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Mo's practice log
Answer
10/7/16 9:27 AM
Hello everyone,
I am a 50 year old male, living in England, and I've been practising meditation since 2013 when I sat  my first Goenka course. I have sat 2 Goenka courses and served on one.

I have meditated daily since September 2014 mainly focusing on the breath.
There have been a couple of breaks from this due to illness.

Since June 2015 I have been meditating twice daily building up to my current sitting, of an hour each time. Since March this year I decided to switch to noting technique as I felt that a lot of my time may have been spent daydreaming and not really aware of the three chracteristics while concentrating on the breath. 

Since March I have tried to note aloud once per second whatever came into my field of experience.Initially it felt strange to do, then came a period where it was quice nice and enjoyable, followed by a period where I found it difficult. The difficult period has eased off and the practice these days just seems very boring and samey with no real big aversions like before. 

My aim is to reach stream entry.

I don't know where I am on the maps but I think I may have passed the A&P during my last Goenka retreat, as I had a very extraordinary experience on day 5 where everything became super real and absolutely fascinating. But I can't be sure.

I am hoping that this log will help to inject some new life into my sits.

I am a bit worried about putting my practice out in the open for all to see but I also think it would be a good thing, allowing other more experienced meditators to comment, and giving me some objectivity.
   

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/7/16 10:00 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Mohan Ratnam:
Since March this year I decided to switch to noting technique as I felt that a lot of my time may have been spent daydreaming and not really aware of the three chracteristics while concentrating on the breath. 

Since March I have tried to note aloud once per second whatever came into my field of experience.
   
Hi Mo,

Tell us about your "noting" practice. What are you doing exactly from the moment you start meditating?

~D

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/7/16 10:07 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Mohan Ratnam:
I am a bit worried about putting my practice out in the open for all to see but I also think it would be a good thing, allowing other more experienced meditators to comment, and giving me some objectivity.  
In the goal towards objectivity -

You may wish to break down your practice log into some structure for a while....something like this.
Dream Walker:
Date: 03/12/2013
Pre-Meditative Context: quick nap and to gym
Length of Sit: 5 min walk 10 min sauna 20 min sit
Posture: cross legged
Cutting Edge Stage of the Session: 3rd jhana, insite stage unknown (A&P?)
Meditative Techniques Utilized: Walking, sauna- follow breath and heat as object, sit- follow breath, noting, choiceless awareness
Dynamics:Walking- 1st jhana, sauna- heat was throbby and vibratory but harsh. Chest chakra felt like lump. 3rd chakra happy and giddy focus on it triggered 2nd jhana. Let go of happy and settled into 3rd jhana. Sit - stayed in 3rd and followed breath. Said metta prayer for people in the gym and all beings. Just let everything go and would note when something caught attention.
Goal for Next Session: Keep exploring new territory.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/7/16 3:32 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Hi Mo,

Tell us about your "noting" practice. What are you doing exactly from the moment you start meditating?

~D

Hello Dream Walker,

Thank you for your interest. Currently my noting practice looks like this.

Length of sit: 1hour 5 minutes

Posture: Crosslegged

Meditative technique: Follow breath first five minutes, noting out loud four foundations

Dynamics: I have a mild aversion to meditating before I start.
Things I note include aches, pain, stiffness, heat, cold, and pulsing, all ussually in my back. It used to be really annoying but nowadays I don't mind so much. I can pretty much watch it do it's thing.
Also wandering mind, worry, time thoughts, frustration, hearing, seeing, observing, images, and pins and needles in extremities.
There are also lots of don't knows.
I find it easy to note body feelings and sensations. I can sometimes get confused when noting pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral, so I just note don't know.
I have difficulty with mind states and thoughts. I can pick up the obvious ones like worry, story spinning, mind wandering, but sometimes I just don't know.
By the end of the sit I find that I'm thinking more and more about the time and wanting the session to be over.
Lately I have felt frustrated with my out loud noting practice and feel that it may be getting in the way and hampering the deepening of my practice, but I don't know, maybe I'm wrong and I just need to keep going. It feels a bit mechanical at the moment. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/7/16 3:42 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
So as per Dream Walkers suggestion.
Here's my sit broken down.

Premeditative context: watching tv, relaxing

Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit

Posture: Cross legged(strong determination sit)

Cutting edge stage of session : I don’t know

Meditative techniques utilized: sit – follow breath, silent noting, choiceless awareness

Dynamics: First 5 minutes counting breath to concentrate the mind.
Decided to try silent noticing rather than out loud noting as I feel that this is getting too mechanical and the noting was getting in the way.
Things I noted include, brightness, hearing sounds, wandering mind, pins and needles in hands and feet, images of various parts of my body, ticklishness between my forehead, rehearsing what I was going to write on this log, worrying. There was no big aversions or pain.
About halfway through I got to a pleasant state which was centred around the top of my head, was nice and very easy to space out.
The biggest noticeable difference between the start and end is that I felt much more inmmersed in my body at the end, the mind became less and I didn’t feel so much as if I was trying to meditate. I felt more at one with my body feeling the aches and pains and stiffness. It wasn’t particularly pleasant but felt more concentrated, condensed and contracted, almost squashed in and down. It felt very easy to stay with the physicality of my body. It felt good to be immersed, although I knew the time was going to end soon, which may have helped to ease the ache and pain.

Goal of next session: I don't know

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/7/16 7:03 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Mohan Ratnam:

First 5 minutes counting breath to concentrate the mind.
You need to spend more time getting concentrated. I can shift up the jhanas very fast now but I still spend more time than you are. I would reccomend half of your sit dedicated to concentration. Once you know how long it takes you to get to your cutting edge then you will have a better idea how much time to split between concentration and insight.

Mohan Ratnam:
Decided to try silent noticing rather than out loud noting as I feel that this is getting too mechanical and the noting was getting in the way.
Things I noted include, brightness, hearing sounds, wandering mind, pins and needles in hands and feet, images of various parts of my body, ticklishness between my forehead, rehearsing what I was going to write on this log, worrying. There was no big aversions or pain.

First a vocabulary tip
 
Noticing is being present with what is happening in the moment. You're training meta-cognition to keep track of the experience and are not being sucked into the experience but watching it closely.

Noting is an after the fact hack that keeps you on task by labelling what you just noticed such that you don’t get sucked into the experience. Noting is a wonderful hack that works really well and is useful thru many of the Nanas. It is also something that should be put aside when you don't need it. Test this in each Nana and you will learn when you can stop noting and just notice instead while keeping on track.

I used 4 words in my noting practice -

1. Thinking
2. Hearing
3. Seeing
4. Feeling

On very rare occasions I would smell and taste, but not often enough to worry about.
These four words cover 99% of our meditative experience and I didn’t need to waste time searching for the "right" word.
Say the words silently to yourself.

Noticing the current experience with all the curiosity you have is the key to moving up the nanas. Its not a grit your teeth process, but more like a game that is endlessly entertaining and pleasant. Have fun with it as it is your meditation.
Message me if you want to skype
Good luck,
~D

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/8/16 4:29 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
You need to spend more time getting concentrated. I can shift up the jhanas very fast now but I still spend more time than you are. I would reccomend half of your sit dedicated to concentration. Once you know how long it takes you to get to your cutting edge then you will have a better idea how much time to split between concentration and insight.

Thanks, I will spend more time doing this

First a vocabulary tip
 
Noticing is being present with what is happening in the moment. You're training meta-cognition to keep track of the experience and are not being sucked into the experience but watching it closely.

Noting is an after the fact hack that keeps you on task by labelling what you just noticed such that you don’t get sucked into the experience. Noting is a wonderful hack that works really well and is useful thru many of the Nanas. It is also something that should be put aside when you don't need it. Test this in each Nana and you will learn when you can stop noting and just notice instead while keeping on track.

I used 4 words in my noting practice -

1. Thinking
2. Hearing
3. Seeing
4. Feeling

On very rare occasions I would smell and taste, but not often enough to worry about.
These four words cover 99% of our meditative experience and I didn’t need to waste time searching for the "right" word.
Say the words silently to yourself.

Noticing the current experience with all the curiosity you have is the key to moving up the nanas. Its not a grit your teeth process, but more like a game that is endlessly entertaining and pleasant. Have fun with it as it is your meditation.
Message me if you want to skype
Good luck,
~D

Thanks for pointing that out, and I like your idea of simplyfying the noting vocabulary.

I have to say that I don't really see my practice as a game(maybe I should). It's feels more like an endeavour and something that I have invested so much time in that that I have to do it. My whole life seems to evolves around it, for good or bad. That might come over a bit desperate, don't get me wrong, I like it and I want to do it.

Once again thanks for your time and input. Much appreciated.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/8/16 4:33 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 08/10/2016 Morning sit

Premeditative context: woke up, coffee

Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit

Posture: Cross legged(strong determination sit)

Cutting edge stage of session : I don’t know

Meditative techniques utilized: sit – follow breath, silent noting, noticing

Dynamics: First 30 minutes following breath to aid concentration, my nose, and forehead area between the eyes became very sensitive, and at times my attention would lock into these areas without my trying. This was interspersed with my attention being drawn to body feelings of tingling in hands and legs. Overall felt relaxed.
Last 35 minutes spent silent noting of
  1. Hearing
  2. Seeing
  3. Feeling
  4. Thinking
This was a little confusing to do at times, and I’m really not sure how it went.
I kept worrying about whether I was doing it right, and what to write in my log. I did notice the interplay and link between them like the feeling affecting the thought, and vice versa.
At times I dropped the noting because I felt it was too cumbersome and I was missing a lot of the stuff.
I’m also a little worried about spacing out, and enjoying the pleasantness and not being able to catch these.
Towards the end it became very pleasant to just sit, and there was a heaviness and solidity which was comforting and reassuring.
One thing I notice about stopping out loud noting is that my sit is much more calming pleasant and relaxed.
The out loud noting felt very harsh at times and also felt like I was just skimming the surface all the time.
It may be that I have to put up with the harshness and superficiality, I don't know, but I think I will continue with the silent noting for a while and see how it pans out.    

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/8/16 3:50 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 08/10/2016 Evening sit

Premeditative context: watching tv

Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit

Posture: Cross legged(strong determination sit)

Cutting edge stage of session : I don’t know

Meditative techniques utilized: sit – follow breath, silent noting

Dynamics: First 30 minutes following breath to aid concentration. Found it difficult to concentrate tonight. The mind kept wandering off, Feeling dullness, sleepy and spaced out.
Last 35 minutes silent noting of
1. Feeling 
2. Hearing
3. Seeing
4. Thinking
Also generally a sleepy, dull and spaced out session. Very easy to note feeling, and hearing the sounds from the neighbours. I found that thinking and seeing were very influential on each other like an image thought.
Towards the end of the sit started to fell aches and pains which although were unpleasant I tried to stay with them at at times they morped, appeared as only sensations and disappeared. These aches, pains in my back have long been with me when meditating and I am coping much better with them these days.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/9/16 4:10 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 09/10/2016 morning sit
Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit – follow breath, silent noting

Dynamics:
First 30 minutes follow breath

Difficulty in staying with the breath kept losing count. I noticed that my whole nose area feels very sensitive, and so prominent and have an "always there" feeling. My mind kept losing track of breathing and jump to the "sensitive nose area". I'm wondering if this sensitive nose thing is something I should cultivate as I'm so inclined to it. It could help me to get concentrated. 

Last 35 silent noting

Overall not a pleasant sit, lots of mind wandering, difficulty in noting, confusion, and feeling lost.
Sensations on my body were predominant and easy to note.
Seeing and hearing was relatively easy to note.
Thinking was harder and seemed to be linked with the other three areas influencing and being influenced by them.
At one point I couldn't distinguish between them all as they all seemed to be happening together, which brought on frustration. 
Strong feelings in my back which were easy to note.
I tried to investigate the feelings in my back but couldn't, just seemed to bounce back out again.
Also unpleasant sensations in my stomach. Just tried to stay and roll with the frustration, unpleasantness.
Also at times there was a feeling of things building up and up into an uncomfortableness which was quite unpleasant, like something was going to blow, but never happens. This is a feeling I have experienced before quite a few times. Not sure what it is. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/9/16 3:51 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 09/10/2016 evening sit
Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit – 30 min follow breath, 35 min silent noting

Dynamics: 
30 minutes follow breath

Immediately went to ticklish forehead at start. Felt yhe sensitivite nose thing. Also the sensitive nose thing is something which I often feel off the cushion as I go about during the day.
Counting breaths was easy at first but then I got lost and was daydreaming, and spacing out a lot.
Aches and pains in my back also took my attention away from the breath. I also tried to foucus on my nose area but I kept spacing out from this too.

Last 35 silent noting

Lots of sleepyness, spacing out and drifting off. I forgot to note a lot of the time. When I did, noting feeling was easy as there was often pains in my back.
Hearing, seeing and thinking  didn't really seem to get noted that often. Towards the end I get a lot of aches and pains in my back which were unpleasant. I tried to investigate the sensations to see if I could locate the sensation and separate it from the feeling.
I couldn't. It was a painful sensation.
The ache also moved from my back to include the shoulder area.
I had to open my eyes before the timer went off and move position but continued to the end. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/10/16 3:02 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 10/10/2016 evening sit
Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit – 30 min follow breath, 35 min silent noting

Dynamics: 
30 minutes follow breath

Started by just trying to relax. Then counted breaths, but kept losing track all the time. Honestly feel like I'm starting out again, as my concentration is so bad. Towards the end of the 30 minutes got into quite a pleasant state which felt good and kind of centred around a spaciousness around my head. By now I thought I would kind of know the jhanas but I don't, so I'm not sure even if I've hit the first jhana, or whether I'm just spacing out.  

Last 35 silent noting

Had difficulty noting tonight.
It seemed that the note I came up with was just too simple for what was being experienced. So I stopped and just stayed with noticing and went with the flow of things.
Just seemed to be a general tenseness and anxiousness to the sit.
A couple of times I noticed my shoulders relaxing down which would suggest tension.
When I could note I would and most of these were the physical aches, pains and some tingles.
There was also some itching, worrying, and doubts. 
Towards the end the aches, stiffness, and tensions became more and more predominant, and appeared more and more as sensations which although were painful would change.
Tried towards the end to look at the difference between feeling aches and pain normally versus seeing and feeling aches and pains as pure sensations followed by the unpleasantness. Not sure if it succeeded.
There was also a pulsing which I often feel which I havn't mentioned before.  
It seems like I should be able to remember a lot more of my sit but I can't, which makes me wonder if I'm just daydreaming most of the time.
I feel a little bit like I'm backsliding and not progressing. Another thing to note.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/11/16 3:53 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 11/10/2016 Morning sit
Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit – 30 min follow breath, 35 min silent noting
Dynamics:
30 minutes follow breath
Kept losing count of my breaths.
As the bell went I was still counting breaths.
Noted doubts and worrying about my concetration skills. 

35 minutes silent noting
Noted feelings and bodily sensations such aches, pains, stiffness, and tensions particularly in back.
Tingling feelings in hands followed by images of my hands which were so obviously mental creations which I knew did not match up to the actual seeing of them. I knew that my fingers were in contact with each other but my mental images seemed to show that the fingers were apart.
At one point there was a whole body view and feeling which was quite pleasant.
The body seemed to be separate from the head area and was as if I was observing the body.
Also pulsing in the torso area.
Generally the sit was marked by doubts, and worry.
Ended the sit with the usual aches, pains, stiffness, and tension particularly in the torso area.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/11/16 3:22 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 11/10/2016 Evening sit
Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit – 30 min follow breath, 35 min silent noting
Dynamics: 
30 minutes follow breath
Started by relaxing and just sitting.
Started to count breaths and kept losing count.
Could not complete 3 counts of ten even when the bell sounded. I wonder if this is because I have changed my technique recently as for the last 6/7 months I have only spent 5 minutes on concentration and the rest of the hour on out loud choiceless noting.
I'm embarrassed at how bad my concentration is. Felt doubts and worry about it. 

35 minutes silent noting
When I'm sitting I tell myself to remember to log this feeling or that sensation but I can never remember the details of my my sit well enough.
I wonder if could stop the meditation and make a quick note. emoticon

Towards the end of the sit I decided to limit my noting to just bodily sensations, and see if I could just experience them as sensations and nothing else. This also worked in that I could concentrate better and not worry about noting the other senses(hearing, seeing, thinking). 
It kind of worked in that I flet disembedded and not caught up in them.   
It also seemed to be more effective when I reminded myself to do it.
I must try to see if I can take the same tack with thoughts and mindstates but must be much harder to do.
I also saw that these sensations were not "me", they were just sensations happening without me doing anything.
Again towards the end the aches, tightness, stiffness and tensions were getting stronger but seemed like I could watch it all happening, changing, morphing, and moving. Although I wonder if I extended the sit and the pain got more intense if I could still handle it.

I have a 10 day Goenka retreat planned for November, which I'm kind of looking forward to and also worried about, because of all the hard work that's gonna be involved. Although knowing there's a retreat coming has been great in getting me focused.  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/12/16 3:22 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
I have been missing a couple of morning sits lately which is not a habit I want to get into.
Not sure why, could be because I have an aversion to meditating lately feeling that I'm not making progress and it's all a bit boring.
I guess it must be part of the journey and to be accepted and worked through regardless. 
Having a log like this where I am accountable will hopefully help to kickstart my morning sits again. 

Date: 12/10/2016 Evening sit

Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit – 30 min follow breath, 35 min silent noting & noticing
Dynamics: 
30 minutes follow breath
A trend I have noticed is that the first 30 minutes of following the breath seems to fly by. I think this is becasue it takes me a while just to relax and let the working day go before I can start to feel the breath. 
I also have a general aversion to sitting at the moment so the start is always a bit crap with thoughts of "not this again".
Started by just feeling the aches and pains in my body. I'm starting to get a feel again for following the breath by concentrating on the triangle formed between the nostrils and the corners of the mouth. Initially images of this area arose then managed to feel the breath passing over this area with coolness and warmth. Interspersed with tension and tightness in back, and listening to the wheezing sounds of my breath, which brought on fear. I located the actual physical location of the fear to be in the stomach. Even thinking about this now brings up the unpleasant stomach feeling.  
For some reason not sure why, I asked myself what the breathing had to do with Mo. The answer was nothing. Breathing seems to just happens, and this seesm to bring up fear again.
At times managed to zoom in to the breath touching the skin on the nostrils. My particular spot is the entrance of the right side of the right nostril. Not sure though if I'm actually feeling this or it's just an image and I think I'm feeling it. 

35 minutes silent noting
The general trend of the second sit seems to be a lot slower and me noticing the time more.
There seems to be pockets of experience which are slightly different to each other.
One part was full of mindwandering and coming back to the present.
Also felt like a huge pressure was pushing on my back and when I tried to investigate it by zooming in I couldn't, I could only seem to see the whole back and not any detail.
Another part was being unable to note, and feeling of having no control whatsoever a feeling of helplessness and kind of anxious.   
Another trend of the second part of the sit seems to be a very physical aspect to it as it nears the end the stiffness, aches and tensions seem to get stronger. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/13/16 3:46 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 13/10/2016 morning sit
Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit – 30 min follow breath, 35 min noticing
Dynamics:
30 minutes follow breath
Went to bed early last night to make sure I was up for this sit this morning as I've been missing a couple of morning sits.
It seemd to work as I felt quite fresh and alert this morning
Attention bounced between breath at the tip of the nose and whole body. Got to a point where I could feel tingles in hands and lower arms, aches & stiffness in back, skin crawling around my head and numbness in legs. Alternated with feeling the breathing at the nose. I wasn't able to zoom in to the breathing at the nose for long lengths of time. So I just let it do what it wanted.
As usual the 30 minute timer went off really quickly.

35 minutes noticing
Instead of jumping in to noting I decided to just stay with what I was feeling, and let it do it's thing and just try to be aware of mindwandering or spacing out. So it was more an awaraness of the body, the pleasantness and aches, and trying to catch mindwandering and  spacing out. I don't know if this is the right thing to do but it felt like it was right, so I went with it. It was like I tried to get out of the way and let the meditation do it's thing, with some gentle coaxing when things drifted off.
It was a gentle, kind sit, which as I'm writing feels strong in my heart area.
Maybe this is due to it being in the morning when things are quieter and the days events hasn't really started.
There was quite a lot of stories around meditation planning.
At one point I noticed an unpleasant sensation in the upper stomach/chest area, accompanied with feelings of breathlessness and wheezing, heavy breathing. This passed, breathing became quieter and the bell went. 

I'm realizing that this log of my sits is making me look at my sits much more closely and reflect on what's happening. It seems to be an ever evolving practice with many changes and tweaks at the moment.             

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/13/16 3:23 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 13/10/2016 evening
Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Follow breath
Dynamics: 
Have decided to drop the noting and just concentrate on following the breath at the nostrils entrance area and see where it takes me.
Kind of going back to basics.
Took at least the first 10/15 minutes to relax and watch the attention bounce between nose, thoughts and body. Thereafter started to feel body  sensations more and attention started to get stabler and less jumpy while nose area became more and more sensitive. This continued and sensations in the hands and lower arms started to get stronger and took my attention. 
Also had some mind wandering, and worry about timer thoughts got so strong that I doubted that the timer was working properly to the point where I stopped the meditation to check, and it turned out that there was nothing wrong with the timer.emoticon
I think it may have been boredom and some sort of aversion and craving.
I carried on.
Then experienced sensitivity and tingling on forehead.
Then experienced pain in lower back, itching, and pain and aches moved up to shoulders which became cool.
A section where I was at a lost as to what to look at. It seemed like I was expecting something to happen and waiting.
The last 15 minutes was interesting as there was lots of spacing out and drifting off but never sleepy. It wasn't particulalrly pleasant nor unpleasant. I caught myself a couple times thinking "Oh yeah I'm suppose to be meditating".  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/14/16 5:14 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 14/10/2016 Morning sit
Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Follow breath & noticing
Dynamics:
Felt tired this morning when I got up.
Attention was very scatterred, and difficult to zoom in on the breath at the nose.
Beathing was mostly heavy, coarse and unpleasant. Lots of mindwandering, worries and stories.
After a while pins and needles in my hands, and numbness in legs.
Strong sensations in torso which moved up to include the shoulders which felt cool. The sensations continued and included my head area, with feeling of pressing and tension on the sides of my head.
A bit weird in that it was pleasant to be feeling something so stable but feelings of pain and tension wasn't so pleasant.
At the end came a moment where attention just locked on to the breathing at the nose very easily, and also stabbing pain in my back. Was satisfying because of the ease of focus of attention, felt like i didn't need to try, but also unpleasant because of pain, I wasn't sure how long I could stand it before i thought I would have to move or do something.
I knew the bell was sounding soon so continued then bell went.            

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/14/16 3:31 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 14/10/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Follow breath & noticing
Dynamics: 
Very little progression during this sit.
Nearly the whole time was just mindwandering, stories and getting lost.
Which resulted in feelings of frustration, but also came acceptance.
I used to get sits like this when noting aloud and at the end of those sits I would be exhausted with frustration, helplessness and pointlessness but happening now with no out loud noting, it's more of an acceptance.  
Every now and then I tried to steer the attention back to the breath but through the whole sit it just didn't seem to happen, so most of the time was spent just accepting that I couldn't at present, follow the breath, and just being aware of stories and mindwandering and noticing that.
I'm not sure what's right and wrong, but acceptance sure feels a lot kinder and more loving. I have doubts though whether the acceptance is just a copout for me to daydream and space out, but atleast I was aware of spacing out.
There was of course the usual back aches and pains which became cool at one point as it moved up to the upper back and shoulders area, and some ticklishness in the forehead.
I again tried to investigate my breathing to see if "Mo" instigated the in breath, the need to breath in, and it seemed at the time that this is just a process and nothing actually to with me. I feel daft mentioning it now. 
My breathing was also wheezy, loud, heavy, and laboured, sensations which have always brought on negative feelings when they occur in my meditation. This idea has has lost more and more of it's power over me as my meditation has grown, but I still can't shake it off particularly if it is loud.
So I tried to investigate by just listening to the breathing and trying to discern that the noise had nothing to with "Mo" and just occuring on it's own.
This breathing has also caused me quite a lot of fear during the Goenka retreats,"strong determination sits", where all students are asked to come to the hall to meditate together. I was always worried that my meditation was really loud, and disturbing others. This worry and fear would spiral out of control and sometimes the breath would quieten and sometimes it wouldn't which resulted in a pretty unpleasant hour experience, of using various means to try and control the breath.
I don't know, maybe I'm doing the wrong thing, but at least I'm investigating. 
I was kind of hoping by investigating it I might understand and accept it and not be so fearful.
Ah well, onwards...

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/15/16 4:21 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 15/10/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Follow breath & noticing
Dynamics: 
All these timings are approx
0 to 15 minutes
Just relaxing and getting a feel for where my mind is at, how my body is feeling, and whether following the breath is possible. Lost count when counting breath so stopped. Restlessness and scattered mind.
 
15 to 30 minutes
The body slowly started to become heavy and aches, stiffness and pain appeared. Mind still scattered and jumpy, couldn't count breath and zoom in on breathing at nose. Feelings of anxiousness and craving.  

30 to 45 minutes
The body became heavier and a feeling of acceptance and flowing with the sit took over, which made me think that I was perhaps striving too much. It felt calmer.
I also saw my attention always looking and striving for something, it didn't want to stop, it kept always finding something, a twitch here, feeling there, this, that, here, there, which made me wonder what it would be like were attention to stop doing that. 

45 to 60 minutes
My body felt like it had a heavy warm thick coat on, and felt very restful, as if I needed it. I felt very sleepy but also aware of being sleepy.
The thought came "this is nice but what now, lets move on" but I let it go and just stay with awareness. Tried to not get spaced out by the niceness and stay aware of the feelings.
Started to get feelings of acceptance, non striving, receiving, forgiveness and love, which as I'm writing this is felt in my heart area. 

Definitely a different flavour to this sit.
Seems to be headed towards more of a let things happen rather than trying to force it, with an awareness of trying to stay alert and not getting caught up in whatever arises.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/16/16 4:02 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 16/10/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: I have stopped following the breath and adopted a more just sit and notice type of approach
Dynamics: 
0 to 15 minutes
Sat and noticed averison, worry, craving, and thinking I should be doing something, which I tried to let go.
The breath and nose area came to my attention of its own accord a few times. It seems to just pop into view very easily and then fade into the background and pops back again. When it pops into view again I sometimes wonder if I was aware of it previously, it kind of seems like it was always there but I'm not sure.
There was a general feeling of "I" should be doing something while I'm sat here meditating, which I tried to let go.
By the end of the 15 minutes my body sensations became more prominent as aches, pressure in the back, tingles in arms and hands.  
 

15 to 30 minutes
The intensity of bodily sensations stayed the same.
A sense of waiting, watching, and wanting something to happen.
The pressure on my back kind of feels like having something heavy placed on it.

30 to 45 minutes
The bodilys sensations continued with a slight rise in intensity.
I started to feel the ticklish forehead and nose area becoming sensitive.
The ticklish forehead is like a feather brushing against it. 
Started to feel the heavy, seductive, sleepyness feeling. Didn't try push it. Tried to just be aware of it when it was there  
Can't really remember mindstates.

45 to 60 minutes
Heavy, sleepyness continued.
Sensations around the head area, pressure around the sides of head, nose, forehead and middle of eyes, became stronger and torso sensations less.
Some timer thoughts, and wanting to stop.
Sleepyness started to subside and bell went.

