New Practice Log

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Brian K., modified 8 Years ago.

New Practice Log

Posts: 142 Join Date: 4/18/12 Recent Posts
Hey, starting a new practice log because right now I can't seem to manage consistent practice of any kind. Hopefully this will help motivate me, as well as feedback from the members of this forum.

So a little after a week ago I got back from my first goenka course. I at first had no problems sitting for longer periods of time but over the past week my sits have gone from multiple hour long sits consecutively and longer to barely being able to sit for about 40 minutes. Somewhere around the 7th day of the retreat I became from despondent, very miserable and that has pretty much carried over or gotten worse since coming back, with the small exception of the first 2 days or so, where I felt fairly at ease and thought I was progressing but then I made a relapse back to being sad all the time. I feel like there is nowhere to hold onto anything because everything is so unsatisfactory. I realize thats a sign of progress, but I hate it. I would assume I'm in DN territory but I really could care less where I am on the maps I just want to get my practice back on track. I have a fairly difficult time being able to discipline myself for consistent practice as it is (self destructive personality perhaps and addiction problems (not active)) and maybe that doesn't matter so much in the spirit of no bullshit vipassana practice, personality problems or not everything is still subject to the 3 characteristics, but I figured I'd mention it in case anyone can relate and give advice. Just did a 40 minute anapana sit to quiet my mind, about to do noting for about 40 minutes or so. Feel extremely raw and fragile. Don't want to do it haha. Oh well. Will post again later today.
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fivebells ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: New Practice Log

Posts: 566 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
Congratulations on completing the retreat. I'm going on my first Goenka retreat early December.

I've had similar responses after retreat. Sounds like you might want to back off from the insight practice for a bit, and just do concentration. Anapana sounds like a good approach, noting of the 3 C's is likely to just be pushing on a string at the moment. I read that the Goenka retreats end with metta practice, which would probably help with the despondence. Volunteer work on something people really appreciate helps, too.
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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: New Practice Log

Posts: 706 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
Feel extremely raw and fragile. Don't want to do it haha..


So don't. At least for a few days.

Did you get enough sleep? I always feel a bit raw and fragile after retreat, but it's just because I don't usually sleep well and it takes me up to a week or more to feel well rested again. After that, meditation picks up and I can see the difference the retreat has made. Maybe this is the same for you?

Questions:

  • Are you tired?
  • Did you do the course, or do noting?
  • If you did the course, did the sensations break up into fine streaming champaign bubbles through the body?
  • If they did, what day was that?
  • What happened next?
Jigme Sengye, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: New Practice Log

Posts: 189 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Brian, do you feel like to doing an out-loud ping pong noting session over skype? By ping pong noting, I mean I note something out loud and then you note something out loud, for a specific period of time, like an hour. It might make you feel more motivated to practice. It's hard to be distracted when noting with someone else. I've found it to be an easy way to concentrate, even when I've been in the same mood as you're describing, which has happened to me a lot in the past.

Have you tried just noting pleasant sensations? If there aren't any, try looking for them. Even in the worst parts of the dukkha ├▒anas, there are pleasant sensations. The mind just filters them out in that stage, but they are still there. If nothing else, you can note physical relaxation. Even if your body is tense, since you're sitting some parts of it have to be relaxed. In any case, both noting tension and the goenka body scan will relax the tense areas. Are there any pleasant physical sensations for you to meditate on in any way at the moment?

Also, have you tried doing either metta for a short period and then doing noting? You can use it to create pleasant sensations to note. You can even do metta and noting together so that you are constantly creating pleasant sensations to note and feel good enough to note anything else.
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Brian K., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: New Practice Log

Posts: 142 Join Date: 4/18/12 Recent Posts
Thank you for the responses. I have just been taking it light with meditation for the past few days (not sure if this is good or bad) but the feeling of shittyness and the 'fuck it everything is going to die anyway' mentality have certainly decreased. Yesterday while noting I was actually able to see a little more clearly the insight of " if I note it, it's not me" which kind of clicked for a second and then went away because my concentration was not very strong at the time. I've been doing a little more concentration meditations or at least interspersing my sits with anapana and trying to develop metta (maybe for a few minutes at the end of my sit, or by being generous in day to day activities as well as doing a little volunteering for my meditation center), which 2 of you suggested. Funny. So now I want to get back into a more consistent practice. I feel myself progressing and hope I'm not halting my progress by procrastinating my ass off every time i plan on sitting, haha. Well thanks for the responses everyone I will update again later today probably.

And for the ping pong noting, I'd be open to it it sounds interesting. Right now I'm away for a few days with my family maybe when I get back home we can give it a try. Thanks
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Brian K., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: New Practice Log

Posts: 142 Join Date: 4/18/12 Recent Posts
Nothing much new to say here. Have been practicing irregularly still. I try to sit every day. But still I have been procrastinating practice like its my job. Oh well. Am probably taking a retreat anyway for a week within the next few days at my local center. My focus isn't all too great lately, but I equate that with lack of practice time and probably lifestyle habits. I have been feeling rather disconnected though lately, like who I thought i was is really just a concept, and sometimes that concept of self-image/personality view changes (very often throughout the day), and that's kind of scary. It all comes and goes (my mental states) and it's like, I am that, but I am also not that, which means I both am and am not that, and neither am nor not that. So now, who am I? What am I? It feels kind of like de-humanization. It makes me want to run away from it and stick to what seems "natural" (staying clinging to the personality view, because it feels like if I don't I'm going to be stuck all alone, like I said the best way to describe is dehumanized in some weird way.) I know that's not the case and it just looks like that from here. Everything is rather unsatisfactory and I'm beginning to see the insanity in a lot of the wanting clinging and striving for things that is so pervasive in society. Still though this does not necessarily lessen my attachment to them, sometimes though maybe, depending. So tomorrow I'm gonna go to my center and get some good practice in, and hopefully arrange this small retreat for myself. Peace out til then!

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