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Negotiating Equanimity in retreat.

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Negotiating Equanimity in retreat.
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9/4/15 7:18 PM
Hi, it's been a while since I came online but I was hoping for some help, encouragement, confirmation or advice in my retreat.
I'm 2 months in and got back from a visa renewal, and am settling back in again, for the next 2 months. 
Here is how I have been practicing over the last two months. 
Phenomena experienced: I feel I have moved my centre of gravity into low equanimity, but am swimming around in the murky and broad territory of the mini-dark night associated with late master/mastery.
I identify with Tarin Greco's comment, to some extent. Where he says, "I'm okay if I never get out", I've "worn down that hill". 

RE: Negotiating Equanimity in retreat.
Answer
9/4/15 7:58 PM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Continuing on. 
Things have been a lot more manageable before and during this retreat, thought I definitely would be happier if I got out, so to speak. This is how my retreat has been going to some extent. 
Things progress in the morning of their own accord, to some extent, I don't have to do that much or even really see things that clearly for things to progress. If experience becomes uncomfortable or unpleasant I focus on the breath (rising & falling) or on calm and relaxation. Before I know it, after the sleep fog (hate mornings, but they seem to help with increasing effort) of the morning session, before or just after lunch, I'm usually in low equanimity at least.
Sorry back to phenomena. There is this sequence I go through but that has changed through the retreat and is not always so linear. Ease, comfort, chunky medium intensity formations, changing & resolving quickly.
Then more ease and comfort lighter formation subtle bliss and peace.
Then normalcy, boring, it's like where did my practice going, have I lost my mindfulness? Trying hard at this stage will take me backwards, but going with the flow takes me into the polarising extremes of the mini-dark night.
At the start of the retreat, there was heavy formations around just the head and neck. These changed to medium and then to medium and light.

If i could resolve these heavy tension, initially buy being more aware/spherical.  I would open up into alternating between; many fast flowing upward moving tensions along with flickering within the visual field from very fast coarse quivering that includes a vibratory quality. This quivering vibratory quality is in the head mostly but also through out the body and comes in waves. One day it was like that all day long with medium level coarseness. The alternate; was with open spaces and ease and some bliss occasionally, but this space would have periods of the formations around the head that dissolved into the faster flowing tensions. Over time through the retreat, these experiences have become more and more subtle. And now are mostly in the medium or subtle qualities. 
Such as as openness with medium or subtle formations in the head when penetrated dissolving into flicker fast flowing vibrations (less quivering/ very fast and subtle shaking and more energetic/vibratory). 
Sometime me there is a sense of opening into some quite pleasant space beyond that for 2-4 hours but other times there can be a fall back into that open normal naturalness that comes before all this. 

RE: Negotiating Equanimity in retreat.
Answer
9/4/15 8:27 PM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
So most of that before was just evidence and confidence for my audience. Here is where the real question lies, well in my mind, assuming it's the right question. 
It's to do with how I've been practicing, and whether it seems like a viable approach. I've been alterating between an awareness and noticing approach. I switch mindfulness approaches to keep me attentive to the present. I use words like rising and falling as I breath in and out usually one word for each breath. The other pairs are; aware/releasing, knowing/relaxing, calm/relax, knowing/now or who/is, knowing/is or feeling/releasing or grasping/relax.
The point being to, use second gear to activate third gear and to bridge that with noticing.

Another main front on the battle of my practice is to, relax the mind which is stopping me from developing deeper concentration. It seems to be that, as with a lot of stuff at this stage you can't really force it to happen because a lot of thoughts and formations are at a subtle level, Alan B Wallace's model of concentration talks about subtle excitation, these thoughts really are a lot quieter and hard to catch/interrupt and stop. So I'm working on that resentment and attachment to control, while staying attentive the moment and bare sensation. I'm reminding my self I can't so much make it happen around here but rather be enlightened now. Be awareness, release grasping to thoughts and feelings. Allow these thing to pass and if things aren't passing quickly enough and if progress and pleasant qualities aren't happening, again allow these things to pass. Return again, again to who is (this happening to) and, calm and relax, and the breath. If I can' hold the breath be the awareness around the breath. If the thoughts are grasping I can return to the breath or see the feeling/grasping or be the awareness. If the awareness is grasping a self, return to the breath rising falling and calming relaxing. That kind of thing?

