Block's Practice Log

Dick J Dastardly, modified 7 Years ago.

Block's Practice Log

Posts: 16 Join Date: 4/1/13 Recent Posts
Thank You!
This is clearly a friendly and supportive, helpful community. Which is a wonderful thing to find, and thank you very much to Daniel for writing MCTB, which persuaded me to start insight meditation practice a couple of months back.

Today's Sit
I have been sitting for 20 mins to 1 hour most days for a couple of months. Here is what I wrote after today's sit.

Incredible. Much deeper than previously. Set timer 1 hr but kept going perhaps 1h30 to 2h? Felt deep vibrations (perhaps 10 to 20 per second) pulsing through entire sensate universe. Lights, pressure in temples, back of head. Simultaneous awareness of all sensations. Felt a subtle set of sensations relating to high pitched sound which is always there but usually in the background, and to "something" there but not often noticed. Feeling of "going somewhere" - I thought I was "almost there" many times but always then kept going far beyond. At times felt like whole body/sense universe rapidly shifting to and fro sideways and bits of the body jumping around.

After effects felt hours later.

Any and all comments welcome!

Antonius
Dick J Dastardly, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Block's Practice Log

Posts: 16 Join Date: 4/1/13 Recent Posts
Today: Lying down, set timer for 1 hr but kept going for about 1hr 30 in total.

I spent the first ~30 mins focussing attention first on breath then on all sensations, there were several distracting thoughts in this period. Then I become aware of vibrations in vision and elsewhere. Aware of high-pitched noise. Eventually aware of all body sensations simultaneously as well as all thoughts and all other sensations (vision, hearing cars outside etc.) At some point I realised these are all different varieties of the same thing - all are sensations, all temporary. Had a vision of a "sensation bubble" containing all sensations. Saw bright lights. Felt vibrations at perhaps 10-20 per second or ocasionally faster, like a fine-structure to the vibrations which seemed linked to the high-pitched background noise.
Antonius Block, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Block's Practice Log

Posts: 16 Join Date: 4/1/13 Recent Posts
Recent hiatus in my practice due to reading about Actual Freedom, founder Richard considers spiritual enlightenment to be a pathological state, normalised by religions and spiritual groups. This made me step back for some days and not practice, to consider where I am going and why I am doing this, and whether I should consider AF more. I read a good analysis from Alan Chapman on baptist's head with strong AF criticism and support of vipassana, which was helpful in re-motivating me. In the end I am just experimenting here and seeing what happens.

Also I decided to change my name on this discussion board, my previous name was chosen in haste and I am much more comfortable with this one. I hope this is acceptable.

15 April 2013

Today's sit: settled quite quickly into a state of good concentration by focussing on breath, then widened focus to bring in all sensations and changed tactics to examining the nature of all sensations. Vibrations, some rapid and regular 10-20 per second and others less regular and rapid, more jerky, became apparent first in visual patterns then breath and eventually throughout sensate universe. Thoughts were seen as just other sensations. I tried to be aware of the sensations' impermanence (which is very apparent from the flickerings), non-satisfactory character (this is less obvious - sensations don't really satify or not satisfy, they just are, although some are more pleasant than others), and non-self character (easily seen: if I ask where I am it is clear I am not in the sensations, not anywhere really). There were a few distractions but generally I kept alert and mindful. White lights were visible at times.
Antonius Block, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Block's Practice Log

Posts: 16 Join Date: 4/1/13 Recent Posts
Yesterday (16 April 2013) I did a 30 minute sit and 1 hour 40 mins lying in bed. Today (17 April) 30 minutes sit again. Here are my notes from the long session yesterday.

Focussed on breath, then broadened into observing the vibrations, which were quickly apparent and fairly strong and consistently fast thoughout the session. Trouble with continual swallowing at first, but this eventually died down. I did quick "noting" throughout most of the session, silently and just expressing thoughts to note things, when I occasionally got distracted I noted this, returned to noting breath in/out, then buiding back up to the fast noting.

In the later part of the session, after say ~45 mins in there were two distinct sequences where I felt a clear shift in the quality of sensations away from the physical, there was some kind of progressive change and I had the feeling I was going somewhere, and then after a climax I seemed to fall back to the earlier state with more physical sensations again. This happened twice but with some significant gap in time (20 mins?) between them.

At some point I remember feeling a little unsure, even anxious, about what was happening, but was quickly able to move away from that emotion back to simply probing the sensations dispassionately.

Even more strangely, at times in the last ?30 mins of the session, at about three separate points where the vibrations started to become temporarily more intense, I actually heard/felt some kind of "cracking" which seemed to come from my nose/sinuses/forehead. That was really odd and I have never had that before, but I didn't feel worried. There was no pain.

Another thing: especially after an intense session like this, when I wake in the night or even next morning to get up, the vibrations are just immediately there and really obvious straight away on waking. They then fade as I go about my morning routine, and go to work.
Antonius Block, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Block's Practice Log

Posts: 16 Join Date: 4/1/13 Recent Posts
As a general point I have had a tendency in-between sits recently to start speculatively analysing my life in terms of insight stages. E.g. "perhaps I crossed the A&P around then, and then when all that stuff happened in those years was that Dark Night bleedthrough?" I am really cautious about doing this because in truth I have no clue where I am on the maps and don't want to form rigid analyses that could easily be wrong. But on the other hand I think perhaps I am seeing interesting insights into processes at work in the past which I was unaware of at the time. Perhaps it's also worth mentioning that in most conventional measures my life has been really good for the last 5 years or so and I am a happy and fortunate person, my motivation for meditation is to seek truth and try to understand consciousness, mind, etc. - I always have been a very curious and experimental character. Also a close friend mentioned yesterday that I seemed to have changed recently, with more time and concern for friends, in a positive way. This change corresponds with me taking meditation seriously.

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