Pablo P's Practice Log

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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Hi Guys,

Just about a week ago I began with a noting practice. Before that I've practiced samatha (anapasati and kasinas), metta and dissolving practices (Taoist and Bhante Vimalaramsi) for around three years [ more to add later ]. Finally I've decided to change the focus to vipassana. My goal is to get at least Stream Entry. As for now I'm committed to practice 1 hour every morning. I'll set this thread as my practice log, to keep track of my work and hopefully get some advice from you.

In these few days I tried three different methods. Daniel Ingram's fast noting, Shinzen Young's "gone" noting, and Kenneth Folks' first gear.

Fast Noting: I've found that it does work but it's kind of overwhelming, because even in a small patch of body I may feel up to 8 physical sensations per second probably because of my many years of Taichi/QiGong. Too much information for a newbie: soon my concentration is lost or if I force to keep track of every sensation, I start to anticipate and fabricate sensations. So for now, it’s not for me. I guess I could get back to this later, when my concentration grows.

Gone Noting: I felt more comfortable with this method as noting speed went down. If I try to be aware of the subtler / high speed sensations I cannot catch the passing/gone part of them, so I have to keep track only on the most tangible ones. The nice thing about the method is that impermanence is easier to be felt both in Arising and Passing. With a few sittings I felt how the sensations and the patch of skin/body where it arises both disappear. The only doubt I've got is the in-between of sensations, when one disappears and the next hasn't arisen yet. That void feels much like a samatha moment. As I've done samatha practice for some time, I don't know if that's ok or that I'm solidifying that perception. Anyway, I plan to keep catching gone moments, as I think it shows impermanence pretty good for my basic level of understanding.

First Gear: Actually I tried it once, and bought it. Instead of noting the timing of sensations arising or passing, the focus is on the quality of them as they happen. I feel more comfortable as I can widen the span of observation to the whole body, so I can easily spot different flavors of sensations. I feel confident enough to label body sensations and feeling-tone (degree of pleasantness). Labeling mind states and thoughts as for now is too much for me, I’ll try to add them gradually whenever possible.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Excuse my newbie rambling:

arising of the sensation -> quality of the sensation -> passing of the sensation -> quality of the void?

The first three are tackled by the noting methods mentioned above, but is it possible the 4th? If one can investigate the qualities of arisen objects, can one investigate the qualities of the void after vanished objects too? Qualities like spaciousness, time and silence come to my mind, so I feel tempted to connect the subject to formless jhanas themes. I have experienced in the past some taste of 4th jhana, were there were a profound silence and spaciousness, but time was still running.

Anyway, that's way above my current skills, just wrote it down for future investigation, or someone else comment here.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
In these few days of practice I found some funny things happening:

- A thought comes, a physical sensation comes next. "Mind-Body". For further investigation: matching thoughts with qualities of sensations.

- Non verbal thoughts.

- There's a time between silence and a thought were I can sense a tension, like there's some brain processing prior to a thought release. Something like the earth shakes before the train passes by.

- In other occasions words and small sentences come on their own, with no clear connection to past thoughts. Guess "they are not me", they have a life on their own.

- The weirdest thing is that sometimes there's a string of simple-formed syllables with the pitch modulation of a sentence but with no meaning at all. Like a baby trying to copy language (dadadadada...). Probably that's because I'm an amateur song-writer and usually I write the music first and the lyrics afterwards. But the pitch modulation was of a sentence, not of a tune.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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- Spams while noting, probably stuff of "Cause and Efect" or "The 3 C's". As my attention jumps over different parts of the body, I can't be sure if spams come as after a growing local tension (I do note tension quite often) or out of nowhere. In fact, sometimes before, I had been lying in bed awaken after sleep and thinking about some Taichi martial move, and there was a spam / release through arms without any previous muscular tension storage.

To be asked to DhO in a future thread: Should I stop noting and relax any tension I spot, and then continue? Or let the tension grow no matter what? I mean tension in places which are not naturally stiff. I see a difference between those tensions and others like legs in half lotus, which are inclined to show pain given enough time (around 50-60 minutes for me). Is this kind of mixing of techniques (introducing relaxation while noting) detrimental to the practice?

- Creepy images while noting, not sequentially related with spams, probably stuff of "Cause and Efect" or "The 3 C's" too.

- So far, happy that noting gets me back to work, when my attention is lost.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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- Before noting I do 5 to 10 minutes of Samantha. It's funny how a few days of noting had improved my concentration (both deepening it and the ability to come back if lost).

- Today's noting practice had a more releasing flavor. I'm gaining confidence that uninterrupted noting is possible. Indeed the strange thing is that after meditation, I lied down to have a nap, but never got fully asleep, as my mind kept coming to foreground noting some physical sensation. I thought it may have some value for future insights (like "Who's noting?" etc), so I let that thing happen by itself but also added some noting of mine. Eventually I got asleep, and wake up with a nice warmth in my legs (a la Metta) which I spread to my feet and to a lesser tone the arms. Some bubbling in the chest area too, but nothing special. Probably the warmth spread has to do with the releasing flavor of the noting practice.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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- Noting physical sensations, one thing that I see is that all can be related to either tension or release. Kind of Arising and Passing but using other words. Also, many times I see that a physical sensation, being pleasant or unpleasant, has some unnecessary(*) tension attached...is that Suffering?

- Quite frequently there's a global (not local) tension growing, and when spotted, suddenly tension and background mental noise disappears, it all gets clear, like senses perceiving outer world without that noise. It doesn't feel like a concentration state, where there's some deepening of focus happening.

- Lying down in bed, smell of roses comes and goes.


(*) Edit: wouldn't even say that it's an annoying tension but "pointless", or what's dubbed in colloquial spanish as "al pedo!" emoticon
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RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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- Problem # 1: There's no pleasant, unpleasant or neutral general sensation, but a mix of the three scattered all over the body. As the mind is focusing in what happens physically, it has that mix of sensations too.

Also I can perceive that some specific sensations that could be labelled as pleasant have some tension/unpleasantness attached, so I have to broaden the scope of labels to include this gray-zone.

- Problem # 2: It's hard to note emotions. I can trace them following physical sensations, as mind-body patterns can be seen (body language, micro expressions, etc). But it's not easy for me to be able to name the emotion first and then see what physical sensation it triggers.

Plus, when I've been able to see the emotions arise, I've seen a couple of times that there are sequences of emotions following at high speed, not just some random emotion every now and then. As far as I remember (this happened a few days ago), the sequence didn't follow the pattern Fear-Misery-Disgust-Desire for Deliverance only, but also starting in Happiness. The quick emotions that happen afterwards cannot be labelled yet.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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An Odd A&P?

Without enough sleep, today my sitting was unproductive. I wasn't able to stay focused noting sensations, even when I did some qigong first to put me into alert mode. After 20 minutes I decided to stop and have a nap first. Yet, when laying in bed I tried again some more noting, labelling physical sensations and degree of pleasantness.

Usually when I lay down, I feel energy bubbling and flowing up the column, at the lumbar and cervical zone, and then at the third eye chakra. After a while, almost asleep, I began to hear a pulsing tone getting louder with every pulse. I checked that my head was tilted to the right and correct it upstraight. Then some energy went up to my head, and I could see (with eyes closed) some kind of steam in front of me, that attracted my attention. As a mirror, my face appeared, but I could see only the left part of it (probably because of my previous tilted neck position?). It was a 2-D image, but with a inch depth (like a tribal/greek mask). After a few seconds it began to rotate up in a spiral, above my head. It only lasted a few rounds and then vanished. Soon I fall asleep.

Was this some early A&P? Or more like some Mind&Body?

EDIT: After re-reading the threads "An Idiots Guide to Dharma Diagnosis" and "Diagnosing the A&P", it's almost certain is an A&P.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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- Another A&P today, but with less fireworks. In a almost asleep state (again).

- This time, instead of doing the first 10 minutes of samatha/relaxation prior to vipassana, I tried right away doing vipassana on the breath and then switching to the whole body. Labels for the breath are: shallow, deep, shaky, staggered, warm, cold (mentioned by Tommy in these thread) and degree of pleasantness, if perfumed, as well as tingling and other physical sensations on the nose. The good thing is that I could manage to see a bit more clearer the ending of sensations, probably because of the breath involved. Also, that it naturally show connection of above thoughts/sensations with lower body sensations (Eg: fear -> stings and itches in the gut). And that I could open later the noting to the whole body.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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- Back to choiceless awareness. For the first 10 minutes I reintroduced Shinzen Young's "gone" vipassana practice. It works better for me than noting breath. I'll keep breath noting for daily activities instead.

- There are short periods of time when there's a deep quietness, I have to make an effort to note physical sensations.

- As an experiment, I tried a couple of times, to label noting while noting was happening, in particular each ending. Soon, when noting the passing of noting, all noting stopped and there's quietness and well-being and "openness".

- Disgust / aversion seems to be linked to fear, both trigger gut spams. The point is that I rarely see both disgust and fear in sequence, but one of them only. Also, it's starting to emerge again images (lasting a split second) with different colors. In the past (last year), I've noticed that colors were related to emotions (red: fear, brown: revulsion/aversion).

- Amazing magick stuff (said to be A&P related). But for the scientific minded, what it's more interesting is that "synchronicities" seems to happen much closer in time (almost in parallel) in A&P than in previous and DN ñanas.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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- In the last few days stepping up to 2 hours of noting.

- If noting breath, soon I get spaced out. Works much better during daily activities, though.

- Other colors kept coming: blue and orange. I believe colors are connected to chakras, as I saw in a chart that those colors corresponded to tension spots I was sensing. Also, those chakras have thoughts and emotions related, so they are new doors for noting.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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Just copying it from a separate thread I opened, just to keep it easily available in the future:

- - - - - - - - - -
Nice insight on Suffering (as cars go by)

I'm trying to observe closely the 3C's, specially Suffering, which I haven't paid enough attention yet, in favor of Impermanence. I do observe excess of tension both in unpleasant and pleasant sensations, and sometimes manage to drop it, which is quite nice. But many times it happens on its own once it's observed, that is, I'm not exerting consciously any effort in dropping the tension, other than observing it.

Tonight, while trying to get to my car, parked in a busy street, I couldn't find it. An old and clumsy car was passing by. If I would have seen it in another situation, I would have probably blindly cataloged it as ugly. But as I was searching for my car, I found myself observing different parts of the car, it's lines and odd asymmetry. For a brief second, I suspended judgement over pleasantness of the object, in a short wonder state, observing the parts and not the whole of it.

To some extent, I kept doing that with other parked cars. Then I broaden the scope to anything on site. It strike me that I could watch a phrase written in a window shop, and not seeing the meaning of the words but the strokes that compose each letter.

Question: Is noting/labeling a method intended (among other things) to suspend the primary act of aversion/attraction? Because, the more things you see at the moment, the more time should need the mind to fire "pleasant" or "unpleasant, isn't it?
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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Dark Night territory or falling back to 3 C's ?

In the last couple of sits I had lost some momentum in noting, even when I'm expanded them for 90 minutes. I'm trying to note the duplets that KF mentions (physical sensation + degree of pleasantness or mental states). It gets harder to be accurate about what I actually feel. Plus, I have a persistent tightness in the throat chakra. If I investigate it, it decomposes to some extent into a few tensions, but when sensations arise in other parts of the body, the solidity of the tension in the throat sets in again.

It looks like I'm in DN territory, but not sure enough, as previously it seems that I was around early AP but haven't cross it: the peak experience was the spiraling energy /mirror image, though remarkable, there was no bliss. Probably I failed to cross it and I fall to 3 C's, with much intense symptoms.

Either way, I stick to the plan and keep the noting practice.


Samatha:

I've been working also in improving concentration, as it is quite unstable. Previously, I discovered that when spotting a tension rising, the mere noticing of it, made it deflate. There are descending ear tones too when this happens. Now, I found that there's some kind of aversion even when releasing the tension (I mentioned before that aversion arises even with pleasant sensations). The thing is that this releasing has a start and a long fading end. Until now I was only noticing / reacting to the start, and kind of disengaging of the process, perhaps fascinated with the new cleaner physical & mental state. Today I found these long fadings, and tried to keep lightly connected to it until they vanished. It's subtle to keep connected, it reminds me to what's called "Ting Jing" (Listening Energy) in Taichichuan, where the practice is not to reject or escape from an incoming force. The result of this is that connecting to the long fading leads to a deeper concentration.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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- 45 minutes of noting out-loud. It's hard to do, but I could spend almost all of the time with mindfulness emoticon

- Just when I sat, vibrations where noted all over the body. There's a changing pattern of warm and cold flows too during the sit.

- I was much more comfortable noting doubles and triplets. Also, mental states noting has improved.

- Same pattern of colors, or images with distinct colors kept coming. Noting blue, red, orange, white and beige/brown.

- When a strange face appeared (fear), soon a gut spasm was triggered.

- Persistent tension in the throat chakra. Same thing happened as yesterday, it decomposes if attention is given, but when I noted another sensation somewhere else in the body, the tension at the thoat solidifies again. Not sure if I should try to decompose it into very subtle itchings *, or just keep the practice as it is right now.


* when I stretch the legs, I'm able to decompose the pain into tinny ones, that relieves the pain somewhat. But don't know if that's what I should aim for.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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- Lots of work to do in the past few days, but still able to sit for 30 minutes noting out-loud. I can note with some accuracy physical sensations and degree of pleasantness, with less accuracy mental states, and starting to note some thoughts on-time. Mostly, I notice thoughts once they are gone, as I have to put aside content.

- Some terror images pop up. The funny thing is that they are colored (yellow, blue), matching some tense spots (chakras). Something like "Fear in Colors!" emoticon

- When I lay down in bed after meditation, the body vibrations are getting stronger, and "fuller" at the column. Almost asleep, I saw a blurred show of dancing lights, that had a short degree of depth. In the past, after awakening I have seen a much clearer display of lights and colors. EDIT: Tonight I woke up with a luxuriant image of grey flowers whose some petals got a tiny drop of different colors.

- Interesting Stuff I: An interesting thing to watch is any remaining (subtle) body tension after emptying the lungs and before in-breathing. That is, the residual tension in the body (and mind) that couldn't be released with the out-breath.

- Interesting Stuff II: There's also some degree of physical tension in every in-breath. Though this seems natural, what I have seen in me is that there's some mental tension added to it, for whatever reason. So while I'm in-breathing I recall the sensation of relaxation in the out-breathing. It may sound odd, but isn't difficult to do. Thus, the in-breath is much soft, like the crumb of white bread expanding and dissolving in water... As the in-breath is softer, when the out-breath sets in, the relaxation goes deeper. In just a few breaths I go silent and alert. When done laying down, in a couple of breaths I was sinking below the bed.

EDIT: I did only one of those breath practices at a time.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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- Because of time constrains, I split the practice into two 30 minutes sits. I've been sleeping only 5 hours scattered in the day for the last week, so it's hard to keep the practice. All in all, I'm happy that I can note out-loud with some accuracy, but every now and then I wander into thoughts. Or it happens that I have anything to label. I'll try for a couple of times noting with eyes half opened to test if I can keep mindful through out the sit.

- Faces still popping up, some not nice. Colors in more abstract patterns arise too. Some smoke rising too. All of these arises and passes in a split second.

- Vibrations change, they wave from very gross to very thin. Expansion and contraction fluctuate in the wave, not like a ball. Once the left hand was vibrating and then it began fluctuate like a flame...
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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Just to keep it easily traceable, this is what I wrote in the Anapanasati Sutta thread regarding tensions in the breath cycle, linked to Interesting Stuff II wrote some days ago:

What I'm founding out is that in setting myself in a mental out-breath mode while the body does in it's own the in-breath, some parts of the abdomen and lumbar region follow my mental order and drop vertically. Thus, the lungs expand vertically and not horizontally in the in-breath. There's a pretty clear different sensation in the peak of oxygen storage between breathing normally and in the described pattern. The later sets a positive feedback loop of relaxed breathing.

Another interesting topic is that jumping to access concentration / jhana usually happens in the out-breath, but at least for me it happens sometimes just before or at the peak of full breath. As the breath is shallow and jerky while accessing jhanas, I see a connection with a soft tummo practice I've done in the past (Flying Phoenix, a blend of taoist & buddhist practices) where there's a specific set of irregular breathing to fire qi circulation that ultimately drives to jhanas (eg: inbreath 100% outbreath 40% inbreath 100% outbreath 20% inbreath 100% outbreath 70% inbreath 100% outbreath 100%). My working hypothesis is that both full relaxation / tension dissolving and breath jerkiness are factors that set up jhanas, and that different traditions build their method either narrowing the focus to one of them (taoist, tummo) or having a more holistic non interventional approach (theravada).
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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- Noting out-loud, 30 minutes only. It was a nice practice, with some insights regarding mind-body and cause-effect. What I found is that not every part of the body have the same degree of pleasureness and that pleasureness does not equate satisfaction. Now I see unsatisfactoryness is everywhere everytime... nevermind if its about a physical sensation or a thought. Es un bajón! My psychologied taoist mind tries to be cool and says "So what? Why should I bother about it?" and moves on to another subject. But I think now that somehow I'm certainly avoiding the subject, not penetrating it in a Buddhist sense. Si querés el durazno bancate la pelusa...