RE: Negotiating Equanimity in retreat.
Answer
9/5/15 7:38 AM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
I'm not SE yet so I don't have much advice. But some of your experiences are quite similar to my own at my last retreat. But lost those a few weeks after the retreat. Anyways, your practice seems quite promising. Keep going!
All the best!

Benoit

RE: Negotiating Equanimity in retreat.
Answer
9/5/15 10:11 AM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Hi Neem Nyima,

Note: it's a pleasure to read you again.

From your earlier report, which I think ties usefully to your last post (to which I'm replying):
Then normalcy, boring, it's like where did my practice going, have I lost my mindfulness? Trying hard at this stage will take me backwards, but going with the flow takes me into the polarising extremes of the mini-dark night.


And to follow up on the point you excerpted from Tarin and approximately focusing on these other sentences you wrote (not dismissing the others, just excerpting for some honing in:
Another main front on the battle of my practice is to, relax the mind which is stopping me from developing deeper concentration. It seems to be that, as with a lot of stuff at this stage you can't really force it to happen because a lot of thoughts and formations are at a subtle level, Alan B Wallace's model of concentration talks about subtle excitation, these thoughts really are a lot quieter and hard to catch/interrupt and stop. So I'm working on that resentment and attachment to control, while staying attentive the moment and bare sensation
(...)
Return again, again to who is (this happening to) and, calm and relax, and the breath. If I can' hold the breath be the awareness around the breath. If the thoughts are grasping I can return to the breath or see the feeling/grasping or be the awareness. If the awareness is grasping a self, return to the breath rising falling and calming relaxing. That kind of thing?

So I think here mind -- the mind that exists due to successfully inherited survival-instinct over lots of reproductive cycles --- this mind is naturally still forming heirarchies of conditions, even though where you are (on retreat, say) is basically meeting all needs: safety, food, water, shelter, even social/non-isolation.

But still the mind is looking for "better" (this is what I am saying from my experience, tho, so take with a grain or bucket of salt). Despite all that mind-watching of arising and passing phenomena, and despite all that body-watching of arising and passing phenomena, and despite very open (even blissful) body-mind-space and even boundarylessness, the mind is still hunting for a better.

What the mind can do now, if there is conviction in letting go, is really let go.

How?

Now these next paragraphs is just for 'subtle' meditation (and people who can stomach reading verbosity); if a new meditator is reading, this should not be extrapolated broadly about life in general-- it would seem nuts, nihilistic for someone not in subtle mental terrain in a safe, well place like a decent meditation center:

A mind really has to sit there with all the arising and passing of phenomena and every time there is aggitation, even subtle aggitation for something "better" (and forcing/trying to "accomplish" the meditation is part of trying for some "better"ness to occur -- which is aggitation, which is non-equanimity, which is known to be not satisfying, not peace, not a calm mental condition), and this mind must have convictionbased on all its prior observation of stuff just coming and going, "There is not another activity or place better than this to be. If I go walking in nature, even deeply quiet and calm, the mind will not have anything better there. If I go get an orange to eat, even though I'm not really hungry, the mind will not have anything better there. If I 'go' to trying harder, mind will not have anything better there (in fact tension will augment)." Knowing this, from lots of prior just-sitting, knowing this-- that no place, no action offers "better"-- that just sitting is the let go. Just sit, no tension to do something "better" nor to "try" to make anything happen.

