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The Terrifier's Horse

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The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 11/13/12 1:30 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse fivebells . 11/13/12 2:45 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Fitter Stoke 11/13/12 2:46 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 11/15/12 6:25 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Fitter Stoke 11/16/12 8:17 AM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 11/20/12 3:09 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 11/26/12 11:30 AM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 11/28/12 1:11 AM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 12/5/12 7:01 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Fitter Stoke 12/5/12 7:30 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 12/9/12 11:09 AM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 12/13/12 8:14 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 12/18/12 10:56 AM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 12/20/12 5:34 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 1/2/13 8:00 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 1/5/13 10:17 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 1/19/13 8:02 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 9/14/13 6:55 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 9/14/13 7:02 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Bruno Loff 9/15/13 5:07 AM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 9/15/13 11:18 AM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 2/13/14 9:34 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 2/16/14 10:10 AM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 2/16/14 10:13 AM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 2/17/14 12:40 PM
RE: The Terrifier's Horse Jesse Cooper Levy 2/24/14 7:27 AM
The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
11/13/12 1:30 PM
Hello and Thank You.

A little bit of history:


If I'm not mistaken, I am currently somewhere within the dark night of my first path. I believe I experienced the A & P, either

A: at my first Goenka retreat, a year back.
and/or
B: months later, tripping. I remember distinctly the thought of having passed through the fabric of meaning and finding nothing on the other side. This was a poetic image to explain the basic realization that meaning is not inherent, but added.

I currently feel disheartened by conventional wants. It's specifically a haunting thought with friends and family; like I see that my relations are based on conventional, conceptual views. It also applies to artistic hopes/phantasies, where I end up thinking something like "from a gnostic point, does it really matter?" "will it matter if/when I've made progress on the path?"

This is just to try and demonstrate where I am.

A bit of practice:


I've been working through a breath control exercise for several months now. I slow the breath, and concentrate on my anapana spot (my imaginary mustache). Sometimes I allow my throat or nostrils to add a small, and/or I count each breath, all to keep myself focused on the spot.

This normally results in muscular spasms of one kind or another. It's not so bad if I practice rarely, but the more I'm on the cushion the worse it gets. Detailed here.Detailed here.

Today I practiced for...
30 min breath control.
25 min breath control, till spasms took over
30 min noting, ala Kenneth Folk's How to Get Enlightened

This really helped to show the triggers of spasms (sometimes forcefulness of breath, troublesome thoughts, or uncomfortable positions) as well as it showed the shame produced by having the spasms.

Would it be to my disadvantage if I continue to alternate between a concentration practice and an insight practice at this point in my career?

Thank you all!
-J

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
11/13/12 2:45 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Alternating concentration and insight in the way you describe is the way practice should occur. Go for it. I have a couple of unrelated suggestions:

  • Don't slow the breath. Just follow the natural flow of breathing, and it will naturally slow of its own according in due course.
  • If you must slow the breath, experiment with varying this policy as you notice the triggers for the spasms
  • Spend the middle 25 minutes expanding attention from the breath to the rest of your physical sensations.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
11/13/12 2:46 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I'm under the impression the shaking stuff is more typical below the A&P rather than above it (in dark night). I've never experienced kriyas myself, but I seem to recall reading that. Why do you think you already crossed the A&P?

As for concentration versus insight, it seems unlikely to me that it makes as much of a difference as you think. You need both concentration (specifically khanika-samadhi) and insight to do this. It would probably benefit you to get them into balance in one practice.

If you can't do that, or if that instruction is confusing, then I would recommend going with the straight noting practice as Kenneth describes it. It really gets the job done, and if practiced stubbornly every day, it will help you build up the khanika-samadhi necessary to get stream-entry. It will certainly get you the A&P if you haven't gotten it yet.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
11/15/12 6:25 PM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
Thank you both.

