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Psi, A Practice Log Psi 7/15/15 9:09 AM
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Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
7/15/15 9:09 AM
Psi Practice Log

Formal Meditation times in minutes.

12.22.2014  46,15,10

12.23.2014  31,20,18

12.24.2014 12,25,26



Make a mistake, fix it and move on.  My mistake, started a practice Log as an after thought posted in the Terminology section.  Other mistake, being stupid and making up  confusing definitions.

So, one has to try and fix mistakes and move on in life, forward.

Will try to stick to Buddhist , Pali, terminology as best as possible, unless it is a topic that Buddhism does not cover.  Will try to do this so as nort to be confusing.  And, if I am getting a point in practice wrong, or missing some angle of practice soemone can better understand what is trying to be described.

This practice is basically Buddhist.  Why?  Well, because it works, and there is forward progress over time.  Buddhism is methodological, and results can be experienced for one's self. There does seem to be a wide range of flavors to Buddhism, but the core practices line up.

There may also be a mix here of Yogic Practice, Eight Limbed and also Direct Pointing.  Also, because it works.

The biggest part of practice, that I have found is including the practice during daily activities and not just the practice during formal meditation.  Though one needs to use both in tandem, for sustained integrated progress.

Why?  Well, from what I have seen in research, if one wants to master something they need around 10,000 hours of practice.  So, a while back , I looked at my practice, and at about 30-40 minutes a day, it would take about 55 years to become a master of the mind...  Using the 10,000 hour mark.

So I contemplated, and after much internal searching and studying, found the Eightfold Path, to be the only way to complete such a goal with what life span there may remain.  Then, due to reviewing personal results of the Path, it was clear and has remained clear that the Eightfold Path, practiced in full, morning to night, as the mind can, does bring results and benefits, here and now, and not just at the end, but also at the beginning and middle of the Path.

There is yet work to be done, but I am eternally grateful for the Teachings, glad they are real, and it works. 

One last thing today, one may see some 10 minute sessions in my formal meditation log, and I want to explain.  First, sometimes, I only have ten minutes, a lunch break, ten minutes while I wait for someone to get ready to go, etc.

Secondly, even ten minutes a day, is 3,650 minutes a year, so when viewed over a years time, surley the 3,650 minutes has a beneficial effect on the mind.  And as the late Ayya Khema said, " A moment of Concentration is a moment of Purification".

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
12/26/14 1:13 PM as a reply to Psi.
Practice isn't just the results too.  If you intend to be mindful all day, and only succeed a few times during the day, that doesn't mean you weren't practicing all day, no?  How can we really add it all up?

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
12/26/14 5:03 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Practice isn't just the results too.  If you intend to be mindful all day, and only succeed a few times during the day, that doesn't mean you weren't practicing all day, no?  How can we really add it all up?


By practicing, first one is mindful of a moment, then slips, then one is mindful for a few more moments, then slips and daydreams or gets caught up in verbal self talk or ruminations, wishes , desires, i.e. craving, then one is mindful again.

Through repeated practice of being mindful, one becomesmore and more mindful the short moments become connected moments, the connected moments become lenghths of time being mindful,, mindfulness stretches become longer and longer.  

Through more repeated practice of mindfulness, the repeated application of mindfulness becomes at one point of the path an automatic response, a new wholesome habit, that eventually replaces the old craving, ruminating, unwholesome mind with a mind that rolls along with mindfulness, basically unperturbed by most goings on in the world.

But, first one starts the practice by being mindful for one moment, then one gradually increases their skill at being mindful for longer and longer periods of time.  Eventually, this leads to what becomes a daily mindset, Mindfulness.

I am not sure exactly when the crossover from the constant persistent practice of Mindfulness became more of the automatic state of Mindfulness, at least a year ago, or two.  But, it is well worth training the mind in this fashion, hardly ever do I have to be bothered by thoughts arising anymore, though I can think, but it is directed and cotrolled thought, not the random discursive thinking.  Or, just to have the mind in Pure Mindfulness, where there is just the reality with no thoughts arising.  That type of Mindfulness right there has made the whole practice worth more than any amount of money, so much dukkha is just gone, or if it does arise, can be easily released.

So, in a more direct answer to your question, it has been at least a couple years since I was only mindful a few times a day, but for two years before that I used the Mantra, Peace, Peace, Peace...  This really helped to substitute distracting thoughts or unwholesome feelings, for along with mentally saying Peace, Peace, Peace, I would also add the Somatic Feeling quality of Peace and Contentment.  Did it work immediately, No.  It took months and months and months....  

That's all for now.

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
12/26/14 10:36 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Practice isn't just the results too.  If you intend to be mindful all day, and only succeed a few times during the day, that doesn't mean you weren't practicing all day, no?  How can we really add it all up?
To all,

After some contemplation, perhaps there is some confusion in how and why I set the log up with the record of meditation times in minutes.

I will explain, the meditation recorded on minutes is formal meditation time, Jhana.  The mind does not always go into Jhana, but the tiem is usually dedicated to Jhana, one may also call this Tranquility or Samadhi practice, if they prefer.

Though, there are times when I will use formal meditation time to practice, Choiceless Awareness, Body Scanning, Progressive Relaxation, Guided Meditations, Metta, Bhandas, Microcosmic Orbit, Mirror Trataka, Candle Flame Trataka, Contemplations, just to shake things up, but mostly Jhana.

The rest of the day is devoted to undertaking the training in the Noble Eightfold Path, of which Right Mindfulness is the lead horse.  And this is practiced as a direct correlation to how the mind has been trained in the past.  Recognition, No blame, Change.

Daily living and daily practice is a moment to moment thing.

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
12/26/14 11:54 PM as a reply to Psi.
I just meant to point out that, when someone is practicing piano, they might spend 90% of their time making mistakes in the beginning, 50% in the middle, etc...  This doesn't mean they don't get to count that time.  If you spent evey day of the last few years intending to be mindful, even if you were often lost in thought, it's pretty likely you've spent a lot more than 10,000 hours practicing.  I just meant my post to be encouraging. emoticon

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
12/28/14 12:11 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
I just meant to point out that, when someone is practicing piano, they might spend 90% of their time making mistakes in the beginning, 50% in the middle, etc...  This doesn't mean they don't get to count that time.  If you spent evey day of the last few years intending to be mindful, even if you were often lost in thought, it's pretty likely you've spent a lot more than 10,000 hours practicing.  I just meant my post to be encouraging. emoticon
To Not Tao and all,

Yes, you are right, any time in practice, formal or informal, does count towards inner change. I understand what you are saying now, and I agree.  Practice is practice, it doesn't have to be just formal meditation.  It's just that for a practice log I have no way to record informal periods of practice throughout the day. 

At this point in my practice, I am investigating into how really mindful am I during the day, how wholesome, where can I improve, am I ignoring personality traits subconsciously, am I deluded, are there any egotistical tendiencies left, am I irritating? etc...  Basic reviewing

Every once in a while I like to hit the reset button and start all over, to keep it real , and honest.  

But, yeah, every moment maintained as wholesome, is a successful moment, whether it's traditional practice or freestyle practice, and we should all be joyful for each other that we share in these endeavors, it seems to be not all that common in humanity, if it were, this message board would have millions and millions of posters.  

But , we are all here, out of all the possibilities....

And I sign off with a Psuedonym, how sad, perhaps I should change that...

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
12/28/14 10:48 AM as a reply to Psi.
Further elucidation upon what I consider Informal Practice throughout daily activities.

Mindfulness is important, yes, the lead horse , so to speak, without mindfulness, or the mind as forerunner, one is not aware, and when one is not aware, one is simply meandering around , reacting to phenomenon and circumstances, rather than responding to phenomenon and circumstances.

So, on the one hand, one misconception is that simply being mindful all day, one may be just shuffling around the world in a zombie like thoughtless fashion. Well, shuffling around in a zombie like fashion, would be called Mindlessness.

So, hopefully that clears up the difference between Mindlessness and Mindfulness.

Now, to add in the Seven factors of Enlightenment, as practice points to be initiated and sustained throughout the day.  Using the hypothesis that each moment we are alive is a moment that can be used for the process of inner change and development, but not in a strict puritanical dicatorial type of practice, but rather a more natural approach to harmonizing the mind and body with a path that is beneficial and wholesome to all.

Seven Factors of Enlightenment 
  1. Mindfulness (sati)
  2. Keen investigation of the dhamma (dhammavicaya)
  3. Energy (viriya)
  4. Rapture or happiness (piti)
  5. Calm (passaddhi)
  6. Concentration (samadhi)
  7. Equanimity (upekkha)
I find it also interesting to view this a a balance, balance as in a scale, or a see-saw.

Picture Piti in the middle, or Joy, for when one is balanced one will have inner joy, this does not have to be a puppy like bouncing around, it could be just a simple feeling of inner happiness, felt when there is balance.

Sati: Dhammavicaya: Viriya------Piti------Passaddhi: Samadhi: Upekkha

And notice how one balances the other, for instance Samadhi balances out Dhammavicaya, say when one stirs up awareness of sensations, one can then balance back out by tranqulizing the bodily and mental formations through Samadhi, then if one is too tranquil and sloth and torpor slips in, one can rebalance by practicing insight methods i.e. dhammavicaya

So, it is not just about being Mindful all day, there is more, much more, and more than just practicing the Seven Factors of Enlightenment throughout the day and in formal sittings.

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
12/28/14 12:41 PM as a reply to Psi.
12.25.2014  15,15,23,30

12.26.2014  10,42,24,10

12.27.2014  31,20,12

The majority of the practice adhered to within this practice log is described in the link below.  

It is titled Going against the Flow  by Upasika Kee Nanayon

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/kee/theflow.html

She said it.

Bowing out with respect.

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/1/15 8:03 PM as a reply to Psi.
12.28.2014  15, 60, 30, 30, 20

12.29.2014  18, 10 , 60

12.30.2014  30, 21, 20, 38

12.31.2014 43, 53, 31 

Insight?  When the body unconsciously clenches or tightens, for instance, when meditating, I have noticed that at times my thumb will clench in towards my hand, with seemingly no intention to do so, thumb clenching is impersonal and automatic.  Now, this thumb phenomenon is just an example, these internal and external clenchings and tightenings can occur anywhere, it seems.

So, here is the thing.  When one consciously releases the tension, i.e. tranquilizing the bodily formations, then the corresponding effect would be the automatic tranquilizing of the mental formations.  Now, what is interesting is that the mental formations are at the unconscious level of the mind, at least for me, at this time.  So, releasing the physical formation releases the mental formations, which unravels and liberates the unconscious mind, which liberates and unravels the conscious mind.  As Above , So Below.

So, in this fashion, the practioner, albeit unknowingly, does work upon some very deep levels of the human formation, both physical and mental.  In other words, we need not always have to crash into the unconscious to make headway in the liberation of the unconsciouness.

Want to add also, that Mindfulness Practice 24 hours a day is an ideal, but perhaps not always a reality, as there are day to day activities that can be distracting.  But, that being said, there are ways to remember to be Mindful throughout the day, being aware of one full in and out breath cycle, the pressure on the feet as we walk, aware of thoughts as they arise, etc.  So, to recap, these little mind moments of Mindfulness, add up and start connecting together.  Perhaps one is only mindful  for a few extra moments a day , at first, but, to do the math 10 extra mindful moments a day, adds to thousands of extra Mindfulness moments a day by the end of a year.  Eventually, the mind has to become trained and become ever more Mindful of the present moment.  And, while the mind is Mindful of the present moment, it can not also be ruminating, worrying, wishing and desiring at the same time.  So, Mindfulness in this fashion also cuts back on the arising of Craving, if that is what one wants to do.  Life has many options.

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/2/15 8:43 PM as a reply to Psi.
1.1.2015  45, 30, 10,11,26,30,34

Turning the Wheel, slowly it turns, keep pushing, when one looks back one can see the tracks, even when it seems as if we have gone nowhere, there are tracks, ways we were, gotta keep the wheel turning, grabbing a spoke at a time, and turning, there are eight spokes....

Must reflect, which of the spokes need mending?  Which part of the Eightfold Path was weakest today?  What am I ignoring?

Anyway, this is a cool little article on Liberation Unleashed

It is titled Where is the I?  by Gary Weber

http://liberationunleashed.com/articles/where-is-the-i/


Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/6/15 11:49 AM as a reply to Psi.
1.2.2015  10, 20 , 23, 48

1.3.2015  10, 30, 17, 32, 21

1.4.2015  62, 28, 13, 20

1.5.2015  15, 30, 19, 22, 24

5th Jhana , Boundless Space, Infinity of Space

Just wrote this section on another thread, as a respense to the Sound of Silence but want to clarify and add to it:

Personally, this sound has brought me to phenomenon of infinity of space beginning as a child many times, the pitch would increase and the sense of awareness would slip out of normal body boundaries, but, as there was no guidance, I had thought my soul was leaving the body, would experience immense fear, then become fully alert again.  So, it seems in retrospect the Nada sound could be used up to the 5th jhana as an object of meditation.  Though, honestly the art of doing this technique has been mostly lost by myself as the years have passed and the skill was never fully developed.

But, what I remember doing was this.

I would lay down flat on the bed, usually before sleep, and start relaxing each area and muscle of my body that I could become aware of, starting with each one of my toes and systematically and methodoically working up from the toes, sometimes moving the concsciousness back down and back up to the current point of relaxation, in a full relaxing sweep, would continue process until everything was reaxed up through the top of my skull.  Then my awareness going out to the infinity of space.  Sometimes, about 1 in 50 or 1 in 100 times, the sound you describe would increase in intensity and take over, then vwoooop!!, expansion of awareness.  Either 5th jhana or OOBE, this could also be entry to Bindu Point.  In retrospect it was 5th Jhana, but as I said earlier, without any training or guidance, my Ego would come back online and fear response kicked in, you know survival mode...
And furthermore, from my experience, 5th jhana, Boundless Space , Infinity of Space, is just that, the sensation of Infinity of Space.

So, while the Nada Sound  or other Jhana method, may be an entry method into 5th Jhana, once entered,

Sounds? Nope, it  is like a giant glass bowl is set over the top  of you, cutting off all sounds, actually all of the six sensations, leaving only the sensation of infinite spacial expansion.  No thoughts, Not thinking, no sensations of air on the skin, no sounds internall or externally, on itches or body contact, no sense of gravity, no tastes or smells, no visuals.  But, that being said, there are probably various forms of 5th Jhana for various people, different minds perceive phenomenon in different ways.  Plus, there is always the spectrum factor, one may be within a range of 5th jhana, say one has a sense of open spaciousness, this may be a certain spectrum of 5th Jhana, or one may think of it as fractals, spiraling out to infinity.

So, my experience is this, no sensations other than infinite expansion, no sense of self, no ego.

It is as if one were the Millineum Falcon going into Hyperspace as a consciousness, sans visuals.

How often, and can I call up 5th Jhana at will?  40-50? times in my life so far, but who was counting?  And no not at will, I have to be very relaxed and have to intentionally move towards 5th Jhana, and I haven't figured out exactly what else needs to be a condition.

Except the last time it happened, several months ago,It was in the middle of the night, and I slipped into the Infinity of space, but instead of fear arising and ending the phenomenon, the mind reverted to Equanimity training and allowed the experience to unfold, and it did.  Until, a thought arose, Where am I ?  Then the ego came online, I saw a faint small speck of light a million miles away,  thought , There I am, and I zoomed back to the speck of light, and was back in normal conscious state.

So, to experiement, I went immediately back to 4th jhana state, and immediately slipped out again into 5th jhana, or expansion into Infinity of Space.  So, this replicated the experience a second time, confirming, for me anyway, this was not just a dream fluke accident.

But, this experience has not happened again, nor have I really set up the conditions for it to occur, and as a side note , afterwards, this last time felt like a finality of the phenomenon, there is or was no more fear of the experience, or is was no more craving for the experience, okay well a little, I need to investigate that.

But , I have often wondered about this experience, as it is often not described in this fashion.  

Been trying to split formal meditation time up with a more balanced 50 / 50 ish Jhana and Vipassana approach, and have noticed that the mind is not as calm as usual.  Am I stirring up old samskaras to work through, or does Vipassana method just agitate mind and create new samskaras, and I am chasing my tail...  The investigation continues.

Plus, adding more formal verbal noting to daily life, breath sensation, foot on ground sensation, facial sensation, touch sensation, sound or listening sensation, etc etc etc etc etc Why not?  Nobody knows what is going on in my mind, so hopefully I can add some formal noting to daily activities to help expand practice on top of Bare Attention, though Bare Attention is much smoother, as it requires no thinking or verbal chatter.

Long winded sensation, long winded sensation, jeez already

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/11/15 7:31 AM as a reply to Psi.
Listening to Dhamma Talks has been a large and integral part of practice, invaluable, Pure Wisdom in an Earbud....

Ayya Khema Retreat Talks

If anyone is interested in a good retreat talk, this is a good one.  Just look at the subject headings, you will see.  I just listen to 20-30 minutes here and there until it is over, might take me a few weeks, also good for long walks.


http://ayyakhematalks.org/Wat_Buddha_Dhamma_1992.html



All and Everything, BitTorrent link 

http://ayyakhematalks.org/BitTorrent.html


Psi



RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/12/15 6:23 PM as a reply to Psi.
1.6.2015 30,33,30,24
1.7.2015 38,23,13
1.8.2015 61, 29
1.9.2015 30,30,31,31
1.10.2015 32,30,21,46
1.11.2015 32,54,45,10

Just a couple of things to note,  first more noting method, this seems to stir up old memories and unresolved clingings and cravings, these are met up with equanimity as best as possible.

Also, lately, though not every session, I will find my awareness becoming absorbed in a lucid dreamlike realm, with full blown conversations with others, in other places I have no previous awareness of, and playing out weird scenarios that seemingly have zero to do with my normal waking life.  Perhaps this is sloth and torporlike lucid daydreaming, an opening of the unconscious mind , (which seems populated), some jhana state, or just an imperfection of insight.  Anyway, it has taken me for a little loop...

I suppose I really need to get serious and get to the 1 hour mark while meditating, and beyond, I have heard that is where one develops, (big mind), whatever that is exactly.  Work schedule has been kinda hectic, but no excuses , right?

I can certainly see how important it is to use samatha meditation in conjunction with vipassana methods.  While one method shines the light on previously inexposed areas of the mind, the other method calms one back down, then when one has regained peace of mind, they can penetrate a little deeper.

Using Tranquility and Insight in tandem is to be the current approach, it has been that way in the past, but my insight practice was never really formal, and was mostly just during daily living, this has been seen to be not enough, there is simply too much going on in daily living to see very deeply into the inner universe.

Kinda struggling, a little off keel, mind is not as settled as it usually is , and there is new phenomenon to deal with, and old cravings and clingings in the mind that I am actually surprised are still there after all these years... stubborn bastards.... roots of craving go deep indeed.

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/19/15 2:55 PM as a reply to Psi.
1.12.2015  12, 8 , 15, 30
1.13.2015  25, 30, 20
1.14.2015 27, 35, 15
1.15.2015 60, 30, 20
1.16.2015 10, 30
1.17.2015 60, 30

Goenka Retreat Fractals, The Unconscious Mind Formations, Brahma Viharas

So , ideas form and connect from what thoughts are already in the mind, So, what arises?  The idea of Goenka Retreat Fractals... what?

Three days!! The first three days are spent focussing on one spot on the body where the breath enters and leaves the body.  Three days!!

So, for Three Days, one builds concentration and samadhi BEFORE attempting to body scan.  Why?  Well, it seems Body Scanning brings up, phenomenon.  And that phenomenon needs to be seen with Equanimity, if not, look out.  

Then there is six days of body scanning, and one day of Metta.

I think Metta is good as it trains one to develop a wholesome replacement for the vacuum left behind from successful body scanning.

To me, this is all a physical undertaking, rearranging our neurons and nervous system pathways, clear out the old unwholesome, and replace with something new and wholesome, something skillful to replace that which was unskillful.  But, it is a real living physical rearrangement, some cells must die, in order for others to grow.  And, some formations of cells want to live on...

So, there is that, then the Fractal Part, Goenka Retreat, is set up to attain some sense of Equanimty, then Vipassana Method, then Metta.

Fractally, on the smaller version, it would be 3 parts Equanimty Method, 6 parts Vipassana Method, then 1 part Metta Method.

A good Body Scan takes about 30-40 minutes, for me anyway, So all this would take about an hour.  It would look something like this, 

1 hour total sit, comprised of 18 minutes of Concentration, 36 minute body Scan, then cap off with 6 minutes of Metta.

That would be the 1 hour Fractal of a Goenka Retreat.

30 minute total sit, comprised of 9 minutes of Concentration, 18 minute Body Scan, then cap off with 3 minutes of Metta.

That would be a 30 minute Fractal of a Goenka Retreat.


But, for sure one can come up with other Mental Workouts and a better ratio, but that is the gist of it, and the point is to spend some time on each method to stay balanced and rounded out, and perhaps safer.

Guess I will log in the Unconscious Mind Formations, and Brahma Viharas later, this got kinda long.

Psi
 
P.S.  Tiny Fractal , Equanimity over the Body in one wave and the arousal of Metta, all in one Breath Cycle...  Head to Toe Breath Out , then Head to Toe Breath in with Metta... all in one Breath Cycle


Edit
Erasing my own stupid comment

 

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/19/15 3:42 PM as a reply to Psi.
1.18.2014 20, 32, 33, 60 

Last 60 minues was a body scan, while listening to Goenka Guided session with return Practioners, he explains alot during session.  I think you are already expected to know how to body scan and breath samatha practice.  If you listen to it and have never meditated with Goenka before, there is chanting in the beginning, it lasts five minutes or so.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LxEIAl60L0

But, personally, while the method itself is fine, in my view there is more that needs to be done, and the entire path is not covered and nicely wrapped up in this one little technique.

This is another interesting link I am reading now about Goenka's Vipassana technique, and I know he was trained by someone else who was trained by someone else ,all the way back, I just do not know the details, so it is not really Goenka's technique, but you get what I mean.

http://www.dhammaloka.org.au/community/showthread.php/516-Goenka-s-Vipassana-Technique


Unconscious Mental Formations, okay first off, weirdness.  When these pop into the mind, it could be anything.  And why it is weird, to me, anyway, is that it can be something that , as far as I know, I have never encountered or experienced personally.  What are these exactly, I am pretty sure I am using the wrong terminology.  Here are some example of Unconscious Mental Formations that have arisen and passed away.


I am in a wooden boxlike structure, there is light coming in from the top, and I am thinking, even within this box meditation is not perfect...  Then back to the breath

Vision of seeing the top of a scalp, with thinning hair and some freckles, But it is not me!  back to the breath

Quick pop ins of partial phrases, but not in my voice, back to the breath

This stuff rarely happens, but has happened more lately.  I was thinking it is maybe sloth and torpor and I am kind of having a quick mini lucid dream episode.  Or maybe it is the conscious mund peeking into the unconscious mind, or visa versa.

I guess strange things just happen by while meditating sometimes, will note phenomenon and return to Equanimity as Object, or breath if I fall completely off course.

I also do not know if I  just stay equanimous and  if this is a new level of the mind to purify, or if it is just a hinderance that arises, or just a phenomenon, or a jhana sideways path....

Brahma Viharas

I have heard these are the only emotions that the Buddha said were worth having.  Would like to find that in the Suttas.  And, since it sounds reasonable, I am trying to keep mindfulness of the Brahma Viharas during my daily life and use them as antidotes to unwholesome mental states.  Alot of maintenace required, and alot, alot of checking in, but that is Mindfulness for ya.  I have actually been practicing the Four Supreme Efforts for some time now, it works, for me it is a fact, zero doubt about the method.

Here is an Ayya Khema talk on it, transcription

http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/khema/hereandnow/supreme_efforts.php

Psi

P.S.  I do have full time job, and yes in a way it gets in the way of practice, and yes in a way it is part of my practice.  It would be nice if society could throttle back and we could get full time pay for working about 25-30 hours a week, living wages with benefits... 

I mean really, machines, robots and computers do most of the work, what happened to the productivity that has exponentiated of the last 200 years?  Oh wait, greed...

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/21/15 9:08 AM as a reply to Psi.
1.19.2015  10, 10, 35
1.20.2015 33, 60, 12, 10, 20


“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you`ll look back and realize they were the big things.”
― Kurt Vonnegut

When anger starts to arise, because of something someone said, or because you dropped something, or someone pulls out in front of you in traffic, or whatever triggers anger, and for that moment you are mindful, and this one time, instead of being angry, you were mindful enough to make a choice.  And you choose, to not let anger arise, and you reestablish your composure , and remain peaceful.

In that one moment there is success, and in that one moment you will know Dhamma is real and doubts will fall away, for you will have experienced it first hand.  It is just that simple, and yet just that hard to do...

Psi

p.s. there is more of course ...  but never more than a moment

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/21/15 12:13 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi: Thank you for sharing your notes. I'm enjoying reading them. I've been occasionally playing with a body scan/metta/10 points practice sending metta to the different areas of the body. It seems to work best when metta is strongly established.

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/23/15 11:41 AM as a reply to Bill F..
Bill F.:
Psi: Thank you for sharing your notes. I'm enjoying reading them. I've been occasionally playing with a body scan/metta/10 points practice sending metta to the different areas of the body. It seems to work best when metta is strongly established.
1.21.2015  40, 20
1.22.2015 10, 8, 60, 45


@ Bill F,  Thank you, you are honorable.
So synchronicities?, I am at the library yesterday, browsing, pick up a book, called Epiphany by Elise Ballard, randomly open to page 115, by the way, It is  a book of interviews, page 115 is an interview with Kristin Neff, and her insight into practicing sef-compassion, which reminded me of your post, above, and synchronicities, which occur, and could be coincidence or the mind and it's tendency to connect things previously unrelated, or synchronicity, which gets kinda weird sometimes.

@ The curious, some guided meditations online, 

Kristin Neff
http://www.self-compassion.org/

Kristin also has a Tedx talk:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvtZBUSplr4

Reggie Ray, Ten Points Meditation

http://www.dharmaocean.org/meditation/learn-to-meditate/learn-to-meditate-foundational-practices/

So, yesterday, I practiced Metta, just sending Metta to all parts of the body, any distractions arose, just back to Metta as the anchor of Meditation, and the session went well , 60 minutes of Metta, nothing much arose but Metta, sukha, piti, subtle, but pleasant, the mind was calm.
Maybe the mind just needs to know it is okay to let go and be nice. The mind does not normally do this, usually it is more of a dry Equanimity experience...

But I want to add , for all, that sometimes before Metta, one has to practice forgiveness, to let go of old, clingings and grudges. I know I did, for months and months.  These clingings and grudges get less and less, and with practice eventually will not arise again.  Here are instructions for forgiveness meditation.

Basically, one forgives themselves, because one is in training, and because we are in training we make mistakes.

This meditation is done by sitting down and beginning the forgiveness process by forgiving yourself for:

1] not understanding,

2] for making mistakes,

3] for causing pain to myself or anyone else,

4] for not acting the way I should have acted.

http://www.dhammasukha.org/forgiveness-meditation.html


So, maybe this post is not so good, so please forgive me, I am a Metta novice... But am now really curious!?

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/23/15 12:56 PM as a reply to Psi.
Hey Psi,

The four immesurables are considered one of the ceto-vimutti, or mind-releases/awareness-releases, equal to the formless realms and meditation on emptiness.  If you think of it in a similar way to samatha practice that will be helpful I think.  For example, what happens when you stop thinking about yourself entierly - your relationship with other people or your relationship to yourself - and think of people purely on their own?  The natural relationship to all things without "I-making" or "my-making" present is kindness, or self-less equanimity.  The BVs seem to be the result of this kind of thinking, rather than simply a category like good emotions as opposed to bad emotions, or the only emotions worth feeling.

here's a good sutta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn41/sn41.007.than.html

Like your post above - when you feel angry at someone for cutting you off in traffic, what happens if you just remove yourself completely. For me, this disables ill-will almost instantly. Kind of like, just ignore the ego completely - don't give it the time of day - it can't do much if you aren't paying attention to it. I like to remind myself to stop "checking in" on myself. It's my new favorite practice.

Also, the emptiness sutta could, presumably, be modified to work with the BVs, since the immesurable awareness-release is considered equal to the themeless awareness-release: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.121.than.html

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/23/15 1:55 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:

Like your post above - when you feel angry at someone for cutting you off in traffic, what happens if you just remove yourself completely. For me, this disables ill-will almost instantly. Kind of like, just ignore the ego completely - don't give it the time of day - it can't do much if you aren't paying attention to it. I like to remind myself to stop "checking in" on myself. It's my new favorite practice.

Right, but not when you feel angry at someone for cutting you off in traffic, But before anger arises, one is mindful enough to make a choice, to not have anger arise. The driver in front cutting one off is just a sight sensation, nothing more, definitely a sight sensation that may require a response, but not anger.

There is no self in mindfulness, though there are varying levels of mindfulness,  but it sounds like you got the picture.

Someone pulls out in front of you in traffic,  and this one time, instead of being angry, you were mindful enough to make a choice.  And you choose, to not let anger arise, and you reestablish your composure , and remain peaceful.

In that one moment there is success, and in that one moment you will know Dhamma is real and doubts will fall away, for you will have experienced it first hand.  It is just that simple, and yet just that hard to do...
And, yes, exactly like in the Godatta Sutta you linked:

"Passion is a something, aversion a something, delusion a something. For a monk whose fermentations are ended these have been abandoned, their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. 
This is non-nourishment as discussed before, in a different light.  Passion, aversion, and delusion, can not survive and carry on if they are not attended to.

And your statement makes complete sense to me:
just ignore the ego completely - don't give it the time of day - it can't do much if you aren't paying attention to it. 
The ego is not there unless it is created, it is a mental formation, nothing else, and it causes problems, and it is delusion.  When the ego is abandoned there is a complete peace, greed and hatred have nothing to arise from excepting the ego formation.


Psi 


p.s. it all sounds kinda crazy, but it is true, as far as I know

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/25/15 9:14 AM as a reply to Psi.
1.23.2015  37, 30, 25
1.24.2015 30, 15, 40

Sinus Cold for last few days... But, there are worse things that will happen to the body...

So, kind of funny thing happens when I post about the Ego, and how it causes problems, and when it is gone there is peace.  So what happens? The next day it seems to come alive!  It is like the "See I told ya so!" Ego is back, to bug you with stressful thinking and ruminations, hahaha!

Yeah, so it arises, and it passes away.  What is to be learned?

But, wanted to clarify more on the Ego, thinking is not bad in itself, the mind is where wisdom is gained, and that is done through contemplation and thought.  But, it is more of the discursive, uncontrolled, hither tither thinking, the craving and clinging thinking, unwholesome thinking, the delusional thinking that is more of a bane to our existence.

And, indeed, it seems more peaceful without all of that.

Wisdom seems to be the only way, it is wisdom that keeps us out of trouble.

So what exactly is Wisdom?  Wise contemplation?  Wise thought?  Wise action?  Wise speech?  Wise livelihood?  

Wisdom Training.  Part of the mind recoils, just wants to have fun and be foolish and playful.  Is it wise to be playful?  Joyful?  Happy?

Googling Factors of Enlightenment, brb

Not only is it okay to be Joyful and Wise, they are Factors of Enlightenment, hmmm...

Maybe it is all about that Balancing

Maybe it is all about that Bass

Humanity is funny

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/27/15 9:57 AM as a reply to Psi.
Cough, cough, cough

So, sinus cold, moves into lungs, body is under invasion by a foreign entity...

1.25.2015  30, 20, 60, 10, 21
 
1.26.2015 17, 17, 60, 10, 20

Meditate, cough every few minutes, note the sensations, the impersonal arising of the sensations related to the cough, grateful it is not worse, smile, meditate, calm, cough, note the sensations, watch the scratch in the fhroat suside, lingering rawness, pulsing pain in temples when caough is too forceful, smile, meditate, what else can ya do?

So, it is all of an impersonal nature, even thoughts, they arise, from where?  When someone tells a story, it is usually something that they just saw , heard , or experienced in life, they relay that information gathered from thier senses, which, in turn usually triggers, an associated memory in the next person's mind, who then relays their memory of gathered sense information, all told in the form of language and story telling.

Human1 Did you see such and such on youtube? Human2 Blah, blah, yeah I can't beilieve it?  Hey, did you see, blah blah?  Human1 On the way to work their was an accident.  Huamn2 I was in an accident last year. Human 1 Yeah, so and so died in an accident.  And so on, impersonally personal occurrences, connecting to one another, yet "we" think, "we"; are thinking up every response, well, most humans think that way, well, perhaps not the meditator, at least not all the time.

Ego, more ego talk?  Let's see what someone else has to say.

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Heart_Wood_from_the_Bo_Tree.htm

This matter of "I" and "mine" is very hard to see. If you don't really concentrate, you won't be able to understand that it is the force behind Dukkha, the force behind spiritual disease. 

That which is called "atta" or "self" corresponds to the Latin word "ego". If the feeling of self-consciousness arises, we call it egoism because once the feeling of. "I" arises it naturally and inevitably gives rise to the feeling of "mine". Therefore. the feeling of self and the feeling of things belonging to self, taken together, is egoism. Ego can be said to be natural to living beings and, moreover, to be their center. If the word "ego" is translated into English, it must be rendered as soul, a word corresponding to the Greek "kentricon" which in English means center. Ego and kentricon being the same thing, the soul (atta) can be regarded as the center of living beings, as their necessary nucleus, and therefore is something that the ordinary person cannot rid themselves of or refrain from. 

So it follows that all unenlightened people must experience this feeling of egoism arising continually. Although it's true that it doesn't express itself all the time, it manifests whenever one sees a form, hears a sound, smells an odor, touches a tactile object or has a thought arise in the mind. On every occasion that the feeling of "I" and "mine" arises, we can take it to be the disease fully developed, regardless of whether it's dependent upon seeing a form, hearing a sound, smelling an odor, or what­ever. When at the moment of contact, the feeling of "I" and "mine" arises, it is the disease fully developed. The feeling of selfishness has strongly arisen. 

At this point we no longer call it egoism but selfishness, because it's an agitated egoism that leads one into low, false ways, into a state of thinking only of oneself without consideration for others, so that everything one does is selfish. One is completely ruled by greed, hatred, and delusion. The disease expresses itself as selfishness and then harms both oneself and others. It is the greatest danger to the world. That the world is currently so troubled and in such turmoil is due to nothing other than the selfishness of each person, of each of the factions forming into competing groups. That they are fighting each other without desire to fight, but through compulsion, is because they can't control this thing; they can't withstand its force, and so the disease takes root. That the world has taken in the "germ" which has then caused the disease, is because no one is aware of that which can resist the disease, namely the heart of the Buddhist Teachings. 