So, I've decided to use a different double-triplet noting, leaving one of the labels for the 3Cs: unsatisfactoryness (no-basta / no-llena), impermanence (ido) and not-self (no-yo). Impermanence is seen in the "gone". Not-self in the involuntary jerk reactions.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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An experiment: speak up labels only at a specific time of the breath cycle. It may seem that I'm over complicating the practice, but just for the fun of experimenting, I'll try to note sensations only at the starting or ending of the out-breath. It's similar to be noting with a metronome every 1-3 seconds (a guy reported it at KFD) in order to gain some consistency and concentration, but in this case I'm trying not to disturb the inbreath, as my (small) experience indicates that otherwise it triggers unexpected stuff. Though that shouldn't be a problem as all in all vipassana is about to see what comes no matter what, I'd like to taste a more concentrated practice.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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- In these last days I watched how labeling fits with the breath cycle, it usually happens at the end of the out-breath if I'm monitoring the breath cycle, but when watching the whole body for sensations, breath goes unnoticed. So this exercise doesn't make sense for me at least where I'm at.

- Regarding using pairs and triplets to add the 3Cs, it's doesn't work. If the 3Cs don't come up on their own, I'm adding some thinking to the labeling. That is, it would always be labeled "sensation + thinking + unsatisfaction" which is wrong. Conclusion: don't bother to find the 3Cs, they'll eventually show up.

- In these few days I did 2 sits per day, some 30-60 minutes each, noting out-loud. Sometimes it's easy to connect sensations to mind states, sometimes not. Frustration-Anger-Gut Spasm is the default, but Fantasy-Guilt-Throat arises quite often. Unsatisfaction trigger those chains of event, something that I can only see at the end of the process.

- Impermanence: in some parts of the body I can witness two layers of sensations. The first layer is a widespread vibration, that may stay still or come and go in a direction, or to some extend expand and contract. The second layer, that can be seen simultaneously to the first one, is about individual tiny itches (heat and stinginess are the flavors) or tiny wavy (undulating) contractions.

- Either noting or in samatha practice, warmth arises quickly and spread out to arms and chest. Yesterday I had a small bliss.

- Pain at the chest and throat chakras comes and goes, but arise little or none when laying in bed. So there's a fix to it. I opened a thread with this subject.
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RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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Pablo . P:
In these few days of practice I found some funny things happening:

The weirdest thing is that sometimes there's a string of simple-formed syllables with the pitch modulation of a sentence but with no meaning at all. Like a baby trying to copy language (dadadadada...). Probably that's because I'm an amateur song-writer and usually I write the music first and the lyrics afterwards. But the pitch modulation was of a sentence, not of a tune.


Internal Echoing: That's a nice practice developed (or presented) by Shinzen Young I just stumbled upon, that I think tackles the subject. The promoted effects are:


1. There is more silence.
2. Clear talk seems to occur slower, perhaps in slow motion. It is easier to observe it.
3. There is some "distance" between you and the talk. You are less involved in its content.
4. You can hear spontaneous verbal thinking more in terms of its sound qualities.
5. You become aware of more of the subtle levels of activity that underlie conscious thought.


The instruction is to echoe, to repeat the spontaneous verbal thoughts, say them syllable by syllable, with pauses in between, and using the same pitch. When doing this, listen to the "sonic contour" of the phrase.

I'll try it! emoticon
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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Some interesting stuff happened today:


- Before sitting I did a 15 minutes stretch/qigong daily routine. In the past it was a 60 minutes routine, but I shortened because I ended up tired for meditation. The thing is that I do night shifts: I sleep for 3 hours, then work for 7 hours and the back to sleep a 3 hours nap. So, after working (at home) I do the routine and then sit. This short routine helps me loosen up some body tensions (it's a deadline work - journalism) and set me in alert mode. This qigong usually wakes up energy in the back and dantian, and every now and then the whole body enlarges or shortens, or the point of view goes nearer to the ground. This happened today.

- I sat for 30 minutes, then another 15 minutes lying down in bed, noting out-loud. Usually warmth appears in the inside and front of the body, and cool sensations at the outside or back (not the column). This time warmth was scattered, cool sensations predominated. As it has happened in the past sits, I noticed two layers of sensations at the arms. First, a general vibration and then tiny needles. One of the events that surprised me today is that those needles/itches not only happened in the surface of the skin but also in the surface of the energy field !!! Say 1 inch outside the body. (*)

Then, when I kept noting in bed, hot energy filled my legs. It wasn't perceived as a consequence of energy release or energy circulation through back and front channels, as happened a few times in the past. More like it grew there. When I tried to open the eyes up, the ceiling was flickering. As I remember, it was solidly flickering, not decomposed into tiny bits (like I sense in the body). Then an image crossed my eyes level. It was a static 2D image with some triangles, squares and other simple geometric patterns.

Then, the legs went full all the way, and they started to lift to a 45º degrees. At this point, I began to think I was in a kind of lucid dreaming. The legs did some anti-clockwise circles, then stretch to both sides. By body did a 180º degrees turn to get out of the bed, but the legs couldn't land on the floor. By then, it was clear that my physical body was not where my mind was saying it was. Added: When my mind saw this, I began to sink below the bed. A dark space opened up, it was not a circle tunnel like (as past experiences) but more like two walls converging. There was something going on in the middle, it wasn't clear though (in the past, sometimes it was more like this, others more silent, still and fully black).

Finally, I rest fully awaken with a very nice warmth in the legs (hotter and not blissful like the one yesterday) which spread little to the torso. I felt fine, not exhausted like I experienced some years ago with some strong energy releases. I stayed enjoying it for 10 minutes, then changed position in order to sleep.

oo0oo

(*) I have read in the past, and wrote short summary in the wiki about a taoist insight map, as taught by Bruce Kumar Frantzis, where the job is to perceive different sets of vibrations that correspond to outer energy fields. It strikes me that I could actually do vipassana to an energy field!!
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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Yesterday and today I did two daily sits, for around 45-60 minutes each.

In general, most of the sessions, say 80%, is about spotting tensions and releases. Other 15% about satisfaction / dissatisfaction of sensations, being warmth pleasant, cold unpleasant, cool both or neutral, and a general vibrating pattern neutral. The remaining 5% is about thoughts.

Regarding timing, I can note out-loud physical sensations within the second of arising, and degree of pleasantness more or less the same. Instead, thoughts may take 3 to 5 seconds, which is rather annoying. No desembedding is happening here... Also, when "calm" is noted, the mind clings to it so there are some long seconds before other sensations arise. In fact, I have to actively do a body scan to detect a physical sensation. Is this kind of light jhana an aversion to non-stop noting?

When spotting and releasing tension at joints, warmth and pleasant sensations arise, even if there's some tension left. When releases happen elsewhere, the sensation is more neutral.

Today, I noticed that the first part of the sits had more of a "release" tone, and the second part a "spam" tone. That is, releases happened after tension/tightness was spotted, but spasms/bursts happened on their own. Another interesting thing is that I noticed a lot of tension that I held at fingers. I can actively relax them, but the funny thing is saw today is that when there's a gap of time with no sensations arising, even in a calm mode, tension builds up in the fingers. Like I'm trying to literally grab sensations emoticon

Another general note, is that images and colors arise mostly in my morning sit, when I'm more tired (due to my night shifts).
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RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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Interesting: I forgot to mention that when noting out-loud I was really only whispering up to know. Today I did it at a loud voice, and it had some unusual effect. The labels themselves became objects too, not in the sense of labeling a label, but kind of arising & passing, noticing the echo and silence after ending saying them out-loud.

Will see what this lead to...
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

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Date: 01/26/13
Length of Sit: +30 minutes twice at the afternoon and evening
Posture: reclined in bed
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: n/a
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Samatha, noticing warmth arise and actively spread to feet and hands
General Thoughts/Reflections: n/a
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: After the warmth settled, thoughts stopped abruptly many times, for a short period of time. Though that’s rather annoying, it paid dividends too: I noticed that thoughts stopped whenever I noticed that those thoughts/phrases emerged by themselves, on their own. This “no-self” noticing happened clearly some times, and inferred in the others (the faster ones). It felt like “startled” by noticing these thoughts/phrases, and or like a “pull”. Then “calmness”, “silence” a no physical sensations were noticed, but outside noise and time passing was noticed. At the end of the session, I switch the practice to spotting no-self thoughts.
What Worked? What Didn’t?: It worked spreading the warmth to ankles and feet, where I have bad blood circulation. Couldn’t stay long every time the silence happened, probably by a combination of anticipation and been tired.
Goals for Next Session: Seize the opportunity to notice “no-self” thoughts, and see if that triggers silence.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 01/28/13
Length of Sit: 20 minutes at the morning / +1 hour at the evening
Posture: reclined in bed / half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: n/a
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Samatha / noting out-loud single, pairs and triplets
General Thoughts/Reflections: n/a
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: More data shows that entering access concentration / early 1st jhana involves recognizing “no-self” in thoughts. Also, there were times when instead a block of pixels (like Moire’s patterns) showed up up and to the left of the visual field, before entering. Finally, entering happened when “surrendering” (which is not a conscious decision to release a tension).
Regarding noting, the first part was much like the last report. What was different though, is that I could stay longer at the pain/ache/discomfort at the throat, where I noted that it’s not solid but “fluctuating” and “compressed/expanded”. For fun, I stopped noting out-loud, concentrate on the throat and tried to note only thoughts that appeared. Much “wanted this to end” and “curious”, but also “blue color” showed up, which happen to be the throat chakra color. Though the awareness of body sensations decreased, I felt tightness at the cheek-bones and the column.
What Worked? What Didn’t?: Couldn’t stay longer in access concentration / 1st jhana but I could easily get back once and again. In vipassana, I could stay longer with a burning leg, but it didn’t decompose into tinnier sensations.
Goals for Next Session: Check if before “surrendering”, any kind of aversion triggers it.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 01/29/13
Length of Sit: +30 minutes at the evening
Posture: reclined in bed
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: n/a
Meditative Techniques Utilized: silent noting at a painful spot
General Thoughts/Reflections: n/a
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: This time I quickly start as a standard noting, until the usual pain/discomfort raised (throat and chest). I dropped the out-loud labeling and just kept noticing sensations and thoughts that showed up at the throat. There was much more “efervescence” and “wavy-contractions” happening than yesterday, and less pain. And when I focused into the temperature of the spot, warmth arisen, and the pain went to the background, as if I were applying Metta.
What Worked? What Didn’t?: Decomposition of the spot did work, not to full extent.
Goals for Next Session: Repeat the practice, until I cross A&P.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 01/30/13
Length of Sit: 90 minutes at the afternoon
Posture: half-lotus 60 minutes, reclined 30 minutes
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: n/a
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting out-loud single, pairs and triplets; switch to silent noting at a painful spot
General Thoughts/Reflections: a significant change of phenomena, lots of images and discomfort. Prior to sit, in daily activities I focused the attention to the discomfort on the throat
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: the usual “warmth/cool” sensations appear first, a general “vibration” on large patches of the body and “tightness” at cheeks, throat, fingers and the crossed leg. Unlike past sessions, vibrations didn’t decompose into tinier “itches/stings” or “wavy contractions/expansions”. Instead, there was more like a “mess” of sensations, many things happening that were unclear, like “scrambled” physical sensations [ should start to use that label ]. Also, labeled many times “discomfort”. There were much less “warmth” and “calmness” interspacing physical sensations. But the most significant labeling were thoughts, which many times showed up as written words & phrases. Labeled as “image-words” [ should start to note "written" instead ].
What worked? What didn’t?: Decomposition of the throat spot showed much more activity, albeit unclear / messy / scrambled.
Goal for Next Session: Repeat the practice until I cross A&P.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 01/31/13
Length of Sit: 100 minutes at the morning
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: n/a
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting out-loud single, pairs and triplets; switch to silent noting at a painful spot
General Thoughts/Reflections: discomfort at the throat was there but never built up, instead a wider tightness grew at the head and hands.
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: much more “warmth” than “cool” sensations. Same like yesterday, “Vibrations” didn’t decompose into tinier “itches/stings” or “wavy contractions/expansions”. There weren’t either “scrambled” physical sensations, but clear tightness at the head, hands and to a lesser degree, throat. The “burn” at the legs build up over the session and subside, half way. But there were no pain, or tough itches after the session. Also, there were many times a general nice “calm” mind state. Near the end of the session, “boredom” showed up several times. I watch that I was noting perhaps with a 3 to 5 seconds gap. So I decided to switch to a fast out-loud noting, labeling every tiny sensation (physical only) in order note at 1 per second. Did that for 10 minutes, but in-between when there was more of a subtle sensation, I got stack and couldn’t re-start.
What worked? What didn’t?: Most labels were single, just a few pairs, no triplets. Many times got stack for 10 or more seconds incapable of labeling a sensation.
Goal for Next Session: Repeat the practice until I cross A&P. Be mindful about tightness in daily activities.
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Alan Smithee, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 310 Join Date: 4/2/10 Recent Posts
Pablo, I'm curious: Do you or don't you think that you have crossed the A+P?

As a fellow DhO practioner named Jigme Sengye wrote in another post: "Do you feel vibrations when you practice? Are there any sort of energetic sensations, flowing sensations, vibrations in the belly, pleasant pulsing pressure at points on the body that correspond to accupuncture points, like the point between the eyebrows, or any points on the front of back of the top of the head?"

If you answered in the affirmative to the above, then you have more than likely passed the A+P, possibly as a result of your previous practices...

“Energetic sensations really are the telltale sign, since you're feeling the dissolution of the physical, or rather its arising and passing away.”
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Thanks for asking, Alan. Based on phenomenology only, I should have crossed the A&P. But the problem with it is that all those experiences were purely related to energy practices. There were no A-HA moments, no real insight regarding the 3Cs. I feel like kind of dumb actually emoticon as most if not all of them were in the context of lucid dreaming or awakening from sleep.

There's a small chance that I could have crossed the A&P regarding the Buddhist path, as the last couple of entries does match some of the Dark Night symptoms described in MCTB. But probably is too early to tell. In the same vein, there's a possibility that prior Taoist practices and experiences could have soften the symptoms, thus making it harder to discern.

As an anecdotal note regarding the subject, during the time I was having horrid energetic stuff, I had a vivid dream: I saw myself wading through underground city sewers, full of dirt and monsters about to jump in at the next corner. Next, I was at the top of a snowy mountain, where the air was pristine and the sight wonderful. But I felt lonely, and I knew I had to take the long way back to the plain. I decoded the message as that the energetic path was a no go, and that I should switch to Buddhism, even though it may not be the final stage. That's why I'm in DhO.
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Alan Smithee, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 310 Join Date: 4/2/10 Recent Posts
Pablo . P:
Thanks for asking, Alan. Based on phenomenology only, I should have crossed the A&P. But the problem with it is that all those experiences were purely related to energy practices. There were no A-HA moments, no real insight regarding the 3Cs. I feel like kind of dumb actually emoticon as most if not all of them were in the context of lucid dreaming or awakening from sleep.

There's a small chance that I could have crossed the A&P regarding the Buddhist path, as the last couple of entries does match some of the Dark Night symptoms described in MCTB. But probably is too early to tell. In the same vein, there's a possibility that prior Taoist practices and experiences could have soften the symptoms, thus making it harder to discern.

As an anecdotal note regarding the subject, during the time I was having horrid energetic stuff, I had a vivid dream: I saw myself wading through underground city sewers, full of dirt and monsters about to jump in at the next corner. Next, I was at the top of a snowy mountain, where the air was pristine and the sight wonderful. But I felt lonely, and I knew I had to take the long way back to the plain. I decoded the message as that the energetic path was a no go, and that I should switch to Buddhism, even though it may not be the final stage. That's why I'm in DhO.


The insights themselves, strangely enough, can be totally unconscious. For instance, if you were to poll the majority of folks who have passed the A+P whether they remembered specifically passing through Mind + Body, Cause and Effect, and 3 Cs, most would probably say no.

Most folks, I think it is safe to wager, don't remember going through the Dark Night nanas in any specific way as well. For instance, disgust, fear, misery, desire for deliverance, and reobservation don't really seem to happen in a specific order. The Dark Night usually just means a part of your practice post-A+P where you doubt your abilities and are kinda depressed, but also where you find it difficult to focus on the object of your attention [that is why it is useful to start meditating on stuff around the peripheries].

Here is basically what happened to me. I went on a retreat and I was practicing and practicing and all of a sudden I had some energetic phenomenon and some bliss and then for some reason I was aware of subtle energetic phenomenon on my face and hands. This was my A+P.

The next day the subtle sensations were gone and I thought that my practice sucked and that perhaps I'd imagined the whole thing. This was my Dark Night.

Two days later I somehow got through the self torture and doubt and got into a really mellow place where I could meditate for long periods without being bothered by leg pain, etc. Also, I noticed that my focus had become wider and more panoramic. This was Equanimity [which is my current cutting edge].

Now when I practice, I start out like any regular person: no energetic stuff, things seem really solid, etc. Then, after meditating for a while -- whereby I focus really tightly on small portions of my body -- I then start to notice energetic phenomenon on my face, hands, head, and, if my concentration if strong, other parts of my body. This is getting to the A+P [there is no big fanfare/lightshow after the 1st time through]. This is what is meant by pulsations and vibrations.

I then widen my focus to include not only the body but the wider world as well. I start to note stuff happening around the periphery: cars going by, the cat somewhere in the apartment, birds outside, etc. I don't usually have trouble with the dark night nanas and get through them really quickly just by noting my ass off and focusing on the periphery.

I then get into the mellow, free and easy, wide and panoramic place and I then try to include everything possible into my meditation: close body sensations, periphery stuff, and also the field of awareness and my thoughts. This is Equanimity.

