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curious journey curious 8/16/17 6:30 AM
RE: curious journey C P M 8/16/17 8:16 PM
RE: curious journey curious 8/17/17 12:43 AM
RE: curious journey curious 10/23/17 5:16 PM
RE: curious journey tom moylan 8/18/17 6:31 AM
RE: curious journey curious 8/18/17 6:28 PM
RE: curious journey curious 8/23/17 3:35 AM
RE: curious journey curious 9/24/17 8:36 PM
RE: curious journey curious 10/3/17 2:07 PM
RE: curious journey alguidar 10/4/17 5:03 AM
RE: curious journey curious 10/4/17 1:41 PM
RE: curious journey curious 3/11/18 5:31 PM
RE: curious journey curious 3/13/18 7:22 PM
RE: curious journey curious 3/20/18 3:51 PM
RE: curious journey curious 3/22/18 12:54 PM
RE: curious journey curious 3/22/18 5:09 PM
RE: curious journey curious 4/5/18 3:46 PM
RE: curious journey curious 4/15/18 2:54 PM
RE: curious journey Yilun Ong 4/19/18 4:28 AM
RE: curious journey curious 4/20/18 4:10 PM
RE: curious journey Nick O 4/20/18 4:49 PM
RE: curious journey curious 4/21/18 12:42 AM
RE: curious journey curious 4/23/18 2:19 PM
RE: curious journey curious 4/23/18 11:42 PM
RE: curious journey Bigbird 4/26/18 5:29 PM
RE: curious journey curious 4/26/18 7:20 PM
RE: curious journey Bigbird 4/27/18 11:12 AM
RE: curious journey Chris Marti 4/27/18 12:03 PM
RE: curious journey Tashi Tharpa 4/27/18 12:27 PM
RE: curious journey Chris Marti 4/27/18 1:55 PM
RE: curious journey Tashi Tharpa 4/27/18 3:11 PM
RE: curious journey Chris Marti 4/27/18 3:38 PM
RE: curious journey Chris Marti 4/27/18 3:35 PM
RE: curious journey Tashi Tharpa 4/27/18 8:10 PM
RE: curious journey curious 4/28/18 1:03 AM
RE: curious journey Yilun Ong 4/28/18 3:26 AM
RE: curious journey Bigbird 4/30/18 11:12 AM
RE: curious journey curious 4/27/18 2:39 PM
RE: curious journey Chris Marti 4/27/18 3:09 PM
RE: curious journey curious 4/24/18 3:42 PM
RE: curious journey curious 4/26/18 5:38 AM
RE: curious journey curious 5/16/18 6:32 PM
RE: curious journey curious 5/23/18 8:12 AM
curious journey
Answer
8/16/17 6:30 AM
Hi, just recording some thoughts on my journey / practice.  Comments are really welcome, but not expected.  Some of this has been written down elsewhere, but this is the most complete summary.

Previously: Building on A&P events and cycles occuring over 35 years (minor visions, luminosity, energy visualisation, mundane insights into reality, dark nights)  plus 30 years of martial arts plus recent study of memory processes. Became interested in mindfulness from start of 2016. Listened to to Bikkhu Bodhi's online talks. Searched online. Read various resources. Came across Daniel's MCTB which laid so much out so clearly.  Access concentration seemed easy after my martial arts training. Found ways to uncork piti, and sit for 20-25 minutes in pale jhanas. Worked hard to give up ill will and show more generosity and compassion. Reading with directed and sustained attention on the topic of the mind and consciousness.

Early September 2016: Finished Daniel Dennett's Consciousness Explained (which basically reaches a buddhist conclusion) and had a major non self event, altered perceptions, followed by reduced craving and clinging, increased happiness, generosity, compassion, bliss waves etc. 

Next 10 months. Gave up martial arts. Ongoing feelings that my personal dhamma roadmap was incomplete or I didn't understand it. Continuing my occasional pale meditation practice, plus directed and sustained attention to dhamma texts.  Some more A&P events, ranging from lumnosity of visual field (particularly wet foliage at night), to pulsating cosmic bliss waves.  After looking behind mental objects to search for and discount appearances of self, had a major non-dual event with super mindfulness, conflation of attention and mindfulness (simultaneous attention to multiple objects in visual field), sense of physical body being an external object, temporary ferocious increases in touch sensations, desire to go forth into the homeless life, perceived deletion of old personality, choice to repopulate personality but now with sense that personality is not-self.  This was followed by upgrade of visual and aural pereptions.  Found all this disorienting and bit frightening as it was a flat rather than joyful experience, and I am quite dedicated to my householder life.  Got some good advice on further insight meditation, inclining to causes.

Recently.  Read Jeffrey Martin's paper on PNSE and found his description really helpful in three ways.  First, that insight experiences differ, but tend to be followed by dogmatism. Second, that insight can arise in different ways (i.e. not necessarily just close following of sensations).  Third, that you can have experiences from higher paths but can also regress. All of these help me make more sense of my experiences.  Realisation from other Theravadan dhamma reading that I was not strong enough to cope with the insight experienes I had been experiencing, so I am happy to regress and build better foundations.  Started reading the Path of Purification but then switched to Culdasa's book The Mind Illuminated. Following the instructions there to further develop concentration. Culdasa's work is also really helpful in putting the Suttas into terms I can more easily understand, in saying that insight can arise at any stage, and in showing that close following of sensations can lead to insight but is not the only path to insight.

