild in comparison, haha.

The weird thing about this is that I have felt like very stable for a long time now. I have hade a feeling that something is wrong, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. After all this that feeling seem to have subsided a lot. But as I said, we'll see how it holds up. 

It has been helpful for me to write about it, and if somebody is in a similar situation that I was when I knew nothing about what I was going through I hope that this could be helpful to the too. 

​​​​​​​
thumbnail
Mac Max, modified 1 Month ago at 5/24/24 5:28 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/24/24 5:28 PM

RE: MACMAX PRACTICE

Posts: 34 Join Date: 1/25/24 Recent Posts
Have you written somewhere how it was for you what it was like when you went through those stuff? It would have been interesting to hear your story(:

Breadcrumb