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Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W]


Eric M W - 2014-04-07 17:29:22 - Eric's Practice Log

I felt that making a practice log would give me some more motivation to meditate on a regular basis, so here it is.

Long term goal: 4th Path

Current goal: Stream entry

My current practice consists mainly of soft jhana/metta for sanity purposes. emoticon  I also dabble in second gear type practices with an emphasis on anatta, eg Maharishi's self-enquiry, some Tibetan "peaceful abiding" practices, and some of Eckhart Tolle's techniques.  This is also mostly for sanity purposes, but it also comes in handy when cushion time is sparse, which it most assuredly is.  Flickering impermanence is awesome, but I need some solid cushion time to really get to that point.  Adopting a more natural, open, equanimous attitude throughout the day seems to help move things along, and I suspect these techniques helped me cross A&P two years ago.

Practice History

I've always been really "into" spirituality for as long as I can remember.  When I used to go to church I would always be interested in some of the concepts, especially ones revolving around personal experience of God.  My parents attended a Baptist church so personal revelatory experiences like that were rare and often viewed with suspicion.  It's almost as if the whole congregation felt that religion is supposed to suck, but somehow it would stop sucking if you read the right holy text and and ended up in heaven.

I was always frustrated when my peers would talk or text during sermons.  Why weren't they as interested in this stuff as I was?  This was eternity we were talking about!  In hindsight, I suspect I may have crossed the A&P when I was really young, because I've always felt I was looking for something.  But that's just speculation now.

Fast forward a few years.  Christianity is no longer a part of my life, but my interest in personal experiences of a spiritual nature were still there.  I became interested in earth-centered traditions, especially because they emphasized travelling out of body to see the spirit worlds for one's self, rather than reading about it in a holy book.

I experimented with lucid dreaming and OBE techniques but had only limited success.  I found Robert Monroe's books and found his cosmology fascinating.  

At some point I ran into a psychic online who offered to "coach" me.  She did, over email, and it worked.  I started giving readings online at a reasonable rate of success that often surprised even me.  However, while this made me happy, I felt like the experiences were too vague, like there was some kind of wall in my mind that I kept running into.  Thus, the efforts to explore lucid dreams and the like continued.

I also began  meditating, with the vague expectation that this would somehow sharpen my experiences.  I found myself experiencing Mind and Body and soft first jhana.  The experiences were so cool that I studied more about Buddhism and Hinduism.

I found and read the first part of MCTB at this point.  The three characteristics really caught my attention, and I decided to experiment with some of the techniques and see if I could pick up on them.  I guess I must have.  I went to bed that night and had a very vivid, colorful dream where I was the Buddha.  I was sitting on a hill, and this creepy army of darkness was on another hill.  They charged, but instead of running away, I decided to sit down and note them.  This decision felt spontaneous and natural.  They surrounded me, but as long as I noted them, they couldn't touch me.  I realized that they represented reality.  As long as I noted reality, it could not cause me suffering.  There was a sound like rushing water, and all of reality exploded.

I thought it was a pretty crazy dream.  I also felt a little concerned about how it seemed to happen on its own.  I hoped I didn't start anything that could not be stopped, but of course, I had.

I never read through the rest of MCTB.  We all know what happens after A&P.  I didn't realize what had happened or what was about to happen.  I also had some pretty difficult ordinary life circumstances.  Thus, I got really, really screwed up for a while.  I managed to hit EQ last spring by looking at a Huichol mandala.  A knot untied in my chest and a fog lifted, and everything sort of became the same thing for a little while.  

So, for about a year, I've been in this weird place where I'm technically pre-path, but I'm too far to go back.  Thankfully, I re-read MCTB and realized what had been going on all this time.

If I'm not meditating or relaxing in the sunshine, I very quickly drift into this angsty, bitter place where I feel dark about everything.  Not the OMGWTFBBQ dark of the dukkha nanas, but more like a mild depression, where everything is unsatisfying at a deep level.

Oh, and I don't bother with siddhis anymore, the Dark Night kinda messed with that aspect.

Current Practice

Like I said, I'm pre-path, but post A&P and DN, so I'm in a frustrating place.  I feel like I don't have a baseline anymore, my mind is just kind of all over the place.  My most immediate goal is to cross A&P again and give it another shot, but cushion time is limited.  I have three kids and one on the way, and a day job.  

At any rate, I look forward to logging some more time on the cushion and posting about it here.

