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Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 10/25/13 11:44 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Banned For waht? 10/27/13 9:00 AM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Richard Zen 10/27/13 10:51 AM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 10/27/13 1:08 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 11/4/13 11:14 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Richard Zen 11/5/13 9:36 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 11/10/13 8:14 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 11/24/13 9:20 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 12/1/13 5:22 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 2/16/14 6:03 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 5/18/14 8:01 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 5/26/14 9:23 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 6/6/14 5:49 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 6/13/14 7:56 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Dream Walker 6/14/14 12:57 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 7/24/14 3:39 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 7/27/14 1:36 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 7/28/14 3:12 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 7/30/14 1:51 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Not Tao 7/31/14 6:12 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Not Tao 5/19/14 12:45 AM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 5/19/14 12:24 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Not Tao 5/20/14 7:16 AM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 8/4/14 4:03 PM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 8/7/14 11:43 AM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Dream Walker 8/8/14 12:11 AM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Dream Walker 8/8/14 12:15 AM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 8/8/14 3:18 AM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Jason Snyder 11/7/14 12:49 AM
RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log Richard Zen 11/7/14 1:34 AM
Jason's where am "I" practice log
Answer
10/25/13 11:44 PM
After some consideration I have decided to start an infrequent practice log. The purpose is not to obligingly document every sit but instead to share experience, insight, and confusion when the spirit moves me.

So here goes, entry 1:

A few weeks ago I posted about some considerable progress that I had made, possibly cycling through some of the pre-DN stages etc. Since then my practice has kind of lost some momentum. There have been a lot of feelings of "I've been here before", "yeah so what I notice vibrations this is boring", "aah I just spend 30 seconds in self - referential though without even realizing...okay note it, come back, also note how frustrated I feel at the lapse" and "when is something really cool gonna happen". Occasionally I have cycled through the first 3 insight stages with some brief glimpses (I think) into A & P. But this hasn't been enough for me not to feel that the whole endeavor is a little lame and pathetic.

Yesterday was a little breakthrough, I have started reading and listening to some Tolle again, there is a line in one of his guided meditations that says: "most people are trying to achieve a particular state, not happy with the state they are in, its not the perfect state. The perfect state is the acceptance of Now". This is related to his other guidance to notice stillness, be present, etc. About 40 minutes into my mediation I started feeling my face and whole frontal awareness vibrate slightly. Naturally I started trying to pursue that sensation further but felt that I could only do it if I stopped breathing long enough to let it happen, else the breath would get in the way. I started getting a suffocating feeling and then just became frustrated. This was combined with frustration more generally at seeming lack of progress. At that point I just decided to accept that I was frustrated, accept everything about my experience. I had tried this before (conceptualized acceptance) but now I really felt it, and it was liberating. I felt like finally I could just relax and let whatever wanted to come in and meditate me. Also, I realized that acceptance is very tied to being able to notice experience, otherwise there is too much grasping and narrating the failure.

I have a couple of questions that I would appreciate peoples input on.

The state of "being present" that Tolle talks about is very palpable for me. It is a very distinct feeling of calmness and sacredness from which my ability to notice things is amplified. What is this is MCTB terminology? Is this access concentration or what?

I know that I have experienced serious A&P a few times in the past...a couple of times spontaneously (during periods in my life when I was meditating or praying a lot) and a couple of times on Mushrooms and Peyote...all in my late teens. All of this was a long time ago (I am 30 now). Since those experiences I have been in a place where I have felt blocked, unconnected, hemmed in by mental traps, etc. Not very happy overall, very far from what I had experienced in these A&P type experiences. It occurred to me that I have been in the Dark Night. If so, what does this mean in terms of my practice now (after about 3 months of meditation) - and the fact that when I meditate I cycle through the first 3 insight stages a lot? Should I be trying to get to the A&P again, or should I instead try and get out of the Dark Night and into equanimity? If the latter - is this maybe a reason why I am so drawn to the Tolle approach - especially noticing stillness and being present - because it is equanimity-like?