Five Bells:

* Don't slow the breath. Just follow the natural flow of breathing, and it will naturally slow of its own according in due course.
* If you must slow the breath, experiment with varying this policy as you notice the triggers for the spasms


It's difficult to separate the observation of the "mustache" from the breath control, but that's not an issue.
The kriyas seem respond to effort, whether it's effort at breath control, or at concentrating on the task of noting. Could be that it is just in response to the fact that I don't want to be meditating. "aversion to sitting" was sort of the elephant in the room for a while. I'm trying to note the components of it as best I can. "boredom" seems too vague a note.
The kriyas also show up when I note or feel "fear" or "worry". Pain or discomfort are related to" fear"s of continued pain, which seem to cause the kriyas. I often note the kriyas as "tension" and "release".

Five Bells:

# Spend the middle 25 minutes expanding attention from the breath to the rest of your physical sensations.


I'm not sure if this suggestion was just about the order in which I sit each practice. I don't have a set schedule for sitting. I most often do 30 minute sits throughout the course of the day. I would like to do the first half hour anapana and the rest (however many that is) noting. Is that alright? Or is it more about doing concentration of some kind before each experience of noting, to sharpen the mind?

Fitter Stoke

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I'm under the impression the shaking stuff is more typical below the A&P rather than above it (in dark night). I've never experienced kriyas myself, but I seem to recall reading that. Why do you think you already crossed the A&P?


Not sure why I thought that. I think it was based on conversations that I'd had with practitioners in support of the theory. Do you think it's important that I know that right now? I know for one thing that I am afraid of the dark night, so I could be coloring the narrative in a way as to not have to accept needing to encounter it. Regardless, my feelings are that it will come out in the wash, but if you believe it's important for me to know where I'm at at this stage of the game, then I will do some research.

Thank you both!

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
11/16/12 8:17 AM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Not sure why I thought that. I think it was based on conversations that I'd had with practitioners in support of the theory. Do you think it's important that I know that right now? I know for one thing that I am afraid of the dark night, so I could be coloring the narrative in a way as to not have to accept needing to encounter it. Regardless, my feelings are that it will come out in the wash, but if you believe it's important for me to know where I'm at at this stage of the game, then I will do some research.


I don't think it's necessarily that important. There are obvious advantages to using the maps. They can provide encouragement, because you can see the awesome things coming up ahead. They can also create problems when you're dreading certain upcoming stages or if your mind is constantly turning to the maps during meditation when you should be looking at the sensations composing those thoughts of maps and seeing the three characteristics in them. Capische?

I was scared of dark night, too. I mean really fucking terrified of it. In a way it was unnecessary, because dark night was totally unlike what I thought it would be, much less awful than I thought it would be. And while I guess I thought I was preparing myself for it by obsessing about it, in reality all those thoughts were useless, because the thing was in fact so much different, and I had to adapt to it nonetheless. Such is life, always and everywhere.

On the other hand, because I was so scared, I practiced very intensely, wouldn't let up no matter what, and made it across the dark night very quickly (about a week and a half, I think). I had the fear of dukkha in me.

My advice is to hold the map lightly. By that I mean you consult the map, then you put it down and get to practice. And if map-thoughts come up ("Is this A&P??" "Holy crap am I in dark night???"), just note those thoughts and drop them like hot stones and move on to the next thing. When things are bad, remind yourself that it's just a stage, and with good practice it will pass. And even more importantly, remind yourself of the first principles of this, that the point is to see the sensations making up all this stuff. It's just sensations, nothing more. It doesn't have any more authority over you than you allow it to have over you.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
11/20/12 3:09 PM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
Thanks for the advice, @Fitter Stoke.

---------

Current practice has been spotty, due to schedule and willingness. Whenever I can choose between sleep and sitting, I sleep. Regardless of what I cut out of my schedule, I need to make more time to sit.

My anapana work is more enjoyable but very unfocused now that I've gone back to goenka style. I try to note a little but all I can really find is a light pulsing. Still trying to reach or feel that I'm confidently within first jhana.

Noting is seeing more action in my day to day life. I can do it while walking, eating and such, but when I write, read, watch TV, it's almost impossible. I'm wondering if I need to cut down on these. About to post in "morality and daily life" about it.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
11/26/12 11:30 AM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
I have a couple practices that I am currently doing, each weaving in and out of each other.