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Dream Walker - 2014-04-07 22:02:59 - RE: Eric's Practice Log

Eric M W:
I experimented with lucid dreaming and OBE techniques but had only limited success.  I found Robert Monroe's books and found his cosmology fascinating.  
I too liked his concepts. Then I found the work of his student who continued the work/exploration. I recommend it highly but it is a bit long....three books in the series where it could really be edited down to one. "My Big Toe" by  Thomas Campbell check out his youtube ....you'll be hooked...Youtube Link

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Eric M W - 2014-04-07 23:50:04 - RE: Eric's Practice Log

Dream Walker:
Eric M W:
I experimented with lucid dreaming and OBE techniques but had only limited success.  I found Robert Monroe's books and found his cosmology fascinating.  
I too liked his concepts. Then I found the work of his student who continued the work/exploration. I recommend it highly but it is a bit long....three books in the series where it could really be edited down to one. "My Big Toe" by  Thomas Campbell check out his youtube ....you'll be hooked...Youtube Link

Oh, I've seen one of his videos before!  I was watching videos about consciousness on youtube and one of his popped up, he talked about the double slit experiment and how it shows that this is a virtual reality.  Interesting stuff.  I had no idea he was TC Physicist, I will have to check out his stuff.

You know, Bob Monroe's views on reincarnation and afterlife environments are very similar to certain Buddhist teachings.  For example, "Last Timers" winking out after their final sojourn on earth, and generating escape velocity to escape the space/time illusion..  It's kind of eerie how some of it lines up.

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Dream Walker - 2014-04-08 05:10:37 - RE: Eric's Practice Log

Eric M W:
Dream Walker:
Eric M W:
I experimented with lucid dreaming and OBE techniques but had only limited success.  I found Robert Monroe's books and found his cosmology fascinating.  
I too liked his concepts. Then I found the work of his student who continued the work/exploration. I recommend it highly but it is a bit long....three books in the series where it could really be edited down to one. "My Big Toe" by  Thomas Campbell check out his youtube ....you'll be hooked...Youtube Link

Oh, I've seen one of his videos before!  I was watching videos about consciousness on youtube and one of his popped up, he talked about the double slit experiment and how it shows that this is a virtual reality.  Interesting stuff.  I had no idea he was TC Physicist, I will have to check out his stuff.

You know, Bob Monroe's views on reincarnation and afterlife environments are very similar to certain Buddhist teachings.  For example, "Last Timers" winking out after their final sojourn on earth, and generating escape velocity to escape the space/time illusion..  It's kind of eerie how some of it lines up.
Yes it seems like they do talk about some of the same things. Tom Campbell talks about the Buddhist maps of the 36 non material planes as accurate in his out of body explorations...he goes much further down the rabbit hole than Robert Monroe or Buddhism.  I found it very interesting stuff.  Bruce Moen is another author that has some good materiel as he was a student of Robert Monroe and continued explorations...not as deep as Tom's stuff though. Tom has a forum on his web site much like here...there are some interesting conversations there.  I found the information here about meditation and enlightenment to be much better than Tom's but he goes very far in understanding the greater reality of physical and nonphysical planes.    
Good luck,
~D

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Eric M W - 2014-04-19 13:55:25 - RE: Eric's Practice Log

I haven't written much of anything in here.  That is because there isn't much to say.  The stomach bug made a third pass through our house this past weekend and I seem to be suffering from some kind of chronic nausea.  If I stand up and walk around too much, I get queasy.  I also have some abdominal cramping, and going number 2 on the toilet is unpleasant.  Maybe I need to take some pro-biotics?  This sort of constant bodily discomfort is difficult to work with.

I did do some fast choiceless awareness noting yesterday, for about twenty minutes.  Oftentimes I get ahead of myself with fast noting, so I alternate with some gentler body scanning practice.  I'm not sure if this is a wise thing to do, alternating two techniques in a single sit, but I always find myself doing so.  

Interesting things did start to happen.  I got some weird tingles and phantom itches, and there were a few points where it felt like someone was pushing on the top of my head and my sinuses, a weird pressure.  This seems consistent with the 3rd nana, but that's a little strange because I don't remember passing through the first two.  Oh, well, I'm almost ready to throw the maps out at this point.

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Dream Walker - 2014-04-21 23:35:50 - RE: Eric's Practice Log

Eric M W:
This seems consistent with the 3rd nana, but that's a little strange because I don't remember passing through the first two.  Oh, well, I'm almost ready to throw the maps out at this point.
Follow your own path not a map. Knowing the map doesn't change what happens in your experiences it just helps put things into perspective. If you find yourself starting from where ever you are...well just do that. Don't try to force it to do the map based "right" things....just check out what is happening right now and at each moment while meditating with as much clarity as you can muster. 
Good luck
~D
Edit: and yes, take some probiotics alternate with tumeric, ginger and garlic to kill the bugs.

