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Third, I presume

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Third, I presume
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8/12/17 5:47 AM
Around 6 weeks ago, I completed another cycle of nanas->cessation->review (maybe 5th or 6th, it doesn't particularly matter) which produced the most significant yet baseline shift. I had felt like there was another shift brewing, and was fairly confident that 4 weeks of retreat would do it. I've only now got the hang of things enough to write it up.

Below is an edited version of my notes before and after, in the hope that it is useful for others' practice. I've mostly tried to leave the original words for fear of losing authenticity, but this does mean they may be a bit rambling, since they were written at the time in order to help me keep track. I have however broken it down into distinct stages as they seemed to me at the time.

I'm also curious if the advanced practitioners here would consider this MCTB third, mostly for the sake of comparison. I kinda identify with Daniel's criteria, but not entirely.

These notes start after two weeks of private retreat; one week of fairly intense meditation which produced a complete cycle leading to review, then one week in that review and practicing mindfulness off-cushion. In the third week I did 4 sessions of 2 hours of Strong(ish) Determination Sitting each day, plus some walking meditation and practicing mindfulness off-cushion. I also followed some  suggestions from threads here about getting MCTB 3rd.


Part 1: Automatic investigation (few days)

Need for a radical giving up/surrender of force, allowing perception to be, to know itself, with sufficient attentional energy to let the doing do its thing, letting attention bask in the whole thing. Whole field of thought, attention, intention, emotion, starts, ends. Need to cultivate the ability to produce and sustain increasingly intense and broad attentional energy, simultaneous laser, wave and burning lava. Need for focus on nowness, infuriatingly unable to apprehend all of now all the time, only occasional glimpses.

All that is required is allowing the now-natural and automatic process of mindfulness/awareness/investigation to do its job. Do this by allowing attention to rest in suffering. So just start sitting, no direction or force necessary. Mind, body and emotion do their thing, thoughts, aches, feelings arise. Instinctive habitual responses of clinging and turning away and rejecting and pushing and so forth.

Allow yourself to gently attune to the suffering, and the energy that results from tuning into suffering to produce more attention. This results in blockages coming into focus. Blockages are made of physical, mental and emotional components. A simple example may be a stiff neck, a feeling of anger, and thoughts of violence. When you discover a blockage, use it as a focal point for mindfulness. Gently allow attention to rest on the blockage. Note the suffering-energy pushing attention away. Trick is to turn that suffering energy into attentional energy. Without any force - just harnessing the natural energy that comes from the resistance to suffering. In this way produce a virtuous cycle as released blockages allows energy to flow more freely in three-dimensional mind-body-emotion system, uncovering and dissolving further, increasingly subtle blockages. Just need intention to allow the thing to play out.


Part 2: Seeing the Elephant (several more days)

Automatic meditation stopped working wtf. Suffering no longer produces attentional power, just more suffering. Need to "do" something, but not sure what.

Glimpses of the unnecessaryness of the center, that it seemed necessary but isn't. Seems like it is all about seeing the allness, all happening, all now... fully embracing the uncomfortableness of it all...

Imagine this concept of uncomfortableness as "the elephant in the room of consciousness" - a suffering which the mind refuses to acknowledge or look at directly, yet which is there looming over everything all the time.

Need a very subtle balance of effort into attention and alertness but seeing how the effort changes the all, bootstrapping into seeing the elephant.

Wait, just need the same thing as from the beginning [pre-SE]?! Just stay with sensations, note shit, don't give up, a process of returning to watching things happen, and the thing does itself, and you just deal with it and pay attention to suffering.

Need to watch out for unpleasantness, things you'd just rather ignore, slimy sensations, thoughts at the edges, the periphery of mind, normally brushed aside or dodged around.

Need to work harder off the cushion too, watching for uncomfortable sensations and anything subconsciously ignored.

[During this whole period, meditation often involved just sitting and feeling out this "unpleasantness" across mind, body and emotional systems. There were a number of very unpleasant sits, which involved extreme tension, body-wracking Kriyas/purifications, and fighting to observe the feeling that the whole thing is impossible and pointless, instead of obeying it and giving up. Numerous times on the verge of getting up from a sit. Each time told myself to try to clearly observe the feeling of wanting to get up, and if it didn't pass within 5 minutes I'd quit. Each time it passed.]


Part 3: Done!