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
Answer
10/27/13 9:00 AM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Jason Snyder:

The state of "being present" that Tolle talks about is very palpable for me. It is a very distinct feeling of calmness and sacredness from which my ability to notice things is amplified. What is this is MCTB terminology? Is this access concentration or what?


imho its fruition.

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
Answer
10/27/13 10:51 AM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
What Tolle talks about sounds like equanimity or some I AM stage. The enemy of that practice is solidifying it into a concentration state. If you are cycling as you say you are you want to continue practicing and hitting equanimity more and more and then start de-clinging further from "progress", "imagination of enlightenment", "strategizing", "intention", "paying attention" which is basically continuing to note what's happening without trying to "get somewhere". Notice how spacing out into stories about practice is painful just like spacing out into any stories. What you note is what you aren't stuck to. What you don't note is what you are stuck to. Full Awareness/acknowledgement/knowing of what's happening.

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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10/27/13 1:08 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Thanks Richard, your advice is really helpful!

Not trying to get somewhere but being alert is a difficult balance to maintain. Trying to be more alert can easily turn into trying to get somewhere (a state of heightened alertness) can easily turn into dissatisfaction at not being there. I have found that the trick for me is to continuously note the meta-narrative that surrounds practice, the narrative of putting in effort, the narrative of an "I" putting in effort, the narrative of an "I" that is failing, flailing, the narrative of the person who is aware of the "I" that is putting in effort and is proud/insecure of it, ad-infinitum. It seems to build up like dust on a windowsill, I find that I have to keep recycling that whole mess into a simple awareness of the present moment and noticing of basic sensations...and the process starts again.

An update for today:

I was doing a guided mediation by Shinzen Young on being aware of the thought process, particularly being specifically aware of images, talking, and subtle processing. One thing I notice with this practice is that most thoughts seem to go away when you are intentionally looking for them. It is a constant effort to widen the field of awareness in order to "catch" any meta-thoughts that have escaped attention. Another challenge simply comes from the fact that thoughts don't exist in a place. I find that I am often "looking" for thoughts in the sensations of my head and face, there is a tendency to try and roll my eyes back as if by inverting them I will be able to see thoughts. I have to constantly remind myself not to look for thoughts so much as to let them come to my attention.

One observation is that there was minimal imaging and talking unless I was semi-intentionally creating them in order to see them, and then they would kind of spring forth from a random image generator.

There was however a lot of emotional processing that I noticed due to tension in parts of my body. I noticed tension that I related directly to envy that I have for classmates, tension that I associated with planning and worrying about things that I need to do, tension in feeling like I cant overcome my "issues", etc. Yet it was hard to pin these down to any particular thought, just a feeling in the body and an awareness of what they meant.

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
Answer
11/4/13 11:14 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Short update for today:

Started the meditation with concentration - with the object being the feeling of "being present". Then shifted into insight practice. Tried again to do rapid noting, again felt ineffective, like I was trying to control/do to much. Dropped rapid noting and went into direct awareness of sensations/occasional noting of distractions. Am feeling a lot of success with allowing myself to stop trying to do anything, to stop trying to achieve anything, just letting things pass through and being aware of them. Am also feeling success in practicing acceptance. By accepting everything about the moment (including suffering) I find that I can be more aware of the moment. Am also finding an interesting distinction between being aware but separate from the moment, and actually merging with/being inside the moment, letting it engulf me.

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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11/5/13 9:36 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
As long as you use acknowledgement of what is, you're noting. Sometimes direct verbal noting is a good way to keep your mind honest about spacing out and it can be a laser beam to difficult sensations. If you can combine the two (without verbal) and just stay acknowledging what is happening it should be less bothersome and you won't be spacing out.

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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11/10/13 8:14 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
2 hour meditation today. Felt like a lot of struggle. Very aware of general dissatisfaction, worry, and stress. Tried numerous time to abstract from it, ask "where am I". Also tried the "do nothing" approach from S. Young a couple of times. In general felt stuck within my body and mind - bound to the wheel of death and suffering. A lot of tingling and pressure in the head.

