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8/4/19 6:53 AM
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RE: The practice of Bernd
Answer
8/14/14 10:54 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Hello Bernd, kind regards.

I got some personal insights reading your metta practice log.   I also have a metta practice log, and I see your approach is slightly different from mine and I see that I need to also incorporate a "nice" person to balance the practice.  However, I think I will end the practice with a "nice" person.

As with yourself I also come up against self-hatred and anger and usually it eventually takes me back to a scene of some sort of split I did with myself as a spiritual being and one side of the split had a moment (an eon might be a moment in that case) of intense dislike of being squeezed down into a mold and on some level it knew it did it to itself. Gets complicated...

Like yourself, I let anger rise passively (learned from Sedona Method) and it releases. On the other hand, I have dealt with it differently from you because I look for the thoughts accompanying it and repeat the thoughts until done.  For example, "I hate myself!...I hate myself?...."   A lot of shift occurs for me while repeating my self-talk.  

Continuing with my thoughts about anger, since a being operates off of goals or intentions, any of the basic goals of a being, when compulsive, could carry much anger.  For example, to love and to be loved and all its possible permutations.. Must love/must not be loved, etc., etc.

For example, I chose to work with people who have eating/drinking compulsions. and there is anger around being forced to eat and being prevented from eating and forcing another to eat and preventing another from eating.   No more eating compulsion, no more anger regards eating.  (My partner once had a plate of spaghetti thrown into his face when he refused to eat it.)  
One becomes equanimious about the subject of eating and being eaten (joke).  

But, if you check my Metta Practice Log you will see me putting up archetypes or identities -- similar to your practice -- and remaining passive while the mind exhausts its venom on that particular energy signature.  The results are always a surprise to me.

Thanks again for giving me the insight to put up some "saints"  emoticon

RE: The practice of Bernd
Answer
8/21/14 5:54 AM as a reply to Karalee Peltomaa.
Bernd writes:
"Sometimes, though, the Metta-phrases start without me really intending it, thus reminding me to do it on purpose. Maybe that's a sign that the habit is really starting to form. Often I'm in the middle of not-really-friendly thoughts about some person, and then I recognize that it might be a better idea to just drop it and direct thoughts of Metta to them. The realization that this is even possible seems quite empowering to me."

Hello, Bernd, kind regards.

You are on the right road with your practice as long as you are persisting through the discomfort to come out the other side.

You don't really need to know about my practice, you are doing well  :-).   The similarity I see is that we are both focusing on the objects of our interactions. But not always, for example recently it was my Auntie; however I was looking for the most basic goal set expressed in our interaction since my interactions are goal oriented.   In her case it was must know/must be known, and adding that to the picture turned on more "sizzle" to dissipate.  

A person could also get a lot of metta karma points just plugging in the goal set of "to love" -- all kinds of people would come up and compulsions and thirst for sensation around love would get directly handled.  "I must love/I must be loved", etc.

As with yourself, all the discomforts appear and then vanish as I sit through them.

I too -- just yesterday -- find myself during the day putting my mind, or components of my mind all around me whenever I found myself starting to identify with it. Great practice -- to do consciously what we do unbidden all day long, i.e., create significances.

I contemplate your return.










RE: The practice of Bernd
Answer
9/19/14 8:41 AM as a reply to Karalee Peltomaa.
Hello, Bernd, good to read you again.

In an earlier thread you wrote this:  
"Conclusion/Suspicions:
Metta is good. More people need to do it, because it is totally possible to really be oblivious of great amounts of self-hate/anger, which creates a great amount of suffering.
NOTE: I did >500 hours of diligent Vipassana (100 Goenka, >400 Noting) gaining lots of insight, but those methods did VIRTUALLY NOTHING to make me aware of all the self-directed anger."