Conclusion: oh, its just that simple! Easy after all. If you work hard to watch closely, you see sensations arise from nothing, do a little dance and return to nothing. If you watch a little more closely you can see that sensations cause other sensations too which feel like "watching" and "doing". You have somehow persuaded yourself that those sensations are different to the other ones, but upon investigation they arise and pass too, and of course aren't self and cannot satisfy.

Trick is to be very relaxed, allow sensations to do their thing and allow meditation to do it's thing, but with enough attentiveness and curiosity to catch these other sensations out of the corner of your minds' eye. Once you can do that, you see the self and the illusion of doing and watching is actually constantly shifting and morphing and composed of discrete sensations which come from nothing, arise, and fall back into nothing.

Sounds simple but actually doing it required a strong intention to balance the need to be alert and present in moment-to-moment sensations, investigating and exploring, but without pushing or forcing, which results in weird deadlocks, mental-road-blocks and attempts to create a dummy-self.

At many times it seemed like getting nowhere and that it was impossible, much like when shooting for stream entry - caused either by trying too hard or being unwilling to just put up with all of the shit that gets stirred up when you do this kind of deep and prolonged vipassana.

Path moment came in final sit of the day. Felt like deleting of a mental-barrier that previously prevented this correct seeing. Strangely, didn't notice a cessation, just this feeling of the barrier winking out existence, but then a couple of hours later when finally relaxing on the sofa with a gentle mindfulness, out of nowhere a massive cessation, like swallowing an over-large mouthful of food.

Feels like after stream entry but more like "duh", obviously things just happen they aren't done by a magic unfindable do-er! Expect this new way of seeing to be permanently available and integrated over time [Ha! I think this after every cycle and it never works that way]. Didn't feel revelatory like SE, more like "oh, of course how did I miss that?".

Toward the end become somewhat obsessed with idea was missing something. Felt like nana cycling was accelerating. Few times felt very close to grasping something then burned out into dissolution. Eventually cycles become blurred.


Part 4: Aftermath 1 (first day)


Then the usual "review flu", feeling sort of buzzy and shiny but lethargic and heavy. Hungry, heady, feeling like just need to let subconscious sort itself out just go with the flow for couple of days. Feel like self is reprogramming itself.

Feels like the initial "damage" was fairly shallow, but is then spreading like an infection gradually dismantling the illusion bit by bit - like the old way of thinking/seeing is sort of slowly melting in flame of new neural configuration. Little knots being worked out. Clearly major damage has been done to self-identification. Constantly catching thoughts at their inception before they spiral.

Felt like the difference between this and previous paths was a prolonged resting in profound emptiness, just being emptiness and seeing from that perspective. Emptiness becoming almost mundane, ordinary.

But sense of observer and agency still there but perhaps don't seem to have much solidity or significance. Sense that "the spell is broken", and that sensations and thoughts are not things that happen to or belong to a permanent self, but impermanent oddities which arise from nowhere and return to nowhere, instigated from causes... though unsure how sensations that come and go nowhere can cause other sensations to come from nowhere. Big question is: is this an intellectual insight which can fade or is it a permanent vipassana insight which will be integrated gradually as changed thought-pattern.


Part 5: Aftermath 2 (next few weeks)


Whole week of feeling very off-kilter and "gummed up". Automatically watching "myself" being constructed in real time, leading to semi-consciously second-guessing, analysing, deconstructing thoughts and moods. Gently distracting and overwhelming while being also mostly below the surface. Strong unpleasant feeling of being wierdly trapped in a prolonged engorged crushing endless now.

Models of reality which were once solid structures now hugely "softened" since they can be clearly seen as dependent on past experience, to the point that closely held beliefs and ideas suddenly seem like no more than a sandcastle ready to be knocked over and washed away. Power drained from previous personality metastructures, not sure what is left after discarding exo-skeleton. A little troublesome.

An awful lot of time in a day. Catch myself often checking the time and being astonished that only 30 minutes have passed. Odd combination of extreme sensate clarity yet simultaneous disorientation. Doing tasks seems strangely difficult, despite feeling hyper-aware and present. Weird unproductive feeling because don't feel like I'm "doing" anything, things just happen somehow.