So, for me, the three main signposts of practice are: A+P [energetic phenomenon]; Dark Night nanas [slightly wider focus]; and Equanimity [really wide focus].

If you are expecting a big blinking sign telling you which insight you've just had, it's not going to happen. The stages can be really subtle. [It is my understanding, however, that after 1st path, the individual stages become much easier to discern, because of increases in concentration and mindfulness, etc.]

Therefore, it is possible that you have passed the A+P. If you are experiencing energetic stuff, then you probably have. these pulsations and vibrations are what Daniel means by "penetrating the object".
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Alan Smithee:
The insights themselves, strangely enough, can be totally unconscious. For instance, if you were to poll the majority of folks who have passed the A+P whether they remembered specifically passing through Mind + Body, Cause and Effect, and 3 Cs, most would probably say no.

So, for me, the three main signposts of practice are: A+P [energetic phenomenon]; Dark Night nanas [slightly wider focus]; and Equanimity [really wide focus].

If you are expecting a big blinking sign telling you which insight you've just had, it's not going to happen. The stages can be really subtle. [It is my understanding, however, that after 1st path, the individual stages become much easier to discern, because of increases in concentration and mindfulness, etc.]

Therefore, it is possible that you have passed the A+P. If you are experiencing energetic stuff, then you probably have. these pulsations and vibrations are what Daniel means by "penetrating the object".


Thanks again Alan for your thoughtful response and sharing of your experiences. Yes, I was kind of expecting a deep experiential insight about the 3Cs, at least something challenging to the usual way of viewing things. Perhaps it's all about accumulating small pieces of insights. For example, yesterday and today, I noticed phenomena at the periphery and center of the throat, but when I did try to reach the core, I couldn't "touch" it, it was appearing and vanishing. At first I thought that I was not concentrating enough, but after repeating the experiment several times, I kind of surrender to the evidence that there were no solid core, but emerging and disappearing.

I can relate to the sequence: energetic phenomenon --> slightly wider focus. Unexpectedly "calm" states arise while noting, and I can keep noting though it's clearer. I will investigate further whether that calmness (usually triggered by spotting one of the 3Cs) are actually some kind of early Equanimity, or something else.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/01/13
Length of Sit: 60 minutes in the night
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: n/a
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting out-loud single, pairs and triplets; switch to silent noting at a painful spot

General Thoughts/Reflections: silent noting at a painful spot provides much more opportunities to note mind states and thoughts; access concentration shows up several time while noting and non deliverately spotting the 3Cs; a 60 minutes session goes quickly nowadays, doesn't feel long as when I just started.

What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: Usually in the first 5-10 minutes I do some relaxation and correct posture. This time just about 5 seconds of sitting, whole body "vibrations" predominate. In the past sessions, there were some vibrations at the column, then "warmth" in the torso and only then vibrations at torso and arms. Then I started noting out-loud "tightness", "tension/release", "stings", "tickles", "warmth", "burn", "spasm". Not much "coolness" labeling. As before, sensations predominate at head, throat and hands. Chest "pressure" labeled at the beginning mostly, then appeared randomly over the session. The whole body vibrations were affected by the volume of my voice while noting. When noting fast, 1 per second, the initial syllable of the label rippled "tough" on the vibration area, specially the chest. So I played with different volume, pitch, spacing the syllables, adding a "mm" before the initial syllable. Changing the volume did the trick, spacing the syllables in a lesser degree too, but it slowed down the noting.

This time, the throat showed again many phenomena, but not as many as a couple of days ago. So I switched to silent noting. Noted "vibrations", “wavy contractions/expansions”, some periphery subtle sensations and a strong "core" where "pain" was 'located'. Also rushes of "hot" energy going up/down the throat. I played with the position of the tongue, keeping it low and not touching the palate, to keep the zone relaxed. Nevertheless, "qi/vibrations" went down through the closed lips, or "vibrations" showed up at the tip of the tongue, which also tasted "sweet". In silent noting, many thoughts appeared, and always ended creating "tension" in the mouth (and/or hands) which trigger more tensions at the throat.

After a while, I decided to go for the core of the throat pain. Two interesting things happened: (1). I could locate the area where the core was, but when trying to get there I couldn't, like it wasn't there, like disappearing for a while and then reemerging. Noted "impermanence" and then "self-loath" "self-praise" [ forgive my poor english!] . No decomposing of the core was noted, just vanishing and coming back. (2) If I labeled "pain" repeatedly with decreasing volume (out-loud, soft, whispered, silent, mental, hum, ... ) the sensation decreased much in the same way, eventually disappearing for a few seconds. Should have noted "mind&body".

When in silent noting, thoughts were much easily spotted: "anticipating", "planning", "judging", remembering", "self-loath" "self-praise", "dumb". A few times while actively noting, either trying to reach the core of the pain or unintentionally rejecting a thought, the background mental noise vanished for a few moments.

What worked? What didn’t?: the arising and passing happened more by deepening the attention in a single spot and not by having a broader awareness of layers of vibrations. Changing the volume of noting had similar effects.

Goal for Next Session: Repeat and deepen what I did today.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/02/13
Length of Sit: 60 minutes in the morning
Posture: half-lotus

Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: lower ñanas up to DN.

Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting out-loud single, pairs and triplets; switch to silent noting at a painful spot

General Thoughts/Reflections: I was very tired, have slept only 3 hours

What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: As before, "vibrations" show up in the chest, coupled with some "bubbling/expansion/stretching" in the column, lumbar mainly. Noted out-loud "tightness", "tension/release", "stings", "tickles", "warmth". Not much "coolness" labeling lately. Sensations keep predominating at head, throat and hands. Then I focused in the throat area, where as yesterday I noted silently "pressure", "hot", "pain" in the periphery, and then some core pain in the center of the area, which I couldn't find exactly, whose sensation "arise & pass".

Perhaps because I was tired, many images kept coming while noting. Some were abstract "dark red/ochre" images, some were "confusing" but what was really remarkable was seeing 3-4 times human corpses or slaughtered/severed hands (manos seccionadas). They were a bit "disgusting" but mostly labeled as "curious". They weren't seen as threatening, but I reflected that my mind was 'offering' different images to distract me, escalating up to the point of showing death.

The 'insight of the day' was that I saw that labeling doesn't happen exactly at the moment of the sensation, if the sensation is not clear enough. Instead, my mind ends up creating an image of the area, and then I'm labeling on that image. Therefore, there's a gap between the start of the sensation, and the actual image/sensation I can label...

What worked? What didn't?: I could repeat the impermanence stuff, and watched how I'm labeling images sometimes, not actually the sensation itself.

Goal for Next Session: Repeat and deepen what I did today.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/03/13
Length of Sit: 70 minutes in the afternoon
Posture: half-lotus 60 minutes, laying in bed 10 minutes
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: ñanas up to hints of Low Equanimity.
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting out-loud single, pairs and triplets; switch to silent noting at a painful spot; Self-Inquiry (2nd Gear) throughout the day

General Thoughts/Reflections: a very productive session, even when I resisted to sit at first. I was able to have a clearer understanding of the ñanas progression dynamics. Though some of the things might were frightening, they were not freezing/shocking me, I never lose the perspective of watching what was been shown, I was not there as say, a nightmare.

What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: Started noting vibrations” in the chest and to a lesser degree the head; “tightness”, “pain”, “tinkles” at the chest, near the shoulders, jaw, temples, and to a lesser degree arms, fingers and legs; also started with “tired” and “sleepy” notes. This time I corrected my practice by repeating the same note until another sensation grew stronger and capture bigger attention. By repeating, some of the sensations were “fading” or started “throbbing”. This time, throat and chest discomfort made my switch to silent noting, but mostly focused in the throat area, as when thoughts jumped in there were noted “contractions” at throat and jaw.

As happened in the last days, there were many phenomena at the periphery of the throat, “pain”, “sting”, tiny “burns” and contractions. When focusing in the core, there was some “throbbing” and “vanishing”. Unlike the past session, I actively searched for those mental images after the sensation arose and before I labeled it, but couldn’t saw them. Instead, I noted a “long fade” of sensations. As I was looking for those images, I switch to fast noting only the arising of sensations, noting every little itch, just for a couple of minutes. Then those long fades showed up again. At some point, there were many “stings” and “tightness” at head, throat, shoulders and chest. With them, “images” and “videos” came in. As images, there where abstract ochre image, turbid sea water, and like seeing cones, and a woman crying. As a ‘video’, a man pointing with a gun at the head of another man like if he was a hostage, and heard out of the scene a voice “Do you think you are safe?”.

At some point, it happened that when uncomfortable thoughts or mind states and spontaneous phrases showed up (don’t remember any more), I reacted like “deflating”. Around the 45 minute mark, the muddy thoughts and physical sensations vanished. Concentration started to deepen, I could even noted it as “deeper” without knocking the concentration down. I widen the attention to the whole body, felt “enthusiastic”, “clear”, “comfortable” and “alert”. Beside these general mental sensations, there were little physical sensations to note, except ”weak lines” at the chest. Then, an image of a ladle stirring a thick brownish sauce, and with it again many physical sensations, spontaneous phrases. Again feeling deflated and back to the calm and alert mode. Finally, a “vibration” started to build up in the torso and there was heat growing too. All of a sudden, another ‘video’ of a young boy being beaten. This was more unsettling than the other video, but I still could see that I was not there. Anyway, sensations and thoughts got back again, “burn” at the leg caught my attention, there was a broad sensation but not a center to locate “pain”. At the end, I rested laying in bed for 10 minutes.

What worked? What didn’t?: At some extent, I could see a bit more clear the progression of ñanas. There were hints of lower equanimity, managed to get back there after sliding back, but anxiety and fear got in the way.

Goal for Next Session: Try to see mind&body, cause&effect and the 3Cs in real time. Add more Self-Inquiry throughout the day.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/04/13
Length of Sit: 20' in the afternoon, 50' in the evening
Posture: reclined, half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: ñanas up to hints of Low Equanimity.
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting out-loud single, pairs and triplets; switch to silent noting at a painful spot; Self-Inquiry (2nd Gear) throughout the day

General Thoughts/Reflections: day and night

What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: The first sit the progression was fast: "vibrations" and "bubbling" at the start along the lumbar and cervical, also the chest. Then some block of thoughts (no images this time) that went soon, and next those "dropping/deflating/letting go" sensation as I was unclinging to thoughts. Several times, after letting go, I noted "tightness" at the temples, which were "not uncomfortable". Finally, the dropping went deep, but it didn't go darker (as some previous sinking experiences) but with more luminosity. I just watch how that deepening was happening doing nothing, without trying to focus on anything. There was nothing available to cling to, anyway. It went deeper a couple of times in short succession, but then some words and melodies got in. It was the first time I didn't get too anxious and excited in this kind of experience. I think it was related to some self-inquiry I'd been doing before during the day.

The second sit sucked, it was very messy, this time lots of images, but not creepy as yesterday. I can only remember one (*), were I was on a second floor watching a falling object. Though I could note "throbbing" of physical sensation at a high speed (7-10 per second), I could never cross the DN. Perhaps this is related to have started the session noting silently and then out-loud, instead of doing the other way round as usual.

What worked? What didn’t?: It didn't work to start noting silently. It was interesting not getting anxious when things went deeper.

Goal for Next Session: Try to reach low equanimity. Add more Self-Inquiry throughout the day.

EDIT: (*) the other one I remember now was seeing the elephant-head Hindu deity.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/05/13
Length of Sit: 15′ qigong plus 60′ sit in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: ñanas up to Low Equanimity
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting out-loud single, pairs and triplets; silent noting for subtle sensations

General Thoughts/Reflections: the best sit so far, relieved that creepy thoughts went away

What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: Unlike recent sits, I did the 15 minutes stretching and qigong I have been doing. When I sat, “vibrations” came in at the torso, along with “warmth”. The vibrations grew stronger in the lower dantien and then it was felt two different sets of vibrations, which then became three: a general vibration through the torso, other at dantien and a new one at the head. Can’t remember thoughts by then, they were just a few, and no images. I noted the usual physical sensations “tightness”, “tension/release”, “itches”, “tinkles”, “warmth” and “cool”. After less than 5 minutes (guessing) those sensations disappeared, noted “calm” and the opening of a bigger space at the eyes field. I felt “alert” and “happy”. I couldn’t find any physical sensation, except “vibrations” at the torso and dantien. I even tried to focus attention to spots which have shown pain and tension in the past, like the throat. The thing was that no pain could be noted there, just a string of “neutral pulses” which, when I looked closer were going up. For my surprise and amaze, actually I was seeing through the throat, like if it were empty, and those pulses were coming from the spine. I switch the attention to the back, and there was a clear “vibration” going upwards to the top of the head, and some “itches/burns” on both sides of the column. That kept going for long, and after some time I noted “tension/contraction” at the union of temples and mandible.

Besides that, there wasn’t much to note if I did a general whole body attention. I switch the focus to the dantien, whose vibration and warmth increase, with some “hot/burn/non uncomfortable” sensations. I tried to widen the attention to the space, to see if there was some expansion & contraction following Kenneth’s exercise. There was a faint sensation outside the body, but there was a clear sensation and the arms/hands of expansion & contraction connected to the breath cycle. I noted that as “nice”, a sensation that I felt before in taichi&qigong, but this time I was not doing something to get it, it just happened. Then, I tried to widen the attention in front of my eyes field. “White lights” showed up, at first more cloudy (I should have noted), then a “white nimitta” that last only a few seconds, and it was travelling left to right, and then some white semicircles “pulsing” upwards. Noted “anxious/anticipation”, I lost focus. Finally, I got back to a general body attention, “fine vibrations” were noted but then came more thoughts and a couple of images (one was again someone “falling”). At the end there was a funny situation, when some “tinkles” showed up in the nose, and after many seconds I noticed that I was about to sneeze. It took a some other seconds to finally watch the sneeze to happen. It was like seeing a film in slow motion!

What worked? What didn’t?: I could investigate comfortably the new scenario.
Goal for Next Session: Keep investigating and try to note more mind states.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/06/13
Length of Sit: 15′ qigong plus 50′ sit in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low Equanimity
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting out-loud single, pairs and triplets; silent noting for subtle sensations

General Thoughts/Reflections: mind & body is much clearer (both ways)

What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: Noted “vibrations” of different kinds at the beginning, a general vibration first at the torso, a more intense one in the dantien, and a growing one on the sternum, which catch all the attention. I could note at that spot “pulsing”, “vibrating”. Then “calmness” was noted, a “wide” space, and with it “curiosity”, “investigation”. Before the session I have planned to keep a tighter focus on mental states and thoughts, and note them. With a calmer mind, and not much physical sensations capturing the attention, it was much easier than I expected. Noted: “curiosity”, “investigation”, “calm”, “frustration”, “desire”, “embarrassment”, “anxiety”, “anticipation”, “planning”, “remembering”, “rehearsing”.

The interesting insight of the session was seeing clearly the mind&body connection. Until now, 99% of the times I was inferring a mind state or thought after noticing a physical sensation. Today, with a calmer mind, it was the other way around: there was a thought, a small gap of time and then a physical sensation. Usually, they were “sting”, “tightness”, “spasm”, and “swallowing” (throat).

“Images” only showed up in the end of the session, I watch a connection with “remembering”. They were just a few ones, and none creepy. At the middle of the session I noted “lights” and “cloudy lights”, which didn’t escalate to a deeper concentration. Noted “anticipation”, “anxiety”, “curiosity”.

What worked? What didn’t?: It didn’t work that much trying to broaden the attention out of the body. Off-cushion I could spot some usual jerk reactions, and by spontaneous application of vipassana, they didn’t escalate into unhealthy psychological patterns/reactions.

Goal for Next Session: Keep investigating and try to note more mind states.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/07/13
Length of Sit: 30′ sit in the afternoon, 60′ walking noting
Posture: half-lotus, walking
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low Equanimity
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting out-loud single, pairs and triplets
General Thoughts/Reflections: much more aversion noted while walking down the street
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I tried noting while going to visit some clients, specially walking by the street or in the subway. Physical sensations noted were only superficial, but still I could manage to note every 2-3 seconds: “tightness”, “heat”, “hard”, “graze/brush”. What was more interesting is that a lot of thoughts and mental states showed up, “like” or “dislike” were predominant, and also “planning”, ”tired”, “remembering”. Being in motion, It was easier to spot the (small) gap between mental order and body execution. Just as a side note (no pun intended), I noticed a couple of time people in the subway showing this same mind&body gap.
In the 30′ sit, I was too tired for having slept 5 hours only. “Vibrations” came in quickly and briefly after “calmness”. But it didn’t last long, soon “worried”, “fear”, “sadness”, “images” became predominant. I understood that I was sliding back to Dark Night, so I managed to get back to Low Equanimity, but 5 minutes later I was sliding back again. This happened for the three times, so I cut the session and had a nap.
What worked? What didn’t?: I could see the sliding into DN.
Goal for Next Session: Start noticing out loud instead of silently.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/08/13
Length of Sit: 60′ sit in the afternoon
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: A&P
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting out-loud single, pairs and triplets; silent noting for subtle sensations
General Thoughts/Reflections: off-cushion I noted DN symptoms coming from nowhere, and before that waking up vomiting, but on-cushion it was all about vibrations, more like A&P. After the sit I felt really good, which lasted for only a couple of hours.
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I started noting out loud, “vibrations” came in. Unlike other times, this vibrations in an area didn’t have a core, like what had happened in the throat or the sternum. They were spread in the chest, but a “sting/tightness” right at the back made me note an “ascending vibration” (noted silently). The same thing happened at the throat, but much clearer. Right at the start, there was a “cold/ descending vibration” in the Third Eye. This time, the sensation was concentrated there. When I watched upwards, the coolness descended from the Crown (where there was no concentrated sensation). It felt “calm” and relieved (I didn’t label then but that’s how it was felt) because of the lack of blockages.