I'm sure all of your prior practice grooved you in to what you were to eventually experience above.    I mightily share this experience with you.   This was a couple of years after a wise person told me that ultimately all is merely self-to-self -- pointing towards Oneness.  My generalized self-hatred always takes me back to the first incident in this universe time.  The first act of "Creator" deciding to add persistency to his creation.   The force behind that was tremendous as was the resistance.  As long as I insist on holding my viewpoint on the side of the "must not know" barrier that makes me feel at total effect I am stuck in this universe mentality.   As I become more and more willing to look at this incident without flinching, the resistance to this creative act lessens and I am more and more able to get into my first viewpoint as "The Creator" of this universe.  And so perceive the Oneness and Allness.

From a creator - or All-That-Is - viewpoint, all youse viewpoints is mine :-))

Even though you did a different practice than I do, there must be some commonality that helped us to each separately arrive at almost the same place as far as diminishing the self-to-self dramas.  Certainly the first important commonality was the strong intention, and we would not have had that if we had not despised ourselves, eh!   What a laugh that gives me.

You seem to have resolved that self-hatred to your satisfaction.   I'm still enjoying the learning curve re my case and how my mind got cobbled together during this long tenure in this universe (map of unconsciousness, anyone?).  I'm eager for it now, and of course, the mind gets clever and now hides it, but I know how to play zen judo too: Whatever the mind can do I can do consciously, that is the trick here and what my practice is largely based upon.  To restore conscious creation and no-creation to the being is, I am certain, possible within one short time span.

I won't say I resolved it because I find that everytime I say that -  WHAM! - it slaps me upside the head again.   Which leads me to surmise that the upward path I am on is a sort of spiral and it simply takes the agony to a higher level of awareness and wisdom about mind-games.

love ya,
colleen


RE: Bernd's Metta adventure
Answer
10/20/14 11:59 PM as a reply to Karalee Peltomaa.
Thank you for another great report. I really appreciate it. This thread will be a very important source of knowledge once i start with metta practice. Thanks again.

RE: The practice of Bernd
Answer
10/21/14 7:42 AM as a reply to Karalee Peltomaa.
Bernd wrote:

I decide to start by just saying the 5 phrases:
May I be happy.
May I be safe.
May I be peaceful.
May I be healthy.
May I take care of myself happily. 

It seems that went well for you.  Let me ask you, did you say each phrase until it felt you had no conflict with it, and then went on to the next phrase and did the same?

RE: Bernd's Metta adventure
Answer
10/21/14 8:13 AM as a reply to ftw.
bernd the broter:
Go for it : D

If you want, you can start with Visu's instructions and ask him for guidance over E-Mail, which he explicitly offers (Also for Vipassana). Look here:
http://visuteoh.net/teachings/metta-meditation-instructions.html


I only just began with meditation practice. Just observing the breath. Breath by breath. The goal is to develop practice into a proper Anapanasati. I'm trying to build up some concentration power before I tackle insight or metta meditation. Do you think metta is doable from the very beginning of ones practice? I could dedicate some percentage of my time to it. I'm aiming for 60 - 100 hours of meditation/month. So far so good. The only hours I can medidate are night/early morning hours and even those are questionable(small kids). I wake up at 2/3 AM and try to have at least two one hour sittings with walking meditation in between.
Cheers,
ftw

RE: Bernd's Metta adventure
Answer
10/22/14 3:37 PM as a reply to Karalee Peltomaa.
bernd the broter:
@Colleen:
Usually, I can feel some sort of conflict with the phrases whenever I say them.
So if I had stuck with one phrase until the conflict dissolves... then I would still be at the first phrase.

Visu encouraged me to not stick with a fixed method, but instead try different ways, because at different times the mind may like to repeat the phrases in different ways.
So sometimes I stayed with each phrase for 5-30 (just estimating here) repetitions, before going to the next.
Sometimes I left a break between the single phrases and see, how it feels in my whole body. Sometimes I repeat the phrase instantly.
Sometimes I deliberately reflect about the meaning of the phrases (e.g. peaceful means free from anger, anxiety, unrest and a bunch of other things)

But most times I just repeated the phrases without repeating single phrases and without breaks.

Okay, thank you for answering my question.

