Need some advice/support/guidance

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Marcel Smedts, modified 8 Years ago.

Need some advice/support/guidance

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/10/12 Recent Posts
Basically, I need someone to navigate space for me.

I am still very new to this, so I need some advice.

Ok, I am stuck in the Night. For a couple of years now. My experiences line up perfectly with Daniel's chart/map. I am very sure I am in the night, that I know the night, and that I want to get it over with.

It all started, well I guess, with birth. But not after an extreme and unskillfull period of intens yoga practice I crashed face down. Relationships all gone, intense slacking at university, extreme obsessions, mental and emotional instability, perceptional instablity, 'angst', I have been there done that! Dissolution, fear, misery, disgust and desire for deliverance have become my most intimate companions.
I have nothing to lose anymore. This might sound suicidal and desparate, it is! I really really need to get to equanimity so I can have a period of time to review all of this.

So what is the problem? I lack the vocabulaire to explain myself clearly, I lack insight technique (this is a big one!) and I lack support/guidance. (though I'll try to be clear keep in mind this might be chunky or incohesive because my mental clarity / insight is absent atm).

I sit down. apply mahasi sayadaw's noting technique and get started.

Insight in body and mind: moderate. When my concentration is there I can see clearly what is body and what is mind, but when I sit for a longer period of thime my concentration fades away and body and mind get blurred. That is, the image/perception of my body is not cohesive, parts are painfull, parts are morphing, pulling and pushing sensations, slow rythmic swaying and I cant notice my breath.
My mind follows and notes, sensations, sensations / pain, pain / restless restless etc.

Insight in cause and effect: low. It becomes clear that intentions cause actions, in the beginning of the meditation session, but when I progress cause and effect are totally absent.

Insight in three characteristics: moderate. No self is not very clear, I tend to cling. Suffering is very clear. Inpermanence pretty clear.

When I go deep into meditation mindset (as I am right now) things get very very very blurry. Center of attention is absent, and my periphery is very clear. It feels like I am running after things, all the time a second to late. Off sinq, a very slowmotion feeling. Like a drunken bokser. This feeling continuous after meditation, and is most profound when interacting with others. Not agreable at all!

There is a strong trance like state, a state of absorption. When this is happening I completely lose my mindfullness of these experiences. Not unlike mantra meditation (ayp-site I AM meditation for those familiar). The problem is I cant break out. This gets to the point where all my actions seem to happen without me.

I want to get my focus back. I want to get onbeat, get things done and continue!

The last 4 days I have done about 20 hours of meditation, and I have made time free ahead to go through all this!

Would it be wise to just continue with the noting and wait untill my centre of attention gets back? Go past the motions, pains, thoughts of death etc, by continuous noting?

This is my main concern. Get trough to equanimity, no matter what! What are the signs of transition to equanimity?

The next couple off days I will try to meditate my ass off. Solo retreat style till I feel comfortable.
The only thing I will do is check this thread, read. listen or view a little bit from Daniel, avoid contact, take a walk and do nothing that disturbes this process. I will keep you updated! and any help / questions or advice is welcome!

I need Insight. out.
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Need some advice/support/guidance

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Marcel Smedts:
Basically, I need someone to navigate space for me.

I am still very new to this, so I need some advice.

Ok, I am stuck in the Night. For a couple of years now. My experiences line up perfectly with Daniel's chart/map. I am very sure I am in the night, that I know the night, and that I want to get it over with.

It all started, well I guess, with birth. But not after an extreme and unskillfull period of intens yoga practice I crashed face down. Relationships all gone, intense slacking at university, extreme obsessions, mental and emotional instability, perceptional instablity, 'angst', I have been there done that! Dissolution, fear, misery, disgust and desire for deliverance have become my most intimate companions.

I have nothing to lose anymore. This might sound suicidal and desparate, it is! I really really need to get to equanimity so I can have a period of time to review all of this.


Really really really wanting or needed equanimity means one is generating a bit of craving for it right now. That is what is arising right now as one really, really, really wants or needs equanimity. The very act of really, really, really needing equanimity is what needs to be seen equanimously. How to do that? Simply decide to objectively pay attention to what is happening right now without any expectations for what is happening right now to change or stay the same. Be naive about it. Be curious about it. Watch the mind squirm. Get curious about the squirming. Don't put abolsutely any expectations on it. Simply pay attention to the the squirming and what arises with it with the follwoing in mind:


the attitude of not knowing what i was observing, and not "knowifying" anything. actually also "unknowifying" things i assumed to be true. (examples--"i know this is a good/bad sensation", or "i know i need more air"--i found out later that as long as my mouth and nostrils weren't ducktaped, the involuntary lung muscles would draw in more air if it's really needed, no need to "know" better and send panic through the body.) Jill





So what is the problem? I lack the vocabulaire to explain myself clearly, I lack insight technique (this is a big one!) and I lack support/guidance. (though I'll try to be clear keep in mind this might be chunky or incohesive because my mental clarity / insight is absent atm).


lack, lack, lack. Change this mindset now and start to pay attention to what is arising now.