When I switched attention to the limbs, I noticed “warmth”, “vibrations”, kind of “pleasant”, but also “too much tension”. I felt uneasy with so much tension. I actively tried to relax, but accomplished little. Then I compared simultaneously the tensions at torso and limbs. Tensions at the abdomen, chest, throat, temples and skull were noted like “weak vibration”, and those at arms and legs “strong vibration”. Following Kenneth’s image, the weak one was like a single line of ants, and the later a highway of ants!

Around the 45′ mark, the previous warm legs turned “cold”, keeping with the “strong vibrations”. Amaze was noticed, but forget to note it. In the past I have felt coldness at the Third Eye and the lower column but never at the legs. At the end, there was “strong pulses/burn/pain” at the crossed leg. I watched them closely, and could note the “start” climbing up to a “peak”, and the a slower “fade” with no clear ending.

What worked? What didn’t?: I was happy to note the different intensities of vibration. Couldn’t relax the tension at the limbs, so I let them show what they had to offer. Though I could switch from a close focus to and open/wide focus, and I could felt simultaneously different vibrations, it felt more interesting to keep in a close focus, so I don’t know if I was in A&P or deviating from LEQ.

Goal for Next Session: Extend the sit to 90′.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/09/13
Length of Sit: 40′ and 60′ sits in the afternoon
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: DN the first, glimpse of HEQ in the second?
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting out-loud single, pairs and triplets; silent noting for subtle sensations
General Thoughts/Reflections: the mind seems to know how far to push regarding DN, and look like it has done one step back. In the past days, the were many creepy images (–>fear). Today, there were only wild animals images (–>surprise). And I recall from months ago coming images from broken toys and broken teddy bear (–>curious).
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: The first session started at A&P and climbing to DN to fall back to A&P and again climbing to DN. This happened three times. It was during this session that those “surprise” images of wild animals popped up.
In the second session it was a one long procession A&P -> DN -> EQ. Started noting out loud, and switched to silent noting when there were more subtle sensations. And when I felt that I was daydreaming I switched to fast noting, 1-2 notes out loud per second. The “discomfort/pain” I had at the sternum disappeared when having a broader observation. Also, I played with the heart-beats, noting the ends of them. It had a calming effect. Before the 50′ mark the “tension/ strong vibrations” at the arms toned down, the tension was gone and there were “fine vibrations”. Shortly after, concentration grew but there were no pulling towards a center. Instead, there was a calm state where I couldn’t sense the body. Visually, there were like vertical tiny lines of light. It lasted for about 1 minute. Then, with some “anxiety” I felt once again the body. In the end, after leg pain and some daydreaming I decided to end the session.
What worked? What didn’t?: I was happy to climb back to EQ, and had a glimpse of what could be HEQ. Look more similar to 4th jhana than the higher ones. I couldn’t extend the sit for more than 60 minutes.
Goal for Next Session: Extend the sit to 90′.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/011/13 and 02/12/2013
Length of Sit: 30′ and 55′ sits in the morning
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: A&P, hints of DN
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting out-loud single, pairs and triplets; bought the ReWire app to see if it boost my concentration
General Thoughts/Reflections: morning sits coupled with a long national holiday don’t help in keeping with momentum. I’ll try to do some basic concentration stuff like “ReWire app” during the morning and keep the sits for the afternoon/evening.
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: Both sessions were much the same, “vibrations”, “warmth” at arms, “coolness” at legs after stretching, “coolness” flowing down the Crown to the Third Eye, “tightness” in arms, chest, temples and cheeks, arms “flapping”, some “itches” specially at the fingers when focusing in them, a clear connection with “frustration”, “mistake” or pretty much every emotional tone with “pain” in the chest. When focusing in the pain spot, shortly after either “vibrations” or “pulsing” appears, generally the later. The “warm” dantien kept present during all the sit. “Images” and “Video clips” showed up persistently, which disappeared after noting them out loud. When I focused in the “burn/pain” in the leg, images and video clips came in much more, so it’s not clear if they are an effect of daydreaming or discomfort/pain/stress.
What worked? What didn't?: It doesn't work to sit in the mornings.
Goal for Next Session: Extend the sit to 90′.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/12/2013
Length of Sit: 30′ stretching & qigong, 60′ sit in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: A&P
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Noting out-loud single, pairs and triplets; silent noting for subtle sensations; repeat word or melody until it fades (similar to repeating labels)
General Thoughts/Reflections: I could note clearly two basic characteristics of Self: control and aversion. Because of Qigong, before sitting I’m already in A&P.
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: Started with “vibrations” than after some minutes went “strong” and then “weak”, but didn’t slide into a general whole body vibration watching as there were much more interesting things showing up by focusing narrowly on some recurring sensations. When focusing on some “tightness”, it started to “pulsing” and/or “vibrating”. Usually I then switch to another sensation, but this time I kept there watching. And many things showed up. As tightness/tension didn’t disappear, “aversion” was noted or (mostly) inferred as thoughts, melodies, words or another physical sensation tried to take me away from there. If I tried to be there anyway, there were “spams” in the stomach, and there was a clear (though inferred) sort of “can’t make it happen –> frustration/anger/powerlessness –> spam”. Also, there was a clear connection with “remembering –> regret”.
Probably one big insight is that eyelids and fingers are tightly connected with Self. I actively tried to relax both of them, but the “tension” gets back the instant I focus the attention anywhere else. Or if I managed to keep the eyelids relaxed some seconds, a “melody” or “words” showed up always. The few times I could manage to keep the eyelids relaxed, the viewing of body and sensations had a different color, more “calm” and “wide”, but can’t really describe it yet.
What worked? What didn’t?: Watching Self doing its stuff.
Goal for Next Session: Keep doing this, and try to extend time watching things with eyes and fingers relaxed.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/13/2013
Length of Sit: morning: 20′ concentration (ReWire), evening: 20′ stretching & qigong and 60′ sit
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: DN
Meditative Techniques Utilized: mostly silent noting for subtle sensations and noting out-loud at the beginning and end of the session
General Thoughts/Reflections: I can infer aversion but I cannot sense it directly (other that where the eyes are staring at).
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: Lately, by the ending of Qigong exercises, a vibrating/shaking spread at the back, but right after sitting it’s located in the chest. And if I focus the attention anywhere in the body, I can note “vibrations” too. Somewhere in the middle of the session the vibrations went strong but then subsided. I investigated the eyeballs area. Just briefly I could note vibrations, mostly there’s “tension” and if when I spent enough time there, all the surrounding area felt “hard”, “stiff” and “contracted”. Plus, if I focus in any spot, the fingers got stiff too. Other times, it derived to another tension or vibration elsewhere (neck, chest) or a “pleasant” sensation in the genital area. The dantien get “hot”, “vibrates”. I let it sunk and it felt pleasant. When I did this with eyeballs it was almost imposible, little relaxation was possible. Nevertheless, when I focused in the Third Eye, it started to “vibrate” and “pulse” and after a while it “dissolved” and felt like “cool water pouring on” the eyes.
What worked? What didn’t?: Watching Self and aversion doing its stuff.
Goal for Next Session: though this practiced have proved to be valuable, I’m getting back to noting out-loud. Perhaps, I could investigate it much better when fully in Equanimity.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/14/2013
Length of Sit: morning: 20′ concentration (ReWire), evening: 2×20′ stretching & qigong and 30′ sit
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: A&P
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting out-loud singles, pairs and triplets
General Thoughts/Reflections: It feels like a long journey to get back to EQ! In my noon nap after Qigong first session, I woke up with some fireworks, not feeling the body (only the surface that touched the bed) and visuals with different perspective, like a failed OBE.
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: It was a quick session yesterday, noted the usual A&P stuff plus watch how aversion triggers other sensations or thoughts (it doesn’t show directly as a mental mood, otherwise I could have noted “aversion” directly).
What worked? What didn’t?: Watching Self and aversion doing its stuff.
Goal for Next Session: Extend gradually 5′ per day until I can sit for 90′ in a row.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/15/2013
Length of Sit: morning: 10′ concentration (ReWire), evening: 20′ stretching & qigong plus 70′ sit
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ ???
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting out-loud singles, pairs and triplets; silent noting for subtle sensations
General Thoughts/Reflections: It’s hard to say whether I’m dwelling in A&P or reaching Low Equanimity, as DN didn’t show up with mental/emotional stuff or rather it was mainly physical
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: This time it didn’t start with the usual A&P stuff. Instead there was a “calm” state. But it was rather easy to find “vibrations” if I watched carefully. “Tension/drop”, “tightness/drop”, “contraction”, “pulsing”, “gross vibrations”, “itches”, “warm/burn”, “cool”, “tickling” were noted. When I focused the attention in the face to see if there’s some tension unnoticed, there where “contraction/hardness” in the temples which every now and then triggered “spams” in the belly, an acute “sting” or “burn” in the torso and sometimes “words” or “stories”. Other times, the tension in the temples grew high, felt like “hard/solid” in more like a square frame around the eyes, but the eyes weren’t stiff. Later at around the 20′ mark, I was in a “calm” state again, not knowing how did it happen. I noted “happy”, “relaxed”, “fine vibrations”, “no tightness”. Even when I focus in the throat and chest, there were only fine vibrations and some “green” abstract image but nothing more. I looked like there weren’t much to label, so I suspected that I was in Low Equanimity. I reflected that I might have crossed over DN without the creepy images and sadness. And I speculated that by noting phenomena at the throat and chest there was some cleaning of blockages. In fact, later I focused the attention back at temples and eyelids, and some strange images showed up and spams at the belly were triggered, so I thought that I was back-sliding to DN. Will see if this pattern repeats in future sessions. This reaching LEQ and backsliding to DN happened three times. Once in LEQ, I tried two things. First, see if there’s some pulsing or vibration in the eyelids (there was some kind of flickering but I’m not sure). Second, I investigated the general “fine vibration”. It felt like a “fluid”, with no clear difference in its aspects but with a sense of change (didn’t label that). Then I had some “drop”, a sense of “spatialness” and briefly some “lights” and “red nimitta” at sight. So I reflected that I was using the fine vibration much like breath is used for concentration practices. Occasionally, the vibration had some discontinuities, for a split second.
What worked? What didn’t?: Labeling “drop” (‘soltar’) is better than “relax”, it has a positive feedback loop as it triggers further un-clinging-ness. It’s interesting that even if I don’t try to actively relax but let it happen, the words chosen to label the event do have an effect in the process. In other words, labels do let my see the 3Cs, but same [some] labels are better than others in showing the 3Cs. It’s like a point of contact between NLP and Noting, where some labels have more affinity with our own mix of visual, auditory and proprioception tendencies. In the particular case of relax vs drop, the later recruits more neurons and have more impact, as it has a kinesthetic component that I have being cultivating in my TaijiQuan practice. Happy to extend the session for another 10′.
Goal for Next Session: Extend another 10′ for a total of 80′.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/17/2013
Length of Sit: 20′ concentration (ReWire), evening: 20′ stretching & qigong and 30′ sit
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: DN
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting out-loud singles, pairs and triplets
General Thoughts/Reflections: I had abdominal cramps and a headache, so it was not a very productive session. But ReWire was interesting!
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: I tried to investigate both the qualities of the headache and abdominal cramps, with little success. Many phenomena showed up, only physical, with high intensity. The “tension/drop” labeling helped a lot. By the end of the session, there were more calming sensations (spaciousness, fine vibrations, relaxed limbs), but unstable.
Regarding ReWire, I observed two interesting things. When I use the headphones there are three places for the mind. The first one is at the finger (which taps), and there’s a clear display of Mind & Body. It’s also a effortful, neurotic place for the mind to be. The second place is the eyelids, the standard place to be. If in the first one, I make more mistakes tapping when there were no silences, in the second is where precision (time to tap) is weaker. The third place, is at the back of the skull, where sensations and mindfulness is highest. The second observation was that I could detect that there’s some kind of “auditory inertia”, there’s a split second when the sound is really fading but the mind seems to keep it hearing at the previous volume, and switches to reality only when it was evident that something has changed. When I managed to be in that “third place”, it was easier to connect with the sound fluid and so early detect the fading, which boost my tapping precision.
What worked? What didn’t?: Just by sitting it felt to have succeeded. I managed to do some insight practice while doing the concentration (ReWire) practice.
Goal for Next Session: Extend gradually 5′ per day until I can sit for 90′ in a row.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/18/2013
Length of Sit: 20′ concentration (ReWire) plus 2×20′ stretching & qigong and 65′ sit
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: A&P or EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: switching between silent or out-loud noting whenever necessary
General Thoughts/Reflections: Qigong and probably meditation helped a lot with abdominal cramps. The funny thing is even though I’m doing choiceless awareness, the cramps didn’t show up during the session, only when I looked specifically there. Today there were very interesting insights regarding impermanence and aversion/clinging.
What Sensations/Phenomenon Arose, and How Were They Noted: Didn’t start with the usual vibrations, but lots of “stings”, “burns”, “tightness”, “itches”, it reminded some of the DN stuff but without solidification of pain (as in the temples/eyes area) nor creepy images, so probably it could be the 3C ñana. It lasted just a few minutes and then easiness of noting came in, I noted “fine”, “good” regarding mood, and “gross vibrations”. Later in the session “fine” and “gross” vibrations alternated, but then I noticed that even fine vibrations with relaxed arms hide more subtle vibrations. The fine ones were narrow and superficial, while the subtle wide and airy. I labeled them as “earth” and “air”, just to use short words and don’t disturb the calmness. These subtle vibrations were some times so widespread in some areas, that I reflected how Impermanence could actually be experienced in full scope if the subtle sensations would cover all the body. It felt like there were no meat between them.
I have already seen in past sessions how I unconsciously switch to other physical sensation, image or auditory memory when I focus in one spot for some time, thus showing aversion. But it was really “awesome” to watch how I’m always clinging to something. It’s easy to rationalize it when spotting physical sensations, but today it was very clear that I was trying to cling to anything even when I was in a calm state, noticing everything as a whole and nothing in particular popping up. Even in this situation, samatha-like but with no lights nor sense of getting into a hole, my mind was trying to cling to a ‘perspective’, like a point of reference. It’s the same thing I have reported in the last ten days, but I had no adequate words (still don’t). Don’t know if this is First Gear or Second/Third Gear, but I found it interesting nevertheless!
Noting Mix: 70% physical sensations, 5% degree of pleasantness, 5% mental states, 20% thoughts. The physical ones formed pairs with the others, but the other three rarely were noted together. Much of the thoughts labeled were “reporting” and “mapping”…
What worked? What didn’t?: Happy to have briefly un-cling to ‘no perspective whatsoever’ for a few times. Also, seeing that fine vibrations were hiding subtle ones.
Goal for Next Session: Extend gradually 5′ per day until I can sit for 90′ in a row.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Today was a busy day, so I'm skipping the sitting session, though I managed to do 15' concentration practice (ReWire). Instead, I'll briefly report some pre-jhanic stuff I've being recently experiencing. I'm happy that at least some concentration is building up (I'm starting 100 meters below the ground level), which I attribute to noting out-loud and that app. Admittedly, I was not actively working towards 1º Jhana, but it happened spontaneously while half asleep and I sized the opportunity to investigate the state once there.

Today, I was daydreaming and I was aware watching a scene where there was a reprehensible misconduct. The indignation I got triggered the access concentration and shortly after pre-jhanic stuff: narrowing of attention, deepening of silence, cloud of lights, a faint white circle then in the middle a small red nimitta in the center, which lasted just a few seconds. Also, there was a clear sense of shortening of the space between myself and the ceiling (I'm with eyes closed). It felt like the ceiling was coming down, not an OBE, more like a shrinking of a dimension.

I was excited with the experience but at least was able not to spoil it too early with anxiety. Few seconds later, the concentration dropped and felt like back to (feeling) my body. What surprised me is that I felt the stiffness/tension of my limbs. I wished it went away but then remembered that it could be one of the factors of 1st Jhana, so I directed attention towards it, and some nice warmth emerged at the legs. It remain there for a few minutes, I got bored and went to sleep. There seemed to present 1st Jhana factors (attention, rapture, happiness and concentration) at least a glimpse of them. What surprised me is that right from the start I was rejecting the tension, it felt unnatural as right before there was no sense of physical body.