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Eric M W - 2014-04-22 00:15:32 - RE: Eric's Practice Log

I started a probiotic that seems to be doing the trick, but I will keep those other things in mind in case I need them.

Did about twenty minutes of metta practice today.  I can feel a warm spot grow in my chest area, and I take the warmth as an object, but I can't seem to get into jhana this way.  I got into brittle, soft first jhana last night using the breath, but then when I switched to metta it went away.  I also seem to have a hard time cultivating metta towards myself.  Interesting...

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Dream Walker - 2014-04-23 17:20:16 - RE: Eric's Practice Log

Eric M W:
Did about twenty minutes of metta practice today.  I can feel a warm spot grow in my chest area, and I take the warmth as an object, but I can't seem to get into jhana this way.  I got into brittle, soft first jhana last night using the breath, but then when I switched to metta it went away.  I also seem to have a hard time cultivating metta towards myself.  Interesting...
Combine the methods....take the warm spot in your chest area and expand it with each inbreath. "may we be filled with loving kindness" I don't bother to individuate myself or other very often....it's about feeling.
Good luck,
~D

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Eric M W - 2014-04-24 23:55:42 - RE: Eric's Practice Log

Between kids, work, and chores, I have a ridiculously short amount of time per day for formal meditation.  Daily mindfulness isn't so great either-- I can start being mindful of my body, or my hands, or something of that nature, but then half an hour later I realize I am no longer being mindful.  

Right around the time I crossed A&P, this stuff was so easy.  I could incline my mind to mindfulness of my body and be filled with warmth.  I could visualize an object and see it clearly.  My mind would be crisp and clean throughout a sit.  I could read about spiritual experiences and feel that I deeply understand them.  I guess this is all in keeping with the symptoms of A&P.  

Now, meditation is boring and difficult, even when I do have time for it.  I have a lot on my plate as far as daily life is concerned and that just adds to the frustration.  I seem to alternate between primal frustration and spiritual inspiration of some kind...  Man, I'd cut my left hand off just to A&P again and get back on the ride.  emoticon

I need more structure, I think.  I've picked up the Mahamudra meditation manual from Spirit Rock again and am starting on the second practice cycle-- investigating mind itself.  What is its shape, what is its color, etc.  I've always had a proclivity towards the mind and the thought sense door.  Now if only I can stay awake and pay attention to reality...

I can still hit first jhana fairly regularly, if my mind is clean enough.  It's nice, but it feels fake.

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Droll Dedekind - 2014-04-25 18:00:18 - RE: Eric's Practice Log

Have you tried noting during the day? Whenever you remember, try a two to three minute burst of concentrated noting. Doing this at least three times a day does wonders for establishing mindfulness and removing built up tensions/ganglia.

Good luck on hitting the A&P again!

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Dream Walker - 2014-04-25 22:02:49 - RE: Eric's Practice Log

Eric M W:
Between kids, work, and chores, I have a ridiculously short amount of time per day for formal meditation.  Daily mindfulness isn't so great either-- I can start being mindful of my body, or my hands, or something of that nature, but then half an hour later I realize I am no longer being mindful.  

Set a timer ap that rings every 15 minutes thruout the day on your phone to remind yourself to get back to mindfulness. I play with Noopept sometimes to increase daily mindfulness. 
Formal meditation consistancy is the key...let evyone know your schedule and then stick to it...they will help remind you after a while.
Eric M W:
Right around the time I crossed A&P, this stuff was so easy.  I could incline my mind to mindfulness of my body and be filled with warmth.  I could visualize an object and see it clearly.  My mind would be crisp and clean throughout a sit.  I could read about spiritual experiences and feel that I deeply understand them.  I guess this is all in keeping with the symptoms of A&P.  
Dark night is not fun...it doesn't seem like your getting anywhere...but you are. keep it up and get to EQ. It's better than A&P in some ways. Contentment and deep stresslessness is a fantastic reward for getting out of Re-Ob.
Eric M W:
Now, meditation is boring and difficult, even when I do have time for it.  I have a lot on my plate as far as daily life is concerned and that just adds to the frustration.  I seem to alternate between primal frustration and spiritual inspiration of some kind...  Man, I'd cut my left hand off just to A&P again and get back on the ride.  emoticon
Ha Ha...good luck choreographing this....what happens happens...start with whereever you are....you can't start anywhere else.
Eric M W:
I need more structure, I think.  I've picked up the Mahamudra meditation manual from Spirit Rock again and am starting on the second practice cycle-- investigating mind itself.  What is its shape, what is its color, etc.  I've always had a proclivity towards the mind and the thought sense door.  Now if only I can stay awake and pay attention to reality...
well if noting got you here keep on keeping on...it is frustrating and you may wish for another tool in the DN but this is usually because nothing feels like anything is happening...but it is...keep with it.
Eric M W:
I can still hit first jhana fairly regularly, if my mind is clean enough.  It's nice, but it feels fake.
ya, the DN can make it feel a bit miserable and disgusting but really focus on the bliss and positive stuff that comes with it...it is helpful to counteract this stuff.
Good luck,
~D