RE: Bernd's Metta adventure
Answer
7/20/15 10:51 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
~~-Once I firmly decided that I would be doing Metta all day, this was surprisingly easy. This may have helped in shortening the needed time for this cycle to 6 weeks (usually around 12 weeks in the past.), with hardly any retreat time.

Bernd, I am really curious about this.  You do the practice (whatever that consists of) while walking around/doing tasks, etc.?  You are able to do it continuously?  This is how I have done vipassana.  If it is possible for Metta, then it could work for me.

How long did it take you to really start digging in with daily-life metta (I guess I might be asking: how many days or weeks of daily life practice did it take for the phrasings to strongly connect with emotions in the body)?  This may not be a simple question.

Thanks for your answers. 

RE: Bernd's Metta adventure
Answer
7/22/15 9:42 AM as a reply to Noah.
Good points on the all day metta practice.  Thx again. 

Cool to hear you starting up with mudita as well.  Definitely somewhat uncharted (or less charted) territory in terms of taking a close and pragmatic eye to these practices.

RE: Bernd's Metta adventure
Answer
8/28/15 6:58 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Berndt,

         You may enjoy Analayo's (sp.?) new book "Emptiness and Compassion in Early Buddhism". It is available now as an ebook and is about all of the brahma viharas/cultivating them for their own sake and as deep concentration mechanisms and then using that cultivation to develop insight into emptiness and awakening. I don't read dharma books anymore but I am finding this one very useful practically as there are lots of practice directions as well as clarifications into the usefulness of the brahma viharas. I imagine you will too.-Bill

RE: Bernd's Metta adventure
Answer
8/28/15 9:26 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Ah, dude, that is totally fucked up! Just kidding, but it’s a little messed up, lol.  Solo retreats have their challenges.

"Anyway, accepting everything is key...".  The whole teaching in 5 words.

Good report.  Thanks for sharing.

RE: Bernd's Metta adventure
Answer
9/16/15 3:06 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
HI Bernd,

I hope people find your thread at the right time in their practice. To me it is a great account. Also: I have sat with this person [2] and felt your review was balanced; you reflected on yourself candidly and with humor. So useful. I do not read you as insulting, and I also agree that there has been devaluing others; for me that sincere detection of devaluing speech of others is not to be dismissed. (For the theravadans, demoting others is also contraindicated in AN 5.159, item 5 of 5.) 

Anyway, I think leaving retreat/teacher with a balanced understanding of the opportunity and the teacher is a great indiction of really pulling the teaching into oneself to actually investigate the practice (including not consuming a practice harmful to oneself, even if that's not the intention at all of the practice teacher).

When this sort of automony (without self grandosity nor promotion nor importance) occurs I think this is excellent: A person is begining to trust that, hard/messy as it may be, the only person who can do the work is oneself. [1]

Building a raft for oneself, we investigate it thoroughly based on prior knowledge of other rafts; if we trust someone elses raft, okay, but we may end up swimming back to shore again and again (analogy). 

(...) didn't work for me, then left early. Next step trying more Karuna.

Two thumbs up. If I had more than two thumbs I'd raise them, too.

________________
[1] We can become better at finding teachers more in line with what we determines we need. What you've described here and elsewhere is (to me) not the flightiness that sometimes happens when one is new to the practice. To me, what you've described is the heart of taking the practice in very sincerely and starting to see what/who/how doesn't work for your practice at the moment, using own mind to say, "I'll try something else, because opportunities/time is limited and this other thing is just contrary at the moment." I don't think you're describing at all the gratifying-hunt for a pleasing teacher, merely you're acting on what is not effective for you at the moment, and importantly you're relying on what you have done so far to make this own-rafting-building step. It makes it a little more likely to find those raft-builders you can learn from/benefit with, too.

[2] I also heard research knowlege there of word etmologies and interesting histories. For me, at my time, then rich-in-a-jhanic practice with calm-content mind, the lengthy lectures were, from a historical point of view, very rich and interesting to me, suitable to a mind soaked in sukkha and listening. I opted at that time to not have interviews.