More on the speculative side, what was interesting is that "indignation" triggered the concentration state. Some weeks ago I reported that watching the 3Cs at display, the same has happened. Though there could be some mental process developing after the indignation which I'm not aware of, probably it's just that there are simply many ways that could trigger a concentration state, not easily tided up with the 3Cs.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/20/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 10′ stretching & qigong plus 15′ concentration (app) right before meditation. After reading Fitter Stoke’s “Throwing Away the Ladder”, I set as the goal of the session to see clearly how embedded am I in thoughts.
Length of Sit: 45′
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: switching between silent or out-loud noting whenever necessary
Noting Mix: 60% physical sensations, 15% pleasantness/un-pleasantness, 5% mental states, 20% thoughts. One out of three or four physical sensations when noted in tandem with pleasantness/un-pl. Mental States only showed up when there was a change in the phenomena being sensed. Half of thoughts connected to physical sensations, other half to analyzing, mapping, reporting, speculating.
Noting Dynamics: Started with “vibrations” at the chest area and arms and soon showed up “tension”, “tightness”, “hot”, itches”, “stings”, arms “flapping”, “spams”. Vibrations were “gross”. Noted at about one per 1-2 seconds. Then, “pain”, “tightness”, “hot” and “contractions” at the throat, chest and the back at chest level. Noted “bothers”, “hurts” with those sensations. Just a few “images” appeared, none creepy. No auditory or smell registered. I focused on the painful spots and soon and easily noted “pulsing” and “vibrating”. Many times those sensations triggered “remembering”, “planning”, “reporting”. These ones were noted only 20′ onwards. Finally, at around 35′ I noted “relief” , “curiosity”, “attainment” (logro) when the mind did “sink” and some “fine vibrations” appeared at the arms . The problem was that those mental states & thoughts triggered “analyzing”, “mapping”, “reporting”, “speculating”. And the desire to found how to repeat reaching there and how to stay there. Unfortunately, that lessen the concentration and slid me back to gross vibrations, pain, tightness, etc. At this time, I was noting silently and with lesser speed. I switch to noting out loud to gain speed, concentration and avoid mental spinning. At around 40′ the previous attainment-analyzing-spoiling cycle was experienced again.
General Thoughts/Reflections: It was interesting to notice that once analyzing/mapping/reporting/speculating starts, it has a strong inertia. I did my best to note when they emerged, but they kept (stubbornly) returning nevertheless.
What worked? What didn’t?: I felt relieved and proud that I could get back to early Equanimity, but ashamed that because of anxiety, fear, aversion or need of attainment I start analyzing things.
Goal for Next Session: Watch the analyzing/reporting/speculating cycle.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/21/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 10′ stretching & qigong plus 15′ concentration (app).
Length of Sit: 60′
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: switching between silent or out-loud noting whenever necessary
Noting Mix: 60% physical sensations, 15% pleasantness/un-pleasantness, 5% mental states, 20% thoughts. Noted pairs physical sensations + pleasantness/un-pl. Mental States only showed up when phenomena changes. Half of thoughts connected to physical sensations, other half to analyzing, mapping, reporting, speculating.
Noting Dynamics: Started with a general “calm”-ness, searched por physical sensations and found "vibrations" at the torso. Soon showed up “tension”, “tightness”, “hot”, itches”, “stings”, “spams”. Noted at about one per 1-2 seconds while noting out-loud. When I switched to silent noting for subtle sensations, many "thoughts" showed up. Noted "remembering", "planning", "fantasies". As the day before, in the last quarter of the session I noted "wide", "sinking", "attainment" and that triggered “analyzing”, “mapping”, “reporting”, “speculating”, which lessen the concentration and slid me back to gross vibrations, pain, tightness, etc.
General Thoughts/Reflections: the attainment-analyzing-spoiling cycle has at the end "jeer" (bronca) and after that "spams".
What worked? What didn’t?: There was more calmness during the session, but coming and go.
Goal for Next Session: Watch the analyzing/reporting/speculating cycle.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/22/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 15′ stretching & qigong
Length of Sit: 60′
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: A&P or EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: mostly silent noting
Noting Mix: 50% physical sensations, 5% pleasantness/un-pleasantness, 15% mental states, 30% thoughts.
Noting Dynamics: Started as usual, noting out-loud with "vibrations" at the torso, which quickly solidified into "tightness" and "tension/pain/unpleasant" at the chest with no apparent reason. Focused the attention in the area and there were a "contracted" center, then further "pulsing" and "vibrations" which dismantled the spot. I spread the attention to whole torso and arms and noted "fine vibrations", by then noting silently. I decided to focus a little closer at them and noted how those "pulsing/vibrations" turned into "waves". Noticed my amazement but didn't note it. Those "expanding waves" and "contracting waves" were not only at surface but also seemed to be a little out of my body. I tried to expand the span to the whole body, but they were observed only by patches [ off-cushion, I felt some of these waves (but stronger) at the abdominal area a couples of times this week ]. May be the scanning lost steam or is a byproduct of silent noting, but soon there was a plethora of mental phenomena: noted "ill-formed words", "musical words" with the rhythm and changing pitch of words but with no meaning, "images", "melodies", "remembering", "planning", "reporting", analyzing". Noted "doubt" because was unsure if those mental phenomena were daydreaming, but more inclined to think that they were "pre-thoughts" and felt "proud" that by noting them, they didn't have the chance to form a phrase that would derail the session. Will see in future sessions.
General Thoughts/Reflections: Noting out-loud is a handy tool, but I found that in some ways it gives some sense of control, as its outcome is predictable: 90% of notes are non-mental phenomena. When I switch to silent noting, mental phenomena explodes and predominate over physical ones, and they are much less predictable and difficult to ride...
What worked? What didn’t?: Allowed myself to let the mental phenomena do its show, I'm just the audience.
Goal for Next Session: alternate between watching subtle sensations like waves to silent noting.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/23/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 20′ stretching & qigong, 15' concentration (app)
Length of Sit: 50′
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: DN
Meditative Techniques Utilized: mostly silent noting
Noting Mix: 50% physical sensations, 5% pleasantness/un-pleasantness, 15% mental states, 30% thoughts.
Noting Dynamics: Started with noting out-loud "pain", "tightness" and "contractions" in the chest and then some "tightness" in the throat. Hands were noted "full/warm", but one fuller than the other, and sometimes one "higher" the other "lower" *****. Reached some "calmness" then, noted "space", "wide" with those tightness still present but with a much lesser degree. That made hands fuller but equal. I investigated the finer sensations at the fingers, noted "hot/warm tinkles prickles", being some of the very subtle and in bundles. Switched to silent noting, and investigated "vibrations" to see if they were hiding "waves". There were little amount of them. By then, after some minutes of silent noting I noted "words", ill-formed words /phrases", "musical words", and some "images". Unlike yesterday, today there were more of well formed phrases, and were felt/heard like they were not me and noted "satisfaction" as within a few sessions more of thoughts are showing up, seen as not me and are not derailing my practice. Having said that, there wasn't a moment of relief, widen attention and subtle vibrations as days before.
What worked? What didn’t?: Allowed myself to let the mental phenomena do its show, I'm just the audience.
Goal for Next Session: alternate between watching subtle sensations like waves to silent noting.


***** Rereading older threads, Daniel mentioned that "feeling like the two sides (of the body) are different" is a typical symptom of the Three Characteristics ñana.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/24/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 20′ stretching & qigong, 10' concentration (app)
Length of Sit: 60′
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ.
Meditative Techniques Utilized: mostly silent noting
Noting Mix: 60% physical sensations, 5% pleasantness/un-pleasantness, 10% mental states, 25% thoughts.
Noting Dynamics: "vibrations" right at the start, "tightness" in the chest which turned into vibrations and "burn" sensations. Then "contractions" in the neck, a "line" of chi/vibrations that connected the chest with the burning neck. This line/burn emerged recurrently over the session. Then noted vibrations in arms which grew to "strong steam" (that is, wider vibrations like in a pipe), and when watched close more "subtle vibrations" appeared, and then "empty". At first, part of the arms were gone, there were no sensations; later, only "warm/hot" remained. Notes were now slowed down from one per second to one every 3 seconds. I noted "waves" where Cause & Effect was clearly connected with the pulse.

I searched if those steam / vibrations were also at the torso. They were noted at the belly and to a lesser degree in the chest. Then went as if scanning to the head to see if they were there too. That turned my sight inwards. I noted vibrations at the skull, "warm/hot/vibrations" at the Crown Chakra which then descended through a line to the Brow Chakra, which after some vibrations "dissolves" into "cool water" that descend to the eyes. This has been happening in every sit during the last few days. When I was watching the vibrations at the head an "image/not mine/fun" were noted which meant "that's cool!", and later "phrase/not mine" ("ya se va a dar", it will eventually happen). Then kept alternating attention between hands, arms, head, chest, where vibrations and tightness were noted. "Creepy image" showed up, with "stronger vibrations" and tightness at the temples. There were much "analysis" and "reporting" that went away quickly as were being noted, but that were replaced with "remembering/images" or "remembering/words", which then lead to analysis and that brought "spams" at the belly (frustration).

Next I turned attention to the lower body, and noted "fine vibrations", "calmness", and no tightness was spotted. Went back to the head and "relief" was noted. Sight opened below y went dark, everything was "quiet". In only 10 seconds that was lost and heard "you don't have to be jealous" (that other people can stay easily in Equanimity). Noted "surprise" and "satisfaction" that I was able to observe it, and noted "not mine". Then there were much analysis, reporting, tightness, "frustration" and "fear" of sliding back to DN. But soon calmness, "spaciousness", "sinking" were back, but nevertheless it reached a limit. I observed and reflected that there's some resistance trigger by fear that I see connected with growing "tension" in the eyeballs. This cycle EQ-->DN-->EQ repeated five times in 10 minutes. Ended noting "satisfaction" for coming back easily to EQ even if it was unstable.

General Thoughts/Reflections: Frustration is not outspoken but shown through physical sensations like spams. The calmness that tai chi have grown over the years also masks and don't let me see deeper issues beneath.
What worked? What didn’t?: Silent noting seems to be working, though it's much harder to work with. Today it was the first time that I ended the session with no pain nor burn in the legs.
Goal for Next Session: alternate between watching subtle sensations like waves to silent noting.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/25/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 20′ stretching & qigong, 15' concentration (app). Had only 3,5 hours of sleep.
Length of Sit: 70′
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:
Meditative Techniques Utilized: initial 15' of choice-less out-loud noting, then mostly silent noting
Noting Mix: 60% physical sensations, 5% pleasantness/un-pleasantness, 5% mental states, 30% thoughts. All most were single notes, just a few pairs.
Noting Dynamics: Started noting "gross vibrations" in all the torso, specially the low abdomen/sacra area. It showed up like the day before the "tightness" at the chest, though with lesser intensity, and the "line" connected to the neck. In the neck soon noted a "scarf", which meant a wide cylinder of 'steam/chi' all around the place. I noted for 15' at about 1 (or 2) per second. A 90% of them were physical sensations, the reaming 10% degree of pleasantness, mental states and thoughts. Did single notes mostly, and some pairs with physical and pleasantness degree. When noticing tension, I noted either "tension/tension/tension..." or "tension/drop/drop/drop..." whenever felt that was more appropriated.

After some time those tightness, "tensions" and "contractions" subsided somewhat and noted "finer vibrations" and "relaxed" arms. Switched to silent noting, did some notes of vibrations at the head and quickly some "cool fluid" went down from the Brow Chakra. As vibrations were the most visible sensations, I looked for "waves", which were noted "back & forth", "open & close". Notes were naturally slowed down to one every 3-5 seconds. Soon there were popping up "images" (only a few creepy), "remembering" either visual or auditory, and "phrases". I noted "satisfaction" that phrases were seen as "not me". And that the phrases were caught at the start or middle, not at the ending or afterwards. By this time nearly 50% of the notes were thoughts. The phrases/not-mine were in most cases prescriptive, or laudatory by content. I noted "surprise" as not only those phrases were seen as not-mine but also those that were thought consciously had some "not-mine" as well !! This situation lasted most of the session. At the ending of this 'period' I noted that I had very little "analyzing" and "reporting", noted "proud" but then reflected that it could have been that I was so tired that it was near the border of falling asleep.

Finally, I got more "alert", feeling and sensing again the whole body. There were some hints of Low EQ as I noted "spaciousness" and "sinking" but never really took off, and I slid easily to "remembering", "analyzing", "planning", "reporting". Ended after giving some attention to the leg in pain.

General Thoughts/Reflections: All thoughts have not-mine flavor, but conscious ones have less of them. The strange thing is that I didn't care of getting out of DÑ as spotting that was very interesting.
What worked? What didn’t?: Once analyzing starts, its difficult to stop them.
Goal for Next Session: alternate between watching subtle sensations like waves to silent noting.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/26/2013 and 02/27/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 20′ stretching & qigong, 15' concentration (app). Growing anxiety as I'm adding a new job on Friday, I'm relocating in two-three weeks and will have to do it mostly by myself as my wife is 6 months pregnant.
Length of Sit: 4x10' at noon plus 60′ in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:
Meditative Techniques Utilized: 4 x 10' rounds noting of physical sensations (PS), feeling-tone (FT), mental states (MS) and thoughts (TH). Then, out-loud and silent noting of all four phenomena combined.
Four Foundations Notes: PS, FT and MS were noted out-loud, while TH silently. Noted at about 1-2 PS per second, and noticed a few thoughts and aversion/attraction reactions. Noted FT every 3-5 per second and noticed that I'm overlooking some PS that do have links to FT. Noted MS whenever possible, it wasn't an easy job, and the top contenders where "calm", "annoyance", "acceptance", "curiosity". I noticed that MS showed up after PS or FT. They did show up also after TH but much as a reaction to recurring TH. Noting TH was much easier, as soon as I switched to silent noting. Noted "planning", "image", "analyzing", "doubt", "memory".

Noting Dynamics: Unlike previous days started with mental chat, and no vibrations. Noted "tightness", "contraction", "hot", "cool", "sting", "full", "tension/drop", "noise". There was no particular place where tension was hard enough to be the center of attention. Did try to add pair notes PS-FT, which is doable, but I can get easily distracted so after noting some MS or TH, I get back to not single PS...Should try harder.

Then some creepy "images" appeared, but with less tightness in the chest or temples. Once TH and MS were more visible I switched to silent noting, as they are my weakest area. Like yesterday, "memories", "phrases" came in but where seen as "not-mine". Even thoughts that were consciously triggered had some of this "not-mine" thing. There was some "sinking" of the mind, "dark" sight, and "silence" which didn't last long, as thoughts came back soon. But "satisfaction" on body sensations stayed right to the end of the session, no leg pain nor strong tightness. Really can't say it as Low EQ as, there were too many thoughts distracting.

General Thoughts/Reflections: I noticed that the "mapping", "speculation" and "reporting" notes has lessen significantly, though "analyzing" is still strong.
What worked? What didn’t?: There are very little pairs and triplets noting combos.
Goal for Next Session: Get out of silent noting when there's too much thoughts to note, get back to noting out-loud to cool down.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 02/28/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 15' concentration (app). Anxious and irritable all day long as I'm adding a new job tomorrow.
Length of Sit: 4x10' plus 30′ at noon
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:
Meditative Techniques Utilized: 4 x 10' rounds noting of physical sensations (PS), feeling-tone (FT), mental states (MS) and thoughts (TH). Then, out-loud and silent noting of all four phenomena combined.
Four Foundations Notes: Noted at about one PS per second. Noted a FT every 5 seconds. Noted at most 15 MS in 10 minutes: "calm", "annoyance", "acceptance", "curiosity", "guilt", "worried", "Nervous", "Distraction". Notes of TH grew in time, there were few at first: "planning", "image", "analyzing", "doubt", "memory". As I'm doing only 10 minutes of each, I found myself doing less y none "reporting" and "speculating".

Noting Dynamics: As I jumped into this integration practice just when finishing the 4 ten minutes round, I didn't have the body sensations anchor, which over the past weeks have shown a predictable path. Instead, there were lots of thoughts doing their thing. The nice thing is that it was easier to spot mind states...but the session was pure crap!!! All in all, there were the usual A&P and DÑ stuff phenomena, but jumping back and forth many times.

General Thoughts/Reflections: Tried all the meditation practice in one sit, and that's probable the cause of the messy session.
What worked? What didn’t?: Unlike the last few days, I couldn't dis-embed from thoughts.
Goal for Next Session: Split the session, do 4x10' rounds in the morning and the long sit in the afternoon.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/01/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 20' stretching and Qigong plus 15' concentration (app). Interestingly, lately I was hitting 0.30-0.31 reaction time in the medium difficulty level (started at 0.38), and after three weeks of practice I decided that it was time to try the next level. Surprisingly, I got 0.27 reaction time (99% precision). In this level there are much more stops per minute, and probably it approaches to the 1-2 notes per second I do in Vipassana. So, the bottom line seems to be that actually it's harder to practice when stop gaps are longer, as that means that I should be fully concentrated listening to sounds between stops. I asked ReWire developers if they will introduce in the future more variability in the gaps. I think that would be a nice enhancement. I'm waiting for an answer.
Length of Sit: 2x10' at noon plus 50′ in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: 2 x 10' rounds noting of physical sensations and feeling-tone. Couldn't do the others two because of time constraints. Then at night, it was 30' of noting out-loud (the 4 combined) and 20' silent noting.

Noting Dynamics: The last few sessions were disappointing. Even though I was noting many thoughts as "not-mine", the territory was pretty unstable, like never being able to stay above water. So I decided to get back to noting out-loud, and stay at it long enough to put DÑ behind. It was a 30' work, noting at about 1-2 per second, which included mostly body sensations and feeling-tones by pairs. It was interesting to notice that there was a link between "contraction" or "tension" in the temples with "tightness" "hard" and "burn" in the throat area. Just a few seconds focusing in the throat and the hardness dissolves into "throbbing" and "vibrations". But there's "aversion" / resistance to let go tension in the temples and eyeballs, and when I focused there no vibration soever happened, but triggered tension/hardness in the throat. I tried to widen the span of attention in the eyes area, but it was not effective.