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Eric M W - 2014-04-26 22:41:52 - RE: Eric's Practice Log

Thanks to everyone for the encouragement.  It is very much appreciated.  emoticon

I would gauge my baseline state of being as a mix between needing to find something and primal frustration... not OMGWTFBBQ primal frustration like Re-Observation, but more subtle, like even the most enjoyable things seem to be lacking something fundamental.

I admit that I have done very little noting or any kind of formal meditation over the past few weeks.  I feel defeated, like there is no way I can pull this off without some kind of big retreat, which is simply not going to happen given my situation.  But, I try to remind myself that I made it all the way to EQ without much time spent meditating or even knowing what was going on, so I must have what it takes.

I did some choiceless awareness noting at various points today.  I feel MUCH better after I do this.  I had a few phantom itches and pains crop up, but they were duly noted.  My attention also wandered off into la-la land a few times, but I noted the thoughts when I caught myself.

My plan is to turn off the computer and just do some breath awareness instead of hiding in the internet like I usually do... we shall see what happens.  I will also try some dream yoga tonight, if I'm not too tired, but I admit I rarely have success with it, probably because my concentration is pretty dull.  emoticon

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Eric M W - 2014-05-01 11:00:15 - RE: Eric's Practice Log

I had about a thirty minute sit this morning, interrupted sporadically by my son.  He was up late and up early, so I am pretty sleep deprived, but at least I had time for some meditation.

I started out cultivating metta towards my son.  I had some warmth arise in my abdomen, but it was faint.  I switched to breath awareness and then let my attention widen to include all sense doors.  I noted "that" for everything that arose.  My mind wandered a few times, but never more than a minute or so before I was able to recognize the wandering, note it, and return.  

I alternated between the rising/falling of the abdomen and choiceless awareness.  I noticed that it was almost impossible not to control the breath.  I seemed unable to let it happen naturally.

Towards the end of the sit I had some odd pressures and itches.  My concentration was lagging somewhat so I had a hard time staying with them, though I was generally able to note them.  I also realized that I was being too narrow and effortful; I toned things down and was able to briefly take on a more relaxed, open perspective on the whole sensate field.  This was much nicer and seemed to bring more clarity.

The sit ended with some weak jhanic stuff that arose on its own-- warmth in the abdomen and spine, mostly.  I focused on the flickering behind my closed eyes and, if I kept my concentration up, they seemed to form a faint ring of blue light that was flashing, as if it were made of electricity.  I am unable to tell if this was merely an altered state from the act of concentrating on my eyelids, or if it was a transition to a new insight stage.  Time will tell.

Hoping to get some more sleep tonight, but monks usually don't sleep more than five or six hours a night, as advocated by the Buddha... Maybe there's something to this sleep deprivation thing?

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No-Second-Arrow Z - 2014-05-02 11:50:15 - RE: Eric's Practice Log

Eric M W:

Hoping to get some more sleep tonight, but monks usually don't sleep more than five or six hours a night, as advocated by the Buddha... Maybe there's something to this sleep deprivation thing?


Hi there. My kids somehow turned into adults (but still live at home), but i remember how tired I was when they were little. I remember one day I decided to stop counting how many hours of sleep I got, because it only made me feel sorry for myself.emoticon
Anyway, I don't think we - as lay people - should compare ourselves to monks and nuns, because we have a totally different life style. We have kids to raise, drive cars, do endless amounts of shopping and have demanding jobs. Every person is different in the amount of sleep they need, but it's probably more than what monks need.
 I'm not sure I would go on a road trip with a monk who had three or four hours of sleep on a regularly basis.emoticon

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/6/14 12:36 PM as a reply to Migration 6.2 Daemon.
Hey there Migration Daemon, how's it going?

