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Cedric's Practice Log Cedric . 12/29/12 4:52 PM
RE: Cedric's Practice Log Some Guy 12/29/12 5:21 PM
RE: Cedric's Practice Log Cedric . 12/30/12 5:27 PM
RE: Cedric's Practice Log Pål S. 12/31/12 3:40 AM
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Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
12/29/12 4:52 PM
1) Does the quality of samatha meditation improve along with attainment of deeper levels of insight? I ask this as I am frustrated with my lack of progress in concentration meditation.
Breath Counting is what I do for the most part. Zen was the school of buddhism that had influenced me most up until now.

2) Today I did two 40 min sessions of seated Samatha. Another 20 mins of seated Vipassana: mostly Noting. And then another 20 mins of walking vipassana: just noting everything that arose and appreciating the three markers in those feelings. Anyway, in the walking vipassana I noticed that I was kinda annoyed, like tired of the ups and downs, and tired of the unsatisfactory nature of all these experiences and wanting a steadier state of affairs from all this back and forth (impermanence). Can anyone give me a sense for where I am in the path based on that description? -and moreover what I should do next apart from just planning on staying the course - which is of course my plan. What should I focus on now.
Thanks and best to you all. And I would like to say that I very much appreciate this forum and MCTB.
Cedric

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
12/29/12 5:21 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
cedric .:
1) Does the quality of samatha meditation improve along with attainment of deeper levels of insight? I ask this as I am frustrated with my lack of progress in concentration meditation.


Every path attainment comes with a nice little present in the form of jhana access.

Anyway, in the walking vipassana I noticed that I was kinda annoyed, like tired of the ups and downs, and tired of the unsatisfactory nature of all these experiences and wanting a steadier state of affairs from all this back and forth (impermanence). Can anyone give me a sense for where I am in the path based on that description? -and moreover what I should do next apart from just planning on staying the course - which is of course my plan. What should I focus on now.


I think we would need a bit more detail and more entries to make a good guess. Like you said, stay the course and give specifics as to what sensations you're noting. If you are in the dark night, that would explain difficulty with concentration.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
12/30/12 5:27 PM as a reply to Some Guy.
i don't think I am in the Dark Night as I haven't gone through A&P.
But, yeah, I will keep you all updated.
Thanks for the feedback Jason.

----

Different issue/question:

I am just starting with Noting Practice, tell me if I am doing it correctly so far:
I sit for between 1 and 10 mins doing concentration practice and then as there arises sufficient calm/concentration I start noting which I do for another 20 to 40 mins.
The type of noting that I have been doing tends to be possibly too descriptive and involving too much thinking: for example, I find my internal dialogue as follows: "pain in knee", "worry about possibly causing longer term knee problems" "Awareness of awareness of worry", "itch in lower back" "full feeling in stomach"...Is this too wordy a noting practice?. Should I simplify it down to noting: "Pain", "Thought", "awareness" "Itch", "Feeling"?

Also, I often find myself, at times, saying the mantra to myself: "arising, passing" as I observe every sensation arise and then fall away. Is this best? or should I not force it so much and know that just the simple noting is sufficient with out internally verbalizing the "arising, passing"?
Another thing, when I feel a bit fed up with things and have a sense of "spiritual sorrow" and I am doing noting practice I do the following: I note some phenomena arise and then I think: "This is unsatisfactory", then then next phenomena arises and I say to myself "this is unsatisfactory" . Anyway, basically my question is the same. Should I be noting this verbally or with so much thought or should I keep it more limited to just noting what arises and not verbalizing the unsatisfactory aspect of it to myself?
Another closely related practice that I have been doing is that I note a sensation arise and note how it is unsatisfactory and that the absence of it or its opposite is also unsatisfactory. Would you recommend this practice or discourage it?
Thanks.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
12/31/12 3:40 AM as a reply to Cedric ..
Remember, noting is about dis-embedding from phenomena. The subject/the noter/you dis-embedding from the object/the noted/other. This is to say, it's not the words themselves that a magical.

Nikolai:
It seems in my own expericne, that noting and paying attention to the 3 C's of phenomena accomplish the same result. Although I would argue that noting seems to be much more effective for the pre-path mind which is a 'sticky" mess. At least post 4th, seeing the 3 C's in everything and anything is a breeze.

It's like the tendency to identify and react to phenomena and the object being reacted to are 2 strong magnets. They seem to get pulled together very quickly in the untrained mind. But with insight practice, either by noting or paying attention to one of the 3 C's, those two magnets are pulled apart briefly for as long as one notes, or pays attention to a characteristic.

When this is done, I believe the supposed physio-energetic development gets triggered and we move up through the nanas. The "I" essentially steps out of the way. At each path moment, those magnets lose some of their pull and at 4th, that pull has lost most of its power. I wont say all, because im finding that although it is very very easy to separate the magnets, they sometimes clamp together to cause momentary mischief. But they are easily taken apart.
http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.no/2011/04/yogi-tool-box-benefits-of-noting.html [emphasis mine]

I don't have much experience with noting but check out these links:

Aloha Dharma - How to Meditate

Using words vs "hitting with the mind"

The Yogi Toolbox: A Yogi's Experience of Noting

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
1/1/13 6:52 PM as a reply to Pål S..
In the past I did mostly Zen influenced meditation, for the most part breath counting.
I am the anxious type, so I spent a lot of time in meditation thinking about how I wasn't concentrating enough and feeling bad about it.
I have not started Vipassana noting. which is working very well for me. It happens to be so that I can deal with it better than Samatha meditation as my mind is active and if I have a dynamic/moving focus of attention I do better.
Now when distraction comes up I just note the distraction and it doesn't bother me that the focus of my attention has changed, as I see this as part of the meditation and not a deviation from it. This has actually enabled me to gain deeper samatha than when I did just straight Samatha. So it looks like> Vipassana > Samatha > Deeper Vipassana.

Another thing that I have been doing with some good effect is just noting even when concentration is poor, like when I am just walking around handling business. I just note when I can, and when I get distracted its ok. It is very dry noting. But unconcentrated noting practice has some value for me.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
1/3/13 12:22 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
This morning's meditation: I had a fair amount of interest and stamina in investigating the arising dharmas. Also, I am so tired of the self. I really want to lay it down. I am feeling today lots of motivation to keep boring down into all this. I want liberation and am so tired.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
1/3/13 2:51 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
Cedric in Miami, FL.:
i don't think I am in the Dark Night as I haven't gone through A&P.