A couple of times I treid to zoom in to areas but it seems to be more of a whole view at the moment.
I don't know if this is right or wrong.
There are some doubts too about my meditation as there is no mention of the 3c's.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/16/16 5:54 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Great practice Mo!

Don't worry too much about the 3C's, I'm sure you are noticing how sensations come and go on their own (imperminance), no single sensation is ultimately satisfying (dukka), and "you" are not the sensations (not-self). You don't need to obsess about the 3C's, but if you feel stuck, you can explore those characteristics of experience. 

Consistent practice is the most important thing. Keep doing what you're doing!

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/16/16 2:06 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Great practice Mo!

Don't worry too much about the 3C's, I'm sure you are noticing how sensations come and go on their own (imperminance), no single sensation is ultimately satisfying (dukka), and "you" are not the sensations (not-self). You don't need to obsess about the 3C's, but if you feel stuck, you can explore those characteristics of experience. 

Consistent practice is the most important thing. Keep doing what you're doing!
Thank you shargrol.
It's reassuring to get validation from other more experienced meditators that I'm on the right track.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/17/16 6:10 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date:17/10/2016 morning
Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Strong determination sit, feel body sensations including breathing, & noticing
Dynamics:
0 to 15 minutes
Always seem to start with doubts about technique, timer thoughts, self coaching, watching mind jumping around, a general mixed bag with no clear definition of anything.
Takes me at least 15 minutes of sitting still to relax into the sit, start to feel the sensations of the body becoming predominant, and begin to start looking at mindstates, and thoughts.   
 
15 to 30 minutes
Intensity of body sensations slowly rising, and becoming more and more stable, quite difficult to see the mindstates, because nothing was particularly unpleasant or pleasant, there was a sense of trying and wanting to see and feel more progress which is difficult to catch.
By the end of this section of sit sensations around the head became more prominant than bodily ones, manifested as pressure on sides of head, and sensitivity round nose and middle of eyes. 

30 to 45 minutes
At the end of this section there was a very difinite shift.
Felt like I jumped into a slipstream and there didn't seem to be a divide between a watcher and the stuff that I'm watching. The whole body became very obvious and I could feel everything at once including the breath, I could easily feel parts of my body at will. I tried to see if I could zoom in and stay concentrated on a single part but unable to. It wasn't particularly pleasant or a "wow" factor to it, more of an interesting phenomenon. Had the heavy coat feeling to it too. There was an easyness to it    


45 to 60 minutes
The slipstream feeling subsided and body sensations became more localised and intensity rose in the localised parts like the back, and hands, which had a gritty feel to it.
A sense of wanting something to happen still lingered, timer thoughts, some rehearsing what to write in log thoughts.

The overall sense of sits is of an easyness without any real unpleasant/pleasant sensations, feelings, or mindstates.
The worry with the easyness is in being aware of the subtler mindstates and not spacing out.
The major difference between the start of the sit and the end is in the predominant awareness of bodily sensations whether they be localised or whole view, lower or higher intensity, with different flavours such pulsing, flowing, heat, cold, pressures, tingles, numbness, etc.  
There is a feeling that I might need to extend the sit to see where it takes me.
At the end of the sit I get the sense that I should be sitting longer and that there's more to come.

And I still get a sense sometimes that I'm faking it, it's all a big game, scripting all of this, and not really progressing.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/17/16 3:50 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date:17/10/2016 evening
Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Strong determination sit, feel body sensations including breathing, & noticing
Dynamics: 
0 to 15 minutes
Aversion to sitting, kept putting it off. 
Body sensations and nose area came into attention fairly quickly this evening.
 

15 to 50 minutes
This whole section of the sit was full of doubts, worry, mind seemed very scattered, general edgyness, anxiousness and restlessnes.
There was also frustration, disappointment and a craving and wanting. I tried to investigate who this "I" was that was feeling all these negative states, but didn't really seem to have any progress with it.
The bodilys sensations, continued along with the sensitive nose area. A couple of times I tried breath counting and again lost count pretty quickly.  

50 to 65 minutes

The last part of sit continued with the confused, scaterred, and restless mindstate.
I tried zooming in to nose area, managed to watch movement in this area but not for too long. 
Bodily sensations became hot and cold in the back area and throbbing pain starting in right knee.

Overall a very different sit to the previous.
Interesting how sits can change so much.  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/18/16 4:14 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 18/10/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Strong determination sit, feel body sensations including breathing, & noticing
Dynamics:
0 to 10 minutes
Body and nose sensations becoming more prominant. 

10 to 65 minutes
Couldn't see any real progression through the whole sit.
Body, nose sensations rose in intensity and died down in parts of the sit.
Some tingling in hands and arms. 
No real bodily pains anywhere. 
Most noticable was general sense of being outside of things, looking on, an inability to control anything, helplessness, which was unpleasant in a boring tedious way.
Like being made to watch a movie you have seen a thousand times, so it's become very boring, and you just want to walk out.
Inevitably there's a craving or aversion. I'm never sure of these two as they seem very similar to me in some ways.
There's a craving for progress and something different to happen, and an aversion to the boredom of it all.
I tried to try to see who is being bored, where is it located, which didn't seem to give me any clues. I kept trying anyway.
I tried zooming in on nose sensations and managed for short periods but again just seemed boring and pointless.
I felt I should be looking more at mindstates, and investigating the sense of "I" which was wanting, craving and having aversions.   

Thinking of increasing the sit duration to 1hour 15 minutes.  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/18/16 4:11 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 18/10/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 90 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: 0 to 30 minutes just sit still, 60 to 90 follow breath
Dynamics: 
0 to 30 minutes
Just sit and try not to do anything other than relax the body.
If mind wandered too much then brought it back to the body.
Feelings of boredom, and aversion.
Tried to find the person who was feeling the boredom and aversion.  

30 to 60 minutes
Lots of stories, thoughts, and general mind wandering. Seems that if I don't give my mind something to do then it just goes a bit crazy jumping all over the place.
Kind of seems so obvious.
Whenever an obvious thought, story arose tried to find the "I" in it all.
Not having much luck with this.
Seems like there is an "I" because I think can feel it, it's seems to be there all the time, but where, I don't know.
Had a definite shift at the end of the hour when I felt my whole body start to expand and there my a brightness/luminosity to things.
The awareness grew more panoramic.
It was quite pleasant.
I felt I could have gone with it and enjoyed the ride more but I kind of reined it in by shifting the gaze back to zooming in on the nose, and it subsided. 

60 to 90 minutes
This is new territory in terms of lenght of sitting, although I have sat for this long before but not recently.
Had to shift position due to pain in knee, but didn't move again for the rest of the sit.
Position of my eyes seemed important during this section of the sit although I had noticed this before but not bothered to record it.
I wanted to practice following my breath more in order to develop my concentration skills, don't know if this is the right thing to do.
Found that I could concentrate on my breathing at the nose by literally keeping my eyes gazing in the direction of my nose and visualizing my nostril.
This helped me to physically feel the air brushing past the rims of my nostrils.
Again I'm not sure if I should be doing this but it helped me to zoom in, focus and concentrate.
I also found that a lot of the times when I was mind wandering, spacing out, lost in thought, my eye position and direction of gaze and visualization had moved from my nose.
And if my eyes were rolled up in the top of my head then it would get quite spacy and sleepy.
It was easy to bring my attention back to my nose by directing my gaze back ahead and below in the direction of the nose area. 
Reminds me of all the buddha statues with his eyes half open and a droopy gaze below.
Also made me think how related my sense of seeing is to a lot of things I experienced.
I found that each time I experienced something, I was checking the position of my gaze and also what they were seeing.
I was spacing out and drifting off a lot during this part of the sit, but each time I realized, I brought my attention back to my breath, which was very reassuring and comforting because it very physical and I knew there was no spacing out happening there.
It was a nice feeling, kind off very grounded.
This section went by relatively quickly.

Interesting sit, and after the messines of the last couple of sits this has come as a welcome relief.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/19/16 4:18 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 19/10/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 65 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath at the nostril
Dynamics:
0 to 30 minutes
Just sit, relax and feel the body.
A general feeling of doubt, uneasiness, being lost, and needing something to do.
It's quite unerving to just sit and not have any agenda. 
After about 15 minutes, started to gaze down at the nose and visualize the nostril in order to help concentration on the feeling of air brushing past my nostril.
Quite difficult to do at first, certainly not as easy as it was the last sit, but maybe because I had not sat for long. 
Started to feel headachy feeling in between the eyes, not sure if this is because my eyes are looking down and maybe going a bit crosseyed emoticon.  

30 to 65 minutes
Continued with concentrating on feeling air brushing past nostril aided by visualizing.
I noticed the difference between just watching the breathing and visualizing my nostril and feeling the air brushing past skin.
When just watching the breathing part of my attention was able to think about other stuff, but when I visualize my nostril and tried to feel the actual sensation of air on skin, it seemed like there was no room for my mind to think about other stuff.
It reminded me of Nikolai's comments(http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.co.uk/#!/2011/12/yogi-toobox-anapanasati-sutta.html) about engaging "the mind's proliferating tendency by giving it more things to pay attention to as opposed to just the breath", like using up 100% of your processing power rather than just 40% or 50%.
It's quite difficult to see the difference at first but once I tried this I could definitely notice a difference.
It was also difficult to keep the visualization and feeling of air on skin going for any lenght of time, had to remind myself and keep coming back to it, which made me realize actually how much mind wandering and generally not being fully present was happening.   
It was good to have this solid anchor (visualizing nose/feeling air on skin) to come back to, when I felt swamped with thoughts, images, mindstates, and feelings, especially during the current sits where things are starting to get unstable, and a general feeling of being lost. 

  


      

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/19/16 3:54 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 19/10/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 75 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath at the nostril
Dynamics:
0 to 30 minutes
Aversion to sitting.
After about 10 minutes of relaxing, started to follow the breath. Difficult to visualize and feel the breath at first and an ache and tension developed from straining to visualize. The ache grew stronger and after a while i got tired and exhausted with trying too hard.
I was so tired from trying that I had to stop and get up. 
There was way too much trying going on.

30 to 75 minutes
Continued with the sit and following the breath using the visualization in order to stop mind wandering.
There was lots of aversion, frustration, hopelessness and doubts.
Feeling a little lost.
I tried to investigate the "I" in all the negativity to see if I could see what everyone is talking about when they say they is no "I".
Didn't seem to yield any results.
I'm unable to recall any particluars from the sit.

A difficult sit. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/20/16 4:25 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 20/10/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 65 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath, body sensations, noticing
Dynamics:
0 to 30 minutes
First 10 minutes relaxing and concentrating on breathing.
Didn't try as hard but still kept awareness of gaze directed downwards but not visualizing as much since it caused quite a lot of strain yesterday and I think led to unpleasant pains and aches. 
After about 15 minutes body sensations started to become more prominant.
Mostly alternating between body sensations, breathing sensations at nose area, and thoughts, with some hearing.

30 to 65 minutes  
Body sensations gradually rose in intensity, with tension/pressure middle of eyes and forehead.
Woke up feeling sad and unhappy this morning, but the longer I sat and as body sensations became more noticable, feelings of sadness would recede. 
I tried to investigate the sense of self that is suffering to see if I could find "me".
There's something about the eyes and the sense of self but I don't know what it is.
Can't put my finger on it. I have also read elsewhere that the sense of self can be found behind the eyes, can't remember where I read it.  
I noticed that if I put my attention on body sensations there's a different feeling to when I have a thought.
I can literally feel that the sensations are very separate to a sense of me, they also have a very transitory nature, always moving/changing, fizzing.
But there's a link between what my eyes are doing and when I have a thought, which is a lot harder to see as separate.
Once again there was a nice grounded feeling to being able to place my attention on my body sensations in between the feelings of sadness, adn thoughts.
Five minutes before the timer went I got worried that the timer had stopped working and I was going to be late for work, so I got up and checked, and of course the timer was fine(this always makes me smile when I do this) so sat back down and then timer went.             

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/20/16 6:00 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Really awesome Mo!

Building the instinctual act of "coming back" to the meditation object/anchor without creating a lot of extra drama (i.e., simply starting again, without judging if you are a good meditator or not or whether practice is working or not)...and grounding emotions/thoughts by going to the body and experiencing body sensations along with the thoughts are the two basic skills that take you all the way.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/20/16 9:15 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Really awesome Mo!

Building the instinctual act of "coming back" to the meditation object/anchor without creating a lot of extra drama (i.e., simply starting again, without judging if you are a good meditator or not or whether practice is working or not)...and grounding emotions/thoughts by going to the body and experiencing body sensations along with the thoughts are the two basic skills that take you all the way.
once again, thanks for taking time out to respond, good to know that I'm headed in roughly the right direction as it's been a little confusing the last couple of sits, also the little nuggets of instruction you provide are very useful and hopefully keep me on trackemoticon  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/20/16 3:51 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 20/10/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 90 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath, body sensations, noticing
Dynamics:
0 to 30 minutes
Relaxing, concentrating on breathing, using the gaze downwards to aid focus, but didn't try too hard, just slowly coaxing into the sit.
As usual body sensations came into view more and more, and this alternated with attention on breathing sensations and pressure sensations in middle of eyes and forehead. 

30 to 90 minutes  
Investigated mindstates and thoughts as much as I could alternating with coming back to breathing and body sensations when I needed a break, and to stop mindwandering, getting lost and spacing out.
Tried to see the sense of "I" in mindstates and thoughts.
There's still that connection with the eyes, I think.
When I had mindwandering thoughts I would check my eyes to see what they were looking at.
I think they were looking at the thought or some sort of image of the thought, but it was only when I decided to look at the eyes that I became aware of this.
When obvious thoughts came up such as "I wonder what the time is?", boredom, or mind wandering thoughts, I would immediately look to see where it was but as soon as I thought to look it was gone, I also made a point to see if there was a feeling anywhere in the body linked to the thought, a couple of times I thought they may have been something in my stomach, but as the thought had already gone, I couldn't be sure if the stomach feeling was connected, in any case the feeling became just a feeling anyway. 
The direction of the gaze of my eyes also helped with concentrating and drilling down on sensations in different parts of my body.
Pains in the back could be easier concentrated on when my gaze was directed ahead and to the right.
Gazing downwards was always good for reconnecting with the breath.
Also I hit a point where I just didn't know what to do next.
It was like I was keeping going, and going and going and all of a sudden, "Oh, I don't know what to do next?".
It seems such an odd thing to describe now.  
I tried to see if I could pin down who was feeling this, and why it was causing problems.
Long sit with no bodily pain to cause me to move my position, and no extreme aversions.
Quite stable in a lot of ways. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/20/16 6:30 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Mohan Ratnam:
Date: 20/10/2016 Morning
I noticed that if I put my attention on body sensations there's a different feeling to when I have a thought.
I can literally feel that the sensations are very separate to a sense of me, they also have a very transitory nature, always moving/changing, fizzing.
Seems like you are nailing the Mind and Body Nana.
Read up on these nanas and see what you can explore about sensations....notice mind states and body states and really get as close to the action as possible, see it clearly as you can.
Watch how one sensation transitions into the next, notice things
happening on thier own, unless they are not, then notice where ever they
are and notice what makes it seem that you are "doing". Notice that
there are beginnings to sensations, middles, ends, transitions. Notice
what seems to be permenent, see how long you can stay focused on it
before you lose your attention on it and have to move back to it. Notice
things that seem to be more personal than others, which sense door
feels more or less like "you"?  Play around with stuff as much as you want in your explorations, dont just get bored and veg out, take interest in some atribute and really have a go at it and see what you can learn about it.
Good Luck,
~D

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/21/16 6:14 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 21/10/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 65 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath, body sensations, noticing
Dynamics:
0 to 30minutes
Feeling and grounding the body, concentrating on breath, overall pleasant body sensations.
There was impatience to start looking at thoughts, but decided to pull the mind back to the breath and body sensations.  
There's a very noticable difference when attention is pulled back to the breath when it has wandered off.
Again the positioning of the eyes is noticable for me. 

30 to 65minutes
Got to a point where I didn't know what to do next.

I tried to investigate thoughts to see what was happening, not as easy as looking at sensations, a lot more slippery.
Things I can say about thoughts are
1. The thought is there.
2. It has a different feel to it than sensations. 
3. I only notice it once it's already there, meaning it has already happened. 
4. As soon as I look at it it tends to disappear and be replaced with an awareness of looking at the thought, which I can kind of trace with my eyes. 

I also tried to drill down into sensations to see if I could break them down into smaller parts.
When I tried this I seemed to get immersed into the sensation and kind of lose a sense of "me".
My attention would bounce out of the sensation and I would get a sense of me watching the sensation again, and only then realise that I had lost a sense of the watcher or separateness. 
I was unable to really see parts of sensations. Couldn't really see start, middle, and ends.
It was hard to see individual sensations because
1. My attention couldn't focus that sharply.
2. My attention would just change where it was looking at, I couldn't control where it decided to look at next.   

It's quite difficult to do some of this stuff as it takes quite a bit of application.
So I didn't push it too much, I tried these things and then came back to breathing and body sensations for a rest and stability.
It's like going out on little exploration trips and then coming back.    

Towards the end of the sit, I started to feel body sensations which were unpleasantness, painful, and brought on aversion.
I hadn't felt these in a while and thought it strange how they just suddenly appeared out of the blue again.
I wonder if they are a sign of things to come.
We shall see.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/21/16 6:42 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
Mohan Ratnam:
Date: 20/10/2016 Morning
I noticed that if I put my attention on body sensations there's a different feeling to when I have a thought.
I can literally feel that the sensations are very separate to a sense of me, they also have a very transitory nature, always moving/changing, fizzing.
Seems like you are nailing the Mind and Body Nana.
Read up on these nanas and see what you can explore about sensations....notice mind states and body states and really get as close to the action as possible, see it clearly as you can.
Watch how one sensation transitions into the next, notice things
happening on thier own, unless they are not, then notice where ever they
are and notice what makes it seem that you are "doing". Notice that
there are beginnings to sensations, middles, ends, transitions. Notice
what seems to be permenent, see how long you can stay focused on it
before you lose your attention on it and have to move back to it. Notice
things that seem to be more personal than others, which sense door
feels more or less like "you"?  Play around with stuff as much as you want in your explorations, dont just get bored and veg out, take interest in some atribute and really have a go at it and see what you can learn about it.
Good Luck,
~D
Hello D,
Thanks, that's just the kind of specific advice I was looking for.
There's a lot useful, practical ideas for me to work on. 

Thank you!

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/21/16 3:41 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 21/10/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 90 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath, body sensations, noticing
Dynamics:
Difficulty in getting any sort of concentration going tonight.
Even at the end of 90 minutes my concentration was weak, kept spacing out, and everything was very fuzzy, no clear distinctions of anything.
I'm finding it easier to see if I'm spacing out, which is something I guess. 
I kept trying and bringing back the attention to my breathing.
And even body sensations didn't seem that clear most of the time.
Couldn't drill down into sensations.
There were a few moments of clarity of body, and breathing sensations where I felt I had most of my awareness on them but they didn't last that long. 
Some feelings of frustration arose as a result, and I tried to look into that.
Tried also to note stuff happening to see if If it could help to stop the spacing out, and watch moment to moment breathing sensations at the nostril. 
Pains in knee started at about 80minutes so shifted position.
Seems a far cry from my recent sits, maybe because it's the end of the week and it's been quite busy at work today.
Lets see what happens tomorrow.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/22/16 4:31 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 22/10/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 90 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath, noticing
Dynamics:
Deciced to spend the whole sit just trying to follow the breath and and see if I could just keep coming back to the breath and not let the mind wander.
As time went on realised how much subtle mindwandering was going on, which took my attention away, the visualition of my nostril helped to keep my attention more focussed on the sensations at the nostril.
If negative emotions, feelings took my attention I came back to the breath at the nose.
If pleasant sensations, thoughts took my attention I came back to the breath at the nose.
Kind of trying to develop a neutral approach.
Saw how impersonal, breathing is, and the actual sensations didn't have a good/bad aspect to them, and this became obvious when thoughts, emotions, feelings took my attention and brought with them pleasant/unpleasant associations. Breathing sensations didn't seem to have a negative/psotive/pleasant/unpleasant quality to it.
It's just seemed to be breathing.
Also saw how it's always there and how easily forgotten it is. 
Saw how deceptive spacing out took my attention away from the breath.
Further into the sit I tried to drill down and stay with the moment to moment passing of sensations at the nostril to see if I could get closer and closer to each passing moment, which revealed even more how much mindwandering was going on.
At times the breathing got heavy and then got quiet again.
Also towards the end the breathing got and less and less to the point where it was difficult to focus because the sensations of air passing became less.
I also tried to apply the visualization to body sensations to see if I could feel the sensations like at the nose, but it seemed harder to do, not sure if this is because I need to practice at it more.
At the end an ache in my upper back started to appear more and more in my attention so tried to incoporate awareness of breathing at the nostril together with the ache in the back, which helped me to concentrate more and help to stop spacing out, also thought I could feel a connection and interplay between the sensations of the ache and sensations of the breathing although not sure if this just my mind creating a link. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/22/16 3:36 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 22/10/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 75 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath, noticing
Dynamics:
Felt very sleepy and tired this evening, couldn't focus on breath . Spacing out and drifitng off a lot.
Kept trying to pull attention back, but it was all a very dreamy sit.
Also tried to disembed from what was happening by visualizing and imagining it, which worked for my breathing at the nose sometimes, but didn't seem to work with the tiredness and sleepyness.
Felt frustration, and tediousness of it all.
After about 30minutes started to get pain in back, which stayed pretty much the whole sit.
The pain was difficult to deal with tonight, it was a struggle to stay with it.
Tried to drill down into the pain and look at it closer.
Had aversion thoughts and a couple of times when I looked at them they disappeared.
Also planning thoughts about what I was going to do after the sit
I had intended to sit for 90 minutes but stopped at 75, just couldn't sit through the pain and sleepyness, seemed to be a waste of time, so I got up.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/23/16 4:47 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 23/10/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 90 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath, noticing
Dynamics:
0 to 30minutes
Worry, doubts, sadness, about meditation, difficulty following the breath, mindwandering, stories and drifting off.
Body sensations came into attention a bit more.
Inability to extract myself from the negativity.  
Sleepyness and tiredness.

30 to 60minutes
Sleepyness and tiredness continued, apathy, hopelessness and feeling of uselessness followed.
Fellings of wallowing and completely immersed in all these emotions.
Tried some silent noting and saw how it helped to lift me out of identifying with the emotions and feelings.
The negativity slowed down and didn't seem to affect the sit as much when I noted.
Still couldn't follow breath.
Body sensations became more prominant.
As I couldn't follow breath I stayed with body sensations for a while, there was a light overall buzzing more noticable in certain areas.

60 to 90minutes
As I continued to note, my noting shifted on it's own and started to ask "who is noting this thought, emotion, sensation etc?" and then shifted to "what is this awareness that is aware of this thought, emotion, sensation etc?".
So I was focusing my attention not at the sensations, thought, feeling but at the awareness of the phenomenon that was occuring.
So with everything that was happening there seemed to be two layers, the phenomenon and the awareness of the phenomemon.
But then also it suddenly occurred that there must be something else that "is aware of the awareness of the phenomenon?". 
This last question was very slippery to see if it was there at all, so I'm not sure.
It reminded of the dog chasing it's tail, or snake eating it's tail.emoticon 
This act of looking at awareness itself was quite calming as it didn't seemed to be affected by the thing it was perceiving so if there was a pain, by looking at the awareness of the pain, the pain itself didn't seem to be that bad.
Mind you I don't know if this would work if there was really strong pain, or overwhelming negativity.

An interesting sit in how it started quite negative, and finished at a completely different place.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/24/16 3:32 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 24/10/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 65 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath, noting & noticing
Dynamics:
0 to 30minutes
Follow breath at nose, mindwandering, lost in thought, spacing out, and returning to following breath.

30 to 60minutes
More spacing out and returning to breath.
Tried to be aware of all phenomenon not being me, so as not to identify with it, through noting and noticing.
Seemed to work as I could feel a separateness, and also kept me aware so as not to space out.
The questioning changed again back to who is noting and noticing all this phenomenon which also helped in not spacing out.
At one point had an overall feeling of comfortablenes and pleasantness.
Body sensations grew more intense and more prominant towards the end of the sit, and breath became easier to follow.
Felt I I could have sat longer but I had to get ready for work. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/24/16 3:36 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 24/10/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 65 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath, noting & noticing
Dynamics:
Difficuly in following breath tonight, virtually the whole sit was spent on mindwandering, stories, spacing out and coming back to the breath at the nose, there was some sense of the breath being a thing on its own, but not as strong as other sittings.
I could see strongly at times the difference between
1. being sucked into a mindstate, feeeling, story, thought
and
2. when just experiencing the breath for what it is i.e just sensations
There's an awareness of looking at the breathing that is not present when I'm in the feeling, thought, etc.  
But I can't yet see mindstates, thoughts, emotions, feelings as separate as I can easily see the breath, it's only when I come back to the breath do I realise how lost I was in mindstates, thoughts, emotions, feelings.
But the strong sense of separateness when looking at the breathing and seeing it as a thing on it's own is making me aware of a watcher and making me ask who is watching the breathing.  
Body sensations grew more intense and there was aversion, and wanting the sit to end towards the end of the sit.
I realised how tense I was when the bell went and I relaxed my shoulders down in relief. 


RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/25/16 4:47 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 25/10/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 90 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath, noting & noticing
Dynamics:
0 to 30minutes
Follow breathing at nose area, mindwandering, stories and body sensations pulled my attention away, tried to keep coming back to breath.
Breath got very quiet and soft, difficult to follow, so rise and fall of stomach came into view more, and also body sensations.

30 to 60minutes
Moved attention from breath to body sensations, attention wanted to stay with breath at nose, so incorporated this into whole body attention, including rise and fall of belly, also mindwandering, and stories.
Difficulty switching to whole body sensations view, as attention kept coming back to breath.
Tried part by part body scanning.
Towards the end of this part of sit the whole body felt like a balloon being filled with air as it expanded, noticed how mind became more agitated by this phenomenon, tried to come back to concentrating just on the body sensations but mind kept wanting to interrupt, and wanted to theorize about what was happening.
The balloon body sensations subsided.

60 to 90minutes
Watching thoughts, every few seconds asking "I wonder what my next thought will be?", difficult at first to differentiate between what is a thought and what is a body sensation, image, sound, feeling, etc.
At first all I could say to the question was "looking", and "wondering what my next thought will be", and noticing attention fixing on body sensations, and breath at nose. 
This slowly changed and became more about what came into my attention rather than just thoughts, so it seemed that everything I was experiencing was also a thought.
So if I experience pain in my leg then there was a "pain thought", if there was an ache in my back then there an "ache thought".
I'm not sure if this correct or if I'm mixing this up with body sensations, but awareness seemed to be quite strong even if it was confusing.
Sometimes a thought would just seem to drop in from nowhere and didn't seem to be related to anything that was going on currently.  
Most of the time it seemed that thoughts were linked to other things going on.
I don't know, maybe this is all rubbish, as it's difficult to put into words a lot of this stuff after it's all happened.  
At one point had a strong pain in my knee, so I noted "pain thought", and I noticed that my attention was more on the thought rather than the actual pain itself. Odd
The pain got too strong at about 80minutes and I shifted.
Continued with looking at thoughts till timer went.