He goes on in another part to explain the concept of Buddha's teachings, relevant, for it easy to miss the heartwood for the many trees and leaves out there.  No reason to meander off course, waste of time and effort.

And what is at the core of the Heartwood?




                Here we reach the phrase, "the Buddhist Teachings". Please understand this phrase correctly. These days, that which is labelled as the, "Buddhist Teachings" is a very nebulous thing - ­that is to say it is extensive without much definition. In the Buddha's time, a different word was used, the word "dhamma", it referred specifically to the dhamma which extinguishes Dukkha. The dhamma of the Buddha was called Samana Gotama's dhamma. If it was the dhamma of another sect - say, that of Nigantha Nataputta [4] - it would be called Nigantha Nataputta's dhamma. One who liked a particular dhamma would try to study it until he understood it and then, practice accordingly.  

                 It was called dhamma and that is what it was, real pure dhamma without trappings, without any of the numerous things which have come to be associated with it in later times. Now we call those appendages "Buddhist Teachings". Due to our carelessness the "Buddhist Teachings" have become so nebulous that they include within them many things foreign to them. 

The real Buddhist Teachings alone are already abundant - as many as all the leaves in the forest - but that which has to be studied and practised is merely a handful, and that's already plenty. But nowadays we go and include those things which are associated with the Teachings, such as the history of the religion and an expanded psychology. Take Abhidhamma [5] - some parts of it have become psychology, some parts philosophy, it's continually expanding to fulfill tile requirement of those disciplines. And there are many more offshoots, so that the things which are associated with the teachings have become exceedingly numerous. They have all been swept in together under the one term, so that there have come to be a large number of "Buddhist Teachings". 

If we don't know how to take hold of the essential points, then it will seem like there's a great amount and we won't be able to choose between them. It will be like going into a shop selling a great variety of goods, 'and being completely at a loss what to take. So we will just follow our common sense-a bit of this, a bit of that, as we see fit. And mostly we will take those things which agree with defilement (kilesa) rather than let ourselves be guided by truth-discerning awareness. Spiritual life becomes a matter of rites and rituals, of making merit by rote or to insure against some fear or other. There is no contact with the real Buddhist Teachings.
 
Let us know how to separate the Buddhist Teachings from those things which have merely come to be associated with them and included under the same name. Even in the Teachings themselves, we must still know how to distinguish the root principles, the essential points, and it is of these things that I have resolved to talk. 

Indeed, my own thinking is much related to an impersoanl nature, contemplations upon the ego, connected to other people posting about heartwood, (Chris and Not Tao), brought up investigations as to whether my experience lines up with others , which led me to re-find Bhikku Buddhadasa,then

 cough cough... notice the sensations arise and pass away and

Smile

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/27/15 7:12 PM as a reply to Psi.
Stars, there are so many stars!!!   


http://www.vox.com/2015/1/26/7915359/andromeda-galaxy-video





RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
1/30/15 11:40 AM as a reply to Psi.
1.27.2015  22, 35, 48, 25

1.28.2015 65, 20, 40

1.29.2015 33, 48, 37, 43, 30

Specualtions , Dogmatism, and Philosophies, usually this is what we call something we have not experienced ourselves.  When we do experience something that we previously labelled as Speculation, Dogmatism, or Philosophy, then we call that an experience, or just phenomenon.

Describing phenomenon to someone who has not experienced it as such, will indeed sound like mere speculation.  As some phenomenon descibed to me, seem as mere fabrications or speculations.

Ehipassiko, translated as "Come and see for yourself".

Note:
Move forward, steam ahead, like a train on the tracks, do not take the sidetracks, move forward, steam ahead.
The train goes to the destination, that is the plan.  When the train has stopped it will never reach the destination.  The train needs fuel to gain momentum, to overcome the hills, so that it goes up and over.  If not, the train will just roll back down, never topping the hill, and will sometimes have to start over at the bottom. Move forward, steam ahead.
But, once the train is moving, full steam ahead, going downhill, obstacles removed from path, what can stop it?  Be the train. Keep adding fuel, Be the unstoppable.


Psi
  
p.s.  and smile

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
8/4/16 12:36 AM as a reply to Psi.
1.30.2015  72, 30, 10, 15

Equanimity, just staying with it, seems this is the best, the longer meditation sessions seem to help calm and stabilize the mind, which in turn allows one to understand how things really are, which allows insight to develop, which allows one to stay equanimous, round and round.

So, what kind of insights?

Anger, what is anger, what was anger?  Most people view anger as a thing, anger is not a thing.  Anger is a process.  Anger arises due to causes and conditions, usually there is a trigger involved.  People say they need to vent anger, to let off steam, express their anger.  Well, that seems untrue.  Anger should be abandoned immediately, and substituted with a wholesome emotion, asap.  In this way one can train the mind to not let anger arise, it is a process.  You are not going to suppress or repress anger, one can not do this, it is not a thing.  The more you feed the anger process, the more ingrained the anger reaction will become.  The more you abandon anger and replace it with wholesome emotions, the more ingrained the wholesome reaction will become.

I have to agree with the ten fetters model, Anger does diminish with practice, I think at some point it gets cut in half, then later, if one keeps up with their practice, then anger eventually becomes more like irritations.  And then, eventually, the irritations become more and more minor.

 I do not know how subtle the Anger definition goes in Buddhism, and if anger gets cut off completely or not.  

What I am trying to say, is that the Buddhist Path does reduce anger in a practioner.  But, one has to practice reducing anger, abandoning anger, substituting the wholesome states for the unwholesome states.

That being said, Insight Methods, should do this , if one notes with equanimity towards all formations. 

Psi Out

P.S.  This all works for greed also.

P.S.S.  When there is no delusion present, neither anger or greed can arise, there is just absolutely no reason for them to even exist or gain a foothold.  But, honestly I need to really look into the whole delusion aspect of the path, what exactly is delusion described by the Buddha?  And how is delusion extirpated?

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
2/3/15 3:12 PM as a reply to Psi.
1.31.2015  41, 50, 47

2.1.2015  10, 21, 30, 12, 14, 12, 10

2.2.2015  31, 90, 30, 45

Insight:  Sometimes insights are so painfully obvious, it is a wonder why they are not known all the time.

Equanimity:  When there is equanimity of that which arises and passes away, neither anger nor greed arises.
On other words, When there is Equanimity, there is neither anger nor greed.  When there is either anger or greed, there is no equanimity.
(Edited sentence)

So, mindfulness, being the forerunner, is the key to remembering to view phenomenon with equanimity, and , what is cool, is that if one slips from mindfulness, and reacts to the world with liking or disliking phenomenon, one can use mindfulness and equanimity to observe the reaction!  What a hoot!  Sometimes it is just hilarious how the mind reacts ...  

Been really staying on top of Equanimity the last few days, but, it seems, possibly to an imbalance, almost too equanimous, not enough joy , compassion , or metta...   Need to rebalance...  oops...  

Recognition, No Blame, Change

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
8/4/16 12:38 AM as a reply to Psi.
When I am talking about anger and greed, since those are rather strong terms, I am also referring to craving,

Craving in the sense of either wanting to have something, or wanting to have a situation remain the same as it is currently.  Or the flip side of craving, wanting to not have something, or wanting a situation to not be as it is or wanting a situation to change to something better.

Anger , Greed, Craving, some synonyms:

Liking, disliking, attachment, aversion, desiring , wanting, wishing.

There are subtler and more pronounced forms of craving, like a spectrum, there is a range.

I am not sure Craving does the correct job of explaining what the Buddha meant, at least in English, Craving is generally used to describe wanting and grasping at stuff, i.e. the greedy side.  But, the other side of Craving is the pushing away of reality, the wanting to not have something.

I think Craving is very basic in Nature, or Dhamma, goes back deeply into our evolutionary pasts.  Just observe a shark, it basically moves around in its environment, and either goes towards an object, wants it, or moves away from an object, does not want it.  When a Shark really wants something, it eats it, it fulfills the ego satisfaction of making something mine, by absorbing and digesting the other being.  When a Dolphin, on the other hand, hits the shark with its nose, it causes the shark pain, and the shark does not want that, so it moves away.  This is Nature, and it is also us, yet we we observe Nature, Dhamma, we do not think of the Shark or Dolphin as having a self, it is simply following the laws of Dhamma, Nature.

But, we are no different, perhaps just more complex.  

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
2/4/15 7:58 PM as a reply to Psi.
2.3.2015  45, 20, 17, 45

This excerpt just seems strikingly appropriate to the times, sychronous

To sum up, the Buddha's mission was to establish a path to spiritual perfection, to full enlightenment and Nibbana, liberation from suffering. He did this by propounding a teaching that acknowledged our capacity for attaining spiritual perfection yet which also remained fully respectful of the intelligence and autonomy of human beings. His approach was psychological in orientation, non-dogmatic, pragmatic, and open to investigation. He emphasized self-effort, moral rectitude, and personal responsibility, and he proclaimed his message universally, holding that the potential for spiritual growth and even for the highest enlightenment was accessible to anyone who makes the appropriate effort. It is these factors that give to the ancient teaching of the Buddha such a distinctly modern flavor, making it so relevant to us in these times of shifting ideas and changing values.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/wheel433.html


Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
2/8/15 12:58 AM as a reply to Psi.
2.4.2015  10, 60, 23, 20

2.5.2015  45, 70, 72, 35, 30, 13, 20

2.6.2015  67, 20, 64, 65

2.7.2015 28, 31, 72, 42, 22

Everything that is in the past is irrevocably gone, Everything.

Everything starts from this moment forward.

It is a new moment, 

Right, 

Now!

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
2/8/15 11:34 AM as a reply to Psi.
Dhamma Lists, so much wisdom condensed, it is kind of amazing, like a web... 


http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/books-articles/dhamma-lists/




RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
2/8/15 11:45 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:
Dhamma Lists, so much wisdom condensed, it is kind of amazing, like a web... 


http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/books-articles/dhamma-lists/



The list above has been really helpful for practice.

The key for me is to really intergrate the list as much as possible during the day.

What I learned on a short mindfulness walk this morning.  It is not that thoughts arising in and of themselves are hindrances, though a silent mind is preferable and peaceful, it is fine to think and contemplate.  What is to be abandoned is the craving thoughts.  When the mind says, I wish it was warmer, or I wish I did not have to got to work, or I wish this or that. These types of craving thoughts sometimes still arise, but it is usually easy to extinguish them as immediately as they arise, if not before. But, and most importantly, it is the craving thoughts that are beneficial to cut off at the root and abandon. I guess this is a combination of Mindfulness, Effort and Tranquility. Samma Sati, Samma Vayama, Samma Samadhi. A powerful combination, indeed.

Further, as part of daily practice, I have really been pushing to stay aware of what the mind is doing in the present moment for the past several years now.  Mindfulness is indeed the forerunner, it allows one to catch themselves before reacting.  If not, I just try to be mindful at the next possible moment.

Anyway I am working with the list in the link above, as a study guide, I already know most of it by heart and have been integrating it into this life here and now.  I guess I mainly wanted to state that I was not just posting some random link, but posting something that has been part of my practice for a while and has really helped alot, and just want to pass along information.  I am trying to keep this thread practice oriented, and not just random posting for the sake of posting.  Though maybe my practice is kinda weird, as it moves from cushion to life and back to cushion.

And I have to review, Was I mindful today?, when was I not mindful today?, Investigate, Investigate...

I also want to add that I do not understand why people do not see the ten fetter model as real.  Or not be able to see the Suttas as instructions.  I think some view it all as a fairy tale, or simply stories.  For me, the Suttas have been instructional guides that have wisdom delving deep into the human experience.  And that Sutta study is an excercise in pragmatism, what is real?, does it work?, How can I integrate this teaching?

But, perhaps the view of the Suttas is clouded over by a Western view of the Bible, and people think when someone uses a Sutta to try and convey wisdom, they are quoting scriptures and Bible thumping with an ignorant mind.  When actually it is, in most cases, quite the opposite of Dogmatism, and people are using Suttas to convey what they have already learned from direct experience, and trying to share the experience, though perhaps, as said before, not always.

Anyway, the Path seems pretty clear to me at this point, the Results are real, and I have no doubt at all that what the Buddha taught is real , and the results of the Path are real. Knowing what is Path and what is not Path, seems fairly obvious.

So, for now, I am going to keep practicing as I have been practicing.  

But, as always, I must be on the look out for delusion...

Psi

P.S.  I am entirely grateful to this site, and being able to post thoughts and experiences openly. From my view the DHO has many wholesome qualities.  If I had to say what was the main strength of the DHO?  Investigation.  People here really investigate matters at hand.  People might think it is mean, but I do not, as it is mostly objective.

To put it bluntly, Reality doesn't care what we believe. 

EDIT, And I mean this in a good way, I am thinking of reality as harmony, so when we are in harmony with reality, it is all cool, but when we buck and fight reality, it is like chili, and chili ain't cool....

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
2/12/15 12:18 AM as a reply to Psi.
2.8.2015  51, 61, 39, 12

2.9.2015  30, 65, 60, 25, 60

2.10.2015 30, 16, 15, 10, 20 

2.11.2015 60, 90, 10


In general when anger or dislike arises, people, most people, will always blame the external trigger, but this is not what is actually happening.

Anger or dislike arises from within, to let it arise or to let it continue is a choice.

So , if one blames the trigger then they are not taking personal responsibility for what is happening within, and are ignoring what is really going on, and thus unable to apply the antidote, i.e. non-anger.

Well, and the mind likes to do alot of storytelling, when emotions arise, the mind likes to make stories about what is going on that caused the emotions to arise, prapancha.

Prapancha is the word used to indicate the tendency of conceptual mind to proliferate or elaborate on the bare perception of the senses.
http://nalandatranslation.org/offerings/choosing-the-right-word/complexity-and-simplicity/


Better stop there.

For myself, I am currently looking into Right View and Right Intention, Samma Ditthi and Samma Kankappa, this is the Wisdom , Panna section of the Noble Eightfold Path.  Samma Ditthi and Samma Kankappa, but also Yoniso Manasikara, or Wise Reflection.

This explains Yoniso Manasikara rather well.

http://bodhimonastery.org/docs/novdec05bb.pdf


Psi

Meditation Notes:

Samo samo, Meditate, notice any tensions in the body, relax them, any tensions or thoughts arise in the mind relax them.  Doing some Metta, letting Metta emanate from the heart area, and just radiate, if a person comes to mind, send them the Metta, but most of the time it is just the Metta feeling, and the emanating.  If mind loses focus, I have been just returning it to contentment.  Every once in a while the mind will kind of do an expansion, or a dipping into some kind other dimension, or something. Also, some checking in with the arising and passing away of sensations via body scanning, either choiceless awareness or section by section.

 Also, this morning, had a longish lucid dream, knew I was in it but was able to retain enough equanimity to not bounce out of it.  Lucid dreams are so, astounding, everything is so real, I got to pet two happy Golden Retrievers, saw them just as in real life and felt their hair and everything.  Lucid dreams really make me wonder how the mind can do this function. I love dogs.

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
2/18/15 8:52 PM as a reply to Psi.
2.12.2015  30, 70, 30, 30, 26, 31

2.13.2015  8, 25, 54, 19

2.14.2015  52, 69, 15, 60

2.15.2015  37, 43, 20, 10, 30

2.16.2015  60, 10, 64

2.17.2015  30, 30, 30, 30

Yoniso Manisakara  

Been trying to use the mind to Investigate, What is the mind doing in the present moment ?  Is what the mind doing skillful or unskillful?  Was the mind able to substitute the wholesome for the unwholesome recently? How quickly was the mind able to transform from the unwholesome towards the wholesome?  

Rant notes to Self...

Lately when meditating, there has been an increased awareness of the thought stream.  This has been noticed before, though not as clearly.  So thoughts arise, basically on their own, they come up, the mind usually is able to see them for what they are, and thus they simply slide back off of the mind like water on a duck.  But, back to thoughts arising, what is strange about thoughts that arise in the mind is that while they can be seen as not really mine, i.e. they arise of an impersonal process, but...

That some thoughts that arise do not even seem to be from this mind...  Some thoughts that arise are about things that I never even ponder upon, much less think about. At least after after wise reflection, Yoniso Manisakara, if I am using the concept or terminology correctly.  I have looked back into recent events, what I have read or heard, and can not for the life of me understand where some of these thoughts come from.  There must be some sort of subconscious or unconscious stream going on beneath the normal levels of awareness.  And, if this is true, how does this affect our conscious stream of thoughts?  And if this hidden thought stream does affect our conscious stream, one must purify that too. Right?

So true then must we be aware of the mental content, and guard our senses in order to keep the mind from worthless additions to our mental contents.

Vipassana Methods and Samatha Methods work hand in hand to both clean out the mental garbage and to purify the mind, while Daily Activity Mindfulness adds in the effect of guarding the mind from the addition of mental garbage, then with the support of Samma Vayamo, Right Effort,one keeps the mind on the track of that which is wholesome.

But, this all needs careful consideration and reflection through the use of Right View and Right Intention, otherwise it is easy for the mind to be led astray and fall behind in the development of Wisdom.  And , if I am interpreting the Path correctly it is Wisdom that leads the mind to final libertion.

The above rant to self is not disregarding the all important aspects and Practice of Action, Livelihood, and Speech in ways that are harmonious with Reality.

Next rant to Self.

Been using Buddho Method.  Buddho stands for the Enlightnement Principle, so as a word, it is a good reminder, use it whenever, to calm the mind, or bring the mind back to the present moment.

One uses Buddho like this, When breathing in one internally verbalises Bud, when breathing out one internally verbalises Dho.  Or just Buddho, Buddho, Buddho...  Either way, the mind can not be doing something unwholesome and saying Buddho at the same time.

This method is used to both calm and focus the mind , like an anchor.

As of this moment I am still investigating this technique, on the one hand it seems to have been my guiding lantern, much like the Hermit's Lantern in the Tarot, into the subconscious stratosphere, or the Bhavanga Sota, allowing the mind to maintain awareness of areas that were previously obscured by ignorance.  And, on the other hand, the repetition of Buddho seems to be a irritant to a calm and contented mind, the mind of pure awareness where no thought arise, so the repetition of Buddho in that case may be detrimental, kind of like coming out of jhana to keep up with the Buddho mantra, when the Buddho Mantra is just a method to get to jhana.  In other words, One does not need a key once the door is unlocked, just walk in.

I just finished Part One of book in link below, today, amazing.  Part one ends on page 67.  I had to read only a page or so at a time to let it sink in, very deep.

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books2/Maha_Boowa_The_Path_to_Arahantship.pdf

May all be well

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
2/23/15 11:56 PM as a reply to Psi.
[quote=
]
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books2/Maha_Boowa_The_Path_to_Arahantship.pdf


2.18.2015  22, 30, 45, 30, 30
2.19.2015 30, 30, 10
2.20.2015 14, 68, 48, 31
2.21.2015 65, 28, 20
2.22.2015 30, 20, 22, 22, 10, 26

Finished Maha Boowa's book in link above a couple of days ago.  Very practical advice, and very deep at the same time, very deep.

Been incorporating Buddho into Meditation and daily living, hasn't really taken hold yet.  For me it is a reminder to the stay on track, a reminder to stay with the factors of enlightenment, and the practice of the Eightfold Path.  But, what I have noticed is that I have some other Mantras that have already been embedded within the mind, that I use, and have generally taken for granted.

For instance, when anxiety or irritation arises the mind has been trained to say internally In, Out and place the attention upon the Breath.  

Also, when discursive thinking gets a foothold, the mind will revert back to In,Out , Breath Attention, and the discursive thinking is abandoned.

Also, another former technique is embedded in the mind, when unwholesomeness might arise or there is irritation phenomenon, the mind reverts to internally verbalizing Peace, Peace, Peace along with a nice breath and the intentional arising of Peaceful Feelings, and trying to emanate Peace into the world from the Heart Area, like a radar transmitter, each time Peace was Incantated.  Not sure incantated is a word, but it should be.

When the mind observes with conceit or judgement I will note, Human Formation, Human Formation, and to me this means whatever the mind was trying to judge upon a person either good or bad, one must remember that we are all basically just the same type of creature.  No more special than one bird in a flock of billions.... And to be compassionate towards those in need.

Also throughout the day the mind is trained to stay in a natural state, so not much problems usually arise, so the above lines of defense usually do not come into play, anymore.  Though, in the beginning of practice, a few years back, it was a constant battle, remembering, reminding, constantly intentionally abandoning unwholesome states, discursive thinking, anger feelings, and constantly arousing, trying to arouse, and rearousing, the wholesome states, and thinking.  Over and over and over.  Before any Mind training at all, the mind was a discursive wreck, going over and over problems and situations, reminiscing, worrying, anylyzing, what if, or should I have, or I wish I had, or wish I had not, and anger towards someone for this or that, on and on, the mind was a mess...  Thank God for the Buddha, and Science...haha

Back then, the best Method was to focus on one thing, like Right Speech,  and try to not use Wrong Speech either internally or in external speech for a 24 hour period, and whenever I would mess up, the 24 hour clock would start from that point in time.  I would start over the 24 hour clock, and say From this Moment Forward I Will Practice Right Speech.  Funny though, everyday I would get up, and usually say something wrong, sarcastic, cuss internally, what ever, and almost never make it past 8 a.m.  lol  Thanks mostly to my Wife for pointing out Wrong Speech, she is so helpful...

Also, used the same method 24 hour reset method with abandoning Anger. 

So, what else, still meditating, trying to get deeper into the Wisdom aspect, and Wise reflection.  Am I being lazy with practice?  Am I settling for some conditioned mind state?  Am I delusional?  Is the Ego still thinking it is a big deal?  What am I still Craving?  What about conceit?  What am I still restless over?  Why do I still connect with the sensations of Me in the skull? It is obviously just a sensation when wisely reflected upon.  What about the times when I am not connected to the sensations of Me in the skull?  Why the flip-flop?

Also, was wondering a few days back about the complete not me-ness of some thoughts arising, then came across this article by Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo, it is kinda freaky, but some of it rings really true, and some of it I just do not get,not  yet anyway.

 It is titled Consciousnesses.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/consciousnesses.html

Psi






RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
3/1/15 10:30 PM as a reply to Psi.
Mindfulness,  a training in perception.

What arises through the sense doors are feelings.  
Feelings in Buddhism are synonomous with sensations, they arise as pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral.

When, for instance a sound arises, for a mind not in training, the mind will notice a sound as unpleasant, then the mind will say something like, I really hate that sound, or I really wish they would stop all that racket, etc.

When, for instance a sound arises, for a mind in training, the mind will notice a sound as unpleasant.  

There is no need for the mind to concoct any further storytelling about the feeling.

 And that is the training.  That is the loophole. The training of the mind to be aware of the sensation as it is in the present moment.


Daily practice log is at new house, currently in the midst of moving, been watching the mind stress out a little... 

Just sensations,  all events arise and pass away, Spring is coming soon, the birds will be back.  How many Springs has this mind yet to see...?


Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
3/2/15 8:16 PM as a reply to Psi.
Still moving to house, still meditating.

Took a break to meditate this morning, still had to get the couch from the garage to the living room, up a half flight of stairs, the couch is an awkward size, tallish and angled, the entryway is also angular, and the stairs have a railing in the way.

And I am by myself , moving, always been a loner, I dislike asking for help, I dislike feeling like a burden...  Yeah, a form of craving.

Anyway it is like a Powerlifting Tetris Puzzle.

So, I meditate first, and am aware of the breath, the mind goes to planning the couch move.  I observe this, the mind comes up with a plan, envisions it, the body tenses and responds, traps tense, hands clench...back to the breath, in ---  out, in --- out, the mind goes back to the couch move, same thing the mind plans, the body tenses.

It was kinda funny to observe, even the facial muscles would tense, then I would relax them, body muscles would tense, I would relax them, the planning thoughts would arise, I would relax them...

Recognize, Abandon, Back to Mindfulness of the Breath...

I wonder how deep this Mind and Body connection runs.  This Character Armor phenomenon.

Also, the Mind was under the delusion that it was partially performing the lifting and turning of the couch, as seen in the body muscle groups tensing, the body trying to physically lean into the mental plan of the couch, haha...

Kind of reminds me of watching people playing video games and moving around and dodging, like that would affect what was happening on the tv screen, same when people jump in a movie, when obviously the movie is not real, not even three dimensional, nothing can get you...

Guess the mind is prone to delusion, i.e. taking what is not real as real.  Perhaps,  some type of survival mechanism.

Mind Body Hacks:

My favorite tensing, is the Brow Furrow, I am always trying to be aware of the Brow Furrow tensing, it is a physical sign of craving and delusion, and when I relax the Brow, the Mind relaxes.

 Good also, to establish a slight smile, I think it helps to get the good juices going, some kind of bio-feedback loop.

Even subtler is the Cranial Sac Pressure and skull muscles, when these can be relaxed at will and kept in a reaxed mode, one can really stay craving free...

Sounds weird, but Ehipassiko...

Psi

Edit, yeah I got the couch to the Living Room by myself, and yeah I am a fool....

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
3/13/15 8:35 PM as a reply to Psi.
2.23.2015  31, 52, 10
2.24.2015  30, 32, 30, 38, 42, 20
2.25.2015  8, 20, 60
2.26.2015  32, 21, 30
2.27.2015  32, 20, 10
2.28.2015 32, 26, 22
3.1.2015  61, 20
3.2.2105  30, 31, 20, 26
3.3.2015  42, 49, 20
3.4.2015  60, 45, 43
3.5.2015  94, 44, 20
3.6.2015  66, 42, 22
3.7.2015  63, 40
3.8.2015 30, 15, 23, 10
3.9.2015 31, 19, 15, 22
3.10.2015  20, 45
3.11.2015  10, 20
3.12.2105  23, 34, 40, 15, 10

Funny, The meditation timer I had been using finally wore out today, buttons stick and will not function properly.  Anicca, everything breaks apart, including this body and mind.  This is kind of a reawakening.  Of course it is not the only thing breaking down around me, and within me too, I suppose, well rather, have to admit.  Funny how the mind clings to and attaches to things.  Even attaches to the body, and the body is like the timer...

Meditating, Calm and Insight, Calming the Mind to allow the mind to settle enough to be aware of the subconscious inner workings, to let the subconscious mental formations arise, to be purified by the objectivity, the equanimity, the calm.  Arising, awareness, passing away.  Mind Content, isn't that the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness?

Even in everday life, the mind amazes,  even simple things, like today, I am shopping, I see a wood shelf, Mind perceives, "nice wood", pleasant sensation, thought arises, "that's probably a pretty penny".  But, here is the quirky thing when one is mindful.  I did not think of the statement,       "That's probably a pretty penny".  That thought arose due to an impersonal process, Anatta.  In fact, I am pretty sure it is what my Grandpa used to say, and the mind content simply produced an appropriate reactionary meme, i.e. mental formation, to fit the occasion.  Thoughts without a Thinker.  Simple, but weird.  

Karma, cause and effect, is like a fine entangled thread, hard to trace, but sometimes one can reverse engineer the origin of the mind content, and find what we had thought of as ours and mine, was actually borrowed mental formations.  Wonder where my Grandpa had heard the phrase?  And , what is really strange is this phrase has lain hidden in the mind for many, many years, Grandpa has been gone over 15 years now, I had had probably first heard the phrase many years before that.

But, enough on one little mental formation, there are probably millions of these floating around in our subconscious minds.  It is also, I have come to be aware of, that this is where the Intentions form out of.  So, much more the reason to use wise discrimination when purifying the mind.  In other words to abandon the unprofitable states of mind and unprofitable mental formations, and to replace and cultivate the profitable states of mind and profitable mental formations, not just in meditation , but at every conscious opportunity.  Inclining the Mind in this fashion enables the forward progession of Mental Purification.  

Metta waves, 

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
3/25/15 12:33 AM as a reply to Psi.
3.13.2015  20, 31, 27
3.14.2015  30, 16, 10
3.15.2015 10, 46, 12, 15
3.16.2015  30, 12, 20, 28
3.17.2015  60, 31, 18, 10
3.18.2015  20, 30, 15
3.19.2015  31, 47, 10
3.20.2015  21, 24, 70, 10
3.21.2015  21, 31, 40
3.22.1015  20, 10, 20
3.23.2015  37, 35, 67, 20, 15
3.24.2015  24, 75, 10, 10

 I have been unsure in the past as to whether insight practices actually creates it's own sensations to notice or if the sensations are always there.

For instance, say one notices a skin sensation on the thumb, then the next one that arise is on the knee, then the mouth.  Okay so far, there were three body sensation, but here is the trick to it all, one can be aware of any body part and , usually, pick up a sensation there.  So, is there always a sensation there, even when the awareness is not on a body area, or is there only a sensation there when we are aware of it?  Kind of like if a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?  So, to continue, when one gets faster at noticing sensations , is one then creating more and more sensations faster and faster, or is one observing sensations already existing?  And what about in jhana where there is only contentment, where are the sensations then.  Also, what about thought sensations, sometimes some weird thoughts and perceptions arise, where the heck do these things even come from?  Earlier today, I guess my mind drifted or I went into some weird jhana state, and I was watching a cat/owl hybrid in my mind, it was looking around and was on a branch, I was able to watch it for a while by holding the mind steady, then the vision faded away.  But where does that kind of dream weirdness come from?  There is not even a cat/owl  hybrid species on Earth, so how does this arise in the mind?

Alot of rhetorical questions.

Maybe I am not practicing right and this is some kind of sloth and torpor trance side effect. 

Anyway , it is late, Sweet Dreams.

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
3/25/15 3:49 AM as a reply to Psi.
Hi,

I think there is a difference between the body and the knowing of it.
When I was on retreat last year a question I was asked was wheteher i thought the body felt the pain in my hips or that my mind was percieving it.
For me that opened a similar train of thought like you are experiencing about the sensations of the body.

My take on it now is that the act of guiding your awareness towards a place in the body creates the "knowing" of that place. Without conscioussness there there would not be a sensation. once we rest our awareness on an object in the body the mind creates the knowing of that object using the language of sensations...

Does that make sense?
With Love
Eelco

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
3/25/15 9:50 AM as a reply to Eelco ten Have.
Eelco ten Have:
Hi,

I think there is a difference between the body and the knowing of it.
When I was on retreat last year a question I was asked was wheteher i thought the body felt the pain in my hips or that my mind was percieving it.
For me that opened a similar train of thought like you are experiencing about the sensations of the body.

My take on it now is that the act of guiding your awareness towards a place in the body creates the "knowing" of that place. Without conscioussness there there would not be a sensation. once we rest our awareness on an object in the body the mind creates the knowing of that object using the language of sensations...

Does that make sense?
With Love
Eelco
Yes!  That makes alot of sense.  This runs very deep, the mind does create the mental fabrications!  It seems so clear now, like finding a missing jigsaw puzzle piece.

Working Backwards there is feeling (sensations), contact, and six sense bases.  Before that is Nama Rupa, naming and form, body and mind, and before that Consciousness, and before that arose the sankharas, which stemmed from Ignorance!  So, running forwards, when we are not harmonious with phenomenon, due to disharmonious life, we actually start up the sankaharas, then consciousness, then mind and matter, of which you pointed to, then on down the chain.  

So we do create our own dukkha, our own stress, our own disharmony with it all.  When we are able to abide harmoniously, we are able to sidestep all the nonsense, the mental proliferation and storytelling, the creation of dukkha.  Of course we have to endure and use discrimination when old sankharas from past actions arise to face us, we still are the owners of our past actions.  But, we do have the ability to cut down and even eliminate the future creation of more dukkha.

This process is very deep, and just when I think I understand it, more levels open up.   And I do apologize for not being able to convey this very well ...

But something you said really clicked, 
My take on it now is that the act of guiding your awareness towards a place in the body creates the "knowing" of that place. Without conscioussness there there would not be a sensation. 
Which is excactly the insight of the steps within dependent origination.  And going back a little further one can get into the cessation of the whole mess of events.

  • From ignorance (avijja) come karma formations/fabrications/volitional formations (sankhara)
  • From karma formations comes consciousness (viññana)
  • From consciousness comes mind and matter (nama-rupa)
  • From mind and matter come the six senses (salayatana)
  • From the six senses comes contact (phassa)
  • From contact comes feeling (vedana)
  • From feeling comes craving (tanha)
  • From craving comes clinging (upadana)
  • From clinging comes becoming/existence (bhava)
  • From becoming/existence comes birth (jati)
  • From birth, then aging & death

Need more contemplation, awareness of sensations is only there because of consciousness, and consciousness is there because of past fabricated formations, and past fabricated formations are there because of Ignorance.  This is Ignorance of the Four Noble Truths, which , importantly has within it the cessation of dukkha, and the path leading to the cessation, The Noble Eightfold Path.

Curiouser and curiouser , indeed.

Thank you Eelco, you are indeed a blessing, emoticon

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
3/29/15 12:35 PM as a reply to Psi.
3.25.2015  24, 10, 43
3.26.2015  16, 38, 31, 10
3.27.2015  30, 30, 37, 23, 10
3.28.2015 25, 10, 17

Reviewing, what has purified the mind?  What works?  Practicing the entire Eightfold Path, yeah all eight.

What else?  At least once a day, in meditation, just let go of everything, I try to do this for at least 5 minutes, as per one of Ayya Khema's Dhamma Talk instructions.  Letting go of everything, any views of am I meditating rightly or wrongly, is this such and such jhana or not, is this the right posture or not, any plans, any memories, any sensations, abandon it all, abandon everything, just let it all go, let even the present moment go, let even the awareness of awareness go, anything , I mean anything that arises to the mind let it go, let the mind go, just to try for five minutes.  This is one of the best pieces of advice I have learned from Ayya Khema.  Just let it all go, try it and see.

What else?  Some important stuff, to this mind anyway,  four links.  All have had an impact, are practical, and from my view, beneficial.


Kalama Sutta

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.065.than.html

Practical Insight Meditation

file:///home/chronos/u-4a43f696d00034d4ade00a7c043c7d37dec30c01/Downloads/mahasi-practical-insight-meditation.pdf

The Progress of Insight

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/mahasi/progress.html#fn-7

The Heart of Buddhist Meditation

http://www.khamkoo.com/uploads/9/0/0/4/9004485/the_heart_of_buddhist_meditation.pdf


Finally getting a few days off in a row, catch up on the repairing the house shelter burden, unpacking the material burdens, and meditating, clearing away some mental burdens... 