As mentioned in your thread on renunciation, since you feel energetic sensations, I think you have gone through the A&P. Energetic sensations really are the telltale sign, since you're feeling the dissolution of the physical, or rather its arising and passing away. But since you think you haven't gone through it, what do you consider to be the A&P?



The type of noting that I have been doing tends to be possibly too descriptive and involving too much thinking: for example, I find my internal dialogue as follows: "pain in knee", "worry about possibly causing longer term knee problems" "Awareness of awareness of worry", "itch in lower back" "full feeling in stomach"...Is this too wordy a noting practice?. Should I simplify it down to noting: "Pain", "Thought", "awareness" "Itch", "Feeling"?


Wordiness isn't so much a problem as thinking rather than noting. If you simplify the noting down to "pain" or "itching" for physical sensations, and "thinking" for verbal thoughts (and consider coming up with vocabulary for image thoughts, audio thoughts, different kinds of imagination, and memories) that will allow you to note more quickly (please don't feel any obligation to engage in fast noting), and do more complex noting where you're noting a physical sensation, the feeling of the sensation (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral) and your emotional state in just three words. Basically, once you get the terminology down pat, you can comfortably note everything. The First Gear practices on the front page of http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/ describe a very good way of doing this. This article describes a way to really put it all together for a very efficient noting system: http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.ca/2011/02/yogi-toolbox-detailed-noting.html

About "awareness" and "feeling", how would you describe that? Those are somewhat vague terms. I'm sure you're clear on what you're describing, but I can think of a few different things you might mean from those terms.



Also, I often find myself, at times, saying the mantra to myself: "arising, passing" as I observe every sensation arise and then fall away. Is this best? or should I not force it so much and know that just the simple noting is sufficient with out internally verbalizing the "arising, passing"?
Another thing, when I feel a bit fed up with things and have a sense of "spiritual sorrow" and I am doing noting practice I do the following: I note some phenomena arise and then I think: "This is unsatisfactory", then then next phenomena arises and I say to myself "this is unsatisfactory" . Anyway, basically my question is the same. Should I be noting this verbally or with so much thought or should I keep it more limited to just noting what arises and not verbalizing the unsatisfactory aspect of it to myself?


I recommend noting the hell out of it. To really make noting work for you, note everything. You can note unhappiness, dissatisfaction, disgust, unpleasantness, aversion, etc...as needed depending on the specific sensation. As mentioned above, You can also note the physical sensations and your reactions to them (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral) which accompany these emotional states that you're noting and the types of thoughts that arise at those times. If you consistently use a comprehensive framework for noting all sensations, you'll get used to it, then effortlessly good at it to the point where it will be reflexive. Then the 1st path will just be a matter of time.


Another closely related practice that I have been doing is that I note a sensation arise and note how it is unsatisfactory and that the absence of it or its opposite is also unsatisfactory. Would you recommend this practice or discourage it?
Thanks.


That depends on whether you're thinking about whether some imagined opposite is unsatisfactory or if you're simply noting a sensation that you're noticing is there at that moment.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
1/3/13 4:03 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
One more thing, I mentioned noting the unpleasant sensations, and you mentioned noting the unsatisfactory opposites of sensations. Are you noting pleasant sensations? One trap of the dukkha ñanas is making people think that there are no pleasant sensations. It's my experience that there's always something pleasant going on, but it can be easy to miss. While I personally avoid the paying attention to the breath when noting, if nothing else, there are generally lots of pleasant physical and emotional sensations associated with it. Also, unpleasant emotional states change, and go away. Even if they go away, are there no pleasant emotional states to note?

Tuning in to pleasant physical and emotional sensations can help get you to equanimity. There's a bit of a "you are what you eat" aspect to noting in that you can get pretty miserable if you only note the unpleasant (though that makes those sensations dissolve into their components, which can be pleasant or interesting) and you can have great fun noting more pleasant stuff and end up in a pleasant feedback loop that is more motivating for practicing more.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
1/6/13 10:18 PM as a reply to Jigme Sengye.
Hey Jigme
What do I think A&P is? Hum, I guess I kinda thought it was a bunch of bright lights and crazy/trippy kinda stuff going on. This, certainly, may have happened back when I first got into meditation 7 years ago. Back then at the beginning, I was TOTALLY pumped up about it. Like totally obsessed with meditation and the buddhadharma just like I am now. - could have been A&P, but I don't think I had any really clear moment that was super intense and concentrated which is what I was kinda imagining when reading other's descriptions. But, that was a while ago. Who knows.

Also, when I think about the 3c's I get chills and energy waves. I guess that would indicate A&P., that go up and down my body. I often, when reading about the buddhadharma, and run across something profound, I get that chill and feel compelled to stand up and pace rapidly in a meditative kinda way for about 1to minutes - I feel that I am taking in the msg/wisdom and integrating it into my body.

Hum, you said feel no obligation to do fast-noting. thanks that's good to know. :-)

Man, I feel so empowered that the practice can be (often, if not always) boiled down to " just remember to keep noting and keep looking down deep in to the phenomena seeing the 3c's, knowing over and over that it is passing." Wow, how great is that!!

Yes, I am noting pleasant sensations: When I note them, I note the clinging/grasping and remind my self of the 3c's. I ask myself who is doing the grasping. I try to do the same with the unpleasant sensations.

Hum, yeah, the breath as a refuge, in as much as it is pleasant, and also ever-present, good point!.

"There's a bit of a "you are what you eat" aspect to noting in that you can get pretty miserable if you only note the unpleasant (though that makes those sensations dissolve into their components, which can be pleasant or interesting) and you can have great fun noting more pleasant stuff and end up in a pleasant feedback loop that is more motivating for practicing more." good point, very interesting. Hum, I guess this is kinda consistent with how you enter/stay in the Samatha Jhanas - you note the pleasant. Interesting.

Thanks for all the help Jigme.

Cedric

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
1/7/13 12:30 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
Cedric in Miami, FL.:

Man, I feel so empowered that the practice can be (often, if not always) boiled down to " just remember to keep noting and keep looking down deep in to the phenomena seeing the 3c's, knowing over and over that it is passing." Wow, how great is that!!