This format of
30minutes following breath
30minutes following body sensations
30minutes following thoughts
seems to be a good format.
 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/26/16 3:29 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Length of Sit: 65 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath
Dynamics:
0 to 30minutes
Tried to follow breathing.
Mindwandering, and spacing out, and coming back to breath.
Everything was very fuzzy and nothing really distinct.
Kept returning back to breath.

30 to 65minutes
Body sensations became stronger. 
Mindwandering, beathing and body sensations started to separate into distinct strands.
Body sensations took more and more of attention, and became more pleasant.
Very easy to get sucked into the pleasantness of it.
At one point there was a spaciousness to awareness, and the balloon filling up sensation of body.
Also back felt like a heavy sheet of iron at one point.
Tried to keep coming back to breath. 
I didn't bother with noting so much, just concentrated on following the breath as much as I could.
I feel like it takes me an hour just to get to some sort of stable concentration state.
Some days I'm like "Ok if it takes an hour to concentrate then , that's fine, all the better", and other days I'm like "Why does it take so long to get concentrated, I want to start noting and make progress". 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/26/16 3:45 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Length of Sit: 90 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath
Dynamics:
0 to 30minutes
Difficulty in getting any sort of following the beath.
Seemed to be getting lost, and coming back and getting lost and coming back with no progression to deeper concentration on the breath.
Towards the end of this section felt more and more frustrated, feelings of failure, worries and stories.
Worried about timer and got up to check, noticed how tired I was, sat back down and continued.
Worries about not being able to sit the whole 90 minutes.

30 to 90minutes
The whole sit was the same as the beginning.
Unable to concentrate on breath, and kept having to pull attention back to breath, over and over again.
Uncomfortable feeling, no real pain just an unpleasant uncomfortableness.
Wanting sit to be over.
Each time I pulled the attention back to the breath, it would stay for a split second and then I felt the breath fading into the background again, but that split second of attention on the breath at the nostril was very clear as just sensation, but it was gone straight away, each time I pulled attention back the same thing just kept happening over and over again. It was quite tiring having to do this.
I could get a less concentrated feeling of breathing by not trying to follow the breath so closely but it was very easy to drift off if I tried this.
Towards the end of the sit I could hear my heartbeat, and also feel it beating, which caught me by surprise, it didn't last very long.
Things got uncomfortable at the end with pain in knee, ache in back, and feeling uncomfortable. 
Generally an unpleasant sit with lots of aversion.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/27/16 3:13 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 27/10/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 1 hour 5 min sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit still, follow breath
Dynamics:
The whole sit was spent following the breath, mindwandering, and returning to following the breath, didn't seem to be any progression during the sit.
At first mindwandering and spacing out was very noticable, and easy to catch.
Later on in the sit harder to catch mindwandering, and found myself a couple of times lost in thought for quite a while before realising.
This is probably because things had quieten down and became more subtle.  
Ache in back, tingling in hands, sensations in middle of forehead. 
Body sensations intensity got stronger, and at the end became quite uncomfortable and I wondered how long i could put up with it.
Fell as if I should have more to report, and maybe not paying enough attention to what is going on.

Am noticing a pattern during the last few sits of feeling as if I'm starting all over again and experiencing poor concentration skills, which is interesting as my Goenka 10 day sit is just around the corner.
   

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/27/16 6:02 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Usually when things seem "worse" but you have been practicing consistently, it means that you are working on a new layer of subtlety. It's actually a good sign. 

Good luck on retreat. Probably the main recommendation I have is not to be "seduced" by new experiences caused by the increase in concentration that will happen on retreat. Both "rapture" and things feeling "worse" will probably be stronger. It doesn't matter. Keep a consistent practice and balance your energy -- not pushing too hard, not being lazy. Just consistently practice.

Read about Equanimity and Stream Entry. Equanimity is one of the hardest stages because it involves continuing to note and investigate when things already seem clear and open and simple and plain. Frankly, it can feel like you have never meditated before and are a beginner all over again. When you experience that, be sure to note clearness, openness, simplicity, plain-ness, etc.

A&P and Reobservation can also become very strong on retreat. Again, don't be seduced by big experiences of light and bliss, but definitely enjoy them when they happen! emoticon Likewise, if it seems that you are doing everything wrong and the retreat is a failure, note "thoughts of failure" "feeling of doing things wrong". It's just more thoughts and feelings to note. emoticon

You may have moments when you can "look at thoughts" or "look at the mindstream". Those are very interesting. See if you can see where thoughts and the mind begins. This is the early stage of High Equanimity.

When you come out of that concentrated state of looking at thoughts, continue to stay curious about normal experience. How does the experience of this moment happen?

The rules are the same on retreat as in home practice: practice consistently, when things get challenging note the experience of the challenge, and balance your energy so that you stay curious/interested but don't burn out from "seeking" too hard.

Best wishes!

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/27/16 12:27 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Usually when things seem "worse" but you have been practicing consistently, it means that you are working on a new layer of subtlety. It's actually a good sign. 

Good luck on retreat. Probably the main recommendation I have is not to be "seduced" by new experiences caused by the increase in concentration that will happen on retreat. Both "rapture" and things feeling "worse" will probably be stronger. It doesn't matter. Keep a consistent practice and balance your energy -- not pushing too hard, not being lazy. Just consistently practice.

Read about Equanimity and Stream Entry. Equanimity is one of the hardest stages because it involves continuing to note and investigate when things already seem clear and open and simple and plain. Frankly, it can feel like you have never meditated before and are a beginner all over again. When you experience that, be sure to note clearness, openness, simplicity, plain-ness, etc.

A&P and Reobservation can also become very strong on retreat. Again, don't be seduced by big experiences of light and bliss, but definitely enjoy them when they happen! emoticon Likewise, if it seems that you are doing everything wrong and the retreat is a failure, note "thoughts of failure" "feeling of doing things wrong". It's just more thoughts and feelings to note. emoticon

You may have moments when you can "look at thoughts" or "look at the mindstream". Those are very interesting. See if you can see where thoughts and the mind begins. This is the early stage of High Equanimity.

When you come out of that concentrated state of looking at thoughts, continue to stay curious about normal experience. How does the experience of this moment happen?

The rules are the same on retreat as in home practice: practice consistently, when things get challenging note the experience of the challenge, and balance your energy so that you stay curious/interested but don't burn out from "seeking" too hard.

Best wishes!
Thank you, shargrol, I always appreciate the input, in times when I think I'm alone it's good to know that there is this community of people looking out for each other. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/27/16 2:03 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
You're very welcome.

I should add: one thing people underestimate in the practical dharma world is how effective "letting practice happen" can be. (This is obviously in contrast to other groups of episodic meditators that have the problem of not putting in enough effort!) Try to remember that awareness itself is >effortless<. So practice can be very easy to continue during a full days of retreat.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/27/16 3:48 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 27/10/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit still, follow breath
Dynamics:
0 to 30minutes
Alternating between mindwandering and coming back to following the breath.
Quite obvious when my mind had wandered off.
Again that moment when my attention is initially brought back to the breath sensation at nostril coupled with visualization is very effective in feeling some kind of pure sensation, and then straight away it's kind of gone into the background, still there I think but not so strong.

30 to 60minutes
Alternating still between mindwandering and coming back to following the breath but it's much harder and actually easier to get lost and sucked into stories and spacing out, and harder to catch. Sometimes I'm surprised at how long I've been in the story.
Body sensations are starting to get stronger and grabbing attention more and more.
I'm surprised at how difficult it is to experience body sensations to the level where I'm experiencing my breath, even though they are both basically the same thing. Sometimes I get a clarity to the body sensation as just some kind of sensation but not as often as the breath.
Coming back to the breath becomes very restful and provides a space I can come back to when the stories, spacing out, and mindwandering gets too much. It's like I know where I am when I can feel the sensation of breathing.
Sometimes I can catch myself starting to mindwander and I bring my attention back to the breath.

60 to 90minutes
I didn't seem to be able to rely on the sensations of the breath as much, and I couldn't visualize my nostril anymore, it wasn't very clear.
When i visualized my nostril it was a different shape to what it should be, and I couldn't zoom in as much. 
Body sensations becoming stronger, with different twangs, sudden jolts, pulsing pain, sharp small pain, in limbs, and torso
Pressures on sides of head.
Tingling forehead for much of the sit.
For a brief period I heard my heartbeat again, and felt it too.
I tried to just ignore a lot of the sensations and tried to not get sucked into them and kept coming back to the breath, but it was harder to zoom in.
Funny thing to say but for a while I kind of enjoyed watching the fireworks of pain in parts of my body.
A general feeling that I'm unable to really describe what was happening during this section of the sit. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/27/16 3:57 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
You're very welcome.

I should add: one thing people underestimate in the practical dharma world is how effective "letting practice happen" can be. (This is obviously in contrast to other groups of episodic meditators that have the problem of not putting in enough effort!) Try to remember that awareness itself is >effortless<. So practice can be very easy to continue during a full days of retreat.
Yes, I do think that I have to be doing something, and I can see how this can be a hindrance.
I'm guessing it's trying to get a balance between effort and and spacing out.
Great, thanks, I'll bear that in mind. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/28/16 5:04 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 28/10/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit still, follow breath
Dynamics:
Body sensations dominated for much of the sit.
Unpleasant feeling being bounced around all the body sensations.
Tried to zoom in to certain body sensations but not very effective.
Zooming in to breath at nostril helped with grounding when the myriad body sensations became too confusing and out of control, but difficult to stay focussed on just the breath.
The overall body sensations was mixed in with a fuzzy kind of mindstate which helped to mash things up and unable to take the different strands apart. 
A couple of times I could zoom in to body sensations but unable to stay with them.
Nothing really unpleasant/pleasant but a general uncomfortableness.  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/28/16 3:33 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 28/10/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit still, follow breath
Dynamics:
0 to 60minutes
The tiring day at work today seems to have taken it's toll on my meditation tonight.
Virtually the whole hour went by in a zombie state, with a few moments of clarity on the breath.
Pain in knee became too much so shifted on the hour.

60 to 90minutes 
The torpor eased off a little and following the breath suddenly didn't take much effort, just seemd to be there.
With this easiness came the feeling of not knowing what to do next, as I was so used to trying to focus on breathing all the time.
Because I always seem to have an ache or sensations which are very prominant in my back area, I tried to see if I could alternate between zooming into the breath at the nostril and the sensations in my back.
Sometimes I could zoom in to my back, othertimes only a whole back view, and also attention kept pulling me back to my breath a lot of the time. Some boredom and frustration arose out of the inability to focus on sensations in back as sharply as sensations at nostril..

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/29/16 4:44 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 29/10/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit still, follow breath & body sensations
Dynamics:
0 to 60minutes
Surprised at how quickly body sensations became prominant this morning.
Spent the whole hour placing attention mainly on body sensations.
Notice how easy it was to space out when overall body sensations are attended to, so decided to zoom in to back sensations.
Notice the difference in attention when zooming in and zooming out.
Every now and then zoomed into sensations at nostril which was always quite strong initially but faded out. 
The attention kept coming back to breath a lot, and zooming out to overall body sensations again.
Just kept trying gently to zoom in attention back to sensations in back, and watching out for frustration, from the repeated process of trying.
Started to hear and feel my heartbeat a couple or times.
A couple of times I reminded my self about the aspect of no self and impermanence when zooming into sensations. 

60 to 90minutes
There was a distinct easyness to the sit.
5 body areas became very stable and had an orblike, glowing quality.
The middle of forehead, and the nose area, which had a ticklish quality.
The upper back had a warm heat pad feel to it which felt like it had a healing quality to it.
The hands and the feet were very obviously tingling and pulsating.
Attention bounced between these areas, and sensations on these areas slowly spread to cover more and more of the body becoming more homogeneous.
Noticed again of how easy it was to get sucked into these states, so tried to zoom in to specific parts of back and look at sensations moment to moment, to stop spacing out.
The pleasantness of the sensations subsided and felt like I was going into a new state when the bell went.
The body sensations of the new state felt like sandpaper, although not unpleasant.

Virtually no real pain/unpleasantness or strong aversions throughout the whole sit.
Not sure if this means I'm spacing out and not paying enough attention. 
  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/29/16 3:41 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 29/10/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit still, follow breath & body sensations
Dynamics:
0 to 10minutes
Let the stories of the day replay themselves.
The sensations of the breath at the nose slowly came into attention and then quite abruptly became obviously much easier to follow.

10 to 45minutes
Trying to notice the moment moment sensations of the breath touching the rims of the nostril and realizing how difficult this really was to keep up continously for even a few seconds.
General awareness of breathing yes.
Actual moment to moment awareness of breath sensations on skin no.

45 to 90minutes
Tried to keep awareness as much as possible on sensations in back, and also zooming in to moment to moment awareness of sensations in back.
Occassionally zooming in to sensations at nostril to remind myself that it's all ok.
Sensations in legs, back and nose area became very prominant and stable and easy to watch stuff going on there.
Noticed how easy it was to hallucinate as a result of these sensations and zoomed in to moment to moment sensations to ground myself and to avoid spacing out.
Eventually changed sitting position as leg pain became too much.
Carried on with observing sensations in back and noticed them becoming quite stable and much easier to focus on as a whole and zooming in, then bell went. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/30/16 5:05 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 30/10/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit still, follow breath, body sensations, noting feeling, seeing, hearing & thinking
Dynamics:
0 to 30minutes
Lots of doubts and worry about practice today, and whether I'm doing things right.
Tried to just let them come up,although they were very sticky.
Tried to follow breath as much as I could.
I can't remember how I ended this section of the sit.

30 to 60minutes
Body sensations predominated. Breathing was loud and coarse.
Switch to attention on sensations in back, which became stronger and stronger as sit progressed, which aided in ease of focus on back and zooming in to particular moment to moment sensations, but couldn't do this continuosly for any lenght of time.
Body sensations grew in intensity.

60 to 90minutes
Tried noting feeling, thinking, seeing, and hearing.
I have not consciously done this for quite a while. Thought I'd try this today to see how it went.
Found that I wanted to be more specific about the notes, especially ones which were unpleasant.
I saw how this could suck me into the sensation and lose my objectivity so just tried to stay with the four words of thinking, feeling, seeing, hearing.
Body sensations were easy to note as feeling, but thinking was harder, also noticed how there were connections between between all of them and not so clearcut. 
A spell where questions came up.
Who is noting?
Where am "I"?
What is pain?
Who is experiencing pain?
What is being attentive to what is going on?
Who is noting?
Got into a very jumbled state where it all got a bit mixed up especially with the intensity of body sensations.

Just kept noting as best I could. 
Heard myself sighing a couple of times.
Towards the end things seemed to settle down a bit and didn't seem so jagged.
Felt that I could ahve sat a bit longer when the bell went.

 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/30/16 7:26 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Don't worry too much about zooming into sensations and losing "objectivity". There could be some interesting insights in doing so and you'll come back to objectivity eventually. Let yourself be naturally curious and explore.

Sighing is a good sign, a visceral dropping of tensions. Questioning arising is a good sign, an opening up of what can be considered in practice. Sounds like now you can relax a little more. Let sensations and thoughts arise on their own and be aware. And remember awareness happens on its own, no effort is needed.

It can feel like the body is offgassing all these tensions and thoughts as the body settles into equanimity.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/30/16 12:31 PM as a reply to shargrol.
And remember awareness happens on its own, no effort is needed.

I'll try to remember this, I think it's something I need to work on, although "work on" is probably the wrong words!
I think I can get to something which resembles something like this after I have sat for awhile. 
It takes a long time, of course I could be completely wrong, and probably am.

Thanks again for the advice.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/31/16 5:03 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 31/10/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, body sensations, allow awareness to happen
Dynamics:
0 to 30minutes
Scattered attention at first.
Body aching particularly in back.
I was eager to start "allowing awareness to happen" and see where it takes me, but pulled back to concentration on breath.
Breath slowly came more more into attention around nose area.

30 to 60minutes
Practised "allowing awareness to happen" and letting it take me.
Unpleasant at first as it was very out of control, too much going on, frustration.
Also body aches.
Then an overall pleasantness, comfortableness, around the body/torso.
Then a spell where things closed up like a flower closing it's petals or a snail coiling back.
Contracting and sinking in.
Things got sleepy and drowsy, still pleasant though.
There was also a spell where it felt like just sitting, like noting was happening, although I'm sure lots was happening.
There was nothing really major going on, nothing really obvious. Just an OKness to it. Kept reminding myself that it's ok to sit here and not have to "do" anything.
But questions also came up
"Who is saying I don't have to do stuff?"
"Who is directing the awareness to just be aware?"
Also a spell where awareness was more round the head area and not round body/torso.
There was also a spell where awareness became more localised around sensations in hands, back and nose and pressure on sides of head.
I'm not sure of the sequence of some of this, but there was definite different recognizable states, which had different qualities to them.
Everynow and then I tried to remember to ask myself "What is happening now?" just to aty on track.
That is if I remembered.
I also found myslef asking
"Who is asking what is happening now?"  
"Who/what is directing attention?"
I couldn't answer these questions.



 
          

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
10/31/16 4:38 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 31/10/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, body sensations, allow awareness to happen
Dynamics:
0 to 30minutes
After about 10minutes thoughts and mindwandering started to get replaced by following the breath.
Body sensations grew and started to pull my attention away a few times.
Made a conscious decision to bring attention back to follow the breath for at least 30minutes.
The breath and nose area became more and more abvious and zooming in to nostrils.
At times I felt really concentrated and other times felt like my concentration was not good enough as I couldn't stay moment to moment for long at all. At most a split second before the moment to moment sensation was gone. 

30 to 60minutes
Practised "allowing awareness to happen".
Pain and aches in upper back for a while, so placed awareness as much as I could on that area.
Not sure if the ache disappeared or I just got used to it but attention then moved lower down my back to another area of pain.
After this I really don't know how to describe what I was feeling.
There were a few thoughts and some mindwandering, but I noticed that most of the time I was thinking that I just didn't know how to describe this section of the sit.
It felt physical, but no real pain, or aversion, or boredom, but there didn't seem to be much thoughts/thinking going on.
There just didn't seem to be a lot going on, and like a space inside, or zone.
I don't know how to descibe it.
Maybe I was just spacing out.
Nothing that stood out really, but I didn't give myself a hard time because this was what was occurring so I just let it go.

60 to 90minutes
More aches and pains during this section.
Pains grew stronger and stronger especially in leg and knee.
Sat and watched it ebb and flow, like waves.
Not really sure what was happening thought wise.
Again no real aversions during the whole sit.
Towards the end started to think about the timer more and more. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/1/16 4:56 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 1/11/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, allow awareness to happen
Dynamics:
0 to 30minutes
Thought I would just go straight into "letting awareness happen".
The usual monkey mind, doubts, and also strong body ache paticularly back pain.
Straightening the back to try and ease the pain.

30 to 60minutes
Body sensations grew stronger including back pain. Although it was unpleasant I didn't have any strong aversion to it. 
Rather than focusing on the back pain, I tried not to interfere and let awareness go where it wanted.
There was craving for progress, worrying about progress, rehearsing what to write in this log.
"Letting awareness happen" sounds simple but a lot harder to practise, something always seems to want to interfere, theorize, and generally judge what's going on.
I noticed that when I couldn't latch on to anything in particular there was a lost feeling, and normally I would probably start zooming in to sensations, but this time I just sat with it and just let it go. It wasn't unpleasant but difficult to describe.
I also tried noting but the notes I came up seemed to somplistic.  
The thought came to mind that this is what it is and to just let it go.
Things seem a lot harder to explain with this "letting awareness happen" approach.
I'm also wondering what does "letting awareness happen" actualy mean.      

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/1/16 5:22 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Letting awareness happen means not choosing what you focus on and just noting what is occuring. That's it. Sorry if I confused you.

Loosening up this way will sometimes take you to new feelings (like the lost feeling) which wouldn't be encountered if you were directing things. The main thing is to balance letting awareness happen and intentionally investigating phenominon. So again, it comes down to balance. Balance effort, balance the investigation. Don't try to hard or too little. Don't investigate too hard or too little. If you are experiencing things and make notes every few seconds, that's enough. That will take you into new territory. 

As always, don't listen to me or anyone else if they give you advice that doesn't seem helpful. You're in the driver's seat and need to judge what works for your practice.

Hope this helps in some way!

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/1/16 6:37 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Letting awareness happen means not choosing what you focus on and just noting what is occuring.
That's it.
Sorry if I confused you.
It's ok. I think I confused myself by making it more complicated than it seems.
Loosening up this way will sometimes take you to new feelings (like the lost feeling) which wouldn't be encountered if you were directing things. The main thing is to balance letting awareness happen and intentionally investigating phenominon. So again, it comes down to balance. Balance effort, balance the investigation. Don't try to hard or too little. Don't investigate too hard or too little. If you are experiencing things and make notes every few seconds, that's enough. That will take you into new territory.
That is all helpful advice, and a great reminder that I'm trying too hard sometimes. Thanks
I will persevere with it a little longer and see where it takes me.
As always, don't listen to me or anyone else if they give you advice that doesn't seem helpful. You're in the driver's seat and need to judge what works for your practice.
It's a juggling act balancing, the advice of meditators who have much more experience than I do and can probably see things in my practice much more clearly than I can, with my own thoughts of whether what I'm currently doing is the most skillful approach or not.    

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/1/16 5:47 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 1/11/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, allow awareness to happen
Dynamics:
0 to 30min
Quite quickly there was general awareness of sensations in nose and body area, particularly back as usual.
Also the right eye area became prominant, and when I looked closer seemed like the whole skin area was subtly shifting.
And a brightness even though my eyes were closed, quite blinding at one point which died down fairly quickly.
I kind of just went with the flow rather than directing attention.

30 to 90min
Felt like I was "sitting with the sensations" for most of this sit.
I didn't even try to investigate a lot of them.
My attention seemed to jump from sensation to sensation a lot of the time, so I just let it.
When it stayed for a while with a particluar sensation then I would just sit with that sensation, just be with it.
I think I drifted off a couple of times, but I kind of thought that was ok, as long as I could stay with the sensations most of the time.
There didn't seem to be much mindwandering or stories. There were some and they were very noticable.
Most thoughts seem to center around the sensations being experienced, the different flavours, areas, intensities, movement, etc.
It was a nice feeling to be able to allow myself to just sit with the sensations and not worry about whether I was doing it right.
Didn't really have any painful sensations to deal with so not sure if I would feel the same.
At times it felt very easy to zoom in.
Thinking about it now, there was a distinct lack of expectation.
Then came a spell where I could feel sensations all over my body at the same time, and each area was very distinct, quite unusual.
I could feel sensations and flow in both my legs, arms, left & right side of my back, and left & right side of my head, at the same time and also individually.
Individually and symetrically.
I remember Goenka mentioning something about this from his retreats. 
I can't really remember ever experiencing something like this other than at retreats.
It was very pleasant, and had a high degree of clarity and sharpness.
This subsided and I can't really remember much else.

This was an interesting and enjoyable sit.
But I'm very conscious of sits where things have been good.
They are usually followed by ones which may not be so interesting or enjoyable.


RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/2/16 5:07 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 2/11/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, allow awareness to happen
Dynamics:
0 to 30min
I'm on a 1 day fast today and it's affected my sit more than I thought it would.
Took a while to settle into the sit, thoughts and mindwandering going on.
I didn't think my attention was very good but then there was a very noticable sudden feeling of being pulled into something.
And it was easier to feel sensations after that,
The breath at the nose wasn't as strong tonight.

30 to 90min
It was a very dreamy kind of sit,not sleepy, although I can't be sure.
I tried to let awareness go where it wanted, but I noticed how there was still an element of me controlling which was hard to let go, and needed reminding.
There wasn't any major shifts, all pretty samy through the sit.
There was pain in the back which was stronger than usual and I consciously sat with it quite a lot.
At times I found myself zooming in to the pain which invariably seemed to ease the discomfort.
But then I suddenly remembered that I was trying to let awareness happen and stopped zooming in.
I really tried to let awareness go where it wanted even if it meant drifting off or spacing out.
Started to wonder about awareness and what it is.
Got muddled up and wasn't sure about who was aware of what, and there was a feeling that something was watching the awareness.
Letting awareness happen and noting it got quite fast towards the end, and I noticed how easy it was for me to interfere with letting awareness happen.
I saw how noting can reinforce the idea of a self which is probably not so good.
Not sure if this correct or not.
I'm not sure how awareness can be aware of itself, felt like the dog chasing it's tail again. 
The back pain got pretty intense towards the end.


RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/3/16 5:06 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 3/11/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, allow awareness to happen
0 to 30min
Took a while to settle from mindwandering and stories.
Using breath at nose as anchor.
Body sensations becoming stronger.

30 to 60min
Practising let awareness happen.
Ache and pain in back quite intense.
A few times I exhaled big sighs, felt like trying to release steam or something.
Ache and back pain stayed for most of the sit.
Quite uncomfortable and unpleasant.
A couple of times I wanted to zoom in and look closer but I noted this and let awareness do it's thing rather than directing.
Then sensations got gritty and spiky in certain parts of body.
The gritty sensations subsided and become more uniform still quite unpleasant and back ache and pain persisted.
I tried to note where awareness was as much as possible.
Noticed how easy it was to stop noticing where awareness was because it was so quick.
Also notice the difference between being embedded in awareness and the moment I noted/noticed where the attention was, the experience of it changed, it became lighter more distanced, and if it was anpleasant/painful then it didn't seem to so bad.
I becme quite tired of it at the end, as I have been fasting, food thoughts came up more and more and thoughts of what I was going to eat after the session.
  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/3/16 4:59 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 3/11/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, following awareness
0 to 30min
Took about 10/15minutes for attention to synch with body sensations, after following breath for a while.
I think I can get into this feel for body sensations quite regularly now, I don't know if it's right or wrong but it's happening and it's happening regularly.
I just have to sit still and allow, thoughts and mindstates to come and go, and I find myself naturally synching up with body state.
I don't have to try that hard.
It feels like by not doing certain things this state comes along, rather than by striving for it. 
There was a phase of bright things blinking behind my eyelids. 
There were moments where although I was lost in thoughts or mindwandering I also felt that I was still strongly feeling body states.

30 to 90min
Tried as much following awareness and noticing without directing.
Most of the sit was unremarkable.
No real extreme pain/aversions or highs/wow moments.
Most of it was spent noticing awareness of body flows as attention pinged from one sensation to the next with some slight and strange rises in intensity of aches and tensions in different parts of the body, a lot of it in the back.
A few times found myself relaxing my shoulders.
There were big spells of mindwandering, stories, and worries 
I didn't do any zooming in at all.
Seems odd to say that in an hour not a lot happened.
Surely there must have been loads of things happening.
A few times found myself maybe concentrating too hard to watch awareness, like searching or looking for awareness.
There was also the wondering about what/who is noticing/watching all this awareness, who/where is "Mo".
At the end a few itches started started but the timer went.
I was curious as to wether these itches would have dveloped into something.
I have read elsewhere that itches are sometimes the sign of a certain stage of insight. 



RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/4/16 4:54 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 04/11/2016 Evening 1st sit
Length of Sit: 60 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath, letting awareness happen
0 to 60minutes
Very agitated and restless mindstates tonight.
Kept switching between concentrating on breath or body sensationsm couldn't decide what I wanted to do, which added to feelings of confusion.
There was strong craving, expectation, resulting in frustration,  
Although body sensations could be felt, it was all about mindstates and thoughts, and wanting things to happen.
I couldn't seem to disembed from them.
Recent sits have been around the body sensations and quite calming.
This one was all in the head area and not at all calming, very active and quite unpleasant and unsettling.
Although there was a lot of timer thoughts, the hour passed quickly.
Got the feeling that I was stopping letting awareness happen.
Towards the end I tried to see who was feeling craving and feeling frustrated.
Very different sit to all the other sits I've been having recently, especially after yesterdays sit where I felt I thought I was able to replicate certain states of body awareness.
.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/4/16 4:57 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Sounds a bit like reobservation. Basically use noting to objectify all the ways meditation seems to throw up roadblocks (these come from your post):
agitation
restlessness
doubting
indecision
confusion
craving
expectation
frustration
wanting
trying
avoiding
controlling
investigating
frustration

This can be no big deal if you take those "problems" and turn them into notes! emoticon

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/4/16 5:01 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 04/11/2016 Evening 2nd sit
Length of Sit: 60 minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: Sit still, follow breath, letting awareness happen
0 to 60minutes
The inability to follow awareness persisted through whole sit.
Unable to keep up with attention which was moving too fast.
Kept forgetting that I should be following awareness and having to come back.

Awareness of body sensations were slightly stronger than 1st sit.
Moments where I just gave up, then tried again.
Not sure if it is because I'm not concentrated enough and should be spending more time concentrating on breath or if it's a new phase or maybe just a glitch.
Let's see how the next sit goes tomorrow.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/4/16 5:11 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Sounds a bit like reobservation. Basically use noting to objectify all the ways meditation seems to throw up roadblocks (these come from your post):
agitation
restlessness
doubting
indecision
confusion
craving
expectation
frustration
wanting
trying
avoiding
controlling
investigating
frustration

This can be no big deal if you take those "problems" and turn them into notes! emoticon
Really, I didn't think I have even gone through dark night stages.
I have tried one word noting and it just seems clumsy, almost like picking up needles with boxing gloves, if that makes any sense.
So I do a that, that, that, etc type of noting in between the forgetting and stories.
It still feels like I'm embedded in it.
I'll see how it goes tomorrow. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/5/16 5:01 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 5/11/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, following awareness
0 to 30min
Tried to follow breath, but gave up as it felt like trying too much.
Just sat and experienced sadness, loss, and crying.  

30 to 60min
Apathy, loss of faith, hopelessness, and a giving up feeling to the sit.
A feeling that I couldn't give a monkeys for the whole thing, and not wanting to investigate anything.
Resignation.
The strong calming body sensations which I have been experiencing recently were still there, not as strong, and they didn't seem to grab my attention as much as the apathy and not caring. 

60 to 90min
The overall body sensations got stronger but there was an indifference to it, whereas before I would have probably experience it more..
This phase was marked by a solidity and sleepyness and a shunning of mindstates and wanting to escape, and wallow in the sleepyness.
It didn't feel like a falling asleep kind of sleepyness, as there wasn't the head nodding which you get if you are sleepy and tired.
Lots of spacing out and apathy continued.
Also timer thoughts, and just wanted it to be over so I could get on with doing other stuff today.
Again no actual horrible physical pain from the long sit, and felt I could sit longer.
 
 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/5/16 9:24 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Mohan Ratnam:
[quote=I have tried one word noting and it just seems clumsy, almost like picking up needles with boxing gloves, if that makes any sense. 
]


That's possibly a sign that it's time to work on it. Clumbsiness means either difficulty experiencing or difficulty recognizing it as a distinct mind state. Noting helps train both of those things. It becomes very fast over time.  

Give it a few tries. Just note one thing in experience on every exhale, so 10-12 times a minute. Just note what is obvious. If you don't know what to note, note "confusion" or "indecision". 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/5/16 1:06 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Ok, I'll give it a try, thanks for the advice.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/5/16 4:43 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 05/11/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit still, follow breath, follow awareness and noting
0 to 30min
Kept losing focus when following breath.
Feeling useless, kept trying anyway.
Impatient to start noting
Still a kind of resignation similar to the sit of this morning though not as strong.

30 to 60min
Practice following awareness and noting on outbreath.
Very spaced out and dreamy, halucinatory, and forgot I should be noting a lot of the time.
Aches and pains would bring me back down to earth at times 
A lot of the noting was "breathing", some "seeing",and lots of "hearing" as my neighbours were having a party tonight.

60 to 90min
Came out of the dreamy spacing out, as pain in legs grew stronger noted these mostly and sounds of neighbours and breathing.
There wasn't a lot of noting of mindstates as there was nothing standing out and probably too subtle for em to catch anyway.
Although I did note "looking for" quite a lot.
Shifted position as pain got too strong.
Just as the bell went I got into a state where awareness of sensations around nose and part of back became very stable and easy to stay with and awareness seem to want to stay there, and I dropped noting.


RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/6/16 4:04 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 6/11/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques:sit still, follow breath, follow awareness and noting
0 to 30min
Tried to follow breath, felt like I was forcing it, so let attention go where it wanted to, which was general overall body sensations feeling.
Didn’t do any noting, just tried to be gently aware as much as possible of where awareness was.
There was feeling of breathlessness, and sharp inbreathing, which took attention a lot.
And out breathing tended to be more relaxing.
Some build up of pressure and sighing like wanting a release
 
30 to 90min
Practise noting on outbreath.
Interesting thing about this technique is the useful way it has of developing both skills of following
1. breathing
2. awareness through noting
Because I had had to remember to note on the outbreath I was always reminded that I had to be aware of my breathing.
I also find this much more manageable than noting once per second which causes me too much stress and tends to get me really hyper.
I think because of the persistent reminder to focus on breathing, mindstates, mindwandering and thoughts tended to be minimized, so less agitation, and a lot of the notes were “breathing”.
Not sure if this will change and the noting will move to to other things ovet time.
Also a lot of body sensations noted.
Other notes include, hearing, seeing, theorizing about meditation, rehearsing what to write in this log, remembering, sleepy, tiredness.
There were probably others but I can’t remember.  
Got very sleepy and dreamy for most of the sit. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/6/16 4:49 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 06/11/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
0 to 30min
Confusion at start, didn’t know whether to follow breath or stay with body sensations or just to let it all go.
Worrying.
Breathing was heavy, loud, and feelings of breathlessness again, and sharp intakes.
A couple of sighs to try to relax.
Towards the end got into the body sensations feelings again.
 
30 to 60min
Noting awareness on outbreath.
Breathing slowed and quieted down.
Felt like I was immersed in drowsiness and heaviness, even noted “immersed”.
At some points I could remember thinking that “this is out breath, let’s note” and nothing came to mind.  
Came out of this drowsiness and noting mainly body sensations, and breathing.
The persistent, and constant focus on breathing made it feel at times as if it was all just processes and things happening, very impersonal.
 
60 to 90min
Still noting mainly body sensations, some forgetting.
Pain in legs grew stronger, noted for some of it and then shifted position.
Continued to note mainly physical sensations.
But started to notice underlying mindstates too, like restlessness, impatience, and timer thoughts.
Felt like I had stepped out of a deeper state, and more aware of a watcher. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/7/16 4:20 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 07/11/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 75minutes
Posture: Cross legged
0 to 30min
Confusion between following breath, and body sensations.
Doubts about practise.
Losing count when counting breaths.
Zoooming in to nostril seemed silly.
Attention seemed to to want to stay more with overall body sensations, with the pull for this becoming stronger and stronger.
Familiar overall body sensations feeling like a mild current running through body.
As 30min bell went seemed to get pulled into a more concentrated state.

30 to 75min
Noting on outbreath.
Most of the time was noting sleepyness, tiredness, and aches, pains, and other body sensations.
Some times lost in spacing out.
Shifted position due to pain after about about 65min.
Sleepyness and tiredness subsided a little.
Noticed a general uneasiness, and wondering mindstate in the background whilst also noting body sensations.       

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/8/16 3:21 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 7/11/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, follow awareness and noting
0 to 30min
Decided to follow breathing and not body sensations.
Kept coming back to breath at nose.
Seem to work and did not lose count of breath as easily tonight, although did not feel like I got into a very concentrated state.
 
30 to 60min
Noting on outbreath.
Got very dreamy again and forgetting to note.
At times I could feel I was in this dreamy state and also knew I had to note but nothing happened, and also just couldn’t find the description to note what was happening, it was just too wispy.
 
60 to 90min
Came out of dreamy/sleepy state, and noting more.
At times this part of the sit felt very ordinary.
Mainly noting breathing, and body sensations, including a big itch, and lots of weird shaped tensions.
Noticed feelings of disappointment, wanting progress, frustration.
Overall feeling of sadness.
Breathing was very soft and quite subtle at times.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/8/16 3:37 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 8/11/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, follow awareness and noting
0 to 30min
Relaxing, fairly succesfull in counting breaths.
Got into condusion again between following breath and body sensations.

30 to 65min
Noting on outbreath.
Mostly body sensations, and breathing.
In the background was an unpleasant sense of unease, distraction, impatience, irritation, didn't note them but noticed they were there.
There was a feeling of how the awareness of these things was coloring my noting of momentary body sensations and had a sense of meness to it and also permanency.
There was also a feeling of by staying with moment to moment awareness of sensations, a lot of suffering was eradicated because there was no room for thoughts, mindstates to emerge and also moment to moment awareness of sensations was changing so quick that nothing else was able to occupy attention.
Towards the end body sensations grew stronger and awareness was easier to stabilize on body sensations and found myself easier to investigate body sensations.  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/9/16 3:55 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 09/11/2016 1st Sit
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, body sensations and noting
0 to 15min
Relaxing and sitting still to see what’s happening
Awareness of breath and nose area slowly grew, followed by body sensations.
Just stayed with it and not do anything.
Also finding that I'm listening more and more to ringing in my ears. 
 
15 to 30min
Tried counting breaths but body sensations took over.
Mainly staying with dips, and rises in body sensations including breath and nose area.
Again got a frustrated feeling of not knowing what to concentrate on, body sensations or breathing.
Quite a lot of timers thoughts and impatience.
 
30 to 45min
Noting on outbreath at first, all of it was noting body sensations mainly and breathing.
Awareness of breathing grew stronger and stronger and got quite calm, again mostly noting breathing.
Then noting speeded up and noted on inbreath and outbreath.
Also noting body sensations all over body and not just breathing.
Got pretty fast and couldn’t really keep up, but awareness of distinct, different sensations  were quite clear. One appearing into awareness followed by another then another. etc
Very little noting of mindstates though, if any at all.
 
46 to 65min
Speedy noting continued, then slowed down.
Forgot to note a few times.
Can’t remember a lot from this part of sit.
Also felt pressure on sides of head and up centre of my back more and more becoming kore and more solid.
Feelings of frustration at inability to note mindstates.
  
Date: 09/11/2016 Evening 2nd sit
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, body sensations, noting
0 to 15min
Immediate strong awareness of nose area, followed by body sensations.
Just flowed with body sensations awareness
 
15 to 65min
Noted as much as I could, but a lot of forgetting and difficulty in remembering to note.
Almost a constant forgetting and remembering to come back to noting which became tiresome, mixed in with strong aches and pains particularly in the back.
Doubts, worry and despondency about practise.
I know I shoudl be noting these things and I tried but don’t know if I succeeded.
The time seemed to go quickly, and there was a realisation and wonder at times of where the time actually went. Was it spent in daydreaming, or worry or was I doing ok?
I can’t answer at the moment.
Just keep sitting and trying I guess. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/10/16 6:30 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 09/11/2016 1st Sit
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, body sensations and noting
0 to 10min
Following breath and progressing to awareness of body sensations.
Still a lingering uncertainty about whether I should be spending more time following the breath, but body sensations awareness just seems to want to take over so I let it.

10 to 65min
Noted mainly body senstaions particularly aches and pains in back.
Other things noted included breathing, hearing(of which I'm noting more and more specifically ringing in my ears), and looking(movement of eyeballs).
Also a background state/sense of dissatisfaction, misery, anxiousness for most of the sit.
Can't remeber noting many thoughts. There were a few and some stories being told, and mapping thoughts.
Last 5/10 minutes felt like I emerged out into a more open, expansive, flatter, plainer space, more peaceful and not so juddery, although aches, pains, and background unpleasantness were still there, but not so bad.

 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/10/16 3:14 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 10/11/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Tried to follow breathing as best I could.
Awareness of body sensations didn't take over like it normally does.
Realised again how very difficult it is to be with the breath constantly.
I don't think even managed 5/10 seconds of constant awareness on  breath.
There are these tiny blipouts happening all the time which are themselves very difficult to actually define or name.

30 to 90min
Spent all the hour noting on the outbreath.
Noted mainy body sensations namely ache and pain and all the different flavours, in back, which remained constant through the whole hour.
Later on there was a longing for something else to note other than the constant ache in back, and worrying about the inability to note thoughts.


RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/11/16 3:55 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 11/11/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Tried as best I could to follow breathing.
Not trying too hard as I know how that can bring on disappointment and craving.
More emphasis on constancy rather than intensity.
Body sensations didn't take over like they normally do.
Towards the end had a sense of okness and pleasant over all feeling.  

30 to 65min
Noting seeing, hearing, feeling, and thinking on out breath.
Mostly body sensations and quite a lot of hearing especially ringing in ears more and more.
Not so much thinking and seeing.
At one point there was a sense of something building up like pressure, as if something was going to happen, and things got a bit lost, and forgetting to note, and more wondering about the pressure build up rather than noting.
This fizzled out.
As I noted feeling for strong sensations in back, noticed that the word/thought pain would automatically appear.
So there was a sense of the initial sensation and a processing to allocate that sensation.
This was obvious with particularly strong sensations like aches and pain in back.
Towards the end body sensations appeared as starburst which fizzled at edges, a bit like watching fireworks.
This started to happen as the bell went. 
  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/11/16 3:22 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 11/11/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 90minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
As time progressed felt like I was able to concentrate on a smaller and smaller spot of my nose.
Towards the end became easier and felt like my breathing was revealing itself to me.
 
30 to 60min
Noting on outbreath.
Mostly noting feelings(body sensations) and hearing.
As time progressed felt like the noting took on a life of its own and became easier, and lost a sense of “meness”.
It was only when I became aware of this that a sense of “me” came back.
Found that at times I had a choice to either dwell on the pain or just note feelings, and move on to the next thing to note.
 
60 to 90min
Noting didn’t feel as effective as the previous section of sit.
There seemed to me more spacing out, and frustration at inability to note thinking, and a wanting to note thinking.
Also boredom at constant noting of feelings and hearing, and not knowing if boredom(mindstates) is noted as thinking.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/12/16 3:00 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 12/11/2016 1st sit Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
Felt restless and quite a lot of mind jumping.
Difficulty sensing how concentrated I got.
 
30 to 60min
Noting on outbreath.
Mostly noting feelings(body sensations) and hearing again.
Got to a state where the whole body felt like sticks or wood, quite hard and solid, but moving at the same time.
Got carried away with this state for a while then decided to come back to more noting of sense doors.
A few times started to note thinking but I’m not sure.
As time went on, a general sense of dissatisfaction, doubts, boredom and wanting started to surface.
Wasn’t sure how to note these(in terms of sense doors) and felt like I was embedded in it and the negativity was dragging me down with it.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/12/16 5:37 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 12/11/2016 2nd Sit Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
Felt very sleepy.
Quite a lot of bringing attention back to breath after being pulled away by aches and pains in back.
 
30 to 60min
Noting on outbreath.
Mostly noting feelings(body sensations) and hearing(especially ringing) in ears.
Difficulty in coping with pain in back, just tried to note feeling as best I could, but it was incessant and constant.
There was a lot of spacing out and got very sleepy, and forgetting to note.
Doubts and uncertainty about practise.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/12/16 11:11 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 12/11/2016 3rd Sit Afternoon
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
Kept getting distracted.
Was intending to follow breath for 30minutes
The pain in back got too strong so decided to start noting before the end.
 
30 to 60min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking.
Mostly noting body sensations of pain in back, some hearing, not a lot of seeing.
Body kept lurching back and forth from tension and pain in back.
The pain was so prominent that decided to concentrate on trying to notice as much of the sensations associated with the back pain.
Every so often body started lurching back and forth from the tension and pain in back.
I tried noting everything as much as possible including all the negativity to stop getting sucked into it.
Don’t think I succeeded but I’ll keep trying.
When a sense of pain and unpleasantness arose, I tried to zoom in and notice the actual physical sensation behind the pain thought reaction.   
I'm still working on noting thinking more.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/12/16 3:34 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 12/11/2016 4th sit Evening
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
After four 1hr sits today, I think my concentration is stronger.
Didn’t lose count of breath as easily as I normally do.
Pain in back pulling attention away so started noting before end of 30min.
 
30 to 60min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking.
Again back pain was strong.
Feel that I might be getting better at noting the negative mindsets and not getting so caught up in it.
Able to catch and note them which seems to help, didn’t feel like I spaced out as much tonight.
Felt like I took a step back and was watching and looking out for them and noting and catching them before being swept into them.
Back pain was so prominent that I decided to investigate and took a closer look.
Pain would suddenly appear and I would take a closer look at the sensations behind the pain.
At times a lot of the stuff I was experiencing felt as vibrations.
Felt like I got into some sort of groove at the end, and the bell kind of snapped me out of it. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/13/16 3:37 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 13/11/2016 Morning 1st sit
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
Lots of mindwandering and bringing attention back to breathing.
Towards the end started  to narrow down attention to specific part of nostril to watch sensations of air passing over skin.
This kind of specific attention I haven’t been doing. It’s been more of a general following of breath.
 
30 to 60min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking.
Felt like I was trying too hard to note just the sensations in order to avoid feeling the pain of the back ache, which exhausted me after a while, and a sense of hopelessness took over.
There was a strong sense of “meness” and suffering, and a wanting to get away from myself and be able to just see stuff without “me” in it.
I was also trying too hard to note thinking.
After a while I just gave up trying so hard did the best I could of noting, most of which were sensations and some hearing.
Not sure about noting seeing and thinking.
Towards the end things seemed calmer and there was a sense of acceptance and resignation as the bell went

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/13/16 8:41 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 12/11/2016 2nd sit Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
More practising of narrowing down of attention to specific area of skin around nostril to catch air brushing skin.
 
30 to 60min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking.
Pain and ache in back continuing to grab attention so stayed with this for all of sit.
The pain would arise and I would note feeling, breath in, pain would arise, note feeling, this pattern repeated itself for virtually the whole half hour.
Pain arising, noting feeling…
It seemed that I was coping with it to some extent.
A couple of times it got too much and there were a few sighs and big exhales.
My neighbour decided to turn up the music so also noting lots of hearing.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/13/16 11:27 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date : 13/12/2016 3rd sit afternoon
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
More practising of narrowing down of attention to specific area of skin around nostril to catch air brushing skin.
Pain in back kept taking my attention away.
 
30 to 60min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking.
Pain and ache in back got unbearable.
Noted as much of the sensations as possible.
I was shifting position quite a lot, trying to cope with the pain in back, forgetting to note often.
Decided to lean against the wall which helped somewhat.
Just wanted the whole sit to end.
Continued till bell went.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/13/16 4:16 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 13/12/2016 4th sit Evening
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
I felt that my concentration was pretty good, but I had to keep shifting position to ease the pain in my back.
 
30 to 60min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking.
Still a lot of shifting around to ease the back pain, but I settled for the last 15min or so to note the back pain as best I could.
Noting was mainly of sensations in the back, some hearing, not so much seeing or thinking.
I still can't really note thinking.
 
The last two days I have been practising for 4 hours each day.
My Goenka retreat starts on 22nd November and starting tomorrow I plan to sit for 6 hours everyday until the retreat starts.
Not sure how I’ll manage this if I already feel a lot of pain from just the last two days.  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/13/16 4:23 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Sitting should be fairly pain free. Muscle aches are fine, but pain isn't good. An achy body should recover between sits.

Use your time before your retreat to get 100% healthy. Switch positions often enough that there is no pain. Support your lower back against a wall, like monks sitting at the base of a tree. If sitting causes pain, then stand. If standing causes pain, then lie down. If you can't meditate while on your back (too prone to sleeping) then do walking meditation. Don't trash your body before a retreat.

Investigate what is making you continue to sit through pain. Are you trying to get "strong"? Are you afraid of being weak? Do you have doubts about the practice or the method? Sometimes we force ourself to do stuff when we're trying cover up something we don't want to face. 

Adjust, adjust, adjust. Be skillful. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/14/16 6:12 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Use your time before your retreat to get 100% healthy. Switch positions often enough that there is no pain. Support your lower back against a wall, like monks sitting at the base of a tree. If sitting causes pain, then stand. If standing causes pain, then lie down. If you can't meditate while on your back (too prone to sleeping) then do walking meditation. Don't trash your body before a retreat.
Seems like good common sense advice.
I'll bear it mind and adjust my posture as needed. 
No I don't want to "trash my body before the retreat".
Investigate what is making you continue to sit through pain. Are you trying to get "strong"? Are you afraid of being weak? Do you have doubts about the practice or the method? Sometimes we force ourself to do stuff when we're trying cover up something we don't want to face. 
It never occured to me that this could be psychological, but you could have a point there.
I suppose I'm guilty of sometimes trying to be strong and not appearing weak.

Once again thanks for helpful advice.
Much appreciated.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/14/16 3:10 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 14/11/2016 1st sit Morning 
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
Lots of worrying thoughts, and mindwandering.
Although there was calmness and concentration on breath at nose grew stronger towards the end.
 
30 to 60min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking.
The usual aches but no piercing pain in back like yesterday although this is the first sit of the day.
Mostly noting feeling, and hearing.
I got quite sleepy at times and continued to note the physical sensations of this.
At one point there was a visual light/dark thing going on behind my eyelids.
Things speeded up at one point and sensations were being noted quicker, my eyelids made small fluttering movements, and during this part a dog barked outside, and I could make out distinct parts of the sound, like a hypersensitiveness to the actual sound.
Towards the end became very easy and obvious to note feelings of body sensation and also easy to drift off and space out.


Date: 14/11/2016 2nd sit Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
Seemed to get concentrated quicker.
The nose area seemed to turn into a certain shape, and was quite easy to concentrate on.
Attention was stabilizing on breathing and nose area.
Had that “always there” feeling of the nose area.
Quite restful.
 
30 to 65min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
Again noting mainly feelings(body sensations), got to a point where things were appearing and then see and note the actual physical sensations behind it.
Some hearing being noted, and seeing a little bit.
I did note thoughts but usually after I had been lost in them.
Shifted position but not because of back pain.
Back pain still hasn’t come back like yesterday.
There are the usual aches and odd sharp pain in back.  
Got very sleepy towards the end.
There wasn’t anything major happening to grab my attention so easily drifted off and forgot to note at times.
I did try to come back to noting as much as possible.


Date: 14/11/2016 3rd sit Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
Not sure if there was any further deepening of concentration on breathing.
Things got sleepy, continued as best I could to coming back to breath.
 
30 to 65min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
Again noting mainly body sensations, and some hearing(ringing in my ears).
Nothing really major happening.
Got very sleepy feeling most of the sit, and very easy to just drift off, tried as much as possible to come back to noting.
I investigated this sleepy feeling which was mainly around the upper head area, specifically pressure on sides of head and around and in the eyes.
Again the sense that sensation would arise such as pain/ache and I would try to take apart the sensations behind it.
I also tried to notice sensations behind mindstates, specially things like boredom, or negative states, which usually took me to the stomach area.
Although there were aches and pains in back, nothing that made me so fidgety as last night. 


Date: 14/11/2016 4th sit Afternoon
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
Usual strong feeling in nose area, counting breathing was quite successful.
Started to get sleepy towards the end.
 
30 to 60min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath
A very sleepy sit, which continued and took over most of the sit.
I opened my eyes a couple of times to try to avoid it.
My head jerked forward a couple of times from the sleepiness.
Also a sinking feeling a couple of times, like being sucked into quicksand.
Back pain returned but after shifting positon it was ok.
Towards the end started to come out of sleepiness slowly.
Mostly noting sensations and hearing again.
Thoughts and seeing not so much.
There seems to be an easiness to the sit.
Not sure if I should be noticing more.

 
Date: 14/11/2016 5th sit Afternoon
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
Some doubts crept in about whether I was getting more concentrated or not.
At times it felt like I was just really relaxed but my concentration wasn’t very strong, although the strong nose area feeling was till there.
 
30 to 65min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
Continued noting mainly feelings(body sensations) and some hearing.
Noticed that after a while I could note a body sensation and If I wanted too I could just sink into the sensation and let the feeling of the sensation spread out, or I could continue to note other sensations and do the same.
Even achy and painful sensations lost their unpleasantness when I did this, just sinking in and flowing with it.
Also noticed that I could really sink into my breathing sensations at the nose in the same way. Seemed that my concentration was quite strong.
I tried it with sounds and it also seemed to work, listening to my neighbours playing music. Sinking into the actual sounds and being carried by it. There wasn’t any thoughts of what the music was or anything like that.
I played with this for a while.
Things got very relaxed.
There didn’t seem to be any thoughts, none that I could see anyway.
A couple of times I noticed boredom and timer thoughts.

 
Date: 14/11/2016 6th sit Evening
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
I couldn’t concentrate on counting breaths although I felt that my concentration seemed stronger which is odd.
Pretty much the same sit as before, but decided to start noting before the end.
 
30 to 65min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
Just flowing with noting feelings(sensations) and a little bit of hearing(ringing in ears, which at times seemed really loud).
Felt like riding aches and pains as they appeared, went and reappeared again, didn’t seem really unpleasant to want me to move.
Felt quite easy and the sinking into sensations continued though not as strong as the previous sit.
The sensations of skin around the nose area felt strong.
I started to note seeing more towards the end.
Still not much noting of thinking thoughts.
Obvious thinking thoughts were wanting the sit to end and timer thoughts which as soon as I noticed seemed to disappear or were difficult to pin down.
 
 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/15/16 3:21 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 15/11/2016 1st sit Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath
0 to 60min
Follow breathing.
Decided to juts try to follow breathing as this is the first sit of the day and there are others where I can start to note.
Sleepyness at first.
After 5/10minutes there was a distinct shift as whole body awareness came into attention, and awareness of the breath at nose was stronger and there was some brightness behind the eyelids.
Although sleepiness returned, and there was mindwandering, and spacing out and following the breath was harder, I also felt that awareness of breath and body sensations was also quite strong.
I confirmed this when I opened my eyes a couple of times and noticed quite a lot of awareness of body sensations and breath at nose.
It seems funny that the two things can exist at the same time sleepiness and awareness.
I may be wrong though.
Had to shift positions a couple of times.
Towards the end there was a pleasant overall body sensations feeling and although I couldn’t sustain awareness of the breath constantly, I could at will absorb into sensations momentarily including breathing sensations at the nose.
Also the sinking into sensations, and flowing with the aches and pains feeling, from yesterday came back a little, although I didn’t play with it so much as I wanted to pay more attention to the breath.   

 
Date: 15/11/2016 2nd sit Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
The sleepiness from the previous sit continued, tried as best I could to keep following breathing at nose.
Mindwandering and spacing occurring quite a lot
 
30 to 65min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
Sleepyness alongside noting.
Again mainly noting feelings, and hearing, and also some seeing.
Noting thinking quite rare.
There was some aversion to practise.
Had to shift position a couple of times.
Some unpleasantness.
Slowly started to come out of sleepiness towards the end.

 
Date: 15/11/2016 3rd sit Afternoon
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breathing.
On first sitting the sleepiness had gone and felt like overall awareness was good.
But sleepiness soon returned. Continued as best I could to stay with breath at nose.
 