RE: Bernd's Metta adventure
Answer
10/29/15 2:14 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Bernd, you are doing some really good practice here. My compliments that you are descripting your experience so detailled and continuously.

I´m interested if you can tell the differents between the path of Metta and the path of Vipassana from your experience? It´s interesting because you have walked both paths. You mention in the path of Metta that you also experience Fear, how is this in comparison with the Fear during the 6th nana? Is there in the path of Metta also a periode like the Dark Night where it is difficult to function in your daily life?
I would love to hear your thoughts.

Metta,
John

RE: Bernd's Metta adventure
Answer
12/26/15 5:50 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Bernd your practice log has been really helpful for me.I've been practicing meditation on and off for 7-8 years now,sometimes I used to meditate a lot and then other time I would get bored and stop meditating for long periods of time.But I was suffering from chronic depression for last 2-3 years and got addicted to weed.At one point smoked 7-8 joints daily and meditated while high.For 1 year this continued and I felt really happy while high but sad and even more depressed when I was out of weed.Then about 9-10 months ago I became so high that I could'nt control myself and became scizophrenic.I lost all my mental balance and even at one point forgot my own identity.It was pure hell.Like all life and magic was sucked from me.I became unable to sleep and had to take a lot of sleeping pills and antipsychotics just to get some sleep.It took me 5-6 month to regain sanity,The antipsychotics were not helping that much and used to make me really dull so I seriously started meditating this time no matter how boring or dull I felt and this helped get rid of the pills. emoticon

So for the last 4 months I've been practicing metta with Sujatos instructions and It has really worked miracles.I was terrified 24/7 before and now I have no anxiety and depression is gone too.Even after getting off pills I had to sleep 12-14 hours a day just to get some energy.I now have no insomnia and sleep really well(need only 8 hours and now I do all daily activites),dreams are happy too.

Though weed made me insane,it helped me learn how to generate the feeling of metta and when I got serious with meditation everything just fell into place.Now i smoke weed maybe once a month and it doesn't really feel that great and makes me dull.I also practice fire kasina before metta with a candle flame.It really removes tiredness during meditation and helps stop mind chattering super fast.An active meditation which helps me generate feelings of metta is Sufi whirling.Rumi invented this method and his love poems prove that it works emoticon 

"In your light I learn how to love. 
In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest,
Where no one sees you,
But sometimes I do,
And that light becomes this art".
~ Rumi

I'll try a seven day home retreat after a few days,I've never done any retreat before so hope I'll make more progress in 2016.

RE: Bernd's Metta adventure
Answer
12/28/15 2:17 PM as a reply to Saturatedfat.
So I now do Metta meditation something like this-

If I'm well rested then start fire kasina first.If not then first take 15-20 minute power nap.I never meditate well while tired.Fire kasina or maybe (Tratak) would be more specific,really helps a bunch.The main goal is to stare softly at the candle flame and not blink.The theory is our eyes and mind are related.If we forcefully stop blinking(while staring softly at candle flame) it's also easy to stop mind chatter/wandering.Learnt this technique from osho.I do this for ~15 minutes. http://www.osholeela.com/meditation/

Next I do Skeleton meditation suggested by sujato and spread metta for 5-7 minutes.This really helps me spread the metta on the whole body later.Plus it is good for bone formation as research suggests.To me metta is nothing other than a cocktail of Oxytocin,Vasopressin making Anandamide.The word "Ananda" literally means happiness emoticon  http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/12/17/1523762113.full.pdf
The more feeling of metta you produce(oxytocin) the more you produce andandamide making you more blissful.This video explains this really well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx0nYr_xAaw

Then after that I give metta to myself for about 20 minutes.The opening mantra I use is "No matter what I have done in the past or what I'll do in the future,the door of my heart is always open to me"-Learnt this from Ajhan Brahm,and this really helps to accept myself totally.And then I keep repeating "May I be filled with loving kindness,may I be happy" until feeling of metta is quite well established across the whole body.And there are oxytocin receptors all over the body,so this whole body metta technique seems quite logical.

