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vipassana without side effects

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vipassana without side effects
Answer
11/7/12 3:10 AM
Well, I've finally found a way to do vipassana without causing a severe depressive reaction. Or I should say, so far so good (day 3) .

All thanks to Kenneth Folk's written instruction.

The "Note your ass off" MCTB approach can be very harmful. There's a dire lack of sophistication in conveying the subtleties of "how to do this properly" and "how to do this safely".

On KFD, expand each of the sections in the left panel, and in particular read the practice tips section. That was the difference for me. It's very well written.

RE: vipassana without side effects
Answer
11/7/12 3:30 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Hmm can you share the tips that helped you ?
Also , I can't seem to find the Practice Tips section.

RE: vipassana without side effects
Answer
11/7/12 4:55 AM as a reply to Shashank Dixit.
Yeh, the panel at the left is poorly organized. There's lots of clickable sub-sections that I didn't even know were there until recently.

http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/page/Practice+Tips

Q: So, what do you think? Bear down and increase concentration on primary object? Or keep letting it play out?

A: Well, you never want to bear down, as that implies "over-efforting." You want just enough energy/effort (viriya) to make contact with the object in this moment. No more, no less. It's very dynamic and the amount of effort required from one moment to the next is constantly changing. This ability to dynamically change the amount of effort in response to the changing objects of attention is key to mastering vipassana. See how flexible you can be, how lightly you can touch the object without overshooting it. Imagine a peanut floating in a bucket of water. Put your finger on it just enough to feel it, but not hard enough to roll off. Now introduce some waves into the water. Maintain contact with the peanut as it moves up and down, back and forth. Reestablish contact when you lose it.

How do you know if you have contact with the object? Easy. If you can name it, you know you are contacting it. This is the true value of noting; it keeps you honest. If you are noting, you are doing vipassana. You cannot note without doing vipassana. That does not mean hypnotize yourself into noting "rising, falling," and pretend that you are awake, mind you. You have to know something about the object. Go ahead and note "rising, falling," but know that you are experiencing coldness, warmth, softness, hardness, stinging, burning, aching, pulsing, throbbing, or whatever it is. Noting (knowing clearly what you are experiencing and naming it) is biofeedback.


If this happens to not be helpful to you after just one sitting, then just stop and write it off. Don't persist with anything that doesn't work for you. It happened to work for me; that's all I can say.

RE: vipassana without side effects
Answer
11/7/12 11:21 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Well, I've finally found a way to do vipassana without causing a severe depressive reaction. Or I should say, so far so good (day 3) .

All thanks to Kenneth Folk's written instruction.

The "Note your ass off" MCTB approach can be very harmful. There's a dire lack of sophistication in conveying the subtleties of "how to do this properly" and "how to do this safely".

On KFD, expand each of the sections in the left panel, and in particular read the practice tips section. That was the difference for me. It's very well written.


FWIW, the way I do noting and jhanas is largely how Kenneth taught me to do it and it matches your description. For about the past two months (since the 11th of September or so), I've been having the worst bout of dukkha ñanas off cushion (on the cushion my mental state has usually been intensely pleasant since then) since I started noting.

I've found that the times that I've been doing qigong practice and vipassana at the same time, or just qigong practice while in the dukkha ñanas (prior to starting vipassana), that I haven't felt the depressing effects. I think that constantly feeling the qi sensations amounted to meditating all day and gave me pleasant sensations and a bit of a mildly trancy effortless meditative state to focus on during the hours when I wasn't practicing, so that the unpleasantness wasn't arising (or maybe it was making it easier to ignore the unpleasantness, I can't remember). The problem with this is that I don't have time for two practices and just doing qigong won't get me past the cycles. It is worth putting up with this, maddening as it, but I don't know how else to do it.

RE: vipassana without side effects
Answer
11/8/12 7:37 AM as a reply to Jigme Sengye.
I have no energy practice experience at all but... why can't you use the sensations of qi as insight meditation objects?

RE: vipassana without side effects
Answer
11/8/12 10:27 AM as a reply to M N.
Mario Nistri:
I have no energy practice experience at all but... why can't you use the sensations of qi as insight meditation objects?