Actually, the practice can be boiled down to "just keep noting" and literally just that. As far as I can tell, it doesn't really matter what you note as long as you note continuously and that you note something that you're actually feeling. The usual set of instructions is to note the most obvious sensation that you're currently feeling. I personally find it satisfying to note physical sensations, emotional sensations (or emotional reactions to the physical sensations) and the odd stray thought. All of the other tricks I use are just to keep me interested.

About fast noting, I found that Daniel's "dat dat dat" noting of fast moving sensations (generally intense vibrations) was stressful or hypnotic, depending on my mental state. Other people like it a lot. It depends on the person. I found that regular noting (preferably out loud) would speed up at times to once per second at times anyway without becoming uncomfortable. There's no need to force a fast pace. The key to is to just hit whatever shows up when it's there and not end up getting sidetracked by thoughts. There's nothing wrong with thinking, as long as you note the thinking.

Have you tried just noting for an entire session and not doing self-inquiry and looking at the 3Cs? I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with those two techniques, it's just that you might find the mental state you get from just noting to be interesting. Simpler techniques can lead to more effective focus, depending on how a person is feeling. It can also lead to boredom if you find those other two techniques more interesting, though that's also worth investigating.

What are the mental and physical sensations like at the moment in your practice?

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
1/8/13 10:03 PM as a reply to Jigme Sengye.
Hey Jigme,
So, I some fast noting until I settle a little and then hold my attention on a particular object (usually physical sensation or sounds) that I am noting, until the attention just breaks, or until it is interrupted by another strong sensation that arises and grabs my attention. I try to hold the attention on the object until it is "gone" as per Shinzen Young's Recommendations. While doing this I am aware of my own awareness, and the quality of the sensation.
I do get lost in thought, but try to avoid it and am successful enough at this point.
So, I guess I am doing noting plus a focus on impermanence.
Quality of the vibrations: hum, nothing special to report here at the moment, I do see/feel the sensation arise and pass. The physical sensation do pulse and vibrate and move around.
Thanks!

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
1/18/13 11:45 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
Things are going well. I am motivated and practicing consistently.
I finally understand some of the reasons noting practice is so potent:
It forces you to be present.
It helps you flesh out the self/other duality.
Once such duality is fleshed out it allows you to examine what the self is or isn't.
And, of course, you get to see impermanence, and unsatisfactoriness as it relates to the noted dharmas as well.

Another thing that I like about noting practice is how it is so similar to mindfulness practice. It has really boosted my mindfulness practice during walking around life. I feel that now I finally understand the value of mindfulness practice, ie to see the 3C's in all the dharmas all the time.

I do feel that my 1 1/2 month of noting practice has helped me reach a new level especially with regard to the ease of meditation. I don't fear it. In the past I did Zen 1-10 breath counting. Somehow it was always pressurized. I would always try to reach some level of satisfying samadhi. Now, with the noting, I do a bit of breath counting/awareness at the start to settle in and then do the noting. I tend not to care much about how deeply I am meditating or if I am getting "high" off the meditation. I just try to note everything, with little pressure. Also, it has been very comforting to hear on this forum that deep jhanic attainments aren't needed for SE and that insight meditation will get you there.

Also, as a result of recent noting practice, I most certainly notice that I have undermined the own ego process at a deeper level. I have gotten nearer to seeing no-self. The self just isn't quite as real. I see the self arising in either sitting or daily life and note the hell out of it! I am beginning to see how what had been mistaken for the self is better understood as just co-dependant origination in motion and not personal, how there is no ownership, how it is all fleeting and how nothing can satisfy the ego process, as it is set up for desire not for satisfaction.

On a different note, I don't notice much that I am clearly passing through this or that insight knowledge stage. But, I do notice how my practice will go through a cycle in which I am very focused on no-self, then a period of time when I focus on impermanence, and then one where I focus on unsatisfactoriness. (by the way I am pre-SE) Anyone have any insights in to this? thanks
Cedric

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
1/19/13 5:01 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
Cedric in Miami, FL.:
Also, it has been very comforting to hear on this forum that deep jhanic attainments aren't needed for SE and that insight meditation will get you there.


Like you say, they aren't needed, but jhanas will probably arise for you pretty soon anyway, if they aren't already showing up.


On a different note, I don't notice much that I am clearly passing through this or that insight knowledge stage. But, I do notice how my practice will go through a cycle in which I am very focused on no-self, then a period of time when I focus on impermanence, and then one where I focus on unsatisfactoriness. (by the way I am pre-SE) Anyone have any insights in to this? thanks
Cedric


Yup, enjoy Equanimity (which you're probably in and may have been in since your last post). It lasts a while. Some people tend to get bored by the end of it. The key to getting stream entry at this point is basically to keep at it and try to have as much fun with the practice as possible. I literally mean that. Have fun. If jhanas show up, let them take you for a ride. Enjoy them and let them show you the patterns of their behaviour. Let them expand and become as formless as they want to. You don't have to manipulate anything in your attention, it'll simply happen (or not) as a result of paying attention. Just keep on noticing what's going on.

It's also nice to pay attention to other pleasant and interesting sensations or ask yourself if there are any sensations that are prevalent, but that you're taking for granted and missing. Playing attention games, like devising a noting system based on physical cues that lets you know when you're paying attention and enjoying yourself and when you're not paying attention is also useful. I use eye posture (open eye or closed eye) as a gauge of whether or not I'm paying attention and the width of visual focus (and of mental focus) as a measure of which jhana I'm in. None of these are actually important. They're just games I play to keep me interested in the meditation, so that I'm actual doing it from moment to moment. Noting the acceptance of unpleasant sensations, to the extent that they show up, is also useful.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
1/21/13 5:11 PM as a reply to Jigme Sengye.
Hey Jigme,
"Like you say, they aren't needed, but jhanas will probably arise for you pretty soon anyway, if they aren't already showing up."
Yeah, I hope so!.

"Yup, enjoy Equanimity (which you're probably in and may have been in since your last post). It lasts a while. Some people tend to get bored by the end of it. The key to getting stream entry at this point is basically to keep at it and try to have as much fun with the practice as possible. I literally mean that. Have fun. If jhanas show up, let them take you for a ride. Enjoy them and let them show you the patterns of their behaviour. Let them expand and become as formless as they want to. You don't have to manipulate anything in your attention, it'll simply happen (or not) as a result of paying attention. Just keep on noticing what's going on."