Next I give metta to a loved one for 10 minutes saying "may X be happy" using as less visualization as possible.Visualizing/imagining stuff got me hallucinating before,so I only concentrete on the feeling of metta.Then another 5-7 minutes on a neutral person,"may Y be happy" and about 20 minute for Difficult person.

After that,even though Sujato told to speard metta all across after getting into jhana,I speard metta everywhere anyways.I don't know when I'm gonna reach the 1st jhana but it feels a lot better after spreading the metta everwhere and remain there for sometime than just giving metta to difficult person for long periods of time.In total it takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

I really like the "Meditation mountain" simile by Ajhan Brahm-

The man is called "Mr. Sam Atha", he is going up the mountain because it is so calm and peaceful up there. The woman is called "Mrs. Vi Passana", she is going up there because she wants to see the beautiful view from the top of the mountain. Their dog, who happens to be called "Metta", comes up the mountain with them.

As they go higher and higher up the mountain Sam becomes more and more peaceful, but he also takes in the scenery. Vi enjoys the nice views, but she also finds it to be a very peaceful experience. Meanwhile, the higher up they go, Metta the dog wags his tail more and more.

In other words, the higher up "Meditation Mountain" you go the more stillness, insight and happiness comes to you regardless of what you started climbing for.

So it seems in metta meditation intensity is most important,you just need to get blissed out .For me when I really become blissful there is very little mind chatter and all fear naturally disappears.I feel really high after finishing the meditation and very peaceful.

RE: Bernd's Metta adventure
Answer
1/6/16 3:49 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Before I found your practice log I just learnt only basic metta meditation I found on youtube by sujato.I got the links of metta retreat audios from your posts and your expereiences in the retreats also helped me as very few people practice metta as their main meditation.Your practice log is very informative and I think anyone practicing metta will benefit from it.

This video explains schizophrenia quite well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxktavpRdzU

The things I'm about to say now will sound too ridiculous but this really happend to me so.....

Excessive weed,depression,stress all contributed to my schizophrenia.The day I finally was mad:I was smoking weed with my friend.We both got really high,sitting and watching music videos.Suddenly he touched my hand and I immedietly felt that I became twice as high.Then we just spontaneously hugged for like 15 seconds and after that it felt like a burst of energy coming out my heart area and it felt like we both were on top of the world and started dancing for no reason.It was all good and when my friend left my home,as soon as my friend left I just became high like never before and it felt like I will not exist.I became very afraid and tried to shake off the high but it only made me more anxious.Maybe if I had gone with the flow things would have been better,who knows.

And when my friend returned to his home,he suddenly lost all sense  of control and cried for a long time and then fell asleep tired and when he woke up he couldn't remember anything he did after coming back to his house,his roommates later told him about what happend.He's also taking pills now as he losses control and becomes violent at night when he can't fall asleep but on daytime he is quite ok.So we both became mad at the same time,but why this happend I have no fucking idea.emoticon

After the incident I became unable to sleep and my condition got worse and worse.I lost the ability to talk properly,I would try for hours to talk about a topic but I would lose track on mid way or keep repeating the same thing and never finish what I wanted to say.I lost all logic completely,became very superstitious about everything.At one point I became terrified of almost everything.It felt like everyone was spying on me,laughing at me,triying to hurt me.And it was so severe that even if a bird started chirping I thought someone has put the bird outside my house to mock me.I had vivid auditory hallucinations and some of them were terrifying.I was also convinced that the world was about to end. emoticon

I never had anger issues before but after scizophenia I suddenly became filled with anger and started to behave badly with everyone.When you become angry you simply become mad for those few moments and then again come back to reality.And the day you cannot come back,that day you need a doctor.I really tried to stop getting angry and consiously solve my problem and took me about 4 months just to regain some sense of sanity.I was getting nowhere with the pills and getting more depressed but meditation made things normal again.I used to do anapanasati at that time.