Now. Feel that I can definteily make progress in insight if I wish through (i) concentration followed by (ii) examination of the three characteristics of mental objects and maybe also (iii) inclining towards causes. But I am not currently interested in doing this.  I am neither pursuing insight, nor not pusuing insight. Instead, I am working through Culdasa's concentration manual The Mind Illuminated. Have sat 10 times in the last 11 days for an average of an hour, supplemented by some mindful walking.  Now a skilled meditator by his classifcation, and starting work on the first stage of adept meditator.  Not too worried about how quickly this happens, and have the sense that it will take a while yet to fullly unify the mind. Feel that I have definitely regressed in insight, but this is welcome for now, and I have not lost any of the benefits from my initial major non-self event.  Key defilements remain cut off at the root - to borrow a phrase :-) 

Tonight. Returned to my martial art for the first time in 10 months, with the objective of strengthening the body, training with compassion, and seeing if I could bring what I have learnt back into the art.  No longer so interested in ego or violence, but more in physical preparation, flow,  helping others, and use of attention, awareness and visualisation.

Also, I think my understanding of the Theravadan maps is unsatisfactory, and I wonder whether I should look into Tibetan bhumis, or maybe just try to find out more about higher Theravadan paths so I can relate them to my experience. Or maybe explore some of the hints given in Daniel's simplified path model.  But I am not too worried as I have work to do on concentration first, and I know I can return to insight meditation when I want to.

Nonetheless, my roadmap to progress in insight is still missing a big piece - just how does it really work in the higher paths?

In gratitude, peace and love.

Malcolm

RE: curious journey
Answer
8/16/17 8:16 PM as a reply to curious.
I just wanted to comment that I appreciate you taking the time to post your history and experience.

There is a lot of overlap in our background. My first A&P/Kundalini experiences happened around 35 years ago. At one point I turned to martial arts and found it a really good way to get at the tension and tightness I carried around in my body and mind. I spent about 10 or more years seriously practicing martial arts, mostly Karate, but also Judo, Jujitsu and some Kendo.

I've been doing breath mediation for the last number of years. My primary resource these days is Culadasa's work, although I also find Shinzen's stuff very helpful as well.

RE: curious journey
Answer
8/17/17 12:43 AM as a reply to C P M.
Thanks CPM.  I'm glad it was interesting, particularly as I have benefitted so much from similar posts by others.

I think martials arts can be great but they do tend to feed craving for ego, particularly as you go up in rank.  I'm looking forward to seeing whether I can access other benefits, now that I have (hopefully) reduced that ego/dominance dimension.

RE: curious journey
Answer
8/18/17 6:31 AM as a reply to curious.
..howdy,
your mindset seems JUUUST right.

do the Culadasa thing without any expectation of even being alive for the next breath.

RE: curious journey
Answer
8/18/17 6:28 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
Thanks Tom. :-)

Next bit of the practice log.

I thought I had progressed further on Culadasa's stages that I had - it turned out to be just a good sit. More subtle dullness returned on the next occasion, and although I seemed to have quietened the narrative mind, other memory distractions arose. So I resolved to have stronger intention to concentrate on the breath and brighter mindfulness. That led to another good sit this morning.

After successful initial meditation and then body scanning I went to whole body breathing, then a little bit of connecting and close following.  And then closer following to decompose the breath into sense percepts.  And then ... oh!  The breath is empty.  OH!  Everything is empty!  Everything is just transient sensations that have no inherent content, and pass away.  OH!  We construct illusory forms and cling to them by applying names and symbols to them.  OH!  The body is just an illusory form the mind has created and clings to. The illusion feels hard where I cling to it (for some reason the right side of the head and back are prominent), but that is not real and that is not me.  Wow.  The whole world is like this, and the body is just as real and permanent as the wind. To cling to this illusory form is strange and harmful, but it is deeply embedded in the mind and will take time to unwind.  I am happy.

Then intellectually - there may be some real thing, but that does not stop the impermance. The real thing is still impermanent. Our attention is impermanent. Our sensation is impermanent. The symbols that we apply to sensations are impermanent. Our mind is impermanent and ever changing. Clinging to impermanent things is hamful.

Oh, and the theravadan paths are impermanent and empty too. Who cares. We should not cling to them.

I will keep meditating. I know these feelings will fade. That's ok, everything is impermanent, and empty.  For now I am happy and mildly joyous.

P.S. Culadasa does suggest that insight can be a side effect of close following why trying unify the mind. I enjoyed it very much, but the main game is to keep trying to unify the mind. There is no rush, for anything.

RE: curious journey
Answer
8/23/17 3:35 AM as a reply to curious.
Next bit of the practice log, using Culadasa's The Mind Illuminated terminology.