Get food when needed, go to the toilet when needed, walk a bit when reasonable, gladden the mind in 3rd jhana (go into 2nd if needed), then just sit, help the mind stay alert (jhanas 1-3, take a yoga break if needed (There's gorgeously animated and illustrated stuff from Ray Long, MD, on his site bhandayoga.com-- a few very simple restorative poses on the back: a) some safe spinal twist for the buttocks and back, b) legs long and up against the wall for hamstrings while lying on floor, c) tadasana looking over each shoulder to stretch capitus muscles, scalenes, sternocleidomastoid.. long, slow deep breathing (LSDemoticon. LSDB alone for 3-5 minutes, with a downdog or a cow-cat or both can do a lot of releasing tension, including head and mental tension) and just sit, no tension, sit and let go of all tension in the body arising from doubt and hunting for "better" or "something else".

Just sitting. Get up for water, toilet, stretch if need (foster physical comfort without going beyond the basics), then just sitting/sinking, spine alert on from the 2nd and 3rd jhana, attention is letting the mind let go of all wanting.

Attention and mind-wanting do not happen dominately at the same time.
Eventually, the balance of mental bandwidth will go to the attention (if that's the sincere outset intention).
And attention will observe/detect the mind's first starts to move, just the same as you and I hear the key trying to turn over the ignition in a vehicle.
Whrrr.. whrrr.
Mind-wanting whrrrr.. whrrr
Mind is (trying to get) on the move for something better.
Attention witnesses that mind starting up to move (aggitation, wanting, "get something better, get something") 
And mind will not go beyond that whrrr.. with attention observing that whrrr.... whrrr... that subtle urge mind has to move for something.
Attention is not handcuffing the mind to do anything (that would be mind-wanting) or to not do something.
Attention is just alert and calm.
That attention to what's happening is what dissipates the mind-wanting from fully igniting into a movement beyond whrr... whrrr.. 
(and if attention is gone, and wakes up to find mind is some full-on grasped narrative, attention just by being there wets the sparks and the mind-wanting engine just relaxes and passes).

This is attention is formed from plain sincerity, willingness to know "nothing mind wants is special or better or worth igniting".


Heavy body like all the cells have dropped any polarity, like sand in an hourglass and all particles have settled down. Like a clock at 6:30, where both "arms" are at the lowest point of no resistance on the clock face. Let go, all cells drop down, the whole spine is simply lifted from prior piti and sukkha.


When aggitation arises again, mind moving for something, breathe, just observe-- but not catch. It is observing like a butterfly net but the net is gone and there is just a "hoop" of attention. One can fall asleep here in insincerity. One can tense up and not exist in this place with "wanting, yearning". 

Now is the time to know that the one useful wanting (a sutta Daniel quotes from AN, I think), that wanting for whatever this nibbana thingy is, this is the time to take that wanting and just disperse it like manure to fuel: basic wakefulness (jhanas 1-3) and sincere attention-- a butterfuly hoop catching nothing, but able to watch. 

Drop all cellular tensions. Sink all energy of the body like arms of the clock at 6:30. Attention watches aggitations of mind like we may watch a dog chasing in its sleep: mind-chasing-something/aggitation will settle down into a deep relaxation, arms of a clock dropped; attention will let go of the notions of phenomon-heirarchy, see them. Attention and knowing will help the mind drop the tension of chasing/wanting something.

Just this. Dropping the body aggitation. The piston of the diaphram is very easy on its own. everything is letting go. Arms of a clock stopped at 6:30. Not holding up anything in the mind, so the muscles stop holding up, too. The mind primed in jhanas (3rd) lifts the spine from base to crown on head. No effort. Gladden the mind occassionally in third jhana if sleepy. No force. Nap at 1 p.m for an hour when wakefulness is low anyway. Go to sitting then before mind wakes up too much. 

These are just considerations.

 If mind is too open, go to a spot at the nose. If mind is too tight, go to one sense-base. Nothing is special. Nothing better. Just sitting. Sitting, let go of tension that arising with the aggitation. Inhale deeply, exhale deeply if you're in that place where a deep breath or several is actionable and not disruptive. Otherwise, if "deep in" just watching with attention as a netless butterfly hoop. There is nothing "worthy" catching.