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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11/24/13 9:20 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Setting the stage:

practice has been spotty lately due to long hours and stress at school and work. Also been experience some serious Dark Night episodes...or maybe just depression...a lot of hating the world, wanting to be liberated but feeling entirely stuck, shifting stifled energy into cynicism and nihilism. From my notebook yesterday: "Nothing much. Kept trying to accept feelings of frustration. I want so much to transcend all this bullshit. Feel so incapable, unable, futile. Just want to die. Fuck it all, I am tire of 'trying', always trying to get somewhere, not happy where I am."

Today's reflection

2.5 hours. Did a lot of noting practice, also a lot of just trying to let things be. Had almost no problem sitting the full length of time, alternated between hints of despair and equanimous - not needing to get anywhere. Went deeper into my long held desire to experience release and my despair and sadness at feeling blocked. Felt some of it in my body, a lot of it in the back of my neck and head. As I opened up to the feeling my neck kept rotating back and forth slowly on its own. Allowed it to do its thing. Felt compassion for my despairing self, was not so wrapped up in its narrative.

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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12/1/13 5:22 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Had a great sit a couple of days ago. A few days ago I had decided to incorporate more concentration practice. About half and half concentration and insight. I have persistently try'd to use the breath as a meditation object and I keep having bad results. It constantly feels like I am not getting enough oxygen and can't get absorbed with the breath constantly moving. Try'd instead concentrating on awareness itself with much more success. Not sure about Jhanas but felt absorbed. Thoughts kept coming in and out but I didn't view them as distracting or as a problem.

Started insight practice and immediately became aware of lots of vibrations all over the body. Felt no need to note as choice-less awareness seemed to be working. At some point I started contemplating impermanence and something shifted; I immediately entered into something akin to A&P - I started feeling waves of energy course through my body, my face and mouth started twitching and contorting involuntarily, had a heightened sensitivity to flickering vibrations and mental objects. In the midst of this I also felt very peaceful and somewhat indifferent, like I wasn't impressed - even though my normal self would have been incredibly excited at the accomplishment. Decided to end the meditation with a grounding direct path technique.

This was a couple of days ago. Tried meditating today and had no success. Concentration was poor. I became anxious and impatient almost immediately. Same with insight practice. Felt tingling sensations but felt a major let down from the experience before. Felt like if I put in enough effort I could get close to replicating it, but just didn't have the drive do it. Felt somewhat disenchanted.

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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2/16/14 6:03 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
A general update:

I think I have finally found a consistently effective practice. It starts with a guided meditation using this link from the Hamilton Project blog on the Anapanasati cycle. Then I alternate between noting/bare awareness of the breath, body, and mind for a while. Usually I try noting for a couple minutes and quickly find it either too coarse, or that it involves too much effort and striving. On the other hand it is useful if I feel totally distracted. Finally, when my experience becomes really vibratory and I can perceive impermanence, I start a self inquiry approach with the goal of experiencing no-self. In particular, I like the questions "where am I" and "when am I". With "where am I" I can pinpoint the spot where self seems to be, and then allow myself to break it down into flickering sensations until the self can no longer be perceived.

One major hindrance in this practice has been that sometimes I get bored with the process, or anxious for it to end, or anxious to be further along, etc. When this happens I try to feel where that suffering is coming from and break it down into flickering sensations, and work on acceptance - "allowing this moment to be as it is".

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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5/18/14 8:01 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Have been getting a lot of traction integrating noting with direct inquiry. So instead of just noting "hearing", noting instead "who hears?" or instead of "itching", "who itches"?, or instead of "restless", "who feels restless". It seems to cut right through the illusion of "me" having this experience. I have had the same happen with regular noting, but it seems to take a lot longer to lose the noter. The downside seems to be that it might force the concept of "not self", instead of letting it happen naturally in the course of regular noting. 

I am interested in peoples thoughts and experiences with this. 