Ok, cool, I'll do this. This is very practical advice!

"It's also nice to pay attention to other pleasant and interesting sensations or ask yourself if there are any sensations that are prevalent, but that you're taking for granted and missing. Playing attention games, like devising a noting system based on physical cues that lets you know when you're paying attention and enjoying yourself and when you're not paying attention is also useful. I use eye posture (open eye or closed eye) as a gauge of whether or not I'm paying attention and the width of visual focus (and of mental focus) as a measure of which jhana I'm in. None of these are actually important. They're just games I play to keep me interested in the meditation, so that I'm actual doing it from moment to moment. Noting the acceptance of unpleasant sensations, to the extent that they show up, is also useful."

Yeah, I am trying to say vigilant. Like I try to notice the self-identification process and concretization process with arising insights and pleasant states like "oh, wow, I am so deep and realized" or like "Oh, I am so at peace right now, I will firm up this state and hold on to it forever."
Hum, yeah, the whole "game" aspect of noting practice has helped me sustain my efforts.
Anyway, I'll have more practice notes soon.
thanks

Cedric

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
1/22/13 12:12 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
I have had some new insights into no-self recently.
Like, laying in bed, some times it occurs to me that this is just an animal laying here similar to other animals. This body makes noises, and gurgles etc similar to other animals that I don't identify as "my self".
Through the noting practice I can appreciate the disjointedness of the five aggregates. I am getting a little insight into the impersonal and causal nature of the processes that go on. I see the form, feeling, perception, mental formations, and consciousness just as they are with out as firm a sense of I/my/mine.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
1/26/13 4:09 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
So, I have been continuing my noting practice.
Recently I have had occasional insights along the following line: I note something like the fulness of my stomach, or the sense of mucus dripping down the back of my mouth etc, and then for a moment I get a glimse of what is observed as not self and fully depersonalized. It just lasts a moment.
Any imput as to what this is, or ways to futher cultivate this insight into anatta?
Thanks

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
1/27/13 8:43 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
So, I have kept noting, and I keep getting insights into non-ownership of my body and other processes.
Also, I have had a deeper insight in to Cause and Effect. The thought of immoral action fills me with dread. I can see how insight into causality facilitates moral development.
I am going to a Goenka Retreat at the end of the week in Jessup Georgia.
ok, that's it.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
2/11/13 6:21 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
I just got back from a 10 day Goenka retreat in Jesup Georgia.
It was cool. I can honestly say that I didn't waste any time at the retreat.
I was impressed with the ability of some of the old students at the front of the meditation hall to sit for very long periods completely still. There was one who could sit still for 2 1/2 hrs straight. I sat one session of 1 1/2 hrs with little movement/readjustment. That's the longest I had ever sat in one sitting. Usually at about the hr mark my body starts screaming for me to get up. But, I would like to cultivate the ability to sit for longer periods. I would be very open to suggestions. I generally sit half lotus or seiza with pretty good posture. Here, I would also like say that my experience is mostly Zen and such posture has been stressed. These Vipassana guys have really bad posture and usually sit Taylor/indian style with shoulders caved in and head tilted back. Actually that makes it even more impressive that they can sit for such long periods as I find that posture really dis-facilitating of long siting and even good concentration. Anyway, I guess the main problem I am having that is getting the way of longer sits is the pain in the knees/hips. Let me know if you guys know of ways to manage this. Also, I think that as my abilities in the jhanas grows that I will be able to sit longer as the high that you get off deep concentration helps you deal with the pain. I just am not getting enough of the pain killing endorphins right now in my meditation practice to help me bare the pain of longer sits.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
2/11/13 6:26 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
Well, I had hoped going into the Goenka retreat to gain SE. This did not happen. Though, I was very happy with the retreat. I think I got deep into the Dukkha Nyanas. (Here I contradict my earlier assessment that I was in EQ.) Anyway, I am not even sure that what I experienced was the DN's. As, I just am not sure what is what yet as I haven't been through the first Cycle (SE). The 3C's got a lot clearer to me during the the retreat. I especially saw the unsatisfactory nature in phenomena. Also, my Samvega (dismay with the world and desire to renounce and not waste any more time) has gotten very high.
Anyway, I did take a fair amount of value from the Goenka Lectures. The emphasis on using awareness and equanimity when craving and aversion arise I found quite useful. This I will integrate in to noting practice and walking around daily mindfulness.
A practice question: I do question if I am doing noting practice correctly? I often find it hard to note consistently and quickly. Though I do think I am doing a good job of noting the 3C's when an object does come into the field of awareness. I sometimes think that my noting practice might be a bit too much like regular discursive thought and not quite on the level of meditation. I do have some problems with concentration. I don't have much access to Jhana etc. But, I can say that I really enjoy the noting practice. For whatever that is worth. I guess when I do the noting practice I may not have cultivated sufficient amounts of concentration to get to access concentration, a needed precondition vipassana practice - as I understand it.

Also, at the retreat I did have what I think counts as A&P. I had it on the second day of Vipassana (5th day of the retreat). And at that point I did feel lots of Tingling and whizzing and buzzing. But generally I don't have this level of sensate awareness while doing noting practice.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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2/11/13 6:33 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
today was my first day back in the regular world from that Goenka Retreat.
Wow, pretty weird! I think I am going through the Dukkha Nyana really bad. Very strange. It's been tough to engage with my normal activities. I can't help but to view them as very deluded and very creating of suffering. But, I know that is a very colored and not totally balanced view and not unique but standard for this phase.
Anyway!

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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2/11/13 9:37 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
Cedric in Miami, FL.:

A practice question: I do question if I am doing noting practice correctly? I often find it hard to note consistently and quickly.


This can be a bit tricky to examine on a forum. If you're interested, I'd be happy to exchange notes on noting style over skype. It's hard to say that a particular way of noting is ineffective, but I can vouch for what I've found effective and I can explain why it works for me. We can also do Kenneth Folk-style ping pong noting, where I note something and then you note something, back and forth. I have a few tricks for dealing with the dukha ñanas that you might find interesting. You've probably also developed some meditative tricks that I'll find useful to add to my toolset. It's easier to talk about this stuff than to type about it.