I sit down. apply mahasi sayadaw's noting technique and get started.


Note it!

Insight in body and mind: moderate. When my concentration is there I can see clearly what is body and what is mind, but when I sit for a longer period of thime my concentration fades away and body and mind get blurred. That is, the image/perception of my body is not cohesive, parts are painfull, parts are morphing, pulling and pushing sensations, slow rythmic swaying and I cant notice my breath.
My mind follows and notes, sensations, sensations / pain, pain / restless restless etc.


Forget about where you are or how much progress you have made and just cultivate curiosity into what is happening right now for yourself. The expectations of progress yogis place on their shoulders often is what goes ignored and thus becomes an obstacle.

Insight in cause and effect: low. It becomes clear that intentions cause actions, in the beginning of the meditation session, but when I progress cause and effect are totally absent.

Insight in three characteristics: moderate. No self is not very clear, I tend to cling. Suffering is very clear. Inpermanence pretty clear.


Put those notions of 'not-self' and cause and effect out of your mind for the moment and simply allow them to arise naturally as you simply pay attention to what is happening within that mind/body organism right now. Again, expectations placed around one's neck like a heavy chain of dhamma wheels will only hinder progress. Allow the insights to arise by themselves as you simply 'pay attention'.

When I go deep into meditation mindset (as I am right now) things get very very very blurry. Center of attention is absent, and my periphery is very clear. It feels like I am running after things, all the time a second to late. Off sinq, a very slowmotion feeling. Like a drunken bokser. This feeling continuous after meditation, and is most profound when interacting with others. Not agreable at all!


Then simply pay attention to 'running after things'. Just watch it. Do NOT look for anything special. What is happening right now? hmm, there is a sense of 'running after things', off synchness, a slow motion feeling, like a drunken bokser. Let's get curious about all of this and simply watch and pay attention to it. Let such phenomena be there and just see what happens WITHOUT expectations.

There is a strong trance like state, a state of absorption. When this is happening I completely lose my mindfullness of these experiences. Not unlike mantra meditation (ayp-site I AM meditation for those familiar). The problem is I cant break out. This gets to the point where all my actions seem to happen without me.


Simply pay attention to those thoughts of 'i'm not mindful' and 'being absorbed' ad see what happens to it when you place not 'statsu' on it, when you allow it to be there without any expectations. See what happens when you stop placing so much expectation on experience.

I want to get my focus back. I want to get onbeat, get things done and continue!


Stop with the expectations and simply start getting curious about any and every state of mind, every sensation, regardless of how negative or positive it seems.

The last 4 days I have done about 20 hours of meditation, and I have made time free ahead to go through all this!


20 hours non-stop? Sitting? Relax a little. Don't overstrain yourself. Don't place any expectation on that amount of sitting or practicing. Just maintain a momentum when you can without bursting a blood vessel.

Would it be wise to just continue with the noting and wait untill my centre of attention gets back? Go past the motions, pains, thoughts of death etc, by continuous noting?


Drop the expectations and keep noting. Note any expectations that do arise though. Objectify EVERYTHING!!!

This is my main concern. Get trough to equanimity, no matter what! What are the signs of transition to equanimity?


Note that strong desire, and keep noting. Drop the expectations and allow the mind/body organism to experience without expectation.

The next couple off days I will try to meditate my ass off. Solo retreat style till I feel comfortable.
The only thing I will do is check this thread, read. listen or view a little bit from Daniel, avoid contact, take a walk and do nothing that disturbes this process. I will keep you updated! and any help / questions or advice is welcome!


If the mind is getting agitated, restless, craving and trying for a 'result', read this and allow it to inform your continuing practice of whatever technique you utilise.

I need Insight. out.


You need to relax and simply pay attention without expectation for this or that result.

Nick
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Marcel Smedts, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Need some advice/support/guidance

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/10/12 Recent Posts
Thank you for your advice nick. It is spot on.
I was just getting tired of it all.

The link was useful too.

Last night something changed. After my meditation I went to bed. There were these strong sensations in my calves and head, and a general feeling of being edgy. It kept me awake quite some time, but I was able to be with the sensation and gradually I could surrender (Meditation for restless leg syndrome anyone> ;). Anything that works I guess, I could not focus my attention on these sensations but instead kept saying: impermanent, not self, impermanent, not self, suffering haha. Somehow it worked.

For me a big motivation, jahoe! But anyway, I am going to continue and investigate.

I will keep updating for my own motivation..

Marcel
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Dauphin Supple Chirp, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Need some advice/support/guidance

Posts: 154 Join Date: 3/15/11 Recent Posts
Marcel Smedts:
It all started, well I guess, with birth.


emoticon http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.15.0.than.html

But that's really not the most important thing for you right now.

I would like you to heed Nick's advice as much as you can. He is exactly right. A lot of the suffering you are experiencing is caused by your want to be in a different stage than you think you are. Try to de-emphasize the wanting, the thoughts of maps or progress, and emphasize simple observation. If you feel like you always notice things just a little bit late (like a drunken boxer), then just keep doing your best and note whatever you can, even if it feels like you're too late. Maybe you can get into a rhythm of noting or, better yet, noticing. Sometimes a good rhythm is worth more than the (perceived) level of accuracy.