Have maintained 1 hour per day meditation since the last update, without fail, plus some off cushion mindfulness and open awareness.  Progress on physical pliancy - have to shift slightly halfway through the sit as the cushions compress, but otherwise pretty comfortable and get up with only very minor stiffness. Making slow but steady progress on subduing subtle distractions and unifying the mind, with ups and downs.  Still have to be vigilant against subtle dullness which may ask to appear two or three times sit.  Continusing to use scanning, close following and jhanas. Following whole body breathing I started to feel some energy currents or inner wind in my arms. I realise now I had discovered the pleasure jhanas for myself last year, but because I didn't know what I was doing I didn't maximise the flow effect. So I have started using them again and can get them a bit longer and stronger - but it is still very early days. Had some great grade 4 piti off the mat today following some casual mindfulness - I think this was the full thing through to resolution and dullish kind of tranquility afterwards. No rush. No rush. Not pursuing this. Unify the mind.

Went back to my martial arts for a second week after my 10 month break, and that was really interesting.  Although I have kept fit and streched during my break, this is usually nothing like having fitness on the mat - and it can be a painful journey to get mat fit again. But instead I find that I am straight back in, mat-fit, both physically and mentally.  I attribute this to partial physical pliancy and partial unification of the mind. If anything, I am fitter and training harder than those who have been training right through (but also fatter!).

Now that I have detected inner wind in my arms, I tried putting this into my hand strikes tonight. I have always been very strong, but calling on the inner wind in my arms has given a solid leap in striking strength, as well as a different quality to the strike - a kind of two step impact for the person holding the pad. Again, still early days.

I can see some possiblities in keeping training. Developing and applying inner wind. Treating grappling techniques like thai massage - do the 'inside' friendly version and they are great joint manipulations and tendon/nerve stretches beneficial to the recipient.  Teaching attention, awareness and unification of the mind, as the art already has hints of this.  But I am not committed to keeping training at this stage.

Thanks again to all the wondeful people providing wisdom on this site. I am learning so much lurking on other threads, as well as from writing to try to make sense of my own experiences.

Love and peace.

RE: curious journey
Answer
9/24/17 8:36 PM as a reply to curious.
Next bit of the practice log.

Continuing to work on The Mind Illuminated.  Mostly 1 hour sits each day, supplemented by mindfulness off the mat, and occasional cultivation of non-dual perception. Missing a few sits due to work pressure (they seem to soak up energy I need at work). Have banished subtle dullness and got subtle distractions mostly under control, although my attention still wanders between different parts of the breath and body.  I'm finding my right leg goes dead 35 minutes into the sit, and my mind gets a little too energised after I move my leg to recover sensation. However, the recovering sensation is a really interesting meditation object. Starting to examine mental objects more, including emotions, agitation.

Over lunch today I was reviewing my notes on TMI, when I looked at my hand and realised that it was just a fabrication in my mind the same as the kitchen I was sitting opposite to - that there was really no difference at all.  Huge sense of insight and review with mild joy. Glimpsed the cat out of the corner of my eye, and she seemed to be the stripey neighbours cat rather than our own moggie. Further insight that sense perceptions were overlaid with not just symbols but also also stored memory fragments from the mind sense. Then got rapid shuddering/strobing/vibrating vision for the first time. Briefly quite intense, disappearing when I tried to examine it directly, but coming back occsionally in the periphery in weaker form.  As I reviewed how my mind was equally the hand and the kitchen, I got another surge of insight, this time it was that inherent suffering arose from overlaying sense perceptions with the false symbolism of a separate body, thereby creating an inherently wrong and thus unsatisfactory world view. I didn't notice a cessation or fruition with any of these insights, but I did have a semi-catatonic review period.  This time I was more ready, and went with the review and was able to generate the extra insights.

Eventually I got up to clean up after the cat (she has no respect). The action seemed to happen without any intention from me - my mind was just observing it.

Still in the last stages of review now, and my mind is feeling cleaner and more open, with equanimity.  But there is more to do - particularly around causation, and suffering, and existence as flow rather than things.  Not there yet.

After the ecstasy, the cat vomit.  I would have preferred the laundry.

Love and peace. 

RE: curious journey
Answer
10/3/17 2:07 PM as a reply to curious.
Next pratice update.

Formal sitting has been a bit spotty with other life demands, but I am still trying to have periods of mindfulness and concentration off the mat most days, including occasionally cultivating non-dual perception. I still seem to be somewhere around Stage 6 or 7 on TMI, both jumpnig higher and falling back a bit. I get some minor dullness sitting in the afternoon when short of sleep, but otherwise dullness is not there. Most distractions are subdued. The biggest distractions are the spontaneous retrieval and review of recent memories (including TV shows). There is also some minor planning to resolve feelings of dissonance about life events.

The sight sense is producing a small number of more obvious phenomena, including spots, flashes and once some diffuse lightness. I have watched [edit: fields of hundreds of] coloured spots behind my eyelids for years, and always thought they were phenomena from the retina (sight organ) and thus mundane, but now I wonder whether they are phenomena from the visual cortex (sight consciousness) and thus indications of progress?  Anybody care to comment?