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
Answer
5/19/14 12:45 AM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Hi Jason,

I had a nice long response I typed up for you, but I accidentally hit the back button on my tablet.  A shorter response will probably be more worthwhile for the advice I was trying to give, though. emoticon

From your posts, it seems like you fell into a trap that I did a little while ago, so I'll offer the bit of insight I had when I finally figured things out.  It's very easy to miss some kind of "doing" in a choiceless awareness meditation.  Trying not to try is, itself, trying.  It doesn't matter what is happening in your head, you simply don't have to do anything about it - that's the whole meditation.  Awareness builds over time as you release it from the internal world it's stuck to.  To do this, you simply refuse to take that inner world seriously.  If you spend your meditation trying to stop certain thoughts, or trying to feel a certain way, your awareness is still locked up in that inner world.  So, instead, just think of it as "just sit, relax, no pressure."  There is no hidden meaning in "do nothing" and there are no required feelings.  All you need to do is sit down and hang out.  If you feel like crap, then it's very nice to realize you don't have to do anything about it.  Just feel like crap, no pressure.  This really does work.  The whole meaning of nibbana is, after all, freedom from desires.  Equanimity is an awareness-release.  When you aren't chasing after your mind and just let it do whatever it wants, your awareness moves out of your inner world and into the outer world quite effortlessly.  Don't think of that as a goal or "success" though. emoticon  Letting go is successful instantly and in any moment if you're allowing your mind to do what it wants, no pressure.

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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5/19/14 12:24 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Thanks Not Tao, that is good advice. I guess a follow up question is, if "energy" is one of the factors of awakening, how does one apply it without exerting effort and trying?

Shinzen Young talks about thinking of "Do nothing" and noting sensations as two separate practices, both of which are valuable, the second of which involves effort. Do you agree?

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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5/20/14 7:16 AM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
I think you could say that the energy and effort you're expending is on investigating what you aren't able to let go of.  If you're fighting with an emotion, you're going to need energy to watch yourself fighting without getting involved in it so you can see it as it is - or maybe, so you can see the pure awareness behind it.  Once you have found rigpa/buddha nature/ground of awareness, though, you no longer need to expend energy because, in that moment, you're enlightened (this is how the teachings generally work).  This coincides with Kenneth Folk's third gear practice, Tibetian Dzogchen, (and I would say actual freedom, but that's a whole can of worms).

I think noting practice could be the same or different depending on how you apply it.  I don't really follow the MCTB methods, so don't take my advice on this too seriously, but I think rapid noting tends to bring you towards the "blip" style fruition where there is a break in awareness, whereas letting go supported by an occasional noting will lead you towards the living experience of "not-self"/effortlessness style fruition (I can vouch for this second one, but I can't compare the two).  It's hard for me to say, after lots of reading, if these paths are mutually exclusive or tied together somehow, but I'm guessing the relationship is probably messy.  It's impossible to know what the Buddha was pointing to, end of the day.

I would say give lots of stuff a try and stick with what moves you towards your goal. emoticon  Maybe someone who's done both methods could chime in.  I've been stalking Nikolai around the web because he did the MCTB path, then moved on to actual freedom.  He has a lot of good stuff about it on his Hamilton Project blog.

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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5/26/14 9:23 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Brief update:

Yesterday I decided to try and bump up practice to 2 hours per day (from 1 hour before), 1 hour in the morning and 1 in the evening. Part of it has to do with a sense that certain aspects of my life are not just unsatisfactory, but unbearable if I am taking "my" experience too seriously... I think myself into mental traps and find reasons to feel guilty or discontent with the situation, so much so that it is manifesting as tension and pain in the right side of my body (back, neck, and jaw). But in meditation I am finding a lot of freedom, just abiding in equanimity (the stage and feeling). I realize that I will never be able to think my way out of my problems, that the only way out is through. 

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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6/6/14 5:49 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
I have been maintaining the new 2 hour per day schedule for the past two weeks - 1 hour in the morning and one at night. It is starting to seem automatic, and I find that if I don't push myself to exert effort, I'll just sit there and wait for the time to pass. It is a mix of contentment, but also some anxiety with the feeling that I am not progressing, that my consciousness is staying fairly normal with an occasional tapping into the field of sensation. I usually start the first 10 minutes just settling into the moment, allowing myself to feel where I am at. Then I usually try to follow the breath for a while. I don't have very high concentration, and I tend to lose patience with concentration practice and shift over to insight. This either consists of just sitting there and trying to be aware of things, or noting, which I can usually only stand for about 10-15 minutes, especially if its fast (1-3 notes per second). At about the 35 minute mark I usually stall out on Vipassana type practice, and then just kind of sit there, or start doing direct inquiry. My favorite of these are asking "Where am I" and then paying attention to the sensations that arise. 