Anapana (ala goenkagi!)
Anapana w/ noting
open noting (whole body + thoughts, emotions...)
vocalized noting (helpful when I am distracted or tired)
and lastly...
what I might call open awareness (this is when I feel the sensations but forget to note them, or just don't bother)

A couple questions have resulted from the use of so many techniques.

- Is it important to decide and stick to a given technique for each sit? MCTB says that this could lead to avoidance, but sometimes it seems like switching techniques is more about acceptance of the given display of phenomena.

- Vocalized noting and anapana are near impossible to do in conjunction. Speaking each note causes the breath to move through the mouth, and the sensation caused by the flow of air on nostrils stops. Not only that, but the constant gross sensations around the mouth override the subtler anapana sensations.

- With these techniques at my disposal, what would be best as a constant, daily life practice?

thanks!

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
11/28/12 1:11 AM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Sat something over 2 hours today, but these were half hour sitting, almost all of which moved through noting outloud and silently.

Kriya's are still pretty strong. (mostly spine turning, shoulders lifting, hands moving, sometimes lifting straight up, or clutching into fists, legs lifting...) I try to note the thoughts before and after them, but I still seem to be in a liminal space of accepting or rejecting the tensions. This is made worse because I'm planning to start attending the 6 hour goenka old student retreats in NYC every other week, and I anticipate needing to keep still, as I've been instructed on Goenka retreat before. So I'm resolved to restrain the movements, while noting any worries as "worry".

Regardless of whether I allow movement or resist movement, I am able to note things like "worry", "fear", "tension", "anger", "desperation", and other "negative" sensations/emotions that arise from the kriyas. Despite this, there seems to be an underlying mechanism in the mind that I'm not getting at. I can't completely give in to acceptance without slamming my hands into the floor (but then again, maybe I should?) and I can't fully resist either, because if I truly wanted to remain motionless, I'm not sure I'd be having kriya's in the first place.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
12/5/12 7:01 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Nov 29th

40 min anapana
40 min noting
30 min noting with Botta (roommate)
10 minutes on train (just to make an even 2 hours of it)

Body was able to stay more still in preparation for half day retreat.

Noting added to sexual life: lots of suffering in my sex life and sexual acts. No getting round it so might as well use it for practice.

Banished with mantric sigil, then mantric sigil for "Beneficial Stream Entry"
Sort of like stream entry for the benefit of all sentient being. Sort of.

------------------------------------------------------

Nov 29th

40 minutes anapana
40 minutes noting

30 minutes anapana
30 minutes noting

________________________________

Dec 1st

40 anapana on train
40 minutes noting

I knew I didn't have time enough in the day to do 2 hours (daily goal), so I snuck in some practice in transit.

----------------------------------------------------------

December 2nd.

40 minutes
25 min? (interrupted)

-------------------------------

December 3rd

No memory...

------------------------------

December 4th

Brief practice while Gil (friend) read Tanach aloud

-----------------------------

December 5th

40 minutes anapana to open noting
25 minutes noting in transit

There's been a trend of saving practice for too late in the day, and getting hit with a wave of exhaustion too early in the night. I've been getting sick because of being underslept and so I give in to the desire to sleep.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
12/5/12 7:30 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Alright. It might help if you post the results of the practice, like a bare first person description of what went down and when.

Also, in my opinion, perhaps noting is not the best way to deal with sexual/relationship problems, at least not at this point in your practice. In my experience, those sorts of things are better dealt with in the conventional ways.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
12/9/12 11:09 AM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
December 6th

40 minutes noting. Anticipation was noted often as I snuck this session into a busy time slot.

That night: Massive headache and painful exhaustion. I tried to keep myself focused on the pain, but I can't claim this was done any better or worse than the next person who just happens to have a headache: At times you tune it out, at times it's all there is.

December 7th

40 minutes noting. Laying. Music was heard from roommates rooms, and physical sensations from comfort, and pain, to temperature. Fell asleep before end of session, which was "allowed" b/c still sick.