I notice that in the last part of the sit my mindfulness becomes so clear at times that it almost seems like I am not meditating. I can also drop effort and get joy or piti, but it usually only lasts for a minute or two. I have just started meditating on dependent arising, and I am already finding this powerful for understanding how my karma has been playing out in reaction to aversion, starting to see what I need to do to unravel that, and glimpsing  the complex layers of intention that lead to becoming. 

I was able to sit for two and half hours yesterday, in one 30 minute and two 60 minute sessions.  The last session was on a flight, and as the plane landed the sensations became more overwhelming, and I was able to move my awareness into the plane as it taxied.  That was really fun!  Almost like being a little boy driving a toy truck around, except I was the truck.  Reminds me of that line in the movie Groundhog Day "You've got to BE the hat."

RE: curious journey
Answer
10/4/17 5:03 AM as a reply to curious.
hi curious, i really enjoy reading your practice log.


May i ask what is happenning with your sense of "seeking".

Is it still present?

Is it gone?

Stronger? Fading?



thanks

RE: curious journey
Answer
10/4/17 1:41 PM as a reply to alguidar.
Hi Alguidar, thanks for your comment and your interesting question.

My sense of seeking reduced a lot after I had a no-self experience with major depersonalisation, but that was partly because I was suppressing it out of fear.  Then when I had insight into emptiness through following the breath, seeking just kind of totally evaporated.

However, in recent weeks a little bit of seeking has returned. When I analyse it there seem to be three components (1) a desire to fully understand the dharma so that I can use it better, (2) minor aversion to work stress and agitation from a family move, and (3) minor attraction to the state of walking around in a field of somewhat non-dual and open consciousness, lately with accompanying bliss.  On this last one, I get this from 1 to 2 hours per week in total, and would prefer 1 to 2 hours per day.

RE: curious journey
Answer
10/23/17 5:16 PM as a reply to C P M.
Next log, to maintain the discipline.

Practice has reduced to an hour about every third day, on average (although it tends to be in clumps).  Not feeling the desire to either practice or not practice.  But with family disruptions the practice routines are not quite in place.  Also, continuing to drop some practice to ensure I have enough creative mental energy for work.  Have read The Mind Illuminated for a second time, and taken detailed notes. Also listenting to A Path with Heart audiobook.  Waiting for MCTB 2!
 
When I do practice dullness is absent and mindfulness is clear to the point of almost seeming like I am not meditating at times. Subtle distractions are still there, but continue to attenuate. I sometimes achieve bliss, jhanas etc but not really interested in them at the moment.  Just interested in unifying the mind and following the breath. Off the mat, I am interested in that sense of walking around in my own mind ('reality') with accompanying non-duality and bliss, plus the occaionally moveable consciousness; however, that has receded from 1-2 hours a week to 30 minutes a week. 

I found a fairly hard and square six inch high cushion to sit on today. That enabled a full one hour sit with zero leg movement, tingling or numbness. So that was good.  Also got a good blood pressure reading today.  Three years ago, before meditation, I was 128/85. Now I am at 110/80, desipte a majorly high stress year.  Last time I had year this stressful (in 2012) I was at 130/90.  Pretty sure that is due to meditation and insight.

RE: curious journey
Answer
3/11/18 5:31 PM as a reply to curious.
Coming back to practice after a period of distraction. Read Chris Marti's amazing practice log yesterday. The early stuff seemed familiar territory, the later stuff less so, although maybe there have been a few glimpses. Was able to summon up some fruitions following his descriptions (reading dharma often seems to work well for me). But mainly it was great to be able to locate some of my experiences within his journey. Thanks Chris! (And Kenneth, and everyone else who contributed to that thread.)

Sat for the third time this week on my standard one hour sits. This morning was interesting. The first forty minutes were a challenge. I felt like I had previously been transitioning to Culadasa stage 7, but this time there were lots of subtle distractions leading to daydreaming, although I did manage to summon some bliss. But then things got better after 40 minutes (I have timer bells every 20 minutes). First I was able to concentrate on a new kind of blank visual state - I was trying to get towards a folding in darkness that I have sometimes had hints of, but didn't get anywhere near that. However, I did achieve a homogenous nothing greyness. That boosted my concentration a lot, and I shifted that concentration to contemplating mind objects, and then to contemplating the impermance of mental fabrications of physical objects. Not sure if I had fruition, but certainly got close with shuddering energy building up to a refolding of the mind, minor insight into the impermance of mental fabrications of physical objects, and minor review of the relationship to the other two characteristics.

Two interesting things about this. The first was that in the lead up to the to insght I had a kind of static visual field appear (thousands of small grey and white dots). This also happened a bit yesterday when summoning fruitions. It almost seemed like a visual version of the 'nada' sound.  It didn't take over my internal visual field, but seemed to overlay it or exist alongside it. I have always found it it easy to to access the nada sound, but have previously had few visual phenomena, except for a slight general glow once or twice.  The second interesting thing was extreme sensate sensitivity afterwards.  I have had this a couple of times before and enjoyed the extraordinary fineness of touch. The new bit was when I opened my eyes, and felt almost assaulted by the flood of visual data and had to close them again.  So I guess there is something going on with eye consciousness!