Nevertheless, the mind did sink (little) a few times, and when thoughts showed up it was possible to note them as "not-mine". Strangely, I noted "repeating", as when "phrases" appeared, many times I ended up repeating them consciously. Don't know why am I doing this. Is it that I want them "to be mine"? emoticon I ended up the session with no pain leg and feeling good. In general I end feeling neutral, so it was a nice change.

General Thoughts/Reflections: My new job workload was not as difficult as I anticipated, but I do get really tired to do the Four Foundations rounds in the morning. Will try to do them early in the afternoon, after nap.
What worked? What didn’t?: Noting out-loud pays back! I could dis-embed from many thoughts. Little "reporting", "mapping" and "speculating" notes.
Goal for Next Session: Stay in this mode long enough to stabilized Equanimity.
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/02/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 20' concentration (app). Downloaded the 2.0 version and a 30' long tape of iAwake that works with ReWire. Despite being tapping in the hard difficulty level, the combo (app+tape) allowed/trigger some pre-Jhana: flickering horizontal lights and then lights collapsing in a spiral at eye sight.
Length of Sit: 45' at noon
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: n/a
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Four Foundation Noting: 5' noting out-loud of physical sensations, noting silently 15' of and feeling-tone, noting silently 10' of mind-states and noting out-loud 10' of thoughts.
Noting Dynamics and General Thoughts/Reflections: As my 'strongest' point is noting physical sensations, I did only 5' to start the engine, and proceed to the rest. Also, I had already some momentum tapping silences with the app. I was planning to do 5' with feeling-tones too, but extended to 15' as it was a very productive practice. As I was already noticing all physical sensations, I used them as objects of attention to see in every one if there were "attraction", "aversion" or "neutral". Instead of noting pairs, I noticed the physical sensation and noted silently the feeling-tone. I could noticed that some are "subtle aversion" and others "gross aversion". So I used the same methodology that I already apply to physical sensations: repeatedly noted the aversion to see if there was a reaction. And it did happen! There were whole-body "letting go", sinking into deeper concentration. And I felt really good.

I wanted to stay in that practiced but knew I had to switch to mind-states and thoughts. Keeping in mind what it happened before, I tried to notice physical sensations and feeling-tones to see if I could note associated mind-states. This time it was not easy, but noted more ones than usual. Noted "calm", "acceptance", "disgust", "shame", "pride", "optimism". Then switched to thoughts, and by then I could hardly dis-embed from them. The strange and interesting thing was that doing the other three foundations noting, I caught myself many times dis-embed from thoughts that were spontaneously emerging. The funnier ones were: "You'll miss me" (the mind), and "In two minutes you'll fall asleep". emoticon Added: When I ended the practice, I lied down in bed to have some rest. I noticed a deep 8 seconds long low-pitch wave. Never had that one before. I guess it's some residue of the new app.

As a general reflection, that could be a productive way to enrich the noting from singles to pairs, triplets an quadruplets. If anyone is reading this, I would love to read some advice, comment or account of you practice.

Goal for Next Session: Do a longer sit just noting physical sensations and feeling-tones as I did today.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/03/2013 and 03/04/2013
Length of Sit: 40' in Sunday, 55' in Monday
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: n/a
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting out-loud only physical sensations and feeling-tone, while occasionally noticing mind-states and thoughts.
Noting Dynamics and General Thoughts/Reflections: The Sunday session was not very productive, I was sleepy and cut it earlier than planned. Nevertheless, noting feeling-tones did trigger whole body relaxation, though less than the day before, probably because I was very tired.

The Monday session was more productive than thought, as I'm still getting to know my new job and doing some work for my relocation into a new flat. Started noting body sensations only for 15-20' then switched to feeling-tones, and finally either noted both of them or one only. I was not very rigorous, just exploring the new practice. There were two interesting things happening. After the usual vibrations, warmth, tightness, tension and releases, there was a coolness in the lower abdomen (dantien) and lumbar region (mingmen) that stayed present all the session. I noticed attraction and/or neutral. But when the same coolness was noted at the Crown Chakra, I noted excitement and anticipation. [ Added: Several times, strong coolness in dantien were followed by expansive hot in the chest ]. Unlike the lower abdomen, the upper coolness (there were some previous tension in the area) didn't last more than 5'. This time the coolness didn't flow down to the Brow Chakra. I tried to explore the Dantien coolness, but I ended up transforming the cool vibrating area into a fast pulsing one. [ Added II: Forgot to mention that during the session, images of colors appeared briefly: yellow, red, green, violet. Green ones don't come often, and it's the first time there's a violet image. ]

The other interesting thing I noticed is that, I was not actually noting "seeing" as a physical sensation, but only when it where images-thoughts. I noticed that much of the physical sensations I note have a seeing label attached. It's like I adding some visualization of the body part every time I'm noting a physical sensation. When I noted seeing-seeing-seeing... there was a drop of tension and release in the sight. I also noticed that it's easier letting go the seeing tension when focusing in a distant part of the body, like hands, legs, lower abdomen, than when focused in the head. Happy with this discovery, I tried to note more "hearing" (I've been already doing this), "smell" and "taste".

I ended the session trying to decompose the "attractive" and "aversion" notes, into tinier components: attractive, aversion, neutral. It's a very exciting practice, there's a lot to do that I was not aware of.

Goal for Next Session: Keep doing this.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/05/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 2 x 20' stretching and Qigong plus 20' concentration (app). Before going for a nap a noon, I did some Qigong and noticed coolness at my upper back, the thoracic area, plus the usual strong vibrations. When I lied down on bed, I started samatha and after 2' I had a strong limbs jerk. I continued watching the body relaxing and probably had a micro-sleep, because all of a sudden I saw myself descending and my body (specially arms) like stone and with hot vibrations. After a minute, the stiffness relaxed somewhat but not all. What was new actually is that, even though I could feel body sensations and thoughts, I was not distracted and able to stay staring at the lights display. There was a proto-nimitta, with cloudy lights and then it transformed into more complex set of lights, like a bunch of semicircles with different (dull) colors.
Length of Sit: 60′ in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: A&P or Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting physical sensations out-loud for 20' and then added feeling-tones, noting both silently.
Noting Dynamics: Started noting with some tightness in the chest, vibrations in arms and torso, fullness in the hands. Just two minutes later, coolness was noted in the lower abdomen, and some time later coolness descending through my face. Briefly there was coolness in both the chest and the back (thoracic curve). There were no coolness in the mingmen like yesterday. Sometimes I was noting at around 1 per second, but many times I was noting only in the exhaling phase of the breathing cycle. At around the 20' mark I switched to silent noting and then mental noting of body sensations and feeling-tones, with a much heavier focus on the later ones. This, had a deepening relaxing effect, with more clear noticing of sensations and thoughts. A 50% of thoughts were seen as not-mine, as there were proto-thoughts or single words. Noted tastes and sounds. Taste was usually sweet, but I didn't find any clear connection to body sensations or thoughts. Sounds were high pitch but after trying to decomposed them, they disappeared leaving just sounds with much lower volume. I also noted analyzing, but no reporting (until the end).

When focusing in the attraction-aversion-neutrality of sensations, I noted that attractive ones had aversion notes and viceversa. This had a calming effect on both of them. Added: When noting feeling-tones, I observed the temperature and location (center or periphery) of attraction ones to aversion ones. By the end of the session I noted that the overall sensation was very good, calm and with no leg pain.

General Thoughts/Reflections: This was the session with the longest calmness, given by the combo of some increasing concentration and the feeling-tones noting as if they were body sensations. There were no DÑ stuff (other than some inquisitive proto-thoughts), I probably never reached EQ. But still, it was an interesting session.
What worked? What didn’t?: This time noting "seeing" didn't have the calming effect, just a few times.
Goal for Next Session: Keep doing this.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/06/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 20' stretching and Qigong.
Length of Sit: 60′ in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting physical sensations out-loud for 20' and then added feeling-tones, noting both silently, and whenever possible noting mind-states and thoughts.
Noting Dynamics: Noted vibrations in the torso, warmth, some tensions. Soon noted coolness in the lower abdomen and mingmen, and some time later coolness, vibrations and pulsing in the Brow Chakra and Chest. Then, stretching, and coolness pulsing in the Crown Chakra. Actually, the pulsing into space was felt 1-2 inches above the head. Noted seeing and hearing. Later, there was some tensions and contractions in the eyeballs, skull and throat, and some little tightness in the chest. When watched closely, the throat began to vibrate and felt coolness. Then some warmth/hot and back to coolness. The other cool spots kept cool all the session (when thoughts were proliferating, coolness went to background but was easily found). After 20' to 30' I switched to silent noting, noting both body sensations and feeling-tones. The tensions and tightness subsided, and noted calmness for a while. When thoughts showed up it was easy to note them as not-mine, at least in the first minutes when concentration was higher. Thoughts were also noted in pairs with "tensions in the skull/face". Every time there was a thought, I could sense those tensions. All steady body-sensations and thoughts were noted as unpleasant. I found relief only when that steadiness (uninterrupted) decomposed into vibrations or pulsing. On the contrary, calmness and 'empty clear sight' were noted attractive, but when felt steady I began to note some vibrations on the 'periphery'. Also investigated pleasantness inside pleasantness and vice versa. Ended the session with lots of speculations, reflections and reporting. No leg pain.

General Thoughts/Reflections: What a great session! emoticon Body-sensations and feeling-tones are like two sides of the coin. Now I understand why I didn't like even subtle tensions: anything that is felt solid is unpleasant. That's why when noting feeling-tones the body-sensation connected changes. Even ear-tones disappeared when observed as feeling-tone (and not as body-sensation).
What worked? What didn’t?: The general method works, and investigating pleasantness inside pleasantness and vice versa shows hidden stuff.
Goal for Next Session: Keep doing this.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/07/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 5' stretching and Qigong. Previously a really busy day, full with anxiety
Length of Sit: 35′ in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting physical sensations out-loud for 20' and then added feeling-tones, noting both silently, and whenever possible noting mind-states and thoughts.
Noting Dynamics: Full DÑ came in. Did note vibrations and the usual body sensations at the beginning. This time, coolness were noted only in the mingmen. Like some weeks before, the steamy pressure in the neck showed up. It didn't dissipate or changed. There were some tightness and contraction at the base of the throat, and little contractions and swirling in the chest. Noting the feeling-tones didn't make a change. Only 10% of thoughts and images were noted as not-mine. Words didn't have content, but images were sad. Felt grief for a couple of minutes (a closed neighbour recently died). At around 30' I was much more calm, but also dreamy and not noting thoughts. I ended the session earlier as I felt it was pointless.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/08/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 10' stretching and Qigong, 10' concentration (app).
Length of Sit: 30′ in the afternoon
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: n/a
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting physical sensations out-loud for 20' and then added feeling-tones, noting both silently, and whenever possible noting mind-states and thoughts.
Noting Dynamics: It was a quick session, I don't want to loose momentum. It was much like my last report, without coolness but also without the steamy collar at the neck. This time, there were few thoughts but persisting music coming in.
Goal for Next Session: Keep exploring aversion and craving with this method.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/09/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 10' stretching and Qigong.
Length of Sits: 60′ and 40' in the morning
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting physical sensations out-loud for 20' and then added feeling-tones, noting both silently, and whenever possible noting mind-states and thoughts.
Noting Dynamics: Started noting some tightness at the chest, spotted tension in the skull and face whenever thoughts showed up, vibrations came in much later than usual. The steamy collar at the neck didn't display this time, but there were some contractions at the chest that connected to the right side of the neck, probably a meridian. When I switched to silent noting, noted calmness, but also spacing out. My noting skills weren't sharp, I was noting just the obvious. Felt fine at times, but boredom sometimes too. In the end of the second sit, the leg pain came to the front stage. I could easily manage to focus on the feeling-tone of it and letting go of. But soon pain came back. After several rounds in a few minutes, my meditation was centered on this issue, so I gave up.
General Thoughts: The intense business week and fragmented sleep did harm my practice. But still there were good days, and interesting things emerged. I feel confident with this noting method.
Goal for Next Session: Keep exploring aversion and craving with this method. Switch back to out-loud noting when spacing out.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/12/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 30' stretching and Qigong, 15' concentration (app), 20' samatha watching whole body relaxed while laying in bed. In the last week I have noticed signs of rapture to 1st Jhana.
Length of Sits: just 30' in the afternoon
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting physical sensations out-loud for 20' and then added feeling-tones, noting both silently, and whenever possible noting mind-states and thoughts.
General Thoughts: I haven't done the whole Qigong set in the last two years, just the exercises that open and nurture the dantien and mingmen, as I know from the past that channeling energy into the the higher dantiens is problematic. Today, I tried the whole set to check if this +2 months of noting made a change. The answer is: sort of. It's true that pain disappeared and that tightness shattered into vibrations, but instead while in sitting meditation, an uneasy hot was noted in the chest and back, even after taking all clothes. .
What worked, what didn't: It work to get back to the zafu after two restless days. But couldn't get deep because of the Qigong experiment.
Noting Dynamics: Noted vibrations in the lower torso at the beginning, with some waves/contractions in the chest, and tension in arms and head. Vibrations in the Brow Chakra. Vibrations (and no tension or "steam pressure") in the throat. Noted physical sensations (PS) not as fast as two weeks ago. When switched to feeling-tones (FT), sometimes tightness disappear, not always. I noted pairs (PS+FT) from time to time when noticed I was loosing concentration. I decided to switch to noting thoughts. And suddenly, the relative calmness was gone in a second, with hot and painful tightness in the throat. Then really hot in the chest and back, and didn't know how to handle it.
Goal for Next Session: Keep exploring aversion and craving with this method. Switch back to out-loud noting when spacing out. Just do the usual Qigong subset.

Added: I forgot to write something important. When noting "seeing" repeatedly, there was a change of perspective of sight, like watching (with eyes closed) from below the eyes level. I have experienced this many many times in Taichi exercises, but never on cushion until yesterday. I guess this is The Witness?
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/14/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 10' stretching and Qigong. Added: it has became easier to note thoughts as not-self off cushion
Length of Sits: 50' in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting physical sensations for 20' and then added feeling-tones, first noting both out-loud and then silently, and whenever possible noting mind-states and thoughts.
General Thoughts: At a point in the practice, when noting out-loud I noted boredom and speculate about that boredom and its probable corresponding ñana, or if I have derailed from good practice habit. But when I went to silent noting, I could connect clearly feeling-tones and thoughts. I'm starting to think that feeling-tones are like the pivot of the noting practice.
What worked, what didn't: There were very little planning thoughts, remembering thoughts and fantasies with this method, as it all pivots around feeling-tones.
Noting Dynamics: Noted vibrations in the lower torso, tinglings and warmth in the hands, tightness and tension in the left shoulder, sparse tightness in the throat (which already is vibrating when noted) and the chest free from tightness and contraction. Instead, noted tightness in the lower ribs (an old time postural problem). When corrected the curve in my lower back, noted cold in mingmen and dantien. I forced myself to note at a faster rate, as I tend to do notes only in the exhale of breath. I can keep the 1 notes per second (out-loud) only for a few minutes. Then I switched to note feeling-tones out-loud. Did that for 10', just labeling the feeling-tone part of the body sensations I was already noticing. Then I went on noting silently. This time, more subtle physical and mental things showed up. The good news is that 70-80% of mental phenomena were noted as not-self. There were full words, ill formed words, a few phrases and some words of songs. And many of them (when not happening fast) lead to physical sensations. So it goes full circle! emoticon A couple of times, the sight widen and the body felt easy, light. Ended with some warmth / hot in the legs, not painful just fine and noted anticipation.
Goal for Next Session: Keep exploring aversion and craving with this method.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/16/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 20' stretching and Qigong.
Length of Sits: 50' in the morning
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting physical sensations for 20' and then added feeling-tones, first noting both out-loud and then silently, and whenever possible noting mind-states and thoughts.
General Thoughts: How can "relief" be classified in the feeling-tone spectrum? It's not only the release of tensions, but also the absence of them...
What worked, what didn't: I could note thoughts as not-mine, and stay longer in a jhanic-like state noting. The problem is that if I'm very active noting things, I get out of it.
Noting Dynamics: Started noting tightness, contractions and tensions, but no vibrations, despite doing Qigong right before sitting. At the 10' mark I switched from noting body sensations to feeling-tones. Noted some tightness in the skull turning into pleasant coolness flowing down to the Brow Chakra. Noted feeling-tones in pair with the corresponding body sensations. Most unpleasant ones. There were pleasant ones connected to warmth. But there were other oddly related pleasant tones through relief and openness tension-free sight. Lots of thoughts came in, and fast, most of them (specially the simple ones) were noted as not mine. Navigated through sleepiness for a while. At the 10-15 last minutes the sleepiness disappeared and felt fine, and could kept noting till the end.
Goal for Next Session: Keep exploring aversion and craving with this method.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/18/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 10' stretching and Qigong. Even though it was a long and busy day with little and sparse sleep, I was anxious to start the new aversion noting practice.
Length of Sits: 50' in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting physical sensations first out loud and later silently, next aversion parameter evaluation.
General Thoughts:
* aversion tends to grow before it subsides.
* when noting aversion in the head, it usually expands to other areas of the front and sides of the head, not the back
* when noting aversion in other body part (eg. legs), aversion is noted too in the face and skull
* if when noting aversion, thoughts arise (analyzing, reporting, fantasies), then aversion grows.
* If aversion subsided in one place, it grew in another, usually next to it. If the were a compounded aversion (eg. legs + skull), it subsided in both places at the same time. It's the broader awareness that trigger the passing of aversion.
What worked, what didn't: I was able to put into practice the parameter evaluation, but couldn't reach aversion-0, to explore what happens there.
Aversion baseline: 3 , low point: 1, high point: 4
Noting Dynamics: Noted vibrations in the lower torso, ticklings in the face and some tightness and tensions in the face and skull at the beginning. Also vibrations and warmth in the Brow Chakra. There weren't any tightness and contractions in the chest and throat, that certainly show up when I have very busy days. Noted out loud body sensations not very fast, one every 3-5 seconds. I hurried the pace for some minutes but later went back to cruiser mode. I noted that out loud noting was being harsh on me, my voice triggering spams and stings in the belly. When I switched to silent noting I noted an immediate relief. Body sensations were scarce and sight wider. After a few minutes I introduced the aversion parameter evaluation.