Mind wants something, while attention is totally placid; attention understands the situation based on prior exposure to all of this arising and passing and mind chasing, grabbing, tensing, wanting..

Diaphram is a soft piston, just going up and down.

Diaphram and attention are placid, like old trees on either side of a dog chasing in its sleep, the mind.

Off mat, perhaps look at where mind is searching for better: better seat, better company, better chore, better booklet, better talk, better piece of fruit, better coffee-slurry mix, better water... Consider watching if mind is trying to form its future life conditions on retreat. If you are safe and basically well, this is the time to work in "Hey, mind, nothing better. Exhale, let's just be here without aggitation to be elsewhere."

Dunno, Neem. Hug.
__________________
So many add-on edits. I may do this all day.. ;)

RE: Negotiating Equanimity in retreat.
Answer
9/5/15 6:32 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Lovely poetry, thank you Katy. Will read a few more times. Later. 

RE: Negotiating Equanimity in retreat.
Answer
9/5/15 6:33 PM as a reply to Ben V..
emoticon

RE: Negotiating Equanimity in retreat.
Answer
9/5/15 11:10 PM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Katy, you are turning me in a fanboy emoticon Grrreat writing!

RE: Negotiating Equanimity in retreat.
Answer
9/6/15 7:16 AM as a reply to SeTyR ZeN.
Hi SeTyR ZeN--

Whrrr.. whrrr...*


emoticon





*Well, yay! Because it's truly a process of this whole community's sharing! And Benoit's point:
Keep going!
All the best!

RE: Negotiating Equanimity in retreat.
Answer
9/6/15 8:13 AM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Neemers,
emoticon I hope you will share your experience and even advice when you can or when you get back. To me you often write clearly even when something is not known or clear.

I think, if our conditions were reversed, that maybe you or someone here would encourage me to calmly lower myself into the sitting, into the chamber of consciousness as it bubbles up mental phenomena of existence, to just be there a spectator to the ampitheatre* of mind, sometimes an empty quiet place and sometimes a circus of wants, sometimes a spooky jolt, sometimes an inexplicable scene, sometimes partial-thoughts/thought-starters like debris in a high wind.

Spectating like a mature, even world-weary, but dedicated and loving investigator at a scene who chooses to sit and wait and watch. Eat, toilet, return and watch (Columbo and the angels in Wenders film "Der Himmel über Berlin", "The Sky/Heaven Over Berlin" =). 

blahblahblah 

_________________
*Equanimity ("false EQ", maybe is one way to call it), when mind is actually moving into dukkha (unrequited wanting in this case) can be like sitting in that ampitheatre of mind and thinking, "Same sh*t, different day. Nothing cool/xyz ever happens." This is the point about sincerity. Sitting in that open-air ampitheatre, spread out a comfy blanket and saying, "This is all there is, so, okay: just sitting watching, alert, comfy in the open-air amphitheatre."

The "comfy" is the mind made healthy and comfy through prior jhana 1-3 development (countermeasures for the anxiety and fear patterns of mind that often draw one to meditation), which in turn create the ability and sincerity for actual equanimity: "Yes, I'm taking my blanket to the open-air amphitheater of mind today, sitting and watching."



Okay, back to workies for me.

RE: Negotiating Equanimity in retreat.
Answer
9/17/15 5:22 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Btw thanks for the encouragement Katy. Maybe after 2nd path?..

Okay here is another question?

Pannasara, the teacher here at Lunas, just gave me some new directions. I don't think I've had these before? Rising falling sitting touching. Sitting and touching are both done on the out breath, alt I can do two rising fallings before sitting touch.
The sitting is a scan down the body, and touch is bum on ground. It gets the concentration up, and the out held (controlled breath?) breath seems to help with bliss and spaciousness or like I said it gets the concentration up. 