20 to 65min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
It was a strange mix of noting and sleepiness which continued for the rest of the sit.
When I investigated the sensation it was all around the eyes, and temples.
There was strong sense of seeing involved.
It was quite easy to see this.
I had to shift position a few times due to aches and pains.
A lot of the times I was noting pain and just flowing with the sensations behind them.
There were also a lot of wanting the sit to end and wanting the bell to go.
Also some nauseous feelings.
Actually the sleepiness seemed to get stronger towards the end.
Maybe I just need to sleep.
 
 
Date: 15/11/2016 4th sit Evening
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breathing.
Mindwandering quite a lot, and bringing attention back to breath
 
30 to 65min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
No sleepiness during this sit.
Noting mainly body sensations.
After a while I tried to note thinking by asking ”what is my next thought going to be?” on the outbreath. Didn’t seem to catch any.
As I kept asking this question on outbreath my attention got fixed on my breathing and a specific pain in my back and just stayed with it for quite a while. I didn’t have to try, attention just stayed with these two areas.     
There was a visual/solidness aspect to both the back pain and the breath at the nose which allowed attention to latch on to them, almost like a hook for the attention, no effort was needed.
I just stayed with this for a while then the back pain/ache sensations move further down into my stomach area.
I had to shift position after a while as the pain/ache got too much, and this seemed to scatter my awareness and the former areas of attention were gone.
I’m noting more and more the areas around the eyes and the movement of the eyeballs sometimes as seeing, and sometimes as feeling.
I tried again to ask “what will my next thought be?” which again didn’t seem to get any results.
 
 
Date: 15/11/2016 5th sit Evening
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breathing.
As I tried to follow breath the back area also came into attention as well.
 
20 to 65min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
Just mainly noting the physical aches and pain in the back area.
It wasn’t pleasant but just continued to watch and note it moving and changing.
There’s also more and more noting of the eyes area and around that part of the head, as feeling and seeing.
Noting thinking still not happening.
Had to shift position but just continued to note till the bell.
There was a feeling of the sit that nothing major was happening and I was just doing it.
Which might be why, towards the end I just wanted the bell to sound.
It may have been some kind of boredom thing.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/17/16 1:53 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date :16/11/2016 1st sit morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, lying down, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
Lots of mindwandering at first but by the end focus of attention narrowed down more and more to the nostrils and watching breathing.
Also overall body sensations came into awareness
 
30 to 60min
Decided to try lying down posture to take the strain of my back especially with the retreat coming up.
A lot more spacing out and mindwandering occurring as there wasn’t as much strain on the back to keep me alert.
Also sleepiness to contend with.
I tried as best I could to note thinking, feeling, hearing and seeing on outbreath.
Not so much noting of feeling as there wasn’t as much aching to worry about.
Most of the sit was spent realizing I had drifted off and coming back to noting.
 
 
Date: 16/11/2016 2nd sit Morning
Length of Sit: 60minutes
Posture: Lying down
Meditative techniques: lie still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing.
Lots of mindwandering and jerking back from sleepiness to follow breath.
 
30 to 60min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
Again lots of spacing out, and drifting off, and generally getting lost in spacing out.
A couple of times noticed how my limbs felt like they didn’t belong to me and just watching the sensations in them.
Most of the time was spent drifting off into mind chatter, images, thoughts and coming back and drifting off and coming back and so on.
 
 
Date: 16/11/2016 3rd sit Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Lying down
Meditative techniques: lie still, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breathing.
Awareness of the nose area was stronger although more specific concentration was not possible.
Generally a lot more spacing out as it’s so relaxing lying down.
 
20 to 65min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
Again a lot of spacing out going on, with random images, getting lost and forgetting, and coming back to noting. Not sure whether I just spent most of it drifting off.
Phases of things speeding up at times.
There was some anxiousness and worry which could be felt in the upper stomach chest area.
Also felt frustration, hopelessness, and doubt.
Lying down meditation just seems to have a totally different feel to it, it’s so much more relaxing that trying to stay focused is so much harder.
With the sitting meditation there were usually aches and pains which although unpleasant kept my attention focused and not so relaxed.
Towards the end just wanted the bell to sound.
 
 
Date: 16/11/2016 4th sit Afternoon
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breathing.
Got to the usual body feeling(especially back), sensations around nose, and thick sleepy, head/eyes area.
 
20 to 65min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
Pretty much the whole time passed by in a haze of sleepiness, forgetting to note a lot.
Sleepyness head nods a couple of times as if I’m about to fall asleep, but I’m definitely not tired.
Seems to have hit a bit of a slump and finding it hard to investigate and stay with noting.
Feelings of hopelessness, uselessness, and not making progress, and just not knowing how to cope with it.
Feel like I don’t really have a strategy to move forward.

 
Date: 16/11/2016 5th sit Evening
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breathing.
Got to the usual mix of body sensations(especially back)/and sensitive nose area.
But no sleepiness this time round.
Can’t really remember much else from this part of sit.
 
20 to 65min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
Noting was pretty good, and got into the sleepy/dreamy state, plus the flowing with the ups/downs of body sensations in the back.
The right eye area was really sensitive, felt like my right eye was moving around all over the place looking at stuff whereas the left one felt like it was dead and not doing anything.
Might be related to my breath following at the right nostril.
Towards the end tried to see who was experiencing all this stuff.
There was a sense of things happening and stories being built around them.
There was also something to do with the eyes and seeing and looking, maybe a sense of an observer.
No real pain to make me shift position, which was good.
 

Date: 16/11/2016 6th sit Evening
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breathing.
No sleepiness.
Mixture of following breath at nose and awareness of body sensations(especially in back)
Tried counting breaths but kept losing count.
Still not sure if this is an indicator of whether my concentration is rubbish or not.
 
20 to 65min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
No sleepiness and no pain in back.
Noted mainly the ups/downs/aches and wavelike sensations in back.
Also lots of noting of eye movement and the sense of watching.
Lots of questions arose of who is experiencing all this.
When there was a thought. Who was thinking?
When there was wanting Who was wanting?
When there was a sense of watching or looking. Who was watching/looking?
Thoughts arose about being an empty shell filled with just stuff.
Things seemed to get really muddled and a bit too fast, so tried to come back to simple noting, but there was a strange pull to the eyes area and the sense of watching/looking.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/17/16 1:58 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 17/11/2016 1st morning 
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 60min
Follow breathing.
First sit of day decided to stay with following breath for the whole sit.
Basically a mixture of
  1. Feeling of overall body sensations flows, watching sensations flowing around(especially in back), not pleasant but just rolling with it.
  2. General awareness of breath at nose area although this was not constant and was getting pulled away a lot.
  3. Sleepy feeling around head and eyes area.
A kind of mixture of all these things and being unable to stay all the time with breathing.
At one point there was a distinct clearing almost like a fog had lifted and focus of breathing was very clear and also sensations moving around the body were felt more exactly too, and sleepiness was gone.
But this was gone pretty quick and the states mentioned before returned.
 
 
Date: 17/11/2016 2nd sit Morning
Length of Sit: 60minutes
Posture: Crosslegged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breathing.
Again a mix of trying to follow breathing, nose area awareness and sleepy feeling.
 
20 to 60min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
Tried to note as best I could on outbreath, mainly feelings and more, and more seeing, and occasionally catching unpleasant mindstates such as boredom and aversions.
At about the 40 minute mark I just gave up as it felt so tiresome, and just languished in the sleepiness, occasionally trying to return to either noting or following the breath.
Kind of felt like I’d had enough and just let go, stopped noting and just relaxed and watched the breath a bit.
 
 
Date: 17/11/2016 3rd sit Afternoon
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture:
Meditative techniques: lying down & sitting, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breathing lying down.
Felt like I was doing this because I have to and I don’t have anything else to do any way.
Sleepyness again and don’t think I was really that aware of breathing
 
20 to 65min
First 20 minutes lying down noting feeling(body sensations), hearing and seeing on outbreath. Hearing(ringing in ears was particularly loud), started to get really sleepy so last twenty moved to sitting position and continued noting as best I could.
Towards the end I kind of stopped trying so hard to find things to note which felt extraordinary and just noted what came up which felt more like sensations around the breath at the nose, pressures on sides of head and sensations in and around the eyes, and also hearing. It felt more relaxed and situated in a smaller area
Also felt like a bit more noting of thoughts.
 
Date: 17/11/2016 4th sit Afternoon
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breathing.
By the end of the 20min felt like I my attention on the breathing at the noses area was ok, and also the usual body sensations feeling.
Thankfully the sleepiness has gone
 
20 to 65min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
Not a lot to report just continuing to note mainly body sensations on outbreath.
Not so much searching for things to note.
Sometimes the back felt very rigid, stiff, and other times more fluid and wave like.
Most of the time there was an achy feeling.
Briefly had a spell of watching attention itself as it bounced around rather than the thing it was pointing too, although this could be absolute rubbish.
 
 
Date: 17/11/2016 5th sit Evening
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breathing.
Pretty much the same as previous first 20min sits
 
20 to 65min
Noting feelings, hearing, seeing, and thinking on outbreath.
Tried to stop looking for things to note.
I’m wanting to note all the senses so I go searching for them.
Found that when I stop looking attention tended to stay with the breath more and more and less on body sensations.
Felt much more easy and relaxed.
After a while my attention was zooming in more and more to specific moments in the breath at the nose area and I could feel more things around the ehad like pressures and tensions.
Then I kind of lost the intensity looking so closely and things got scattered.
Towards the end felt like I was waiting for the bell to sound. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/18/16 5:38 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Seems like you are hitting some plateaus in your sits where continuting to push on (noteing or investigating) doesn't feel right. When that happens, it's perfectly okay to do simple breath meditation. You could even revert to simply counting breaths. Your mindfulness is pretty well established at this point and you will continue to make progress even with simple methods.

At this point, it seems to me like you have worked through a lot of the basic meditation problems (especially, 1) maintaining a consistent practice, and 2) learning to sit with difficult stuff). The next phase is all about balancing effort and no-effort, balancing noting practice with tranquility practice. More and more, you can explore being even more gentle and simple with practice, more toward savoring the sweet sensations of breathing, more toward just sitting and experiencing what arises. Many people become chronic yogis, never reaching stream entry, if they keep pushing and don't learn to enjoy. 

If light jhanas come up, feel free to soak the them, enjoy the enjoyable experience. It "conditions" the mind to be less reactive and will definitely help your practice in the long run.

Basically, just add another meditation to you list of meditation methods. Choose your method based on what is happening during a sit. 

I say all of this because it's important to have options on retreat. Sometimes you investigate deeply, sometimes you slow down and cultivate tranquility, sometimes you enjoy the simple "pleasure that comes from seclusion" which is the sweet jhana-light feeling that comes from extended mindfulness.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/18/16 3:42 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 18/11/2016 1st sit morning 
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Following breathing.
Took about 10/15min to get to familiar stage of breath/nose awareness and mild current of body sensations.
 
20 to 65min
Noting on outbreath.
Continuing to not search for things and rather just noting what is most obvious at the forefront of attention.
More relaxing and less striving, wanting and trying.
Got very sleepy again with the usual head nods and jerking back.
Sleepy/dreamy state with flashing images, inner chatter, stories, spacing out, and forgetting to note.
Quite a lot noting of hearing at first which faded.
Some worrying too.
Kind of reminds me of the stage just before you fall asleep where random things just pop into view.
There was also the awareness of sensations in the body, mainly in the head area.
Some parts where things speeded up and quite uncomfortable.
A couple of itches.
Sat and leant against the wall, taking a lot of the stress of my back.
 
Date: 18/11/2016 2nd sit Morning
Length of Sit: 60minutes
Posture: sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
The usual following breathing, and body sensations
 
20 to 65min
Following breathing and noting on outbreath.
Felt very sleepy again, and continuing with noting whatever came into view rather than looking/searching.
This progressed into more of a metta type of sit with acceptance and being kind to myself mindstates coming up.
As soon as expectations of what I should be doing, making progress, striving, wanting, craving, disappointment, hopelessness, uselessness, loss of confidence came up, I made myself accept them and not condemn myself for them, and I could feel sadness but it also felt ok, and manifested as sensations in my stomach.
I kind of totally let go of noting during these parts, and then picked it up again when I could.
Also any signs of pain I would allow myself to move rather than grit my teeth and try to be strong through them.
 
 
Date: 18/11/2016 3rd sit Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Continuing with the theme of acceptance from the previous sit.
I’m still kind of letting go of trying.
I noticed some judgement going on when I forget to follow breathing which is leading to frustration and wanting which is very tiring.
So each time my mind had wandered and I had realized it had I wandered I became more conscious of the moment of judgement, scolding, fear of failure and tried to instead foster a feeling of acceptance.
It could be felt as sensations in the stomach area.
With this kind of attitude it didn’t deem to matter too much how often my mind wandered as it didn’t seem so tight, needy, and desperate.    
 
20 to 65min
Noting was very relaxed, and not worried about looking for things to note.
Continuing with fostering feelings of acceptance, and forgiveness, of negative states.
Impatience, timer thoughts, and thoughts of wanting the sit to end when viewed through this lens became ok.
Again when pain arose I just moved rather than giving myself a hard time.
There seem to be a lot of sensations in my stomach area.
In the background was the body sensations.
Feeling tearful as I write this.
 

Date: 18/11/2016 4th sit Afternoon
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breathing.
I’m not sure if I’m effective in following the breath anymore as it feels so samey.
Sometimes I think it’s getting worse because when I count breaths I lose count very easily, and I find I’m aware of my mind wandering a lot and having to come back to following the breath.
I’m still trying to be kind and accepting rather than judging, which seems to have worn off since the last sit.
 
20 to 65min
My goals of noting on the outbreath have dropped by the wayside a little as it seemed too driven and I have kind of relaxed a bit.
It got very sleepy during the middle of the sit, so I just went with the flow of the sleepiness and trying to not be too judgemental and more accepting.
Because there wasn’t any real goal or conviction to it, it seemed more confusing and uncertainty as to what I should be doing.
At times I decided to note on outbreath, then find I found I was following the breath more, then playing with feelings of acceptance and watching for judging thoughts.
Also decided at one point to see if I could note ringing on the outbreath, for some time.
Found that I was forgetting to do that too.
 
 
Date: 18/11/2016 5th sit Evening
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Sitting against wall
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breathing.
Continuity of attention on breathing and sense of skin around nose area was better this sit.
I could feel that at times I could quite easily have settle on different sensations and flowed with it, but decided to stay with breath as much as possible and also tried counting breaths which wasn’t as bad as usual.
 
20 to 65min
Decided to try noting ringing in ears on outbreath again.
Able to keep up with this more than last time although nothing more distinctive to report about it.
An itch which I stayed with for a while.
Also made conscious effort to be more accepting and loving when mind had wandered and usually took me to stomach sensations.
No sleepiness during this sit.
I found that I could put my attention on a specific sensation and just groove along to it which was nice.
There were also stomach aches and pains which might have been something I ate at lunch.
Noting of hearing also made me more aware of head sensations especially round temples and eyes and the ticklish feathery forehead also returned.
 

Date: 18/11/2016 6th sit Evening
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Easier and quicker to feel body sensations before sensations around nose and breathing, but after 15min became more immersed in nose and breathing.  
 
20 to 65min
Tried to continue noting ringing in ears and feeling for outbreath.
This seems to be getting better.
After a while got into a stage where I could at will kind of zoom in and out of sensations and the idea of the sensation or that’s as best how I can describe it anyway. I could do it if I stayed on one sense, but harder to do if I alternated between the senses.
Also continued with the acceptance of negative things turning up such as impatience and wanting the sit to end, and being judgemental when mindwandering occurred.
Again as soon as I played the acceptance card stomach sensations would take attention.
At times I forgot I should have been noting ringing in ears.
It seemed such an easy sit and a nice last sit of the day.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/18/16 3:56 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Seems like you are hitting some plateaus in your sits where continuting to push on (noteing or investigating) doesn't feel right. When that happens, it's perfectly okay to do simple breath meditation. You could even revert to simply counting breaths. Your mindfulness is pretty well established at this point and you will continue to make progress even with simple methods.
Yes I've been experiencing this today and just kind of stopped trying so hard.
I guess it took a whole week of meditation to get to this.

Once again many thanks for your timely advice.

I find it really helpful and lifts my spirits. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/19/16 6:48 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Your very welcome!

Frankly, I'm glad all of this came up prior to your retreat. The hardest thing on retreat is when our minds get frustrated by doubts, confusion, feelings of bad practice, etc. That negative self-judgement can really mess up a good retreat. I'm so glad you are experimenting with acceptance and metta and compassion -- it really is the key to everything. No joke.

When things get really difficult, it can be helpful to combine noting with acceptance. The pace is much much slower. Maybe 2 or 3 notes a minute. Noting frustration and letting yourself feel it and accepting it, noting doubt and accepting it, etc. etc. Sometimes I treat these mind in a very objective sense: "oh, look at it doubting, look at it feeling frustration, look at it trying too hard, look at it struggling."

Basically, you're watching the mind rewire itself. It's learning what is helpful and not helpful by a sort of trial and error process that happens in the kinda dream-space of meditation. I say dream space because we have all of these memories and judgements and habitual patterns that just arise out of nothing while we're doing nothing but sitting on a cushion! emoticon  It's almost like lucid dreaming.

So ultimately it's good that "negative" states come up during sits. If they can be met with some level of objectivity and acceptance, we learn from it and our unhelpful habits get rewired. Soon it feels less like work and more like purification -- all of the these problematic sensations and thoughts bubbling up, off gassing, and passing.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/20/16 3:20 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 19/11/2016 1st sit morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath
0 to 60min
First sit if the day so just following breath for most of it.
The familiar sleepy feeling at first.
I’m beginning to think that this sleepy feeling might be part of the process rather than a hindrance. Again I could be wrong.
The sleepy feeling lessened but it kind of never really goes away.  
Kept losing count of 3 X 10 breathing at first.
But after a while it got stronger and didn’t lose count.
I’ve noticed that if I direct my gaze straight and slightly up then the focus is more  diffused, then a kind of shape/sign of my right nostril comes into view and becomes a hook that I can easily focus on the breath at my nose, and quite pleasant, peaceful, and absorbing.
I played around with this for a while.
After a while I tried to see if I could shift attention to different parts of the body.
First I placed attention on sides/temples of my head then more on other body parts such as limbs, and then also tried to get overall body sensations.
I’m not sure but I guess these are all jhanic states.
I have read about them them but I don’t know and can’t tell which jhana is which.  
Again also applied accepting feelings to negative thoughts of impatience, timer thoughts and wanting the sit to end.
Also some moments of focusing on slightly unpleasant sensations in the stomach area.    
 
 
Date: 19/11/2016 2nd sit Morning
Length of Sit: 60minutes
Posture: sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Started by lying down, but then moved to sitting as I got too sleepy.
But found that I was also sleepy sitting.
Awareness of sensations around body and around nose grew stronger and more stable.
 
20 to 65min
Tried to pick up with noting seeing, hearing, thinking, and feeling on outbreath but things got too much and got too anxious about doing it correctly and too much going on for me to cope with it.
Found that I had to slow it down with just letting attention/awareness do it’s own thing, there was some noting, mostly flowing with sensations around various parts of body, and also playing with acceptance/being loving when mindwandering, forgetting, impatience, and timer thoughts occurred.
No real unpleasantness going on.
Felt like I was just grooving along.
Things got really sleepy, felt like really intense sleepy and contracted/concentrated in between the eyes and felt almost unbearable.
Felt like I just wanted to fall asleep, but I resisted.
I could at will diffuse it so that sensations were felt more round the temples and my eyes kind of felt like two headlamps.
But if I relaxed then the intense sleepiness/contraction between the eyes would return.
So I decided to let it go and see if I would fall asleep.
Awareness in the middle of the eyes dropped away and fell down into my body and I was just watching my body expanding and emptying with the breath.
It was kind of like being asleep but also awake.
Again I don’t know maybe this is all utter rubbish.  
 
 
Date: 19/11/2016 3rd sit Afternoon
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
I noticed an aversion to sitting beforehand, and accepted this.
Quite a long break between this sit and the last, which was noticeable as there were more thoughts flying around and couldn’t get into my usual body/nose area sensations as quickly.
But it was ok, as I don’t feel so hung up on it at the moment.
By the end of the 20min there was strong sensations between the eyes.
But I couldn’t count 3 X 10 breathing though.
 
20 to 65min
Tried to note thinking, seeing, hearing, and feeling on outbreath but once again kind of lost the track with this and attention eventually just noting the sensations at the nose as breath was coming in and out.
I also tried the “watch it thinking”, “watch it worrying”, “watch it planning” but forgot a few times. That’s ok I’ll keep trying when I remember.
There was a relaxed whatever happens kind of attitude.
There was quite a lot of mindwandering but I noticed there wasn’t so much judgement, and a feeling of hopelessness going on when I remembered I had forgotten to note.
No sleepiness like the previous sit but there is always a kind of dreamy, spacyness.
A bit of noting hearing going on.
Some impatience, timer thoughts, and wanting the sit to end for which I am continuing to try acceptance.
 
 
Date: 19/11/2016 4th sit Evening
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath
0 to 65min
Initially decided to do 20min following breath and then start noting but decided after 20 to count breaths for the whole sit.
I couldn’t get up to 3 X 10rounds so just decided to stay with counting 1 to 10 and back again.
There was a lot of mindwandering but not too much aversion going on when I lost count and just started again
My neighbours were having a get together tonight so there was lost of chattering to listen to.
Got quite sleepy towards the end, and I couldn’t tell if this was tired sleepy or meditation sleepy.
I’m conscious that because I’m more accepting of failure I also still need to put some effort into this thing, but not too much, just enough.
I might be wrong about this though
Towards the end it suddenly occurred to me that because the neighbors were so loud I decided to start noting hearing as much as possible.
In hindsight this may have been the obvious thing to focus my attention on rather than the counting.
The bell went shortly after this.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/19/16 3:42 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Frankly, I'm glad all of this came up prior to your retreat. The hardest thing on retreat is when our minds get frustrated by doubts, confusion, feelings of bad practice, etc. That negative self-judgement can really mess up a good retreat. I'm so glad you are experimenting with acceptance and metta and compassion -- it really is the key to everything. No joke.
Yes this one feels like a bit of a milestone for me. A big relief.
Let's hope that when things get hairy during the retreat I can use this

When things get really difficult, it can be helpful to combine noting with acceptance. The pace is much much slower. Maybe 2 or 3 notes a minute. Noting frustration and letting yourself feel it and accepting it, noting doubt and accepting it, etc. etc. Sometimes I treat these mind in a very objective sense: "oh, look at it doubting, look at it feeling frustration, look at it trying too hard, look at it struggling."
Yes I have seen that "look see how it..." type of noting somewhere else.
I might try that at some point.

Basically, you're watching the mind rewire itself. It's learning what is helpful and not helpful by a sort of trial and error process that happens in the kinda dream-space of meditation. I say dream space because we have all of these memories and judgements and habitual patterns that just arise out of nothing while we're doing nothing but sitting on a cushion! emoticon  It's almost like lucid dreaming.
Funny you should say that because I have been thinking a lot about the sleepy feelings that I've been getting lately, and some of them really strong. At first I thought it was just a bad sign that I wasn't paying attention and I needed to wake up but now I'm not so sure. 

As always your advice is much appreciated.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/20/16 9:56 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Sleepy is a good sign. It's like finally gettin out of crazy rush hour traffic and driving along a country road --- except it was your mind that used to be crazy rush hour and now it's your mind that is that country road. No wonder things seem calm and a little boring. emoticon  Usually sleepy comes after someone is well established in meditation.

Here's a crazy fact - many people get stream entry as they appear to be nodding off into sleep. So sleepy sits are fine, make sure you don't use it as an excuse not to meditate. Just do what you can, sit a little straighter, breathe with a little more intention... but if you nod off, no big deal. 

The only exception I make for myself is if it has been a really tough day at work and I nod off more than three or so times, then I quit early and go to sleep. On retreat, try to go for the record of nodding off, if that's what is happening. No big deal.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/20/16 3:27 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 20/11/2016 1st sit morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath
0 to 65min
As this was the first sit of the day, I had intended to follow breath, but actually for most of the sit this didn’t happen.
Started by just sitting and letting things happen and gently focusing on breath.
Shift where body sensations more obvious, ringing in ears became louder and more noticeable and a contraction feeling between the eyes.
Most of the sit from then on was a mixture of, mindwandering/stories and remembering to come back to following the breath, losing count when counting breath, some unpleasant sensations in stomach area, some heavy/sleepiness, a couple of itches, quie a bit of watching body sensations flowing and concentrated.
Also continuing to try to notice and be more accepting of things like impatience, judging, aversion, and worry.
Only towards the end did following the breath start to become more stable and continuos.   

 
Date: 20/11/2016 2nd sit Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Easier to follow and counting breath during this part.
There was a sense of pleasantness, easiness and freedom from worry to it.
Also the tingling ticklish forehead, and body sensations in the background.
My neighbor was cleaning with a really hard bristle broom and I don't know why but the sound of the bristles against the concrete was really satisfying to listen to.
 
20 to 65min
Tried to note the breath coming in and noting whatever came into attention on outbreath.
The sense of easiness continued.
There was a lot of mindwandering, planning & scheming thoughts, replaying past stories and watching future scenario stories.
Like a child playing with all it’s toys.
I was ok with it and just let it happen, and not so worried about all of it.
When I could I brought the mind back to noting on in/outbreath.
Although to be honest there wasn’t much of this noting going on, but reassuring to have it as an anchor.
Time seem to past quite quickly during this sit.
Towards the end got the really sleepy/dreamy state again.
I let it do it’s thing and kind of fell into a peaceful/restful sleep, but the volume of the ringing in my ears was louder, and awareness of my breath coming in/out was also there.
 
 
Date: 20/11/2016 3rd sit morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 65min
Pretty much the whole sit spent in the sleepy/daydreaming state, to the point where I doubted mypractise and thought I was just spacing out.
It’s almost an exquisitely delicious state to be in.
So I decided to at least keep noting the in/outbreath and this continued for most of the sit. So most of the sit was spent in this dreamy/sleepy space with noting of in/out breath.
Came out of the sleepiness a little bit during the second half, and continued to just note in/out breath.
Noticed boredom, impatience and wanting the sit to end a couple times.
Accepted, consoled and comforted these emotions.
Some planning thoughts, worries, future scenarios.
Seems that I’m spending more and more time in this sleepy/dreamy space.   

 
Date: 20/11/2016 4th sit Afternoon
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath
0 to 20min
Initial aversion to sitting which seems more noticable these days.
Off the cushion I’m noticing more and more aversions, stories and mindwandering going on.
Tried to follow breathing but too much mindwandering and stories being told.
But it felt ok, I just let it and came back to breathing as best I could.
It didn’t seem to cause me any concern whereas normally there would be more frustration, disappointment and feelings of hopelessness and uselessness.
 
20 to 65min  
Although I resolved to note in breath and note whatever came into attention on outbreath, there wasn’t actually a lot of noting going on.
Again lots of mindwandering, stories, and “what ifs” conversations going on, which I’m not minding so much.
When I remembered I came back to noting in/outbreath
Not so sleepy during this sit, and body sensations more in the background.
Sensations seem to be more prevalent and stronger around the head area.
Found that I could at will turn up the intensity of sensations around body but even more so around the head, especially in/around the eyes, forehead and temples.
Towards the end noting in/out breath became stronger.
Still overall an easy feeling to the sit.
I wonder when boredom is gonna kick in.   
 