December 8th

40 minutes noting
very snotty, running nose. had to note emotions associated with physical grossness, like shame being snot faced and pride of being unashamed of being snotfaced.

I also started to see that some of the series of notes that I normally experience as a set were being "forced" into sets as a habit. Example: Pain or discomfort often becomes worse because there is a fear or worry or more of the same, plus bodily injury. So I often note "pain - fear - pain - worry". But there are particular instances where I was going through the habit of certain logical emotional and thought sequences, rather than truly NOTING what I was experiencing at each moment.


Fitter Stoke:

Also, in my opinion, perhaps noting is not the best way to deal with sexual/relationship problems, at least not at this point in your practice. In my experience, those sorts of things are better dealt with in the conventional ways.


Thank you for your thoughts, as always, Fitter Stroke. In my experience, I haven't dealt with issues from this. Let me speak to both the personal and interrelation aspects.

Personal: If I am having intimate knowledge of myself, there is often aspects of shame, and also of craving. These can sort of consume the act at times, and so I'd rather note them. I realize there are practices in many traditions that concentrate on increasing the feelings of pleasure rather than cultivating the acceptance of each thought and feeling, but I haven't had guidance in that and I'm poor at it.

Interpersonal: There are cases where the other personal is not so affect (attraction to a coworker, let's say), and cases where another person is being "shut out" by practice. In my last relationship, I would go into practice mode occasionally, when we where in a group let's say, walking, and something had troubled me or us. I would apologize and ask if I was being cold whenever I went into practice mode, but was told that I was fine. I was explicit about my practice and receptive to criticisms about how it affected our relationship, but did not receive them. I have found myself to be less passive aggressive and generally more content this way, with less expectation on others.

I do agree that the "conventional ways" are not too be neglected. I think it's important to be receptive to an interaction and not just tune someone out as nothing but a series of sensory stimulus, and think that a relationship is often about, well, consent. How practice can be added to a relationship in a "safe, sane, & consensual" manner, as our brothers and sisters with leather wings would say.

Of course, you're thoughts are still welcome on this. Let me know if you think I should save those things of this nature for other sections of this site and focus here on practice.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
12/13/12 8:14 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
December 10th

(40 minutes in morning?)

10 minute fail sit @ church (congregation started)

30 minutes w/ drasin

December 11th

30 minutes with S Botta

60 minutes with Seth

w/seth:
banished w/ 4 goddesses:
recorded mantric sigil

December 12th

60 minutes (movement, & readjustment)

30 minutes

December 13th

30 minutes noting in bed (was worried that I wouldn't want to do it so did it first thing)
-started as anapana till nose got stuffy, then noting till distracted, then noting allowed.

30 min anapana
30 min noting

30 min anapana to noting (stuffy nose)

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
12/18/12 10:56 AM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
December 16th

No practice.

December 17th.

30 hour noting,

Started as sound concentration (ringing in ears)

I'm finding myself to be unable to do a concentration sit before noting anymore, because I'm unsure of the attitude I should be cultivating towards "distractions". Accepting that which distracts me and investigating it seem closely linked. I suppose I should just attempt to accept whatever outside stimuli has already appeared without trying to investigate it further.

I'm also discouraged by concentration as I've never had much success.

December 18th

30 hour laying noting.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
12/20/12 5:34 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
December 19th:

Spoke with D (D is my meditation teacher who comes out of the Dharma Overground community, as apposed to David, a Kabbalist I have learned from.)

It became apparent that I am forcing myself to practice and developing a forceful, unhappy relationship with it. D advised me to avoid noting for the most part, and turn to cultivating pleasure in the breath. He did however, instruct me in partner noting or social noting, which I will share with some people in my community if they are interested and willing.

Daily life practice:
anapana, most of the day, including 80 minute awful play i watched, where I could concentrate alright.
more subtle and interesting sensations developed throughout the day.

More comfortable doing things involving conceptualizations (like reading, writing) and not feeling like I'm doing the devil's work.