Basically I have been working knowing/awareness and feeling and relaxing. The emphasis has been on being present and aware with things as they are. It has been a choice less awareness process. I've been much more okay with things as they are, formations and feeling associated tensions, have a medium to subtle quality. Sometimes I feel good, not much though, other times bad when the mind goes into reaction. But mostly normal, with these medium intensity formations around the neck and head, that change at a cruisy but fluid pace.
There is an attentiveness required, to see and know and there is, over the last two days, more of a background calmness to hold up the faster flows of vedana and flow with them outside of reaction.
Well accepting all the little reactions and not getting into reaction, so to speak. 

So the question, is considering I'm not a traditional tightly focused meditator on the breath and feet, or even conceptual noter.
I use anchor thoughts and some conceptual noting but mostly just note with awareness, by holding the anchor of knowing. Is it pertinent I switch to this technique (will explore though, work it lots for two days and then slowly fall back to primary technique).
When Sayadaw was getting me to do rising falling and sitting (I had interpreted it as touching at that time), I though it was because he wanted, to stop me spacing into jhana and when I over heard him give the same technique to a smiley guy who looked A&P, I made the assumption that must be the case.
And stopped using it because, more often than not I can't jhana and when I do, it's not easy to get really absorbed into it, because of the Vipassana feed back. At the start of the retreat, before the feed back was really rolling or active, I could and did get a lot more benefit from jhana practice!

So considering those thoughts, should I just work it at my discretion because it is basically a grounding technique? And I'm just getting a bit of wholesomeness off it merely because I have switched to ao more concentrated focus?   

Thanks for, help. Kind regards and well wishes, from Neem. 

RE: Negotiating Equanimity in retreat.
Answer
9/17/15 6:09 PM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Pannasara, the teacher here at Lunas, just gave me some new directions. I don't think I've had these before? Rising falling sitting touching. Sitting and touching are both done on the out breath, alt I can do two rising fallings before sitting touch. 
The sitting is a scan down the body, and touch is bum on ground. It gets the concentration up, and the out held (controlled breath?) breath seems to help with bliss and spaciousness or like I said it gets the concentration up.

When I do what you've written: I see that scanning down is grounding (see "sea floor" below; I also experience a stable comfortable low-toned bliss-calm, if you will, in the exhale and the need for more mental restraint on the inhale-- like jhana 2, piti, can get a little wild).

And I know for myself the out breath is grounding, is when thoughts are less likely to fly up and disperse into ideation.
That the inhale is a realm of more/possible ideation for me.
So the exhale, combined with awareness-scan-down-the-body, is calming, stilling, "grounding."


When I add in the awareness of touch (also on the exhale) it is like tethering a kite on a shorter piece of string. 

Let's say attention is often like a kite up high diving and sailing to many, many sense-objects, including mental objects (ideation, rumination). 
When I do this awareness of arising-fall-sitting-touching sincerely (exclusively, purely) I see that attention is put on a short string: rising inhalation, sinking exhalation, sitting, touch (of the bum on the seat).
 
There, three places for awareness to travel are delineated on the exhale (if I understand you correctly), like someone has put in three handles on a cliff face for a climber/descender: 1) falling (of exhale breath), 2) sitting (the blob of this body), 3) touch (the bum's contact).

And, to me, in a mediative practice there is definitely a time to train awareness to the exhalation. Being suffusively of that.


No criticism to the inhale; awareness travels up the inhale.. fine.

It's the exhale (to me) that lowers the mind to a the "sea floor", I say as analogy.
The place from which inhale arises and thoughts/feelings/ little inexplicable scenes and proto-concepts and non-verbal mere urges, urge itself, bubble up from the sand and muck.

That sea floor is seeing both patterns of "I" specifically bubbling (like, "What time is it?" "Do I look calm?" "I'm very still!", this, this, this, and                ) and, also, generic oddities of consciousness, foreign creations and                nothing.



Basically I have been working knowing/awareness and feeling and relaxing

I think developing is the exhale is very relaxing/sinking, while the awareness of the inhale is supporting staying awake, creating the upright posture and fueling the alert, bright mind.


 The emphasis has been on being present and aware with things as they are. It has been a choice less awareness process.