RE: curious journey
Answer
3/13/18 7:22 PM as a reply to curious.
I reread some of my previous stufff including dharma diagnostic questions, and definitely feel that I have backslid in the last few months. So I decided to wind down TMI practice, and return to work on Jhanas for a while. This gave some immediate results, with samantha continuing smoothly as I stood after the sit, so I added some walking meditation to keep that going for another 10 minutes.  Also had a flash of dissaggreation of the self into a temporary intersection of energy flows  - must have been subconsciously thinking about winds!

RE: curious journey
Answer
3/20/18 3:51 PM as a reply to curious.
Continuing to do mindfulness of breathing for 20 minutes, and then working on jhanas for 40 minutes. Jumping around the jhanas.  Treating higher arupha jhanas as the closing down of mental reactions to bodily sense doors, then closing down of name and form (symbolic overlay) for the bodily sense doors. Then trying to close down the sixth sense door to achieve extinguishment.

Then I flowed into a completely new jhana. This was very open and spacious with a sense of lightness/light focussed up above the forehead, and moderate bliss and equanimity. It was a very 'hard' jhana with extremely strong flow. It was quite difficult to stop, and the after effects lingered for a while. The after effects were a very pleasant, equanimious, strong samatha off the mat.

I sought to replicate this the next day, but was too tired and stopped after 30 minutes practice dominated by dullness. Then I found myself back in the dark night. Last night I had knowledge of fear in my dreams and a couple of auditory hallucinations related to something trying to contact me through my phone. However, these were not disturbing. I recognised the fearful imaginings, but did not have any reaction to them. For the auditory hallucinations, I recognised these as formations arising from the subconscious, but did not feel any concern or urgency to understand them.

Currently I desire more knowledge of fear so that I can examine it more closely.

RE: curious journey
Answer
3/22/18 12:54 PM as a reply to curious.
Did not sit yesterday, but aimed for mindfulness in my morning activities.  Then had more nanas while sleeping last night.  Dreams of fear and escape, waking with disenchantment and desire for deliverance. In being mindful of these states of insight there is an overlay of equanimity and mild undertones of bliss. Yet I am still in the dukka nanas.  Interesting. 

RE: curious journey
Answer
3/22/18 5:09 PM as a reply to curious.
Did yoga and martial arts for an hour.  Then sat for an hour.  Ran up through jhanas and got back to that open spacious light one.  Visualising upwards and then getting tingling on the forehead and between the eyes.  Then a sense of rushing in and out.  Then the tingling moved up to the crown.  Ran back down the jhanas and at one point got a sense of everything continully receding from me, like zooming out. Then somewhere around 3rd/2nd got minblowing full on rapture for a full five minutes (300 seconds), with some big energry surges. Then afterglow and now shaky for another five minutes so far.  Sensations are very intense. Tingling and shaking.  Guessing something kundalini is going on, hoping I have purified enough to handle it.

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/5/18 3:46 PM as a reply to curious.
Practice has changed away from the mat.  Instead of a formal sit I am bringing concentration, clarity and non-duality to daily life. This happens up to 20 minutes at a time. The new clear light absorption, looking up through the forehead, is accessible at will during the day.  Maybe it is just an intense form of third Jhana?  But it seems focussed not open. It isn't accompanied by any gratitude.

(EDIT: I see I previously described this new absorption as open and spacious - it is open and spacious or even empty in peripheral awareness, particularly towards the sides. But it has very focussed attention through the forehead)

I am a moderate drinker (three or four drinks most nights) but have had three dry nights each of the last two weeks. By the third day, energy is bubbling up. It feels like low grade piti all over, or inner winds, or the subtle body.  Bliss is also building, but feels slightly like a distraction from the experience of just being.

As I struggle to get to grips with the dharma, I smile at all the obvious stages I go through ... the 50s career man finding the dharma, the search for attainments, the quest for knowledge, trying to learn through being expert for others, inching towards other states.  I am so obviously recreating patterns that many others have experienced.  All this has happened before.  All this will happen again.  emoticon (where's the Cylon emoji?)

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/15/18 2:54 PM as a reply to curious.
Continuing to stay off the cushion.  Continuing to work on mindfulness in life, momentary or brief jhanas (especially the new clear light one), clarity in perception, and the non-dual nature of mind / pepception.  Have been walking around with a low level piti or wind energy all over my body for a couple of weeks.  As I worked on clarity in perception, and was mindful of the piti, it built up until my body seemed to be almost twinkling. I lay there absorbed in this for twinkling for an hour yesterady then BOOM back into the dukka nanas.  Obvious cycling, and obvious sensate vipassana effects, even though I do not usually practice close observation to deconstruct bodily sensations.  The cycles seem to be every two to four weeks.

But something is changing. Afterwards I experienced a new dream state several times when dozing. It feels as if the body is not asleep, the dreams have crisp imagery and sensations, and there is an unusual sense of being right there and very present.  But as soon as I notice this it vanishes, and there is no ability to control the dream.  Also last night I woke up several times because of faint dawn light, only to find that it was actually dark and I was simply experiencing diffuse inner light. Some tightness in the head and pressure on the crown.