I've read that PM's don't work properly on this forum. Feel free to email jigmesengye at gmail dot com (spelled out and spaced in this way to avoid spam) if you'd like to schedule this.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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2/14/13 5:25 PM as a reply to Jigme Sengye.
Hey Jigme, I emailed you.
Let me know if you got the email.
Thanks

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2/14/13 5:30 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
So, news: I got back from the Goenka retreat like 5 days ago.
I am pretty sure that I AM finally in EQ (Still not totally sure)
Anyway, I just watched Dan's talks at Cheetah House.
Boy oh boy did that clear up a lot of questions.
I guess what I really took from it was how for real and down to earth enlightenment is. In specific, it really helped me get my head around what EQ is and how to handle it and how you just have to bore down and keep noting and noting.
Anyway, I am back in the real world working on running my business and traveling, but I am doing well with keeping up practice. I do feel that I am keeping up the momentum.
Thanks to everyone!

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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2/15/13 11:17 AM as a reply to Cedric ..
a question about sleep while on retreat:
Ok, I have, since childhood, always slept 9 hrs per night and still do.
On retreat I can comfortably get it down to 7.5 hrs.
But, If I want to stay strict and do the full schedule without going to sleep during break periods etc it would get really tough and I feel that my meditation would actually be hurt due to the very strong irritation of sleep deprivation and drowsiness. I should add that I don't waste one minute while on retreat otherwise.
On retreat would you guys recommend powering forth and skipping the naps during the day and just dealing with the sleep deprivation or actually just taking rest when the body says it needs it?
This certainly is not the most important issue in the world but I'd still be interested in feedback.
Thanks

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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2/15/13 1:06 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
I found it was a choice between naps after lunch and involuntary naps during the first sitting after lunch. You might as well catch up on sleep during the time between the end of the lunch period and the start of the first period of sitting after lunch.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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2/18/13 8:57 PM as a reply to Jigme Sengye.
Update: Last night I watch Kenneth Folks 7 stages and direct path youtube videos. I got a lot out of them. I have been noticing the self all day today. I also noticed the how tightly suffering and self-referencial thought are associated. All the anxiety is about the self. The self is all about anxiety. I also tried some techniques last night and today of relaxing the body and seeing if the sense of self lessened as it is said that the sense of self is largely tied up with tension in the body. I investigated this. It seems to be true. I tried letting go of the tension and seeing how when relaxed the sense of ownership over parts of the body lessens. Also, I noticed where the tension was in the body when anxiety and self thoughts arose.
This was a major insight. This insight emboldens me. I will keep up the attention and mindfulness of anxiety,sense of self, and feelings in the body. I think I can bore down into this thing. I won't relent.
I am hot on the trail of the housebuilder!




'Seeking but not finding the housebuilder,
I have traveled through the round of countless births.
How painful is birth over and over again.
Oh housebuilder! You have now been caught!
You shall not build a house again.
Your rafters have been broken. Your ridgepole demolished.
The unconditioned consciousness has been attained.
And every kind of craving has been destroyed.'
(Dhammapāda, verses 153,154)

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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2/26/13 2:02 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
Update: today lots of dukkha is coming up.
The noting happens on its own at times. Then the knowledge that what is noted implies dukkha arises.
Though the whole knowledge of Dukkha can kinda suck, I am experience some relief. This is because the implication that non-reactivity/equanimity is the best/only response to phenomena.
Like, there is a fair amount of indifference and lack of motivation to engage, though not coupled with the anxiety that would be present in typical depression. Again, there is some relish in the indifference. I don't feel like I am missing out.
I guess that's probably everyone's experience of it.
Anyway......

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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2/27/13 5:47 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
did ping-pong noting with a friend last night. I notice the results. Today I am deeper in the DN's than yesterday. Also, I have done a lot of spontaneous noting today which I believe is a result of the out loud ping=pong noting done last night.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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3/4/13 1:51 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
Hello all.
things are good. I leave for retreat tomorrow at TMC.
Looking forward to it.

This past friday, 1st of march, I finally, and clearly passed out of the Dukkha Nyanas into Equanimity.
Boy oh boy, did I need that. I had probably been in the DN's for the past 20 years as I know that I have been dealing with "spiritual sadness" off and on for years and I think I had A&P's as a child, but I am not sure of this.
Thank you universe! I really feel that I have a refuge in the practice and in meditation!
Anyway, the meditation quality is now so much nicer. It is soothing. Something I have needed!
Also, something really cool is that the meditation/noting is kinda "doing itself", more so, now. I have a lot less anxiety in general and in particular relative to noting and meditation quality.
Also, now, while doing walking meditation I get the strong sense that the "thing does itself." Wow, is that marvelous. Anatta is a great thing as it seems that most anxiety and suffering is related to the ego-process/self and it's planing and plotting etc. When it drops away just a little, boy oh boy, does the suffering subside a whole lot.
Anyway, thanks to this community and I'll let y'all know how things go at at TMC.
Cedric

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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4/2/13 6:34 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
This is the response I sent a Dharma Friend regarding my status etc.
Well, I just got back from the TMC retreat. It went well. Going back to my earlier claim of EQ nyana: I think that claim was wrong at that time. I think that I may have gotten out of the DN's and into EQ at the retreat. But I am not sure. There was a day, about 18-20 days into the retreat where things got easier and my generalized anxiety and depression lightened and I felt greater ease about the objects noted and the affect that arose subsequent to notes was less dark and more neutral. This may or may not have been breaking into EQ nyana. However, for sure, I did not get SE. In spite of that, I am very happy about the retreat. I am calmer, less anxious, less depressed, and more enthused about practice. I am much more mindful and feel like I have learned the basics of noting and am thus no longer a "noting novice". Also, I am noting a fair amount during daily life today and yesterday which is cool and productive. Noting/mindfulness is a refuge for me.