Sometimes (not necessarily in your case) choiceless awareness/presense can be very broad, like wide, fast flights launching off of the high point of the inhale.. mind soars to many places like a high kite or many swallows, fast, anywhere --- no problem--- or mind perseverates at a high tension/ aggitation --- ramping up unpleasantly, high energy, restless, jittery, swallows attacking crows in the sky/mind attacking itself.  



But if one is training and trying to know mind, then these high-broad-fast flights of mind can be useless or debilitating (both positive suites and negative suites) like thin broth or spray when one needs something hearty and heavy, calming, sinking.


So I see that using a tool like your teacher gave develops attention in the exhale, supports wakefulness in the inhale. That's me. Maybe not for you.


So the question, is considering I'm not a traditional tightly focused meditator on the breath and feet, or even conceptual noter...but mostly just note with awareness, by holding the anchor of knowing.

I am like this, too.
Concept-based or verbal-based noting is not for me; whereas awareness in and on specific objects/senses is suited to me.
I would say, "...by awareness adhering/suctioning/magnetizing to 'the object'/specific actions, like the breath object.
This tethers peacfully the kite of attention to a usefully shorter string for me in an equanimity-insight-tranquil practice (which itself can easily launch later into a high flight of interesting mental objects, but nothing to be treasured above anything else). 


Is it pertinent I switch to this technique (will explore though, work it lots for two days and then slowly fall back to primary technique).
Are you asking should you do your technique or the teachers?
I don't know.  
I learned once that, bascially, I was gratifying my mind with my early technique and I saw it as unreliable gaming. So I followed the instructions of a person I had grown to trust enough and I had grown to see the limits and useless 'cleverness' of my own mental patterns. 

So if you see your practice as somehow not working and you have conviction in the teacher/their instructions, you could try theirs sincerely. 

What I realized is that it was super-clear that I could (would!) always go back to my way if the teacher's way didn't work. I knew by then that my mental patterns were deep. And I was finally pretty sick of them. So I had the right role-model, right instructions and right timing to sincerely try the methods being shared with me. 

So that's what I'd say if you're asking the question of to do your practice or to try his/hers sincerely. I would give their practice 4-6 weeks of heartful/sincere dedication though (if you go with theirs) so long as there is not abuse nor strings attached by the teacher.  

On the other hand, rejecting everyone else's plan can be a very useful autonomy. Each person has to find the way to sincerely do and sincerely intend and start at beginnings when nothing is fluent or comfy, it seems.

You seem so effortful for a long while if you do your thing sincerely, I think that's useful, too.
I don't know what is your motivating "goal" though.
What is your motivation?
What have you seen/experienced/become aware of that you do this practice?
No answer needed. I just don't know what you think this practice should deliver. Because you are with Sayadaw I think it regards nibbana, understanding mind, and consequent learning-doing arising from such understanding.


When Sayadaw was getting me to do rising falling and sitting (I had interpreted it as touching at that time), I though it was because he wanted, to stop me spacing into jhana and when I over heard him give the same technique to a smiley guy who looked A&P, I made the assumption that must be the case
Mental stabilization (focus, concentration) happens regardless of if we call it "jhana" and if we're training the mind on one or a few landings.

So I would guess that your teacher detects you are emotionally balanced (is this the case?) and can give you plain instructions, does not need to pass your mind through any gladdening to counter any strong negativity (like jhanas 2-3 are used (imo) for both wakefulness and retraining brain patterns to be balanced or a little positive, if there has been strong negative impressioning of mind before meditating).

Is this correct? Are you basically equanimous or do you have strong, de-stablizing negative emotions (anger, anxiety, unrequited yearning in conventional life, about life/being alive itself?) If so, wow, I didn't get that!

I would guess (! guess!) that this pratice your teacher is giving you means you come across as balanced and ready to dip into equanimity-focused practice -- one that trains your mind to four simple rungs of the parallel rails of the inhale-exhale, that you have enough relaxation and personal softness, non-anger, non-anxiety, to do this.

