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noting vocabulary
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8/19/14 1:36 AM
Apologies if this has been discussed before, (can't find it).

I currently practice noting in accordance with some guidance I read from Stephen Heyes, a clin psych and a Buddhist.  I use a farly short list of words to describe experiential phenomena:
-sensations
-sounds
-thoughts
-memories
-fantasy
-judgements
-urges

This was really useful in minimising 'thinking' time before each note came up, but reading about other people's practices I am wondering if I am limiting myself with such narrow labels.  I know the note is not the same as the thing, but in terms of developing insight into the 3 C's etc, is a wider range of notes advisable?? I'm specifically wondering about things like 'feeling tone' or further refining the content of 'thoughts'.  On the one hand I don't want to get way-laid in content, but on the other 'thought' can note a passing day-dream about a girl at work or a profound commentary on the practice itself. 


Thanks in advance...  Newbie doubts and worries, I know!

RE: noting vocabulary
Answer
8/19/14 7:53 AM as a reply to Hugh Fox.
There are a lot of different schema that you can use.

For example Shinzen Young suggests stuff like "feel-in" for emotional body sensations, "feel-out" for normal physical body sensations, "see-in" for internal images, "see-out" for external sites, "hear-in" for internal dialogue, "hear-out for external sound, "gone" for the passing of a sensation, and stuff like "feel rest" for the absense of a sensation (if you notice it):
http://www.shinzen.org/Retreat%20Reading/FiveWays.pdf

Another thing that I have started doing is to limit to around 10 notes, all oriented around the 3C's directly. So for example, I will give notes like "aversion", "craving", or "clinging" for the suffering C, notes like "arising" and "passing" for the impermanence C, and notes like "empty", "not mine", or asking stuff like "who feels" for the not-self C. 

Another option, continue with the list of words that you already have, and then during the course of meditation, if sensations come up that feel like they need more clarification, reflect afterwords (not during) what additional note(s) you would use. So during the meditation if you felt something like "vulnerability", note it as "sensations" and then decide afterwords that you will use the new words whenever that same feeling comes up again. In this way you can develop a specific vocabulary naturally and over time that is yours. 

I hope this helps

RE: noting vocabulary
Answer
8/19/14 10:22 AM as a reply to Hugh Fox.
Hugh Fox:
Apologies if this has been discussed before, (can't find it).

I currently practice noting in accordance with some guidance I read from Stephen Heyes, a clin psych and a Buddhist.  I use a farly short list of words to describe experiential phenomena:
-sensations
-sounds
-thoughts
-memories
-fantasy
-judgements
-urges
Thanks in advance...  Newbie doubts and worries, I know!

Try google ---> site:www.dharmaoverground.org noting words
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5539985
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/81495/fr
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4216786
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4695538

Tons more.....these links have some good stuff to them.
Good luck
~D

RE: noting vocabulary
Answer
8/19/14 10:37 AM as a reply to Hugh Fox.
My take on the noting practice is that being aware of the moment is the key, secondarily the "note" is nothing more than keeping content from arising that would pull you out of the moment and back into thoughts. So I hear a noise in the moment and then note it to stop the mind from making a story about the noise. The note should be simple and easy at first so you don't spend all your time looking for the right word when all you are trying to do is stop thinking about sensations....just noticing them in the now. I use 4 words and on the very rare times I smell and taste I'll use them too but mostly its - Hearing, Thinking, Seeing, Feeling. When you master the four words and content starts to creep in anyway speed it up or add a secondary note of internal vs external, feeling tone, etc....again to stop the content and stay in the moment....I just usually speed up to the fastest noting I can and bear down to stop content....sometimes I can just notice without noting at all....do this if/when you can (usually in EQ).
Anyway...thats my take on things,
Good luck,
~D

RE: noting vocabulary
Answer
8/19/14 11:47 AM as a reply to Hugh Fox.
Some people don't like methodical practice but using the 4 foundations of mindfulness can help you catch the "analyzing", "strategizing", "doubt", "catastrophizing", that gets missed in typical practice.  Note moods and hindrances like "angry", "sad", "melancholy", "happy", "bliss", "equanimity", "lust", "greed", "envy", "sloth", "restlessness".  Pick a foundation of mindfulness and keep practicing in that window and then when you feel the habit is sinking in then move on to the next and get good at it.  Eventually you'll have habits of mindfulness in all 4 foundations.

The other thing is to let attention go where it goes so there's less of a feeling of a controller that's aversive to what's there and then nudge your concentration to skillful things while noting "intention" so that intention isn't a self.  Welcome the habit formations and let them drop, then note "gone".  This way you can develop control without an aversion to what's happening, since the aversion feels like a self.  When aversion does show up as it inevitably will you can note that too because you've practiced the vedana foundation of mindfulness you should be good at noticing that.

RE: noting vocabulary
Answer
8/20/14 12:17 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
thank you all for the replies - very informative and much appreciated.