I do that to the extent I can, or care to, while doing vipassana, but the energetic aspect isn't as intense as doing formal qigong practice. The problem with doing noting during the main qigong practice I'm interested in is that I'm concerned that it changes the meditation and I'll end up doing it half-assed. This specific qigong style (zhineng qigong) actually is very amenable to noticing sensations and very easy to vipassanize. The problem is that I'm pretty sure that doing that ends me up in a different mental state from what is aimed for in the instructions.

The main problem is time. I want to do each practice correctly and consistently every day. I'm not sure that any amount of time spent doing qigong in a vipassana way is as effective from an insight perspective as my regular vipassana practice (which is very qigong-flavored anyway, but not in a deliberate way, the qi stuff just happens on its own, just not as much, and I note or notice it). I'd rather be sure that my formal vipassana practice is actually working and focus on it to get past the remaining two paths as quickly as possible without additional doubts and then go back to qigong. I don't know what my vipassana practice will look like at that point. Kenneth teaches a sort of "mahamudra" technique (listening for ships in a harbor that aren't there) and a body awareness technique (direct mode) to people who have passed what he characterizes as 4th path. I know how to do those, but am not any good at maintaining concentration on them. Maybe the body awareness aspect of my qigong technique would be more appropriate at that point. I have no idea and I'll probably see if it works once I get there.

To bring the discussion back to the dukkha ñanas and how to deal with them while making progress, I have a hypnotist friend who also does Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which involves lightly tapping certain points on the body while repeating certain positive phrases. I tried EFT with him once and found it to be a surprisingly way effective to deal with an emotional pet peeve that was bothering me at the time. The nice thing was that it wasn't time-consuming. Oddly, I'm feeling pretty good today, but if the depression comes back, I might take the trouble to relearn how to do the technique and apply it as needed. The strange thing is my bouts of depression seem to be very topical, it's one thing that just keeps on bothering and bothering me in very specific patterns, except when I meditate. EFT is similarly topical. It might be a good match.

Has anyone else tried EFT while having a hard time with the dukkha ñanas? Has anyone tried anything else that worked? Has anyone else experienced not having any negative emotional effects from going through an entire cycle while doing some kind of energy practice, like qigong, tsa lung, or some tangibly energy-oriented style of yoga?

RE: vipassana without side effects
Answer
11/8/12 7:22 PM as a reply to Jigme Sengye.
I've tried EFT, but I think it works best with someone else there to assist. I'm not sure that doing it on yourself is useful.

The set up phrase, as you know, is: "Even though I have this pain, I accept myself completely". The only value tapping provides is that it distracts the conscious mind while the phrase is completed. You could equally rub your head and pat your stomach for the same effect.

Self acceptance is a funny thing. The self itself is a mechanism of non-acceptance. According to the ego, I am never good enough, strong enough, funny enough, rich enough... and so on. And so I must continually be unsatisfied with how I am, however that is, and strive for more. That's the role of a self - to be unaccepting of itself.

So to say "I accept myself" can for some people push them into a mildly selfless state. Confusion can also do this, or trauma. The selfless state is what does the healing of the pain.

I think it's an ok technique. But the EFT guys mislead people into thinking the special points to tap have any significance whatsoever. They want to make a big commercial enterprise out of EFT, when it just amounts to self acceptance.

RE: vipassana without side effects
Answer
11/8/12 7:58 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
I've tried EFT, but I think it works best with someone else there to assist. I'm not sure that doing it on yourself is useful.

The set up phrase, as you know, is: "Even though I have this pain, I accept myself completely". The only value tapping provides is that it distracts the conscious mind while the phrase is completed. You could equally rub your head and pat your stomach for the same effect.



Thanks! Repeating variations of that sentence while rubbing my head and patting my stomach is hilarious. I'll try it again the next time something is bugging me.

RE: vipassana without side effects
Answer
11/9/12 1:53 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
I've tried EFT, but I think it works best with someone else there to assist. I'm not sure that doing it on yourself is useful.


I don't know about regular EFT, but faster EFT has been very helpful for me, doing it on myself. It got rid of all of my problems with kriyas in meditation for one thing.

Metta,
Simon