These changes seem to follow that episode from three weeks ago of yoga, martial arts (including extensive breathing exercises), meditating with jhanas, rushing in and out, zooming back and back, and then a lengthy mind blowing rapture. There was no folding of the mind into a discontinuity in that experience, but it seems to have done something.

For now, I have lost any desire to sit, and instead just want to concentrate on mindfulness of daily experience and piti/wind energy.

 

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/19/18 4:28 AM as a reply to curious.
Just curious, where are you from? emoticon

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/20/18 4:10 PM as a reply to curious.
Hey Yilun, I'm a Kiwi (from NZ) !

Practice log.  Just reflecting on my trip to the Dentist yesterday.

I declined anaethetic in favour of meditating on the pain.  First I put the source of pain into my broader awareness rather than attention.  Then as the drill hit dentine I deconstructed the sensations. I  could perceive sparks of energy from the drilling area, but as I investigated them they become quite transient, and even sparkier.  I found much of the 'pain' was  broader tightness and tension in torso, irregularly shaped towards the same side as the drilling.  There was minimal suffering and the mind stayed calm and alert.  The treatment then involved stuff that triggered a choking sensation and associated reflex for a good ten minutes or more.  I was able to keep mind and breathing calm, but eventually bodily agitation arose independent of mind.  Suppressing the choking reflex, the incipient mild panic, and the link from bodily agitation to the mind was tiring; I clearly have more work to do there!  Some new artifical enamel was then burred off, and it felt just the same as burring real enamel.  This made me realise that the sensation of pain felt from drilling enamel is completely illusory, even on a mundane level! If there is pain it occurs elsewhere, and is constructed by the mind to be present in the dead and nerveless tissue of the enamel.

Being mindful of all this made the whole experience extremely interesting.

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/20/18 4:49 PM as a reply to curious.
This is fascinating. First off, hats off to your bravery. I have often wondered about the severity of pain from getting a simple cavity filled without novocaine. Sounds like from your experience, it is more a mental excercise than anything. I imagine root canals would be pretty brutal.   

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/21/18 12:42 AM as a reply to curious.
Thanks Nick.  Yes,  a mental exercise, but really helped by having cut off most of the tendency to cling to attraction or aversion.  I was a bit inspired by Seth’s claim that there should be no difference between eating ice cream and being burnt at the stake  :-)  But I was also inspired by wanting to avoid the unpleasantness of the novocaine injection.  So only a partial win for the dharma.


Next bit of the practice log.  Realise I need to balance mindfulness of reality with formal sitting, to try to stabilise myself.  Returned to a formal sit for 50 minutes for the first time in a month or so.  Concentration was strong, with zero dullness and only small threats of scattering attention and mind wandering, easily pushed aside.

My visual field was fluxing a little at the start of the sit, and after stabilising that I found myself with attention and awareness combined, in a broad and spacious way.  Moved into that new forehead absorption (could it be just a really hard access concentration?), before running through the jhanas to the extent that I am able.  My attempt at 5th jhana seemed nice, and going up I tried to progressively shut everything down and try for some version of lights out. Had some growing blackness but couldn’t help looking at it, which pushed it back. Ran back down the jhanas and had some nice meditative joy, happiness and bliss.

Then I turned to vipassana and made an interesting discovery.  My main foremind and primary consciousness were really clean and supple and open and spacious and empty. But the sub minds (for some reason I want to call them proto minds) were in an asbolute hubbub.  So I have cleaned up the main facade beautifully, but there is god knows what going on behind it.  The subminds have settled down a bit now, but clearly they need something to do that they can all agree on.

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/23/18 2:19 PM as a reply to curious.
One hour sit. No subtle dullness, no distractions. First 20 minutes merged awareness and attention and then observed the whole body energy flux and field of sensations, accompanied by constant energetic involuntary movements. Then 40 minutes of hard concentration states in stillness.  A few dream like visions coming into peripheral awareness, but without any dullness, a few active visualisations (4th?).  A few transient mild jhanas including briefly going down through 3rd, 2nd, 1st, clearly observed.  But the last 40 minutes was dominated by a kind of direct forward presence with total blankness that excluded all narrative thought.  Was hard to stop on the timer -  I had to form a strong intention and then actively banish the jhana, and then experienced samatha off the mat and energetic feelings in the body for another 10-15 minutes.

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/23/18 11:42 PM as a reply to curious.
Hi Bigbird.  Thanks for that wonderful advice.  That is very useful, and makes growing sense as I reflect on it.  Daniel has also given me some homework so I am trying to incorporate it all.

Next bit of the pratice log. One hour sit.

Intention: May all beings be happy.  May all beings be free of suffering.  May I be grateful.  May I delight in others' success.  May this sit reveal the base sensations that become body ... feelings ... mind ... perceptions.  May this sit see through the illusions of things that lead to ignorance, craving and negativity.  In this sit I will be mindful of the illusion of mind interacting with energy, and mindful of the illusion of resentment.