Feel like constantly shifting between overlapping fractal mental reference frames (context/models/perspectives). Feel like constantly in therapy, constantly unraveling my actions and personality. Feel like finally starting to spend a significant percentage of my waking life living in reality instead of caught up in mental chatter and dreams/fantasies. Discombobulating. Out of sync. The "doing" submind/subprocess quite confused. Strong feeling of subminds/subprocesses, often dreaming (different dreams), sometimes conflicted, fighting, sometimes overlapping. Grasping or rejecting subminds often multiple times per second like a king holding court with many petitioners. Can see why vipassana people end up with a "flatness", because they're constantly avoiding reacting and getting pulled into one of many different directions.


Part 6: Now

Things have mostly calmed down, and some sort of normality has been resumed. But it is certainly a different normal. Hyper-audio/visual perception is now fixed/baseline, whereas before this varied in intensity depending on mindfulness. Can mostly see thought as a meditative object in everyday life quite easily, whereas before I struggled to do this in meditation. Similarly, when not doing much e.g. waiting for a train, there is a natural meditation on the whole field, though being able to dissect sensations of "the observer" and "the doer" is still tricky. "Self" is still there as a prominent sensation, but doesn't seem terribly important any more. Somehow came with a nice big dose of humility, disattachment from self-image and ability to laugh at my conceits (all which I certainly needed, though plenty of room to go!). Biggest benefit so far is ability to just let go of, and stop working so hard at tending to, this bizarre creation called "me" which previously seemed so important - although softened up by previous paths of course, now feel like a mortal blow has been struck.

Still feeling a bit lost, overwhelmed and out-of-sync by the substantially increased baseline awareness, and getting accustomed to previously semi-conscious processes being evident most of the time. But also starting to feel at home in the storm, which is pretty cool. Starting to embrace emptiness/impermanence in day to day life, learning to ride the tiger. Intention and free-will are confusing concepts. Never felt particularly enlightened from previous shifts, but this is different. Back to wanting to work toward a Wu Wei life mode thing that I had also felt strongly after second path, but now the vision is clearer... but still hard to explain verbally. Meditating an hour every morning where I just sit with open focus on aversion/desire/suffering and let stuff unfold, more "purifications" to work through I guess. Feel like the finish line is in sight for the first time.

Edit: fixed spelling mistakes

RE: Third, I presume
Answer
8/11/17 5:25 PM as a reply to Adam.
Good stuff!  Glad to hear you have benefited greatly from this. 

I think it is likely one of the 5-10 shifts that ppl do through on the way to MCTB 3rd.  I don't think most ppl ever actually get there, but rather plant a flag along the way & call it 4th path.  If you wish to keep going, I would keep investigating like you have been until the well runs dry.  Then I would do Concentration practice & learn to feel into spacious vastness from there.  

RE: Third, I presume
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8/12/17 6:16 AM as a reply to Adam.
edited hopefully for more clarity:

Adam, i'm not confirming one way or the other, but three does have categorically different feel than one and two along the lines you are describing. the main thing is that emptiness is VERY obvious now and mostly that it seems to be what makes all the purifying happen -- emptiness is emptying experience of dukka, so to speak, you are just along for the ride...

so nothing intellectual about emptiness anymore, but now a tangible sense of it being right here in every experience.

RE: Third, I presume
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8/13/17 8:35 AM as a reply to Adam.
Does it feel like the 'outside' world is now inside your head? 

RE: Third, I presume
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8/13/17 5:03 PM as a reply to Robin Woods.
Thanks for the responses all!

Noah, I do indeed plan to keep following this process until it seems complete or I hit a dead-end. Look forward to exploring other approaches after that, but I'm sure there is a lot of deepening left for me to do emoticon

You said "I think it is likely one of the 5-10 shifts that ppl do through on the way to MCTB 3rd. I don't think most ppl ever actually get there, but rather plant a flag along the way & call it 4th path." Where you said "3rd", did you mean 4th, or did you mean that you think what I describe is on the way to 3rd (so not 3rd)?

shargrol, "emptiness is emptying experience of dukka" is a spectacularly apt and clear way to put something I've been struggling to put into words, and has actually made it conceptually crystallize for me. It is really a wonderful feeling - I find myself in situations where I would normally hang on to suffering, but instead feel like I've got this "comfort blanket" of emptiness which I can just lean back into and let the suffering play out harmlessly, since it's obviously composed of mere sensations which have causally arisen from the emptiness I'm dwelling in, and will soon surely return whence they came if not meddled with by making the silly mistake of thinking they are self or permanent, which would rather cause those sensations to multiply leading to continual renewal of suffering.