 
Date: 20/11/2016 5th sit Evening
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Sitting against wall
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Counting breath was better this sit.
Managed 3 X 10 rounds.
 
20 to 65min
Tried noting inbreath, and noting whatever came up on outbreath.
The deep sleepiness was much lighter.
Again quite a lot of mindwandering and stories being told and returning back to breath anchor.
The sensations round the head especially forehead, between, in and around the eyes were more prominent than the body.
More achy stuff in the body turned up, and also a couple of quite irritating itches but it was ok to deal with them.
Later noting of in/outbreath grew stronger and easier to follow.
Towards the end started to get boredom and wanting the sit to end or something to happen.
Continued to accept these in a more loving way.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/20/16 3:33 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Here's a crazy fact - many people get stream entry as they appear to be nodding off into sleep.
Wow, I never knew that, seems like a contradiction.

On retreat, try to go for the record of nodding off
emoticon

Sleepy is a good sign
It's reassuring to know that I'm on the right track, thanks

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
11/21/16 4:40 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 21/11/2016 1st sit morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 65min
Just sat for the first 10/15min to get a feel for it.
Noticed that I had forgotten to set the timer and watched worrying emotions, and stopped the urge to get up and check.
Just accepted and comforted myself.
Again there was unpleasant sensations in stomach area.
Decided to use the chime of the town hall bell which goes off every 15minutes.
Whereas previously I use to try to drown out the town hall chime as it reminded me too much of how long I had left to sit, I didn’t mind it this morning.
I kind of looked forward to it going off and noticed my mind playing tricks on me when I thought I could hear it going off but it didn’t.
Time went surprisingly quickly.
Counted 3 X 10 breaths.
One part of sit where sleepiness was quite heavy but mostly quite light, although when I open my eyes to test the water and see how things feel, I  noticed that the sleepy/heavy feeling around the eyes, and head and also forehead was stronger than I thought.
Started the second half of the sit with noting inbreath and noting whatever came up during outbreath.
There were more aches but it was ok.
The conscious noting stopped and turned more into just noticing which were mainly sensations, hearing, and some seeing(light show behind the eyelids/alos movement of eyeballs).
Quite a lot of stories being told, theorizing about progress/practise, and coming back to the breath when I remembered.
A phase where things were really calm and peaceful, and I was just sitting and watching the in/out breath.
Towards the end more and more timer thoughts, and wanting the sit to end.
 
 
Date: 21/11/2016 2nd sit Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Pretty quickly the heavy/sleepy feeling returning to the eyes/forehead.
Underneath all this counted 3 X 10 breaths.
 
20 to 65min
The heavy/sleepiness continued for the whole sit.
Time went pretty quickly.
Noting inbreath and seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking on outbreath, although this went by the wayside quite a lot, as past stories, mindwandering, and theorizing about practise and thoughts of progress, and random images took over in that dreamy just before sleep kind of way.
At one point I burst into tears when a certain memory from past replayed, but only for 1 or 2 seconds, it was the strangest thing to experience, the tingling from it was really strong and it was all so instant, and there was a kind of supression going on too.
A lot of the sit after this was spent replaying this and trying to figure out what happened  
There was then a spell of aches in the back and stomach but that passed ok.
Continued noting as best I could for the remainder of the sit.


Only sat for two hours today, decided to take a bit of a break as I'm on retreat tomoro.
Went for a swim, and a sauna.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/4/16 2:29 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Report of my 10 day Goenka retreat

Day 1 & 2
It struck me from the start that I wasn’t ready for this, and I kind of gave up.
It just didn’t feel ok right from the beginning.
I meditated for the minimum hours required which was the 3 hour compulsory group sits and the requirement to be in the hall for the discourse in the evening. The rest of the time I laid on my bed and didn’t do much at all.
I was really questioning why should I put myself through the pain.
Also all the negative emotions, such as fear of my breathing upsetting others, and also the masochistic atmosphere of it all, came back about meditating in the group sits with 100 other people and all the fear and nervousness all came flooding back.
This is probably just made worse by my having spent the previous week upping my meditation hours at home where I adjusted my posture by leaning against a wall or lying down when it got too painful.
I also started to experiment with different approaches other than just noting sensations.
So I think this is why I just kind of gave up at the start of this course.
When I did meditate it mostly carrying on from home where I would start with following the breath and then following breathing on in breath and noting seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling on the outbreath.
 
Day 3
I decided to sit for the first time in my room outside of the compulsory meditation hours.
The sit was memorable in that it felt unusually easy and light, and the rest of the days sits continued in the same vein. The other sits in the hall also were particularly easy and my sitting posture felt really good and I remember thinking at one point how bolt upright I was sitting.
 
Day 5 to 10
From day 5 I started to get more practise hours in. Other than the compulsory sits I was also sitting in my room more aided by leaning against the wall.
By day 6/7 my sits in my room were getting pretty absorbed.
It seemed like an opening up of an inner landscape with lots of space.
After day 7 I could feel that I was coming out of this state more and more.
The group sits continued to make me anxious and actually got worse as I caught a cold which had spread through the retreat and made me even more aware of how loud my breathing was.
Also as the whole group settled everything became even quitter and I got even more anxious.
I don’t know why but I’ve always had this problem with the Goenka group sits and the quietness of large groups of people just completely freaking me out, yet when I’m alone I’m fine.
I noticed this more during this retreat although I have always felt it.
I guess I kind of dismissed it before.
By the last day I was consciously controlling my breathing during the group sits and just waiting for the whole thing to be over.
 
So generally not at all what I was expecting especially after all the preparation which I had done.
I’m seriously thinking that I might not do a Goenka retreat again as it’s just too regimented, and I just wasn’t that interested in putting myself through that much pain.
There just seems to be a real masochistic element to it all.
I kind of did my own thing and never did any body scanning as the instructions asked.
I remember trying a couple of times and just gave up as I couldn’t be bothered with going through the whole body part by part.
I’m also thinking about adding more metta meditation into my sits.
I’m also thinking that my anxiety about the group sits might be something I have to work on, but I don’t know.
I realise that there’s not much detail on my actual sits over the ten days, but there you go.
But maybe I’m just complaining too much and just should have got on with it  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/4/16 2:30 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 04/12/2016 Morning
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: Sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
This was my first sit since getting back from the retreat and I was really curious to see how it would go.
From the start it felt good to be sat back in my own familiar environment.
There just wasn’t that worry which I felt during the retreat.
I don’t know if this is a pointer to something which I have to work on, but I guess if I feel comfortable then that’s a good thing as it will allow me to settle down easier.
Tried counting breaths but couldn’t even get to 3 X 10 rounds.
But the familiar feeling of overall body sensations soon started and rose to predominate my attention especially round the body but not so much around the head.
Lots of thoughts distracting me away from breath.
 
20 to 65min
Follow breath on in breath and noting feeling, thinking, hearing, and seeing on outbreath.
Some aches at first so I straightened up my back and felt better afterwards.
A couple of points where things tightened up a bit and some worries came up
Forgot to note a few times as the sit progressed.
Overall wholeness feeling of body sensations grew stronger.
Lots of thoughts and more aware ness of the movement of the eyes and a sense of me being there looking at things and watching.
At one point I thought to try just noting and not follow the in breath, but things got too confusing and very unstable and I felt unsure and more stressful, so came back to following in breath and noting on outbreath, which was more restful
Generally felt really restful especially towards the end and again just thoughts about how great it was to be back to my sit.
Felt like I was starting to get into something at the end when the bell went.
 
Date: 04/12/2016 Evening
Length of Sit: 65minutes
Posture: sitting
Meditative techniques: sit, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
A lot of mindwandering and really difficult to follow breathing.
Couldn’t count 3 X 10 rounds.
 
20 to 65min
Really scatty and kept forgetting to note on outbreath.
The abundance of mindwandering continued and got worse as the sit progressed..
Wanting the sit to end, and stories.
More aches than usual in the back causing torso to move around a fair bit.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/5/16 4:12 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 05/12/2016 Morning
Posture: Cross legged

0 to 20min
Follow breathing at nose
Sat n relaxed for a bit, and checking in with things
Count 3 X 10rounds
Tingling in hands and lower arms and feet.
Hands felt like a blobby mass of sensations 
Quite a lot of thoughts and attention around the head and thoughts area 
Body sensations didn't come up as strong

20 to 65min
Following inbreath and noting seing, hearing, feeling, and thinking on outbreath
Didn't seem to b much progression through teh whole sit.
Some sleppyness, quite a lot of doubts and worry about practice.
Might be some sort of post retreat blues going on.
Think I might have to extenbd the sit to 90minutes.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/5/16 8:29 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Sounds like the retreat was a lot of couch-potato-ness! Like you entered the retreat at Dissolution and stayed there emoticon  Maybe too much anticipation?

It strikes me that the group guilt/shame/anxiety aspect should probably be looked into. A lot of times guilt/shame comes from a sense of needing protecting oneself. It's worth looking into why you don't feel safe --- it's probably 1/2 due to the actual situation and 1/2 due to a sense of ambiguous fear from stuff in your life. 

I would say it's worth looking into all of the "roadblock" encountered on the retreat.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/5/16 10:33 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Sounds like the retreat was a lot of couch-potato-ness! Like you entered the retreat at Dissolution and stayed there. Maybe too much anticipation?
Yes, couch potatoness is a pretty good description of how it felt.
Also occured to me that I was maybe craving too much for somthing to happen, especially after putting in the extra hours prior to the retreat.

It strikes me that the group guilt/shame/anxiety aspect should probably be looked into. A lot of times guilt/shame comes from a sense of needing protecting oneself. It's worth looking into why you don't feel safe --- it's probably 1/2 due to the actual situation and 1/2 due to a sense of ambiguous fear from stuff in your life.

I would say it's worth looking into all of the "roadblock" encountered on the retreat.
Yes as much as I don't like to hear this, I also think that it might be something I have to look into especially as it has happened on all of my retreats and only seems to get worse as the retreat progresses and the quietness gets more and more noticable.
There's a horrible fear/paranoia to it.

I would say it's worth looking into all of the "roadblock" encountered on the retreat.

Would you have any suggestions as to what I should do to look into it?
I thought of joining a local meditation group so I could sit with them on a regular basis.
Although it won't be in a group of over 100 people it might still be a good thing to do.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/5/16 6:25 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
I don't have any easy answers, but it's probably fairly straightforward: you are afraid of exactly what you are worried about and you have enough doubts that you can't help that there might be some truth to the fear. What's the fear? What's the paranoia?

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/6/16 6:01 AM as a reply to shargrol.
I'm not sure if I should be discussing this kind of stuff here as it feels like I'm getting caught up in my own drama a bit too much and letting things run away with my worries. 

Anyway this has happened during all three retreats, which is why I noticed it more during this retreat. 

It's ok at the start of course as the group sits are fairly noisy and all the beginners are shifting around and making all sorts of noises.
But from the 4th/5th day onwards the strong determination sits are introduced and my fear/anxiety/worry about my breathing rises markedly as everyone tries to purposely sit still and not move and so it becomes quiet and as the days go by the beginners are getting better and better and as the stillness/quietness increases so does my fear/worry.    

I have this image of the perfect meditator who doesn't make any sound.
Fear of being seen as a fake, failure, weak, useless as my breathing is so loud and everyone elses isn't.
Paranoia about everyone being aware of me breathing loudly and all eyes on me.
As everyone around me seems to be really quiet and I can't hear them.
Worry that my loud breathing is disturbing others.
Also have this craving to run out of the hall as the quietness of so many people in one place just seems so unnatural.
There's a feeling that when my breathing gets loud and noticable I feel like I'm a real person and very noticable in that big crowd and when my breathing is not noticable then I'm not there and it's ok again, almost like I'm trying to deny that I exist in that hall.

It's like I want to negate myself, because then I don't have to worry, almost like I want to escape from being stresful.   
There seems to be some sort of feeling of me equating being enlightened with a negation of my problems/identity.

Even writing this is giving me a stressy vibe and the slightly sick feeling in the stomach area, and I'm not liking the feeling that I'm putting my weakness on show for all to see. 
I debated for a while whether to post this or not.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/6/16 6:28 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 06/12/2016 Morning
Posture: Sitting
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breathing at nose.
Counted 3 X 10rounds.
Overall body sensations were quicker to notice this morning.
I seemed more alert than usual.
Towards the end I tried to concentrate on the mood created by the body sensations to see if I could cultivate the jhanas.
The mood was something like contentment but I'm not sure.

20 to 65min  
Follow inbreath and noting seeing, hearing, thingking, and feeling on outbreath.
The noting sometimes overlaps onto the inbreath
Some sleepyness, a bit of light show behind eyelids, doubts and worries, frustration and impatience.
A fair bit of mindwandering and forgetting.
Some back and forth body movement caused by tensions running up and down my back.
Body sensations grew stronger as the sit progressed and a more "settled in" feeling to the sit at the end.
Also at the end a nice general easiness to the sit with some occasional spikes of doubt, uncertainty and mindwandering.
Again the thought at the end that I really need to extend these sits as there's a feeling of moving into other territories. 
  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/6/16 8:44 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Mohan Ratnam:
I'm not sure if I should be discussing this kind of stuff here as it feels like I'm getting caught up in my own drama a bit too much and letting things run away with my worries. 

Anyway this has happened during all three retreats, which is why I noticed it more during this retreat. 

It's ok at the start of course as the group sits are fairly noisy and all the beginners are shifting around and making all sorts of noises.
But from the 4th/5th day onwards the strong determination sits are introduced and my fear/anxiety/worry about my breathing rises markedly as everyone tries to purposely sit still and not move and so it becomes quiet and as the days go by the beginners are getting better and better and as the stillness/quietness increases so does my fear/worry.    

I have this image of the perfect meditator who doesn't make any sound.
Fear of being seen as a fake, failure, weak, useless as my breathing is so loud and everyone elses isn't.
Paranoia about everyone being aware of me breathing loudly and all eyes on me.
As everyone around me seems to be really quiet and I can't hear them.
Worry that my loud breathing is disturbing others.
Also have this craving to run out of the hall as the quietness of so many people in one place just seems so unnatural.
There's a feeling that when my breathing gets loud and noticable I feel like I'm a real person and very noticable in that big crowd and when my breathing is not noticable then I'm not there and it's ok again, almost like I'm trying to deny that I exist in that hall.

It's like I want to negate myself, because then I don't have to worry, almost like I want to escape from being stresful.   
There seems to be some sort of feeling of me equating being enlightened with a negation of my problems/identity.

Even writing this is giving me a stressy vibe and the slightly sick feeling in the stomach area, and I'm not liking the feeling that I'm putting my weakness on show for all to see. 
I debated for a while whether to post this or not.
Awesome. So this is _exactly_ the stuff that needs to be worked through.

Meditation brings subtle background stuff to the forefront. We see all the things that have been unclear in the past, but which strongly direct our thoughts and behavior. Making progress in meditation means dealing with this stuff, not avoiding it or trying to go around it, but facing it head-on. All of the tangible benefits of practice come from working directly with these kinds of hindrances, not through some insight that magically makes everything else get fixed.

For what it's worth, in some of the meditation text (Path of Purification) there is a description of the three broad categories of meditators. It's a generalization, but a useful tool. Usually we have one dominant pattern and then a secondary pattern that sometimes comes into play.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elana-miller-md/personality-types_b_4125852.html

It seems to me, your pattern is pretty classic "aversive" type responses. Basically, in the absense of distraction and in the openness of quiet, you instinctually take an adversarial relationship to the situation. Lots of self judgement. I can remember a classic greedy type on one of my retreats: he started breathing deeply and with a sound that allowed him to focus (like victory breathing in yoga) and got so into it -- but really was unaware how selfish and distruptive he was. (I'm sure it was 20 times worse than any noise you might have made! emoticon ) An ignorance type would zone out and not even be aware that they are on retreat. It seems like your secondary pattern is ignorance.

So now the fun begins!!!

Basically, you don't try to "fix" this. You just witness it as it comes up. You feel it and you note it. Basically, you have to feel those yucky sensations with clear awareness --- and the body-mind itself will realize, "hey, this isn't helping. Why am I doing this? It doesn't help." It will eventually drop it like a hot coal. But the trick is, you have to go _through_ the experience and feel it intimately. If you avoid it or try to ignore it, the habit might be less noticable, but the next time you are in the right conditions, like on quiet retreat, it will come back again.

I'm very happy that you can see this pattern. This is what meditation is all about. See the pattern of the hindrances. Watch them and feel them. Notice how they arise on their own in the space of your mind. Notice how it comes and goes. It isn't constant. It isn't you. You are not the pattern, you are the awareness of the pattern. Sit with the mess as it occurs.  Let your own natural wisdom see how they aren't helpful. It might take time, but that's why it's called practice. Let your own natural wisdom drop the unhelpful behaviors, which it will, with enough practice.

This is like training the lizard part of the mind. It takes lots of time and lots of training sessions. If there was an easier way, the buddha would have told us. Instead, he appreciated it was hard work and that we have to do ourselves.

~~"Behold, O monks, this is my last advice to you. All component things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting. Work hard to gain your own salvation."

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/6/16 4:22 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 06/12/2016 1st sit Evening
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breathing at nose.
As soon as I sat down I could feel awareness of body sensations.
Like tension bulges popping up and flowing along, tingling in hands and feet, sensations around the limbs and the nose area was also noticeable.
But actually not really able to follow breath for any length of time.
Kept on losing breath count of 3 X 10rounds.
Mindwandering a lot.
 
30 to 60min
Following in breath and noting seeing, hearing, feeling and thinking on outbreath.
Mix of really poor ability to stay with noting and the much stronger awareness of body sensations.
Body sensations was like watching the blobby mass inside a lava lamp.
It struck me that it was a really odd mix.
Got quite sleepy and heavy and very dreamy at times.
Lots and lots of mindwandering, spacing out and realising that I had completely forgotten to note.
Very foggy and blurry.
 
 
Date: 06/12/2016 2nd sit Evening
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, noting
0 to 60min
Again really noticeable how quickly I get the feel for the body sensations when I sit to meditate.
Also again how difficult it was to concentrate on noting, and really forgetful and sleepy.
After about 35minutes decided to try whispering noting because it was just so sleepy and I was worried that I was wasting my time.
Noticed that 90 percent of noting was feeling of body sensations.
So a few times made a conscious decision to pin pong between two senses.
Thoughts are still difficult to catch, though not sure if this because they are not there so much or just me not able to notice them.
There were feelings of frustration and impatience but I didn’t know what to note it as.
Are things like frustration and impatience a thought or a feeling?
Some back and forward body movements.
Some itches but not paricularly strong.
Continued to note out loud softly till the bell.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/7/16 3:49 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Basically, you don't try to "fix" this. You just witness it as it comes up. You feel it and you note it. Basically, you have to feel those yucky sensations with clear awareness --- and the body-mind itself will realize, "hey, this isn't helping. Why am I doing this? It doesn't help." It will eventually drop it like a hot coal. But the trick is, you have to go _through_ the experience and feel it intimately. If you avoid it or try to ignore it, the habit might be less noticable, but the next time you are in the right conditions, like on quiet retreat, it will come back again.

Would be good to set the conditions so that I can put myself through it, but the only times I've felt it have been on retreat, so it's a shame that there aren't easier ways to recreate the conditions.

Once again thanks for your input, time and patience.emoticon 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/7/16 5:48 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
One thing you can do is to evoke the feelings all over again, using your memory and imagination. If you can relive it in memory and practice developing the right view, then you will have trained for when it happens again. Obviously, it's imposible to completely "cure" things without facing the actual triggers and truly maintaining a clear mind during the real thing... but I would say you could reduce the power of these feelings by 75% if you spend some time now recreating them in your memory, feeling them in your body, and then studying them objectively. Go for it, you'll see!

"Oh, here is what my body feels like in my stomach, my back, my neck, my face, my head. Here's the emotions I'm feeling about the quiet, the unnaturalness, the others, the teachers, the retreat facility. Here are the thoughts I have about breathing, loudness, inadequacy, failure. Here's how I feel when I avoid things and hide outside of formal meditation sessions, here are the thoughts that go through my mind... etc.  Hmm.. I guess I don't need to care so much if my stomach feels like this, I know it's not a big deal. Sure it's fine if I have that thought about unnatural quietness, that's me just being paranoid. I guess I could try doing more sits when I'm feeling afraid and paranoid, adding one sit isn't going to kill me. It's funny how I worry about the sound of breathing, it's not as big a distraction as what I think, obviously I'm using that as an excuse" etc.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/7/16 3:47 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date : 07/12/2016 1st sit Evening
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, metta
0 to 30min
Follow breath at nose
Relaxing first and checking in with body and mind.
Again as soon as I sit I kind of lock in to the feeling of body sensations quite quickly.
And there’s also a fairly strong feeling around the right eye area.
But the concentration on following the breathing is pretty bad compared to my awareness of body sensations.
Kept losing count of breaths a lot of times and there’s a constant drowsy, sleepy feeling to it.
Just kept counting anyway.
A sense of wanting to move on to trying the metta meditation    
 
30 to 60min
Metta meditation
Thought I would do metta to myself for this part.
Continuously recited May I be happy, May I be safe, May I be peaceful, May I be healthy, May I take care of myself happily.
At first the drowsy, sleepy feeling continued from the first half of sit.
After about 15/20 minutes sensations round forehead got stronger and overall body sensations grew stronger.
I tried to consciously smile a couple of times.
I forgot to recite a couple of times.
Towards the end I concentrated more and more on each word as I said it and what they meant so it got slower and more purposeful and I could get a sense of what each word meant and how it made me feel in my body and the thoughts they generated.
 
 
Date: 07/12/2016 2nd sit Evening
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, noting out loud seeing, thinking, hearing, and feeling
0 to 60min
Thought I would try noting out loud continuously and not just on the out breath.
Again probably 90% was noting “feeling” of body sensations.
Thoughts were mostly noted way after they happened but hardy at all, and I found myself asking “was that a thought I missed a moment ago?” This was a general pattern with thoughts.
There were the usual aversions, boredom, frustration and impatience.
And also so much occurring at once that I just couldn’t keep up with the noting but I just didn’t worry too much about it and just kept a steady pace of noting.
I also felt I couldn’t tell at times if it was seeing, feeling, or thinking as it seemed to be layered or intermingling.  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/7/16 3:54 PM as a reply to shargrol.
One thing you can do is to evoke the feelings all over again, using your memory and imagination. If you can relive it in memory and practice developing the right view, then you will have trained for when it happens again. Obviously, it's imposible to completely "cure" things without facing the actual triggers and truly maintaining a clear mind during the real thing... but I would say you could reduce the power of these feelings by 75% if you spend some time now recreating them in your memory, feeling them in your body, and then studying them objectively. Go for it, you'll see!


Interesting stuff, I'll give it a go.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/8/16 4:04 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date : 08/12/2016 Morning
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breath at nose
Relaxing and settling in
Counting breaths from 1 to 10
Forgetting count and returning to counting
 
20 to 60min
Noting seeing, hearing, thinking and feeling out loud
Mostly noting feelings of body sensations.
After a while decided to note each sense door in sequence so that I could give each sense a go rather than just focusing on feelings all the time.
So I would note, feeling(usually body sensations), hearing(ringing in ears was always there to note if nothing else), seeing(sometimes images but just being aware of the eyes as seeing), and thinking(I couldn't actually note any thoughts when I came to this.
Other things noted included frustration, wanting progress, craving, wanting the sit to end, aversion and timer thoughts, and impatience.
In the end went back to following inbreath, and silent noting on outbreath, which was much easier to catch the subtler stuff.
  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/8/16 3:43 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 08/12/2016 1st sit Evening
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, metta
0 to 60min
Metta meditation
Continuously recited May I be happy, May I be safe, May I be peaceful, May I be healthy, May I take care of myself happily.
About halfway through got sleepy and forgetful, forgot the words at some points, forgot the sequence.
There were noticeable shifts in body sensations.
Towards the end the shift was very noticeable, there was a sense of flowing sensations around the body and an easiness to it.
I also tried to understand the meaning of happy, safe, peaceful, healthy and taking care of myself more and more and to try to sense what each word felt as feelings in the body when I concentrated on them, sometimes I could and sometimes I couldn’t.
A couple of times I just dropped the reciting and just flowed with the sensations and see if they got more intense or less.
I’m guessing these are Jhana type of sensations but I really don’t know which ones.
It was nice anyway.
At the end certainly felt that I could have sat a lot longer.
 
 
Date: 08/12/2016 2nd sit Evening
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, silent noting seeing, thinking, hearing, and feeling
0 to 60min
Started with counting breaths for 5/10 minutes
Fairly easy to feel solid bodily sensations probably due to metta practise before
Noting mostly feelings of body sensations and quite a lot of hearing especially ringing in ears.
Not so much seeing and hardly any thinking
There was a kind of reassuring heavy/stiff/solidity of bodily feeling to the sit.
Also a peacefulness to the sit.
Realised a lot of times that I was getting sucked into these bodily sensations and forgetting to note thinking, as I was getting lost in stories.
Only started to realise this as the bell went at the end
Then the heavy/stiff/solidity sensations spread to include my head area.
Also sensations round the right eye area were particularly prominent(felt like my eyelids were blinking all the time and the eye was moving a lot).
Some itching sensations too.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/9/16 3:25 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 09/12/2016 Morning
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Counting breaths and following breath 

30 to 60min
Silent noting of hearing, thinking, feeling, and seeing
After a while attention gravitated back to following the breath at the nose so just let it.
It was restful and calm.
A patch of restlessness popped up so decided to go back to noting after which things settled down again and went back to following the breath at nose.
I also feel that I'm very slowly starting to notice thinking.
I have to keep reminding myself to be aware of it.
It's never there when I consciously look for them though.
Towards the end timer thoughts, wanting the sit to end, and planning what to after the sit.  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/9/16 3:44 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 09/12/2016 Evening sit
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, metta, noting
0 to 30min
Metta meditation
Continuous silent reciting May I be happy, May I be safe, May I be peaceful, May I be healthy, May I take care of myself happily.
 
30 to 90min
Silent noting seeing, hearing, feeling and thinking
Most of the sit had a foggy, thick and sleepy feel to it.
Mostly noting feeling of body sensations and hearing of ringing in ears when I could.
When I could I tried to remember about trying to note thinking more, but with the foggy feel to the sit, it was difficult.
Quite a lot of doubts, and worry about practise.
My body was swaying back and forth with different kinds of tensions moving around my back not rhythmic quite random, not painful either.
Also lots of noting feeling around breathing, and also sensations around the head were very noticeable, and some itches too.
Towards the end had more and more timer thoughts and planning what to do after.
Also towards the end brightness behind eyelids which got stronger and stronger, and the body tensions and moving around also more noticeable.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/10/16 2:31 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 10/12/2016 1st sit Morning
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 30min
Follow breath
Counting breathing
After a while the body sensations became more unified and noticeable.
Tried to drop the focus on breathing and switch to focusing on sensations
Found that I got quite sleepy when I did this so went back to follow breath
 
30 to 60min
Silent noting feeling, seeing, hearing and thinking.
After a while things got a bit sleepy and spaced out so whispering noting.
Phases where sensations grew stronger especially in hands and feet and round eye, head, nose and then lessened.
Trying to be more aware of thoughts but honestly think that as the sit progressed there just doesn’t seem to be many thoughts, or if there are then I’m just not sensing them.
It’s mostly a very physical awareness and also quite a lot of hearing, and some seeing.
Some aversion to practise, doubts, timer thoughts.
 