Burdens, such a weird sounding word.

Psi


Edit, to add this link, Dhamma Lists, good stuff


http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/books-articles/dhamma-lists/

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
3/31/15 10:16 PM as a reply to Psi.
3.29.2015  23, 80, 10, 21
3.30.2015  23, 30, 30

Noting , labeling, identifying.  Must increase the awareness, must establish the momentum...

Been Noting more, and more, and more, but feel it is not enough, so recommitting to yet more and more

Been Noting daily activities as per Mahasatipatthana Sutta Instructions on Mindfulness, the normal things, and I usually note 2x, like itch sensation, itch sensation, pulsing nerve, pulsing nerve, throat tightness, throat tightness, finger sensation finger sensation.

Sometimes I will note quicker, just the silent noticing, usually when Equanimity establishes, or just use Equanimity as the object of meditation, though I am trying to focus more on insight at this point, and use Equanimity as more of a base to note all phenomenon from.

For a long time , years, I suppose I have been noting throughout the day, initially when I started meditating, I would inner verbalize In, when breathing In, and inner verbalize Out, when breathing out.  I have Noticed that I still do this constantly, espescially when there is the need to drop unwholesome mental states, and arouse wholesome mental states.  Very similar to Mahasi and his instructions to Note Rising Falling.

New Insight, for me anyway, To Note these phenomenon and label them as they are, Impermanent or Anicca, Anatta or Not-Self, and Dukkha.
Also noting and labeling phenomenon as the respective elements, so instead of Saliva Sensation, Saliva Sensation, I might do Water Element, Water Element, or for Movement, Air element, and so on.  Hindrances can also be labelled and abandoned.  

And, more imprtantnly, and excitingly, The Seven Factors of Enlightenment can be Noted and Labelled, and not abandoned but Cultivated and Maintained, and yet one still coninues on with the Noting Method.  Cool, huh?  Well, for me anyway.  Or not-me, not-me, haha.

Also, for the Elements, I prefer to sometimes use other Notes 2x, like Gravity , Pressure, Liquid, Solid, Gas, Energy, in place of the archaic Earth, Air , Water, and Fire.

When walking I use foot pressure, foot sensation, or left , right, When touching with the hands, Touching, etc.

Also, been rotating through body earth contact points, mostly this is a mentally silent noticing, or a whole body scan awareness, and since there is so much going on there, it is silent and super fast.

Have noticed what I had thought of as a Nimitta light, that I thought I was just not able to hold onto, is and has probably been Arising and Passing.  Yesterday Moring it was a three strobe light effect.  Sometimes in the past,  the light has been so bright , I have been fooled and opened my eyes thinking someone was shining a flashlight at my eyes from a few inches away. Sometimes it was like the sun reflecting off of water, or sometimes headlights, or search lights.

Have also noticed, and most recently , about an hour ago , while meditating, there is sometimes a slip, a jump, a lurch.  Like right as you were going to fall , but you catch yourself.  But not like just before you fall asleep but catch yourself, because one is fully aware, at least the moment before and after you catch yourself.  I do not know if this is a cessation or what, or some other meditation phenomenon.

Also, I have felt the jump, or slip, sensation in the solar plexus area, which has only started within the last six months or so, it used to only happen in the head.  This has only happened a couple of times.

Anyway, practicing onward, Noting, Noting, Noting, and always back to the Breath when nothing arises, and both on and off cushion, whenever possible, though I admit I could and should Note even more, Why not?  Plus, I might add the Noting of the Awakening Factors, as per MahaSatipatthana Sutta, and more to delve in to on that Sutta.

The Dhamma is so funny, it is when I thought I knew something that a whole new area opens up to be explored.  It is Genius.

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
4/5/15 10:57 AM as a reply to Psi.
3.31.2015  52, 23, 20, 20, 48
4.1.2015  99, 30, 54, 20, 37, about two hours of Noting arising , falling of abdomen, while not falling asleep, this happens sometimes, I just stay awake
4.2.2015 35, 2 hours, 40, 34
4.3.2015 80, 95, 30
4.4.2015 90, 70

Many thoughts, insights, ideas, but they have not quite formed themselves, so I want to defer to a link that I think is very helpful, from Ian Andrews.

Bare Attention and Its Uses

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/3814120


And would like to to share and reflect upon this

Blissful is solitude
for one who's content,
who has heard the Dhamma,
who sees.
Blissful is non-affliction
with regard for the world,
restraint for living beings.
Blissful is dispassion
with regard for the world,
the overcoming of sensuality.
But the subduing of the conceit "I am" [1]
That is truly
the ultimate bliss.

In full here.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.2.01.than.html#fn-1


And one more thing to share and reflect upon

"Herein, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: 'In the seen will be merely what is seen; in the heard will be merely what is heard; in the sensed will be merely what is sensed; in the cognized will be merely what is cognized.' In this way you should train yourself, Bahiya."When, Bahiya, for you in the seen is merely what is seen... in the cognized is merely what is cognized, then, Bahiya, you will not be 'with that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'with that,' then, Bahiya, you will not be 'in that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'in that,' then, Bahiya, you will be neither here nor beyond nor in between the two. Just this is the end of suffering."

link

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.1.10.irel.html

One can use Suttas as a way to develop Wisdom, perhaps as objects to rest the mind upon and develop, deepen and contemplate thereon.
The Suttas should not be viewed as some religious form of worship, and to be taken with blind faith.  That is a great misunderstanding, and could be a stumbling block for the Mind.  But, personally, I do not see anyone doing this anyway, just a misperception thereof. They are just words, symbols, the rest is up to us...

Also, Investigating the Suttas is not a form of Bibliolatry as found in some Religions.  From what I can tell Buddhism is a form of Training and personally, I do not classify it as a religion.  Anymore or different from, say, Bodybuilding, which is a form of training, and also would not classify as a Religion.  

Just some thoughts...

Oh, and Happy Easter!!!  emoticon

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
4/10/15 9:31 PM as a reply to Psi.
4.5.2015  48, 80
4.6.2015  10, 31, 17, 60
4.7.2015  63, 13, 21, 59, 20
4.8.2015 64, 20, 33
4.9.2015  55, 67

Conceit, boy that is an ugly one, I think I have a craving to not have any conceit within, wierd paradox, I shudder, maybe that is Knowledge of Disgust and Knowledge of desire for deliverence

Anyway, metaphor arose this morning during meditation, the mind is being symbolic and mythical...

So, the external sensations are like a snake, a snake staring at the mind ready to strike, when the snake strikes, it pierces the mind with fangs, and injects the venom, the venom is greed and hatred, and the venom will spread.

Once the venom is within, one must apply antidote, or suffer needlessly until the venom dispels on its own, as all things must arise and pass away.  The antidote?  Non-Greed and Non Ill-Will.  Any force to be stopped must be met with the equal and opposing force.

But, so there is the snake, in front, ready to strike, but, Mindfulness, one trained in Mindfulness, is Faster than the snake, Mindfulness quickly snaps up the Snake from behind the Head before it can bite, place the snake back into the wilderness, then resume the  watch, Guarding the sense doors, allowing no snakes to enter.

In this way, one may develop Mindfulness, and use Mindfulness that is trained during formal meditation and put Mindfulness to use during every waking moment of living throughout the day.  Meditate to train this skill, then one can use this skill for the benefit of all.

Sssssssss.....

So, this is how I train, to be faster than the instinctive reaction, to be a snake catcher, and a snake releaser. If it bites, tourniquet, antidote, Then back on watch!  And Smile.....

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
4/15/15 10:32 AM as a reply to Psi.
4.10.2015  71, 10, 30, 14
4.11.2015 18, 10, 20, 20
4.12.2015  10, 13, 28, 15
4.13.2015 60, 80
4.14.2015 60, 24, 17, 47

Practicing Calm and Insight, 50/50 ,  or which method  is best prescribed or possible according to initial mind states. And the Noble Eightfold Path throughout the rest of the day.  I been coming across rather rough with others latley, I have had so much Energy, people think I am upset, angry , or irritated, but I am just really full of Energy, out of balance.  It seems that others project what they think is anger upon actions, when actually from this view it is just Energy, This I have to contemplate on, make sure I am not just being a deluded ass....emoticon

I think I have answered the question I have always had upon whether the sensations of body and mind are always with or without the awarenss of them.  And the million dollar answer, drum roll.................  They always occur with or without awareness of them.
For when the attention is placed upon an area of the body, or any of the foundations of mindfulness, poof, there it is.
Same as watching the breath, when the mind wanders off to some daydream or whatever, it becomes unaware of the breath, then when the mind realizes that its job was to be watching the breath, poof, there it is, and the breath was occurring without the involvement of awareness.
This awareness is itself a process, Not an I , Not a Self, Neither is the Breath or any of the Body functions, or anything else, it is all just a weird impersonal process of micro moment to moment continuity, with or without "us"; watching.  Believe it or Not...lol



This is how I see it also, Excerpt from Buddadasa Bhikku, it is nice to find someone with such the same ways of thinking,  link after



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When we meet together like this, I feel there is something
which prevents us from understanding each other and this thing is
simply the problem of language itself.  You see, there are two kinds
of language.  One is the conventional language that ordinary people
speak, what I call "people language."

    People language is used by the ordinary people who don't
understand Dhamma very well and by those worldly people who are so
dense that they are blind to everything but material things.  Then,
there is the language which is spoken by those who understand reality
(Dhamma), especially those who know and understand reality in the
ultimate sense.  This is another kind of language.  Sometimes, when
only a few words or even just a few syllables are uttered, the
ordinary listener finds Dhamma language paradoxical, completely
opposite to the language he speaks.  We can call it "Dhamma language."
You always must take care to recognize which language is being spoken.

    People who are blind to the true reality (Dhamma) can speak only
people language, the conventional language of ordinary people. On the
other hand, people who have genuinely realized the ultimate truth
(Dhamma) can speak either language.  They can handle people language
quite well and are also comfortable using Dhamma language, especially
when speaking among those who know reality, who have already realized
the truth (Dhamma).  Amongst those with profound understanding, Dhamma
language is used almost exclusively, unfortunately, ordinary people
can't understand a word.  Dhamma language is understood only by those
who are in the know.  What is more, in Dhamma language it isn't even
necessary to make a sound.  For example, a finger is pointed or an
eyebrow raised and the ultimate meaning of reality is understood. So,
please take interest in these two kinds of language--people
language and Dhamma language.

    To illustrate the importance of language, let us consider the
following example.  Ordinary, ignorant worldly people are under the
impression that there is this religion and that religion, and that
these religions are different, so different that they're opposed to
each other.  Such people speak of "Christianity," "Islam," "Buddhism,"
"Hinduism," "Sikhism," and so on, and consider these religions to be
different, separate, and incompatible.  These people think and speak
according to their personal feelings and thus turn the religions into
enemies.  Because of this mentality, there come to exist different
religions which are hostilely opposed to each other.   
   
    Those who have penetrated to the essential nature of religion
will regard all religions as being the same.  Although they may say
there is Buddhism, Judaism, Taoism, Islam, or whatever, they will also
say that all religions are inwardly the same.  However, those who have
penetrated to the highest understanding of Dhamma will feel that the
thing called "religion" doesn't exist after all.  There is no
Buddhism; there is no Christianity; there is no Islam.  How can they
be the same or in conflict when they don't even exist?  It just
isn't possible.  Thus, the phrase "No religion!" is actually
Dhamma language of the highest level.  Whether it will be understood
or not is something else, depending upon the listener, and has
nothing to do with the truth or with religion.

    I'd like to give a simple example of people language, the
language of materialism.  "Water" will suffice.  A person who don't
know much about even the simplest things thinks that there are many
different kinds of water.  They view these various kinds of water as
if they have nothing in common.  They distinguish rain-water,
well-water, underground-water, canal-water, swamp-water, ditch-water,
gutter-water, sewer-water, toilet-water, urine, diarrhea, and many
other kinds of water from each other.  Average people will insist that
these waters are completely different, because such people take
external appearances as their criteria.

    A person with some knowledge, however, knows that pure
water can be found in every kind of water.  If you take rain-water and
distill it, you will get pure water.  If you take river-water and
distill it, you will get pure water.  If you take canal-water,
sewer-water, or toilet-water, and distill it, you will still get pure
water.  A person with this understanding knows that all those
different kinds of water are the same as far as the water component is
concerned.  As for those elements which make it impure and look
different, they aren't the water itself.  They may combine with water,
and alter water, but they are never water itself.  If we look through
the polluting elements, we can see the water that is always the same,
for in every case the essential nature of water is the same.  However
many kinds of water there may seem to be, they are all the same as far
as the essential nature of water is concerned.  When we look at things
from this viewpoint, we can see that all religions are the same.  If
they appear different it's because we are making judgments on the
basis of external forms.

    On an even more intelligent level, we can take that pure water
and examine it further.  Then, we must conclude that there is no
water, only two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen.  There's no water
left.  That substance which we have been calling "water" has
disappeared, it's void.  The same is true everywhere, no matter where
we find the two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen.  In the sky,
in the ground, or wherever these parts happen to be found, the state
of water has disappeared and the term "water" is no longer used.  For
one who has penetrated to this level of truth, there is no such thing
as water.
   
    In the same way, one who has attained to the ultimate truth
sees that there is no such thing as religion.  There is only a certain
nature which can be called whatever we like.  We can call it "Dhamma,"
we can call it "Truth," we can call it "God," "Tao," or whatever we
like, but we shouldn't particularize that "Dhamma" or that "Truth" as
Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, Judaism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, or
Islam, for we can neither capture nor confine it with labels or
concepts.  Still, such divisions occur because people haven't yet
realized this nameless truth for themselves.  They have only reached
the external levels, just as with canal-water, muddy water, and the
rest.

    The Buddha intended for us to understand and be able to see
that there is no person, that there is no separate individual, that
there are only dhammas or natural phenomena.  Therefore, we shouldn't
cling to the belief that there is this religion and that religion.  We
added the labels "Buddhism," "Islam," and "Christianity" ourselves,
long after the founders lived.  None of the great religious teachers
ever gave a personal name to their teachings, like we do today.  They
just went about teaching us how we should live.

    Please try to understand this correctly.  When the final level
is reached, when the ultimate is known,  not even man exists.  There
is only nature, only Dhamma.  This reality can't be considered to be
any particular thing; it can't be anything other than Dhamma.  It
can't be Thai, Chinese, Indian, Arab, or European.  It can't be black,
brown, yellow, red, or white.  It can't be eastern or western,
southern or northern.  Nor can it be Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, or
anything else.  So please try to reach this Dhamma, for then you will
have reached the heart of all religions and of all things, and finally
come to the complete cessation of suffering.   

    Although we call ourselves "Buddhists" and profess Buddhism,
we haven't yet realized the truth of Buddhism, for we are acquainted
with only a tiny aspect of our own Buddhism.  Although we be monks,
nuns, novices, lay devotees, or whatever, we are aware of only the
bark, the outer covering which makes us think our religion is
different from the other religions.  Because we have failed to
understand and haven't yet realized our own truth, we look down upon
other religions and praise only our own.  We think of ourselves as a
special group and of others as outsiders or foreigners.  We believe
that they are wrong and only we are right, that we are special and
have a special calling, and that only we have the truth and the way to
salvation.  We have many of these blind beliefs.  Such ideas and
beliefs show that we are still ignorant,  very foolish indeed, just
like little babies who know only their own bellies.  Tell a small
child to take a bath and to wash with soap to get all the dirt off;
the little child will scrub only her belly.  She doesn't know to wash
all over.  She will never think of washing behind her ears or between
her toes or anywhere like that. She merely scrubs and polishes her
tummy vigorously.   

    In this same way as the child, most of the adherents of
Buddhism know only a few things, such as how to take and how to get.
Even while doing good, supporting the temples and monks, and observing
the precepts, their only objective is to get something, they even want
to get more in return than they gave.  When they make offerings, some
people expect back ten times what they gave, some a hundred times,
some a thousand, and some even more.  In this case, it would be more
accurate to say that these people know nothing at all, for they are
acquainted only with how to get and how to take.  That isn't Buddhism
at all.  It's the religion of getting and taking.  If ever they can't
get or can't take something, they are frustrated and they suffer.
Real Buddhism is to know how to get without getting and take without
taking so that there is no frustration and no suffering at all.

    This must be spoken about very often in order to acquaint
everyone with the heart of Buddhism:  Non-Attachment.  Buddhism is
about not trying to seize or grasp anything, to not cling or attach to
anything, not even to the religion itself, until finally realizing
that there is no Buddhism after all.  That means, if we speak
directly, that there is no Buddha, no Dhamma, and no Sangha!(*)
However, if we speak in this way, nobody will understand; they will be
shocked and frightened.

[* The Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha (Community) are the beloved Triple
Gem which most Buddhists cherish as the basis of their faith.]

    Those who understand, see that the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the
Sangha are the same thing, that is, just Dhamma or just Nature itself.
The compulsion to seize and hang onto things as persons and
individuals, as this and that, doesn't exist in them.  Everything is
non-personal, that is, is Dhamma or Nature in its pure state or
whatever you wish to call it.  But we dare not think like this.  We
are afraid to think that there is no religion, that there is no
Buddha, Dhamma, or Sangha.  Even if people were taught or forced to
think in this way, they still wouldn't be able to understand.  In
fact, they would have a totally distorted understanding of what they
thought and would react in the opposite way to what was intended.
http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhism/B%20-%20Theravada/Teachers/Buddhadasa/No%20Religion/NORELIG.HTM

May all find that peaceful moment today, and expand upon it, like the seed, Peace needs to be fed and watered, or it dies

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
4/24/15 2:06 PM as a reply to Psi.
4.15.2015  21, 20, 40, 20, 45, 40
4.16.2015  30, 60, 44, 30
4.17.2015  34, 10, 41
4.18.2015  18, 10, 10, 45, 23
4.19.2015 17, 15, 67, 15, 38
4.20.2015 12, 15, 23, 22, 26, 30, 30, 25
4.21,2015 15, 93, 10
4.22.2015 30, 26, 25, 45
4.23.2015  50, 10


Sunnata, Sunyata, Voidness, Not Self ,Clear Empty  

That is mostly the current mind state, but to communicate requires conventional mind, and I forget about the personality view and the troubles it causes, so communication is unbalanced, and it seems I am spreading Dukkha when I feel compassion, I am not speaking at the right time, and it just may be that even if one wanted to give someone the Clear Empty Mind, they can not, each mind must go along the path for itself.
So there is Dukkha, , there is a source of Dukkha, and there is a cessation of Dukkha, and there is a path leading to the cessation of Dukkha.  The path is not yet complete, the Clear Empty mind is almost always there, and there is a disgust when lingering roots of Dukkha are revealed within, Inner sources of Dukkha likened to some plant like wiggling growth, but when seen they can be easliy snipped away.  And then back to the Clear Empty mind.

So practice continues, but since I do not communicate effectively, I must refrain from posting to other than this Practice log for a little while.  For I wish no harm to anyone, yet that is what I cause.  There is Dukkha. I am Dukkha.  When there is no I making there is no Dukkha, so that is where the mind will stay for a while, to assimilate.

Metta  emoticon

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
4/25/15 10:01 AM as a reply to Psi.
4.24.2015 30, 47, 23, 35

Meditation, must have went to dream state?  Was watching a younger person in front of me, it was like I was in a school hallway, then SLAM, that body slammed into my body, I felt the impact, I opened my eyes, it was not just a muscle tensioning though, it really felt like I had just been bodily impacted. Also awaking from sleep, Hypnopompic, there was a nest of wasps moving and writhing,  just in front of me , clear as hell, in the wall, I thought to maybe reach out and see if it was real, but then the image dissolved, and the room was dark, too dark to have seen wasps like that.  This reminded me of Shinzen Young and in his Science of Enlightenment Audio, about how he had the stage of seeing the giant insects in waking , daily activities.  Am I really ready for this interaction with the unconscious?  Is the Foundation of Equanimity strong enough?

Had another very teeny tiny blip moment, barely noticed, but last night for hours, the heart area was wide open, clear, and had the exhilirating sensation percolating continuously, pleasant.

Been using Sunyata as the object for the mind, both in formal meditation and without, states of mind have , at times, been very deep, no body sensations to speak of, unless the mind is brought to the body, in formal meditation that is.

As to Contemplation, this communication phenomenon, well, it seems that what is in ones own mind seems to taint what they view in other minds, for better or worse.

If one is agitated, they seem to think someone else is agitated  If someone speaks from an anatta point of view, and the other person has a personality point of view, things get really screwed up, projections of egocentricity, pride, anger, basically anything can be viewed in another being, even if it is not present at that moment.  And, furthermore to try and expalin the non-egoic mind to someone is impossible, they just will think one is showing off or being narcissistic.  For how could one relate to something that one has not experienced?  It is like the metaphor of tasting the mango.

I also have seen that if one is compassionate, they might read into another entity some compassion, when maybe that was not there intention.  One may think someone is trying to help someone, in some Zen paradoxical way, when really they are just being mean, funny. 

Now this is not to say that one should not investigate, and be honest with ones inner being to see if there are indeed traits such as pride, conceit, and narcissistic mental formations to be uprooted, if that is the path one wants to take, that is.

So theres, the taking things personal aspect, and there is the not wanting to know our own negative aspects, both forms of craving and delusion, sources of dukkha.  Which, I know blah, blah, I-making, source of dukkha.

Another common delusion is anthropomorphism, when we look at our pet and think, oh, our pet is thinking or feeling such and such.  But pets do not have verbage in their minds, as far as I know.

Anyway, Metta to all, and I genuinely mean that.

There will always be rocks and boulders on the Path.  We can see them as obstacles, or as stepping stones.   

Nietzsche?

Psi, Atta or Anatta, that is the question?  To be or to anatta be, thatta is the question that I ask of thee....

Maybe I am just a Dukkha spreader, Anatta used to be the most non-sensical stupid concept I had ever heard of.  But, that is kind of the universal joke, Anatta is not a concept, not a philosophy.  But don't ask me to explain it.

P.S.  If one is reading this, thinking I am trying to teach or preach, that is not my intention.  My intention is simply to share this unfolding process, openly, and it is more like an open diary, thinking out loud, instructions to self kind of thing.  There is the lock, and I am using keys, still fumbling with the lock, I could not help anyone past a lock I have not gotten past myself, eh?  Though , metaphorically, there are probably several doors, and maybe one can fashion there own keys from what is found on the entirety of DHO and beyond.






.

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
4/27/15 9:16 PM as a reply to Psi.
It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

yeah

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
5/17/15 9:03 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:
It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

yeah
2015

4.24  30, 47, 23, 35
4.25  15, 45, 47, 27
4.26  30, 20, 10, 17
4.27  31, 27, 25, 10, 15, 31
4.28  20, 41, 10, 10, 10
4.29  25, 25
4.30  32, 20, 30
5.1  10, 60, 25
5.2  30, 40, 10
5.3  40, 15, 10, 13
5.4  50, 10
5.5  40, 10, 10
5.6  20, 10, 35
5.7  22, 52
5.8  18, 52, 30, 12, 12
5.9  16, 10, 30
5.10  35, 24, 30
5.11  13, 30, 15, 30
5.12  10, 40, 10, 10
5.13  30, 32, 30
5.14  20, 15, 20, 60
5.15  75, 30, 20
5.16  20, 10, 24, 10

Cycles, Biorythms, Life Changes....  Everything is Impersonal and breaks down, changes.  Really went through some irritation feelings arising from within.  Funny, even know =ing that they are internal sensations, there are still times when I catch the mind trying to make up stories and blame external circumstances.  For instance, truck broke down, work schedules me crazy hours, finances are not so hot, bills coming due, getting older, etc. etc..  All stories.  The reality is it is just sensations.  Anyway, I just keep practicing, both on and off the cushion.

On cushion, Samadhi and Insight Methods.

Off Cushion, Placing the mind at the point just after Vedana, and if it strays, gently place it back there, staying with the sensations as just the sensations.  If Tanha does arise, I try to recognize it as quickly as possible and nip it in the bud, (or pay the consequences), and place mind back at Vedana.  Bare Attention.

But, there has been alot of mental turbulence, alot of inner restlessness, inner energy kind of a constant grinding upwelling of grrrrrrness.  Not really anger or anything, just more of dissatisfaction, maybe it was disenchantment or disgust.  I never really mapped myself out on the cycles, but , now see it may have been going on my whole life.  I had always noticed it but have always labelled it Biorythms and thought of it as emotional chemical imbalances, mostly beyond our control.  It always came and went. But, through Buddhist Practiced, this can be worked through and smoothed out quite a lot. 

Mostly, I just kept practicing this last time like I always do, and , over the last couple of days, it all poofed away, and the mind is basically equanimous and naturally resting again.  Thank God for Anicca !  Even the bad shit smooths out, eventually, just gotta hang in there, keep practicing.  probably should have kept a better balance of Samadhi practice going.

Did also have one kind of new experience.  Was meditating and the mind went into a state as if it was in a very clear glass jar.  This is all metaphorical of course,  but, imagine a very clear glass jar, with absolutely nothing in it at all, and he mind is in this jar, empty, inside the clear glass.  Now, take away even the jar itself.  That was the mind state.  No thing.  The mind state was stable for a while, maybe 5 to ten seconds, and I was able to let the mind go back into it a couple more brief periods.

Now, I do not crave this mind state or anything, but it has burned itself into my memory pretty good.  But all in all, the last month has been kind of a dukkha ride, really putting any and all of my skillful means and methods to the test.  I think it is just the Ego acting like a Wild Horse, not wanting to be tamed, not wanting to disband and dissolve.  There are some really, really deep survival instincts and processes within us.

It had been an interesting Month, but not exactly fun, but actually looking back now it is funny, it is just more proof of Anatta.  I mean really, If I had a Self inside this mind and body, I would be in control of all these processes, but since alot of these processes arise due to previous causes and conditions, all one can do is work with the causes and conditions one by one as they arise.

To sum up, This is not always as easy as I may make this sound, I hope what I am trying to relate is not sugar coating this practice.  But , at the same time do see significant changes to the mind over time.  Especially over the years.  Some of the things that happened recently in my life would have in the past turned me into a pissed off son of a B.  But, mostly now it arises internally , and is dealt with and abandoned internally, and no one around me really even notices.  But, go figure, everyone else has their own Dukkha to deal with, why would anyone worry about mine?  In the conventional sense of mine anyway, In the Universal sense, This Dukkha is not me, not mine and not Myself.   It just is.

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
5/28/15 6:02 PM as a reply to Psi.
2015
5.17. 32, 21, 12
5.18. 22, 60, 38, 12
5.19.  30, 48, 16, 10
5.20.  14, 10, 19, 32

Blending it all together, Continuing the daily living mind into meditation, and continuing the meditative mind into daily living.

When getting up from meditation, say to go to the bathroom, I keep the mind on the walking and foot sensations, maybe noting Left, Right, or foot sensation, pressure, or just silent awareness, whatever is most approriate for the mind moment.  I think that is key, to have plenty of skills and tools in the ole Yogi Toolbox available.

Of note, one skill is to abandon unwholesome states such as irritation or aversion.  While it is best to not let that arise in the first place, sometimes it is useful to have tools to abandon those states once arisen. 

A couple of methods I use.

Wisdom, For example if soemone says something disagreeable, one can recognize and label what was said as sound sensations, or sound waves.  Because that is all it is, in reality.  There is no need to react or cling to sound waves, this goes for if one receives praise also.

Abandon and replace, just let the irritation go and replace, usually I use an internal mental trigger for this, if an unwholesome stae has arisen, I usually revert back to a mantra mind-body connector, Like I will say internally, Peace, Peace, Peace, or Love, Love, Love  , and at the same time arouse the corresponding emotional sensation.

Bare Attention, this is used just to guard the sense doors, I can not seem to really explain how to get in and stay in this state, but one can be aware that it is possible to just exist along and not let phenomenon trigger any unwholesome responses.

Methods, I generally do not use

Ride it out method, just being aware if unwholesomeness and letting it pass away on its own, in its own time, and letting it play out in full.  This method, which I really do not get, seems to me to be based upon the ideas and concepts of repression and shadow sides, shunting off fears, etc.  And, I could be wrong, this is just my view, and I do not know it all, by no means.  Insert humility here.  But the ride it out method seems inefficient, in that one is letting the pattern of reaction and behavior cut grooves, and mold the mind.  
For a fire metaphor.  

Choices.

One can prevent the match strike, which prevents the fire from arising.  
One can watch the fire dwindle down and go out on its own.  
One can continuously feed the fire, keep the fire burning.  
One can pour the antidotal water on the fire, extiguishing it quickly.  

I think the confusion is that some think that by putting the fire out, one is avoiding reality, avoiding dukkha.  But, in my view, that is not the case, for it seems that dukkha is mind made and mind fabricated, so why feed into it?  By letting a process continue, one is actually feeding the process, maybe reinforcing the habit, letting the groove in the mind form and set.  Like a truck in the wet ground, everytime it goes over the path the ruts get deeper and deeper.  

Anyway, mental grooves, they are real right?  Brain close up snapshot below, obviously renetworking the brain is going to take some doing, from my view, each unwholesome path has to be starved off, and each wholesome path has to be cultivated, we are working with living cells, amazing. Plus, there is the unseen energies and whatnot, the subtle existences. Yogi reality.  This is not self...

Close up of brain pic





Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
5/21/15 12:52 PM as a reply to Psi.
Bare Attention, this is used just to guard the sense doors, I can not seem to really explain how to get in and stay in this state, but one can be aware that it is possible to just exist along and not let phenomenon trigger any unwholesome responses.

Methods, I generally do not use

Ride it out method, just being aware if unwholesomeness and letting it pass away on its own, in its own time, and letting it play out in full.  This method, which I really do not get, seems to me to be based upon the ideas and concepts of repression and shadow sides, shunting off fears, etc.  And, I could be wrong, this is just my view, and I do not know it all, by no means.  Insert humility here.  But the ride it out method seems inefficient, in that one is letting the pattern of reaction and behavior cut grooves, and mold the mind.  
Aha!  Okay, If one watches the arising and passing away of each sensation, then that is correct!  If one watches the arising and passing away of each sensation , in its entirety, and to its completion then one is practicing Vipassana Method correctly.  And if practiced correctly the the sensations that arise form moment to moment will be noticed as Pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral sensations.

Aha!  When one does not watch the arising and passing away of sensation in full mindfulnes, then the next stage develops, the attraction or aversion to the sensations, and it is at this stage, that people think they are watching or rather being aware of phenomenon arising and passing away.  Well, from my current view, that is incorrect, what one is doing at this stage is being aware of the reaction to the sensations, and not the sensations themselves.  One has to get back to the sensations themselves in order to practice Insight, being aware of the reactions is already too late.

So, to sum up,

First , Insight Method is being aware of the sensations as they arise and pass away, without being distracted and without interfering.

Second, Watching the Emotional reactions and chain of events that follows arising and passing away is not Insight Method, that is a Samsara Method.

I do now see why there may be some consfusion within Yogis.

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
5/28/15 6:38 PM as a reply to Psi.
Logging minutes later, too much typing numbers

Too tranquil in recent meditations?  Slipping too easliy into some kind of visual/communicative realms, like I am in a conversation of sorts, or watching lectures or slide shows, but I am not aware enough during these episodes, this is happening even after 8-10 minutes of meditating, sometimes.  This has been happening a little too frequently lately.  Basically I start meditating, and keep dropping all that arises, get to utter stillness, then sometimes instead of staying there I slip into this dreamy state.  Probably sloth and torpor, or imperfections of insight, am initiating more Insight Methods when this starts to occur, just a little to heavy on the Tranquility side of the equation, in my opinion.

Also had a "time slip" during meditation, I had peeked at the timer and was 15 miniutes in, then thought I was about 20 minutes in and was going to stop, but timer said 50 minutes, I was not slumped over or sleeping or anything, just lost about 35 minutes, I mean I was aware the whole time, but it only seemed like 5 minutes.  Anyway, phenomenon, it is gone, history, not judging, just recording phenomenon.

Need to start using body scan more to dredge up any unfinished business in the ole subtle mind and body formations, see what is still in there to deal with.


“In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.” 
― Thich Nhat HanhThe Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation

And I need more of the alert and awake part right now.

Psi

Daily Living update, old Mental Formation and habits still arise, though lessened in frequency and in impact.  Practice both formally and informally has enabled better skills in remembering to use Right Effort and in the quickening of using Right Effort to get back to wholesomeness and maintain wholesomeness.  I am really trying to work on compassion, this body and mind has a lot of ingrained meaness and sarcastic humour left within, it is hard to ley go of.  Some of the sarcastic thoughts still crack me up , on the inside, at least I do not speak all of them anymore.  I used to be unaware of how , even jokes can hurt people, sometimes they do not take what is said as a joke.  Well, as they say, Silence is Golden.  Also, I am just working on being nicer to customers and co-workers when they complain about things not going the way they want, i.e. whining.  I understand it is craving and clinging, and do not really get how they get so tied up in craving and clinging, but, at the same time understand that being so involved with craving and clinging is exactly how I used to be most of the time.  So, I am trying to be more compassionate and understanding without rolling my eyes.  emoticon  I never really literally roll my eyes, just on the inside, if you know what I mean.

So, when someone is expessing their real time experience with dukkha, maybe I can just note, Other Dukkha, Other Dukkha, and keep movin' on, and not let it infect the mind, so to speak.  And, probably best just to be slient and listen, cuz usually when soemone has dukkha going on, they do not want to hear any advice, they just want to express and act it out.  Other Dukkha, Other Dukkha, I am going to use that to Guard the Mental Sense Door. A Magick Anti-Dukkha Spell, hehe

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
6/7/15 10:27 PM as a reply to Psi.
There is Dukkha, but we keep on anyway.

Clip is a little over 2 minutes, forewarning,  I do not want to be a time thief,  Can you watch with Equanimity?

https://www.yahoo.com/tv/life-story-barnacle-gosling-jump-nature-series-at-120729485105.html



Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
8/4/16 12:41 AM as a reply to Psi.
PsiThere is Dukkha, but we keep on anyway.