I seem to be alternating between Equinimity stage and Reobservation, between being totally content with the moment and getting really restless - especially when I think about needing to "progress" and get into new insight territory. 

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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6/13/14 7:56 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Practice lately has been swinging all over the place in term of experience. One day I am totally content and completely blissful, the next I am fighting through a barrage of harsh sensations and anxiety. Today (just now) was of the latter variety. Noting was just too painful, the more I paid attention to the sensations the more they aggrevated. I finally switched to directly trying to dissociate a sense of "I" experiencing "this" from the equation. Some success but there was an abiding feeling of just being fed up with duality, yet unable to escape it. Not really sure why I am dipping back into Dark Night/Re-observation territory. I was in Equanimity when I bumped up my practice to 2 hours daily (from 1 hour previously) three weeks ago. Am I retograding or is this normal?

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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6/14/14 12:57 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Jason Snyder:
Am I retograding or is this normal?
Well mercury is in retrograde...mercury's retrograde
Astrologers say that Mercury rules your ability to communicate and think clearly....emoticon

I spent most of my time in the Re-ob to EQ areas. It was a very carrot stick time. Wake up in re-ob and meditate to EQ then get up and slowly slide back to re-ob throughout the day and then meditate again to get to EQ. Months of this. You just get used to it. Practice with skill and diligence is all I can say.
If you are getting to EQ read this- Knowledge_of_Equanimity_Stage_11 There is a lot of territory inside EQ including it's own mini Dark night/sub nana so do some searching here and see what you think.
When you get knocked down to Re-Ob you can watch this video- LINK  emoticon
Good Luck,
~D

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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7/24/14 3:39 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Had a couple of good sessions tonight. Felt like I needed to mix it up a bit. In the first hour I visualized death and everything having to do with fear. Visualized myself as a rotting corpse, visualized myself buried alive and losing breath while sinking down into the pit of hell, visualized myself in an airpline descending from the sky at night over some ocean, visualized intimacy and allowing myself to be embarrased and vulnerable, etc. I felt it was very productive and a nice change up and augment to Vipassana. By the end my whole body was vibrating with life and I was more relaxed than I had been in a while. 

In the second hour I decided to adopt Shinzen Young's schema, focusing on alternating among "see in", "hear in", and "feel in" - and noting "gone" and "rest" when there was an absence. I found it extremely effective, it was probably my most skillfull session of untangling thoughts, as Shinzen would put it. 

A recurring issue came up. Ever since reading MCTB I have always felt a tinge of guilt (which I note) if I wasn't trying to note quickly, a feeling that Daniel would be disappointed and I am missing out on something. The problem is when I intentionally try to do this, I feel like I am forcing it and I start saying notes that aren't very accurate or are purely intentional fabrications. This creates stress and frustration, etc. In my experience the majority of the times that noting quickly has been successful is when I start slowly but continue to apply energy, but still only note when there is something in fact there, and not go searching for a note frantically just to keep pace. And sometimes things just drop away and it seems more appropriate just to note "rest" and let things be at rest until they start up again. In fact thinking/worrying about pace at any point usually screws me up...but Daniel seems to place so much emphasis on pace that I have to wonder how much this should be a concern. Any thoughts on this?

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
Answer
7/27/14 1:36 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Embarked on a 5-hour self retreat day, 3 sessions of 100 minutes. Stuck with concentration practice in the first session, came out of it feeling pretty blissed out. Started on Vipassana during the second session, was substantially more difficult. Spend much of the time noting thoughts, breaking them down Shinzen style into "see in" for images, "hear in" for dialogue and reasoning, and "feel in" for how it made me feel...especially the anxiety of wanting to analyze being in the moment without thoughts but not letting myself...noting and therefore distinguishing. Also tried to do some rapid noting with less success. 