Noted aversion in the eyeball area, that spread to the temples. It's pattern was a3-a4-spread to temples a4-a4-a3-a2. After, there were a couple of rounds with this same pattern. Also, there were times when instead of contraction at the temples, there was a big hot balloon growing in the chest-head. These times aversion lasted longer before fading. Aversion in one place couldn't go below a1~a2 as then aversion grew stronger (a3) in another place, catching all attention. The was another pattern though, when I noted aversion arise and beginning to pass 3-4-4-3-2, when thoughts came in and trigger an a3 in the head. A significant a4 was a fear-related fantasy. I noticed expectation at a1~a2 level, which did trigger thoughts. When aversion was noted in two places at a time (one triggered by the other), aversion subsided to a1~a2 level simultaneously, after I broaden awareness to both but with some inclination towards head tensions. At the end I switched attention to the eyeballs, as it has been productive in past sessions, showing how short relief is (a1~a2), as there's a high aversion baseline (a3).
Goal for Next Session: Keep exploring the aversion parameter evaluation.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/19/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 15' stretching and Qigong. While practicing, noted cool flow running down from hips to legs, and vibrations at the upper torso.
Length of Sits: 60' in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting physical sensations first out loud and later silently, next aversion parameter evaluation.
General Thoughts:
* the real problem is aversion to aversion, and trying to escape from it by refocusing attention somewhere else or trying to dissolve it into tinier pieces. Instead, this time when noted aversion I kept there no matter what. And given some time, aversion lessen from level 3 to level 2 or 1.
* when noting aversion in the head, a few times noted aversion in the hands too (not only in the head as yesterday).
What worked, what didn't: I was able to stay put and really let the aversion pass away (lessen) but when being in level 1 anxiety grew, kicking me out to level 3 again.
Aversion baseline: 3 , low point: 1, high point: 3
Noting Dynamics: Despite having felt vibrations and cool sensations in hips and legs during Qigong, when I sat on the zafu those sensations were gone. Instead, there were tightness and tensions in the head, arms and belly. And soon noted the hot balloon in the torso, like yesterday. I checked my posture and after correcting the lumbar curve and some displacement to the left, a cooling and bubbling sensation run up from the upper torso almost to the top of the head. This coolness stayed for at least half the session. ( Added: There were some coolness in the chest too, but it was rather faint. Nevertheless, the surprise is that there were no tightness and tension in the chest and throat. ) Later, noted some tightness and pressure in the Crown Chakra. Today, body sensations were noted at one per 3-5 seconds. I didn't hurry the pace and did the noting whispering.

When I switched to (silent) aversion parameter evaluation, the baseline was level 3, but never grew to 4. Instead, the aversion L3 was jumping from one place to another. After some time, I noted that there's a mental component of aversion which triggers me off it, to chase another aversion somewhere else. It's like "aversion to aversion". So, instead I stayed with the aversion level 3 without trying to comprehend/analyze it, or trying to dissolve it into tinier pieces. Just kept there, like "surrendering" to aversion, but without the immediate relief. Not long after, aversion went down to level 2. So I reflected that I was camouflaging anxiety by trying to do something with the thing that triggered aversion. By the way, there were lots of analyzing/reporting thoughts during the session. I didn't fight it as I'm starting out with the new practice. I could every now and then note some thoughts and sounds as not-mine, but the focus was on aversion.

Happily, I stayed many times long enough on level 2, and in a few of them went down to level 1. At level 1, I couldn't stay long. The time I stayed longer I noticed that still there's some global tension that triggered aversion. Another time, there were some pre-jhana circling lights showing up and anxiety/anticipation grew so I was kicked out to level 2/3 again.
Goal for Next Session: Keep exploring the aversion parameter evaluation.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/20/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: yesterday I had only 5 hours of rest in the last 24 hours
Length of Sits: 30' in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting physical sensations first out loud and later silently, next aversion parameter evaluation.
General Thoughts:
* despite being exhausted, I just sat for 30 minutes not to loose consistency. I was expecting a bad session, but it turned out to be an interesting one.
* I noticed that aversion is a function of a sense of solidity. The lower the former, the lower is the later.
What worked, what didn't: n/a
Aversion baseline: 3 , low point: 1, high point: 3
Noting Dynamics: Noted vibrations at the torso, some stings and tightness in the head, warmth in the hands. Then hot in the upper torso and head. At around the 5' mark, the hot balloon went away and a pleasant coolness was noted in the dantien, which stay all the session. I switched to silent noting to deepen the awareness of subtle sensations. After some time, a hot sensation was noted at the dantien. The dantien was hot in the center and cool in the periphery. I checked other parts of the body, and noted some subtle cool sensations in the chest and Brow Chakra.

When I switched to aversion parameter evaluation, the baseline was level 3, never grew to 4, and a few times went down to leve 1. I noted aversion 2 in the cool dantien, which stayed pretty the same during the session. When noted aversion somewhere else, like the eyeballs, I stayed there surrendering until the it went down from 3 to 2 to 1. I noticed that in level 2 and 1 there is a lighter sense of solidity. That is, the perception of solidity vanishes with lower aversion, hand in hand.
Goal for Next Session: Keep exploring the aversion parameter evaluation.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/21/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: another 5 hours sleep today. Did 5' stretching and Qigong. Noted coolness in the dantien (first time in a moving meditation).
Length of Sits: 50' in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: noting physical sensations first out loud and later silently, next aversion parameter evaluation.
General Thoughts:
* Tonight I jumped to early into aversion noting, not giving enough time to run through ñanas noting physical sensations. The interesting thing is that I could see how ñanas are shown through aversion.
What worked, what didn't: .........................
Aversion baseline: 2~3 , low point: 1, high point: 4
Noting Dynamics: Started with tightness in the chest, but it wasn't painful. Shortly after, it vibrated (on the edges). Next, vibrations at the lower torso, with occasional stings, spams and tightness too. This time, there was no hot expansive sensations anywhere. Instead, coolness showed up in the dantien and inner thighs. Then, noted coolness in the Brow Chakra, and warmth in the chest. It was funny that I could note coolness high and low, but with warmth in the middle.

I switched to aversion parameter evaluation. This time, there were no contractions whatsoever in the eyeballs, something that rarely happens. Noted aversion 2, which stay for a while until some thoughts kicked me out to level 3. Next, there was a very unpleasant sensations, like wanting to throw up, that run from the lower dantien up to the face. Noted aversion 4. Still, noted it as something curious, and reflected that I was walking through dukka ñanas with this aversion noting practice. Then, there were contradicting sensations, with aversion 3 in the center of the chest and aversion 2 in the periphery. Later, I could note in slow motion how a sneeze was building up. Let it do its thing, noted aversion 3 and stay watching if it could be avoided, soon after I sneezed big, which felt like relief (wouldn't know how to note it as a level of aversion).

Goal for Next Session: Keep exploring the aversion parameter evaluation.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/27/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: I finally ended moving my stuff to the new flat. There's more noice here (a busy street full of cars and buses) but al least there isn't a water bomb and a air-compressor right behind me.
Length of Sits: 55' in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: (sparse) silent noting and then (sparse) aversion parameter evaluation.
General Thoughts:
* Despite having to stop the practice for almost a week, the cool sensations seems to keep spreading through the legs and the front line (head-torso).
* Many times I noticed that with that coolness context, when I got engaged in mental chatter my face turns hot. Before, it was happening in a broader space (chest and head).
* Coolness rank low in the Aversion-meter, but it triggers expectation/anticipation. Probably it's just a mater of time until I get use to it.
What worked, what didn't: n/a
Aversion baseline: 3 , low point: 2, high point: 4
Noting Dynamics: Noted hot and cool sensations in the torso and head. No vibrations then. Changed the posture to correct a bent lower back and lateral imbalance of shoulders. Soon coolness started to flow from dantien to inner thighs. Later it will reach the feet, something that never happened before in a sit. Noted discomfort in my throat, which hadn't showed up since early March. When focusing the attention there, it started to vibrate and ultimately vanished or went thin enough that other sensation won my attention.

When I focus the attention in the skull, almost inmediatelly there's some stretching, Crown & Brow Chakra activation and warmth/cool flow. Tonight I changed the attention to the top of the spine, when it connects to the skull, that is the opposite of the Brow Chakra. Noted coolness in both opposite places and some flow in the skull. But soon after there was some uneasiness (like nausea) in the chest. It happened twice during the session, so I reflected that there's some connection and not just some random sensation.

Later I switched to aversion parameter evaluation. It wasn't a very strict practice, just tried to get back to the job. The general level was aversion 3. There were some surrendering/diving moments to aversion 1~2 but soon after aversion/fear brought me back to aversion 3. In general, going down one level happens when there's a whole body-mind awareness, that is to say, when the focus isn't narrow but broad.

Goal for Next Session: Keep exploring the aversion parameter evaluation, and relate coolness with aversion and expectation.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 03/30/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: help today a friend with his move to another flat (I'm becoming an expert emoticon ) so I had some minor aches in the lower ribs.
Length of Sits: 2 x 45' in the afternoon
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: first session just choiceless awareness; second session noting out loud physical sensations, then silently feeling-tones and thoughts, and finally aversion parameter evaluation (APE).
General Thoughts:
* Coolness keeps spreading and easily shows up and flow down from the top of the head. Minor uneasiness in the chest. No problem in the throat.
* Thoughts (which are noted as not-self) arise mostly at the beginning of the in-breath, and occasionally in the out-breath.
* A couple of times spotted aversion 0 in a narrow focus, which triggered spaciousness and calmness. Just a few seconds latter, aversion grew on a general whole-body basis.
* In between sessions, lying in bed I noticed that (pre-Jhana) tension arises on its own, with no aversion triggering it.
What worked, what didn't: it has worked to change from a broad to a narrow focus in APE. This is the first time I did two sessions in a row.
Aversion baseline: 3 , low point: 0, high point: 4
Noting Dynamics: In the first session I just corrected the body, did a few notes on physical sensations but just watched thoughts and physical sensations, in particular how coolness spreads on its own but is also responsive to will. What was interesting is that I could see the pattern of thoughts arising with the breath cycle. Mostly appeared in the beginning of the in-breath and only a few in the out-breath.

In the second session, started noting warmth and hotness in the arms and torso, stings in the lower ribs, coolness in the dantien and down from the crown to the brow chakra (later felt too in the opposite point of brow chakra). Then vibrations set in, but just little. With no Qigong practice for over a week, the big vibrations went down, but little ones still spreading from the lower torso to the arms. Later switched to feeling-tones noting, all of them related to physical sensations. Then, focused in APE. Aversion baseline was 3. I narrow the aversion focus into specific physical sensations. They went down from 3 to 2 or 1. Sometimes, after vibrating they disappeared. A couple of times it went down to aversion 0, and there was a sense of spaciousness and calmness. Just watching with no intention. The first time it lasted longer (~10-15 seconds) the second just a few seconds.

Goal for Next Session: Keep exploring the APE, and relate coolness with aversion and expectation. Note feeling-tones before APE, and link them to thoughts.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 04/01/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: yesterday I had a headache so I skipped the practice. Today I tried Justin's Mind Blown app for a few minutes and then use it in my first sit. 15 minutes stretching and Qigong (which I needed). Just before sitting, I had fearful fantasies to other stuff (which I noted as aversion to sit).
Length of Sits: 45' and 30' in the afternoon
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: first session I noted with the app for 24 minutes and the rest was choice-less awareness; second session noting out loud physical sensations, then silently feeling-tones and thoughts, and briefly APE.
General Thoughts:
* Even though I know I'm noting more than one sensation per second and perhaps on average one ever 1.5 seconds, with the app I get to know that the gap is 3.5 seconds !!!
* Today it was hard work to climb past DÑ.
What worked, what didn't: Able to do two sessions in a row, and against all odds tap Low EQ.
Aversion baseline: 3 , low point: 0, high point: 4
Noting Dynamics: In the first session, with the app I noted mainly physical sensations. Noted lots of tightness, itches, heat, tension. Then, some coolness in the dantien and mingmen and later vibrations in the column and arms. There were some pressure in the crown, not pleasurable but painless. When I switched to choice-less awareness (app off), I noted lots of proto-thoughts and noted them as not-self. Some discomfort in the chest, tightness in the temples and the throat. Nothing serious but persistent. Then there was coolness in the lower and high abdomen, the top of the head and some mix sensations in the chest (uneasiness and coolness), but had hot temperature in the face, specially when some thoughts were doing its things. Briefly noted calmness and spaciousness at the end of the session.

In the second session, the coolness was already present and the uneasiness in the chest too. It kept there for long, adding discomfort in the throat and some light tensions in the head. When noting feeling-tones, most were unpleasant or neutral. Relief (vanishing) was the only pleasant sensations. At some point of time there was coolness running up from the neck almost to the Crown. I tried to call the opening of the Crown Chakra. A few seconds later it open, and some cool sensations (mixed with unpleasant things and warmer sensations) flew down to the Brow Chakra. Noted again coolness in the lower and upper torso and the top of the head, but heat in the face. I did very little APE noting, but the general baseline was 3. I noted the vibrations in column from the neck upwards. After a minute or so, aversion 3 went down to zero. I proceed to note the same at the top of the column, and it was more difficult but finally the vibrations vanished. I ended the session shortly after, as the leg was giving pain, and there is much more harder to let go.
Goal for Next Session: Keep exploring the APE, and relate coolness with aversion and expectation. Note feeling-tones before APE, and link them to thoughts.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 04/02/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: 15' of stretching and Qigong.
Length of Sits: 45' in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: 20' noting with the app, then physical sensations noting silently, added later feeling-tones, and briefly APE.
General Thoughts:
* Tried again timing the seconds per note gap, and it's 1.7, much what I've previously thought. I'll check for some days more, to be sure I'm not spacing out too much.
* Reached Low EQ faster this time, while noting with the app.
* When reaching aversion zero (getting to it faster), spaciousness and coolness spread.
What worked, what didn't: n/a
Aversion baseline: 3 , low point: 0, high point: 3
Noting Dynamics: I'll have to change the method and take some written notes after the session, because I cannot accurately recall the dynamics of the session. When noting with the app I was much more concentrated, and only a few thoughts did arise. Went through the A&P stuff, mild DÑ signs (some uneasiness in the chest and upper back). Had coolness spread in the front and back, up the spine, down to the Brow Chakra, and down the abdomen. Noted pleasant cool sensations in the dantien. When doing the APE stuff, at aversion zero the narrow sensation spotted finally vanished and displayed spaciousness and cool sensations.
Goal for Next Session: Do the aversion noting seriously for 20 minutes or more, don't hang up too much exploring the cool sensations.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 04/04/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: runny nose, overwhelmed by the new tasks at the 14 hours long daily job
Length of Sits: 45' in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: 10' noting with the app, then physical sensations noting silently, added briefly feeling-tones, and then APE.
General Thoughts:
* Reached Low EQ while noting with the app.
* When reaching aversion zero, things vanished, but when I tried to broaden the area of attention, when the aversion vanished in the new spot, the aversion surfaced again in the older spot.
* Mix flows of heat and coolness in the dantien. Coolness only in the Third Eye.
* There's a position of the eyes (up and somewhere to the right) where there's a general sense of aversion zero.
What worked, what didn't: it stroke me how near Low EQ was, despite having little concentration due to the running nose.
Aversion baseline: 3 , low point: 0, high point: 3
Noting Dynamics: Noted fast, silently physical sensations for 10 minutes. Without my Qigong practice, vibrations came in late. There were a few tensions in the eyeballs and twitches in the face, but no problems in the throat or chest. Spaciousness settled in even while noting fast, which surprised me, and usually I had to take a lay back position for it to happen. Next, did a few feeling-tones notes and then started with APE. Even with poor concentration, tensions vanished when reaching aversion zero. I tried to apply it to leg pain with mixed results (aversion 2 was the lowest point), and to coolness/heat in the dantien with no results. Noted that there is a position of the eyes (up and somewhere to the right) where there's a general sense of aversion zero.
Goal for Next Session: Explore this eyes position.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 04/05/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: n/a
Length of Sits: 30' in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: DÑ / Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: 10' noting with the app, 20' noting silently the 4F plus APE.
General Thoughts:
* Finally the tension & discomfort in the solar plexus appeared, which I was expecting as it has been a problem spotted long ago in Taichi.
* When reaching aversion zero, spaciousness happens but next builds up expectation which tense up in the jaw and the crown.
* What I found is that if penetrating the object of observation, the thing vanishes but there's left some tension, that quickly builds up somewhere near. Instead, if I "touch" lightly the object, the aversion goes down to zero. This is related with what I wrote in the previous report about the eyes staring upwards and to the side.
Aversion baseline: 3 , low point: 0, high point: 3
Noting Dynamics: n/a
Goal for Next Session: n/a.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 04/08/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: I was experimenting a mild DÑ throughout the past 7-10 days off-cushion, but when on meditation the symptoms were even fewer, and I was able to reach Low EQ, meaning calmness and spaciousness, coupled with intermittent discomfort in throat, chest and skull. As I'm no expert, it was not easy to know if what I was experimenting off-cushion was DÑ, as I was struggling with daily life problems (new +12 hours long job with only 3-4hs sleep before working, just moved to a new home, and domestic issues). I was expecting for DÑ some nightmares or throwing-up off cushion, or lots of strange images on-cushion. But none of them happen. Instead, there was only irritation, headaches at the evening and lots of aversion thoughts or melodies in my head (which usually are my daily "jhanas" as I'm an amateur musician, but lately they were invasive, like thought-looping). Last Sunday, it was the peak of DÑ and ended with a lovers' quarrel. Paradoxically, on Monday I woke up fresh, with a clean mind, and no headaches.