Clip is a little over 2 minutes, forewarning,  I do not want to be a time thief,  Can you watch with Equanimity?

https://www.yahoo.com/tv/life-story-barnacle-gosling-jump-nature-series-at-120729485105.html



Psi
Year 2015, Formal Meditation sessions, in minutes, Informal Mindfulness, Right effort, speech , action, livelihood, etc, not recorded in minutes, just practiced 

5.21  57, 10
5.22 27, 62
5.23 36, 15, 30, 10
5.24 32, 60
5.25 42, 60
5.26 12, 15, 30, 34
5.27 30, 15, 30
5.28 50, 45, 25
5.29 12, 10, 30
5.30 31, 27, 22, 13
5.31 36, 17, 37, 13
6.1 10, 40, 21, 40, 10
6.2 25, 10, 20
6.3 31, 70, 20
6.4 30, 30, 20
6.5 26, 20
6.6 27, 10, 20
6.7 10, 48, 16


Spoiler alert, from link above.

The gosling lived!!  Hooray!!

So, watching the video, here is how the awareness of the instinctual emotions arise and fall away, and how I see that Dependent Origination works with all this.  I will have to leave out a whole bunch of mind moments, but here goes.

Surfing Internet, Restlessness, Sight Sensation of Nature Link, Thought arises , craving to see, clinging to wish to see link, clicking link, action, video starts, sight sensation, pleasant sight sensation, baby goose, breathe in , return to equanimity, unpleasant sight sensation, apprehension sensation,  fear for baby goose falling, release apprehension, arouse equanimity, pleasant sight sensation, baby goose can glide!, Okay , I cling to sukkha, which leads to dukkha, unpleasant sight sensation, baby goose crashes to cliff, disgust arises, aversion arises, drop disgust and aversion, arouse equanimity, from wisdom, remembering that this is nature, and that this is just a sight sensation, equanimity while baby goose continues , then disgust triggered, lead to thought sensation, verbal formation, "Who in the hell would film such a nasty video?"i.e. blaming formation, label thought sensation as thought sensation, arouse equanimity again via wisdom of thought sensations, pleasant sight sensation baby goose lands, joy arises, the wordly joy and relief not having to see a smashed up baby goose!  Clinging to sukkha.  Reviewing of phenomenon both internally and externally related to baby goose video.  Posted link to DHO, wanted to share, but it is all so hard and time consuming to do so, knowing everyone will have different reactions, and memories associated with short video, different thoughts, etc.

Left out many many, many steps,and thoughts, sensations, I know, but there is so much that happens in the mind, even in only two minutes, to write it all down and verbalize it all might take hundreds if not thousand of words, which is why, I believe, at some point Verbal Noting becomes Silent Noticing, but then switches back to Verbal Noting when time and oppurtunity arises and presents itself.

Frustration sensation arises at not being able to convey Dhamma into words adequately. Drop Frustration sensation, arouse equanimity and compassion knowing that we are all in this together, even baby goose...

emoticon

Psi

P.S.  I still cling to the desire to give baby goose a fist bump, or sumthin' !


​​​​​​​Edit, fix format?? 8.4.2016

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
6/8/15 7:33 PM as a reply to Psi.
Thank you for your lights Psi , all around the forum;  It resonnates alot with my experience and presnet discoveries ;
In my experience, it is the same with noting, it necessarly becomes silent noticing ;

ps:  also dropping clinging to giving him a hug emoticon

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
6/8/15 8:00 PM as a reply to SeTyR ZeN.
SeTyR ZeN:
Thank you for your lights Psi , all around the forum;  It resonnates alot with my experience and presnet discoveries ;
In my experience, it is the same with noting, it necessarly becomes silent noticing ;

ps:  also dropping clinging to giving him a hug emoticon

Thank you, it is good to know ourselves and others are on the same path, we are not alone.

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
6/26/15 12:14 AM as a reply to Psi.
Daily meditation, samo stuff, will type it in later


Just expressing a little:

Been mostly a really peaceful mind lately, so many words in the world, so many ideas in the world, it just seems to go on and on.

And mostly, what is the need for all these ideas and thoughts, speech?  

It is much more peaceful without it all, to just have a Mind Stilled. 

It seems that all these ideas, thoughts, mental formations, etc.  all swirl around the same thing, round and round, almost senseless really.

Anyway, want to pass along some excerpts of Ayya Khema, lol, more words

Two exerpts, the whole section really explains alot about Underlying Tendencies and how it realates to the Theravadan Four Path Model.  link at end.

Most people are inclined to blame either themselves or others for whatever they consider wrong. Some people like to blame mostly others, some prefer to blame themselves. Neither way is profitable, or will bring peace of mind. It may help to really get a grip on the facts that prevail within each human being by knowing the underlying tendencies (anusaya) within us.If we understand that every human being has these tendencies, then we may be less inclined to blame or be upset or take offence and more inclined to accept with equanimity. We may be more prone to work on these negatives when we become aware of them in ourselves.

The next underlying tendency is the wrong view (ditthi) of relating all that happens to a "self." This goes on constantly and we can verify that easily, as it happens to everybody. Very few people realize: "This is just mental phenomena." They believe: "I think." When there is pain in the body, few will say: "It's just an unpleasant feeling." They'll say: "I'm feeling very badly," or "I have a terrible pain." This reaction to whatever happens as "self" is due to an underlying tendency so deeply imbedded that it takes great effort to loosen its hold.To lose the wrong view of self does not simply mean to intellectually understand that there is no real "self." What is required is an inner view of this whole conglomeration of mind and body as nothing but mere phenomena without ownership. The first step is taken at Stream-entry, when right view of "self" arises, though all clinging to self-concepts is abandoned only at Arahant level.
It is a ghost formatting quote, Boo!
http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/khema/allofus/underlying_tendencies.php


Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
7/8/15 1:00 PM as a reply to Psi.
PsiDaily meditation, samo stuff, will type it in later

6.8  30, 18
6.9  20, 16, 10
6.10  12, 10, 50, 19
6.11  65, 10, 26
6.12  20, 21, 33
6.13 10, 28, 10
6.14 32, 15, 10
6.15 15, 10, 43, 16
6.16 35, 20, 30
6.17 35, 20, 18, 29
6.18 30, 34, 10
6.19 13, 10, 30, 10
6.20 50, 10
6.21 10, 45, 20, 25
6.22 45, 42, 10
6.23 20, 30, 10
6.24 20, 45, 14
6.25 56, 58, 10
6.26 20, 20, 16, 11, 4
6.27 33, 20, 10
6.28 45, 27
6.29 10, 16, 30
6.30 30, 48, 30, 13
7.1 10, 27, 25
7.2 10, 45
7.3. 34, 13, 10
7.4 30, 45, 16
7.5 30, 32
7.6 30
7.7 60

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
7/8/15 1:39 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:
PsiDaily meditation, samo stuff, 


So, why meditate, if it is samo stuff?

Well, why take a bath or shower, if it is samo stuff?  Why practice anything, what does it lead to?  What does repetition lead to?  New habits?
Replacing old habits with new habits, old processes with new processes.

Inquiry and Investigation, asking Who is behind a sensation, Who is behind a thought, Who is looking out from the eyes?

Not getting much of a Who anymore, mostly phenomenon is as it is, phenomenon, no Who in Whoville, so to speak, yet must keep investigating, into the shadows, into the subconscious processes, the unconscious patterns, or whatever footprints they leave behind that can be investigated and examined.  To pry out the unwholesome, recoginize the unwholesome tendencies, to not ignore.

To practice kindness and compassion, yet at the same time to not be a doormat or an enabler.  People must survive on their own as best that they can.  The more one can support themselves in Nature the less of a burden they apply to others.  At the least trade some kind of something.  Or , from an old Black Sabbath lyric, "The less that you give you're a taker."  Maybe also, "The less that you take, you're a giver."

I mean to say I am willing and able to help other in daily living, and do not really mind, but sometimes people ask for help with things that they should just simply do for themselves, it is like a laziness....  So when I help, am I really helping?  Or enabling sloth behavior?  What in myself is slothful?  Usually when I notice traits in others that is not liked, it is also still within myself.  Ahhh, the irony of self honesty.

It would be nice to drop all conceit and criticizing 100 percent , once and for all.  The path has diminished this trait, to be sure, and usually it arises due to old habitual patterns, tendencies and instincts.  Mostly one can laugh at the impersonal nature of it all, the mind being just a trickster by nature.  Millions of years of instinct at work and all that.  This is not to say that there is not both a gradual path and a sudden shift, or a combination thereof.  Nor would it be fair to say that there is only one type of awakening.  It does seem that for most awakenings, from what I can tell, and resonate with, is that the Me delusion is dropped away.  The Me delusion being like a Cataract.  So, it is not like anyone gains anything with the initial stages of awakening, but rather loses the burden of the Me delusion, that really just gets in the way.

I am using the word delusion from the standard definition of delusion.

delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.[1]

For instance, some believe there is a  Me hearing things, despite knowing that it is sound waves hitting the ear apparatus causing nerve impulses.  Where is the Me exactly?  The Me, in the above example does not exist, yet because of a belief, and what seems to be only a belief, most of humanity insists that there is a Me in there hearing the sounds.

Me, despite evidence au contraire.

Despicable PsiMe

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
7/9/15 9:04 AM as a reply to Psi.
7.8 30, 20, 13

I guess I am using like a Koan , or have been for a while anyway.

Just asking, What is behind the thoughts?  Who is behind the thoughts?  Where did that thought arise from?  Was there a source for that thought?

And not trying to come up with an answer, but rather to just let whatever arises, arise, and let that be, let that fade away...

It seems that the mind just makes up stories.  I am on vacation in Panama City with my two daughters right now, fun in the sun!!!
But, mostly thinking arises, perceptions of what is going on, minds seem to make up stores , based upon our current viewpoint, based upon our past experiences, and based upon whatever has been "freshly" imprinted upon the mind recently.  But, even this in and of itself is just more storytelling.

Practicing to gently remain in the present moment, to just be , to flow with it all, no stories, no criticisms.  Dropping the Craving and Clinging whe and if it arises, in the current moment. 

And to remember, just remember to remember, to stay with the moment, breathing as an anchor, body sensations as an anchor.  Seven Factor arousal as an anchor.  

Unsuppressed Mental Silence as an anchor.

Psi

P.S.

Well, it is also amazing that when snorkling , when a small fish comes up, that I would instinctively "jump".  The instinctive reaction is so darn fast, amazing, there was no time to just be equanimous and just be aware.  Probably a good thing, cuz if it was a shark or jellyfish, it would be a good time to get my no-self ass out of the water!!!   :-P

Oh, and I saw my first Buddha statue at the Ripley's Believe it or Not!  

Maybe now I can kinda picture that Buddhism is seen more than a method or a teaching.  It does seem to be misconstrued and perhaps for some, Buddha is taken up as a form of worship, a way for the mind to grasp at someting to avoid the reality of the present moment.   But , maybe that is just the mind making stories, again.

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
7/14/15 10:01 AM as a reply to Psi.
7.9 62, 30, 20
7.10 47, 13, 27
7.11 73
7.12 32
7.13 15, 50, 38

Listening to Waking Up, by Soundstrue, over 30 perspectives on waking up, interesting.

So, here is a perspective on their perspectives, and yes I will remain a little vague.

So, a good teaching was, whe one has the waing up experience, that is good and beneficial, then ask, Well, what are you going to do with it?
And I would like to take that concept further, When one sees anger or greed as a process of separate arisings, What are you going to do with it?
It is like a kid who sees and has examined all of the lincoln logs in a set, can experience each lincoln log, but then does not build anything.
So, I ask, if one has seen clearly the separate parts of what can be made aware of, borken it all down, and can experience what arises, even watching anger arise and pass away.  Well, what are you going to do with that understanding?  I think that being aware of the processes incvolved in being human is the first step, then what one does to transform from understanding how to use this knowledge becomes the new practice, then through practice in this way, the transformation becomes fuller and deeper, more complete.  That ongoing deepening.

Another good teaching was, Go back and remember different aspects in your life, now, notice what was always there,  The situations were different, joy, anger , anxiety, shame, whatever, but do you see the common denominator?  It was always there, unchanging and ever present.  I think the peaker also refers to the Face Koan, What was your face before you were born.  Well, can you notice what was there, what has always been there?  Good pointer.

What I think is a misunderstanding.  Wake up, grow up, clean up, show up.  Well, that is excellent in itself.  But the misunderstanding comes form the idea that this was entirely new and whatnot,  This I do not think is true.  When one practices the entire path, Noble Eightfold Path, for instance,  one does indeed Wake up, grow up, clean up, show up.  What else can Livelihood, Action, Speech , Intention etc. etc even mean?

There were some interviewed that seem to have really waken up, at least my experience resonated very closely, as far as that is in the moment anyway, it was nice to hear collaboration.  And, also, some that were interviewed that seem to have not yet quite gotten the whole picture, or rather to say the deeper understandings, at least not much farther than the egoic level.  But, these are just casual first impression types of impressions, but none the less amazing considering the number of books and lectures some of these people have spewed out there to the public.

One of those interviewed was talking about how in the sixties and seventies, people were thinking all they had to do was just meditate and everything would solve itself.  Yeah, that does not work, there is an entire path, the practice has to flow and shine inot every nook and cranny of existence, hiding parts and fragements does not help, uncovered delusions do not help.

Shadow work, well, this has always been a part of Buddhist Practice, at least the whole Path , as I have always seen it.  Again, nothing new, and yet entirely essential for Pathwork.  One has to really step back and investigate the how and why actions were taken, and self honesty to cut through excuses and rationalizations.  I guess at first I did not think Shadow Work was okay, because they first have you bring up the crappy stuff and reliving reworking it.  But, that is not to be held on to, that is just so one can see how it works in full, the whats and whys.  One has to fully have these things, Shadows, in hand before one can truly let them go.  So, form what I see there are stages to Shadow work, Recognition, Understanding, No Blaming, and Change.  Again, basic Buddhism, in my view.  Then there is always the yeah but, what about Zen Master so and so?  Well, guess they were not practicing correctly and had some work to do, some delusions leftover.  What else can one say, just learn form our own errors and from others errors, and move along.

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
7/14/15 10:20 AM as a reply to Psi.
Hi again!!  emoticon

Practice , practice, practice, In an earlier post soemwhere I mentioned to Never Surrender!  Well, yes surrender , surrender it all.  But , what I meant was to never stop practicing, not give in to the Mundane Path.  

Sometimes I just carry along, wondering why nothing changes, but, I keep practicing, not just meditating, mind you, but fully practicing, remembering to remember throughout the day.  Attention, attention.  Four Supreme Efforts, Brahma Viharas, etc, etc. Right Action, Right Speech, Right Livelihood, Five Precepts.

Eventually it just becomes a flow of life, no practice really at all, and then one day you notice something has been subtracted from your life.  It seems spiritual growth is not really a growth after all, but a subtracting, one does not really get or achieve but loses negative habits and negative thought processes, loses delusions.  Delusions are an energy burden anyway, since they do not line up with reality, delusions require a constant support system, and thus are a burden to the system at hand.

But, lately, I have noticed that a chunk of  irritations, wants and desires,  are missing, where did they go?  Why do they not arise anymore?  Will this last?  Did a root get cut?  Or is it still there, lurking, waiting to regrow?

Psi

P.S.

One more thing, the idea of Adverse Judgement versus Wise Discrimintaion.

That is a tough one, do I see other ideas clearly, or do I preJudge them adversely?  If I use Wise Discrimination I might find a hidden gem, If I use Adverse Judgement I wll kick it all aside, regardless, bullshit and gems alike.  

So, I must train in Wise Discrimination.  Reminder to self.

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
7/20/15 1:17 PM as a reply to Psi.
There is thought, or rather there are thoughts.  Each thought that arises, also passes away.  This is rather obvious.

So thought is indeed a type of movement.

And, there is space between thought, or thoughts.  This too, can be seen as being true.

Then, there is no movement, there just is.

 But even deeper than that, beyond silence, beyond stillness.

Is there more than that level?  Does, or can life go even deeper?

The turning inside out.

So, there is thought, there is the between thought, now, can this area be moved into and examined.  What opens up there?  These are just words, but pointing to something, that is actually not a something...  

This is the current investigation of the mind.  Investigating what is beyond the stillness of the mind, beyond the non-movement.

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
7/26/15 12:11 AM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:
So, this may all sound a little weird.  Time to sleep, but work sometimes has me on a weird work schedule, so I am laying here napping, meditating, napitating....

Working with the thought level of mind, thoughts coming in , there has always seemed to be a subtle level of mind where there has seemed to be a teacher transmitting, or a dream type of lecturing.

Now, a realization hit me, there is no subtle teacher there, there never really was, but there is a teaching.  The teaching tries to come through , and the mind picks it up, and what else can it do , but express the ideas into words.  It seems that it is on this level of mind that is where the Lamas communicate, the HGA, The Masters, all of that type of phenomenon.  But, as there really is no self, it is none of those, deeper than that those again are just symbols interpreted by the mind of that which is Indestructible.

Perhaps the Indestructible is the Teaching itself, the Insight behind Thought.  No Teacher, but Teachings.  Indescribable, yet trying to convey itself into words, Formless into Form.

Wanted to put this down into words, these type of thoughts slip away so easily, like gold dust through an open hand.

Or , maybe I just need some sleep, lol....

Good Night, See you in dreamland

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
7/26/15 2:32 PM as a reply to Psi.
I suspect one thing is that for a lot of the gurus, they tend to think what worked for them is the best way for everyone.  It kind of makes sense because all the other ways may be questionable in their eyes, suspect because not personally experienced, whereas their way obviously works as they have seen it personally!  Also I think whatever teaching a person follows, there is going to be a lot of personal influence on how it is followed.  So zen master soandso may have not had a lot of shadow self issues compared to others or dealt with them in subtle or other ways over time and soandso may assume for that reason that putting a lot of effort into that is not needed, whereas for others with different backgrounds and different issues, it might be more of a problem if not worked on more deliberately.  I don't think anyone has exact conscious understanding and access to every tiny little nuance of exactly how their development has brought them to where they currently are and how much each specific influence has contributed. Without that knowledge, it's IMO probably not possible to accurately prescribe that level of detail to others either.  
-Eva 

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
7/26/15 11:03 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:
Psi:
So, this may all sound a little weird.  Time to sleep, but work sometimes has me on a weird work schedule, so I am laying here napping, meditating, napitating....

Working with the thought level of mind, thoughts coming in , there has always seemed to be a subtle level of mind where there has seemed to be Insights transmitting, or a dream type of lecturing.

Now, a realization hit me, there is no subtle teacher there, there never really was, but there are Insights.  The Insights try to come through , and the mind picks it up, and what else can it do , but express the ideas into words.  It seems that it is on this level of mind that is where the Lamas communicate, the HGA, The Masters, all of that type of phenomenon.  But, as there really is no self, it is none of those, deeper than that those again are just symbols interpreted by the mind of that which is Indestructible.

Perhaps the Indestructible is the Insight itself, the Insight behind Thought.  No Teacher, but Insights.  Indescribable, yet trying to convey itself into words, Formless into Form.

Wanted to put this down into words, these type of thoughts slip away so easily, like gold dust through an open hand.

Or , maybe I just need some sleep, lol....

Good Night, See you in dreamland

Psi

I think Teaching was the wrong choice of words, I think it may be better understood if I used the word Insight, I am replacing the above as so.  And it seems that this Insight Messaging comes from a different level of Consciousness that I am used to, hard to explain.  Pehaps it is just the inner mind and all the stuff that is in there communicating with itself.  Or , it could be better explained if consciousness were a holographic model of some sort, i.e. Indra's Net.  Could be just Mental Formations , Mental Formations beyond the Normal Consciousness Mode.  

I really do not know, I just felt compelled to write it down.

It seems strange to even discuss a day later, kind of like , what the hell was I even talking about?  Yet, I know when this stuff is happening, it is as real as rain.  Oh well, can't explain everything...

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
7/26/15 11:25 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva M Nie:
I suspect one thing is that for a lot of the gurus, they tend to think what worked for them is the best way for everyone.  It kind of makes sense because all the other ways may be questionable in their eyes, suspect because not personally experienced, whereas their way obviously works as they have seen it personally!  Also I think whatever teaching a person follows, there is going to be a lot of personal influence on how it is followed.  So zen master soandso may have not had a lot of shadow self issues compared to others or dealt with them in subtle or other ways over time and soandso may assume for that reason that putting a lot of effort into that is not needed, whereas for others with different backgrounds and different issues, it might be more of a problem if not worked on more deliberately.  I don't think anyone has exact conscious understanding and access to every tiny little nuance of exactly how their development has brought them to where they currently are and how much each specific influence has contributed. Without that knowledge, it's IMO probably not possible to accurately prescribe that level of detail to others either.  
-Eva 

Yeah, that is why I am not much into gurus, never have been, I think this has to all be worked out on our own.  I do see a huge amount of value in some teachings, and advice and experiences from fellow practioners, and advice and experiences from teachers.

But, they can only point the way to the door, we have to walk through for ourselves.

I am not completly sure what I was trying to explain in my posts about what I was labelling Teachings, other than this.

I was experiencing a mental phenomenon in which thoughts were arising that were very wise and pertinent, and they were coming through as if someone were teaching and communicating to my mind.  I think this is probably a normal function of the mind, but generally an unused function of the mind, and I could not say much more about it, being such a novice and all.

And, I can see why it is suggested why one should not discuss such matters.  But, to me, it is all just mental phenomenon.  But , if it is not, and it is some kind of telepathy, then my whole mind is going to be turned upside down and inside out, for then each thought and idea we convey enters into the Universal Consciousness.

And if that is true, then we must all be very careful and considerate of not only what we say and do, but the even very thoughts that we allow.  For then, even thoughts are then as real and have effects possibkly beyond our wildest imagination.

And then again, this could just be sixth jhana.

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
7/28/15 12:32 AM as a reply to Psi.
7.14  40, 19, 25, 10
7.15  10, 15, 30, 16
7.16 43, 49, 10, 10
7.17 60, 35
7.18 14, 26
7.19 60, 10
7.20  32, 36, 58
7.21 30, 42, 36
7.22 21, 46, 10
7.23 11, 36, 20
7.24 30, 30, 15, 40
7.25 11, 20, 31
7.26 40, 10, 10

Well , it has been several years of daily formal meditation, and at least two years of bare attention, right effort formula training.  
Tranquility, Insight, Right Effort , Precepts, and the rest.

So.... review.  What was at first an all out effort has gradually changed into an easy gliding along.  Old negative habitual tendencies have been pretty much replaced with new positive habitual tendencies.  Effortless effort and all that.  Peace of mind can usaully be revamped with a good clean deep attention on a breath cycle and a non verbal reminder to be mindful of the moment.  Monkey Mind has been pretty much trained away, except in sleep, or distressful situations.  These two areas need some work, but really not a big deal.

Of course there is still some old conditioning to work through, Shadow stuff, forgotten stuff, etc etc.  But most of the heavy lifting seems to be done.  But, I could never say that for sure yet, as reality has a way of humbling any ego that may remain.

So, after contemplating these subtler thought sensations , refer to last couple of threads, are just that, more sensations.  These too , if seen as separate, as they have been in the past, would only lead to fragementation..  Well, fragmentation only leads to conflict, and conflict leads to suffering.

So, all is welcome, all is as it is, phenomenon all.  Thre is still alot of curiousness, and actually the last few days I am unable to write down all of the insights, so some slip back into the background.  Insight is hard for the working guy to maintain, at least for this mind, as it is now.

But, it does seem that every thought, every action, flows on and has come from every other thought and action.  Constantly flowing.  If you have ever seen the Movie, the Butterfly Effect, or are familiar with the concept of the Butterfly effect, you will know instantly what I am getting at.

I have always seen this for many many years, and I guess that is the underlying reason I get so discussive about how some ideas are presented.

Because, you see, thoughts and ideas, are like seeds, sometimes the seeds of thought take root in minds, and grow due to impersonal processes,  sometimes they do not.

Which is why select care is needed in what is said and not said.  Especially since not everyone meditates or follows precepts or even gives a hoot.  So, some thoughts may start out as innocuous, but still grow and thrive in the consciousness of humanity as a whole, and cause all sorts of future conflict, chaos, and suffering.

All, the better reasoning to shake off all previous conditioning from the mind, which is what I am investigating now.  


such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.


May we all find Peace

Psi

P.S.  I see that writing this out, it may be viewed as someone showing off attainments or something.  But, that is not my intention at all.

Firstly,  I have never claimed any attainments that I can recall.

Secondly, My writing this out is to show, with honesty, that with persistence, change does happen.  And yes, it is definitely worth it, at least for me it has been.

To be blunt , the Eightfold path is Real, and not just a bunch of Bull Shit.  But, nobody has to take anyones word for it, just see for yourself.

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
7/28/15 12:17 PM as a reply to Psi.
7.27  21,57,10

Where there is becoming, there is  I-making, when there is I-making, there is fragmentation, where there is fragmentation, therein allows conflict to arise, where conflict can arise there is friction, suffering.

Where there is no Becoming, there is no I-making, where there is no I-making, there is no fragmentation, where there is no fragmentation, there is no conflict, where there is no conflicts, there is no friction, no suffering

There is the ordinary state of mind, the thoughts, the thinking of this and that, the mind that knows this and only this can never really be free, this mind thinks that state is all there is.  It tries to think itself out of the box, always seeking for a better thought , a better way, a solution.  Therein lies the conundrum.  Just a glimpse of something different, not an intellectual glimpsing, but at least a little glimpse that there is a differentness, a space between the thoughts.  To catch that space and expand from there, to let the space continue, without the I-making interfering.

From there, no ill will can arise, no conflict can arise, etc.  But, it is not a lazy, non helping, slothful state.  Instead, the opposite, there is a freeing up of energy, compassion, but tinged with the reality of what can and can not be accomplished within the moment.

Off to work,

and to remember to remember.  

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
7/31/15 7:45 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:
This is kind of a repy to  another post  http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5763112, but I did not want to clog up someone elses post, with somewhat unrelated material, but yet had some more thoughts.

So, just wanted to add, that while initially shocking it was to see a relationship between the process of Alzheimer's disease and the process of Mental Training, as I am experiencing it anyway,  it really is not all that surprising, upon reflection.

When one discrimintates between wholesome and unwholesome thoughts, and abandons the unwholesome, then the practioner probably is killing off and starving brain cells and tissue.  But then, when one arouses, maintains and grows wholesome thoughts, then one regrows a better and an improved process, probably through neuroplasticity.  Though this process is not as fast as we would always like, I think the human brain only creates about 10,000 new neurons a day, or some such.  This does not include that there is probably some substituting and recyclying of processes and neurons going on.

So, in this way the mind, being an impersonal process ,is cleaned up, what are useless thoughts, negative thoughts, unwholesome and the like, are cleaned up, fragmented thoughts are discarded.  Then all of this is replaced by wholesomeness and useful thoughts, wisdom and understanding.

Anyway, it all works, and I suppose how it works is mainly speculation, so sorry.  And, mostly from my view the Narrative Self was not such a good invention of the Human Mind, it is/was mainly a critcizer, comparer, random thought generating type of process, and kind of delusional when you get right down to it.  The Narrative Mind likes to tell stories after the fact, but does not usually get the facts straight, and if one actually follows the instructions of the Narrative mind it usually leads to bad decisions.  Case in point Addictions, Greed, Anger, Violent acts, etc.  This is not to say that one can not develop a Wholesome Narrative Mind, as in Shad Helmstetter's work, "What to Say When You Talk to Yourself."

And jeez, wht about the HGA and channeling phenomenon, now we would have to add an extra Narrator into the equation,  And , I have been thinking, this HGA phenomenon may be going on in the background of the mind, influencing our thoughts and actions whether we believe in it or not, or know of it or not.  Which is why it would be of utmost importance to clean up the mind food, by discarding the unwholesome and cultivating the wholesome, would not want to be unintentionally growing any nasty shadow gollums behind the mind scenes, at least I prefer not to...

Anyway, things have been pretty peaceful, have been trying to be aware of larger cycles, like when the mind has stirred up stuff arising to the surface that has to be worked through and all that,  It seems there may be some sort of biorythm at work, a process, but I have never really been able to pinpoint anything.  I had thought it was tied to migraines, but now I have not had a even good headache for a while, strange.  I should track any headaches on a calendar, if I get them again, that is.

It may be time to crack open The Little Book of Hercules: The Physical Aspects of the Spiritual Path by William Bodri

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
7/31/15 8:01 PM as a reply to Psi.
[quote=
]It may be time to crack open The Little Book of Hercules: The Physical Aspects of the Spiritual Path by William Bodri

PsiFrom Amazon's listing of book mentioned above.

Using the Greek story of the Twelve Labors of Hercules, which outlines the progressive stages of spiritual development that spiritual practitioners in all spiritual traditions go through, this book presents full details on the step-by-step progression of the physical transformations that occur to practitioners. Whenever someone starts to consistently cultivate spiritual practice in a devoted way, there are physical changes that will occur to the human body. These physical transformations, called "gong-fu" in the eastern spiritual schools, are non-denominational signposts of spiritual progress. If you cultivate spiritual practice sufficiently then these phenomena will arise. If you don't practice correctly, they simply won't appear. Their appearance is a matter of proper devoted effort. These phenomena include such things as the awakening of kundalini (yang chi) within the body, the opening of the chakras and purification of the body's energy channels, hormonal transformations, the calming of consciousness, the experience of refined mental states described as "emptiness," and various other mental and physical phenomena. Normally people think these phenomena only occur to individuals following eastern cultivations traditions such as yoga, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Vajrayana. However, these phenomena that arise are totally non-sectarian and non-denominational. They equally occur to devoted spiritual followers within Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. If you cultivate spiritual practices sufficiently, these purification transformations will occur and if you don't cultivate meditation or other spiritual exercises, you will not experience them. Your religion has nothing to do with it. All genuine religious traditions employ cultivation practices designed to help you achieve a quiet mind. Because thoughts die down due to these practices, this resulting mental quiet is described as peacefulness, silence, cessation, calming, purity, and emptiness. Your mind empties of busy thoughts and so you begin to experience mental peace. When your mind quiets, proper spiritual practice requires that you remain aware during this experience rather than try to suppress thoughts from further arising. The practice of maintaining awareness while mentally quiet is called witnessing, observing, knowing, or introspection. As the mind quiets, you continue to watch your mental continuum but without attaching to it. The gradual calming of your mind results from successfully letting go of thoughts, and because your body’s life force (chi) and consciousness are linked, as you let go of thoughts you also drop the habit of clinging to the energies you normally feel in your body. With proper spiritual practice you learn how to detach from these energies and let them function without interference. Once you learn how to do this, your kundalini energies will arise and their natural circulation will start to transform your body. Those energies will open up your chi channels and chakras and transform your physical body, purifying it. As your chi purifies, so will your emotions and habit energies. As you progressively let go of your chi, it will also revert to its natural circulation which has been suppressed by errant thought patterns. Cultivating a quiet mind leads to your kundalini arising, those energies purify your channels and chakras, that purification leads to a greater degree of mental purity or emptiness, and the two components of body and mind reach ever increasing levels of refinement. This book presents full details on this step-by-step progression of transformations that occur to practitioners on the spiritual trail. It covers the meditation practices that successful adepts have traditionally used throughout history, and non-denominationally links the gong-fu experiences of these practitioners with the stages of the spiritual path and the ultimate quest for self-realization, or enlightenment.

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
8/13/15 9:34 AM as a reply to Psi.
I am finding this to be an excellent explanation on greed , anger, and delusion.  Especially delusion, or moha.  It seems moha, especially in an untrained mind, can keep the mind running in circles all day, with no escape, on and on.  But, in a trained mind, one free of moha or at least a mind that has the capacity to at least temporarily free itself of moha, the mind can do what needs to be done in the present moment, and then rest in silence, and gather energy for when it is actually needed.

I woud not say that there is an elimination or suppression of greed, hatred, and delusion, but rather a subtraction of those mind qualities, and this in turn liberates the mind.  What is left is a natural peace and silence.  When greed , hatred, or delusion are present in the mind, then there is disturbance, this should be rather obvious.


Mindfulness with Breathing Buddhadasa Bhikku

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Anapanasati_Mindfulness_with_Breathing.htm#LECTURE FOUR

DEFILED OR NOT? 
There are many different characteristics of the mind to contemplate here, and all of them must happen naturally by themselves. They are observed as they really exist, in the very moment of their existence. The characteristics to note, as specified in the traditional way of speaking, begin with "whether the mind has lust (raga) or is free of lust" You all know what lust means. Besides the usual sexual lust, there is non-sexual lust, also. The meaning of raga is broad. Sexua1 lust is called raga and lust toward things such as money, jewelry, gold, food, housing, and possessions is called raga. There also can be lust toward individuals, for instance, love (non-sexual) of one's employees or servants. The Pali raga has this broad array of meanings. Does the citta have any of these types of raga at this moment or is it free of lust? If there is lust, then contemplate its presence clearly enough to distinguish what kind of lust it is. Know what it is to have raga in the mind. If there is no lust, then contemplate its absence. Breathe in and breathe out while experiencing the actual state of mind in that moment.   (125) 

The next characteristic of mind to contemplate is dosa (anger, hatred, aversion). The meaning of dosa is broad, also. Sometimes an external object - a person, a situation, or any thing - causes us to be angry. Any dislike in the mind is dosa. It can even arise from within, without any external object. When the mind is oppressed, irritated, offended, or resentful it is calleddosa. We contemplate whether this mind has dosa or not. If it has, contemplate, know, and understand this state of dosa. If thecitta is free of anger and hatred, then know that state. This is the second characteristic to observe. (126) 

The third characteristic to observe is moha (delusion and confusion). Moha is to feel infatuated with something due to not knowing that thing as it really is. For example, when we are doubtful something we cannot help but think about it. Or, when there is hope or expectation or whatever, we cannot avoid dwelling on it. Moha can mean "astray or lost," and it can mean "dark or dim," that is, full           of doubt and ignorance. Then, one kind of thought or another will arise out of that doubt or ignorance and will ferment in the mind. That is what we call moha. We should know whether there is delusion in the mind or not. If there is moha, then grab it and contemplate it. If the citta is empty of delusion then contemplate its absence. Always contemplate this state of mind while breathing in and breathing out. This is the third characteristic. (127)                                

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
8/27/15 12:23 AM as a reply to Psi.
When meditating there has been the entering into what is like the background snow of a tv set, and I have been gently trying to push awareness to the in between the little pixels.  This seems to work.