Date: 10/12/2016 2nd sit Morning
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 20min
Follow breathing then when body sensations became more unified, all over and prominent, switched to awareness of body sensations and trying to cultivate it.
Found that I got quite sleepy when I tried this.
Eventually ended up with a mixture of both follow the breath and placing awareness on body sensations.
Sensations around head are getting stronger especially on sides of head around temples
 
20 to 65min
Silent noting of seeing, hearing, thinking and feeling.
Again a very physically aware sit.
Some body swaying back and forth movement with tensions moving up and down back and also seemed to be connected to breathing as it went in and out.
Not painful though.
Quite a lot of sleepiness.
Wondered sometimes if I was too sleepy so tried to note out loud but found this quite disruptive.
Some pain in right knee at end so shifted position.
Also towards end got quite restless/impatient for the sit to be over and planning/worrying about what I had to do after the sit. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/11/16 3:16 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
11/12/2016 Morning
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting, metta
0 to 30min
A mixture of following and counting the breath and awareness of overall body sensations.
Sometimes I will drop intentionaly following the breath and try to place attention on body sensations to see if I can cultivate it.
Although attention will sometimes naturally return to the breath.
I’m trying to see if I can develop the jhanas.
 
30 to 75min
Silent noting feeling, hearing, seeing and thinking.
At first rather than noting whatever sense came up I consciously cycled through each one in sequence.
Sometimes one of the other senses came into attention and I would note it and come back to the sense which was in the original sequence.
By doing this I’m hoping to catch thinking more.
Again very few times I could note thinking.
I did notice by doing this that a lot of the times the senses converge on one phenomena so there would be feeling, seeing together or feeling, hearing, and seeing together.
A patch where body sensations were a little unpleasant and spent most of this time just noting these so had to drop the sequence noting.
A patch of ache and pain in right knee where I thought I might have to cha nge position but this passed.
Also a couple of itches but didn’t last long.
Towards the end just ended up listening to my breathing and noting the sensations in my stomach.
Made me think of the Goenka group sit where if my breathing was this loud I would have been quite stressed out and would have controlled my breathing by breathing through my mouth. By breathing through my mouth I couldn’t hear myself so I didn’t exist, and if I didn’t exist then I didn’t have any worries
But happening here listening to my breathing in/out it was the complete opposite, the so und of my breathing confirmed that I was physically sat here and quite real, and comforting.
Very odd     
 
75 to 90min
Practised metta may I be happy, may I be ssafe, may I be peaceful, may I be healthy, and may I take care of myself happily and extended to my family. I was going to move on to friends, work colleagues, people who I don’t get on with and all living beings but didn’t have time

 
Date: 11/12/2016 Evening
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting, metta
0 to 30min
Just sat and relaxed and let the sit take me.
Some following of breath mixed in with following all over body sensations.
 
30 to 75min
Silent noting of seeing, hearing, thinking and feeling.
Lots of sleepiness, and dreaming of stuff, forgetting to note.
Towards the end just wanted the sit to end.
Seemed to get embedded in doubts and worry about practise, feelings of hopelessness, and pointlessness of it all.
Wondering wether I'm wasting my time with this with all the time I'm putting into it.
Lots of shifting around too.
A few itches.
On a Sunday I usually go for a swim so I’m quite achy all over and tired.
Definitely harder for me to concentrate and is probably affecting my mood too.
There was a tendency for attention to just want to rest in the breathing and nose and eye area.
 
75 to 90
Finished with some metta for myself, family and friends.
The forehead area became sensitive towards the end. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/12/16 3:47 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 12/12/2016 Morning
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting, metta
0 to 30min
Relaxed, counting 3 X 10breaths.
When I could feel body sensations arising and getting stronger then switched from following breath to placing attention on sensations especially in hands.
Trying this to see if I can cultivate Jhanas.
Nothing really solid to report on as yet.
An over all body sensations feeling is there but I can't tell if it's Jhanas or not.

30 to 60min
Silent anchor noting of in/out for breathing with noting of feeling, hearing, seeing and thinking when they arise.
Body sensations grew stronger especially in hands spreading to all over, but not in the head as much as it has been, visual light show behind eyelids, some aches which passed, some feelings of nausea, some sleepyness, towards the end feeling of things building up and something was going to happen.

60 to 65min
Practise metta.
Again the forehead middle of eyes area became sensitive, not so much forehead but middle of eyes.
Not sure if this is Jhana either.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/12/16 4:10 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date : 12/12/2016 Evening
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting, metta
0 to 30min
Just before I sat I felt glad and relieved that I was meditating tonight.
Sat and relaxed.
Counted breaths 3 X 10 rounds and a couple more.
Waited for body sensations to get stronger then switched between following breaths and feeling body sensations.
Tried to switch completely to feeling body sensations all over and drop the breath to see if I could experiment with Jhanas but found I couldn’t, so ended up being a mixture of following breath and feeling body sensations.
Don’t know if this is right but seems to be the trend at the moment
 
30 to 75min
Silent noting of in /out breath and feeling, hearing, seeing and thinking.
Pretty quickly just ended up noting in/out breath and feeling of body sesations.
I seemed to be able to lock into the sensations of breathing and the body
I found I could alternate between the idea or thought of sensations and then duck under and into them, a bit like going under the radar, that's what it felt like anyway.
Another analogy would be like being above the water and then submerging under the water and swimming around under water, and watching/flowing along.
Also like being in another world completely, like there’s this external world which we live in and then there’s this other inner world which is not so much about what we see with the eyes and more about feeling.
It was easy, calm, peaceful and interesting.
There was a patch where worrying thoughts came into view, and took centre stage. This passed and the inner world thing returned.
A couple of times I tried to come back to noting all of the senses, but the sense of being immersed in this other world underneath continued
 
75 to 90min
Practised metta for me, family and friends.
The feeling of being immersed in this other world kept returning and interrupting into the metta.
There was some pain but each time the initial feeling would appear as painful but as soon as I placed my attention on the actual sensations the pain dissipated and disappeared and I returned to the metta.
Although there was a feeling at times that I didn’t really believe in the metta that I was practising but I continued anyway.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/13/16 3:27 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 13/12/2016 Evening
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting, metta
0 to 30min
Relaxed and counted breaths 3 X 10.
I could feel the breath in/out quite easily but also, the right eye area became sensitive.
Because the right eye area was so prominent  I tried to see if I could concentrate on just the right eye area and exclude the breath. It didn’t seem to work so just stayed with following the breath and every now and then tried to look a little closer at the right eye area.
 
30 to 75min
Intended to note in/out of breath and also note feeling, hearing, seeing and thinking but soon dropped this as I just couldn’t be bothered with noting the senses, and just kind of wallowed in the in/out breath as it was so easy to lock into it.
There’s was an apathy to the sit, and a feeling that I’m getting nowhere and kind of stuck in a rut, and doubts about the practise, and boredom.
A couple of times I tried to note but soon gave up.
No physical bodily pains though and didn’t move at all so no physical restlessness so seems to be more of a mind thing
 
75 to 90min
Practised metta for myself.
After 10minutes I could kind of feel the sensations that I was reciting such as happiness, safeness, peacefulness, healthy, at which point I started to recite metta for others and it seemed more believable since I could feel it myself.  
And at times if a negative emotion, or unpleasant thought/sensation arose I tried to put it side by side with the metta sensations which I was experiencing to see if it could help.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/14/16 4:17 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 14/12/2016 1st sit Evening
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: metta
0 to 65min
Decided to practise metta for the whole sit
Just recited metta for myself.
Couldn’t seem to really get the good metta feelings going.
Felt like I was just reciting words over and over again, nevertheless I continued to the end.
A couple of patches where I spaced out and forgot to recite.
I tried to explore each word and look at what they mean,
i.e, What does it mean to be happy,
What does it mean to be safe, peaceful, healthy and to take of oneself happily.
There was a feeling of frustration at being unable to generate the good vibes, and towards the end there seemed to be more of a feeling of asking someone if I could be happy, could be safe.
So it turned more into
Please, May I be happy?   
Please, May I be safe? etc
Occasionally I noticed that there was tingling feelings in hands, allover body sensations and the strong presence of feeling around the breathing and nose area. I just came back to reciting and exploring the metta words.
Right at the end I suddenly decided to change to reciting metta for others and it kind of worked better as I could actually visualize the people as I recited the metta and the feelings felt more genuine. But this was only for the last few minutes.
I was kind of planning on trying to generate some sort of genuine feeling for the metta words for myself first and then start on everyone else.
But now I’m thinking maybe I can in the future just move onto everyone else after a while and don’t worry too much about it. I’m still experimenting with this.
  
 
 
Date: 14/12/2016 2nd sit Evening
Posture: Cross legged sit still, follow breath, noting
0 to 10min
Settling in and counting breaths.
Pretty soon got into my usual state.
I can kind of tune into this state now almost automatically, almost like tuning into a certain frequency like a radio station that I know.
This state is characterised by an awareness which is based more around the internal flows and feelings within the body like tingling hands and feet, a constant feeling of sensitivity around the nose, eyes and forehead, especially the right eye area at the moment, ringing in ears, and tensions and flows in the back.
There’s a certain flavour to it too which is very distinct and I can’t really describe except I know it when it happens.
Thoughts are generally dialled down and mindwandering is still there but happens within this state rather than them pulling me out of this state   
 
10 to 65min
Intended to note feeling, hearing, seeing and thinking, but this got dropped after a while as all I want to do at the moment is just dwell in this state mentioned above.
It’s calm and peaceful and not a lot going on.
Some itches and pins and needles feeling.
Sensations got stronger at certain points and towards the end pains and aches were building in my legs but it was ok.
In the absence of noting I tried to practise general awareness as much as possible.
Awareness of my breath coming in and going out.
Awareness of body sensations.
Awareness of any mindwandering, and any thoughts/stories pulling me away and noting them as soon as I realised. There were thoughts about what I was going to write in my log, timer thoughts, wanting the sit to end, boredom, work thoughts, remembering thoughts, a couple of obsessive thoughts which kept coming back.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/14/16 6:54 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Beautiful. Keep going. Straight ahead.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/15/16 4:12 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Feels like I don't really know what I'm doing.
A lack of confidence in the whole thing, and a feeling like i'm just flowing with things.
I've kind of given up on ever getting stream entry. 
I'm just doing the meditation.

But as always your support and words of encouragement are mightily appreciated.
Thank you emoticon

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/15/16 4:44 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 15/12/2016 Morning
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting
Due to work commitments this is my first morning sit in the last couple of days.
Glad to be back as I don't want to get in the habit of not doing the morning sit. 
0 to 30min
Kept losing count of breaths as there seemed to be more of a panoramic feel to things.
Difficulty in concentrating on counting breaths.
Kept starting counting anyway.
The line between concentration practise and noting/awareness is less clear.
It all seems to be mixing in.
Usual body state feeling, calmness, sensations in hands and feet and limbs , sensitive nose and eyes area, ringing in ears.
A couple of itches turned up.  

30 to 60min
A mixture of noting and trying to be aware of thoughts and mindwandering as much as possible, also noting in/out breath.
Body sensations are so obvious that I don't have to put so much effort into these.
Dare I say it but I think I'm noticing thoughts more, timer thoughts, inner dialogue thoughts, theorizing about practise thoughts, worrying about work thoughts.
Some mindwandering too, but trying consciously to pin down the moment when I wake up and realise I'm mindwandering, and noting what it was, sometimes a thought, sometimes just spacing out, sometimes I can't pin down what it is. 
Intensity of body sensations grew stronger through the sit.
There was a particular persistent tension/ache in my upper back which moved further to the left which I have never felt before.
But it was all ok.

60 to 65min
Metta for myself and family, 5 minutes is not enough to include friends, enemies and all beings.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/15/16 3:27 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 15/12/2016 Evening
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting, metta
0 to 30min
The whole sit was messy.
Intended to start by following breath but felt really apathetic, lazy, and loss of belief in the practise. Confusion, doubts and boredom.
Inability to count breaths and lack of motivation.
All this played out on the usual felt body sensations background, and sensitive nose and eyes area.
Every now and then the breath would come into view strongly and then go back into background.
Decided to start noting early and kept getting confused and unsure about what I should be doing and bouncing between trying to concentrate and starting to note with neither really working out.
 
30 to 75min
The confusion and inability to stick to one thing continued as I tried to note.
Gave up on noting as I just didn’t believe in the whole thing.
Felt like I was playing a game.
Tried to switch to following the breath and that soon stopped.
Again all this played out against the backdrop of my felt body sensations.
The area around the right eye again was prominent.
A ton of negative mindstates and thoughts.
 
75 to 90min    
Practised metta.
This was the only part which felt relatively stable as I was able to stick with it and not get too distracted although there were a couple of distractions.
 
My sits at the moment seem to be very up and down.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/16/16 4:03 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 16/12/2016 Morning
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting, metta
0 to 30min
Tried following the breath to get concentrated but the restlessness from last nights sit persisted.
Counted breaths but kept losing count.
The usual body sensations are there but the mind is restless.
Towards the end of the 30min breath concentration was better as I felt more absorbed and immersed and could stay/feel the breath more and the restlessnes gradually receeded.
Felt like I wanted to continue just following the berath especially after the crazy sit last night.
 
30 to 60min
Noting in/out breath and noting feeling, thinking, hearing and seeing.
At first the noting was ok.
Then there was a forgetful part followed by a sleepy part and then a sleepy/dreamy part.
Still some doubts and not sure if I was really noting anything when it got dreamy and sleepy.
There were some flashes of random images.
Just thankful that the negativity from last night's sit had gone so I just kind of rested in the dreamyness.
Not sure if this is right as it sounds like I should be noting.
At one point I opened my eyes just to check.
It's a habit I've got into, not sure why, it's kind of like a check I make to see if there is a difference in perception of things.  
Felling of sensations were still there in the background.
 
60to 75min   
Practised metta.
The metta practise seems to be the only thing which is consistently ok.
Seem to be able to generate more body sensations from it, but not sure if this is also because I have been meditating for a while already when I start metta.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/16/16 3:01 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 16/12/2016 Evening
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting, metta
0 to 30min
Difficulty in just focusing on breath as awareness wanted to stay more broad and than pointed.
Over all body sensations, hands and feet and general nose area.
Tried counting breaths but kept losing count all the time but continued to count nonetheless. 
 
30 to 60min
Noting in/out breath and feeling, hearing, seeing and thinking.
I think this was ok, but my neighbours had a couple of noisy children visiting so a lot of noting hearing going on.
Towards the end attention and awareness was mainly on breathing and the nose and right eye area. Don’t know why.
No major things going on.
 
60 to 75min    
Practised metta.
I visualised the words tonight which seemed to help to generate more meaning from them, and also shorten the phrases to just
Be happy X
Be safe X,
Be peaceful X, etc, etc
where X is the name of the person which also seemed to help. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/17/16 4:38 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 17/12/2016 Morning
Posture: Burmese
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting, metta
0 to 30min
Difficulty in counting breaths.
Kept losing count a lot and attention just seemed to wander off all the time from the breath.
Felt like out of my control.
Just kept trying to count breaths anyway.
Got sleepy at one point.
Towards the end of the 30minutes my mind wandered off but when I “woke up” to it, I realised that I was more absorbed(overall body feelings were stronger and pleasant, like being inside something and a sense of my eyes looking around) and actually felt more concentrated.
This is a phenomena I’ve noticed before like I’m lost and spaced out and when I come to, I’m actually more concentrated and absorbed and the hindrances seem to be all gone and there's a pureness to it.
Of course I could be completely wrong again
Also the concentration part seems to be melding into the noting part of the sit with minor differences.
 
30 to 60min
Noting in/out breath then feeling, hearing, seeing, and thinking.
Got into a rhythm of sequential noting
  • In/out of breath then feeling(could always find body sensations somewhere)
  • In/out of breath then hearing(again always sounds to note and if none were there then ringing in ears always there)
  • In/out of breath then seeing(didn’t seem to be much to see so just noted seeing the backs of my eyelids with all the various things going on there)
  • In/out of breath then thinking(still don’t know about this part as I honestly think that most of the time I couldn’t find any thoughts to note so noted "none" or "don’t know")
If something pulled attention away from the sequence then this was noted and I returned to the sequence.
I find that I need some sort of system to cling to at the moment.
Towards the end things like itches and aches, started to show up so just noted these then went back to the sequence.
Also a persistent cool tension/ache showed up in right back as the bell went.
 
60 to 75min    
Practised metta.
Noticed that it seemed easier to mean the words when metta was given for others but I didn’t quite believe it when I expressed them for myself.
Mindwandering, impatience, aversion to practising metta which were noted then continued.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/17/16 2:56 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 17/12/2016 Evening
Posture: Cross legged
Meditative techniques: sit still, follow breath, noting, metta
0 to 30min
Unsure about whether I’m actually able to follow the breath lately.
At times feels like I’m not at all following the breath when I think I am.
Instead it feels like a very shallow attention on the breath and I have to constantly remind myself.
When I look closely it feels like I’m more aware of the sensations around the right eye with following the breath being in the background.
There seems to be lots of spacing out.
Following the breath seems difficult to do at present.
 
30 to 60min
Noting in/out of breath followed by noting feeling, hearing, seeing and thinking.
Ok at first then lots of spacing out and wandering mind and drifting off.
Other than this nothing major to report.
 
60 to 75min    
Practise metta but mainly recited, May I take care of my relationship with X happily.
The metta feelings felt more genuine tonight than it usually does.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/18/16 5:12 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 18/12/2016 Morning 
Posture: Alternating sitting 15min, and walking 15min for 1hour
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting
                                     Walking - noting lifting, moving and placing
Thought I would try something else.
Found some instructions here
https://suvacobhikkhu.wordpress.com/meditation-manuals/
Started with prostrations as advised in the link.

1. 0 to 15min
Walking just 3 steps, stopping, turning and repeat.
Noting lifting, moving, placing.

2. 15 to 30min
Sitting noting rising, falling, of abdomen followed by noting sitting on the next in breath.
Repeat

3. 30 to 45min
Repeated 1 but with my eyes closed which seemed to help to concentrate more on the actions being performed.
Things felt calmer.

4. 45 to 60min    
Difficulty in concentrating on the rise and fall of abdomen as I’m used to following the breath so alternated between the abdomen and breath.
Some mindwandering starting to occur and spacing out.
Nevertheless body sensations getting stronger and more unified and sense of peace, calm, and lack of distractions and hindrances.
Felt pleasantness and joy? arising.
It definitely felt different to when I started.
My forehead became ticklish.

I can see how this practise would be very effective if kept up 24/7, of course actually doing it is a different matter.  
 
It was good to mix up the sit with some walking meditation and could help to stop spacing out and sleepyness.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/18/16 3:02 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 18/12/2016 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 15min, and walking 15min for 1hour
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting
                                     Walking - noting lifting, moving and placing
Started with prostrations.
Feel that it’s quite fast and I need to slow things down more and concentrate more on the actions being performed.

0 to 15min
Walking 3 steps, turning, repeat.  

15 to 30min
Sitting

30 to 45min
Walking
Started to get the ticklish forehead and tingling hands and that overall body feeling.
Only ever felt this when sitting so this was interesting.

45 to 60min
Sitting
Kept forgetting what I should be noting.
Quite sleepy.
Nevertheless the body feeling grew stronger and stronger.
Sundays are my swim days so I’m quite achy and tired which added something to the sit.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/19/16 3:05 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 19/12/2016 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 15min, and walking 15min for 1hour
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting
                                     Walking - noting lifting, moving and placing
Started with 5min prostration.
Started to feel flowing body sensations during the first walk and also slight ticklish in forehead.
The body sensations grew stronger through the walking and sitting sessions.
Started to notice a certain rhythm to walking and how the body leans and sways especially during the second walk.
When I stood still after 3 steps, felt like I could rest standing for a lot longer just feeling the “lava lamp” feeling of flowing through the body. A restful, tired, lazy, feeling.
During the last sit there was a light show behind eyelids and a “building up” of something.
The nose, right nostril and right eye area became prominent and a pleasantness to body sensations. Again very restful.
Because I’m used to following the breath, sensations around the breath kind of sneak in when I’m noting rising/falling of abdomen and sitting. 

I'm enjoying this new structure to my sit.
Don't know if this is because it's new and a bit of a novelty.
Time will tell.
But for the moemnt it's nice and I feel like it's doing me good.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/20/16 3:46 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Practised metta for 65 minutes this morning.
Started by expressing metta for myself and came back to myself intermittently.
After a while other people would come into my thoughts and I would switch my metta towards them.
Also found that sad or painful memories/feelings would come into my thoughts and I would include these in my metta.
Towards the end I could identify areas of my life which didn't feel right or contained anxiety and I would include these in my metta.
Also found areas of my life which definitely need working on so I threw these into my metta pot too.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/21/16 3:09 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 21/12/2016 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 20min for 80min
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting
                                     Walking - noting lifting, raising, moving and placing
Started with 5min prostration.
During the first walk temples of head became sensitive.
The times when I stand still can feel flowing sensations round body and wanting to rest in it.
When turning round there is a rhythm and sway to the body.
During the third walk slowed it down more so that I could notice the 4 steps more.
Also noticed that during the transitions from walking to sit, I saw intentions as I was acting them out, and thought to myself “oh there was the intention to move that”.
I could see how everything could be slowed down to noting the intention and then noting the action.
There is a very dreamy, sleepy, lazy quality especially noticeable during the sits.
Noticed that I kept forgetting to note the sitting part during the sits.
It was like a part of me was saying “you have to note something”, but I couldn’t for the life of remember what it was even though it’s just “sitting”, and there was a lag in everything, like a delayed response.
I tried to add touch points during the last sit but got completely lost, and not enough time to note them in tandem with rising and falling of abdomen so just stayed with noting rising, falling and sitting.
Noting rising and falling was generally ok, but noting sitting was harder at times as I wasn’t sure what it was exactly.
Sensations of nose area also kept interrupting too.
Again the very noticeable shift in body sensations at the end sit.
Hard to describe but whole body was very sensitive.
A couple of times I dropped the noting and went with the feelings and body sensations which came up, definitely pleasant but went back to noting after a while.
 
I can see how it would be easier to keep this type of practise alternating between walking and sitting for a long time, whereas just sitting would be a lot harder to do as bodily pains would interrupt.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/22/16 3:49 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Woke up feeling a little sad today.
Nearly didn't get to meditate.
60 minute metta practise this morning.
Started with metta for myself.
After a while the practise guided me to areas of my life which were in need of attention so switched to metta for these areas. in particular my relationships and issues of anger, hostility, envy and jealousy.
Its interesting how the metta practise has evolved into something which is able to shine a light on aspects of my life which are in need of help, rather than just being a mechanical reciting of goodwill and love, although the constant reciting does help. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/22/16 3:34 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 22/12/2016 Evening
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting
                                     Walking - noting lifting, raising, moving and placing
Started with 5min prostration.
Pretty much the same thing as last nights sit but kept my eyes open during the walks as I get unbalanced when I slow the walking down.
The standing parts are when I feel the bodys flows.
During the first sit tried to add 2 touch points but dropped these after a while as they were so difficult to apprehend.
During the second walk started to feel more of the inner body as the body leant and swayed especially during the turns, and also slowed each phase of stepping down.
Quite a lot of mindwandering during the walks.
Difficulty in noting during the last sit but at the same time strong sensations especially in my hands and lower arms and around the nose and right eye area.
Again felt like I couldn’t keep up the noting with the in/out breath.
Noting “sitting” seemed really difficult to catch.
The last sit felt really spaced out.
 
I’m intrigued as to where this would lead if I extended the session times.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/23/16 3:26 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
60min metta morning practise.
The practise is starting to feel familiar, and the phrases don't sound so awkward anymore.
There's a certain wellnes and comfortableness to it.
Although certain words and phrases instill anxiety in me.
Some mindwandering and forgetting.
Some aches and pain in back.
Lots of inspection of words and what it means to be happy, angry, hostile, fearful, envious, jealous, greedy, miserly, etc
Also lots of metta for my relationships wtih others
Managed to extend metta to all living beings, usually only manage myself, family and friends.
Didn't pay much attention to body feelings although a distinct shift was felt as the bell went.    

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/23/16 6:30 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Great stuff Mo.

Honestly, metta is the heart of meditation. If you can hold "the other" in your mind with a sense of goodwill, then the entire path of practice will simply unfold. Sometimes other is other individuals or groups of people, but other is also body sensations, emotions, and thoughts.

It all comes down to becoming more and more sensitive to ways we have "ill will" toward reality and then -- not changing anything -- simply holding that ill will with a sense of goodwill. It's like welcoming a broken off part of the self back into the heart and mind, welcoming it back home. 

You'll find that it's very natural to have compassion toward our flaws, resistances, old wounds, fears, ill will. But it takes a certain faith and bravery to go into those experiences and really know them intimately. But once the intention is made to go into those experiences, it all unfolds very naturally. And each time metta is extended to something that was previously resisted, you can feel your sense of power and effectiveness increasing. It's a paradoxical situation where surrendering leads to empowerment, where embracing your ill will leads to even more goodwill.

Hope this helps. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/23/16 8:51 AM as a reply to shargrol.
I will digest your advise and incorporate into my practise.
Always helpful, thank you.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/23/16 3:47 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 23/12/2016 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 20min for 2hrs
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting, and 2 touch point
                                     Walking - noting lifting, raising, moving and placing
Started with 5min prostration.
Quite a lot of mindwandering especially during the walking.
I slowed the walking down a lot to the point where it was unnaturally slow.
I’m not sure if I should just walk normally and note it or slow it down.
The trouble is if I don’t slow it down then I don’t catch all the parts of the step.
During the last walk I thought I could see actions and thoughts as separate, but can’t be sure.
There was a short phase where it just seemed like there was my walking movements and me noting, and not a lot else. And when thoughts grabbed my attention I could see them clearly. My walking movements and my thoughts seemed quite distinctly separate. I could feel how peaceful and calm it was to just be aware of movement and not have thoughts pull me here and there.
During the sits I made a conscious decision to add two touch points and stick with it even though the touch points were difficult to sense.
The whole noting rising/falling of abdomen and then “sitting” on in breath and alternate  touch points on the outbreath is quite hard for me to keep up with, because it asks for quick shifts in awareness from wide(sitting) to pointed(touchpoints), but I guess it’s good because it’s teaching me to stay awake and not space out, although during the last sit attention felt more focussed, stable and concentrated.
During the last sit I just added 1 touch point.
The touch point is quite a big area as I’m unable to get to a small point yet.
Body sensations are pretty much the same as what I’ve always had but because I’m concentrating so much on the noting I don’t really pay too much attention to them.
I guess nothing really strong has grabbed my attention yet.
Felt really spacy after the 2hours, so wonder what it would feel like to do this in a retreat environment 24/7.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/23/16 9:06 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Fwiw, I used to purposely slow down to note as quickly as possible: I would just say "dah- dah-dah" (or whatever), as it was too fast for full word notes.  Was useful.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/24/16 5:10 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
65 minutes metta practise this morning.
The first 30 were ok, but somewhat restless feel to it.
But got very sleepy towards the latter part of the sit.
Didn't feel quite as effective to day, maybe because I have things to do today which are subconsciously affecting me.
Played around with difficult emotions and feelings, i.e 
May I accept anger, may I understand anger, may I be free from anger...
May I accept fear, may I understand fear, may I be free from fear...etc, etc

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/24/16 5:11 AM as a reply to Noah D.
ok, thanks noah.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/25/16 3:04 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 25/12/2016 Morning
65minute metta practise
Continuing to spend a lot of it looking at meanings of words such as anger, fear, greed, misery, envy, jealousy.
The metta practise is continuing to focus attention on uncomfortable areas of my life.
Lots of familiar body sensations such as numbness, tingling, and overall sense of physical wholeness, but I don’t really pay much attention to them. I notice them and then come back to the metta.