30 hour anapana transitioning to noting when nose got stuffed. Resolved to note aloud the entire rest of the session: massively helpful.

Resolving to doing anapana or outloud noting (alone or with others). The only exception being a stuffed nose while practicing with others who aren't into social noting.


December 20th

30 minute anapana.
Tired, distracted, with some subtle anapana sensations dispite bodily kriyas

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
1/2/13 8:00 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
January 1st, 2013:

40 minute laying anapana.

Seth came by.

Magickally and orally set intentions:
30 minutes Anapana

Partner noting trial
20 minutes partner noting.

December 2nd.

<20 Minutes Anapana

Now allowing the breath to be what is easiest, rather than "most natural".

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
1/5/13 10:17 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
December 3rd:

55 minutes anapana
55 minutes noting ---> anapana

December 4th:

55 minutes anapana
55 minutes silent noting (this technique is mildly successful for me. distractions still present themselves pretty readily, but there are periods of focus and an internalization of the technique.

December 5th.

Goenka half day retreat.

G-dawg, I love you but shut the fuck up when I'm tryina sit!

50 min anapana
50 min anapana (both successful with pleasurable sensations, but I cheated! Lip balm on the anapana spot...)
50 min noting, w. anapana default
Lunch Break
50 min noting, w. anapana default
50 min noting, w. anapana default
50 min metta, noting, and generally broken poor practice. (in my defense, I never took the half day retreat before, andnew words from goenkaji demanded some focus.)

D. T. advised me not to fall victim to contemplating and worrying about path stuff on the cushion. This is a big mistake I do, and I'm trying to cut that out.
I'm also just feel unsatisfied, like, how come I sat 6 hours today and felt like I wasn't present at all? Like the lady at the grocery store cash register is more present than me? baaahumbug.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
1/19/13 8:02 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Just came off a 5 day retreat

About 9 and a half hours of anapana and noting a day, plus an hour of music listening at night.

Much more practice time than I get the twice i've gone to Goenka centers because there was so much accountability between my roommate and I in this mutual effort. There wasn't a thought of skipping a session, except the unstructured hour at the end of the night (Yaza).

Insight came from teacher D during Dokusan (or private talk).

He helped me to realize that the frustration and anger I feel whenever I feel like a "shitty meditator" is worthy of observation, in it's physical manifestations or as mental phenomena. He also helped drive home the idea that insight comes from accepting the phenomena that present themselves as is, rather than noting them for the purpose of eradicating them. I was treading a lot of "negative" phenomena as I would a duck in Duck Hunt.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
9/14/13 6:55 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Hi!

Been a long time since I kept a log.

I've been more or less practicing every day for an hour (miss about 1 every 2 weeks?)

-I'd like to make SURE AS FUCK i sit one hour every day.

-Additionally, I'd like to practice music for 1 hour every day.

-And read half an hour. (that's mostly dharma books, but even if it's not, I need to do it, because the sooner I'm done this novel the sooner I can read dharma,) [Listening to dharma talks counts as a completion of this assignment for me.

-would like to ease back into dreaming work. My homework now is just to jot down buzz words. So if I dream i'm a flying fish in the Sound of Music, I might write #Fish #Julie Andrews


Back to the actual seated meditation.

I'm using a kasina, in very VERY short sits, with breaks in between. But going back and forth from image concentration to "rest" is disorienting, and I end up distracted for long periods. I feel like some real elbow grease would help me focus, so real personal ball busting, but I was instructed not to use conceptualization to encourage myself. I was told to "just look at the ".

Thanks gang! Reply if you want thanks for letting me post yay!

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
9/14/13 7:02 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
oh, one more.

-Stay mindful.

I am the single worst EVER at this. Used to be strong, but became very week.

I concentrate on music a lot, which I'm very comfortable and happy with as a practice, but it doesn't fill in all the wholes.

Because there's so much time in the day when I'm not making music, singing, etc, and I should be being mindful in other ways, but my mind just wants to NOT. Nothing insightful here, just putting it on paper so I can keep focus on it.