Also, there has been the pushing of the awareness into the subconscious and unconscious areas more, there have been more hypnagogics, and hypnapompics, visions, formations, etc.  And am currently working to stay equanimous so as not to be pulled so readliy away from these states, or to be sucked into and lost within these realms.  Just trying to be observing phenomenon while observing phenomeon.  Earlier I had thought these phenomenon to be imperfections of insight, but it could be that the phenomeon is the fourth tetrad of the foundations of mindfulness, mental objects.  Either way, sensations, phenomenon.  Before, I would practice noticing them and dismissing them, Now, I will move more to letting them pass away on their own, but remain equanimous and aware.  In other words, letting the full arising and passing away take place.  And some of the formations are rather lengthy in nature. This is taking some doing , at this time.  For on the one hand, soem of the images are so fascinating and relate to my ego formation personally, like seeing various gemstones visions, and I want to examine and hold them all permanantly, thus it entices the mind to cling to the formations.  It may sound silly, but , for me, geology has always been a fascination, and to see this level of craving and clinging at the sub, or unconscious level along with the greed, was somewhat surprising , surprising that it was dormant in the recesses of the mind.  Hence the word, unconscious, I suppose.  

All this along with the constant daily living 8fold practice, which I need to get back to all seriousness of, wholeheartedly, as I am feeling the pressure of mind and body impermanency.

Time to get all the moving parts back on the correct direction.  Time will tell.

Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
8/27/15 1:13 AM as a reply to Psi.
And this, just have to pass along, so similar to Vipassana

Extract from Page 159 of ‚Inside the Atom‘ by Isaac Asimov

"For one thing, chemists now have a new tool with which to explore the chemistry of living tissue. (This branch of the science is called biochemistry.) In any living creature, such as a human being, thousands upon thousands of chemical reactions are all going on at the same time in all parts of the body. Naturally, chemists would like to know what these reactions are. If they knew and understood them all, a great many of the problems of health and disease, of life, aging, and death, might be on the way to solution. But how are all those reactions to be unraveled? Not only are they all going on at the same time, but there are different reactions in different parts of the body and different reactions at different times in the same part of the body. It is like trying to watch a million television sets all at once, each one tuned to a different channel, and all the programs changing constantly."

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
9/18/15 10:10 PM as a reply to Psi.
7.27  21, 57, 10
7.28  33, 48
7.29 60, 20, 32, 44, 15
7.30 10, 50, 22
7.31 30, 23, 24, 30
8.1 11, 30, 45, 27, 23
8.2 42, 27, 24
8.3 11, 14, 15
8.4 10, 10, 30
8.5 20, 17, 37, 20
8.6 12, 23, 30
8.7 15, 10, 30, 46
8.8 60, 23, 10
8.9 30, 12, 60, 28
8.10 50, 15
8.11 30, 30, 10, 15
8.12 10, 15, 30
8.13 30, 30, 30
8.14 30, 30
8.15 30, 12, 60, 28
8.16 33, 26, 20 
8.17 10, 10, 20
8.18 35, 32, 10
8.19 32, 10, 32, 27, 16
8.20 10, 50
8.21 27, 42, 10
8.22 15, 16, 30, 21
8.23 35, 45, 10
8.24 30, 26, 30, 21
8.25 38, 11, 10, 30
8.26 12, 30, 63, 30
8.27 10, 35, 22
8.28 30, 15
8.29 21, 32, 10
8.30 28, 10
8.31 60, 50, 33
9.1 20, 35
9.2 13, 75, 26
9.3 20, 10, 14
9.4 34, 80, 18
9.5 10, 32, 10
9.6 21, 41, 10, 10
9.7 35, 55 16
9.8 60, 25, 10
9.9 80, 36
9.10 60, 40
9.11 20, 16, 13, 23, 60
9.12 30, 48
9.13 20, 10, 30, 10
9.14 40, 60, 14, 30, 35
9.15 20, 40
9.16 35, 30, 30
9.17 26


"Slowly I turned...step by step...inch by inch...,"   

Psi

Kind of a Vaudeville reference, referring to the inching along of practice, the triggers that cause delusion, and the shaking out of the delusions.

Typically, the routine has two characters meeting for the first time, with one of them becoming highly agitated over the utterance of particular words. Names and cities (such asNiagara Falls) have been used as the trigger, which then sends the unbalanced person into a state of mania; the implication is that the words have an unpleasant association in the character's past. While the other character merely acts bewildered, the crazed character relives the incident, uttering the words,

"Slowly I turned...step by step...inch by inch...," as he approaches the stunned onlooker. Reacting as if this stranger is the object of his rage, the angry character begins hitting or strangling him, until the screams of the victim shake him out of his 
delusion. The character then apologizes, admitting his irrational reaction to the mention of those certain words. This follows with the victim innocently repeating the words, sparking the insane reaction all over again.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slowly_I_Turned

Funny , huh?  Stimulus, delusion reaction triggered, mental pattern acted out, delusion broken....  Dependent Origination.... Samsara, The liberation from delusion, the falling for the trigger again and again.

I Love Lucy demonstrates Dependent Origination  3:38


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTnGpaY3VKY




RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
9/19/15 10:53 PM as a reply to Psi.
9.18 30, 22, 10
9.19 21, 30, 66, 45

General Update and some phenomenon to investigate, musings

Mostly life is moving along, it seems that because of sustained practice, i.e. Mindfulness, four supreme efforts, brahma viharas, TWIM, Bare Attention, etc, throughout the day, combined with the formal sitting practices of Samma Samadhi and Samma Sati, have led to:

Basically an effortless moving of the mind in the correct direction.

Thoughts when they arise throughout life are less of a nuisance, if they arise at all.  And alot of the time the thoughts that arise are related to the Dhamma. People are understood more easily, social interactions run rather smoothly.  Sometimes it is best to just be silent and let everyone do their little play acting, and just watch their emotional displays arise and pass away.  Sometimes people just want to vent stuff. Mindful listening. It seems fairly easy to arouse joy in others, as long as they are stable that is, Joy seems to be infectious.  Also, People seem to naturally respond to wholesome intentions and genuine kindness.

During meditation there is still some rocky terrain, sometimes the mind is not as peaceful as others.  Seems that stuff gets stirred up from the depths of the mind, and has to be contended with.  And that is fine, it is all part of the process, not always fun and sunshine, but patience wears it down.

In the deeper states of meditation, still investigating the visionary mental formation phenomenon.  It goes like this.

After a period of time meditating, and the mind becomes quite still, I focus in on the little energy sparks that come and go, then gently push the mind into the inbetween spaces of those little sparks.  This somehow opens the mind into a lucid mini dream type of phenomenon.  These mental pheomeon, as far as I can tell, are either.

1.  Coming from deep within the mind that I do not recognize them form any memory or being linked to any previous experince in this lifetime.

2. The pheonomenon comes from outside the mind, from the universal consciousness, or morphogenic field.

3. Fantasy mental pheonomenon.

4.  Sumtin' else entirely

So, anyway, maybe it is Infinite Consciousness, or maybe it is Imperfections of Insight, Time and Investigtion will tell.

So, here is a couple of examples, from last 45 min, session,  spoiler alert ahead, lol.  Vision of someone I do not know doing a handstand.  Vision of brother in law and someone I do not know, Vision of Dark Emperor from Star Wars comes in and, guess what?  He is not dead, and, well, he did say, in the movies anyway, not the vision,  "Do not underestimate the Power of the Dark Side".  So haha, have to wait and see the movie.  Sometimes this mental pheonomeon goes a little deeper and lengthier, but oh well, mind stuff.

One more phenomenon happening.  After a meditation session, sometimes , like before bed, I will go ahead and continue into the sleep realm, sometimes.  Generally I lay in bed in a Mummy pose, hands crossed on chest.  Then relax every thing imaginable in the body, and the mind being already calm.  

Then, sometimes I kind of am just there, but everything is perfectly still, including the mind, but then the mind, not moving at all either, is kind of there , not there.  But, here is what is kind of funny, when I use intention to bring myself back into normal wakefulness, sometimes a couple of hours have past, sometimes more.  And my arms are numb, legs kind of stiffish.  Which indicates the body has not moved at all, it stayed perfectly still during all of this.

Anyway, been training for a 5k on Oct 4th, shooting for a PR, been ramping up the running, following Hal Higdon's Intermediate plan.  Plus the usual,  pullups, pushup , dips, situps, etc. G2OH, Squats, Deads, etc, though I admit I have been keeping it light latley, can not afford injury so close to racetime.  Anyway  That keeps me fairly physically grounded, and in touch with some painful reality to boot!

Work , been getting a little overtime, blah!  Gets in the way, but , what can ya do?

Family life going smooth, two daughters learning to drive. emoticon Good Equanimity Practice, right there.  Wife is a sweetie, except when I am an idiot, more Equanimity practice, right there. emoticon

All in all, This mind and body is not the same as when I started to practice, things change over time, the mind does respond, and it seems that practice eventually saturates into all levels of the mind, and the process kind gains an inertia all on its own, like being in a stream... Though there are times the mind can get shaken up pretty good, still that way for me, at this time.  And that concludes the General Update.  

Good Night!

Psi


P.S.  Reading the Mind Illuminated by Culadasa, Immergut, and Graves, on page 52.  This is a very good instruction manual!  Very well presented so far.  I am only going through a couple of pages a day, as it is very practice oriented, basically I am rebuilding a foundation, in case I have missed any practice points along the path.  So far so good.

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
10/1/15 1:37 AM as a reply to Psi.
Practice both on and off the cushion is going rather well.  Mind is pretty easy to still at this point of practice, anytime , anywhere. Wondering if it will all just slip away, the stillness.  During sleep and upon awakening from sleep, the mind will be in turmoil, so I know that the turmoil state of mind is still here, not vanquished.  There is still some greed, though not near as bad as it used to be, now it is just buying music or a shirt or somesuch, and buying anything now feels more like a preprogrammed meaningless habitual chore, pointless. Getting tired of the whole drone like mental system, samskaras. I know what needs to be done, yet I am cling to this last bit of greed for some reason, laziness I suppose.  Anger is just nothing more than the occasional irritation.  But, it is true, one has to see how all the stability of mind holds under the various stresses life has to offer. i.e. Aging , sickness, death. Then how does the mind react?

There are still some cycles, they seem mostly related to biological underpinnings.  i.e. not enough sleep, work stress, too much excercise, etc.

 I really need to set up a "push through" self retreat time, up the intensity a little bit, focus in on the Insight Methods more while maintaining Equanimity, see what gets stirred up, see what is left to deal with, and deal with it.

 Have to plan out a plan of action.  There is alot of Equanimity, and it is just nice to relax in that.  That could be a danger.  It also could be that between work and the excercise plan I follow just does not leave much energy to push through.  Maybe I need to find a more wholesome balance, the body and mind can only do so much.

For now I will just keep practicing, I honestly do not think I could stop if I wanted to at this point.  Formal Samatha meditation, TWIM, the Four supreme efforts, Metta, Bare Attention, Dhamma contemplation, all that is just so ingrained at this point, it kind of happens on its own. Moment to moment.  Same as I do not think about tying my shoes, putting on clothes,  or brushing the teeth, automatic, priority.

It wasn't always this way.  Not by a long shot, my mind used to be 24/7 turmoil of agitation, pissed all the time, restless all the time , always wanting this wanting that, mad at what someone said, mad at the news, on and on, round and round.  Alcoholic, Nicotine Fiend, Pothead, yada, yada, all done, long forgotten, like some other life, perhaps in a way , it was another life... It all passes away...  emoticon 

So I am not making claims or anything or bragging or anything, just sharing the current experience,  because some questions come up from time to time about practice results, and why practice at all, etc, etc. 

Why would anyone practice?

But, I ask, Why would anyone not practice?

Anyway, this was cool, I thought

The sight-seer sitting on the crag is taking in a view of the landscape around him. His eyes are on the distant hills, dimly visible through the mist. Above him, an overhanging creeper is waving in the morning breeze. His view shifts from the distant scene to the dewdrop at the tip of the creeper. All is quiet and still. The ruddy dawn breaks in through the mist. A ray of the rising sun alights on the dew drop and the sight-seer adjusts his perspective suitably. The dew-drop gets transformed into a spectrum and a view gets transformed into a vision. Before the advent of the Buddha, the seers were concentrating on as many as 62 views, but none of them saw the 'sight'. It was just above them so near and yet so far. They never thought that it could be in the dew-drop of their Name-and-Form, too bland and uninviting to arrest their attention. But once their gaze got fixed on it in the correct perspective to catch the ray of the dawning Buddha Sun, they saw the 'sight' – a Vision, in contrast to Views. -

'From Topsy- turvydom to Wisdom' – p.1 F

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books12/Katukurunde-Nanananda-Bhikkhu_From_Topsy_Turvydom_to_Wisdom.pdf



Psi

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
10/3/15 8:01 PM as a reply to Psi.
Race Time, 5k in the morning, goal is to set PR, heart is spounding in chest like a giant piston, innards upset and nervous, smiling, hands cold.  Maintaining a semblance of Equanimity in the Mind, but the Body is in Battle Mode?  What is up with that?  Are there submind functions at work here?  Very interesting to observe, the mind is in a relative silent peaceful state, yet the body is still on heightened alert.  Hard to get any sleep when the heart is pounding away .

Will try to relax, breathe deeper.

The other day I also noticed, while I was running, that while there was plenty of pain in the body, legs, feet etc, the mind area had no pain, so it was kind of as if there was not really any pain, though there were pain sensations, does that even make sense?

I am going to practice now until race time, see if this can energy can be turned into Metta.  I am very grateful for the ability to be able to run at this point in time, and I know someday the ability to run will come to an end.  My heart goes out to everyone who has struggles imposed upon them either from themselves or from the external circumstances.

Just writing this has helped to regain composure, which is settling the body, this is like riding a wave.  

Race Time, t minus 12 hours 8 minutes.

Excited again, oh jeez, I have and am creating my own dukkha, and I think I like it, or is it just excess energy?  I might have to contemplate deeper into that thought.

I wonder if the Buddha ever ran, just for kicks, to shorten his daily journeys.

t minus 12 hours 2 minutes

kayanupassana, grist for the mill

t minus 12 hour 1 minute

Psi

12 hours flat

Life ticks away....


Metta to all

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
10/3/15 10:12 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:


Interesting, just finished a 45 minute formal sit, tranquility coupled with mindfulness. There must be some submind phenomenon within the body and mind complex, an inner workings behind the scenes of conscious awareness.  For, now, after the tranquility meditation the mind and body are both in a state of unification, an equilibrium. Everything is calm again. Breathing in , breathing out, Tranquilizing the Body formations, Tranquilizing the Mental formations, Tranquilizing the Mind States, then the human formation becomes clearer, and one is better able to investigate the Dhamma.  Very Interesting indeed, the four foundations of Mindfulness, a reality.

Race time , t minus 9 hours, 50 minutes.

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
10/3/15 10:41 PM as a reply to Psi.
Metta to you Psi ! and Metta to all

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
10/13/15 4:03 PM as a reply to SeTyR ZeN.
The Buddhist and the Neuroscientist

What compassion does to the brain

Kind of old news, but still, good reminder, that practice does have physical results, changes are not just imaginarily in the mind only.  Some other links of use embedded.


http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/07/dalai-lama-neuroscience-compassion/397706/
Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
11/13/15 9:50 AM as a reply to Psi.
The logging of Formal Meditation times, alot of catch up, from 9.19.2015 last logged, transcribed from the paper journal.

9.20 10, 10, 30, 10, 22
9.21 30, 70, 30, 10, 20, 16
9.22 10, 15, 10, 60
9.23 10, 20, 60, 10
9.24 30, 60, 45, 36
9.25 45, 30
9.26 45, 10
9.27 60, 45, 15
9.28 30, 45, 17, 20
9.29 60, 10, 10
9.30 23, 45
10.1 45, 45, 10
10.2 23, 30
10.3 10, 15, 15, 45
10.4 10, 15, 50
10.5 15, 10, 16, 30
10.6 45, 45
10.7 45, 15, 20, 15
10.8 45, 23, 10
10.9 16, 21, 10, 15
10.10 10, 10, 30
10.11 10, 10, 50
10.12 35, 30, 18, 15
10.13 10, 45
10.14 40, 15, 13, 50
10.15 15, 40
10.16 12, 12, 30
10.17 38, 50
10.18 32, 17
10.19 20
10.20 30, 53, 15, 25
10.21 30, 31
10.22 24, 24, 40
10.23 12, 15, 10
10.24 12, 30, 30
10.25 18, 50
10.26 33, 29, 15
10.27 18, 27 15, 32, 11 
10.28 40, 20, 19, 16
10.29 12, 60, 10
10.30 30, 35, 20, 10, 16
10.31 25, 26, 25
11.1 12, 28, 15
11.2 13, 10, 10, 28, 10, 20
11.3 20, 10
11.4 16, 27, 20, 20
11.5 27, 27, 17, 22
11.6 28, 31, 36, 30, 29
11.7 20, 45, 10, 10
11.8 18, 51, 65
11.9 10, 10, 10, 46
11.10 23, 23, 30, 8
11.11 43, 10
11.12 27, 20, 10

The mind likes to make stories, play the blame game.  For Example, "I"am depressed because of (insert life scenario), or "I" am restless because (insert life scenario), "I" am tired because, (insert life scenario), "I" do not feel well because , (insert life scenario)

But, there is no core "I", there are causes and conditions.  Alot of times there is a simpler and more factual reason for our mind and body states.  To find out, we really must investigate, examine , and experiement to find out what in life is actually out of balance, not harmonious, or not following the middle path.

Perhaps, in some cases it is actually a simpler solution, (Occam's Razor) not a spiritual,chakra, or woo woo type of explanation, but, not always.

Depression, possible Vitamin D deficiency.

https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/depression/

Restlessness, Go Excercise

Tired?  Get some sleep!

Do not feel well?  Eat pound after pound of fruits, veggies, beans. Drop the junk food , soda, cheese, meat ,and oils!  Drink more water.  Buddhadasa described this as knowing the difference between what food was food , and what food was "bait".

Of course there are an inumerable list of factors involved with hindrances and each situation is different, but sometimes it really is just something simple.  Maybe not an easy solution to enact, but the solution itself, is sometimes, simple.

In my opinion this is a part of Right Action, Right Livelihood, in other words,  Harmonious Living.

The mind has the power to shine a light on all areas of our living.

So, I will investigate my living, step back and examine, thought , speech, and action.  Where can I improve?  What have I done incorrectly out of ignorance?  Why did that handful of M&M's taste so good?  emoticon  Egads!  I am no different than a mouse ...  Humbled again... Baited by the sight sensation.

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
11/13/15 5:52 PM as a reply to Psi.
Four Foundations of Mindfulness

Continuous Investigation and Awareness coupled with the Intention of abandoning the Unwholesome and Unskillful, and Cultivating and Maintaining the Wholesome and Skillful

So, to make the Intention, the Right Intention, Samma Sankappa.  To firmly set Samma Sankappa, the Intention is to continue to be vigilant and to maintain awareness.  Awareness of What?  Of the Four Foundations.  The Body, the Sensations, the Mind States , and the Dharma.  In other words, What exactly is happening in the present moment, every moment, right here, right now? Needless to say, not just during Formal sittings. I think all this helps one to stay grounded, and constantly turns the mind back towards the task at hand, keeps the mind on the Dhamma, not straying around wasting time and energy on needless impermanent and impersonal things.  i.e. the M and Ms earlier were good, but they were gone hours ago, and all that is left is digested waste.  So why would a mind become attached to such things?  Rhetorically questioning...

Culadasa had a good point, I am reading and studying his new book by the way, the point was , when the mind strays from the subject at hand , Reward the mind for catching itself straying.  It does not help for the mind to chastise and berate itself for straying and wandering, that just adds dukkha.  Further, the point of rewarding the Mind at the moment of catching itslef straying, and I agree, is that the Mind is better off feeling good for actually catching itself wandering and straying.  This sets up a positive reinforcement loop.  The other way, the mind being negative when it catches itslef wandering or straying, sets up a negative reinforcement loop, and the mind just might as well rather stay away from being Mindful of the Dhamma if it is only going to meet up with self scorn and self criticism when it catches itself with mindfulness.  It will lean towards distraction and daydreaming and away from negative self talk.

Bhante Vimalaramsi has a similar , if not same approach with the TWIM method.

Ayya Khema also stated the same, said there is already dukkha , and to add more is just double dukkha.

And my personal experience shows this path works, and in this manner.  The mind is all to happy to do what is best, especially if a Path that is laid out is supported by Wisdom, Rational Logic, and is well grounded in Reality,  as is the Dhamma.

So, the Intention is to continue with The Noble Eightfold Path and keep fine tuning.

It has finally come together a fuller understanding of the saying of abandoning the raft.  The raft being the Eightfold Path, and the final abandoning of even the Eightfold Path at the end.

Once the mind has been purified there is no more work to be done, the mind is clean.  So that at this point on the path the mental formation created by the formation of the Eighfold Path itself is even a disturbance to a still mind.  So, yes, I can see that even , in the end , the Path itself would have to be abandoned, and to that end, the Mind would be Stilled and Balanced.

But, for me, this mind, right now, that is definitely not the case.  Still enjoying the Walk.  Or the Rafting, so to speak.

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
12/7/15 10:43 PM as a reply to Psi.
11.13  37, 60, 15, 15
11.14  16, 18, 23, 50, 25
11.15  15, 25, 10, 15
11.16 30, 37
11.17 12, 10, 18
11.18  10, 10, 60
11.19  30, 10
11.20  40, 27, 15
11.21  12, 60, 20
11.22 30, 38, 10
11.23  20
11.24  39, 10, 10
11.25 30, 10
11.26  30, 20
11.27  20, 20
11.28  37, 54, 8
11.29  30, 30, 18, 10
11.30  17, 60, 20
12.1  20, 30, 10
12.2 10, 24, 31, 27
12.3 36, 20
12.4  10, 30, 30
12.5  10, 32
12.6  11, 10, 2hr. 45 min., 30
12.7  15, 22, 32

There were a few days in the last grouping of formal maditations where I did not meditate much at all, need to be wary of that, getting lazy.  Some sessions are also very slothful, workload has increased, and am training at a higher weekly running mileage than I am used to.  Perhaps need to reevaluate life priorities, it seems there is indeed only so much energy to go around.

Back to the 12.6 long session, sat as long as I could stay upright, then went to a lion's pose, stayed mindful, had some vivid type visions and a fairly prolonged vibratory state which is usually a prelude to a state of infinite expansion, this did not happen.  Did notice a lingering craving for the state experienced to be repeated, this craving was noted, the phenomeon recognized as anicca, and dropped.  But, still, curiosity arises, and investigation of the state again would be nice.  

Also of note, in a lucid dream I encountered extreme terror/fear, I basically just let it flow, braced up, and went on into the room, (this was a dream) and afterwords, all fear was eliminated,  just equanimity remained, this was still there after full bodily awakening.

I have also experienced full blown anger in dreams, and I remember it well, this has only happened seldomly, like a couple times a year.  But, it is a nice reminder of one the reasons to keep practicing, full blown anger can cause alot of problems if left unchecked.

And just this exerpt, In practice I am looking to really hone in on all the little thoughts both in formal meditation and in daily activities and work with in all in more detail.  I feel this is what needs to be done at this time.  Nitty Gritty, so to speak. In other words Notice it all, Deal with it all, let nothing slip past.

Right Intention
The Buddha discovered this twofold division of thought in the period prior to his Enlightenment (see MN 19). While he was striving for deliverance, meditating in the forest, he found that his thoughts could be distributed into two different classes. In one he put thoughts of desire, ill will, and harmfulness, in the other thoughts of renunciation, good will, and harmlessness. Whenever he noticed thoughts of the first kind arise in him, he understood that those thoughts lead to harm for oneself and others, obstruct wisdom, and lead away from Nibbana. Reflecting in this way he expelled such thoughts from his mind and brought them to an end. But whenever thoughts of the second kind arose, he understood those thoughts to be beneficial, conducive to the growth of wisdom, aids to the attainment of Nibbana. Thus he strengthened those thoughts and brought them to completion.


http://www.vipassana.com/resources/8fp3.php

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
12/27/15 10:40 PM as a reply to Psi.
Still here  emoticon

Just plugging this book, interesting, a new spin on Metta, or shall we say an old spin???  hehe


http://www.seeingthroughthenet.net/files/eng/books/other/Deliverance_of_Heart.pdf


Excerpt below, bold facing mine, to emphasize the practice point being made here

 The deliverance of the heart through mettā made known by the Buddha is a simple meditation, which even a child can practice. A child yet unfamiliar with the conventional names of directions could radiate the six directions with mettā as ‘in front’ and ‘behind’, ‘to the left’ and ‘to the right’ and ‘above’ and ‘below’, or else simpler still, as ‘above, below and around’ (‘uddhaṁ adho ca tiriyañcā’). The Buddha’s advice is that all men, women and children should practice this Deliverance of the Heart through universal love.

Although this is the Buddha’s behest due to some complicated exegesis in the commentarial period, the original message of the Deliverance of the Heart through mettā receded to the background. Visuddhimagga, (Path of Purification) which is regarded as the textbook by meditation teachers today, recommends a method of breaking down of barriers between oneself and one’s dear person, the neutral person and the hostile person as the means of attaining the Deliverance of the Heart through mettā.

This is not at all in accordance with the content of the Metta sutta. This mode of exegesis relies on building barriers and breaking them down as an approach to that Deliverance of the Heart through mettā. The reason for this pervert commentarial trend is a wrong attitude born of an incorrect understanding of the relation between mettā and friendship (mittatā). Simply because mettā is opposed to ill-will or enmity, it should not be equated to 2 friendship or amity. Many meditation masters today begin their instructions with the definition ‘Mettā is friendship’ by taking seriously the apparent similarity between ‘mettā’ and ‘mittatā’ (friendship). True enough when it comes to pronunciation, mettā and mittatā are similar. But the very difference between mettānisaṁsa sutta and mittānisaṁsa sutta is a telling argument against such confusion. The fact that the advantages of mettā, which the Buddha has highly praised in the mettānisaṁsa sutta, are by far greater and more excellent than those of friendship listed in mittānisaṁsa sutta would be clear to whoever compares these two discourses. Here is a ‘ready-reckoner’ for ascertaining the wide disparity between friendship and mettā.

1. Friendship is private Mettā is common.
2. Friendship is inter-personal Mettā is universal
3. Friendship is narrow Mettā is broad
4. Friendship is a bond Mettā is a deliverance
5. Friendship requires two persons Mettā can be practiced alone
6. Friendship is limited Mettā is limitless, immeasurable, boundless and great
And Nanananda goes on, explaing how Metta is a Universal practice, and there is a blunder in starting the practice of Metta with oneself.  Practicing by starting with oneself and working outwards builds up barriers from the get go, whereas Metta is Universal.
From what I am getting, and backed up by what I expereince, Metta is more of an outward flowing Universal indiscriminate form of energy feeling, there is really no subject or object involved.  Thus , the six directions.
radiate the six directions with mettā as ‘in front’ and ‘behind’, ‘to the left’ and ‘to the right’ and ‘above’ and ‘below’, or else simpler still, as ‘above, below and around’ (‘uddhaṁ adho ca tiriyañcā’)
So, I have yet to read this in its entirety, but so far so good.  I think this just came out in 2015...

Metta

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
1/10/16 12:14 AM as a reply to Psi.
12.8.2015 17, 27, 19
12.9 60, 16
12.10  60, 22
12.11  16, 40
12.12 44, 46
12.13  16, 33
12.14  24, 30, 10
12.15  16, 30
12.16  10, 36
12.17 13, 10, 30
12.18  20, 13, 60, 20
12.19  30, 13
12.20  40
12.21  10, 20
12.22 19, 26
12.23 16, 30, 16
12.24 15, 16, 34
12.25  23, 24
12.26  20, 30
12.27  10, 20, 60
12.28  54, 60
12.29 6, 10, 54
12.30  10, 31, 31
12.31 10, 60

2016

1.1 22, 15, 20
1.2. 12, 20
1.3  20
1.4 31, 30, 17, 31
1.5 22, 43, 12, 10
1.6 30, 45, 50
1.7 10, 10, 11, 12, 60
1.8 26, 10, 45

Practicewise, I almost do not know what to say...  I know more formal meditation time would be beneficial, yet the layperson lifestyle does not always accomodate for formal meditation opportunities.  Or is that just an excuse thought formed in the mind?

I have a one week vacation starting tomorrow night, yay!  Have some tasks to do around the house, want to plan some family time, some study time, and meditate.  I have found that if I can get in two hours by noon, things really start cookin', and around 3-4 hours of accumulated meditation the deeper levels of mind tend to be more accessible.  I should really push it this time, become a grown up meditator and all...emoticon haha

Currently I am reading The Zen Teaching of Huang Po, and what he states, I could not agree more, His teaching really resonates with current mind experience.  Yet, this mind still oscillates at times. 

http://terebess.hu/zen/huangboBlofeld.html
6. This Mind is no mind of conceptual thought and it is completely detached from form. So Buddhas and sentient beings do not differ at all. If you can only rid yourselves of conceptual thought, you will have accomplished everything. But if you students of the Way do not rid yourselves of conceptual thought in a flash, even though you strive for aeon after aeon, you will never accomplish it. Enmeshed in the meritorious practices of the Three Vehicles, you will be unable to attain Enlightenment. Nevertheless, the realization of the One Mind may come after a shorter or a longer period. There are those who, upon hearing this teaching, rid themselves of conceptual thought in a flash. There are others who do this after following through the Ten Beliefs, the Ten Stages, the Ten Activities and the Ten Bestowals of Merit. Yet others accomplish it after passing through the Ten Stages of a Bodhisattva's Progress. But whether they transcend conceptual thought by a longer or a shorter way, the result is a state of BEING: there is no pious practising and no action of realizing. That there is nothing which can be attained is not idle talk; it is the truth. Moreover, whether you accomplish your aim in a single flash of thought or after going through the Ten Stages of a Bodhisattva's Progress, the achievement will be the same; for this state of being admits of no degrees, so the latter method merely entails aeons of unnecessary suffering and toil.
So, the above description of the state of mind described is also how I would describe the mind.

I think my current weaknesses are patience with others, compassion, understanding, and metta.  I think I am too selfish with my time. 

I am probably going to spend the majority of the vacation time devoted to practice and study, everyone else in the house will be in school or working.  I need to gear up and get serious, time is of the essence.  

Probably best to focus on getting all 37 factors of enlightnement going at the same time, get all of the mind modules going in the same direction. There is some other studying I am interested in also, books about the gut and the human microbiome, what to eat and such things.  What gets the system in harmony.  There is mind, and there is body, yet they coexist, fact of life, right?

Also of note, studying Thich Nhat Hanh's book, Interbeing.  This below could not be held more dear as an ideal, though I probably do not come across as such...  emoticon

http://viewonbuddhism.org/resources/14_precepts.html
1Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.

2Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice nonattachment from views in order to be open to receive others' viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.


Well, well, well ...

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
1/17/16 10:18 AM as a reply to Psi.
1.9  27, 35
1.10  40, 60, 10, 10
1.11 43, 30, 13, 20, 70, 28, 43, 65, 15
1.12 63, 11, 65, 20, 20, 20, 30, 20, 15
1.13  90, 67, 13, 30, 54, 20, 11
1.14 31, 34, 80, 14, 20, 8, 48, 12
1.15 30, 14, 25, 22, 17, 16, 75
1.16 90, 21, 24, 20, 52, 30

Towards the end of the ole vacation... Tried more of an Advance instead of a Retreat.  In other words, lots of Formal Meditation, Lots of Bare Attention, but pushed out into the daily living aspect, more time with family, still went to the gym, did some things around the house, you know normal stuff.

Developing patience, understanding, compassion, and metta.  I was perhaps , before, making it too broad of a task, spreading the intentions too far into the future, and setting the expectations as supreme, a difficult approach to an infinite flavor....

But, perhaps, it is much, much simpler than that.  Better to just deal with the moment at hand, as it occurs.  When patience is needed, use patience, when an opportunity for compassion presents itself, that is the best chance to practice compassion. Metta , understanding, same thing.

Practicing moment to moment as it occurs, in real time.  And , note to self, when I fail at patience, metta, compassion, be gladdened that I was at least aware of it, and gladdened to have the opportunity to change any unwholesome behavior to the best of the current skill set and ability to change.  And, note to self, to also recognize the successes, then mind inclines towards positve feedback.  

There is also another level of understanding that I am becoming attuned to.  It is like this.  Sometimes what I am now calling impatience with another being is actually just a flash of irritation, being non compassionate is also a momentary flash, easliy transformed , and usually within a moment or within a few moments.  So, it seems there is  a difference between between having an unwholesome state arise for a moment or  a few moments, and having an unwholesome state lingers for hours, days, or even years.  It seems that along the path, one becomes ever more sensitive to the internal nature and impersonal reactionary systems that are in place.  So, that due to this ever increasing sensitivity and fine tuning, even a little irritation, that may have not even been noticed in earlier years, becomes of the utmost importance in training in the present time.  

In other words, the more we see, the more we see...

Well, this week I finished this guide book, highly recommended
Seeing Through,  A Guide to Insight Meditation by Bhikku K. Nanananda
http://www.seeingthroughthenet.net/files/eng/books/other/seeing_through.pdf


One last thing I have been deepening the Investigating of, well two.  

First, the senses, the sense object , and the sense consciousness.  From what I see, These lean upon each other as three sticks leaning on each other at the same time.  Not one being separate form the other, that is the illusion, that they are separate.  They come together, at the same time, to for the individual and unique consiousness, a moment to moment consciousness, fleeting, ephemeral.  From what I see, it is all an impersonal process, nothing to get attached to.  Non attachment, because of its very nature, impermanent and coreless.  

Second, Becoming attached to pheomenon is pointless, like holding dear to an ice cube on a warm summer day, futile, pointless, unwise.  

So, I practice like this, the quickiening of mental noticing is necessary, immediacy,  worded better in this excerpt.

In the same vein, the Buddha goes on to describe how a monk should adjust his attitude towards the object of the other senses including the mind. The wonderfully apt similes used with regard to each of them, are eloquent enough to drive home the principle involved. They all illustrate how soon one should find one's equilibrium when swayed by likes and dislikes.