However as someone prone to stress, I still haven't quite got the hang of it, so it isn't automatic yet and I can get stressed out and get flustered/lost, much like how the intensity of audio-visual clarity would vary depending on my mindfulness before this shift. So I'm assuming in the next shift it will get locked in. But emptiness is always there when I'm relaxed, I always come back to it sooner or later, it feels like the default, home, deviations being seen as something like a temporary possession by a dreaming submind/subprocess, or somesuch glitch or self-delusion-induced-maelstrom.

I think much of the preceding is what I was trying to get at above when I said I was "starting to feel at home in the storm" - that I'm learning to spend more time tuned into and resting in emptiness, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the storm of sensations, subminds, dukka. This feeling of resting is novel and very evidently not an intellectual thing - intellectual ideas have never given me much comfort (which is how I got on this crazy ride in the first place ;)

Robin Woods, curious question, I'll ponder this a bit more. But no, in fact now that I think about it, it's more like my head doesn't have an inside, or perhaps has been turned inside-out. Which is very odd, now that you mention it.

edit: various minor fixes

RE: Third, I presume
Answer
8/13/17 9:07 PM as a reply to Adam.
Cool. Yeah, purification is the name of the game now. 

All the normal vipassina stuff continues with the standard four categories of experience: sensations, urges, emotions, and thoughts. 

Chances are, there will also now be a bunch of contextual deconstructing, which is kinda "meta", at a broader conceptual scale than individual categories of experience. You might start seeing how our "mindset" (or "view" if you want to get all buddhist-y about it emoticon ) creates entire domains of problems, which are completely not a problem with a different mindset. 

If you haven't at least familiarized yourself with the 6 Realms teaching, it can really help at this point. Basically, it will probably feel like each day you have lived 5 to 10 different dramas, each one ending with you waking up to its illusory nature... make a nice resting in emptiness for a little or a long while... and then getting sucked into another drama. 6 Realms at least gives a framework for helping to notice this birth/death/rebirth quality of living. My sense is that unless people really see how they create problems by their mindset, they will be seekers forever. It's really important to see how each realm has a different tonality of seeking, but it's all seeking. 

It's also important to make your life a good one, so that when you eventually hit 4th path and wake up to your life, you wake up to a good one. emoticon

RE: Third, I presume
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8/15/17 8:01 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Awesome, thanks shargrol. Everything you said rings very true to what has been going on the these past few weeks. Will dig into the 6 realms teaching and endeavour to make a good life to wake up to emoticon

RE: Third, I presume
Answer
8/17/17 3:02 AM as a reply to Adam.
Adam:
Noah, I do indeed plan to keep following this process until it seems complete or I hit a dead-end. Look forward to exploring other approaches after that, but I'm sure there is a lot of deepening left for me to do emoticon

You said "I think it is likely one of the 5-10 shifts that ppl do through on the way to MCTB 3rd. I don't think most ppl ever actually get there, but rather plant a flag along the way & call it 4th path." Where you said "3rd", did you mean 4th, or did you mean that you think what I describe is on the way to 3rd (so not 3rd)?

Hey Adam - I meant "3rd."  So in MCTB terms you would be still on the way to 3rd.  For the sake of communication & from an academic point of view, having high standards around attainments is valuable.  But from a subjective/personal perspective, whatever inspires you & is the most useful framework at a given time is what matters.

RE: Third, I presume
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8/17/17 5:19 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Ah ha, I see what you're saying, thanks. FWIW I had considered this "immature third" to myself since I feel like I have a newfound "access" to the perceptual mode Daniel describes as mature third, but it varies in intensity and is not dominant. But I am happy either way - I know there is a lot of work left to do, and I feel like I have a pretty good idea what to do next, which is all that really matters.

For the sake of academic discussion, this is the passage from MCTB which I think describes where I'm at.

Those of Third Path have shifted their understanding of what progress is from those of Second Path, and have begun to see that it is about perceiving the emptiness, selflessness, impermanence, luminosity etc. of sensations in daily life and begin to see that they have the ability to do this... At the beginning of Third Path, most practitioners think: “I’ll just complete more cycles of insight, like I did before, and this will do the trick.” They don’t tend to understand what it is they have attained all that well yet, nor its deeper implications.

