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9/12/15 1:04 PM
I've moved to a new setting and it's very conducive to practice. I've been doing 2 hours a day minimum. I've had 2 "near misses" and a few instances of residing in high EQ. One near miss I can recall, energy was building in my head and I was practicing intently with equanimity and investigation, it eventually tappered off. Another one, I was just lying there really relaxed spacing out and all of the sudden BOOM I was behind my eyes in the domed space of my head with an intense strobbing. I also was absorbed in some interesting state where it was as if my heart was being crushed by light from above and below in a lying posture. It was so intesnse I had to gasp for air after. That's the furthest I've gotten with any concentration state yet. I've been reviewing advice on this territory (EQ and jhanas) and fine tuning my practice.
I like the "fashioning jhana" article from the hamilton project. It says to just go straight for the absorbtion state without concentrating on anything at all besides it. I kind of have a feeling of what I'm looking for now so I do that but I'll also just relax and gently concentrate before I do that as a warm up for concentration/cool down for relaxation.
I use noting to gain momentum up and out of the dark night, I use it sparingly beyond that. When I get to EQ, depending on the subtle nuances of what's going on, I'll either emphasize the energizing or relaxing qualities of the factors of enlightenment.
Someone else posted on the HP forum that they realized that they were getting annoyed at being annoyed after getting out of the DN. My first entrance into EQ was years ago but I'm realizing this now. It's obvious enough that I can do it in daily life, for any emotion.
All this technical information has been great but some "traditonal" wisdom has helped me. A teacher said to someone "fear is the last obstacle before dissolving the self" (paraphrasing). That really hit me on a human level. I don't have to get into the 7 factors or be heavily analytical, it's simple advice.
I have to find the right balance of doing all my school work, downtime, formal meditation and informal meditation throughout the day. I see a therapist once a week who I can be 100% open about practice which has been such a relief of burden on my heart. The only thing I do for fun is pretty much read my favorite novel. I actually think it helps my practice because it lets my body relax and nourishes my mind.
My plan is to post about any experiences of high EQ, near missed and any absorbtion experiences to get feeback. Like I'm wondering what the hell that thing was where my heart/lungs were being crushed by light. It was really energetic and it felt like some intense drug I'd never taken. It would have been euphoric if it didn't hurt so much. The rest of my body faded perceptually. I was also weightless. There was a sense of protracted effort so I'm thinking this was possibly what's described here as the 1st jhana.
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