I have signed up for the month long June retreat with Sayadaw U Pandita at TMC. He is 93 y/o. And, this may be his last visit to the US.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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4/2/13 6:35 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
Maybe my earlier assessment that I had attained to EQ was just due to a Samadhi high. I don't know.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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4/5/13 9:31 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
More feedback post month long TMC retreat:
I note much of the day with significant ease.
There is still anxiety around assessing if I am noting correctly. Like I still wonder if I am thinking too much or if I am not noting fast enough. But, the anxiety around thought of "noting-incompotence" is much less. Clearly after a retreat I am a more adept noter.
Dealing with intrusive thoughts is much less a problem as ability to objectify them has improved.
Insight into not-self is much clearer. I would say that belief in self (sakkāya-diṭṭhi) is much weaker. There is a fair amount of anxiety around daily-life self-referential thought that has dropped or lessened.
I had a fair amount of strobing in the eyes during the last 10 days of the retreat. I am not having that now.
Post retreat, there are a lot of weird mood swings. Like there is a lot of dukkha coming up but I am not taking the dukkha as seriously as before. It is clear that the dukkha feelings and thoughts that provoke the dukkha are insubstantial and arising on their own accord, and I know they won't last long, thus there is less reaction. Like I know that beyond noting it there is nothing to be done and that I am not in control.
There are some "problems" adapting to secular life. I have lost a fair amount of interest in many of my previous business and personal activities. Many seem to be to have been motivated by the "gaining mind" and now I know all the stuff that I had been pursing is very insubstantial/impermanent and motivation is now lacking. But, let me say that that is ok. Not a big problem. I won't starve!
Also, when pleasant thoughts/feelings etc arise and there subsequently arises liking/clinging and then there arises annoyance with such liking/clinging as I know that whatever I like/relish won't last. Seeing this dynamic arise is largely amusing and fascinating. It is pretty silly! ha!!
There is still a fair amount of aversion to sitting at home, but I would say that I have been doing about 4 hrs of walking/sitting per day since returning. So, I feel good about that.
I feel less anxious about getting SE. I guess I am pretty confident it will come but am a bit less attached to that out come. Like, I know I have to go and practice to make it happen. But, there is a sense that it'll just happen no matter what (this might be bravado.)
I lost about 10-15 lbs mostly muscle due to insufficient caloric intake out there, so there has been some negative mild-starvation symptoms like poor sleep, jitteriness, etc. But, I am doubling up on calories now and am recovering. I am about 6 ft tall and about 160-165 lbs of lean tissue, with usual weight around 185 lbs. So, the two meals a day didn't cut it. I would be interested how others have dealt with insufficient calories at Theravadin centers.
Best to you all!

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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4/5/13 10:48 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
Cedric .:

There is still a fair amount of aversion to sitting at home, but I would say that I have been doing about 4 hrs of walking/sitting per day since returning.


4 hrs/day is fantastic. Could you say more about how each meditation session feels, what you're mostly noting and how it changes throughout the session?


I lost about 10-15 lbs mostly muscle due to insufficient caloric intake out there, so there has been some negative mild-starvation symptoms like poor sleep, jitteriness, etc.


I lost 10 lbs in a month the second time I was there, but I think it was mostly fat. I looked slimmer. I think I lost the same amount of weight the first time I went which was 3 weeks and a bit. My sleep was also poor.

I would stuff my face at both meals and eat as much as possible of the heavier protein-rich foods when I was there. It's amazing just how many different tofu dishes they could make. I was quite happy with the food. It helps that I love Vietnamese and Chinese food. Due to my exercise routine I'm a big eater and most of my calories usually come from meat. I usually eat a light breakfast and a heavy lunch and dinner, so two huge vegetarian meals instead of two big meaty ones and one light one with no intense exercise but lots of walking meditation ended up amounting to the same. I made absolutely sure to eat enough protein to make up for the lack of meat.

When I asked one of the sayadaws at my first retreat at TMC about a way to deal with drowsiness after lunch, he suggested eating a bit less every day. I tried that for a day and ran out of mental energy at the second to last sit. I had nothing left. I then switched to getting as many calories and and as much protein as possible. Creamy salad dressing was my friend (I usually never eat that stuff). People seemed to be shy about having seconds. I wasn't shy about having thirds. It helped my meditation at the very small cost of making very drowsy during the first afternoon sit. As far as I'm concerned, at a retreat, especially a vegetarian one where you don't eat after noon, food = mental energy.

The guy who was sitting next to me ate less and less every day. He was a veteran Goenka yogi (and long-term chronic dark night yogi from what I could tell) who was doing Mahasi-style for the first time. His dukkha ñanas manifested as disgust with food (he told me that he felt disgusted with food throughout the retreat and was only having one light meal a day after a certain point). We spoke on the last day. He had a very hard retreat.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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4/10/13 10:30 PM as a reply to Jigme Sengye.
Quick update.
I am practicing about 3 hrs a day these days, signed up for a one day sit at the local Zen Center this weekend.
I have a pretty high level of confidence that I am in EQ.
I am a lot more chilled out than before the month long retreat when I was in heavy DN's.
Also, for whatever it is worth: I sincerely feel sorry for my DN self.
I can sincerely and soberly tell you that it was hard and painful. I am sure that there was also other general anxiety and depression going on that can't explained by the map of the knowledges of insight.
I really understand some of Daniel's sincere hurt feelings that instruction is so poor out there and that people get into the DN's never get out due to lack of good instruction.
Anyway, during my sits these days, I am pretty happy and content a lot of the time, noting the pleasant sensations and the gratitude. I am getting a little Jhana which is also helping to smooth things. There is still a fair amount of discursive thought that creeps up during meditation. It happens less than before and I fret much less about these occurrences.
There is a fair amount of mood swings and I know when I am having a mini-DN episode. I pretty well accept it, knowing it will pass.
Also, while out in my daily life and I contemplate how things are marked by the 3C's as before. BUT, the noticing of the impermanent, uncontrolable, centerless, unsatisfactory nature of things is done with acceptance and curiosity instead of with the sadness/whininess/pessimism/dread of before.
Anyway, thank you to everyone in this community.
Cedric

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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4/21/13 7:54 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
This week has been very busy for personal and business reasons.
So, I practiced only about an hour or an hour and a half. But this past and previous Saturdays I did one day sits, one with a zen group and one alone at a Thai temple in Homestead Florida: Buddharangsi.
Anyway, I kinda feel that I have stagnated and just not quite kept up the momentum from my month long retreat. This is probably common.
I feel a lot better than I did prior to my TMC retreat. But, I am getting fewer insights and I think about Dharma less than before. I guess I know the temptation to quit practicing in EQ (I am like 75% sure I am in EQ). I still practice but the pain the drove me to practice is just not there like it was in the DN's prior to the month long TMC retreat.
I do get no-self insights when I am mindful.
Anyway, no fruition yet. I obsess about it much less than back in the DN's.
Anyway, I would be open to any suggestions about how to just push my practice forward on to SE.
I keep in mind to 1) sit, 2) be mindful in other daily activities, 3) let awareness be broad which does seem to work.
Thanks