Outcome.  Much less hard concentration.  Some little subtle dullness and distraction early on, but it seemed to correct itself.  The sit was gentle and effortless.  I did not gain high concentration of noting, but started to feel energy and emotions arising from the body and sailing past. Saw myself clinging to them as they came by, like a cat pouncing on every mouse that peered out of the mousehole.  Saw that I could just sit back and watch them go by.  Realised that, on one level, the mind was nothing more than an out of control feedback mechanism for the body.  Allowed myself a visualisation at the end of fountains of innumerable flowers pouring up from my palms to cover myself, challengers, and everyone in my mind with multicoloured flowers of love, compassion and happiness. Left the sit and stayed in 3rd jhana for a while.

Thanks for the flower prompt Chris M!

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/24/18 3:42 PM as a reply to curious.
Next sit, 36 minutes (short due to other commitments).

Intention: May all beings be happy.  May all beings be free of suffering. May I be humble. May I delight in others success and kindness.  May I see through the illusions of body ... feelings ... mind ...  perceptions.  May I see the futility of greed, hatred and delusion.  In this sit I will be mindful of energetic feelings, their arising, their change, and their passing away.  In this sit I will be mindul of ego view, its causes, and its delusions.

Outcome: Zero dullness, some early subtle distractions, but these just floated by without growing. Concentrating on energetic feelings throughout body, and also face and lips. They felt like the subtle body, or some kind of nerve sense separate from touch sense, that lends itself to high frequency non-verbal noting (currently just at 8-10 Hz). Not clinging to them helped them stay mild.  Meditating in a colder than usual environment, and the spine felt cold.  Involuntary movements kept energetic feelings mild.  Had several cases of arms lifting up which I happen to know is a reflex of the neural arc that does not pass through the brain.  Perceived ego to be a complex of mind created to assist goal achievement, arising from strong aversion to past experiences. Only partial progress this sit.

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/26/18 5:38 AM as a reply to curious.
Next day. Restlessness. 120 mintues of dharma analysis.  60 minutes of varied meditation. Some micro raptures and lots of happiness. But I am pointlessly feeding the mind, as Bigbird warned. Also observing some craving for jhana.

Oh well, tomorrow's another day.

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/26/18 5:29 PM as a reply to curious.
Hi Curious, 
                 I accidentally deleted the post on this thread. I had written another one, didn't rate it. Ended up deleting both. The original post that mentioned the energy, was really to lead into the need for a technique, that is dumb arse in simplicity and contains the unique features that are in the Satipathana practice. Dumb arse simplicity also indicates that this is the conceptual mind and you take in only whats needed to run the process. So this mind is a Dumb arse, small amount as needed. I will say this is more in the surface energetics. The master controller is way deeper and the one that makes people experience fear and dread. Its undertood as energy that comes out of a space when one sees an atomic bomb.
Thats what makes sense of how much came out. Of course spacial stuff may not be of relevance, or its coming in from else where.

There seems to be a growing culture of practice that see the noticing or understanding of insights in the meditation as what one should be doing. There is also in the same method, a looking for something, or something is needed, or now i have what i need, i can practice properly. I can't understand the experience, need a better map. Maybe this tradition will have the missing pieces. That session was not successfull. It appears as if there is something in mind regarding what is important.

Satipathana has catagories. In the catagories can be individual variations. If what i just said resonated with Nanas, thats because so do they.There will be priority to do the practice. Before you begin know the parts, the catagories, individual variations. Don't get caught up in the nanas thinking that the category variation that has a similar design. The practice is moment to moment, know what arises by the Category match-if there is an individual variation know it there instead. I will break the sutta up next time. If anger arises the category is The 5 hinderances, you only need to know it as anger. You learn the category and individual varation but you apply the mindfullness like an eco. So by eco i mean you dont broadcast it back. Eco its feeling, was allowing it to express itself. Whatever is known is not altered. You know anger has arisen by recognising the feeling.

The Satipathana practice is very simple. One reason for this is there is no room for confusion, thats because its fully developed. Everything on the list will potentually arise. Never look for anything or you will loose some comprehesion of whats there during that moment. Anything that is not on the list will have a number of parts on the list that will take the whole object.

As the quality of practice increases, more and more of the direct experience is known as it displays itself. Which means if anger arises. The process can  develop from anger known as feeling. As unpleasant. AS a process involving the external object, internal-thought or image. This may seem to have just taken on alot more work. Thats incorrect. The development is the same process for alot of primary component parts. So you do get the primary parts up and running consistently then develop which i found took off by itself.
Noting does not fit the Buddha instruction. The range from high vibration, frames of experience, sutble changes in perceptions, variations in sync -- physical sensatations, physical sensations that get involved or are part of the mental factor. The same process in the deeper mind, which is often the mental factor first, but needs to be known from the feeling in the body mind, then the two aspects known continuously by the vibrational signature that syncs. At same time other objects will be  experienced. Fortunately you can't facilitate more than one thing at a time, however one needs to not contaminate some object with whats coming up, its unpleasant and even worse for you. I did some tests with noting, it doesn't take it all in simultaniously. It is the wrong type of concentration for this.
Nanas are on the list in parts. Nanas are best in parts. My opinion is that if you try and run this technique to suit your side, it will do really funky stuff. Thats the most classic experiences i had with nanas, in a single moment one part of a nana became my entire experience. Garanteed if you have a weekness it will have the matching object, to work with.
Sometimes during periods of cycling, normally all night. It would encounter an obsticle. Each time it would attempt to cycle through it would change abit. After 5 years my feeling is that it was resonatting with the inflexable part  which was in the conditioning. So it was defining the category, then variation then changing to make that the prominent experience, to break up the solidification. It did that because i didn't clash with it. Once something was ready the progess from cycling to purification, disharge the problem, then back to cycling which would complete. Maps would be a nuisance. You can experience the internal map, as a map.