From: MCTB A Revised Four Path Model

RE: Third, I presume
Answer
8/17/17 7:11 AM as a reply to Adam.
There is a vast difference from starting third til ending it, I thought the beginning was it til I learned that that was just the beginning. Third is kinda a catch all til fourth path. It is everything that Daniel describes plus a bit more. Hold yourself to very high standards and keep working thru all the shifts that are possible. The framework I have started is a good start if it is useful to you.
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5800908#_19_message_5800924
If not, keep on the intuition. There are a lot of things left on the journey.
Have fun with it,
Good luck,
~D

RE: Third, I presume
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8/18/17 5:02 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Thanks Dream Walker, I appreciate the reminder that there is still a long way to go (regardless of exactly where I am). Not sure if I can fit that model in my brain at the moment, but will come back to it later.

RE: Third, I presume
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8/19/17 6:17 AM as a reply to Adam.
Hey, just stick with the process, basic assumptions, core principles: sensate clarity, noticing what is going on, noticing clearly what seems to be you, noticing the background and space, noticing the Three Characteristics, developing strong concentration, noticing how things like time and continuity and the like are created, how emotions feel in the space and that they are luminous, now the body is in space, how space and attention move around and relate, and gradually integrate all the sense doors into one complete, fluxing volume of experience. My favorite book these days on the subject is Clarifying The Natural State.

Best wishes!

Daniel

RE: Third, I presume
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8/20/17 6:50 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Great, thanks Daniel!

RE: Third, I presume
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9/6/17 1:34 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Is this the book you are mentioning Daniel? http://promienie.net/images/dharma/books/dakpo-tashi-namgyal_clarifying-the-natural-state.pdf

RE: Third, I presume
Answer
7/24/18 10:40 AM as a reply to Adam.
An update a year later which may be helpful to someone:

This looked an awful lot like descriptions of MCTB3rd at first, but over time that very gradually faded. Now I have a theory of what actually happened and where I am now.

I like the general idea of Dreamwalkers framework of awakening, that each of sight, sound, thought and proprioception needs to be "opened" in order to attain MCTB3rd. Without going into my own theories about what "opening" a field means and how it happens, I believe prior to this thread I had mostly "opened" sight and sound.

In the retreat that induced this shift, I think I experienced what Shinzen calls "figure-ground reversal", which I call "resting in emptiness". Whatever did happen in the retreat, it was super awesome and a powerful step for me, and I think that it "opened" the thought field. This, combined with having already "opened" sight and sound combined to produce a very strong afterglow and review experience which included temporarily partially opening the proprioception field. This explains why in the weeks following the retreat I seemed to phase in and out of emptiness, and had a very diminished sense of centre/self/do-er.

I now think this was a preview of MCTB3rd. In the year that followed the sense of self/do-er/centre gradually become more prominant, and the sense of phasing into emptiness happened less and less frequently, and I lost the ability to intentionally incline into emptiness entirely. The thought field however remained "open", and become increasingly difficult to deal with. It was like instead of just thinking as I normally did before, someone was following me around with a loudspeaker playing my thoughts at me at high volume, while simultaneously carrying a flashing sign proclaiming "THINKING THINKING". Attempts to avoid suffering gradually closed the proprioceptive field of awareness, and resulted in steadily increasing bodily discomfort over the year as suffering was pushed into the body. But it took me a long time to connect the bodily discomfort with this bigger picture, and felt very confused as to where emptiness had gone. Eventually I made the connection and practiced awareness of body until eventually things started falling into place, and I've now started to "open" the proprioception field which makes everything seem a lot better and I'm finding emptiness is starting feel a lot closer and the sense of self/center/doer is starting to fade.

I don't know if I'm close to MCTB3rd or what work remains to be done, or if my theories are correct or apply to anyone else, but I hope this may be helpful and something to chew on for anyone in the middle paths who isn't sure where they are, what they've done and what is left to do.

Edit: I see it isn't clear that this post is an explanation arrived at after the dust has settled. So for the sake of clarity and to promote good practice - I didn't start out with a great theory of enlightenment and then force it to play out. On the contrary, most of the time I had very little idea what was going on and sort of gradually stumbled in the dark, regularly bumping into walls and tripping over furniture guided by intuition and the vivid memory that somewhere around here is a refridgerator full of infinite goodies (double edit: or maybe I can turn into a refridgerator? not entirely sure how that part works).