Date: 25/12/2016 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 20min for 2hrs
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting, and two touch points
                                     Walking - noting lifting, raising, moving and placing
Started with 5min prostration.
Quite a lot of mindwandering during the walks.
The noting is not enough to occupy my attention.    
The sits are ok and I’m feeling more confident in keeping up with the noting sequence and shifts from wide to narrow in tandem with rising/falling of abdomen.
It’s still fairly difficult to feel much in the touch points, but I’m keeping up with them which is progress.
There’s not much mindwandering during the sits as I’m so occupied in concentrating on the noting.
Although I’m keeping up fairly well with the noting during the sits there’s a heavy sleepy feel to it.
Experience some light back ache during the walks which is something I’ve not experienced before during walking.
Some jaw ache during the last sit.
The usual body sensations but I’m not paying much attention to these at the moment. No pains as such. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/26/16 3:53 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 26/12/2016 Morning
65 minutes metta
Reciting the phrases individually and noticing the body feelings after each phrase.
It seemed as if “May I be happy” was felt as a pretty neutral feeling, and I’m sure there’s more to this but I can’t pinpoint this at the moment.
Of all the phrases “May I be safe” produced the most pleasant and protective feeling.
“May I be peaceful” was also felt as calming and gladdening, but also made me contemplate emotions such as anger, hostility, sadness, envy, and jealousy.
“May I be healthy” made me think of my physical health mainly.
“May I take care of myself happily” made me realise that there are lots of areas of my life where I am not taking care of, where I’m just drifting along with the flow and I could be engaging more positively with these areas, in particular work and relationships.
The session evolved into reciting things like “May I accept X for what he is”, “ May I not be hostile towards X”, “ May I share in X’s happiness”, “May I take care of my relationship with X”, etc  

Date: 26/12/2016 Evening

Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting, and touch points
                                     Walking - noting lifting, raising, moving and placing
Started with 5min prostration.
Decided to try to note more things.
The walks were broken down more and more.
Adding “pressing” to the steps and also more notes during the turns which originally only had “turning”, now there is “intending to turn”, “pressing”, “lifting”, “turning”, and “placing”.
This is hopefully intended to get me more concentrated and less mindwandering.
Also being more mindful during the transitions between the walks and sits.
During the sits I decided to add more touch points just to see how it would go and I was surprised at how effective it was in occupying my mind and stopping mindwandering and spacing out, especially after I had a lot of trouble with just two touch points. Most of the time the touch points are not effectively felt but I think this is progress and it’s keeping my mind on the ball.
During the last sit in order to reduce mindwandering more I tried to be aware of my attention as it did it’s job of noting, it felt like I was watching my attention as it was trying to do the job of noting all of this, widening out and zooming in. It was interesting in that it occupied a lot of my mind.  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/27/16 2:21 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 26/12/2016 Morning
65 minutes metta
Started by reciting metta phrases for myself and delving more into each phrase and expanding on them. More of a drilling down.
Then recited “May I be happy”, moving on to family, friends, work colleagues, my flatmates, substituting “I” for peoples names, leading to neutral persons, expanding out to all beings living in my street, this town, this county, this country, leading to all beings under the oceans surrounding this country, and all beings in the air above this country, leading to other neighbouring countries, leading to continents.
A couple of times I switched to noting rising/falling of abdomen and sitting and touch points just to see how it was to mix metta with noting.
Sensations started to arise of my body kind of glowing and radiating out.
There didn’t seem to be any big loving feelings as such, but it felt like everything was just fine, ok, easy and no rush to do or get anything or get anywhere.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/28/16 3:35 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date : 28/12/2016 Morning
65 minutes metta
Recited the phrases and then concentrated on each phrase and recited other phrases which expanded more on the meanings of the original phrases.
When I came to reciting “May I take care of my relationships happily” it went into “May I take care of my relationship with X happily” where I substituted X for all the different people in my life. Spent a while doing this.
Then recited “May I be full of happiness” and extended these to close family members and extended family members. Found that the phrases changed to
“May X be full of happiness,
May my relationship with X be full of happiness,
May X share in my happiness,
May I share in X’s happiness” and this took up the rest of the session.
So it was all about trying to create happy relationships today.
Found that when I was reciting towards extended family members who I had not seen for a long time, there was a feeling of impatience and wanting to move on to others who were more familiar to me. I was thinking things like “I don’t even have a relationship with these people, how can I wish for a happy relationship with them”, I resisted the temptation to rush and continued as much as possible.
Body sensations felt included heat, feeling of starting to perspire(I think I’s just the unseasonably warm weather), tingling, stiffness, feeling of expansion, some itching and pins and needles, and the area of the right eye again.
The right eye area feeling is kind of like my eyeball is being inside something and I can sense it looking up, down, left, right. 

Date : 28/12/2016 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 20min for 2hrs
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting, and up to 8 touch points
                                     Walking - noting raising, lifting, moving, placing, pressing, stopping, standing, intending to turn, etc
Started with 5min prostration.
Went for a swim and sauna today so quite tired.
Quite a lot of mindwandering during the stepping parts of the walks even though I’m adding more noting parts.
The steps are superslow, maybe a bit too slow.
I tried a couple of times to be slow but fluid without any interruptions which kind of worked I think, not sure why though.
I’m walking in my room so can’t do too many steps before turning.  
Usually the thoughts are in full swing before I notice them, maybe half a step before I notice.
When I’m standing not so much thoughts as I can feel much more stuff going on in my body which occupies my mind.
Trying to note the transitions between walking and sitting but quite messy.
At some point during the second sit my attention just locked into noting rising/falling and sitting, it was just there and I didn’t even have to try anymore.
Easier also to note the touch points but not feeling them the way I was feeling the rising/falling and sitting.
Also an annoying itch turned up.
Again the feeling like I was inside a cave or under something looking around an inner world. An inner world more about inner body sensations rather than sights.
This ease of noting the rising/falling of abdomen and sitting, continued in the third sit, and I just sat enjoying it.
Still could only mentally note the touch points and not really feel them, a bit like trying to shine a torch on spot while being blown around, I just couldn’t get it, but kept noting anyway.
During the last walks quite a lot of sensations round the head, temples and tingles and pins and needles in hands only really felt though when I stood still.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/30/16 4:25 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 29/12/2016 Morning
65 minutes metta
Metta phrases for myself and expanding on meaning of each phrase.
After reciting “May I be peaceful”, spent some time with
“May I be accept experiences and feelings of anger,
May I understand and overcome experiences and feelings of anger,
May I ultimately let go of the feelings of anger”
Extended this to include, annoyance, anxiety, confusion, despair, delusion, depression, irritation, envy, jealousy, fear, greed, lust, miserliness, misery, etc
Got lost a bit after this and spaced out so then decided to move on to expressing metta for close family, extended family and friends and bell went.
Certain people would evoke negative feelings in me and I would recite extra phrases for them such as “May I accept X for what he/she is, May I share in X’s happiness”
A couple of times a horrible feeling came up in my stomach and accompanied by a thought that all this is rubbish, and not doing any good whatsoever, I didn’t quite know how to deal with it, so just continued anyway.
Also tried to do some noting of rising/falling of abdomen and sitting followed by a few touch points.
There’s a remarkable pleasant feeling to the body at the moment which is hard to describe, which started from the sit last night.
It’s comfortable to just sit and very easy.
An everything is ok.
Inner body flows are felt.
I’m worried saying it, as I know from experience that a good experience is nearly always followed by a not so good one.  


Date: 29/122016 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 20min for 2hrs
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting, and up to 8 touch points
                                     Walking - noting raising, lifting, moving, placing, pressing, etc
Started with 5min prostration.
Again quite a lot of mindwandering during the walks.
Also a feeling as if my noting is influencing the walk although I’m sure this is fairly common, didn’t worry too much about it.
It was quite persistent though.
The neighbours had quite a few people around tonight so a lot of my attention was over that way.
There was quite a restless feel to things tonight, attention was quite jumpy.
Noting rising/falling of abdomen and sitting is still quite close but the touch points are still hit and miss.
The skill of being able to zoom in and widen out within inbreath/outbreath is difficult for me.
It all ends up being a bit of an approximation.
But as mentioned the noting of rising/falling and sitting is not bad and has a good quality to it.
During the first sit noting rising/falling and sitting plus 2 touch points building up to 8. Quite a lot of forgetfulness.
During the second sit I tried just limiting to rising/falling and two touch points to see if I could hone in more on those touch points.
The last sit I mixed it up and tried just rising/falling of abdomen, or just sitting, or just 1 or 2 touch points or a mixture of it all.
I found that staying with just one thing like only rising/falling I could zoom in a lot easier and actually feel the sensations, much deeper than if I just did the original noting technique, and it took maybe the whole inbreath to get to the feeling for it, but I could also see how staying on one thing all the time would be easier for spacing out.
Not sure how helpful or correct all this was.
Maybe I’m getting lost in the detail of it needlessly.
But it felt good to just play around with it and get another view/angel on the thing.  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/30/16 4:25 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 30/12/2016 Morning
65 minutes metta
Started with reciting phrased for myself then recited more phrases drilling down into meaning of original phrases.
Then moved to “May I be happy” and expanding out to family, friends, colleagues, town country, world, and all beings.
But there was a restlessness and impatience to it today and I couldn’t be bothered to recite for individuals and just lumped it into friends, colleagues, etc.
Tried different approaches such as noting rising/falling abdomen, noting just touch points, just reciting “May I be happy”, then seemed to settle on “May I take care of myself happily” for a while and it felt appropriate.
The restlessness returned and continued till the end.
There were quite a lot of timer thoughts, and wanting the sit to be over.
Although I say that there was quite a lot of restlessness there was still that feeling of being secluded and inside something and a sense that I was protected in there and could always retreat to it if I wanted too.


Date: 30/12/2016 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 20min for 2hrs
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting, and up to 8 touch points
                                     Walking - noting raising, lifting, moving, placing, pressing, etc
Started with 5min prostration.
Pretty much same as what’s been happening lately, not a lot to report.
The walks have quite a bit of mindwandering.
During the standing parts, sensations round my head especially round temples, and flows around body coming in waves, and kind of rocking me although if someone was looking at me the rocking would probably not be noticeable but I can feel it.
The sits are still the same with easy noting of rising/falling of abdomen and the noting sitting on the next inbreath, and a familiarity to it and like being in a well grooved slot. Feels like I don't have to do anything it just happens, and it's just there.
Sometimes there's a sense of boredom with it.
The noting of the touch points continue to be difficult to really feel, although some are easier to feel than others, and kind of takes the whole outbreath to adjust to and find.
A lot of the touch points are me trying to fix by seeing an image, and occasionally this transitions to some kind of feeling but usually by then the outbreath has finished and I'm back with noting the rising of the abdomen with the next inbreath. 
Difficult to describe in words some of the sensations during the last sit.
Enough to say that it was kind of all encompassing, and also felt like the noting of "sitting" during the inbreath felt like my whole body filling up with air.    

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
12/31/16 4:01 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 31/12/2016 Morning
65 minutes metta
Continuing with the usual format.
Reciting metta phrases for myself and repeating.
Reciting more phrases which expand on the meaning of the original phrases.
Then recited “May I be happy” and expanded to include individual people(very helpful to visualise their faces with a smile) going from family, friends, work colleagues, then became more generalized as I expanded out to town, county, country, continents, and world.
Finished with a quick 5 minutes of noting rising/falling of abdomen and noting sitting on inbreath followed by touch points on the outbreath.     


Date: 31/12/2016 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 20min for 2hrs
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting, and up to 8 touch points
                                     Walking - noting raising, lifting, moving, placing, pressing, etc
Started with 5min prostration.
Quite a lot of sleepiness during the sits tonight.
Also for the first time in ages some aches in the back turned up.
Some restlessness and feeling of not making progress, and doubts.
During the last sit, just concentrated on keeping up noting with the sequence of breathing.
It was interesting to note the difference between this and my usual emphasis on trying more to feel the sensations of what I’m noting, feeling the touch points rather than keeping up with the sequence of breathing.
The focus during the last sit was more around the eyes area, and felt very up close and in my face and not spacious/open at all, although this description is way too simplistic.   

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/6/17 3:50 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 1/1/2017 Morning
65 minutes metta with some noting
Just noted “May I be happy” for most of the session.
A feeling of sadness, regret, melancholy for a lot of the session.
Threw in some noting rising/falling abdomen, sitting and touch points.
 

Date: 1/1/2017 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 20min for 2hrs
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting, and up to 8 touch points
                                     Walking - noting raising, lifting, moving, placing, pressing, etc
Started with 5min prostration.
The noting during the sits is getting more familiar and easier.
Found that the noticing of rising/falling of abdomen in the background, during the noting of sitting and touch points allowed for easier focus.  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/6/17 3:53 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 2/1/2017 Morning
65 minutes metta
Practised metta for myself for the first 30 minutes then directed metta towards family and expanding out to friends, colleagues and all beings.
Nothing really to report.
No real pains or big aversions, pretty easy going

Missed an evening session today, just felt too tired from swim today.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/6/17 3:49 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 03/1/2017 Morning
65 minutes metta
Metta for myself for the whole session.
Towards the end started to get confused and wasn’t sure what to practise.
Practised a little bit noting rising/falling of abdomen, “sitting”, then just free choice noting, then came back to metta.
 
Date: 03/1/2017 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 25min for 2hrs15min
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting, and up to 6 touch points
                                     Walking - noting raising, lifting, moving, placing, pressing, etc
Started with 5min prostration.
Quite a lot of mindwandering during the 2nd and 3rd walks.
Read somewhere about noting the walks and the phenomena of not knowing whether the movement comes first or the thought, and this being “Cause & Effect”. If that is true then I have definitely already felt this. I never quite thought that insight could be as simple as this and so easy to miss.
I wonder what other stages if any I have gone through without realizing.  
Have added another 5minutes on the sits.
The sits are pretty much the same as before.
Some parts were very cloudy, and me unable to note at all, other parts where things fell into place and noting was easy, at times feeling of expansion, tingling in hands, also strong feelings around the right eye again, like my right eye is wide open and my left eye is closed, even though both eyes are obviously closed, also strong sensations around the right nostril too, and during the last sit there was an overall feeling of laziness about it too.
Overall things feel easy and boring like I want something to happen. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/6/17 3:49 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 04/1/2017 Morning
65 minutes metta
Metta for myself, jusr reciting “May I be happy”.
Quite a bit of physical sensations but didn’t really seem to be goodwill/loving feelings.
Seemed like I was just reciting words.
Also at the end some pain/ache appeared in the back and this unpleasant sensations seem at odds with me reciting my metta, like a juxtapose of two different things going on.
Also a little bit of Ajahn Tong style noting.
 
Date: 04/1/2017 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 25min for 2hrs15min
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting, and 2 points
                                     Walking - noting raising, lifting, moving, placing, pressing, etc
Started with 5min prostration.
The first walk seemed very stilted, forced and unnatural.
The first sit seemd very foggy and the things I was noting seemed so far away like there was something in the way. Quite dozy and sleepy too.
Can’t really remember the second walk but it went quite quickly.
The walks generally have quite a lot of mindwandering going on with them, stories, scenario spinning, spacing out, and the standing parts have quite a lot of physical sensations to them.
The last sit managed to get much closer to the noting, and was pretty calm, peaceful and less foggy.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/6/17 3:51 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 05/01/2017 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 25min for 2hrs15min
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting, and 2 points
                                     Walking - noting raising, lifting, moving, placing, pressing, etc
Started with 5min prostration.
Feels a bit like going through the motions at the moment.
Like I’m just sitting and not really trying as hard, like I’s just a habit.
Especially the walks, where there’s lots of past/future story spinning, worries, planning.
The first sit felt like I was trying to note.
The 2nd/3rd sits started to take on a life of their own and didn’t feel like I was trying so much although it was difficult to keep count of the touch points in the right order.
There’s also a lack of motivation to writing these logs and trying to recall the details as a lot of it is much the same.
But there does seem to be different flavour this whole ajahn tong style than to the simply sitting type which I was doing before.  
Also missed my metta morning sit this morning through lack of motivation.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/6/17 7:07 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Definitely keep going through the motions. There will occasionally be plateaus. If you stop practicing, then you just slide back away from your cutting edge. If you practice consistenly, you will move past the plateau into a new domain, a new cutting edge.

To me it sounds like you are actually finding a lot of equanimity in your sits. It can be disconcerting, because it feels like motivation is going away, but the other side of the same coin is there is probably much more contentment during the sits. 

Keep balancing relaxation and investigation, calmness and curiousity. If dull, sit up a little straighter, breathe with more intention, brighten your outlook. If agitatated, frustrated, having difficulties... then relax by softening the posture, softening the breath (try sighing a little, ahh...), and remind yourself this is a long term practice so no need to force some accomplishment in a particular sit.

Be sure your "notes" include all the "lack of motivation" "spinning" "worries" "planning" "not really trying" "just sitting" etc.  All of those experience are states that you can recognize. They aren't "you", they appear in you.

Even boredom and lack of motivation can be turned into an investigation. What _is_ lack-of-motivation? What are the sensations that make it up? What are the feelings of the emotions that make it recognizable as lack-of-motivation? What are the typical patterns of thoughts that go with it? Get curious about boredom and lack of motivation.

If you want to try an "inquiry" type practice, when things are flat and nothing much is happening (usually 20-30 minutes into a sit), form the intention and ask the question "Resistance?" Ask it like you are asking the universe to show you where there might be any remaining resistance in your experience. Then just sit and let the answer come. It will come as a feeling or a flash of an image or a piece of a thought. Just experience that and feel it. Let it arise, linger, and pass. When things are flat again, you can ask "Resistance?" again. Only do this three to five times in a sit. Don't turn it into a meaningless mantra.

Consistent practice! emoticon

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/6/17 3:48 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 06/1/2017 Morning
65 minutes metta
First 30minutes was metta for myself. Didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere with it.
Last 35minutes radiated out from family, friends, and work colleagues.
Just reciting “May X be happy” one person at a time, and visualizing them.
After a while there was a nice feeling to the sit, no real big love/goodwill but a nice stable background feel to it.
I’m finding that the simplicity of the one statement is better than lots of statements.
Seems to allow for greater depth of concentration and ease.
Also I found that I was remembering people I had long forgotten like remembering a distant friend would open the door to another then another, and another etc.
 
Date: 06/1/2017 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 25min for 2hrs15min
Meditative techniques: sitting - noting rising, falling, sitting, and 2 points
                                     Walking - noting raising, lifting, moving, placing, pressing, etc
Started with 5min prostration.
Pretty much the same.
Quite a lot of mindwandering to the walks, and there’s a sense that the walks are a preparation for the sit and a feeling that their not worth worrying about.
This maybe something I need to work on and may be why my mind is wandering a lot during the walks.
The sits are very easy, no dramas to them.
Still lots of forgetting to it and a kind of hazyness where I find that however hard I try I cannot get with the noting.
It feels like it's kind of doing it's own thing, and it takes a while for me to nudge it back on course sometimes, like I can't just force it straightaway.
Feels a bit like a slow motion movie sometimes.
I get soem boredom thoughts too.
During the last sit I felt what seemed like a lot of strength in my posture.
It felt very upright and straight, solid and strong.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/6/17 4:02 PM as a reply to shargrol.
If you want to try an "inquiry" type practice, when things are flat and nothing much is happening (usually 20-30 minutes into a sit), form the intention and ask the question "Resistance?" Ask it like you are asking the universe to show you where there might be any remaining resistance in your experience. Then just sit and let the answer come. It will come as a feeling or a flash of an image or a piece of a thought. Just experience that and feel it. Let it arise, linger, and pass. When things are flat again, you can ask "Resistance?" again. Only do this three to five times in a sit. Don't turn it into a meaningless mantra.
I'll try to remember to try this at some point.

Thank you shargrol.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/8/17 2:20 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 07/01/2017 Morning
65 minutes metta
First 30 metta for myself and last 35 metta for family friends and work colleagues.
The first 30 metta for myself just doesn’t seem very believable but about 45 minutes into the sit then start to feel some deeper feeling of goodwill.
At points I would get a negative flashing thoughts like ”Oh god not this reciting again”, or “Is this really working?”.  

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/8/17 3:21 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 08/01/2017 Morning
65 minutes metta
First 30 metta for myself and last 35 metta for everyone else from family to all beings.
Just staying with the one line “May I be happy”.
There was a feeling of contentment with just reciting the one line, and that everything else is kind of superfluous.
Also kind of slowed down a lot and not so worried about getting everyone into my metta recitation, and just happy to recite at a much slower pace, so only managed to recite for family and friends.
A few moments of negativity but generally peaceful.
 
Date: 08/01/2017 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 25min for 2hrs15min
Meditative techniques: Ajahn Tong
Started with 5min prostration.
Quite a lot of mindwandering in the walks, and not really paying attention, all a bit automatic.
But lots of sensations when I stand still.
Quite lot of impatience, boredom, timer thoughts and wanting the sit to enduring the last sits.
Also more aches than usual although this probably from my swim earlier today.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/9/17 3:49 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 09/01/2017 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 25min, and walking 20min for 2hrs15min
Meditative techniques: Ajahn Tong
Started with 5min prostration.
The walks were generally full of mindwandering, and spacing out.
Also a sense of not caring about it all, and even when the mind was wandering, there was a feeling of enjoying as it took away the boredom of it all.
The sits felt like I was stuck in really thick mud and that feeling of having to slowly pull yourself out, and it happening in slow motion.
Lost the thread for a lot of the noting and seemed to go of in reveries and then catching myself and trying to come back to the noting but was very slow and again like slow motion.
Definitely seems like a regression in terms of my ability to stay with the noting.
 
Missed my morning sit this morning.
Also I’ve been missing other sits too, which might not be a good sign.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/10/17 3:54 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 10/01/2017 Morning
65 minutes metta
Metta for myself the first 30minutes
Difficulty in staying with recitation of metta. Other things to do with family members on my mind at the moment which is providing lots of distracting thoughts, so I couldn’t get into the metta feeling.
Tried to recite metta for others for the last 35minutes but gave up because of restlessness.
Switched to Ajahn Tong noting which calmed me down more so just stayed with that for the remainder of the sit.
 
Date: 10/01/2017 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 25min for 2hrs15min
Meditative techniques: Ajahn Tong
Started with 5min prostration.
The walks felt very mechanical and mindlessly reciting noting walking movements.
The sits felt very thick and like wading through thick sludge/mud, and lots of forgetfulness to note and getting the order wrong.
And sleepy.
Although the last sit started to feel lighter and something different was starting to happen, but the mind was still really a very slippery eel and going off on it’s own, and I had a tendency to forget what order to note things.
Nothing really unpleasant or painful though. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/12/17 3:35 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 11/01/2017 Morning
65 minutes metta
Metta for myself the first 30minutes, and last 35 radiated out to others.
The practise felt better today but there is an underlying worry about other stuff in my life at the moment which can be felt in the background, and coloring the sit.
The feeling of overall body sensations are there pretty much all the time but I don’t really pay attention to them anymore, kind of bored with it now, and they don’t grab my attention like they used to.
 
Date: 12/01/2017 Morning
30 minutes metta followed by 35 minute Ajahn Tong noting.
Sitting in chair.
Nothing to report.
All the stuff going on in my personal life with my mother at the moment is continuing to affect my meditation.
So the sessions tend to have a background worry to them.
My goal at the moment is to at least keep up the habit of sitting as regularly as possible even if the sits are full of worry, and restlessness.
 
Date: 12/01/2017 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 25min for 2hrs15min
Meditative techniques: Ajahn Tong
Started with 5min prostration.
Just happy that I managed to practised, and nothing really different to report. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/13/17 3:45 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 13/01/2017 Morning
65 min metta
First 30 metta for myself.
Got quite a lot of feelings of envy, craving, wanting, and jealousy which ended up turning into sadness, and a feeling of not knowing how to deal with it. Continued nonetheless.
Last 35 metta for others
 
Date: 13/01/2017 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 25min for 2hrs15min
Meditative techniques: Ajahn Tong
Started with 5min prostration.
Same, same but different.
Nothing really unpleasant.
Quick flashes here and there of aversions, and unpleasantness, and watching them dissipate.
Kept forgetting what I should be noting at times.
At times it feels like I could do this for a long time.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/15/17 4:20 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 14/01/2017 Morning
65 min metta
First 30 metta for myself, and last 35 for others.
No unpleasant feelings turned up today.
On a different note, I answer the phone quite a lot in my job, and have started to recite
“may this caller be happy” before each call I answer.
Recently I have noticed that whenever I say this before each call, I get a feeling in my stomach which is quite pleasant.

Only 1 hour practise today, and couldn't get the motivation to do my usual evening meditation.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/15/17 10:32 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Its cool to read your thread and see how your practice has matured over the months.  Fwiw (some folks find this helpful some don't), it seems like you're developing strong familiarity with the first 3 nanas.  This will make crossing the a&p inevitable.  Also, all the contemplative skills you develop will remain an asset across all states and stages.  It seems like the metta is having a good effect.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/15/17 4:00 PM as a reply to Noah D.
Yes my practise certainly has changed since I staretd logging the sits.
I find the current Ajahn Tong format much more forgiving for me.
And metta is certainly helping and has been a nice surprise for me.

Thanks for the advcie Noah. 

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/15/17 4:02 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date: 15/01/2017 Morning
65 min metta
First 30 metta for myself, and last 35 for others.
Reciting “May I be happy” but very distracted and kept losing the phrase, so recited other phrases to get more concentrated which helped to focus more.
Last 35minutes metta for others, which was ok.
Trying to recreate the good feeling that I get when I recite “may this caller be happy” when I answer the telephone at work to all the people who I was directing metta too.
For some reason I find it very easy to create a good feeling when I express metta for anonymous callers partly because I don’t know who they are and it’s like a neutral slate where I don’t have any preconceived ideas about who is calling, whereas when I am expressing metta for family, friends and colleagues there’s always history good/bad which influences me.
 
Date: 15/01/2017 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 25min for 2hrs15min
Meditative techniques: Ajahn Tong
Started with 5min prostration.
Very dozy, and sleepy.
Quiet a lot of itches.
During the sits the feeling of being inside something, and being protected, but also lots of forgetting to note, and forgetting what I should be noting.
The last sit was really dreamy, felt myslef waking up a couple of times and realizing I should be meditating.
Just glad to be practising.

RE: Mo's practice log
Answer
1/16/17 3:42 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Date : 16/01/2017 Morning
65 min metta
First 30 metta for myself, and last 35 for others.

Date : 16/01/2017 Evening
Posture: Alternating sitting 20min, and walking 25min for 2hrs15min
Meditative techniques: Ajahn Tong
Started with 5min prostration.
The walks feel like midless repetition of noting, with not much variance between them.
The first sit was super sleepy, not sure if I was noting much of anything.
The second sit less so.
The third sit was much lighter and I could feel like stuff coursing through