Weed doesn't provide any benefits for Anapanasati or Vipassana but for Metta meditation,I think it might be helpful just to get fimiliar with the feelig of metta.I find it really easy to generate metta on heart area and on the whole when high on weed.After schizoprenia everytime I smoked weed I was terrified as fuck and one time thought I wouldnt live but after starting practicing metta meditation the feeling of metta helped me overcome the fear.Now I smoke weed like I used to before getting sick(once or twice a month) and dont feel anxious anymore.

 

RE: Bernd's Metta adventure
Answer
4/7/16 8:45 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Bernd:

I doubt that humans will ever on a large scale will able to do enough meditation training to be liberated from that.


I agree, been having this thought lately.  Who's gonna want to do all this work, especially given that most people don't even know how fuq'd up they are?

RE: Bernd's Metta adventure
Answer
4/10/16 1:40 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
This is just my suggestion.It worked for me when I was in my dark night phase,maybe you'll get benefits too.
Try listening to OSHO.You might not like parts of his talks about sex & religion but simply just by sitting silently & listening to his discourses you'll get a clean high and you'll be easily be able to go deep in meditation.He talks very slowly with long pauses and the silence between his words will help you calm down and become meditative,his jokes are funny too.
Don't try to logically analyze what he is saying just try to listen to the silence between his words.His discourses worked wonders for me when I was in the dark night.Metta meditation is not working for you right now,nothing wrong about it,drop meditation for a week or so and try listening to OSHO's talks daily for these 7 days.Most of his discourses are 1 hour 45 minute long about the same time as you meditate,just try it.You'll see you'll become more positive,confident and go deeper in your meditation.And when you again feel more positive give metta meditation another try.
First watch these short videos on youtube,you'll get a idea what his discourses are like
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D7rWLzloOI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LfUvi1bof8&nohtml5=False
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otGQqO2TYMI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCKva76JpGE&nohtml5=False

If you like the short videos then please listen to the full audio discourses,they are completely free and can really change you positively.
The Heart sutra-http://oshoworld.com/discourses/audio_eng.asp?album_id=20
The Diamond sutra-http://oshoworld.com/discourses/audio_eng.asp?album_id=15
The Dhammapada-http://oshoworld.com/discourses/audio_eng.asp?album_id=3
The Buddha Emptiness of the Heart-http://oshoworld.com/discourses/audio_eng.asp?album_id=99
The Path of Love-http://oshoworld.com/discourses/audio_eng.asp?album_id=27

And these are his full lenght videos.
http://oshoworld.com/video/index.asp?video_id=1

RE: Bernd's Metta adventure
Answer
5/23/16 10:11 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
"How can one even live years with that amount of painful stuff. It's amazing. "


It is amazing. But for better or worse "ignorance" takes the edge off for most people, which is why people don't go completely completely completely bonkers. In a way it is harder for meditators because they don't have the protection of "ignorance is bliss".

For what it's worth, I always find metta/karuna formulations more powerful and effective if I use at least a three part statement: "May I..., "May we..." May I...". Usually I use a four part statement "I, They, We, I". It just seems to draw more power by not isolating myself from the rest of the world in my wishes/goals. When you include all beings in your wish/goal, then all beings seem to lend their support in some groovy way. Or maybe it's better to say, you don't find the self-other conflict as much of a limitation to your wishes/goals.

Another thing I would suggest is very short practice sessions. 12 minutes to settle, 5 minutes to open to new territory using inquiry, 3 minutes to rest/reintegrate.

Another thing that helps is trying the lying down position.

Basically, when you get closer and closer to the primal stuff in late stages, it helps to take it in small doses.

One last thought... I found my self doing a binary kind of noting for a while and it really helped: "inadequate" and "superior". Those two sensations/contexts are really at the heart of this "self" problem. Just becoming more aware of those two psychological rebirths (as a inadequate person, as a superior person) helps point toward the state beyond those extremes, which really isn't a state so much as finally living with those things in their proper context - just momentary judgments without much true reality.

Hope this helps!

EDIT: I just re-read your thread and my comments... and frankly I'm doubting whether the comments will be helpful. So definitely feel free to disregard if not helpful.