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Renewing enthusiasm

Renewing enthusiasm
8/10/16 3:45 AM
Been meaning to resurrect the idea of journalling/practice log to keep some focus.  Practice this year has been mixed - consistently applied but with varying degrees of concentration and enthusiasm.  To be expected I guess to an extent.  A lot of the time I have left the cushion feeling a sense of doubt as to whether I'm doing anything right at all.

Have worked with a teacher online, and am reading/re-reading MCTB which has in itself brought some focus and 'progress' in practice.

Current focuses;

1) maintain daily sitting practice, (noting)
2) work on increasing informal noting through day, (look for prompts - eg eating, brushing teeth, walking, going to sleep)
3) work on 2nd gear practice
4) work on morality practices - simple stuff that can be applied now

Had a note worthy experience last night after being awoken by one of the kids.  Went back to bed and just noted bodily sensations as I tried to drift back off.  Had a very acute sense of rapid vibrations and a slightly 'unstable' sense of location.  As always this is difficult to describe but for the first time in about 6 months I've shaken off a sense of deep frustration and ill-defined anxiety.  No idea what this was or if it was indeed anything.  Either way, it has gone now but I'll certainly enjoy the current sense of well being for as long as it lasts.

RE: Renewing enthusiasm
8/12/16 2:55 AM as a reply to Hugh Fox.
howdy hugh,
sounds excellent.  i can definitely relate to the roller coaster path model.  there are so many personal variables which lead to or away from consistant practice that it is only the fact that sometimes its great, sometimes its not. sometimes i'm motivated, sometimes I'm not, that sticks out.

your recent lying meditation is a good sign.  what is your cutting edge?  i find this a good variable to keep in mind in times of inconsistant practice.  the high water mark remains but the daily cutting edge is a good milestone to keep in mind before, during and after a sit to help guide and guage progress.

RE: Renewing enthusiasm
8/13/16 5:07 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
Thanks for replying!  What is it you mean by cutting edge?  Do you mean the typical 'depth' of daily practice?

At the moment I have a strange conflict regarding practice 'style'.  I have tended towards a freestyle noting practice for the past 18 months and this is indeed what my teacher has suggested I play with.  However, I am increasingly finding myself settling on the breath in the more traditional Mahasi style.  This style of practice brings some nice pleasant states though I am also aware I may not be in tune to as many sensations as I am with the freestyle approach.  It's a dilemma between going with what feels pleasant and following the advice of someone with more experience than I...  which when I write it down is actually no dilemma at all!

RE: Renewing enthusiasm
8/14/16 12:22 PM as a reply to Hugh Fox.
This morning was some concentration practice, freestyle noting then abiding as witness type second gear stuff...  The latter part feels really intoxicating.  Nice way to start the day...

Onto morality...  The main worldly issue I want to work with at the moment is being drawn in to the petty, negative back biting that seems to define my workplace.  Funny really given that it is a hyper-masculine, testosterone fuelled environment.  It is also the most negative and spiteful place I've hung around.  

Some of the worst offenders are also some of my closest friends at work, but spending time with them drags me into squabbles, negativity and unpleasantness that a) reflects badly on me and b) troubles my mental equilibrium, pulling me away from practice.

No great solutions or insights here, just a quick declaration of intent in this first training.

RE: Renewing enthusiasm
9/5/16 4:48 AM as a reply to Hugh Fox.
sitting currently features a constant tingling/pulsing sensation which is also very apparent when going to sleep at night.