* With regard to sounds: ………………..Just as a strong man might easily snap his fingers…………
* With regard to smells: ……………….Just as rain-drops on a slightly tilted lotus-leaf, roll off and do not remain there …………….
* With regard to Tastes: ………………Just as a strong man might easily spit out a ball of spittle collected on the tip of the tongue …………….
* With regard to touches: ……………..Just as a strong man might stretch his bent arm or bend his stretched arm ………………
* With regard to mind-objects: ……………..As if a man were to let two or three drops of water fall on an iron plate heated a whole day (which quickly vaporise and vanish)…………
( -Indriyabhavana Sutta, M.N -)

Even as in the middle of the ocean
No waves arise and all is steady
So steadied and unmoved should a monk be
Causing no upheaval anywhere in the world
(V.924 Tuvataka Sutta, Sn.)

http://www.seeingthroughthenet.net/files/eng/dl/dl_0001.pdf


But, on yet a deeper level, To drop it all, everything, to get to the Still Point, but a not conditioned meditative state.  From this, how can craving and suffering arise?  There is no manifestation ground, no place to plant seeds.

Discuss it as you may, how can you even hope to approach the truth through words? Nor can it be perceived either subjectively or objectively. So full understanding can come to you only through an inexpressible mystery. The approach to it is called the Gateway of the Stillness beyond all Activity. If you wish to understand, know that a sudden comprehension comes when the mind has been purged of all the clutter of conceptual and discriminatory thought-activity. Those who seek the truth by means of intellect and learning only get further and further away from it. Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Huangbo_Xiyun


I seem to remember that Ayya Khema had said in one of ther talks, that everday, at least once, if not more often, one should just try to let it all go, even if just for a moment.

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
2/24/16 10:44 PM as a reply to Psi.
1.17  27, 34, 20, 60, 22
1.18 20, 40, 15, 10
1.19  10, 16, 48, 10
1.20 16, 30, 22
1.21 10, 11, 8 , 36, 30
1.22 69, 14
1.23  46, 15
1.24  20, 10, 60
1.25 20, 10, 43
1.26  13, 10, 25, 13
1.27  10, 31
1.28  10, 13, 25
1.29  32, 20
1.30  18, 20, 90, 15, 54, 30
1.31  60, 30, 10, 20, 30

Guess I'll type up Feb. later...

So, what's been goin' on?  Hmmm...

Main Practice Points and Thoughts.

Same Inner Silence mode available during daily activities, i.e. no inner mental chatter.  This is not to be confused with not being able to think, grok.  Though, upon inspection this default state is weaker during sleep and dream states, and also when tired, or if under stress, or if I just feel like goofing off. emoticon Then it takes a a varying degrees of Tranquility and Insight to place the mind back into the stillness mode. Mostly the stillness mode can be just a breath away, sometimes , not so easy...  There was a period of time recently where the mind was more disturbed than usual, I would say this was due to practicing Insight Methods,and watching some WW2 documentaries, coupled with the contemplation of Wars.

 Anyway, Insight methods seem to do their job in stirring up locked up Mental Formations, exposing them to the Conscious Awareness level.  It is from there that the element of Equanimity is to be maintained, to the best of one's abilities.  It is my experience that the constant application of Equanimity, when dutifully applied , is what brings the unresolved and troublesome mental formations to rest.  There are times when it seems that some unresovled Mental Formations seem like they will go on forever, they will arise again and again.  And, if not dealt with squarely, they probably will arise again and again,  for life.  But, the maintaining of practice seems to be the best solution, or cure, if you will.  I suppose that each time a disturbing Mental Formation arises, and it meets up with the state of Equanimity, it is altered and changed, purified, even if just a little.  So, that in this way, the next ime the disturbing Mental Formation arises, it should have less power behind it, less energy, and can be more easily understood for what it is, and , hopefully more easily dismissed.  Until finally, it will cease to arise altogether.

I did not really have a plan of exactly what to write tonight, so sometimes it is interesting to see what comes up from the mind.

Oh yeah, one more thing.

Compassion and Understanding, For a while I have known intellectually what these terms mean, and have tried to practice it, with some success, yet sometimes I have noticed that I have a little mean streak, sometimes I like to play around with words and poke jabs, I don't really have intentions of being mean or harmful, but I think I probably come across that way sometimes.  In the physical life , worldly interactions go fine, not always, but mostly.  I guess the more subtle aspects of real intentions show through, and harmlessness is easy, being with people is fun.  But, on the Internet, there are just words, and alot of the true meaning is lost, i.e. no gestures, no smiles, nods, expressions, tones, instant reactions.  Can't tell if someone knows you are joking and playing around or if you are serious, etc...

But, besides all that, Compassion, just recently, has really hit a bone with me, at an even deeper level than ever.  I know what it is to be hurt, and I just do not want to hurt anyone, and if I do hurt someone, even unintentionally, it now pains me with a sorrow.  But, I suppose, sometimes there is just friction, Dukkha.

But, then again, maybe I will always be a knucklehead.  emoticon

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
3/7/16 9:37 PM as a reply to Psi.
So, what is Right Mindfulness?  Samma Sati?

I resonate with this description of Sati.  The description below pretty much descibes it how it is.  And I think it fits well into the understanding of Dependent Origination, Sati is used right between Vedana and Tanha, in other words right after or during Feeling/Sensations, but before Craving actually arises.  Well, Samma Sati anyway, I guess one can be mindful, in the awareness sense of the word Mindfulness, of other cause and effect relations after craving has arisen.  Anyway, the excerpt.  I am posting it all here and not just the link, in order to prevent link erosion in the future, or whatever it is called.

http://dharma.ncf.ca/introduction/instructions/sati.html

SATI exerpt from Mindfulness in Plain English by Venerable Henepola Gunaratana 

Mindfulness is the English translation of the Pali word 'Sati.' Sati is an activity. What exactly is that? Well, this is one of those questions without a precise answer, at least not in words. Words are devised by the symbolic levels of the mind and they describe those realities with which symbolic thinking deals. Mindfulness (Sati) is pre-symbolic. It is not shackled to logic. Nevertheless, Mindfulness can be experienced - rather easily - and it can be described, as long as you keep in mind that the words are only fingers pointing at the moon. They are not the thing itself. The actual experience lies beyond the words and above the symbols. Mindfulness could be described in completely different terms than will be used here and each description could still be correct.

Mindfulness (Sati) is a subtle process that you are using at this very moment. The fact that this process lies above and beyond words does not make it unreal - quite the reverse. Mindfulness is the reality which gives rise to words - the words that follow are simply pale shadows of reality. So, it is important to understand that everything that follows here is an analogy. It is not going to make perfect sense. Please don't sit around scratching your head and trying to figure it all out. In fact, the meditational technique called Vipassana (insight) that was introduced by the Buddha about twenty-five centuries ago is a set of mental activities specifically aimed at experiencing a state of uninterrupted Mindfulness or Sati.

When you first become aware of something there is a fleeting instant of pure awareness just before you conceptualize he thing, before you identify it. That is a stage of Mindfulness (Sati). Ordinarily, this stage is very short. It is that flashing split second just before you focus your eyes on the thing, just before you focus your mind on the thing, just before you objectify it, clamp down on it mentally and segregate it from the rest of existence. It takes place just before ,you start thinking about it - before that little 'yak, yak' machine inside your skull says, "Oh, it's a dog." That flowing, soft-focused moment of pure awareness is Mindfulness (Sati). In that brief flashing mind- moment you experience a thing as an un-thing. You experience a softly flowing moment of pure experience that is interlocked with the rest of reality, not separate from it. Mindfulness is very much like what you see with your peripheral vision as opposed to the hard focus of normal or central vision. Yet this moment of soft, unfocused, awareness contains a very deep sort of knowing that is lost as soon as you focus your mind and objectify the object into a thing. In the process of ordinary perception, the Mindfulness (Sati) step is so fleeting as to be unobservable. We have developed the habit of squandering our attention on all the remaining steps, focusing on the perception, cognizing the perception, labeling it, and most od all, getting involved in a long string of symbolic thought about it. That original moment of Mindfulness just gets lost in the shuffle. It is the purpose of the above mentioned Vipassana (or insight) meditation to train us to prolong that moment of awareness.

When this Mindfulness (Sati) is prolonged by using proper techniques, you find that this experience is profound and it changes your whole view of the universe. This state of perception has to be learned, however, and it takes regular practice. Once you learn the technique, you will find that Mindfulness has a number of interesting characteristics.

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF MINDFULNESS (SATI)

Mindfulness (Sati) is mirror-thought. It reflects only what is presently happening and in exactly the way it is happening. There are no biases.

Mindfulness (Sati) is non-judgmental observation. It is that ability of the mind to observe without criticism. With this ability, one sees things without condemnation or judgment. One is surprised by nothing. One simply takes a balanced interest in things exactly as they are in their natural states. One does not decide and does not judge. One just observes.

It is psychologically impossible for us to objectively observe what is going on within us if we do not at the same time accept the occurrence of our various states of mind. This is especially true with unpleasant states of mind. In order to observe our own fear, we must accept the fact that we are afraid. We can't examine our own depression without accepting i fully. The same is true for irritation and agitation, frustration and all those other uncomfortable emotional states. You can't examine something fully if you are busy rejecting the existence of it. Whatever experience we may be having, Mindfulness just accepts it. It is simply another of life's occurrences, just another thing to be aware of. No pride, no shame, nothing personal at stake - what is there, is there.

Mindfulness (Sati) is an impartial watchfulness. It does not take sides. It does not get hung up in what is perceived. It just perceives. Mindfulness does not get infatuated with the good stuff. It does not try to sidestep the bad stuff. There is no clinging to the pleasant, no fleeing from the unpleasant. Mindfulness sees all experiences as equal, all thoughts as equal, all feelings as equal. Nothing is suppressed. Nothing is repressed. Mindfulness does not play favorites.

Mindfulness (Sati) is nonconceptual awareness. Another English term for Sati is 'bare attention.' It is not thinking. It does not get involved with thought or concepts. It does not get hung up on ideas or opinions or memories. It just looks. Mindfulness registers experiences, but it does not compare them. It just observes everything as if they were occurring for the first time. It is not analysis which is based on reflection and memory. It is, rather, the direct and immediate experience of whatever is happening, without the medium of thought. It comes BEFORE thought in the perceptual process.

Mindfulness (Sati) is present-time awareness. It takes place in the here and now. It is the observance of what is happening right now, in the present moment. It stays forever in the present, surging perpetually on the crest of the ongoing wave of passing time. If you are remembering your second-grade teacher, that is memory. When you then become aware that you are remembering your second-grade teacher, that is Mindfulness. If you then conceptualize the process and say to yourself, "Oh, I am remembering", that is thinking.

Mindfulness (Sati) is non-egoistic alertness. It takes place without reference to self. With Mindfulness one sees all phenomena without references to concepts like "me", "my" or "mine". For example, suppose there is a pain in your left leg. Ordinary consciousness would say, "I have a pain." Using Mindfulness, one would simply note the sensation as a sensation. One would not tack on that extra concept "I". Mindfulness stops one from adding anything to perception, or subtracting anything from it. One does not enhance anything. One does not emphasize anything. One just observes what is there - without distortion.

Mindfulness (Sati) is goal-less awareness. In Mindfulness, one does not strain for results. One does not try to accomplish anything. When one is mindful, one experiences reality in the present moment in whatever form it takes. There is nothing to be achieved. There is only observation.

Mindfulness (Sati) is awareness of change. It is observing the passing flow of experience. It is watching things as they are changing. It is seeing the birth, growth, and maturity of all phenomena. It is watching phenomena decay and die. Mindfulness is watching things moment by moment, continuously. It is observing all phenomena - physical, mental or emotional - whatever is presently taking place in the mind. One just sits back and watches the show. Mindfulness is the observance of the basic nature of each passing phenomena. It is watching the thing arising and passing away. It is seeing how the thing makes us feel and how we react to it. It is observing how it affects others. In Mindfulness, one is an unbiased observer whose sole job is to keep track of the constantly passing show of the universe within. Please note that last point. In Mindfulness, one watches the universe within. The meditator who is developing 

Mindfulness (Sati) is not concerned with the external universe. It is there, but in meditation, one's field of study is one's own experience, one's thoughts, one's feelings, and one's perceptions. In meditation, one is one's own laboratory. The universe within has an enormous fund of information containing the reflection of the external world and much more. An examination of this material leads to total freedom.

Mindfulness (Sati) is participatory observation. The meditator is both participant and observer at one and the same time. If one watches one's emotions or physical sensations, one is feeling them at that very same moment. Mindfulness is not an intellectual awareness. It is just awareness. The Mirror- thought metaphor breaks down here. Mindfulness is objective, but it is not cold or unfeeling. It is the wakeful experience of life, an alert participation in the ongoing process of living.

Mindfulness is an extremely difficult concept to define in words - not because it is complex, but because it is too simple and open. The same problem crops up in every area of human experience. The most basic concept is always the most difficult to pin down. Look at a dictionary and you will see a clear example. Long words generally have concise definitions, but for short basic words like "the", "is" or "but", definitions can be a page long. And in physics, the most difficult functions to describe are the most basic - those that deal with the most fundamental realities of quantum mechanics. Mindfulness is a pre- symbolic function. You can play with word symbols all day long and you will never pin it down completely. We can never fully express what it is. However, we can say what it does.

THREE FUNDAMENTAL ACTIVITIES

There are three fundamental activities of Mindfulness (Sati). We can use these activities as functional definitions of the term: (1) Mindfulness reminds us what we are supposed to be doing; (2) it sees things as they really are; and (3) it sees the deep nature of all phenomena. Let's examine these definitions in greater detail.

Mindfulness (Sati) reminds you what you are supposed to be doing. In meditation, you put your attention on one item. When your mind wanders from this focus, it is Mindfulness that reminds you that your mind is wandering and what you are supposed to be doing. It is Mindfulness that brings your mind back to the object of meditation. All of this occurs instantaneously and without internal dialogue. Meditation is not thinking. Repeated practice in meditation establishes this function as a mental habit which then carries over into the rest of your life. You should be paying bare attention to occurrences all the time, day in, day out, whether formally sitting in meditation or not. This is a very lofty ideal towards which those who meditate may be working for a period of years or even decades. Our habit of getting stuck in thought is years old, and that habit will hang on in the most tenacious manner. The only way out is to be equally persistent in the cultivation of constant 

Mindfulness (Sati). When Mindfulness is present, you will notice when you become stuck in your thought patterns. It is that very noticing which allows you to back out of the thought process and free yourself from it. Mindfulness then returns your attention to its proper focus. If you are meditating at that moment, then your focus will be the formal object of meditation. If you are not in formal meditation, it will be just a pure application of bare attention itself, just a pure noticing of whatever comes up without getting involved - "Ah, this comes up... and now this, and now this... and now this.

"
Mindfulness (Sati) is at one and the same time both bare attention itself and the function of reminding us to pay bare attention if we have ceased to do so. Bare attention is noticing. It re-establishes itself simply by noticing that it has not been present. As soon as you are noticing that you have not been noticing, then by definition you are noticing and then again you are back to paying bare attention. Well, that all sounds very involved, but there is nothing complex about it. It is just the words. It is just a thing you will learn to do by feel, the way you play baseball. Mindfulness creates its own distinct feeling in consciousness. It has a flavor - a light, clear, energetic flavor. Conscious thought is heavy by comparison, ponderous and picky. But here again, these are just words. Your own practice will show you the difference. Then you will probably come up with your own words and the words used here will become superfluous. Remember, practice is the thing.

Mindfulness (Sati) sees things as they really are. It adds nothing to perception and it subtracts nothing. It distorts nothing. It is bare attention and just looks at whatever comes up. Conscious thought loves to paste things over our experience, to load us down with concepts and ideas, to immerse us in a churning vortex of plans and worries, fears and fantasies. When mindful, you don't play that game. You just notice exactly what arises in the mind, then you notice the next thing. "Ah, this... and this... and now this." It is really very simple.

Mindfulness (Sati) sees the true nature of all phenomena. Mindfulness and only Mindfulness can perceive the three prime characteristics that Buddhism teaches are the deepest truth of existence. In Pali these three are called Annica (impermanence), Dukkha (unsatisfactoriness), and Anatta (selflessness - the absence of a permanent, unchanging, entity that we call soul or self). These truths, by the way, are not presented in Buddhist teaching as dogmas subject to blind faith. The Buddhists feel that these truths are universal and self-evident to anyone who cares to investigate in a proper way. Mindfulness is that method of investigation. Mindfulness alone has the power to reveal the deepest level of reality available to human observation. At this level of inspection, one sees the following: (a) All conditioned things are inherently transitory; (b) every worldly thing is, in the end, unsatisfying; and (c) there are really no entities that are unchanging or permanent, only processes.

Mindfulness works like an electron microscope. That is, it operates on so fine a level that one can actually see directly those realities which are at best theoretical constructs to the conscious thought process. Mindfulness actually sees the impermanent character of every perception. It sees the transitory and passing nature of everything that is perceived. It also sees the inherently unsatisfactory nature of all conditioned things. It sees that there is no sense grabbing onto any of these passing shows. Peace and happiness just cannot be found that way. And finally, Mindfulness sees the inherent selflessness of all phenomena. It sees the way we have arbitrarily selected a certain bundle of perceptions, chopped them off from the rest of the surging flow of experience and then conceptualized them as separate, enduring, entities. Mindfulness actually sees these things. It does not think about them, it sees them directly.

When it is fully developed, Mindfulness sees these three attributes of existence directly, instantaneously, and without the intervening medium of conscious thought. In fact, even the attributes which we just covered are inherently arbitrary. They don't really exist as separate items. They are purely the result of our struggle to take this fundamentally simple process called Mindfulness and express it in the cumbersome and inherently unsuitable thought symbols of the conscious level. Mindfulness is a PROCESS, but it does not take place in steps. It is a wholistic process that occurs as a unit: you notice your own lack of Mindfulness; and that noticing itself is a result of Mindfulness; and Mindfulness is bare attention; and bare attention is noticing things exactly as they are without distortion; and the way they are is Anicca, Dukkha, and Anatta (impermananent, unsatisfactory, and self-less). It all takes place in a flash-bang. This does not mean, however, that you will instantly attain liberation (freedom from all human weaknesses) as a result of your first moment of Mindfulness. Learning to integrate this material into your conscious life is another whole process. And learning to prolong this state of Mindfulness is still another. They are joyous processes, however, and they are well worth the effort.

MINDFULNESS (SATI) AND INSIGHT (VIPASSANA) MEDITATION

Mindfulness is the center of Vipassana meditation and the key to the whole process. It is both the goal of this meditation and the means to that end. You reach Mindfulness by being ever more mindful. One other Pali word that is translated into English as Mindfulness is Appamada, which means non- negligence or an absence of madness. One who attends constantly to what is really going on in one;s mind achieves the state of ultimate sanity.

The Pali term 'Sati' also bears the connotation of remembering. It is not memory in the sense of ideas and pictures from the past, but rather clear, direct, wordless knowing of what is and what is not, of what is correct and what is incorrect, of what we are doing and how we should go about it. Mindfulness (Sati) reminds the meditator to apply his attention to the proper object at the proper time and to exert precisely the amount of energy needed to do that job. When this energy is properly applied, the meditator stays constantly in a state of calmness and alertness. As long as this condition is maintained, those mind-states called 'hindrances' or 'psychic irritants' cannot arise - there is no greed, no hatred, no lust or laziness. But we are all human and we all goof. Most of us are very human and we goof repeatedly. Despite honest effort, the meditator lets his Mindfulness slip now and then and he finds himself stuck in some nasty, but normal, human failure. It is Mindfulness that notices that change. And it is Mindfulness that reminds him to apply the energy required to pull himself out of the soup. These slips happen over and over, but their frequency decreases with practice. Once Mindfulness has pushed these mental defilements aside, more wholesome states of mind can take their place. Hatred makes way for loving kindness, lust is replaced by detachment. It is Mindfulness which notices this change, too, and which reminds the Vipassana meditator to maintain that extra little mental sharpness needed to keep these more desirable states of mind. Mindfulness makes possible the growth of wisdom and compassion. Without Mindfulness they cannot develop to full maturity.

Deeply buried in the mind, there lies a mental mechanism which accepts what the mind perceives as beautiful and pleasant experiences and rejects those experiences which are perceived as ugly and painful. This mechanism gives rise to those states of mind which we are training ourselves to avoid - things like greed, lust, hatred, aversion, and jealousy. We choose to avoid these hindrances, not because they are evil in the normal sense of the word, but because they are compulsive; because they take the mind over and capture the attention completely; because they keep going round and round in tight little circles of thought; and because they seal us off from living reality.

These hamperings cannot arise when Mindfulness is present. Mindfulness is attention to present time reality, and therefore, directly antithetical to the dazed state of mind which characterizes the impediments. As meditators, it is only when we let our Mindfulness slip that the deep mechanisms of our minds take over - grasping, clinging and rejecting. Then resistance emerges and obscures our awareness. We do not notice that the change is taking place - we are too busy with a thought of revenge, or greed, whatever it may be. While an untrained person will continue inn this state indefinitely, a trained meditator will soon realize what is happening. It is Mindfulness that notices the change. It is Mindfulness that remembers the training received ad that focuses our attention so that the confusion fades away. And it is Mindfulness that then attempts to maintain itself indefinitely so that the resistance cannot arise again. Thus, Mindfulness is the specific antidote for hindrances. It is both the cure and the preventive measure.

Fully developed Mindfulness (Sati) is a state of total non-attachment and utter absence of clinging to anything in the world. If we can maintain this state, no other means or device is needed to keep ourselves free of obstructions, to achieve liberation from our human weaknesses. Mindfulness is non-superficial awareness. It sees things deeply, down below the level of concepts and opinions. This sort of deep observation leads to total certainty, a complete absence of confusion. It manifests itself primarily as a constant and unwavering attention which never flags an which never turns away.

This pure and unstained investigative awareness not only holds the fetters at bay, it lays bare their very mechanism and destroys them. Mindfulness neutralizes defilements in the mind. The result is a mind which remains unstained and invulnerable, completely unaffected by the ups and downs of life.

[California Buddhist Vihara Society, 4797 Myrtle Drive, Concord CA 94521]
And what a blessing it is to have had Venerable Henepola Gunaratana write all that out so well.  

emoticon

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
4/16/16 8:00 AM as a reply to Psi.
Formal Meditation times, in minutes, Daily Living Practice Not logged

Feb 1-29, 2016

90

26

35

15

25

19

74

11

24

30

10

30

30

50

15

16

33

18

53

20

15

70

60

60

30

50

45

75

10

17

45

26

38

15

6

20

25

26

24

10

12

24

27

10

37

11

31

21

28

20

30

11

33

15

35

52

10

10

30

20

24

58

10

10

14

10

10

20

32

18

20

10

15

11

24

52

51

15

30

23

15

60

35

20

10

35

15

45

38

10

16

23

30

32

10

17

23

20

26

31

10

31

20

10

10

20

23

37

20

10

27

10

16

10

60




March 1-31, 2016

10

10

45

10

16

20

10

66

15

10

10

20

20

30

34

10

77

36

30

45

45

10

25

23

20

13

16

28

30

30

10

30

19

10

30

10

18

10

10

35

10

45

10

32

20

35

45

8

22

60

10

42

48

24

30

20

30

10

10

66

20

11

26

10

50

10

20

38

24

20

10

48

10

10

40

33

47

20

30

18

60

12

11

20

50

18

30

10

23

10

10

20

10

15

12

45

April, daily minimum practice maintained

Funny, Two months of Meditation practice logged, ups and downs, had some tumultuous periods, I think because I started reading the World News emoticon, So much Delusion, So much unecessary Dukkha.  I guess it is just the way some things are.  I have to accept that humanity has delusion, agression, violence, even mass delusion, and at times the world may roil in insanity.

Just need to make sure not to add to it.

 And to apply andidotes when appropriate.

Have to work through this somehow, currently, I feel like just another drop in the Ocean.

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
4/21/16 4:21 PM as a reply to Psi.
Dear Dark Night, 

*  First off, it seems that everybody is different, different pasts, different genetics, etc  Some people rage easily by nature, some are greedier, some are calmer, some happier, some gloomy, it goes on and on.  Some people may have larger adrenal glands, higher blood pressure, overacitve amygdalas, etc, I think everyone gets the picture.  So, some people may be more prone to Dark Night, and some not so much.

*  It seems that first training in the jhanas, and staying close to the jhanas helps to minimize the chances of Dark Night becoming samsaric and longer lasting.  

* Joy, As a factor of enlightenment, if one can train and understand how to arouse Joy and remember to arouse Joy.  This is a valuable and skillful tool to have.  This is an effective antidote for most instances.  This is the type of Joy that is aroused independent of external circumstances.  If Negative Emotional states arise due to causes and conditions, it only stands to reason that Positive Emotional states arise due to causes and condtions.  One just has to figure out the causes and conditions, then apply.  Not always so simple though, or maybe simple, but skills need practice to develop.  Like playing a piano is simple, just hit the keys, haha.

*  To eat a cake the size of an Elephant, take little bites, one at  time, digest it completely before moving to the next bite. When I started, some Insights would shake me up for days on end, and just Bare Noting Raw Sense Data only brought up more and more crap.  I was better off when I got shaken up, to equalize out things, get back to equanimity.  Use Relaxation Methods, shoot some baskets, read, etc.  Fall back on Wisdom.  Wisdom almost always helps.

*  Equanimity, I suggest to train in this , be so stable in this, that whatever comes up be unshakeable, and if shaken be able to get back to equanimity as soon as possible.  This is training, it is a skill to master, it is what would be considered the emotional side, one can master and become skillful in the realm of emotional states and moods, i.e. Right Effort or the Four Supreme Efforts.  In Buddhism, mind and heart are all mind, as a system.  For example, if you are abiding in Equanimity, anger can not arise.  Being aware and watching anger arise and pass away is not being in Equanimity.

*  These are just suggestions that worked for me, and just sometimes, and not always.  And , to be compassionate about all this, go  back to the first asterisk.  And remember, everybody is different.  There is a Path, and perhaps a Mountain.  Some people may ride to the top, some may hike for years and get lost, some may just climb and hike up, some may stop, some never start, and some may have to bust through some boulders and get beaten up a little on the way... 

* There is Dukkha, and we have all suffered Dukkha.  I have spent many decades in what I think of as my own personal Hell Realms.  Maybe I did not portray it so much on the outside, or in my actions, but on the inside, my mind would spin for days and days churning and burning in either rage, regret, remorse, or just cold hearted indifference.  At least when the mind was not soaked in Alcohol.  emoticon

*  There is a Method, and it works. Maybe not magically,  maybe not all at once, or not overnight, and not without alot of effort, internal honesty and perserverance, but it works.

* I am not a Dark Night expert,  and like that is not obvious, hello emoticon

Personal practice goal, Goal:  hit a 60 minute formal meditation at least once a day. This was accomplished the last two days in a row.  I will say there is a deeper level there, more past memories and old clining formations are rising than usual, which caught me off guard, I had thought some old crap was definitely done with, guess not!  Foolishness.  And the 60 minute mark is bring a more mature stabilization of Equanimity, which carries better through the day.  Unless this is just some unknown biorythmic cycle.  Time will tell.

Other notes, increase in synchronicities, more tiny ESP phenomenon.  But nothing that couldn't be written off as coincidence or imagination.   But, still...  It does seem like thoughts are kind of up for grabs , in the air , so to speak.  Especially in dream states, which is funny also, because the Channeling thread popped back up when I was reluctant to write about anything paranormal.

Now writing this seems deja vu.

Psi

So, like here is a sychronicity, Just before leaving work, I brought up to a coworker the Movie, Journey to the West, which has the Monkey King as the main antagonist.

We also had an irate customer incident, and I passed along my hypothesis about how human systems and tuning forks are similar.  Basically when you have more than one tuning fork and you hit one, the other tuning forks in range will then vibrate at the same frequency.

So, same with humans as tuning forks, say when one is angered, other humans in ranged, may then become upset, averse, fearful , or angered themselves.  Same for postive emotions, Joy, Metta, etc...

So, the synchronicity, which , yes could be coincidence, or my imagination, or...  So, when I get home and go to DHO, there is the channeling post, and reference to the Monkey King, and channeling, which is seemingly a human/otherwordly tuning fork phenomenon...

Oh crap, and I almost forgot, I was randomly joking around about Exorcisms, and used my comedic demon voice and said, "I will devour your soul"  Of which Gedanken also makes reference to in the other thread," a family member had a ghost or something arather attached to him, so the deity 'ate' him and got rid of it for him." As I am writing I am writing this I am getting lots of spinal chills, and scalp rushes.

Yeah, probably just all coincidences...emoticon

Oh crap, I just remembered I also told my coworkers about how I saw a ghostly girl dressed in a white gown hovering in the top left corner of the room , I always thought it was hypnogogia, and again Gadanken made reference to a ghost.  

Now my eyes are watering.  And this post turned into a wall of text...  Good Night emoticon

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
4/21/16 4:47 PM as a reply to Psi.
The synchronicities in the post above summed up were reference to little used topics of discussion in normal daily conversation, kind of a weird random discussion, and joking around after work, (yes, yes, probably wrong speech, but I still like to be a cut up sometimes, emoticon) So, there was the working chatter and then some of the same/similar phrases that were posted on Dho when I got home.  Monkey King/ Monkey King, devour soul / eating ghosts.  Which is all made even funnier because of my generally atheistic rational mind view seems to get the smackdown from strange unexplained phenomenon from time to time.  

But, I feel I am not explaining the Synchronicity phenomenon very well, the phenomeon being lost in the clutter of personal experience.  Might sound like a non event.  Here is a better example by Carl Jung...

In his book Synchronicity (1952), Jung tells the following story as an example of a synchronistic event:
My example concerns a young woman patient who, in spite of efforts made on both sides, proved to be psychologically inaccessible. The difficulty lay in the fact that she always knew better about everything. Her excellent education had provided her with a weapon ideally suited to this purpose, namely a highly polished Cartesian rationalism with an impeccably "geometrical" idea of reality. After several fruitless attempts to sweeten her rationalism with a somewhat more human understanding, I had to confine myself to the hope that something unexpected and irrational would turn up, something that would burst the intellectual retort into which she had sealed herself. Well, I was sitting opposite her one day, with my back to the window, listening to her flow of rhetoric. She had an impressive dream the night before, in which someone had given her a golden scarab — a costly piece of jewellery. While she was still telling me this dream, I heard something behind me gently tapping on the window. I turned round and saw that it was a fairly large flying insect that was knocking against the window-pane from outside in the obvious effort to get into the dark room. This seemed to me very strange. I opened the window immediately and caught the insect in the air as it flew in. It was a scarabaeid beetle, or common rose-chafer (Cetonia aurata), whose gold-green colour most nearly resembles that of a golden scarab. I handed the beetle to my patient with the words, "Here is your scarab." This experience punctured the desired hole in her rationalism and broke the ice of her intellectual resistance. The treatment could now be continued with satisfactory results.— Carl Jung, [16]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronicity

Which, all this has initiated contemplation upon Anatta and Mental Formations.  Are mental formations contained in the mind, do they exist outside the mind, intrude upon the mind, carry from one mind to the next.  Are mental formations simply picked up as a sense contact the same way as sound , and sight, etc?? So, thoughts, mental formations may arise internally and externally?  And if this is so, do we pollute our environment with thoughts of ill will, greed, and delusions?  Not talking about speech and action, but the thoughts alone and by themselves.  

Also, since Nicky posted the Guided Meditation on Dependent Origination thread, my mind has been contemplating namarupa quite a bit. I had never examined deeply into that level of Dependent Origination before.

But, as side note, from what I can tell, all the mental formations in the world either internal or external can gain no foothold when the mind is established in Mental Purity, Stainless.  Nothing can gain a foothold, there is nowhere for outside influences to grasp, and nothing from the mind that clings.  

There is Protection and Peace within the Dhamma.  emoticon

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
4/25/16 11:35 PM as a reply to Psi.
April 1 thru 25, 2016, in minutes

30

22

20

15

10

10

13

20

18

30

18

12

28

50

37

10

30

40

17

60

37

10

34

12

8

15

39

8

8

35

42

10

10

30

14

18

10

10

10

10

30

31

20

28

12

11

50

11

20

9

12

15

10

20

10

20

60

31

12

60

12

60

13

10

60

14

60

15

12

12

10

60

40

66

12

10

10

Okay, went one full week so far with the minimum of at least one formal sit being at least 60 minutes.  Found out and reaffirmed a couple of things, at least how I currently understand the experiences.

First, longer sits, deeper Tranquility.  Sometimes when the mind gets really still a wall of sorts appears, kind of looks like a painted wall, usually it is white, during the latest sessions though it was black.  There have been times when this phenomenon seems to be of a glass like quality expanded to wherever, then it also seems to not be there at the same time.  Solid , yet transparent.  There , yet not. 

Second, longer sits, deeper Insight.  Old Mental Formations arise, ones I had not thought about for quite some time, old memories, remorse , regret, shame for old behaviors.  Yet, this time when they arose, they had no effect, the equanimous state simply remained, and I was able to view it all, unbothered.  Not in a disassociated way , mind you, but with an equanimous , wise, compassionate view.  There were past inappropiate behaviours, yet it is now understood that what happened in the past was natural for an untrained mind, full responsibility has been accepted, and it is fully understood that those types of behaviours will never rise again.  And that is a relief. Maybe I am just older, emoticon  And it is funny how the mind will cling to stuff for so many years, needlessly.

Third, longer sits, geared towards Insight, are best balanced with several small Tranquility sits, keeps the mind from becoming too agitated from reaching down into the deeper levels during Insight.


I have also noticed that the mind is constantly going back to the Dhamma, on its own.  Constantly reminding itself, and constantly catching itself , and correcting, when it is not folowing the Noble Eightfold Path.  Do I still slip up?, well yeah , of course.  

During the day, I should explain someday in more detail, but briefly, I pay attention to the internal sensations that arise, the body chemicals, the stress juices, and apply antidotes.  Also, I try to be aware of each and every incident of craving that arises, whether there is liking or disliking a sensation or event, then return to equanimity, bare attention.  There is more detail.

Also, when I use the word mind , it is the Mind in the Buddhist sense of the word Mind.  i.e. a heap of aggregates, and as Ayya Khema has put it, 

Ayya Khema:
"In Pali, heart and mind are one word (citta), but in English we have to differentiate between the two to make the meaning clear. 
When we attend to the mind, we are concerned with the thinking process and the intellectual understanding that derives from knowledge, and with our ability to retain knowledge and make use of it. 
When we speak of "heart" we think of feelings and emotions, our ability to respond with our fundamental being. 
Although we may believe that we are leading our lives according to our thinking process, that is not the case. If we examine this more closely, we will find that we are leading our lives according to our feelings and that our thinking is dependent upon our feelings. The emotional aspect of ourselves is of such great importance that its purification is the basis for a harmonious and peaceful life, and also for good meditation."