Thanks!

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
9/15/13 5:07 AM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Any retreats planned? What stage are you in?

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
9/15/13 11:18 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
@Bruno! Thanks for the direct reply.

I don't put a lot of stock in the maps, but the way I've sussed it...
I had my A&P about 2 years back. No major changes, a boring, deadly dull practice, and what used to be a motivated, excited practice, has become more of a way of life, and a resigning to it. My equanimity is alright.

Retreats: I'm trying to find a retreat facility with lineage, particularly theravada but vajriyana might also be cool, though radically different. I heard mention about a retreat facility that is based explicitly on the pali cannon and Visuddhimagga, were you our worked through the jhana's in sequence. This facility sounds ideal. I will post in the retreat section about it.

I'm also interested in Mahasi retreats, and will look for those.

Lastly, I hope to have a retreat with friends in NYC in the next few months.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
2/13/14 9:34 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Sorry it's been so long since I've posted.

Consistently, for the last three months or so, I've been doing daily:
10-15 minutes of prayer
1 hour concentration (this practice is from a lineage and I can't really discuss it). It involves a kasina.


I'm currently trying to do what I can to get first path in a 10 day retreat I'm doing in 1 month. I will have 5 days of home retreat before my 10 day and will try to sit more in the time between.
My old teacher, who knew me when I was in (what we think to be) the dark night, spoke to me over the phone for about an hour about 2 months ago and believed I was in equanimity.

I feel more or less equinimous with things; there's still a general hunger to always continue further and further on path and anxiety regarding that, but my old teacher said I sounded generally more chilled out and that the nature of my questions has changed.

He recommended that I "play with" various techniques, instead of only doing noting. He said open awareness would be helpful, and that I should sort it out myself a bit. This wrings true, because I tend to be very aggressive with myself in some ways, and create a lot of mental anguish regarding what technique I'm doing and how I'm doing it.

Tuesday Feb 11

1 hour concentration
6 hours (or so) of noting/open awareness/body awareness
(life circumstances caused great sadness and motivated practice)
Noting of Hope and Fear was very strong, related to a desire

Wednesday Feb 12

1 hour concentration
4 hours (or so) of noting/open awareness/ body awareness [hereafter noting/body]
Hope and Fear just as prevalent but poorly noted, because of temptations they caused

Thursday Feb 13

1 hour concentration
2 hours noting/body
awareness more open. Body started feeling more subtle sensations (which is really rare for me, since my noting includes mental contents and this distracts from subtle aspects of body sensation.)

about my vipassana sits: i have kriyas, and my eyes open sometimes as well. this is partly my own doing rather than the kriyas. Shinzen Young seems to say "whatever keep noting". Also, my 5 days of retreat with my roommate should help me stay still. He's a Zen kid, so he doesn't take my bullshit.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
2/16/14 10:10 AM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Friday Feb 14th

1 hour concentration
3.5 hours Vipassana (or 2.5??? Can't recall...), done at strange intervals

sitting became very difficult because of anxiety, possibly from personal life but also possibly from sitting more.

Mostly noting with some brief periods of body awareness.

When anxiety was high and the urge came to get up I either failed and got up or I continued noting or counted breaths. This did not soothe anxiety after the moment, may or may not have helped momentarily, but it was a way to focus the mind.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
2/16/14 10:13 AM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Saturday Feb 15th,

1 hour concentration

then half day retreat with roommate.
Total of
5 hours on the cushion
30 minutes walking meditation

Noting very difficult because
A: Fear that I'd produce sounds mouthing notes
B: Difficulty noting without producing sounds

Some open awareness. Distractions wouldn't last long, but were constant.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
2/17/14 12:40 PM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
Sunday Feb 16

1 hour concentration

15 minutes open awareness
15 minutes walking w/ verbal noting.

RE: The Terrifier's Horse
Answer
2/24/14 7:27 AM as a reply to Jesse Cooper Levy.
1 hour concentration for the days in between.

Yesterday was 1 hour concentration, plus 1 hour general noting/body awareness, scattered over the day.