It's been a while since I posted.  I had a little spell where I gave up on spiriual practice and wallowed in my angst for a while.  Good times!  But it just reminds me that I need to practice.  I need to arrange my priorities so that my very first one is finding peace.  I'd like to have the circut completed before my new baby comes in October.  Maybe that's a bit of a tall order, but it never hurts to aim high and strive for greatness.

Anyway, I've been trying to maintain mindfulness throughout the day.  I also got my hands on a book about Dipa Ma (the ass-light lady from MCTemoticon that I have found inspiring, because Dipa Ma was a householder who suffered a lot by losing loved ones and suffering from health problems.  She taught a number of students who got SE within a couple of months just by practicing diligently at home.  It is possible!  

Today I started with noting the breath and progressed to rapid-fire choiceless fast noting.  My mind became ungrounded and wandered off a lot, which tends to happen to me when I do choiceless awareness practice.  But when I managed to keep my nose on the grindstone, I got a lot of weird pressures in my head.  I also very briefly saw flashing strobe lights when I focused on the backs of my eyelids, but I always got startled and snapped out of it.  I'm assuming this is immature A&P and I need more mindfulness if I want to successfully penetrate into that territory again.

Otherwise, sleep is not so great.  My son was given a new sleep med and it really messed with him.  We took him off it and now he just stays up half the night.  We try to just leave him in his room but he likes to screech and sqwak.  LOL he's a silly boy.  

Last night I experienced unspeakable joy when I heard him wretching in his bedroom after only two hours of sleep.  Vomit everywhere, and then he puked every half hour after that.  The stomach bug has returned!  Round number four!  In June, of all times.  I think the CDC needs to come disinfect my house.  I'm probably next...  Yikes.

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/7/14 12:54 AM as a reply to Eric M W.
Eric M W:
Bah, who needs this insight stuff.  How are your journeys into NPMR these days?  Entropy going down?  

On a somewhat unrelated note, if you attain to NS within two weeks I will give you a quarter.  It's a lucky quarter.
I have been working on insite pretty exclusively these years. I have not explored NPMR outside a few breif moments spontaniously. I tried to address Entropy and Paths over in the My Big Toe forum with little success.
http://www.my-big-toe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=8142
http://www.my-big-toe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=8138
It's interesting how I failed so overwhelmingly....I don't post often to that forum and they really don't know me at all so new ideas that may be different from their previously conceaved understandings of Buddism can seem underwhelming at best when compared to Tom's model. The only problem is Tom Capmbell speaks mainly of concentration meditation and not insite in his book "My Big Toe". I see this as a huge gap. Sorely wish I could get Daniel and Tom to talk together and see what interesting things they could learn from each other.

A lucky quarter? hmmm.... might have to take you up on that....I've been meaning to practice concentration more. I've not worked on it exclusively with diligence outside of the one goenka retreat. This is just the crazy magickal synchonicity I may have been waiting for. Thanks for the motivation.
Good luck to you and your little ones....one of mine is sick with fever now....
~D

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/7/14 1:00 AM as a reply to Eric M W.
Eric M W:
I'm assuming this is immature A&P and I need more mindfulness if I want to successfully penetrate into that territory again.
Here is a link to settle your mind about A&P. Daniel has simplified it to a nice neat chart... APmindmap
~D

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/7/14 11:55 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
BTW, how far into MBT are you? What do you think of it so far?

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/7/14 1:39 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
BTW, how far into MBT are you? What do you think of it so far?


I'm well into Book 2.  The first part where Tom was talking about his own personal experiences was fascinating, but now things are getting pretty thick!  It's kind of like a text book... I think I will need some time to let things sink in.  It's well-written and it's interesting to flip through Monroe's books and find where things kind of line up.

It is a little weird that Tom only practices concentration meditation.  I figure he must be at least a little enlightened though, because there are topics about Bernadette Roberts on the forum, and she was obviously pretty high up as far as Theravadin paths go.  There was also someone talking about reality rebooting, but I can't seem to find the topic to explore it further...

Tom would probably say that if a FWAU practices vipassana, he/she plugs into the "Progress of Insight" datastream and it becomes part of the experience packet.  Am I making sense???

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/7/14 4:37 PM as a reply to Eric M W.
Eric M W:
Dream Walker:
BTW, how far into MBT are you? What do you think of it so far?


