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ain't life peachy
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2/8/12 9:07 AM
Okay, so hi.

Here goes. I sat my first Vipassana course with Dr. Brian Oblivion (Read Goenka) about a year ago, nearly left everyday from about day 3 or 4 to day 10. I was “the loud crier”. Basically, not happy. I stayed focused on my meditation on the map when I wasn’t debating going home. Essentially I had that one “big issue” (wanting to leave and not be lonesome) that kept haunting me, and yeah, that’s how I viewed it, as linearly existing.

At the course I learned the association of emotions and sensations, tried to keep it physical. This became something I integrated into my daily life and has been great.

Now, about 2 months ago, for the first time I was tri…ummm, dreaming, yeah, that’s it, and I had this big half-realization

That my thoughts had been about
Buddhism
&
Magick

Essentially
Sensation
&
Meaning

And I found these irreconcilable. At the same time, both experiences where so real to me at that level, even though sensation was the one that I could rationalize intellectually as makin sense.

After this I had sort of upped my game in both categories in favor of experiential understanding and saving the intellectualism for 2014 ;)

Anyhow, my newest and favorite “Big Issue” is total romantic loneliness, which I kind of resonate with not f*ckin with solving now, for a few reasons, and I don’t think I have to necessarily be in the Dark Night to hold this stuff of till more clarity comes into play.

Another note: While at the center, I kept thinking of the Dark Night, not having read Daniel’s book, but having read Meditations on the Tarot and some quotes from Dark Night of The Soul. I basically kept telling myself “no, this isn’t your dark night but it is your dark night, it’s a micro-darknight.”

Any thoughts on my life? THANKS!

PS: I guess I talked about everything but sitting. I guess because to me it feels pretty chill and uneventful. I had my body moved for me ones or a few times, and have been working out energic kinks (mostly through other practices than mediation) but when I sit, I just do the sensation work, get distracted, come back, nothing really noticeable. My big fear is that I'm still at square one and that I don't know if I'm ready to get any lonelier right now emoticon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RE: ain't life peachy
Answer
2/8/12 1:35 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Jesse Cooper Levy:


Another note: While at the center, I kept thinking of the Dark Night, not having read Daniel’s book, but having read Meditations on the Tarot and some quotes from Dark Night of The Soul. I basically kept telling myself “no, this isn’t your dark night but it is your dark night, it’s a micro-darknight.”

Any thoughts on my life? THANKS!

PS: I guess I talked about everything but sitting. I guess because to me it feels pretty chill and uneventful. I had my body moved for me ones or a few times, and have been working out energic kinks (mostly through other practices than mediation) but when I sit, I just do the sensation work, get distracted, come back, nothing really noticeable. My big fear is that I'm still at square one and that I don't know if I'm ready to get any lonelier right now emoticon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Read Daniel's book to get some idea of what you might run into when practicing observing sensations. I'd say it is more technical than tarot explanations. Do you notice any mind states/moods while observing sensations that seem to be of the 'waiting for something special' kind? Have you tried noting mind states as well as observing sensations? Are you becoming aware of how 'loneliness' compounds together? What is it made up of?

Try noting it as it arises as simply 'loneliness', and then observe sensations at the same time equanimously a la goenka. But try and do so from a place of balanced acceptance rather than a 'turning away from' angle. Accept the fact that the experience termed 'loneliness' is compounding in the moment and notice how there is a 'disilike' for it, an aversion arising for it. Experiment and turn that dislike on its head. Instead, embrace the 'loneliness' fully. 'Be' that 'loneliness'. If you notice your sense of exisiting or self, instead of having it be like 'loneliness' is happening to 'me', mentally merge that feeling of self with the 'loneliness' to become one and the same. Being the mood ives one a bit more control over the mood in my expereince rather than watching it from the side. One can then observe the merging of one's sense of self and the mood a bit more acceptingly and disspationately from this angle. You can also calmly note all the physical and mental arisings and passings as well. Here you can become aware of the experience of 'loneliness's supporting factors, physical and mental, without wrestling with the mood.

Loneliness affects everyone a some stage or other so may not be insight stage related, but could be.

Nick

RE: ain't life peachy
Answer
2/8/12 2:24 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Thanks for the notes. I appreciate getting an opinion on all this.

Yes, I'm reading Daniel's book now, just finished the section on the Dark Night. Additionally, I'd just like to speak up for Meditations on the Tarot. It is not a book related to tarot readings so I'm not sure what you mean by "tarot explanations". I really mentioned it just to say that I was thinking of Dark Night of the Soul because of quotes and paraphrases from the original text.

I do try to realize the relations between those emotions and senate experiences, though I guess the big "take away" from what you wrote is to keep that as the focus and that. I'll try to study the loneliness a bit deeper. Is this the best term for noting this?

I know in the mahasatipitana, Buddha talks about noting things like anger. Does he ever give a name to something like loneliness?

RE: ain't life peachy
Answer
2/8/12 2:37 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Jesse Cooper Levy:
Thanks for the notes. I appreciate getting an opinion on all this.