I had one other exerpt to add, that I have recently run across, that I would like to share

The practice of mindfulness, whether within the sitting meditation or in this daily-life meditation, is an active, ongoing process. In the sitting practice, although the body is stationary, the mind is actively watching and mindful of the body or the mind. Likewise, in meditation in daily life, the mind is actively watching itself regardless of posture and time. The mental discipline involved in each form is what is most crucial and ultimately leads the mind to its purified state. It is not the postures that lead to enlightenment, though postures are useful in helping the mind to quiet itself. If you understand this clearly, you can meditate anywhere and anytime.
http://www.buddhanet.net/lmed12.htm

Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta

Ya just gotta laugh, with Dukkha, nothing that happens is really surprising anymore, it just gets more and more ridiculous.  My heart goes out to anyone and everyone suffering through crazy difficult times.  Peace

emoticon

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
4/28/16 10:45 PM as a reply to Psi.
[quote=Psi

]Also, I try to be aware of each and every incident of craving that arises, whether there is liking or disliking a sensation or event, then return to equanimity, bare attention.  There is more detail.
Events, phenomeon happen.  If the I arises, then back to Bare Attention, No "I" arising Stillness, Non-Duality, whatever word or concept one wants to call it, "glimpses".  Extending the "glimpses".

Beyond the non-Narrative Experiencing, there was a glimpse of an even deeper level, just a moment, A complete drop out, was during meditation, it was like being on an elevator just when it starts going down, or the initial moment of a freefall, no gravity.  No tension, no gravity, completely free.  But, it was just a moment, and that moment, if it could be expanded would be the real deal, but, maybe it was the imagination, or a sleep nod off.  Anyway, just transcribing.  Just staying to pracice for now, and having deeper realizations about areas in life and actions and speech in life cause dukkha and disequillibrium, even though it is considered normal behavior to the majority of humanity.  Looking into that more deeply.  Right Speech, Right Action...

Reading Gary Weber's "Dancing Beyond Thought", Gary's experience and desrcriptions really line up with what I have been going through, I have one of his books coming in the mail, but readinh the Kindle version of this link below.  The Bhagavad Gita had a profound impact during my first readng in my early twenties.  Yet , I still managed to travel the Samsaric Hell Realms needlessly for over two decades after... 

http://happiness-beyond-thought.com/dbt.html


Putting a goal of doing at the minimum one productive thing a day on my daily list, it does not even have to be anything big, could be laundry, or mowing the lawn, etc.  Seems to be helping daily stuff, keeps me more caught up and more of a benefit to others, Actually did several "chores" today, yay!

Anyway, just staying mostly in the Stillness,Silence, Emptiness.   I think that is the best Practice Path for right now, No anger or greed, or I-making arises when in that state, so at least as a practice it has that purification aspect to it.  I just have to remember to stay there, or get back there if disturbed.  But, still have some Contemplation and Investigation to do, there is this niggling feeling like I am missing something, some uncovered delusion...

Regardless of what anyone has ever said is possible or not about what Lay Persons can or can not do, what has ever been said by teachers in the past, whatever others may or may not think, gonna drop it all, Investigate by letting go of it all...  Not to even question what is or is not possible...  These are all games made up by the mental formations, so, game over...  The cycling is getting old.

Time will tell, to expose delusion...   emoticon

Sometimes, like now, reading what was just written, who is even writing this stuff?? It is ridiculous,   Chop wood, type letters

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
5/14/16 5:22 PM as a reply to Psi.
Kind of thinking out loud here...

A direct approach, to glimpse, catch each Craving when and where it ignites, like a game.  What caused Craving to fire up?  Reverse engineer back through the sense contacts and mental formations to see what ignited Craving.  Knowing the triggers , empowers the Mind to be aware, and catch the process before it starts possibly the very next time this process occurs.

To be mindful, or instantly aware of when craving ignites.  Craving is the wanting or not wanting of something.  The attraction or aversion to phenomenon. And , if Clinging ignites, To be mindful, or instantly aware when clinging ignites.  Clinging is when the Craving continues, on and on, until,  usually, by nature, we fall prey to the habitual patterns of behavior, and act upon the craving and clinging, and appease the craving and clinging how ever we can.  Then the next craving and clinging will ignite, and the process starts over, and over, and over, again , and again.  Same inputs, same outputs, but this process can be changed.

So Craving is like the initial ring when a Bell is struck, Clinging is like the riinnggg...that follows.  Constant Craving and Clinging is the constant bong, bong, bong on the bell, over and over, unceasingly.

A direct approach, is the realization of all this occurring in each present moment (Samma Sati) and understanding (Panna) how to silence it, and is like placing the hands on the bell.

Silence

Perhaps this is just the Mundane Wisdom, but never the less, a way to glimpse the Empty Spaces.

Perhaps, at the more skillfull level, using the bell metaphor, the bell is struck, but there is never a sound, there is the sense contacts, the sensations and all that, but only silence, no sound.  No Craving arising.

I could use examples for phenomenon that cause Craving, but it is all the same, From Snickers Bars, Jeeps, Iphones, Jobs, Sunglasses, Cheesecakes, and Sex to the other side of phenomenon that could cause Craving , from, Death, Taxes, Politics, Cancer, Aging, Disease, Upset Stomach, Muscle Spasms, and Headaches.

Of course, it is easier to look at some phenomenon first, say Snickers Bars and Politics.  But, interestingly the reaction is all the same, the Craving, binary in a way, it is just the intensity that is different.

The key point is to first find the emptiness just before Craving is ignited, and have the mind stay there, in that space.

Contemplation helps, Snickers are just Earth Elements, Politics are just Sound Waves.

Excerpts below from:

Liberation Here and Now

Ayya Khema

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha099.htm


When we hear or read the word “liberation” (nibbana), we often get the idea that it is unattainable, otherworldly, reachable only by spiritual giants, and that it has very little to do with us. We do not have to look at it that way. Let us consider the three kinds of liberation: “signless,” “wishless,” and “voidness” liberation. Signless liberation is attained by completely penetrating impermanence (anicca), wishless liberation by completely penetrating unsatisfactoriness (dukkha), and voidness liberation by penetrating coreless substance (anatta).We’re all familiar with impermanence, but what is signless liberation? Suppose we are attached to or highly appreciative of a person, a situation, a belonging. Can we let go of clinging to it? We can try to let go of anything at all, no matter how small. We direct our attention to the fact that all we examine is totally fleeting. We fathom that truth in everything, in all living beings, and, having seen it, we let go of our belief in the solidity of things. We thereby let go of our attachment. If we can do that with anything or anyone, even for a moment, we have won a moment of signless liberation -- a moment of direct knowledge that nothing has any intrinsic value, that it’s all a passing show. Having had that experience, even for one moment, gives us an inkling of what the Buddha meant when he spoke about freedom.
Freedom means nonattachment, which is not indifference but rather the penetration of absolute truth. To see that clearly, we let go for one moment of anything that we call our own, anything that we like or consider important. We examine it until its fleeting nature has become quite apparent. Then the moment comes when we can say, “I don’t have to have that, I can do without it.” That is a moment of truth. Having a moment of truth is always possible, but such moments don’t come automatically. We have to inquire into our clinging and work at loosening it. Letting go sounds easy, and it is, but only after it has happened. Before that, it entails much self-examination.A moment of signless liberation can be experienced in another way. Suppose, for instance, there is an unpleasant feeling in the body that creates a reaction of “I don’t want it. Go away now!” When we really penetrate into the impermanence of that feeling -- when we see how it has no basic reality or significance and, for just a moment, let go of our rejection and say, “It’s all right, it is only a feeling” -- we get a taste of signless liberation. When we see that there is nothing that really lasts, that all is fleeting, flowing, moving, and changing from one moment to the next, we have a moment of freedom. We can practice that with our thoughts, our feelings, or our physical sensations.


Any meditator knows that the thoughts that arise in the mind have no true significance. When we want to meditate, they are nothing but a nuisance. But the same applies when we don’t want to meditate. It makes no difference. Mind is mind.There is another way of experiencing a moment of voidness. When we see the interconnectedness of dukkha, anicca, and anatta, we glimpse the lack of substance in all existence. We can see the clouds moving in the sky and the wind blowing in the trees. We can notice our blood pulsing and our breath flowing. The universe is contracting and expanding constantly. Within all that movement, we cannot find anything to grasp and retain. There is nothing solid at all anywhere.Such a moment of seeing frees us from craving and clinging, from samsaric existence with all its dukkha. Clinging is always connected with the fear of losing, and craving is always connected with the fear of not having or not being. Fear and anxiety are natural states of being in the human condition. The supermundane condition is without fear, since there is nothing to be lost or gained. We crave and cling to whatever we think is important. Being free from craving or clinging for a moment doesn’t mean we are indifferent to others. The Buddha’s great compassion arose out of his enlightenment. He saw quite clearly that everybody was suffering on account of craving and clinging. Because he had eliminated these mind states within himself, his great compassion was not marred by any concern for himself, and he could completely give himself to others. We can take steps to approach this ideal and get a glimpse of its peacefulness. It is accessible.Liberation does not happen by grace from above, descending on us like a golden mantle of bliss. It requires moment-to-moment mindfulness and purification until the last speck of impurity has been removed. When we have moments without craving and clinging, we must attend to them with great care and become familiar with them, so that we can repeat them as often as possible. Unless we are fully aware of the contents of our minds, unfortunate moments may predominate. That’s why one sees so very few happy people. Happiness is not an accident, it requires hard work.

We prepare ourselves in our practice by realizing moments of liberation. To realize signless liberation, we can fully open up to the experience of a single moment of impermanence, without shying away from it. To realize wishless liberation, we can be aware that every desire creates unsatisfactoriness and irritation, and let go of just one desire. If we could do that at the rate of one per day for the next year, we would change drastically. When we practice letting go of one desire, we can repeat that with the rest of them. Practice makes perfect. The first one is the most difficult.

To realize voidness liberation, we can experience all mental formations as a bombardment of electrical impulses. Some of these impulses come together and make absolutely no sense. If we believe in them and then relate them to others, we start arguing. “How could anybody think like that?”we say to ourselves. We can stop everything for a moment and just be there and experience ease and relief.

Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta  ------   Signless, Wishless, Voidness

emoticon

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
5/15/16 6:43 AM as a reply to Psi.
Hey Psi, I don't know if this is helpful but... One of the things that really helped me was seeing the initial spark of craving through both a samasaric lens "this little spark is how the hindrances start and as long as it keeps sparking it will lead to a chain reaction of unconscious patterns" >and< a nibbanic lens "that little spark is the fire of a hindrance dying it has nothing to catch on to." 

In other words, sometimes our belief in the power of desire/craving is nothing other than the power of the desire/craving. Sometimes we make such a project out of trying to have nibbana triumph over samsara, rather than resting in the no-self-land of this fire could be starting up or it could be going out too.

So when even a very strong craving comes up, that could actually be the last gasp of that craving.

It's the self that needs to have cravings mean "this is a powerful sensation which creates a chain of events"

But when it isn't taken personally, every experience is a "huh, that's interesting" and not much more

Nibbana is having the possibility that the world might not be on fire after all. Actually, it might be burning itself out, with each spark the last time it will ever happen.


Hopefully this isn't to cryptic! It's my attempt to point at what penetrating imperminance and practical nonattachment is based on my experience. The point is, it is >much< closer than people realize. 



 

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
5/17/16 5:26 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:

The key point is to first find the emptiness just before Craving is ignited, and have the mind stay there, in that space.

So, to further clarify, there is a level of awareness that can be remained in, before Craving initiates.  This has more of a non-conceptual, formless, and effortless quality to it. And this is obviously better than dealing with Craving after it initiates.  This is what is really being pointed to.

Though, once Craving has arisen, and/or Clinging as the next step, there are indeed methods to bring those stages to cessation.

Craving is being brought to light, because it is in just that moment, that moment being the moment just before Craving arises, in my experience, that one finds the Emptiness.

With practice the Emptiness becomes more and more readily available, and the after Craving state of mind becomes less and less of an issue.  Emptiness may not be the best word, maybe it could be some other word, for it is an Emptiness , yet with full awareness.  The Emptiness being referred to is that it is Empty of Self.

So, I am posting all this because I have found that dealing as close to the juncture of when Craving arises is the best way to eliminate and /or shorten the length of dukkha, i.e. bring Dukkha to cessation, nip it in the bud.

For, in this juncture of this life right now, Craving still does arise and has not been eradicated in its entirety.  But, as one continues to practice, one will find that what used to be mere moments of peace and clarity, will, eventually be found to be rather longer and longer spans of peace and clarity.

And, this is not because my current life is full of sukkha or anything, as a householder, I have , in the last several months, had many things fail and break, the ole' shit hitting the fan, tires, brakes, microwave, washer and dryer, Taxes are due, lots of financial strain, house payment behind, and all this while working 6 days a week lately. Plus, had a separated rib or something a few weeks ago, then there was a back spasm or pinched nerve, just after the rib thingy healed, had a constant pain in back and would signal pain down the arm.  Plus, dumbly, I am probably over training, I lift 2-4 times a week, and still run 15-20 miles a week.  And I ain't as young as I used to be, and it seems, not any smarter. emoticon

The point to the little self disclosure above is not to whine, or brag, but to objectively say that I am kind of amazed that the mind is holding steady, not really perturbed so much by all this worldy stuff.  Because, years ago, I would probably have lost it, several times.  The back pain alone would have been enough back in the day, though, admittedly I did slip up with some expletives when the pain pulses caught me offguard... emoticon 

The Human Body and Nerve Endings are cold hard facts, and factual phenomenon that the mind has not yet been fully trained to deal with entirely.  The Human Body has so much that can go wrong, and while it can be resilient, it is also so fragile.

I do not know how all this comes across, But I do sincerley wish happiness for everyone.

And if I have ever irritated anyone by my past postings, I apologize, for there is enough crap in this world without adding any more to it.

Right now, I am continuing the Investigation of the Non-Dual, Emptiness state.  

I am currently reading Loch Kelly's Shift Into Freedom, on first chapter,  and listening to Ayya Khema' talks from an Australia Retreat in 1991.  Currently on talk number 7.

http://ayyakhematalks.org/Kereva_Park__Australia_1991.html

Manual of Insight by Mahasi Sayadaw arrives tomorrow.

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
5/22/16 10:46 AM as a reply to Psi.
Note, I read this this yesterday, This is such a powerful statement, I have to make a note of it here, to help to remember.  This statement has been taken from its full context.  Sixfold Equanimity, Equanimity towards all formations, at each sense door, that this includes equanimity with thoughts, goes without saying, but still...  Sixfold Equanimity, what an excellent choice of words to help one to remember to develop mindfulness.

"The point here is to practice until one develops sixfold equanimity."

Manual of Insight by Mahasi Sayadaw page 163

And this on page 164:

Dhammapada
Verse 282:

Wisdom arises from practice;
Without practice, it decays.
Knowing this two-way path for gain and loss ,
Conduct yourself so that wisdom grows.

And this is true, right now, I need to make more time for formal sittings, working 6 days a week is taking a toll, the spiritual pracitce has been basically been maintenance.  Though, on the one hand, even though the moment to moment mindfulness seems to roll along, I do not want to get complacent, or take anything for granted, that would be foolish.

Time to arouse Samvega.

According to Thanissaro Bhikkusaṃvega is the "first emotion you're supposed to bring to the training"[1] and can be defined as:
The oppressive sense of shock, dismay, and alienation that come with realizing the futility and meaninglessness of life as it's normally lived; a chastening sense of our own complacency and foolishness in having let ourselves live so blindly; and an anxious sense of urgency in trying to find a way out of the meaningless cycle[2]


Saṃvega is also associated with the development of energy (viriya) and right effort, according to Buddhagosa's Atthasālinī:

Energy has exerting as its characteristic, strengthening the co-existent states as function, and opposition to giving way as manifestation. It has been said: "He in whom saṃvega is present exerts himself properly," hence energy has saṃvega, or the basic condition of making energy as proximate cause. Right exertion should be regarded as the root of all attainments. - DhsA. 121

The two excerpts above from:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa%E1%B9%83vega

Psi

Sixfold Equanimity, Indeed




RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
5/26/16 9:57 PM as a reply to Eelco ten Have.
Eelco ten Have:
Hi,

I think there is a difference between the body and the knowing of it.
When I was on retreat last year a question I was asked was wheteher i thought the body felt the pain in my hips or that my mind was percieving it.
For me that opened a similar train of thought like you are experiencing about the sensations of the body.

My take on it now is that the act of guiding your awareness towards a place in the body creates the "knowing" of that place. Without conscioussness there there would not be a sensation. once we rest our awareness on an object in the body the mind creates the knowing of that object using the language of sensations...

Does that make sense?
With Love
Eelco
hello Eelco
thank you for your time

i have a request - a bit off topic

i am wondering if you can still make available the book, the PDF version of Saints and Psychopaths by William Hamilton?   i only have the scanned version and it is really poor quality.  i have it online as a free download for my readers.

https://darknessretreats.wordpress.com/altos-pages/free-downloads/

and i wanted a better version.   have been searching for about 6 hours and you are the only one so far that seems to have the PDF version from Scribd.   http://jandeane81.com/threads/206-Saints-and-Psychopaths

cheers from alto

RE: Psi Practice Log
Answer
5/26/16 10:09 PM as a reply to Al To.
hello again

the saints and psycopaths that i have - there are some pages missing:    preface ix, x, xi, xii, xiii, xiv and xv

cheers from alto

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/1/16 9:10 AM as a reply to Psi.
Formal Meditation Times, in minutes.

April 26th - April 30th

60

25

12

63

20

12

60

30

60

60

10

60

May 1st to May 31st

60

60

30

10

60

10

10

61

27

12

64

30

12

45

31

10

20

41

11

60

18

30

40

12

84

10

20

10

27

45

60

16

32

25

17

40

10

60

10

12

60

10

26

23

19

30

14

13

25

30

15

20

24

70

12

50

18

10

60

18

38

18

15

15

29

10

38

60

20

19

10

15

10

32

27

So, there will be times when one thinks they understand something, only to find out that the understanding was soley at the Intellectual level and not at the Experiential level, or at least not as deep.

Experiences, and the Understanding thereof.

I do not remember how long ago this was, months at least.  But I was practicing being aware of the breath, this went on for a while, and the mind would stray, and then the attention was brought back to the breath, Wash , rinse , repeat, standard stuff, right?  Well, at one point the mind wandered into contemplation, and when it habitually came back to the breath sensation, the mind noticed that the breathing was going along without it for quite some time.  I mean the breath had to right?  Yet, there was no awareness of it.  And the realization sank deep, "I, am not the breath, nor am "I" the breathing.  It was so simple, and previously I had thought that this was understood in full.  Maybe there is , in Insight, some extra kind of area of Mind that gets incorporated, some previous Blind Spot, and that is what the "Aha" moment is all about.  Maybe, it is that some or most of the Mind knows and Understands something, but the deepening of Insight is the deepening and further Unification of the Mind, and the parts of the Mind, Sections, and the Sections becoming Unified.


But, also, last week some time, just as in the sensations of the Breath, I had thought I had Understood the Sensations of Thought.  Everyday thought, thinking , planning, communication, (both internal and external), is generally seen to be as arising from the impersonal nature of the Mind.  But, then I was Meditating, and after an hour laid down into a nap, but kept meditating, when I stopped the meditation timer was at 2 hours 44 minutes, I did not log this, because I am unsure of how much I was drifting in and out of trance, or consciousness.  But, anyway, similar to the Breath Sensation experience above, there was the Experience of the Thoughts arising.  The thoughts were arising and forming, completely autonomously.  Now, I had previously considered thoughts to arise in this fashion, i.e. Thought Sensations arise same as anything else, like an itch sensation, or a hunger sensation, etc.  But, this hit at an even deeper level, somehow.  There was a complete separation, there were the thougts forming and arising as a function, and then there was also the awareness arising as a function.

Contemplating, the Awareness, even as pure as it can get, i.e. Awareness sans Bodily Sensation and Mental Sensations, must also be arising of an Impersonal Nature.  emoticon

Anatta

`Curiouser and curiouser!'  The Rabbitt hole contains no Rabbitts !?

Practicewise, It seems to have been slipping of late, at least in the Formal Meditations.  Though, interestingly enough, carrying Lucidity into the more relaxed states, which are heightened by lying down position, seems to allow access to further inner workings of the mind.  Though, the lying down position, can easily lend to sleep, or trance states. There are times when I may exist in these trance-like states for hours, sometimes sleep does not come so readliy.  During these times there is no body movement, and sometimes my arms get numb, I usually have them crossed upon my chest, like a mummy.  I suppose, that while it is tougher to remain Alert and Aware while in the lying down postion, it could be of  some use and benefit, especially when lying down for the night, to Meditate into the last conscious breath before sleep.  And, upon awakening, to bring the mind immediately into Mindfulness with the first possible breath or other sensation that one is aware of.

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/1/16 5:46 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:

Contemplating, the Awareness, even as pure as it can get, i.e. Awareness sans Bodily Sensation and Mental Sensations, must also be arising of an Impersonal Nature.  emoticon

Kind of thinking out loud.

Investigating further, it does not seem that Awareness is separate from Sensations, Indeed, Awareness seems to be a Sensation itself.  Perhaps it is just that Awareness is such a Neutral Sensation, by its very Nature, that the Mind spins in Delusion, Clinging to a last hope that it is some kind of Self...

Saying Awareness of Phenomenon, is like saying there is a Sensation of a Sensation..  But, no, this cannot be, there is just the Sensation upon Investigation.

How to get beyond this??  Is there experience beyond Pure Awareness?  Or, is dat it?  (The entire Universe within this Fathom long body...)

Yet it is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception & intellect, that I declare that there is the cosmos, the origination of the cosmos, the cessation of the cosmos, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of the cosmos."



http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.045.than.html

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/2/16 12:05 AM as a reply to Psi.
Kind of thinking out loud.


Me too, pardon the intrusion emoticon
Perhaps it is just that Awareness is such a Neutral Sensation, by its very Nature, that the Mind spins in Delusion, Clinging to a last hope that it is some kind of Self...


Awareness as object is different from the awareness that is the observation process.  Awareness as object is definitely the 'last hope' of clinging for lots of practitioners.

How to get beyond this??  Is there experience beyond Pure Awareness?  Or, is dat it? 


That is it.  But there are many, many degrees of clarity that seem to totally morph the way people experience the world.  The Tibetans have the most specific terminology for differentiating between these degrees of clarity.  

And, there are lots of ways that the realization can get F'd up once its realized, so morality & concentration are all about protecting dat shit.

Noah, Signing off emoticon

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/2/16 5:46 AM as a reply to Psi.
It's also worth wondering is there a self that is beyond the experience of the experience Pure Awareness? And what about a self that experiences that self that experiences Pure Awareness... etc. Go to absurd lengths to ponder how recursive this could get. That's what duality is, ways we divide up experience and suppose a self and other, but as soon as we see through duality, we create another duality, we invent a new kind of self or a new kind of awareness.

Then ponder the simplicity of experience as all-at-once, as one hand clapping. Not self-other, not awareness-object, no seeing-seen. Just seeing. Seeing that doesn't acutally need a separate seer. There is experience. Simple.

We're always hearing, seeing, knowing... these gates always work beyond our control... but we complicate it by creating a self that is assumed to stand apart from it. 

Awakening is not far away, its the way things have always been. (Which is why nothing really changes with awakening.)

So simple, but hard to accept. Maybe explore what it feels like if the spiritual quest if it was as simple as this?


“We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all.”

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/2/16 8:18 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
It's also worth wondering is there a self that is beyond the experience of the experience Pure Awareness?
No, No Self arises in what I am defining as Pure Awareness.  Empty of Self.  There is no doubt about there being No Self, No Core, No permanent Phenomenon, at least as far as I can examine, never found it.
And what about a self that experiences that self that experiences Pure Awareness... etc. Go to absurd lengths to ponder how recursive this could get. That's what duality is, ways we divide up experience and suppose a self and other, but as soon as we see through duality, we create another duality, we invent a new kind of self or a new kind of awareness.
The thinking and conceptualizing does all that stuff, yes?  But, once the Mind has been trained, thinking and conceptualizing, discursive thought patterns can be turned off, so this type of Imponderable Thought Process has a Cessation, Thank the Gods!  emoticon
Then ponder the simplicity of experience as all-at-once, as one hand clapping. Not self-other, not awareness-object, no seeing-seen. Just seeing. Seeing that doesn't acutally need a separate seer. There is experience. Simple.
Yes, that is it! I also call this Bare Attention, Mindfulness, Samma Sati.

We're always hearing, seeing, knowing... these gates always work beyond our control... but we complicate it by creating a self that is assumed to stand apart from it. 
Yes, it can be complicated by the Selfing process, yet as practice rolls along , over time, this becomes less and less likely to occur.  Because, as one is aware of the process, and how it works, there is no need to add in an extra Self Concept.

Awakening is not far away, its the way things have always been. (Which is why nothing really changes with awakening.)
Awakening opens the door to change.  There is a far cry between awakening and being fully awakened, in my opinion and experiences.  And things do change, but one has to train and change.

For example, one that has seen the truth of the self delusion ( Anattanupassana) a few times will probably not have perfected the rest of the Eightfold Path.  They will just have had the Anattanupassana-nana a few times, this is just a stepping stone, a way to get on the Eight Lane Highway.  emoticon

I think this is kind of what I am pointing to, Non-duality is nice and all, but, if it is not a continuing, effortless, imperturable state, then it is not the end of the Path and there is more work to do.  
So simple, but hard to accept. Maybe explore what it feels like if the spiritual quest if it was as simple as this?
Well, hard to accept, because upon Investigation, it seems there is more, there is a well defined path that leads to a full awakening.  Though I think alot of practioners stop at the point you are describing,  thinking that Non-duality is the end. Non-duality is also the same as Bare Attention, Samma Sati.  No-Self, Non Discrimination, Equanimity. In their Pure forms , anyway, from what I can tell. But, I am just a fellow practioner, and have not completed the Path, so, in Reality, I guess I really do not know....  emoticon

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/2/16 8:27 PM as a reply to Noah.
[quote=Il Matto

]Me too, pardon the intrusion emoticon
It's all good
Perhaps it is just that Awareness is such a Neutral Sensation, by its very Nature, that the Mind spins in Delusion, Clinging to a last hope that it is some kind of Self...
Awareness as object is different from the awareness that is the observation process.  Awareness as object is definitely the 'last hope' of clinging for lots of practitioners.
Yes, that i swhat I was ponting to, Pure Awareness as the object of Meditation itself.  And, what I was seeing, was, that it is just another Sensation, a Pheonomenon, just really subtle, really Neutral.  Still exploring.  emoticon

How to get beyond this??  Is there experience beyond Pure Awareness?  Or, is dat it?
That is it.  But there are many, many degrees of clarity that seem to totally morph the way people experience the world.  The Tibetans have the most specific terminology for differentiating between these degrees of clarity.  
That is interesting, many degrees of Clarity.  And, indeed, many degrees experienced thoughout the day, moment to moment even, 

And, there are lots of ways that the realization can get F'd up once its realized, so morality & concentration are all about protecting dat shit.

Noah, Signing off emoticon
Right, Insight has to be resurrected, and the more often the better.  Insight is not lost, but it can get obscured by the Mind Clutter.  Has to be continually dug up and shined.  

Psi Out  emoticon

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/2/16 11:35 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:
Eight Lane Highway.  emoticon

This image = awesomesauce

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/3/16 1:15 PM as a reply to Psi.
Then ponder the simplicity of experience as all-at-once, as one hand clapping. Not self-other, not awareness-object, no seeing-seen. Just seeing. Seeing that doesn't acutally need a separate seer. There is experience. Simple.
Yes, that is it! I also call this Bare Attention, Mindfulness, Samma Sati.

Okay, but it should beg the question what isn't "this"? One way to answer is in your quote below...

For example, one that has seen the truth of the self delusion ( Anattanupassana) a few times will probably not have perfected the rest of the Eightfold Path.  ...Non-duality is nice and all, but, if it is not a continuing, effortless, imperturable state, then it is not the end of the Path and there is more work to do.
 
But are you sure? Could the desire for effortlessness and imperturbablility actually be the last hiding place for the preferences of the self?

Well, hard to accept, because upon Investigation, it seems there is more, there is a well defined path that leads to a full awakening.  Though I think alot of practioners stop at the point you are describing,  thinking that Non-duality is the end. Non-duality is also the same as Bare Attention, Samma Sati.  No-Self, Non Discrimination, Equanimity. In their Pure forms , anyway, from what I can tell.


Agree, there are initial insights into not-self and non-duality that don't stick. The reason they don't stick is they are still limited by a sense of self that has those experiences and needs more of them.

Once there is a rough familiarity of the non-dual experience, awakening can be very close behind. The powerful question isn't how do I get more, it is "how can these initial glimpse actually be non-duality"?

How can this be non-duality if I think of it as "this" opposed to "that"?

How can there be a path to awakening if a path is always I'm here and I need to get there?

The sense of path falls apart at the end. You follow the path, you're at the top of the mountain, the path you can see has ended. You still need to take one more step. But where?


(edit: and of course, feel free to disregard if this isn't helpful. It's honestly intended to be a helpful pointer to "the ridgepole" at the heart of the matter.) 

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/3/16 4:08 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
 
But are you sure? Could the desire for effortlessness and imperturbablility actually be the last hiding place for the preferences of the self?
You are assuming there is a desire for something, which is assuming that there is still the self delusion, and that "you" are guiding "me" somewhere, which is duality.  emoticon

Agree, there are initial insights into not-self and non-duality that don't stick. The reason they don't stick is they are still limited by a sense of self that has those experiences and needs more of them.
Well, they can not unstick at this point, just like there is no Santa Claus.  emoticon


Once there is a rough familiarity of the non-dual experience, awakening can be very close behind. The powerful question isn't how do I get more, it is "how can these initial glimpse actually be non-duality"?

How can this be non-duality if I think of it as "this" opposed to "that"?

How can there be a path to awakening if a path is always I'm here and I need to get there?
There is no thinking here along those lines, wrong guess.  You are including a Self in your thought process story.

The sense of path falls apart at the end. You follow the path, you're at the top of the mountain, the path you can see has ended. You still need to take one more step. But where?
The next step is Complete Purification, The Dhamma,  Purification of Mental Content . Nibbana. Like what I was pointing to earlier, i.e. the complete Extirpation of Moha, Lobha , and Dosa.

There is the Path, yet no one on the Path. Simple, right?Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/3/16 4:45 PM as a reply to Psi.
[quote=
]
shargrol:
 
The sense of path falls apart at the end. You follow the path, you're at the top of the mountain, the path you can see has ended. You still need to take one more step. But where?
Hi Shagrol, 

Sorry, had to run out for a second, wordly errands.  I wanted to clarify, to perhaps help in this discussion. 

From what I can tell, you are trying to point at Anatta.  Got that.

And, it seems that you are saying that Anatta or Non-Duality is the Top of the Mountain Path, the end.

I do not think so.  If I use the words I, me , my, understand these are conceptual terms, right?  Part of the English languge.

But, I am saying that Non-Duality is not the end of the Mountain Path, it is perhaps the end of Non-Duality Mountain, yes.  

But, I am pointing out that there is yet a whole other Mountain, and a Path to the Summit.  I , for one have not yet completed the Path up this Mountain.  The Mountain I am referring to is like this:


Ten Fetters (samyojana)
  1. Self-identity beliefs
  2. Doubt
  3. Clinging to rites and rituals
  4. Sensual craving
  5. Ill will
  6. Attachment to the form
  7. Attachment to formless phenomena
  8. Conceit (mána, literally measuring-as measuring oneself and comparing to others)- (a subtle sense of self)
  9. Restlessness
  10. Ignorance (with regard to the Four Noble Truths)
http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/books-articles/dhamma-lists/

And I , for one, have not yet completely abandoned the aforementioned fetters.

So, Shagrol, for me the question is the abandonment of all ten fetters?  Or, Shagrol,  are we talking about a different mountain?  I would in no way want to put you on the spot about claims to attainment, that is not my intention, not at all.  

I am just trying to see if we are talking about the same Mountain, so to speak.

You seem to be pointing to the first fetter, well, it seems anyway.  And it seems you are pointing to the first fetter as being the end of the Path, and I am stating that this is not the case, and perhaps I am just misunderstanding you ??
Of these ten kinds of subtle mental impurities that bind us, the first is the Self belief (Sakkaya-ditthi), the view that the body and mind is "my self." It is a misunderstanding or misconception based on clinging to the idea "I am." Because the average person is not aware of the true nature of the body and the mind, he unthinkingly regards these two as his "self." He assumes that body and mind is his "self," his "I." This instinctive idea that there is an "I" and a "mine" is so firmly ingrained that normally nobody ever doubts their existence. True, the self instinct is what makes life possible, being the basis of self preservation, the search for food and propagation of the species, but in this case, what we are calling the self belief is to be taken only in its most basic sense as the root cause of selfishness. This is considered to be the first of the fetters, to be done away with before anything else.




http://www.buddhanet.net/budasa12.htm


I hope I am being more clear, and in a gentle way,

with the utmost of care and respect, 

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/3/16 9:21 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol

(edit: and of course, feel free to disregard if this isn't helpful. It's honestly intended to be a helpful pointer to "the ridgepole" at the heart of the matter.) 
Haha, And I should probably say Thank you, as you are most likely pointing to a current blind spot...  emoticon

Darn Ridgepoles anyway, who put those there??

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/4/16 6:46 AM as a reply to Psi.
No worries Psi! This stuff is hard to talk about, especially sending these notes that are not very different from telegraph messages and sending them to someone I haven't met. I have to admit I jumped right in and midway realized it's really presumptuous to have started down this line, which is why I really mean the declaimer. Ultimately, if this isn't helpful, disregard it. I found these considerations really helpful in my practice and it seemed to "pull the bandage off quickly", but for someone else it might not work that way. I respect your ongoing practice and thinking. I got the sense that this might help, but ultimately I don't really know. You're closest, so if this sounds unhelpful, throw it away.