I'm well into Book 2.  The first part where Tom was talking about his own personal experiences was fascinating, but now things are getting pretty thick!  It's kind of like a text book... I think I will need some time to let things sink in.  It's well-written and it's interesting to flip through Monroe's books and find where things kind of line up.
Keep plowing thru...he tends to repeat concepts over and over with a little added each time....He tends to program your brain that way. If you miss something it will come back around.
Eric M W:

It is a little weird that Tom only practices concentration meditation.  I figure he must be at least a little enlightened though, because there are topics about Bernadette Roberts on the forum, and she was obviously pretty high up as far as Theravadin paths go.  There was also someone talking about reality rebooting, but I can't seem to find the topic to explore it further...
YES, I was amazed that he never mentions INSITE meditation at all. That was what I was trying to convey but really...MCTB is a very niche market....easy to miss in the massive mushroom culture of Buddhism and once you label buddhist a certain way you can dismiss it all at once. "I tried buddhism once...it didn't stop my misery so I knew it was BS" emoticon
Eric M W:

Tom would probably say that if a FWAU practices vipassana, he/she plugs into the "Progress of Insight" datastream and it becomes part of the experience packet.  Am I making sense???

Hmmm...I'm not sure what he would say.
I'd say that a Free Will Awareness Unit that engages in vipasanna is changing the WAY the datastream is delivered. Right now the datastream has high entropy due to unnecessary selfing process added to the information. In eliminating the extraneous selfing process the way the datastream is delivered is changed to a more clean and clear way. The stress and fear chaotic crap is cut out and allows for a more loving centered non-reactionary way of being.
~D

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/21/14 8:48 AM as a reply to Migration 6.2 Daemon.
I've been trying, for quite some time, to have pleasant sits. Focus on the breath, ease into a nice soft jhana, do some metta, all that nice stuff. But it almost never happens. My concentration is garbage, level of mind noise is ridiculous. Sometimes I can get into nice states but for the most part, it's just a constant battle that always ends in frustration. Jack Kornfield gives the metaphor of bringing a puppy back to the wet pad, again and again, until it's house broken. For me, it's more like dragging a kicking, squirming St. Bernard, and by the time I get to the pad, he's three miles down the road.

My everyday existence is characterized by subtle, existential angst, like always. Noting seems fake. People in general seem fake. 

The other day, I had had enough. "You know what? Fuck it. If angst is what I have, then angst is what I'll use." So I sat and focused on the angst. Tension in the chest, mental spinning, and a feeling like the whole field of sensations was constricted somehow. It was unpleasant at first, but then, it was easy. Of course it was easy. Suffering was always there. I didn't have to constantly drag my attention back to my breath, I just had to sit with my suffering.

Moral of the story: Sit with what you've got. The three C's are there.

After sitting with my suffering for a while, it kind of went away. Not a major state shift or anything, it's just that it wasn't as obvious as before, like it was coming apart. This was nice, but also frustrating in its own way, because it seemed like my object was gone!

I haven't had too much time meditating lately. I had my balls chopped off with a rusty meat cleaver (I think that's what a vasectomy is) yesterday and I'm still quite sore. I was given lorazepam and slept most of the day. This was actually pretty fun, because I could slide into a semi-dreaming state almost at will. I could never stay lucid, but it was still fun and interesting. I attempted to visualize myself floating up to the heavens in hopes of making it to the Upper World, but I could never hold on to the thread of attention long enough.

I did get pre-exit vibrations at one point, but my wife interrupted when she came to check on me. Probably wouldn't have made it out of body anyway, with all the grogginess.

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/22/14 9:50 AM as a reply to Migration 6.2 Daemon.
This is actually the content of an email I sent to Daniel this morning, but I am posting it here because it is relevant to my practice. Possible A&P to 6th nana, Fear. 


I was laying in bed, trying to go to sleep, and decided to engage in some fast, choiceless awareness noting. I started with the breath, but inner images became predominant as sleep approached. After only a few minutes, my head suddenly felt very tight, as if someone put a too-tight sweatband around it. I kept noting, but had a hard time dealing with the pressure. I tried wiggling my facial muscles around, but nothing seemed to help. It was genuinely uncomfortable. At one point I decided to stop, but then I realized that interesting things were happening, and if I stopped now I would be disappointed with myself later. 