If you are really suffering, to the point that you can't sleep when you know you should, or similar problems, try strong focus on metta. I don't know if I made fast progress because of regular metta practice or in spite of it, but I did metta meditation at least daily (usually right before I started noting) and got to SE pretty quickly, so it couldn't really have been be a big mistake. emoticon
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Marcel Smedts, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Need some advice/support/guidance

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/10/12 Recent Posts
Thanks,

Indeed, I have found metta to be very beneficial to. Funny that you mention it, I started doing metta a couple of days ago, by accident. It seems to dissolve some of the 'you vs me' in my case. Is there any specific procedure for doing metta? (haha again procedure, map etc).

Right now i'm just throwing loving kindness at everything haha.

The mention of rhythm is a good one. It's like cultivating a new habit, one that prevents all kinds of mindfucking.
The last days have been better. I have done regular meditation (although nog as extreme as plannen), metta, work, book retreat, explore the nana's, sleep and accepting. I feel great knowing there are these profound and pretty accurate maps!

Thanks again,

Marcel
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fivebells ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Need some advice/support/guidance

Posts: 566 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
I've been focused on metta meditation for the last 6 weeks or so, and have done a lot in the past as well. What you're doing sounds effective, but if you're looking for more structure, you might try these instructions.
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Marcel Smedts, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Need some advice/support/guidance

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/10/12 Recent Posts
fivebells .:
I've been focused on metta meditation for the last 6 weeks or so, and have done a lot in the past as well. What you're doing sounds effective, but if you're looking for more structure, you might try these instructions.


Good, good! This will work well as a stand alone meditation. I will definately give it a try. Thank you,
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Dauphin Supple Chirp, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Need some advice/support/guidance

Posts: 154 Join Date: 3/15/11 Recent Posts
This is what I used at the time:

May I be happy.
May I be well.
May no harm come to me.
May no problems come to me.
May no difficulties come to me.
May I always meet with spiritual success.
May I be at peace.
May my heart be filled with love.
May I be kind.
May I be gentle.
May I keep myself in happiness.
May I be at ease.

May my family and friends be happy.
May they be well.
May no harm come to them.
May no problems come to them.
May no difficulties come to them.
May they always meet with spiritual success.
May they be at peace.
May their hearts be filled with love.
May they be kind.
May they be gentle.
May they keep themselves in happiness.
May they be at ease.

May all beings be happy.
May they be well.
May no harm come to them.
May no problems come to them.
May no difficulties come to them.
May they always meet with spiritual success.
May they be at peace.
May their hearts be filled with love.
May they be kind.
May they be gentle.
May they keep themselves in happiness.
May they be at ease.

May all my enemies, all those who have wronged me, be happy.
May they be well.
May no harm come to any of them.
May no problems come to them.
May no difficulties come to them.
May they always meet with spiritual success.
May they be at peace.
May their hearts be filled with love.
May they be kind.
May they be gentle.
May they keep themselves in happiness.
May they be at ease.

May all beings in samsara forgive me.
May all beings be at ease.

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Marcel Smedts, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Need some advice/support/guidance

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/10/12 Recent Posts
Haha, thanks for the effort.

May you be happy.
May you be well,
May no harm come to you,
May no problems come to you,
May no difficulties come to you,
May you always meet with spiritual succes,
May you be at peace,
May youre heart be filled with love,
May you be kind,
May you be gentle,
May you keep yourself in happiness,
and, May you be at east.

I will use this template, sounds all inclusive.

There is one more technical question in my mind:

When one enters the dark night for whatever reason, they tend to change in their ways of being. Their relationships, attitudes, motivations, their general makeup. Now this person is not aware of this, loses his sadhana or spiritual discipline and goes about. He therefore creates no insight in the three characteristics, atleast not at a perceptual level. He might come to a broad conclusion that life is suffering, nothing is inherent satistactory, noting will last forever and at a point loses his sense of belonging and identity.

Then this person starts to do insight practices. Will his broadly and general insight of the three characteristics come to be reflected in his meditation? Or, will he start at A&P go through dissolution, knowledge of fear, misery, disgust and desire for deliverance trying to go through reobservation to equanimity, or instead, does he have to see the three characteristics, cause and effect & mind and body first clearly at a perceptual level?

I heard Daniel say that one who has crossed A&P will cycle through the 3th jhana, and will allways start at the A&P cycling.
Maybe this person first has to develop some basic concentration?

Marcel
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Dauphin Supple Chirp, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Need some advice/support/guidance

Posts: 154 Join Date: 3/15/11 Recent Posts
Marcel Smedts:

Maybe this person first has to develop some basic concentration?


I'm not a big expert on this, but my experience has been that A&P and "sufficient" concentration go hand-in-hand. During the DN it may not feel like one has sufficient concentration, but that's normal.