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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4/21/13 7:55 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
My sits are a lot more pleasant than before. I get more Jhanic feelings. Sounds are particularly crisp these days.
Anyway.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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4/24/13 6:06 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
Could you post a phenomenological, chronological description of one of your sits?
What are the typical visual and tactile sensations that you note?
Do you see any recurrent patterns of clinging and aversion? For example, in my experiences in EQ the craving for Stream Entry was quite a big thing and a hurdle to progress at some point. Only when that was seen through at the gut level did the blip happen.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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4/25/13 1:08 PM as a reply to Nick P.
Hey Nick, thanks for the response.
Yeah, I need to get phenomenologically specific.
Back in the DN's there was lots of suffering, and anxiety and worry.
There is not too much worry/concern about SE right now. But, I do think of it and worry that I am slipping in to slack practice.
During sits: More jhanic than before, lots of pleasant tingling in hands, fair amount of anatta insights arise when I look at the objects. I find myself envisioning the object (the breath, the hands, the thoughts) as not mine and just causal and that there really isn't much of a place for I/me/my/mine construct in the matter at hand; that what is being seen is just more "just as it is" and that the complicated stories that I tell myself have no place in the matter and are irrelevant.
There is a kinda appreciative joy of just watch everything.
I think of what Daniel said to look for what is missing, what is not being seen, and pay attention to the openness and let the attention go broad at times.
I do the KFD second gear practices as well during sits: Asking myself who does the seeing, who feels, what am I, Am I this/
I am pretty interested in sounds: I listen a lot, then I'll see the swirling blobs on the back of the eye lids, then I'll get lost in thought for a moment, catch myself and go back to present moment awareness/noting, then I'll note pain, or numbness in legs.
I do walking meditation, I note: tension in legs, walking, sounds, thoughts.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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4/25/13 2:49 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
That's great, your practice seems solid. It only needs to be more constant and continuous.

Pay attention to the reasons why you don't practice any given day. See if they aren't ultimately attributable to aversion to sitting. If that's the case, then just SIT THROUGH THE AVERSION. If it's life that gets in the middle, then you might want to rearrange some things that take up your time, and leave some other things behind. The freedom you'll get at Stream Entry is well worth it! There's no way to get it without momentum, and there's probably no way to get to escape velocity if you're missing formal practice some days.

Your off-cushion practice also seems like a good support for awakening.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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4/25/13 11:27 PM as a reply to Nick P.
Like I said I like the KFD second gear. And, I keep in mind that 'whatever keeps you interested in practice should be used to keep you practicing.' I just find it nearly endlessly fascinating to try to objectify the self, step aside from the self, imagine leaving the body and looking at this body, or imagining/conceptualizing the body/myself as just causal impersonal physicality just doing its thing. Some times I get the insight of, to quote Daniel, "the thing does itself." When having these thoughts/insights into causality/no-self/emptiness/non-personality I get these strong bliss waves.
Other practice I do is to pace back and forth at a normal or slightly faster than normal walking speed, I'll switch between noting, and the second gear practices. I like that because the walking keeps my otherwise nervous energy directed at the walking. I have some anxious tendencies and if I pace it is more manageable.
Also, hey Nick I appreciate the encouragement. Hearing the following helps a lot!: "The freedom you'll get at Stream Entry is well worth it!"
Yep, I am doing like 10 times better than I was in the DN's. But still there is a lot of suffering that I am quite motivated to eliminate in my life.
Anyway. I'll keep banging away at it and keep all my DhO friends informed of my progress!!!

On a different note, since reading MCTB/discovering the DhO about 5 months ago and practicing so much better and harder, subsequently, I have become a lot more moral/generous/compassionate and have much less existential guilt/shame. And the hate is so much less and softer than before. I wasn't a bad person in the past. But, now, there is so much more heartfelt love/care/softness towards others. The weight lifted off my shoulders is significant. I say this also to encourage others who might read this. Even though I am not yet a stream enterer the fruits of practice are subjectively verify here and now in my life.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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8/17/13 11:52 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
Hello all,
I am at the BuddhistGeeks 2013 conferences in Boulder.
Quick note about my life since returning form the one month retreat at TMC during March:
I feel a lot better. A lot of real serious depression and anxiety have been resolved to such a point that I am much happier and functional now than in February (During much of 2012 I was nearly crippled with depression and anxiety.). I practiced hard for about one month, after the retreat and then got VERY distracted with my business that I run with two business partners. It was a trade off. But we got a lot dealt with and expect these efforts to yield appreciable financial security in the future. I can't say I regret it. But, now, I would now like to enter a phase a greater emphasis on practice.
Conference: I have met a lot of cool people. I liked very much Rick Hanson's talk on Neurodharma. Mental actions have consequences! His talk really drove the message home that you are what you think and you should be very vigilant about unwholesome thoughts and the importance of facilitating positive thoughts. I plan on reading his books.
I have been very impressed with Shinzen Young, Sofia Diaz, and also Daniel and Kenneth. Each one is so different but I find so wholesome and inspiring. They inspired hope and faith in me. I would note that Sofia Diaz is not the type of teacher I am attracted to, usually. She is a little more hindu-inspired and dresses colorfully and is very feminine. I have gratitude towards her for helping me see how the teaching is packaged in many different forms.
Also, I talked to Leigh Brasington for a minute. He also struck me as very sincere, very down to earth, approachable, and that he views himself as a servant to others. He, in just a quick few sentences, got through to me the value of metta practice regarding the facilitation of jhana.
I have, also, gotten the chance to be around others who have brought a lot of interesting perspectives that I wouldn't have considered otherwise.
I feel inspired and grateful. I also feel hopeful about practice going forward. I don't have a teacher yet. I am more inspired to get one now.
Anyway, I hope you are all well.
Warmly,
Cedric