A dream vignette arose. Two men were playing tennis while others cheered them on. I noted each time the ball was hit. The match picked up pace, the ball going back and forth faster and faster ever second, finally reaching a superhuman speed. I was noting datdatdatdatdatdatdatdat. The pressure around my head "broke." In its place were vibrations-- not very pleasant ones. They were slow, clunky, and uncomfortable, like a wubwubwubwubwub. But vibrations nonetheless.

The vibrations began, without my invitation, moving down my head, down my neck. I felt claustrophobic when they were around my throat. They got down to my chest and OUCH, my heart center hurt. I thought I was having some kind of medical emergency so I tried to will the vibrations to stop. They sort of faded, only to start right back at the top of my head, moving down. I was certain that some kind of damage was being done to my body.

Suddenly, aliens were coming to get me. They were little humanoids with big heads and glowing red eyes and they were going to put me in their ship and take me far away and I would never see my family again. I could see them with my eyes closed, looking at me with those red eyes. Like a siddhi from hell. I started freaking out, but the vibrations were hurting my heart again, and I can only deal with so much freaky shit at once. The vibes tried to go further down. I had a vasectomy on Friday and have been sitting around with sore balls for two days. I  can only imagine what that would have felt like. So, no. No, sir. I somehow managed to stop them before they got too far south. 

I placed my attention on my genitals to see how they were doing and my legs were, uh, trading places with each other? I'm not sure how to explain. They were alternating very quickly. 

The big vibrations had stopped, but my body was buzzing, and I was still freaked out by the aliens that were coming to take me away. I decided to tune out altogether, switching positions and just trying to go to sleep. I couldn't deal with this alien shit. Normally, when trying to sleep, I visualize myself in a pleasant nature scene, usually a forest. I did this now, but it was night time in the forest, and it was creepy as hell, like the boogey-man was going to come out of the darkness any second. Seeing the forest any other way was impossible. Looking around the room was creepy too. Anything could be hiding in the shadows...

At some point, I managed to fall asleep, but had nightmares. Two of them involved my children getting mauled by dogs, and two more involved me stealing cash from the drawer at work and getting caught. Wtf? It was only like $100 too, why the hell would I do that...? Reminds me of the good ol' dark night dreams I had years ago, and maybe that's what they were.

I'm guessing this was A&P. So... yay? I was hoping for some visionary dakini sex or something. Aliens? Jesus. Maybe having surgery a few days ago played into this somehow.

I'm not sure if I actually "crossed" it or not, since I tried to tune everything out in the end. I did have nightmares and feel a little restless today, which sounds DNish, but I didn't have any cool, deep 5th nana stuff. Just thinking about it makes my head tighten up again... I think today is going to be an interesting day, regardless.

After months of meditating and having nothing happen, I'm glad something is finally going on, regardless of how creepy it is. Aliens... *shakes head*

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/22/14 1:14 PM as a reply to Eric M W.
Eric M W:
The other day, I had had enough. "You know what? Fuck it. If angst is what I have, then angst is what I'll use." So I sat and focused on the angst. Tension in the chest, mental spinning, and a feeling like the whole field of sensations was constricted somehow. It was unpleasant at first, but then, it was easy. Of course it was easy. Suffering was always there. I didn't have to constantly drag my attention back to my breath, I just had to sit with my suffering.

Moral of the story: Sit with what you've got. The three C's are there.

And then the fractal opens up and you learn the same lesson over and over in all it's myriad variations. With added fear misery disgust and the rest of the enchilada that was merely part of the appetizer plate that is part of the meal that is part of the menu that is part of the ...
Compassion for your V job. Been there done that. Heal well.
Good luck,
~D

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/22/14 3:14 PM as a reply to Eric M W.
I find this so ironic that you would post this about last night, as just last night I was emanating "malicious" waves, but really they were ripples of influence throughout the thought sphere. You obviously felt them (they appeared to me as earth quakes), one of the visualizations I did (completely impromptu) was emanating a sphere that traps all living beings inside it, and then retracting the sphere to my body squishing the beings against this type of aura-like spiky armor until they die and their souls are trapped within the shell of the armor.

I find it so ironic that you would consider me nothing more than a troll, as I literally (and I'm not lying or trolling right now) abide in intense jhana and/or emptiness every, single, fucking day. I do not have your experiences of unpleasant sits, at will I experience pleasant vibrations.

Yet you consider me some unskilled meditator, fuck off dude. Seriously. I have more wisdom, iddhi and concentration in my little pinky then you will have in your entire lifetime.

Now of course you might think: well James is not practicing right speech.