RE: Third, I presume
Answer
7/21/18 6:06 AM as a reply to Adam.
There can be a wierd split feeling that occurs in this general domain -- how you are not the thinking (for example), but your still are prejudiced against the thinking. If thinking really is not self, then it is also not your problem, not a cause of suffering. But usually there is some assumption about an ideal state that is trying to be reached --- that's the classic quest during this general domain of practice. We want to be free of everything AND have everything be perfect. The place to keep investigating is right at the suffering this dual view creates. The area around third path can have awesome experiences, super hard jhanas, super clarity, super precision... but even after experiencing those things it becomes clear it isn't the whole picture. 

Adam how is your practice itself going?

When you sit, what prevents a simple happiness in this moment? We come up with a lot of theories (models of reality) and rational explainations (x causes effect y)... but keep it very very simple. Can you sit down to meditate and just "be" for 30 minutes? What happens when you go on retreat and do basically nothing for 10 days?

Practice always gets subtler and subtler...  

RE: Third, I presume
Answer
8/14/18 4:11 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Thanks for the feedback. You sum up the wierd split feeling well, which I think of as a need to integrate or make peace with all the aspects of self. I'm doing a lot of watching conflicts play out between different inner forces, habits, sub-minds (whatever you call them) each with different ideas about what is important. Occasionally I figure out how to get out of my own way and stop feeling like I'm choosing sides or fighting myself, then somehow integration seems to take care of itself.

I've been working with this a lot on and off cushion, and my practice has had a distinct but subtle shift. For some time I've largely been working with awareness and watching what comes up on and off cushion, but previously each sit felt like some kind of ride of being pulled this way and that, changing moods, changing consciousness. The feeling of awareness seemed to vary in various ways I couldn't describe. Now the ride is still the same, but somehow each sit has the same flavour, constantly, regardless of mood and nanas and discomfort and so on. When the time runs out it feels like I could go on forever and just sit with whatever happens, but also that there is no need to continue, that the work will resume as soon as I sit next time. It's like some next-level of equanimity that I don't have a word for or the ability to describe. Perhaps this is what is meant by the yoga of one taste (knowing very little about Tibetan practice). [later edit: or perhaps the taste of purification]

I'm hoping this marks a new phase of practice rather than a temporary review period (though I didn't notice a cessation). I'm also exploring how to bring this one-taste thing into practice off cushion, and gradually seeing signs of progress.

RE: Third, I presume
Answer
7/21/18 12:40 PM as a reply to Adam.
Sounds really good. "Next level equanimity" is a good way to describe it --- everything basically okay, but a subtle sense of things still not being right somehow.

Your practice of " watching conflicts play out" is exactly what needs to happen. Not really taking sides, but noticing how there seems to be reaction and counter-reactions happening on their own, and a sense that being aware of this dynamic seems to resolve things. Not much "to do" except a kind of watching-participating (not witnessing, not embedded/identified, but kind of both at the same time).

In a sense there isn't anything more to "learn"... this practice will keep leading onward and eventually it kind of eats itself. A kind of "wooden stick that stirs the fire but is consumed by the fire" dynamic.

It can also help to be around people you believe to be awake --- it's both inspiring AND annoying: what do they have that I don't have? Somewhere in the midst of that kind of conflict a new insight will arise.

Best wishes!

RE: Third, I presume
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7/22/18 3:07 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Thanks, appeciate the tips, and its great to get some validation when you're following obscure intuitions! I've had a sneaking suspicion that this shift had some sort of finality to it - not that anything is done yet, but that now the knot has been loosened enough that it can mostly untangle itself with a little guidance from awareness. It's funny actually, thinking now that's a good description of that continual flavour that sitting has - it's like the feeling of being a kid and sitting down with a big ball of string that got all knotted up, just tugging a little here and pushing a little there, not really needing to think much and knowing that sooner or later it'll unravel if you just keep paying attention and don't try to rush.

RE: Third, I presume
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7/21/18 7:31 PM as a reply to Adam.
Exactly. Trust the process. Keep sitting. Keep being curious.

RE: Third, I presume
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7/22/18 6:05 AM as a reply to shargrol.
A timely and excellent reminder emoticon

Without dilligent practice it's easy to imagine a knot untying itself when it's actually just inventing clever new ways to become further entangled