I don't recall you ever being angry or distraught or emotially fried on the forum. So this EQ narrative about "you" is coloring my mind. I may be wrong and assuming.

To me, if I met someone who was mentally balanced, I, too, would think they are ready to be in a very basic mental stabilization practice (equanimous, deepening concentration practice), like adhering the mind to a practice (and, indeed, to the exhale just a bit more than the inhale).

On the other hand, the very exercise he gave you can also be a first jhana practice! Putting and sustaining the mind to an object (or a suite of activity like the four-part one he gave you).

What is the difference of Jhana 1 and Jhana 4 can be a matter of ego and attachment/lack thereof and skill in the mind being equanimous-stable-habituated as it lays on the sea floor aware of its bubbly creations as they arise and diffuse. :]

In time, it can be very stable to follow these bubbles. Sometimes that is useful. And many times, event out of one's control occur from there on the sea floor or adhered attention, and then we know this mind is somewhat ours and also like the automatically beating heart, which beats on its own regardless of me.




And stopped using it because, more often than not I can't jhana and when I do, it's not easy to get really absorbed into it, because of the Vipassana feed back. At the start of the retreat, before the feed back was really rolling or active, I could and did get a lot more benefit from jhana practice!
What part/activity was useful?
I'm trying to see if there's any difference in what he's giving you as mental objects of awareness versus what you're giving yourself in your jhana practice.



If at any time this feels too complicated (your teacher, your practice, your blogging, my replying, day over day chemical changes based on sleep and meals and body) just remember you can drop this thread like burnt toast emoticon



So considering those thoughts, should I just work it at my discretion because it is basically a grounding technique? And I'm just getting a bit of wholesomeness off it merely because I have switched to ao more concentrated focus?
Do you feel too airy and wide-minded?
Do you feel too tight in his practice guidelines? 
Did anything in our exchange help you think about the practices differently?

No answers needed, just considerations.

¡Nap!


To me these practices are working to the same outcome: mental stabilization in order to know mind processes (thinking, feeling, urges, actions). Then how to apply to life practically in trial and error and hopefully luminosity*, basic being, plain-- practical skills.


Thanks for, help. Kind regards and well wishes, from Neem.

Thanks for your help, too. We're both alive. It's nice for me to have the company and this sharing.
__________________
many additive edits ;)
I am away for several days. Best wishes
*I'm pulling the plug on this word! Creates wonky conceptions =]

RE: Negotiating Equanimity in retreat.
Answer
9/17/15 6:57 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Maybe, equanimous enough with what is not equanimous. 

This or that, the technique is the same, falling up two sides of a mountain?

I'll work it in, and stick with what I know...

No secret technique, no break through technique. No, clear break through, into high equanimity. Not really late mastery not really what I don't know. Normalcy should be more special I am told, and where is the wakefulness?

Lots of angles, no right way. Diamond mind cut with diamond confusion. All the parts are a helpful whole. 

RE: Negotiating Equanimity in retreat.
Answer
9/18/15 5:45 AM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Yes, if you can nestle into your practice, swaddle up the mind up snug in the practice you decide to use, I think doing that wholeheartedly, sincerely, with welcome is useful. To me, when I have done this, it means I have given up on all mind wanderings and do the practice wholly. I was not on retreat when I committed to such a sincere practice; I just knew I gave up on all other wanderings and have faith to try another person's practice; that was the first stage. About eight months later I gave up on all practice, gave up on confusion, gave up on frustration, was going a lot of yoga (release of tension, increase of body support) and was often just up before dawn sitting for the night to pass into the dawn, doing same practice (breath) by habit, full let let go by a sense of dejection, "nothing works". Someway, this was the looseness of mind, the no expection that clicked some understanding, truly a release and mental opening. Sometimes people are just walking across a room, attentively, and something clicks, some taking in a sip of water.. who knows. It's the practice (it's the sincere interest in one's practice(s), not the marathon finish line crossing)

In friendship and best wishes, Neem,
Katy