And you're right! I'm not, but none of you ever have anyways as you basically negated the necessity of right speech for awakening, with your whole pragmatic/hardcore/morality-is-not-necessary-or-perfectable approach to Dharma.

*big fucking sigh*

By the way the waves of influence were directed towards this community, you literally felt me, that is what happened. Congratulations on not crossing the A&P.

P.S

Probably won't respond to you, but will definitely read your replies, as I'm in ban mode right now!

Happy sitting man, also, grow up.

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/22/14 3:32 PM as a reply to James Yen.
James :


Yet you consider me some unskilled meditator, fuck off dude. Seriously. I have more wisdom, iddhi and concentration in my little pinky then you will have in your entire lifetime.

And yet, how clearly this statement conveys just the opposite.

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/22/14 3:49 PM as a reply to deleted deleted.
No you're right, it really does. But then again I've always been bullied on this forum anyways, no matter what I do, or how my behavior changes. So I'm beginning to think that it may be just a problem on their side. I'm fine in person, I'm happy, I do experience intense absorption daily (touching the Deathless with the body).

I'm just tired of being trolled by people saying I'm a 'troll'. All I wanted was to to contribute, but people here don't seem to realize that their perception of you, and casting of you as being a certain type of person, actually affects their behavior.

Thereby creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. I just find it very ironic that the perception of myself on this forum is so negative, when in reality I'm just not that bad at all.

They might as well be attacking a phantom!

Peace dude.

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/22/14 3:50 PM as a reply to deleted deleted.
But anyways, if you read Ingram's book you'll notice that he says that Awakened beings don't have any limits on their behavior or emotions anyways!

So maybe there is no contradiction!

Lol.

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/22/14 4:05 PM as a reply to James Yen.
James Yen:
No you're right, it really does. But then again I've always been bullied on this forum anyways, no matter what I do, or how my behavior changes. So I'm beginning to think that it may be just a problem on their side. I'm fine in person, I'm happy, I do experience intense absorption daily (touching the Deathless with the body).


If that is the case, and it were me feeling that, I would just move on and go somewhere else. What is the point of staying somewhere that brings you suffering?

People are often drawn to pain like a flame. Often it is better to fly to more condusive settings. I would never stay some where that does not give me a sense my contributions were wanted or necessary.

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/22/14 4:27 PM as a reply to James Yen.
Hey guys, welcome to my practice thread. Crack a beer, take your shoes off, feel free to turn on the T.V. 

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/23/14 7:16 PM as a reply to Migration 6.2 Daemon.
Yesterday I was pretty freaked out most of the day. This would be consistent with 6th nana... but I haven't noticed any other DN symptoms. I'm being veeeery skeptical at this point, trying to just pay bare attention to the sensations that make up the present moment and not think about the maps.

I worked in a strawberry field this morning and I'm pretty sore and sunburnt, on top of the soreness from losing my man-card on Friday. Maybe I need to call my urologist and order more pain meds... I only got maybe four hours of sleep last night thanks to the pain. Well, and my autistic son being up till 1 am, but that's pretty typical.

I was laying down to take a nap this afternoon. At one point, my eyes were open, staring at the ceiling, and I noticed a circle of flickering lights. Like the flickering dots of my visual field were a tiny bit more obvious. I used my intent to make them spin... and they started to spin... and I felt like I about to get sucked into the spinning dots. I kind of dozed off before anything interesting could happen, unfortunately. A&P again...? Hm.

RE: Eric's Practice Log [Eric M W] [MIGRATE]
Answer
11/26/14 11:10 AM as a reply to Eric M W.
I know a guy who made good progress in his car at work at lunch each day. He had a super quick lunch made and got a half hour to an hour in. I did most of my work in a recliner to first path. Nodding off and surfing the border of sleep. I think it is rare but doable. I think diligence is key, every day you miss takes a day to get back to your cutting edge... Miss one day a week and you actually only get 5 days of practice miss 2 days and you get 3 days..so if you meditate every other day, you will most likely never get anywhere(at least not quickly) If you only have time for quick sits then you need to work on skillfulness too..Get concentration going quick and make a run up the nanas to your cutting edge and have a little time there to soak in it. That is on the cushion advice. Off the cushion you can be mindful thruout the day as much you are. Get an app on your phone that gongs you every 5 minutes thru the day. When the reminder bell goes off just be aware what you are doing without changing what you are doing. Notice how long you can notice what you are doing before you loose it. There is a whole lot of time to be mindful thruout the day, it just takes practice. Try it and see. (hmmm..I should do this even more)
Good luck,
~D