Ultimately, I'm pointing squarely at conceit and agitation. Both of these things are so basic and so human, they hide in plain sight. They are not something unknown to the beginning meditator, but they are so essential that it's only someone with a strong practice that can actually isolate and work with these things.

Conceit goes in three directions: I'm better, I'm worse, I'm the same as... All of those lock a self into some "thing", even if that thing is a value judgement. In a very deep way, it lets you know who you are. You are a strong practioner, you are a deeply fettered practioner, you're doing about the same as your peers. If you pick the version that seems to be most true, you can feel how your body settles. Of course everyone has all of these that show up and it can be usefull to to triad noting throughout the day "better", "same", "same", "better", "worse", "same". That will really highlight this fetter and make it unable to hide. It's also worth looking where the comfort zone is. For me it was mostly "same". I'm going through the same stuff my friends did in their practice, so I'm on the right track. Ahhh. I'm working with the right teacher, I'm doing the right methods, I seem to be making the same progress. Ahhh. But "same" is just as blinding and the other two, it blocks awareness of distinctions and the actual nature of what is. For some people, they only feel safe it they are better than others. Some people feel safe if they can point to someone else who is better and say "I'm worse". It's worth thinking about what "the middle path" would be. Being in a way where these considerations, while not denied, don't really seem to hit home as being the full story.

Agitation is what is being pointed to when a solid sense of conceit goes away. It doesn't leave cleanly. In it's place it leaves a rough textured sense of not really feeling right or feeling a little too right. Agitation goes in two ways. You'll have to find your own words. For me it was "inadequate" and "superior". For others it could be "wrong and "right". This isn't pointing to big moral or social statements. Just two shades of gray, one slightly warm and positive, another slightly cool and negative. Both of which are clearly seen as not self, that isn't the agitation, yet somehow they do agitate.

Inadequate is the word I used for sensing that something wasn't quite right but any "method" would be a manipulation of what is. In a very very subtle way, I needed to do something. Again, I'm pointing to something very subtle. It's not the gross aversion that we see in early practice. This is an experience that appears very clearly, arises without creating a reaction chain, is known as a fetter, doesn't disturb the mind, disappears completely, is known as not self completely. So on one hand, no problem, yet it agitates by the very nature of it happening. It just seems wrong in some way. Like a speck of dust landing on your glasses that flies away the next moment. Nothing was really bothered, yet you don't like it. You get the sense that this little speck of dust could set off a whole reactive chain of aversion if your mind wasn't clear at that moment.

Superior was the word I used for things feeling right. But again, this isn't the gross attraction/greed that is felt in early practice. It's an experience that appears very clearly, doesn't trigger a reactive pattern of clinging, disappears completely, is known as not self completely. Yet the fact that it happens seems wrong. You have a deep sense that this "superiorness" is an overlay that doesn't hurt anything, but it doesn't help, and maybe if our mind wasn't clear it could set off a greedy quest for something, so somehow this almost nothing experience seems to agitate deeply.

Agitation is that subtle feeling of vulerability or false certainty which is at the same time self evident. It isn't a nana or a poison. It isn't the Fear nana or gross Aversion, nor the awesome A&P nana or gross Attraction. It's the subtlest form of these things that can be. 

This is another thing that you can note throughout the day. I found it very helpful to go around noting superior and inadequate. What is interesting to me is the right set of words eventually localized this experience in my body right at the heart. It was close enough to "the right side of the heart" that it made me all excited because lots of traditions make this observation. Then I noted "superior" and went on with my practice emoticon. It's helpful to also remember heart means mind in a lot of old languages, so treating this as something just in the body is probably too reductive. But this very subtle very basic agitation is very much the unenlightened "you". 

Then my teacher said, I'm sorry about this but there isn't anything more to teach. This would be cruel to say to a new meditator. But again, with being sensitive to fine distinctions, that helped point out any remaining subtle agitation. The practice I was given was no distraction, no control, no practice. It was on a short weekend retreat maybe a few months later that I "saw" what the subtle agitation was. It was me. The me that needed fixing for my entire life. And yet because it was seen as not me, I couldn't be confused again. But nothing else changed, so I still have a lot of work to do, so to speak. But I'm not able to stand apart and triangulate on what needs to be done anymore -- because that triangulation is in its essance an agitiation, a conceit, ill will for what is, etc. -- so it also seems like things just change. And sometimes something comes up in my life that's so massively flawed in my personality,  that I marvel that I could have ever made such subtle meditation practice when I was overlooking this big elephant, a problem that I can triangulate on and work to fix because it is so basically wrong. I'm definitely not a perfect human being. All of these are true and they don't seem to conflict anymore. There seems to be a middle path that continues which isn't constrained by awakened or unawakened in the same solid sense anymore.

Hope this helps!

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/5/16 8:27 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Hello everyone, Hello shargol, 
shargrol
Ultimately, I'm pointing squarely at conceit and agitation. Both of these things are so basic and so human, they hide in plain sight. They are not something unknown to the beginning meditator, but they are so essential that it's only someone with a strong practice that can actually isolate and work with these things.

Yes, For me it has been beneficial to understand what pointing squarely at as conceit and agitation are forms of Craving.  
The Understanding of Craving covers ALL forms of liking and disliking, from the subtle to the strong.  When Craving is Understood, then nothing can hide in plain sight.  emoticon
It's helpful to also remember heart means mind in a lot of old languages, so treating this as something just in the body is probably too reductive. But this very subtle very basic agitation is very much the unenlightened "you". 
Yes, strong or subtle, agitation or attraction, it is Craving, (both the Emotional and Intellectual aspects of Mind) Citta.  And , from what I can tell, Craving is the birthing point for the "you".  Now, that being said, I am still Investigating Dependent Origination.  Dependent Origination shows how to work and practice at a very deep level, and with no need for a Self, i.e. no need to triangulate, no center point need apply.  

Currently I am trying to understand more fully a deeper level of Dependent Origination with what Nicky is explaining in the new thread linked below.  I have some new understandings from this, but they are not yet fully developed.  So, I should not go into details at this time.

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5843765

Then my teacher said, I'm sorry about this but there isn't anything more to teach. This would be cruel to say to a new meditator. But again, with being sensitive to fine distinctions, that helped point out any remaining subtle agitation. The practice I was given was no distraction, no control, no practice. It was on a short weekend retreat maybe a few months later that I "saw" what the subtle agitation was. It was me. The me that needed fixing for my entire life. And yet because it was seen as not me, I couldn't be confused again. But nothing else changed, so I still have a lot of work to do, so to speak. But I'm not able to stand apart and triangulate on what needs to be done anymore -- because that triangulation is in its essance an agitiation, a conceit, ill will for what is, etc. -- so it also seems like things just change. And sometimes something comes up in my life that's so massively flawed in my personality,  that I marvel that I could have ever made such subtle meditation practice when I was overlooking this big elephant, a problem that I can triangulate on and work to fix because it is so basically wrong. I'm definitely not a perfect human being. All of these are true and they don't seem to conflict anymore. There seems to be a middle path that continues which isn't constrained by awakened or unawakened in the same solid sense anymore.

Hope this helps!
Yes, it all helps!

So, here is what helps "me" roll along after Self Delusion has been seen for what it is...  Like I said upthread , this is just the start, the knowing of Anatta, not the intellectual explanations of Anatta, that is.

Bare Attention, as explained here, Thank you to Ian Andrews for the thread!

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/3814120

Bare Attention is a mainstay.  I do want to point out a common error.  If a practioner is thinking that they are being Equanimous and Mindful when Anger and Greed has arisen, and that they are to be Mindful and allow it to arise and pass away, all that.  Well, yes that can be a method.  But, if one was initially Mindful in the first place (in the Bare Attention) sense of Mindful, Anger and Greed (Craving) would not have arisen.  It can not, neither can the delusion of the Self.  This is a very important point, important to understand how Craving arises, and how it does not arise, then, and only then can purification continue, at this level of the Path, anyways.

Dependent Origination

Next , what helps, Dependent Origination, it helps, because once one has experienced Anatta, and keeps realizing Anatta, Dependent origination allows one to keep pracitcing and purifiying.  But, the beauty and genious of Dependent Origination is that there is No Self involved!
Here is some discussion on Dependent origination, and some outside source links.  Dependent Origination is crucial from what I can understand.

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5769490?_19_delta=20&_19_keywords=&_19_advancedSearch=false&_19_andOperator=true&_19_resetCur=false&_19_cur=1


One danger I see in practice is like this.

If a practioner is at a stage where they believe they are being mindful by watching Anger and Greed (Craving) arise and pass away, and if they believe these are Sensations (Pleasant, Unpleasant and Neutral), this is a delusion.  It is an idea not based upon facts.  The fact is that Anger and Greed are reactions TO Sensations.  But, that being said, they do , after the initial arising stir and trigger new Sensations themselves, that then cause new reactions, round and round, seemingly endlessly. Samsara...

Shargrol, the above is just a general statement, not intended for you personally or anything, as is this post, just ideas that have been forming up.

I am keeping the above statements in the post, but might have to review, this is an involved subject, and I do not know if I stated it correct enough and exact enough.  This is a danger of narrowing down only on a section of Dependent Origination.

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/6/16 2:03 AM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:

If a practioner is at a stage where they believe they are being mindful by watching Anger and Greed (Craving) arise and pass away, and if they believe these are Sensations (Pleasant, Unpleasant and Neutral), this is a delusion.  It is an idea not based upon facts.  The fact is that Anger and Greed are reactions TO Sensations.  But, that being said, they do , after the initial arising stir and trigger new Sensations themselves, that then cause new reactions, round and round, seemingly endlessly. Samsara...

I like it!  Seems exact to me.  

It gets at a distinction I've been noticing lately, which I think can be drawn squarely between Burmese & Thai Buddhism(s).  Basically, there is the choiceless awareness camp, and the do-something-about-the-hindrances camp.  For instance, I asked Tim Geil (one of Rodney Smith's
lieutenants) at the Seattle Insight Mushroom Factory, about gladdening-the-mind and the removal-of-distracting-thoughts, and he admitted to not knowing about them because his lineage comes from Mahasi Sayadaw.  In contrast, what I've been learning within Ajahn Buddhadasa's lineage is to purposely cultivate joy as a vehicle for insight.  

Just thoughts on actually doing something about anger, beyond bare attention...  Good discussion.

P.s.- Let me know if you want me to remove the quote of that statement.

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/6/16 7:17 AM as a reply to Noah.
Really good discussion! Yes, dependent origination is so important and the only way, really, that things can unknot. Because if there wasn't D.O. there would be a world of nouns that verb, so to speak, i.e. basic duality.

For what it's worth, I found working on seeing the 6 realms in real time off the cushion and doing 5 element/dakini practice on the cushion as a really efficient way to work right at the point of clinging.

Six realms helps point out how entire mental context create meaning (and the flavor of clinging) in that moment. If we are "born" into the hungry ghost realm, then we're going to be seeking no matter what. Everything we look at, read, hear, see, will be in the context of needing something. If we are born into the titan realm, then it will be about achieving something and using our power to get it. Gods focus on what they have and ignore subtle suffering, they will justify that it really is best to take it easy and enjoy the good life. Hell beings will find somthing to oppose and erradicate. This model is poetic but it points right at how our overall mindset dependently creates what we experience. If we can get really clear on how each realm creates a flavor of basic clinging, we don't get "born" again. If we know what world we are in, that world simply doesn't exist as a world anymore. It becomes much closer to suchness, as it is, etc. 

5 Element/Dakini practice is all about seeing the reactive patterns that come from an experience of middle path/nothing in particular and points to an ever subtler version of "realm". In this practice, if you are slightly fixed/ridgid in the face of impermance (earth element), an experience of nothing in particular will feel vaguely unstabilizing, which will cause subtle grabbing to an aspect of experience to define yourself against. The metaphor is when the earthquake comes, you feel off balanced, and you grab onto something to hold. 5 Element practice is a combination of visualizing and acting out all of these very primal ways we instinctually (it takes maybe 1/20th or 1/10th of a second) react when slightly off balanced. 

I did both of the 6 Realms and 5 Elements work as self-directed study, which really prepared me for working with a teacher on mahamudra type practice. Because 6 Realms and 5 Elements requires a lot of self investigation, visualizing, investigating, role playing, I think it actually is well suited for self-study. It relies on the practioner being very very honest and intimate with how their body/mind clings, which is something that can't be "taught". I'll bet this was the kind of practice that was given to a yogi with the teacher's instructions, "do this for a few months and then let's talk." emoticon The student has to be at a point where they can do the work, and they have to do the work. 

5 Element was by far my FAVORITE(!) practice and helped me so much that I'm somewhat amazed it isn't talked about much. It's done on the cushion but after a few months it can be something that is seen in real time. Amazingly helpful. If someone has the sensitivty to see those micro reactions, it really is one of the most sophisticated practices I've ever seen on honing right in to the essence of clinging. It builds a basic experiential literacy with primal clinging in the face of imperminance, basically creating a method for approaching Bare Attention and awareness of Change. Of course, the point of all of this is to build the capacity and then let it do it's work.

As always, I hope this helps!

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
6/8/16 8:33 PM as a reply to Psi.

The scenario:

So, yesterday, had a necessary road trip for family obligations, and of course work scheduled me to close the night before.  Sleep by 11 to 11:30, up at 3:30 a.m. 3 and a half hour drive, 6-7 hours of Orientation, slideshows, tours, etc, afternoon 1 and a half hour drive,a family visit , dinner out, more visiting, 2 hour drive, home by midnight.

Craving just doesn't show up for the Party:

There was some heavy traffic and construction sections on the way back.  And,  am I driving, being Mindful, watching and waiting for Craving to arise.  When Craving arises, between the stillness gaps, it can usually be noticed and abandoned, or substituted with the wholesome state.  And, this is usually all done within usually within moments.  That is just par for the course, (and that is bascially, in a nutshell , the  day after day moment to moment practice). The Stillness periods generally increasing in intensity and duration as the months wander along and the skills for abandoning and substitutuing the wholesome continue along their respective progression. (just like the Buddha says it will)

So, anyway, even with the added biological stress of sleep deficit, lots of caffeine, traffic, etc, the plan was to just recognize and be aware of Craving and Dukkha, Notice and Abandon, and survive the trip.

But, what actually happened was strange, Craving and Dukkha just didn't show up to the party. There was just the Effortless Pure Awareness, and Effortless is too strong of  a word, really...  It was just like something was subtracted, that something being Craving.  Most likely this was just a one time thingy, or maybe just that the neurological reactions to driving changed, or whatever.

If I had to use words, it would be something like, Centerless Peripheral Awareness.  Anyway, the Path,... Curiouser and Curiouser.

Then, just a bit ago,  I run across this short clip, these guys really explain it.

Rich Doyle and Gary Weber in spontaneous dialogue on the strangeness and unexpected nature of the continuing unfolding of nondual awakening. 7:17 min.

Endless Curious Unfolding of Awakening

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHQsznR98PA

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
7/14/16 9:47 AM as a reply to Psi.
Formal Meditation times in minutes:

June 1st, 2016 -  June 30th, 2016



30

16

30

28

8

23

15

30

8

10

85

9

30

30

46

10

20

52

10

10

10

20

25

30

33

20

10

10

28

11

13

32

30

10

15

90

8

45

25

12

10

10

60

24

10

25

10

21

38

120

27

20

43

25

30

18

24

11

26

23

12

20

34

36

40

8

38

16

16

40

15

10

10

15

10

11

10

15

60

10

10

10

20

30

15

12

40

10

20

10

21

25

15

45

22

10

10

20

15

17

20






July 1st - July 13th


40

23

30

30

8

48

10

10

15

20

10

60

45

20

20

16

15

20

10

30

12

8

45

10

10

30

20

30

15

10

40


Been a while since last post...  Had about a two day period in early June somewhere where the actual experience of angry types of irritations arose.  Interesting, since that had not been experienced at that level for quite some time, counted in years, with the exception of dreams.

The experience seems to have had some sort of biological underpinnings, sleep deprivation, probiotic imbalance, vitamin, minerals , who really knows.

Maybe it is a process of the mind, deep layers of stuff coming to the surface to be dealt with.  I had just previously entered some states of extreme wakeful stillness.  Anyway, thanks to both formal and informal practice, the anger and irritation was mostly experienced as an internal manifestation, a kind of burning fiery energy in the chest, a kind of an growly, energy knot wanting to release type of sensation. Anyway, it arose and passed away in a couple of days.

What is also of interest, the after effects, was that Greed seems to have dropped away significantly after the "cleansing".  Anger and Greed, being two sides of the same Coin, (Craving).  Of course, without the "I" making process , none of that arises anyway.  

A good point to remember,

Note to "Self" Sati,

First rule of Stillness Club, 

"Stay in the Stillness!" "When the mind comes out of Stillness, go back to the Stillness!"

Second rule, "Don't talk about Stillness!"

Third Rule, " If the Mind whines, Craves, or Storytells, the Stillness is over!"

Fourth and final rule, " There are no two Minds in the Fight, only one Mind at a time!"

Anyway, as a side note, I will be 50 in September.  I am Bodybuilding, Naturally, of course. In a cutting phase, cutting about 400 to 800 calories a day, below the daily calorie expenditure (as best as I can track it), drinking lots of whey protein isolate with almond milk, BCAA's, Glutamine, L-Ascorbic powder, a fish oil capsule, Zinc and Magnesium, Beet Powder, Bromelain, and a Probiotic (every day , or every other day).

The weight training has really stripped away the restlessness. I think restlessness is a component of Craving.

Anyway, weight training, HIIT, running, all that has always been a part of this life, I am just really going to push it into the next birthday, 9/22, 2016.

I think that the Buddhist Trainings have actually helped alot, i.e. bringing Factors of Enlightenment into daily living and hobbies.  Seeing the Impersonal nature of it all, the Impermanence, the suffering that can arise from attaching and clinging to impersonal processes, i.e. Bodybuilding, Careers, all that.  That there is no Self orchestrating all this, just processes,  Helps, to better understand it all scientifically.

Anyway, Life is an experiment.  

I think lots of excercise is a good balance for sitting practice.  

Also of recent interest, and I will keep this short.  There has been a deeper understanding of Mental Content and how all that works.  I actually was being aware of the mental formations as they were forming, specifically within the Mind, the impersonal pre-planning of communication with others, the verbal interactions, the body language.  This was observed in a deep type of Meditation last month.  There was no "I" involved, just the mental formations forming, forming to "What if" scenarios.  And , then interestingly, the next day, one of the scenarios came up, and it triggered the impersonally pre-planned response, both in body and speech actions!  This was also observed in a "No Self" state of awareness, it was so cool. A very "Aha!" type of moment.

(When I say "I" was actually being aware, that is not exactly true, that is just how one has to tell the story, post hoc, there was no "I" during the awareness process.)  Hope that is not confusing, it is just part of the language poverty thingy.  emoticon

This caused alot of hypothesis type thinkng to click over into the understanding of the experiences themselves, as they unfolded.

So, to sum up, Mental Formations from up in the Mind, (at a subconscious type of level, or even deeper), then if , and/or when the occasion arises, the Mental Formation is triggered and acted out.  All , in an impersonal manner.

Now, that being said, one can use Mindfulness, Bare Attention, to "catch" these triggers, and choose to not act upon them, if , and/or before they start to arise.

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
8/4/16 1:37 AM as a reply to Psi.
Well, I had just wrote out an update, clicked save as draft because a memo said session timed out....  ( It all vanished, lol but really it all vanished.)

​​​​​​​Was really spilling the guts too!!  So to speak.   Oh well.

Here is the update, in brief:

Still meditating daily, Should do more formally, though.  But since the Mind is generally Tranquil and Empty throughout the day, sitting down for Tranquility is.... redundant??  But, still nice.  Though the deeper longer session allow work to be done on the deeper layers of Mental Content, the forgotten, the weird nooks and crannies of the unkown, etc...  Deeper levels Mental Formations and stuff.

Still noticing and abandoning Craving and Delusion when it arises.

Still maintaining Wholesome States that have already arisen, (kind of a proactive way to the Cessation of Dukkha).

Insight and Wisdom id indeed the key.  Resurrection of any Wisdom and Insights is not only suggested but necessary for any type of progress along the Path.

The Path , as referred tohere,  is the old fashioned Therevadan ten fetter model.  Why?  Because that is how this experience has been unfolding, along the lines of the ten fetter model.

Mind is basically Empty when that is preferred.  Stupid blah blah thoughts and self narration rarely occurs at this point, and if it does can be easily dealt with, same for anger and greed, those reactions are generally very weak, being based upon delusions and all.

Probably the biggest thing to examine now and be wary of is:  

The danger of Complacency.

The danger of Delusions that are lurking unawares.

​​​​​​​Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
8/19/16 2:52 PM as a reply to Psi.
Friday, August 19th, 2016

Kind of thinking out loud...

Just lots of contemplation about Mental Content lately.  

Apparently there is alot of behind the scenes thought formations and processes that occur that we are normally unaware of.  For instance when meditating, and all is peaceful and quiet, just out of nowhere some random thought formations will arise.  Sometimes these thought formations are so unrelated to anything that can be tracked down within the realm of personal experience and contact that it even , at times, seems to be thought formations from "other", seemingly like telepathy or something.

But, most likey, these thought formations are either remnats of forgotten memories, perhaps old snippet memories of some forgotten t.v. show, radio broadcast, some converstation heard partially off from the side, dream fragments, etc.

And further contemplating upon Mental Content, alot of it is just plain ole junk, trash, needless garbage.  Even content that may seem to hold some value is usually just delusionary storytelling of the mind anyway.  So, it seems it is best just to abandon it all, discard it, cast it off.

 Non-clinging.

Then there seems to be abother aspect of Mental Content to be Investigated and Developed.  That is Mental Content in realtaion to Wisdom.  Wisdom , it seems , should be deveolped, resurrected, reinforced, and maintained.  And, one could even Intentionally "feed" Wisdom Content into the Mind.

In this way, the garbage of the Mind is "shoveled out" and the the vacuum that is created by this is replaced with Wisdom.  Further, if the Mind is continually cleaned out , for instance through Insight Methods, Vipassana, yet not replaced with Wisdom, or other Enlightenent Factors, the Mind just backfills with newly created random garbage.  Garbage either created unconsciously , or subconsciously, for instance when one does not "Guard the Sense Doors".  It is like letting in Intruders.

Well, all this is good and great, but mostly means to an end, the "Emptiness, Peace, and Security" of the Mind. 
 

Second Topic, Bumped up the Formal Meditation times the last couple of days.  It seems that Equanimity is not only easier to maintain with more sessions and lengthier Formal Practice but Equanimity, or Emptiness is alot Firmer, longer lasting, and easier to reestablish.  

I know right ... doh!!

​​​​​​​

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
9/3/16 12:21 AM as a reply to Psi.
Excerpt from:  Small Boat, Great Mountain by Amaro Bhikkhu

( book brought to attention by Nikolai in a recent post, thanks Nikolai emoticon)

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books9/Ajahn_Amaro_Small-Boat_Great-Mountain.pdf

Well said:
Conventional Truth and Ultimate Truth

The longer I stayed, the more I began to pay attention to Ajahn Chah’s repeated emphasis on the relationship between convention and liberation, conventional reality and ultimate reality. The things of this world are merely conventions of our own creation. Once we establish them, we proceed to get lost in or blinded by them. This gives rise to confusion, difficulty, and struggle. One of the great challenges of spiritual practice is to create the conventions, pick them up, and use them without confusion. We can recite the Buddha’s name, bow, chant, follow techniques and routines, pick up all these attributes of being a Buddhist, and then, without any hypocrisy, also recognize that everything is totally empty. There is no Buddhist! This is something Ajahn Chah focused on a great deal over the years: if you think you really are a Buddhist, you are totally lost. He would sometimes be sitting up on the Dharma seat, giving a talk to the whole assembly of monastics and laypeople, and say, “There are no monks or nuns here, there are no lay people, no women or men—these are all merely empty conventions that we create.”

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
10/5/16 1:21 AM as a reply to Psi.
July 13th to

July 31

in minutes

10

40

13

20

30

15

10

30

10

20

12

20

30

12

10

20

10

15

20

35

10

25

30

45

37

25

10

30

12

10

11

30

20

30

10

10

10

30

30

10

10

30

Wow, way behind on logging this stuff here, still keep it all written, wondering if it is really necessary to log all these minutes as part of the practice log anymore, kind of repetitive.

Really have not been doing formal medittion as intense as I have in the past few years, at least for the last couple of months.  Interestingly enough , the mind stays relatively peaceful, excepting when life forces me into having a lack of sleep, or I overtrain physically.

Mostly the blah blah internal chatter can be silenced just by gently nudging the mind in that direction.  It has not always been that way, but it is now, and it has seemed that this new baseline has stuck , at least for a couple to few years now.

Still working the Eightfold Path, still working on improving listening skills, patience , compassion, and all that. (Well, trying anyway)

It is such a crazy world, that it is a wonder that there is any progress at all sometimes...

Perhaps alot of the Path is just accepting that Humans, Nature, the Universe, is just what it is.

 Sometimes it's Random, Chaotic, Dangerous, Harsh, but that's all okay, it's just the way Formations arise and pass away.  Cause and Effect, it's supposed to be that way.

Psi

emoticon

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
10/5/16 5:27 PM as a reply to Psi.
Regarding recording your practice...

If a Psi sits in the forest, and no ones there to see it, did it really happen?

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
10/6/16 4:53 PM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah D:
Regarding recording your practice...

If a Psi sits in the forest, and no ones there to see it, did it really happen?

Sometimes...  emoticon

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
10/9/16 8:35 AM as a reply to Psi.
Really have not been doing formal medittion as intense as I have in the past few years, at least for the last couple of months.  Interestingly enough , the mind stays relatively peaceful, excepting when life forces me into having a lack of sleep, or I overtrain physically.

Well... The above statement must have been a premonition, emoticon  So, three days ago, the 6th, anger arose.  I was tired, work was dragging on without a full day off for over ten days, was hitting the weights pretty hard...  All storytelling ...

So...  Mind Training.  At least where I am currently is only as good as the support from the Eightfold Path.  Wrong Livelihood, which I also define as "overwork"  sucks up too much energy and accumulates stress upon the body/mind system.  Lack of Energy, leads to poor Mindfulness, poor Mindfulness, does not allow one to properly Guard the Sense Doors.  Also, even though Samma Samadhi seems to remain readily accessible, it is coming to my attention that it should still be regularly practiced throughout the day, It has a stablizing effect, and the Equanimity that occurs as a result is stronger, has more staying power ,and is easier to arouse when/if destabilized.

At some point on the Path, from my experience anyway, Samma Samadhi becomes readily accessible, so even a ten minute meditation residing in Samma Samadhi provides a great benefit.  Though it is recognized that there are definite levels, deepenings, ranges of Samadhi.  Samma Samadhi , when done, should leave on alert, clear minded, and equanimous.

Wisdom, There is a Wisdom in practicing the Path, it is not so much for personal gain or benefit, i.e. Anatta. But, rather a sincere practioner is of greater benefit to the whole , by not adding as much  Anger , Greed , and Delusion , to the environment as one would without following the Path.

Would also add that many people follow the Path, without have even encountered the teachings of the Buddha.  The Path, it seems , does follow some sort of Natural Laws of Nature.  This may explain why there are many good natured wholesome people from many cultures, and many religions, even non-religious.  For, it seems, in my experience, that it's not even about all the Dogmatic types of story telling, but rather an unravellling of Delusion within, you know, To find out what actually works and to put it all to use.

Humbled again, 

Psi

emoticon

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
10/9/16 7:35 PM as a reply to Psi.
83 minutes over 3 sessions today, really helps with a stronger baseline of equanimity...

Testing to see if taking pics of meditation logbook works...

Attachments

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
1/12/17 1:42 AM as a reply to Psi.
RE: Psi, A Practice Log

Oct, Nov, Dec pics of Meditation Log attached.  Nothing special here, samo samo, It's like Practice is just drifting....  The Mind does not really get too upset at anything,  Life is just Life.  Right now, I am just trying to remain as Wholesome as possible, while still joking around in life.  I kinda miss the interaction of the DHO, this site has really, really helped and I am forever grateful. Either I am in some state of Equanimity, or something has changed.  I was reading Jiddu Krishnamurti today, what he says makes perfect sense, I feel I know exactly what he talks about.  End of Conflict and all that, just let it all stop, that's it.

I have also been reading some Stoicism lately, Marcus Aurelius, Epicticus, Seneca.  They have some really good advice / Wisdom, yet after Practicing Buddhism, and having some Insights from the Path, Stoicism compares like Kindergarten. I am most reluctant to say this, yet it is how I feel.  And, don't get me wrong, Stoicism has a very high level of Wisdom to offer, and I do indeed learn a little from it every day.

So anyway, just sharing some thought reflections, and my heart goes out to everyone.

Probably just a silly phase, :-)  And usually after I write stuff like this, Life and/or the Universe throws me some god awful lesson... haha *groan*

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
1/15/17 10:28 AM as a reply to Psi.

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
1/16/17 8:51 AM as a reply to Psi.
Some Practice Notes:

Recognize, Release, Replace, Remain   The  Four Supreme Efforts

Four Right Efforts (sammappadhana) 1. Not to let an unwholesome-unskillful thought arise, which has not yet arisen-Guarding 2. Not to let an unwholesome-unskillful thought continue, which has already arisen-Abandon 3. To make a wholesome-skillful thought arise, which has not yet arisen-Develop 3 4. To make a wholesome-skillful thought continue, which has already arisen-Sustain

From:  http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/articles/DharmaLists.pdf

Guard Sense Doors, Requires Mindfulness.  Letting Sensations past the Sense doors allows them to grow into Cravings and Delusions. Recognize the Senses Sensations as what they are upon initial contact, “Just” Sense Sensation.

Be continually persistent in Abandoning existing Craving and Delusion Formations.  Identify them as the arise, label them, directly abandon them , or replace asap with another object, i.e. the breath, a mantra, or another internally produced mental sound.


Identify each instance of Anatta, each time there is an Insight into anything that arises all on its own, whether it be thoughts or actions.  Notice the Involuntary movements of the body throughout the day, the unconscious reactions to a touch sensation, “an itch”, a sound sensation that may make jump or be started, a sight sensation that “pulls” the eye toward it.



Recognize when not smiling, Retrain to automatically replace with a smile , and/or a nice relaxing breath, this can be done continuously throughout the day, and, eventually a slight smile reaction, or the relaxing breath will arise as an automatic reaction, kind of an auto correcting path adjustment.  Abandoning Unwholesome habits and tendencies for Wholesome habits and tendencies.



Formal Meditation, Touch upon Emptiness (Empty of Self), Abide within this, even for a few moments, thus creating that “Space” for the mind to return to at a moments notice throughout the day when things become hectic in the environment. Mahamudra??

Throughout the day, just remember to Abandon Mental Clutter and any Blah Blah Chatter, it just will take up Energy needlessly, the Mind is much better of in a Peaceful Default Mode.  Just keep returning to the Wholesome States, no matter what.  Any situation arises and passes away anyway.
(Needless to say, there is more...  :-)   )

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
1/16/17 9:21 AM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:
Notice the Involuntary movements of the body throughout the day, the unconscious reactions to a touch sensation, “an itch”, a sound sensation that may make jump or be started, a sight sensation that “pulls” the eye toward it.

Here's some options from the Buddhadasa toolbox (source is oral teachings) that might be of interest:

-"hands and feet"; whenever you're gesticulating involuntarily in conversation, stop and continue without doing so; whenever you're tapping your feet or hands to music involuntarily, stop but continue to enjoy the music
-"watch the stillness"; whenever sitting or standing still, challenge yourself to see exactly how still you can be, for how long; "watch" the quality of stillness in the body
-"watch the flow"; whenever walking or doing any motion in daily life, try to do it as smoothly as possible; see how silently you can move, both in terms of external sound and internal noise; see if you can enter and exit rooms without others noticing
-lower level wordings; whenever listing a number, practice not listing a number above 400 (even if its obviously a much larger number); whenever wanting to use a dramatic adjective to describe something, use a less extreme one instead

The purpose of all of these is to combat the defilements in daily life, at the various levels in which they manifest.  IMO they're very useful as post-awakening integration and cleanup.

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
2/8/17 10:09 AM as a reply to Psi.
Just want to share: :-) 

1. A DHAMMA WELCOME

On December 18, 1979, Their Majesties the King and Queen paid a private visit to Luang Pu. After asking about his health and well-being, and engaging in a Dhamma conversation, the King posed a question: "In abandoning the defilements, which ones should be abandoned first?"

Luang Pu responded, "All the defilements arise together at the mind. Focus right at the mind. Whichever defilement arises first, that's the one to abandon first."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/dune/giftsheleft.html

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
7/15/17 9:19 PM as a reply to Psi.
Hi everyone, and just checking in.  Honestly I have not been doing Formal Practice sessions near as much as I used to.

 But, the Mental States have pretty much stayed the same, thankfully.  In other words, the mind stays fairly quiet, continuing Mindfulness is not hard to maintain, easy to recognize and drop the momentary Delusions, that kind of stuff.

 My hypothesis is that, after some period of time of consistent practice, both Formal and Informal, the Mind seems to roll along the Path on its own accord, with little nudges here and there. Inclined along a different direction, so to speak.  All that being said,  I have been feeling a pull to get back to an increase of Formal Practices.

Wishing everyone here well.  emoticon

Psi

RE: Psi, A Practice Log
Answer
4/25/18 3:42 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:
Hi everyone, and just checking in.  Honestly I have not been doing Formal Practice sessions near as much as I used to.

 But, the Mental States have pretty much stayed the same, thankfully.  In other words, the mind stays fairly quiet, continuing Mindfulness is not hard to maintain, easy to recognize and drop the momentary Delusions, that kind of stuff.

 My hypothesis is that, after some period of time of consistent practice, both Formal and Informal, the Mind seems to roll along the Path on its own accord, with little nudges here and there. Inclined along a different direction, so to speak.  All that being said,  I have been feeling a pull to get back to an increase of Formal Practices.

Wishing everyone here well.  emoticon

Psi
Hi everyone!!  Everything is about the same as described above, couldn't have said it better myself, emoticonemoticonemoticon.  I really don't know what to write, just kind miss the comraderie here, the Wisdom shared.  It all really seems to boil down to the liking/disliking (craving), the not knowing (delusion), and that there is really just sensations (thoughts as sensations too).  Don't know what elese could be added to that, except, have some fun, too !!  Peace out, Psi