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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8/18/13 12:03 AM as a reply to Cedric ..
Possibly due to being around such a diverse crowd at the Buddhist Geeks Conference, I feel a strong desire to be more accepting of others. The Buddha warned agains wrong views. One type of wrong view was to have fixed view. This is rewarding for me to work with. It is nice to remind myself that there is no center point, no firm and fixed place to plant myself and my position on. Without fixedness then fixed views reveal themselves as absurd. I want to remind myself that difference is ok and that it is something to be relished and appreciated, something to shed the light of differing perspectives on your current view or situation. It feels harsh and out of sync to have a strong view on this or that. I would like to engage the world with greater agnosticism and compassion.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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8/20/13 11:55 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
I have been doing the "who is this" "who is there" questioning during the days since I heard Gary Weber's talk at BuddhistGeeks2013. It has had an appreciable effect. I am seeing noself/nonduality frequently during the day. I spend about 20% of the day doing the -who is this- noting. Very cool.
I can tell something has changed.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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8/23/13 9:41 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
Practiced quite a bit today. Did skype noting with a friend last night. Will do a better-part of the day sit tomorrow at a local temple with a friend.
Today and yesterday the "who am I" type noting is having less resonance. I find there to be desire that things be other than they are.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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8/24/13 8:35 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
Today a friend and I went down to Buddha Rangsi in Homestead, which is in Souther Miami-Dade co. for a half day sit.
It went well.
I got a lot of jhannic feelings in the meditation.
Things seem to be progressing.
Still thinking I am in Hight EQ.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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9/6/13 11:17 AM as a reply to Cedric ..
I am making progress with no-self.
Emptiness is frequently experienced.
I find that there are dreams and ideations at night about absence of center/core. I suppose I am processing the information.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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11/3/13 3:46 PM as a reply to Cedric ..
I have been doing noting for about 11 months now, and before that about 8 years of off and on Zen Breath Counting. During the last two months I have ramped up my practice: Minimum 2 hrs a day, with approximately one weekend long retreat every other week or so. this Friday: 3 hrs of sitting, Saturday (yesterday): 4 hrs of sitting, Today so far about 1 1/2 hrs. I have the rest of the day reserved for sitting.

Before starting with the phenomenological descriptions let me say that there is a possibility that some of what I am saying is scripted due to the desire to generate evidence of progress such to engender hope.

Anyway, here we go:

I certainly get the sense that I am into new territory.

I think that I have been in EQ and then dropping back in to Re-Ob recently, not totally sure about that assessment.
It's been difficult.
I can sit quietly for a while like 20 mins or so, and then there is lots of irritation and aversion. Not much "pain" just irritation. If the slightest pain arises in the knees or back the whole sit become unbearable. It gets so bad some times that I get up, or even shake my hands or whole body in irritation and aversion while still seated. A refuge has always been walking meditation. Now, even that sucks. Also, concentration at work has been generally poor with lots of aversion arising and obstructing work activities.

I do feel the vibrations and swirling. I see the swirling in the back of the eyelids. I can see the thoughts, feelings, etc form, morph, and then fade away.

I try to disembed from it all and just notice. I note as much as concentration and mindfulness allow.

In a few sits, I have gotten up to a brief phase where there is what I think to be High Equanimity. The body is calm, and the arising phenomena slow down and become a bit muted and spacey. It only lasts like a minute, and then irritation sets back in.

I guess there is probably little advice to be given here except to follow the advice already given and sit through it and keep noting.
Below are informational resources I have used recently.


Anyway, I have gone back and read what I thought were relevant parts of MCTB, also listened to two podcasts of Nick and Owen's. Which can be found here: thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com/p/hamilt...roject-podcasts.html Nick advises to see the phenomena that seem to make up the edifice of that is the self and see how the component parts are not self, etc.

Also, I read this post of the DhO: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?: www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discu...ards/message/4821103

I found Nick's advice in post 1322 to actually practice neutrality toward the object as it arises. He says "not wanting the dissapearance nor wanting the continuation of phenomena". This was also useful: "Develop specific neutrality towards it all, including the desire to get somewhere, i.e. SE. It is giving up this desire at the right moment which opens the door. Developing specific neutrality as an actual mental muscle/skill at any stage regardless of the accompanying pleasant, unpleasant, neutral feelings and one develops and sets up (allows to mature) the vital cause for cessation of it all when equanimous feeling arises. "

Also, found in that tread was this chart which has been useful.
static.squarespace.com/static/5037f52d84...2c1c3/1347785254496/
It lays out in details the Nyanas in easily relatable terms. This has helped as I feel like I can diagnose where I am a little better. That is of little value apart from simply letting me know that I am not crazy and giving me the sense of shared experience with others.

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
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11/24/13 1:09 AM as a reply to Cedric ..
edited

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
2/11/14 1:08 AM as a reply to Cedric ..
I do a mix of self-inquery and noting as my standard practice. My teacher recommended that I refocus onto just straight noting for a time. In light of this, I thought that doing a once-a-week skype/pop noting session with a fellow practitioner might help me firm up on the more strict noting practice. So, if anyone would like to do any noting on skype with me please let me know. I am reeves_cedric on skype. Also, if anyone knows of any particularly good sources for procuring a noting partner, please let me know as well. I also posted this on awakenetwork. Also, I would suggest keeping session to like 1hr of only noting. I say this as there tends to be a lot of fun Dharma/practice topics to discuss between two practitioner and you can get really deep in the weeds and not do the noting.

About my current level of attainment/practice: I am pretty sure I am in EQ. I have been practicing noting for about 14 months and meditation for about 9 years. I sit about 2hrs a day as a baseline standard and frequently sit 4hrs a day when schedule permits. Thanks

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
2/11/14 10:52 AM as a reply to Cedric ..
Sounds like your right where you need to be...perhaps you could contemplate a bit about the three characteristics and how you apply them.
Good luck,
~D

RE: Cedric's Practice Log
Answer
5/25/14 3:34 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
I am in Los Angeles til Thursday 5/29, and then in Las Vegas from 5/29 til 6/2/2014.
I very much enjoy getting together with other practitioners.  Please let me know if any one is available to meet up in either LA or Las Vegas.
Also, I am open to suggestions if anyone knows of a cool meditation center to go to or if there will be a speaker in the area etc.
Cedric