In the third session I might have had stream entry. I was just warming up, about 5 minutes in, when I suddently noticed that there had been a discontinuity. It was like I was staring at a wall (in my mind) with a pattern going in one direction, and then suddenly the pattern was going in another direction, about 35 degrees clockwise. It was so fast that I am not sure if it can be classified as a "blip". It was just like reality was something, then something else discontinuous, without anything in between. For the rest of the meditation and since then I have felt very light, unburdened, and happy with occasion hints of anxiety or stress at certain thoughts, although when I place my attention on them it seems like I can see through them easier, I am less attached. Not sure if the good feelings are due to stream entry or just scripting myself into believing I should be having them and thus manifesting. When I close my eyes and focus slightly, I can feel my whole body come alive with energy within a couple of seconds. I can also seem to focus and enter early absorbtion states almost at will. Again not sure if this is really the case or I read about it on MCTB and am now scripting. I guess time will give me a better sense. 

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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7/28/14 3:12 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Whelp did a 90 minute session today and not re-progress through the cycles and no re-fruition, so I am starting to seriously consider that I did not in fact attain stream entry yesterday. I started the sit vibratory enough (in MCTB one is assumed to start at AP during review) but I didn't seem to pass through the dark night...I was fairly tranquil even in the face of some harsh vibrations coming from a sore back, but it didn't quite seem like Equanimity either, there was no spaciousness of perception. Instead I just tried to detect vibrations as hard as I could, perhaps frantically, trying to prove to myself (and wanting oh so badly) that I was indeed a stream interer. This brings up a couple questions related to review:

If the goal is to re-attain fruitions, should I be applying techniques (i.e. noting, direct inquiry, etc) with the same intensity as I normally would, or should I instead just be sitting and allowing consciousness to take me where it will withought much effort?

Meditating every day for at least an hour, how long without a 2nd fruition should I go before concluding that there wasn't a first to begin with. 

Thanks I appreciate any insight. 

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
Answer
7/30/14 1:51 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
I am starting to ramp up my practice, going to try and hit 15 hours per week for the forseeable future. I have been hovering around Reobservation, low equanimity, high equanimity, and what I take as a near miss (what I thought might be stream entry, but now realize it was not) a few days ago. Had a 2 hour session tonight, started in Dark Night territory. Shifted into low equanimity during the last half hour of my sit. Had very strong craving for stream entry, I couldn't stop thinking about it even though I knew that it can happen until I forget about it. I had found some advice by Daniel in another thread that I found really helpful and was trying to apply:

"So, my practice advice: meet the thing on its own terms, but realize there is something just outside of your clear focus that you are missing, something closer, something more you, something that it seems you couldn't or shouldn't or just didn't think of investigating and seeing also as not self, as just things happening, and it usually includes the wider, more inclusive sensations that make up space, effort, things that seem to be subject, skull, eyes, attention, and the like."

Kept alternating between trying to figure out what core process I wasn't recognizing, relaxing and just trying to be with experience, and asking myself "who hears", "where am I", and "who craves". 

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
Answer
7/31/14 6:12 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
I haven't had any blips, so take this with a grain of salt, but why not just give yourself permission to want stream entry?  There's nothing you need to resist to get it, is there?  Just accept that you want it and look forward to it.  Accept that it's taking forever and you're frustrated and hopeful and you can't relax because you're thinking about it.  If there's really no one there, as they say, why try to control anything?  Equanimity comes when you rest within the problems, not when you squash them by force or make them go away.  Equanimity literally means everything is seen to be equal.  So the only barrier between you and equanimity is deciding something has to be different before you allow yourself to be there.

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
Answer
8/4/14 4:03 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
I have really been enjoying my sits lately. I am able to practice long hours with relative ease. 2-3 hours is no big deal (it used to be a BIG deal). I have been getting a lot of traction with alternating direct inquiry with Vipassana. Asking "who am I" or similar questions I first scan the sensations making up that thought, mainly in the face, allow them to play themselves out. Then I ask again and consolidate the sense of self as an object of concentration, and then I ask again and just allow the void to be the void (not necessarily in that order, but you get the point). 