But DÑ isn't totally over. Today, I woke up from the nap in what looks like 3rd Jhana, with a growing display of dark-colored tibetan-arabic patterns moving in 2D/3D. In the past few days, I had some similar patterns but with luminous whitish colors.

Length of Sits: 45' in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: Low EQ
Meditative Techniques Utilized: 10' noting with the app, 35' noting silently the 4FN plus APE.
General Thoughts:
* There's still some DÑ discomfort in the chest, but coupled with coolness flowing down to the dantien. This time there was no coolness in the Crown and Brow Chakras.
Aversion baseline: 3 , low point: 0, high point: 4
Noting Dynamics: Before the meditation did 15' of stretching and Qigong. Nevertheless, when sitted I didn't start in A&P as usual but in the 3C's, with some twitches, stings and correcting posture. After 10' I was noting vibrations and coolness in the dantien and mingmen. Noted also lots of reporting thoughts and also proto-thoughts. When left behind the app, and started to note feeling-tones, there were a couple of fear thoughts and images, and throat vibrations. Then there were coolness flowing down from the throat to the chest and to the dantien. No coolness in the skull this time. The APE noting sucked, was not able to do much despite giving it more time of the sit, but at least there were one time reaching aversion zero, sinking into a spacious darkness.
Goal for Next Session: Resume the daily practice and reporting.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 04/10/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: When laying down in bed, I had a samatha experience, still being able to do some noting (I tried it on purpose) and not disturb by outward noise. I felt descending below my body, which correlated with eyes sight going higher.
b]Length of Sits: first 40', second 25' in the evening
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: A&P
Meditative Techniques Utilized: First sit: 10' physical sensations silent noting with the app, 35' noting silently the 4FN plus APE. Second sit: feeling-tones silent noting, general out-loud noting, choiceless awareness.
General Thoughts:
* Getting back to the beginning. Vibrations were the cutting edge of the meditation. No coolness but warmth. Lots of thoughts (though proto-thoughts noted as not-self), many of the reporting ones. I switched to out-loud noting as nothing was working, even though I'm not feeling tired, irritation was gone, and had a satisfactory day-job.
Aversion baseline: n/a
Noting Dynamics: not relevant
Goal for Next Session: Do some days of out-loud noting to get back on track.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 04/12-04/13-04/14
Pre-Meditative Context: 10' stretching and Qigong. Went to zafu with vibrations on torso and limbs
b]Length of Sits: 35', 30', 35'
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:
Meditative Techniques Utilized: 10' physical sensations silent noting with the app, rest of time noting out-loud or silently whichever was best for the situation. Added some feeling-tones silent noting and APE.
General Thoughts:
* Unempowering thoughts because of sliding-back
* Sweet taste below the tip of the tongue in the three sessions
* Sometimes the Crown Chakra opens, but instead of coolness, warmth flows down to the Brow Chakra
Aversion baseline: ---
Noting Dynamics: First with the app: outward noise, tightness, heat, stings, tension, release, thoughts, sweet taste. When switched off the app: subtle vibrations in the arms, heat and warmth, light tightness in the throat. Vibrations when looking closer to objects. Then fear images and lots of thoughts. Thinking about quitting meditation for a while.
Goal for Next Session: Keep doing out-loud noting to get back on track.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 04/15/13
Pre-Meditative Context: OBE when laying in bed before going to sleep. 15' ReWire concentration app. 10' stretching and Qigong.
b]Length of Sits: 40'
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: A&P
Meditative Techniques Utilized: out-loud and silent noting. Added some feeling-tones silent noting and APE.
General Thoughts:
* Felt good after the session
* Getting back to the concentration practice through the app seems (and feels) like the right decision nowadays.
Aversion baseline: ---
Noting Dynamics: Noise, tightness, twitches & stings, tension, release, vibrations, thoughts, sweet taste. Vibrations steadily showing in the shoulders and arms. Then coolness appeared in the mingmen (lumbar region) and with time expanded to the cervical and then the neck. When trying to reach the Crown, it triggered tightness in the throat (it didn't seem to be a postural problem). When looked closer to this discomfort or other places, vibrations were already there and going deeper, the discomfort had no center. Some pre-jhana lights. Scattered along the sit, there were some of the abstract colored images I posted months ago. No fear images this time. Lots of thoughts, some about reporting other loop-thinking, little seen as not-self. Ended with no leg pain (but really hadn't have spent much time on the sit).
Goal for Next Session: Keep doing out-loud noting to get back on track and the concentration practice.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 04/18/13 and 04/19/13
Pre-Meditative Context: Yesterday, waking up from an unknown event and witnessing some kind of 3rd Jhana visual stuff. Today, waking up with aversion to energetic phenomena, which was colliding some protecting bubble at my side. Before the session, 10' ReWire concentration app plus 5' stretching and Qigong.
b]Length of Sits: 45'
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:
Meditative Techniques Utilized: out-loud and silent noting. At the end of the session silent noting feeling-tones and APE.
General Thoughts:
* The concentration practice gives a difference in meditation
* I'm noting not-self thoughts more frequently off-cushion
* Aversion to street noise went down significantly, almost at ease with it
* Today it was a long walk to cross the DÑ, which I hadn't crossed completely, but felt that the symptoms were mild and easy to cope with.
Aversion baseline: 2
Noting Dynamics: Started with calmness and spaciousness, which I usually note by the end of sessions. Soon noted
outside noise, tightness, postural discomfort, tension in many places, fine vibrations in the shoulders, thoughts, heat. Sweet taste didn't show up today. The Brow Chakra woke up, with bubbling sensations and some cool/warmth mix. Later, inner noise (for the first time in a week), fine vibrations in the whole torso and arms. Soon after, mild discomfort in the chest, with heavier vibrations. Then, some tightness and vibrations in the throat, which then transformed in a wider heat strip at my right side connecting the upper chest to the throat. Stayed present for a long time. Spaced out several times, perhaps for a minute or more. In the mix, coolness appeared in the lower back, and then spread through the inner thighs, oddly bypassing the dantien. Then the coolness went up through the back, and at chest level there was an odd spot where coolness started to spin for some minutes. There were times in the second half of the session when I noted coolness in the lower torso and heat in the upper torso and head. Unfortunately I had to stop the session as I was late for my Taichi class.
Goal for Next Session: Keep doing out-loud noting to get back on track and the concentration practice.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 04/20/13 and 04/21/13
Pre-Meditative Context: 15' ReWire concentration app plus 15' stretching and Qigong.
Length of Sits: 20' on Saturday and 60' on Sunday
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: ???
Meditative Techniques Utilized: out-loud and silent 4FN. At the end of the session APE.
General Thoughts:
* After some post exchanges with a fellow practitioner, I return to detailed noting of thoughts
* By noting thoughts, spacing out was shortened a lot
* Much of the not-self thoughts are related to mind-states
Aversion baseline: ~2
Noting Dynamics: Started with tightness, twitches, stings, outer & inner noise, fine vibrations in the shoulders, thoughts. No heat, sweet taste or discomfort. Some bubbling sensations between the Crown and Brow Chakra, with a cool/warmth mix. This time there were no tightness nor discomfort in the chest and throat area. Instead, as I noted thoughts in detail, there was an ever present tension in the skull, temples and cheeks. Aversion 2 to those tensions, with little reduction when focusing on a spot. Little spacing out. Coolness in the lower back, which spread to the front and inner thighs, but didn't went up to the neck.

When noting thoughts, at first noted remembering, fantasy, analyzing. Then, analyzing and (a lot of) rehearsing. Some images-thoughts showed up. At the end, planning, analyzing and rehearsing. The not-self thoughts that weren't ill-formed words or phrases, were related to mental-states, like surprise, worry, relief/understanding, upset.
Goal for Next Session: Keep doing the 4FN & the concentration practice.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 04/22/13 and 04/23/13
Pre-Meditative Context: 10' ReWire concentration app, 10' stretching and Qigong.
Length of Sits: 60' on Monday and 60' on Tuesday
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session:
Meditative Techniques Utilized: out-loud and silent 4FN. At the end of the session APE.
General Thoughts:
* Much of the not-self thoughts are related to mind-states such as amaze, upset, condemn, fear and specially judgmental
* Played with questioning (why?) when those mental states showed up, and in many cases it triggered the stilling of the mind. Later, EIS explained that that wasn't the actual practice he was suggesting, but nevertheless I found it interesting.
Aversion baseline: I now understand that aversion should be evaluated not only on its physical response but also mental side.
Noting Dynamics: Heat, tightness, twitches, stings, outer & inner noise, fine vibrations in the shoulders and the head, remembering, fantasy, analyzing, rehearsing, discomfort, spacing-out, bubbling sensations in the skull, later coolness in the Brow Chakra and lower back. Next, cooling sensation running up through the back to chest level, and then by sections the neck up to the Crown and down to the Brow Chakra. Yet, no calmness, throat tightness never passed away. Oddly, tension in the head didn't appear until late in the session.
Goal for Next Session: Keep doing the 4FN & the concentration practice.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 04/24/13
Pre-Meditative Context: Throat discomfort throughout the day. 5' stretching and Qigong, Noted vibrations on the back and dantien right before sitting.
Length of Sits: 45'
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: ???
Meditative Techniques Utilized: silent noting and writing labels down every 2-3 minutes.
General Thoughts:
* During the first half of the session, noted chest tightness right after writing labels down. The tightness passed away in 10-30 seconds.
* Lots of reporting thoughts, because of the writing labels down. Couldn't get any deep because of this too.
Aversion baseline: n/a

Noting Dynamics / Chronological Order: Vibrations, outside noise, heat in the head, mild discomfort in the chest, disgust~nausea at the throat, remembering, vibrations, discomfort gone at chest and throat, sneezed twice, outside noise, vibrations at the torso and head, inner noise, seeing, vibrations in the dantien (lower belly), remembering, coolness at the Crown Chakra, pulsing skull, tension in the jaw, calmness, coolness in the Brow Chakra, agitation in the chest, release tension in the skull, coolness in the Brow Chakra, agitation, calmness, cool dantien, agitation and cool chest, cool arms, heat at the crossed foot, remembering, faster vibrations in the arms, melody, head tension, coolness release at the skull and temples, seeing darkness, jaw tension release, vibrations in the head, thought out of the blue "How? The patriots?", reporting, heat and tigh foot, cool neck, release tension, agitation, coolness running down from Crown to Brow Chakra, tight chest, cool head flowing down to chest, cool arms, reporting, jaw tension release, seeing dark then flickering, remembering, melody, tight leg, heat leg, seeing lights, analyzing, tension release in the head, out of the blue thought "Tell a story", agitation, arm spams, cool head, melody, disgust, heat head, heat, vibrations in the head and torso, release tension, startling outside noise, read abstract image, heat leg, heat head, cool Brow, release tension, vibrations in the chest, cool torso, analyzing, tense jaw, heat leg, cool chest, vibrations at the torso and head, tension in the Brow, heat leg, analyzing, jaw tension, release, seeing dark, aversion to lights, out of the blue thought "Ohh, what then?", heat leg, heat torso, bell alarm rings.

Goal for Next Session: Keep doing the 4FN & the concentration practice.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 04/25/13
Pre-Meditative Context: waking up from a nap a being able to jump into a HD colorful (amazing but mundane) scenario. It has been happening (in varying degrees) in the last few days. Still trying not to spoil it with anticipation, etc.
Length of Sits: 40'
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: n/a
Meditative Techniques Utilized: silent noting and writing labels down every 2-3 minutes.
General Thoughts:
* Instead of building tension because of leg pain, changed the position around the middle of the session
* Noticed I'm not noting enough the 3C's.
Aversion baseline: n/a
Noting Dynamics / Chronological Order: Vibrations at the torso and head, foot pain, tension at the shoulders, vibrations, cool lower back, agitation, twitches in the face, mapping, coolness at lower back and dantien, thought, heat in the head, reporting, vibrations, cool dantien, twitches in the arms, tension in the shoulders, lost in thoughts, cool dantien, tension in the shoulders, remembering, analyzing, released tension in the jaws, nausea, pulse in the throat, released tension in the jaws, vibrations, dissolved into tinnier vibrations, "don't know if you have realized", bubblinh right jaw, "it is not mine", "Néstor" (!!), mild discomfort in the chest, vibrations in the chest, "what took you?" (to get it done), rehearsing, chest discomfort, vibrations, vibrations passed away, "let it go" , leg pain, changed legs position, pulse in the head, calmness, cool chest, vibrations in the throat, hunger, coolness in the lower back, bubbling dantien, calmness, mapping (3C's), "it's magic", vibrations, bubbling skull, coolness flows down to the Brow Chakra, "are you afraid?", lost in thoughts, cool Brow Chakra, cool dantien, "you lost it dumb-ass", cool brow chakra, calmness, seeing (darkness), smell of roses, nice smell, "Now", calmness, remembering, sting in the neck. Time is up.
Goal for Next Session: Keep doing the 4FN & the concentration practice.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 04/28/13
Pre-Meditative Context: 10' concentration app, 10' stretching & qigong
Length of Sits: 45'
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: n/a
Meditative Techniques Utilized: silent noting and writing labels down every 5-10 minutes.
Noting Dynamics / Chronological Order: "food", heat, jaw release, foot pain, calmness, vibrations up the spine, spine humming/vibrating, chest discomfort, vibration in the dantien, agitation, tension release, coolness in dantien and lower back, coolness grows, heat limbs and face (cool/heat mix in the skull), analyzing, coolness/calmness, twitches in the face and throat, calmness, analyzing, lost in thoughts, loop-thoughts, heat in the face, aversion, blame, calm, coolness, pulsing throat, pulsing lower back, party shitty music (triumph), analyzing, heat in the face and limbs, image, ill-formed words, changed legs, storm of stings -> aversion 4-2-0-2-0-4-0, discomfort in the throat, image, spam, skull meridian opening from the Brow Ch. to the Crown Ch., coolness flows from Crown Ch to Brow Ch., "pros and cons", again coolness flowing in the up-down direction, "nobody listens", coolness flow, image, outside noise, "two quarrels", "pack of lies", "it's a fight", "I tried (swim) against the tide". Time is up.
Goal for Next Session: Keep doing the 4FN & the concentration practice.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Date: 04/29/13
Pre-Meditative Context: 40' stretching & qigong
Length of Sits: 40'
Posture: half-lotus
Cutting Edge Insight Stage of the Session: n/a
Meditative Techniques Utilized: tried silent noting but ended in choice-less awareness.
General Thoughts:
* I bought the earplugs, as the outer noise of my new flat don't let me go any deep in meditation. The street cars sound almost disappear, they didn't bother anymore.
* Felt a big calmness right in the beginning but soon was disturbed by heat, which at first I thought it was a consequence of a previous hot bath, but the heat persisted in a lower tone and only subsided fully after finishing the session. Perhaps it's a effect of the earplugs. Or may be the combo of a longer qigong session plus hot bath plus earplugs. Time will tell.
* Other than heat, it was hard to note any other physical sensation. And that's really odd, because they are what I note more.
* Instead, thoughts were abundant, big time. It was almost as if physical sensations were replaced by thoughts. They were abundant but not overwhelming. More like a fun experience! They were so abundant that it was impossible to keep track of them, note them with the usual labels. So I just sit back and became aware of the flavors of thoughts as they were showing up.

There were three kinds of thoughts:
(i) at a superficial level there was "the commentator", lots of online thoughts making statements about arising thoughts
(ii) at a deeper level there was "the emotional response" to thoughts or commentator statements, this mind-states showed up with some seconds of delay, and sometimes they were easily tied up with the triggering thoughts as other new thoughts already were showing up.
(iii) at the deepest level I found the "thoughts machine", it's like a process where there's an ever present volition of delivering thoughts, and the really odd thing is that many times the machine didn't have the raw materials to process thoughts, but nevertheless the machine tried to do it's job. It was felt like chewing without food, or gesticulating like actually speaking, but no words nor thoughts came out. Just the volition to deliver thoughts! emoticon

In levels (ii) and (iii), thoughts were easily noted as not-self. In the level (i) sometimes yes, sometimes not.
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Pablo . P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Pablo P's Practice Log

Posts: 379 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Yesterday, I managed to sit for 60' despite having slept only 3 hours. All in all it was a good experience as the sleep deprivation forces me to let go, and the earplugs reinforced the calmness, the deepest I have experienced in formal meditation. The flip side is that my noting practice was not continuous but scattered because of enjoying the calmness. Hopefully, today I'll resume my previous noting practice.

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