Yes, I'm reading Daniel's book now, just finished the section on the Dark Night. Additionally, I'd just like to speak up for Meditations on the Tarot. It is not a book related to tarot readings so I'm not sure what you mean by "tarot explanations". I really mentioned it just to say that I was thinking of Dark Night of the Soul because of quotes and paraphrases from the original text.

I do try to realize the relations between those emotions and senate experiences, though I guess the big "take away" from what you wrote is to keep that as the focus and that. I'll try to study the loneliness a bit deeper. Is this the best term for noting this?

I know in the mahasatipitana, Buddha talks about noting things like anger. Does he ever give a name to something like loneliness?


Sorrow, lamentation, desire, fear. All of these things are wrapped up in the experience of 'loneliness'. What does one desire when feeling 'lonely'? You could label the experience as you wish as long as you start to observe it dispassionately, equanimously and curiously to discern what is really going on. The noting is preceded by noticing the phenomena being noted/mentally labeled. It doesn't matter too much what you label the experience as long as one is becoming aware of it and starting to see it for what it really is made up of. Use a label that is useful for you.

RE: ain't life peachy
Answer
2/8/12 3:56 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Now, about 2 months ago, for the first time I was tri…ummm, dreaming, yeah, that’s it, and I had this big half-realization

You're allowed to say that you were tripping, it's fine. ; ) Encountering these sorts of realizations directly for the first time while on hallucinogens isn't unusual, however what do you mean by "big half-realization"? You either realized something about the way things are or you didn't so could you be more precise in your descriptions?

That my thoughts had been about
Buddhism
&
Magick

Essentially
Sensation
&
Meaning

And I found these irreconcilable. At the same time, both experiences where so real to me at that level, even though sensation was the one that I could rationalize intellectually as makin sense.

Would you mind explaining this in more detail please? I don't quite get what it is that you're asking about or trying to say here, I think I have a rough idea but it'd be useful to know some more so that we can talk about it in more detail. My background is in magick so feel free to go into specifics and terminology if it's easier, I'm familiar with most systems so maybe talking in those terms would be more helpful?

When I ask for "more detail", what I mean is a clearer description of what it was that you realized, what sort of feelings and sensations you noticed and that sort of thing.

Another note: While at the center, I kept thinking of the Dark Night, not having read Daniel’s book, but having read Meditations on the Tarot and some quotes from Dark Night of The Soul. I basically kept telling myself “no, this isn’t your dark night but it is your dark night, it’s a micro-darknight.”

You don't go through Dark Night once, it's a cyclical thing and you'll encounter it repeatedly once you've crossed what you may see described as the A&P, or Knowledge of the Arising & Passing Away. If you're familiar with the kabbalistic tree, this isn't quite the same as crossing the abyss but the general territory is similar, don't think that you hit Dark Night once and that's you done with it 'cause it's not the way it happens.

I'm not familiar with "Meditations on the Tarot", if it's the same book we're talking about, but I'm familiar with the standard attributions of the suits and their various correspondences so, again, if it's easier for you to talk in these terms then go ahead.

I guess I talked about everything but sitting. I guess because to me it feels pretty chill and uneventful. I had my body moved for me ones or a few times, and have been working out energic kinks (mostly through other practices than mediation) but when I sit, I just do the sensation work, get distracted, come back, nothing really noticeable. My big fear is that I'm still at square one and that I don't know if I'm ready to get any lonelier right now

What other practices are you using? Could you describe them more and how it is that you're applying the techniques.

From what you've said it's fairly clear, keeping things in terms of the progress of insight and the model in MCTB, that you've crossed the A&P and are now in Dark Night. It also sounds like you don't really have a serious meditation practice going on so that would be the first thing I'd recommend, go read MCTB and do some insight practice. The loneliness is just one manifestation of the stage you're in right now, it'll change and it'll go away but if you want to make progress, and also understand what it was that you realized a few months ago, then get your arse on the cushion and practice hard.

Good luck with it and keep us updated on how it's going.

RE: ain't life peachy
Answer
2/12/12 12:22 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
@M Tommy,

thanks for your thoughts.

Not sure how to break this down. I come primarily from chaos magick, which i guess is a school of thought. Anywho, I always thought of magick as ways in which we engage with symbols and interpret them. As one chaote once said, sometimes we interpret information faster than we receive it, and I think this is generally the case. What's interesting about practices on the physical sensate level is that they seem to be engaged on a level that has the capacity to bypass symbolic interpretation of experience.

I guess before in the weeks before I tripped, I was reflecting on something Slavoj Žižek called the "temptation of meaning" in which, for instance, if something terrible happens to someone, they will ask themselves WHY it happened, what it's happening MEANS, and that it would be better to assign no meaning. I think, however, in a broader sense, all the meanings that we assign to things are equally inaccurate (or, on further reflection right now, it is not that they are equally inaccurate, perhaps, but that they could be inaccurate and that they are not a direct experience of a thing)

It was strange, because sensate experience was very powerful at the time (which related to vipassana to me), and at the same time, meaning was really intense, anythings meaning, the idea of my friend, of new orleans, of anything. This made magick seem real possible, cause, as Grant Morisson says, Life + Signifigance = Magick.

but it often feels like Life - Significance = Buddhism.

Is this adding up?