Had a question on noting that maybe somebody can help with. When noting "seeing" or "hearing" as opposed to "sight" or "sound", I get the feeling that I am just reinforcing the sense of subject, which seems to be counterproductive. Wouldn't it be better to just note the objects, not the act of cognizing? Or is it the act of cognizing, not necessarily the object, that we are trying to objectify....I think I just answered my own question (the latter) but I am still interested in other takes. 

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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8/7/14 11:43 AM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Still continue to feel like my practice has taken another level in the last 2 weeks or so. I now regularly start my sits at Equanimity, instead of Dark Night or Re-Observation. The longer practice time also give a sense that I can ease my way into the sit and do what feels natural, without having to check off a list in a hurried way. 

I also just downloaded the app Buddha Pong, which is Kenneth Folks ping pong noting app still in beta-testing. So far I have found it great. There is a strange intimacy to ping pong noting with a complete stranger, and it brings up feelings (that can be noted) that don't occur in private practice. Highly recommended. 

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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8/8/14 12:11 AM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Jason Snyder:
Had a question on noting that maybe somebody can help with. When noting "seeing" or "hearing" as opposed to "sight" or "sound", I get the feeling that I am just reinforcing the sense of subject, which seems to be counterproductive. Wouldn't it be better to just note the objects, not the act of cognizing? Or is it the act of cognizing, not necessarily the object, that we are trying to objectify....I think I just answered my own question (the latter) but I am still interested in other takes. 
My take on it is that you notice a sensation then note it verbally to keep the story from starting. I hear a car outside then the mind jumps in to start a story about the car or my car or car sounds or whatever....the mind is off and running.
If you can note yourself to high EQ then drop the noting part and just notice the predominate sensation. Notice that it is not you, not lasting and not satisfying. Do that gently and every so often....stay with noticing without the note unless you can't. ( in low EQ I have to note my butt off to stop the mind but in high EQ not so much) Let go a little, this is not the time/place to bear down. Let things happen on their own and just notice in a wide spacious way. Things should just kinda take over and start presenting themselves to you in high EQ. It kinda gets a little dreamy...let it a bit. Your attention should still be running with stuff kinda popping up in the background, foreground, whatever. Watch it all.
Good luck,
~D

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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8/8/14 12:15 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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8/8/14 3:18 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Thanks Dream Walker, I appreciate your advice!

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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11/7/14 12:49 AM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
I have become a lot less obsessed with gaining stream entry as a distant goal, and more interested in cultivating non-dual experiences in the here and now. Most of my practice involves a sort of Vipassana self inquiry specifically focused on the emptiness of "self". I notice sensations via sweeping and noting but immediately ask: who is noticing? who is seeing? etc. I search for what is beneath the sensation, what is behind it. I do a lot of the Dzogchen stuff of looking for my mind, or the Harding stuff of looking for my head. I investigate the feeling of time passing and ask, boundaries of inside and outside, tec. 

With these practices I have been having more and more experiences of non-duality, merging of subject and object, if only for seconds at a time. I have daily, almost mundane experiences of this that a year ago would have blown my mind. 

Open questions: is having a one off event like stream entry necessary, or can one just continue to stich together more and more non-dual experiences more often until it starts to overtake the normal selfing awareness? Do people on the progress of insight have more and more experiences of non-duality independent of attaining stream entry?

RE: Jason's where am "I" practice log
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11/7/14 1:34 AM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
The most important part is intentions before actions. If you watch the habitual intentions moving the habitual actions you can see what the conditioning is and nudge it into other areas as you see fit. What people say often is that after the stream-entry happens normal experience seems more holographic and the emptiness of all experiences (including consciousness) is easier to understand but the understanding and the fading support each other. To be perfectly honest if someone nudges their intentions in the right direction without meditation they could make greater contributions to humanity than someone who meditated for years. It depends on what your goal is. Do you want to go towards "ultimate reality" or are you seeking some kind of self-discipline?