Below is a small section of the explanation part, you don't take this any where ever. This develops. However reading such explanations each week is helpfull.

Who feels? No being or person. Whose is the feeling? Not of a being or person. Owing to what is there the feeling? Feeling can arise with (certain) things —

forms, sounds, smells and so forth —

as objects. That bhikkhu knows, therefore, that there is a mere experiencing of feeling after the objectifying of a particular pleasurable or painful physical basis or of one of indifference. (There is no ego that experiences)

because there is no doer or agent besides a bare process . The word "bare" indicates that the process is impersonal.

The words of the Discourse, "I experience (or feel)," form a conventional expression, indeed, for that process of impersonal feeling. It should be understood that the bhikkhu knows that with the objectification of a property or basis he experiences a feeling.

The components, their purpose, the priority of the practice and any of necessary details needed to clearly show how to practice, is what is important. When you are in the moment to moment experience the technique should have a simplicity that can allow the mindfullness to flow. Then there's the conceptual aspect. The Buddhas instructions have a unique feature in regards to how to use the conceptual mind in the process. Practice that is going to be effective will need this unique feature, and others that are built in to the Satipathana practice. There are techniques better designed for the job than others. How do you choose. Although i can't be sure, i think the best instruction available would be the one that came from a Buddha. There is lot of theory about a Buddha as opposed to an Arahant. I noticed a overall trend of a Buddha would have understandings that make them better at instruction. There's no way of knowing. However Satipathana may be light years ahead. There are opinions its just a guide. Yes, a guide on the important aspects in the most important practice that leads to the final deliverance from suffering as laid out by the man himself.

The comment  about the growing culture of practice has a further development. Satipathana has clear categories that contain the lists of parts that are to be known as they arise. There is nothing vague, regarding the technique. If one is not clear, there are additional explanations. Beware of the additional creations that are being slipped in under the guise of explanation to what was once a complete and  fully developed instruction by the Buddha. These creations are showing up as what is comprehended in practice. The practice even has an intended approach, it not prioritising observe as it is. Its got an agenda. Its lost its power.

The comment i made about the energy and possible effects, also included a problem of not noticing. This was part of a pattern, in this thread and the growing cuture. The practices in this growing culture, with these additional creations, are blind siding everyone. Their doing what they've always done to navigate the world. A conceptual analysis of sorts that now guides a conditioned mindfullness that is based on a concept. There's no mindfullness as it is instructed. Its awareness analysing conceptual understandings of phenomenon. So the conceptual mind is everywhere, and this is not just you Curious. Its everywhere. This is so Fd up, the most viable option now is for someone to say that im not seeing it correctly and adjust the concept. The problem with knowledge is in here as well. This is starting to resemble the design of the world we are in already and the never ending story(illusion). Samsara!
This is a bit messy and is for Yilun as well. I will fill it in later.

Below is an intention for your sit. You dont do that for mindfullness. Its the way we normally function. It way to slow for mindfullness.

In this sit I will be mindful of the illusion of mind interacting with energy, and mindful of the illusion


of resentment.

What the Buddha shows in the sutta is the tremendous, but generally hidden, power inherent in this simple mental function, a power that can unfold all the mind's potentials culminating in final deliverance from suffering.

To exercise this power, however, mindfulness must be systematically cultivated, and the sutta shows exactly how this is to be done. The key to the practice is to combine energy, mindfulness, and clear comprehension in attending to the phenomena of mind and body summed up in the "four arousings of mindfulness": body, feelings, consciousness, and mental objects. Most contemporary meditation teachers explain Satipatthana meditation as a means for generating insight (vipassana). While this is certainly a valid claim, we should also recognize that satipatthana meditation also generates concentration (samadhi). Unlike the forms of meditation which cultivate concentration and insight sequentially, Satipatthana brings both these faculties into being together, though naturally, in the actual process of development, concentration will have to gain a certain degree of stability before insight can exercise its penetrating function. In Satipatthana, the act of attending to each occasion of experience as it occurs in the moment fixes the mind firmly on the object. The continuous attention to the object, even when the object itself is constantly changing, stabilizes the mind in concentration, while the observation of the object in terms of its qualities and characteristics brings into being the insight knowledges.

To practice Satipatthana successfully a student will generally require a sound theoretical knowledge of the practice along with actual training preferably under the guidance of a qualified teacher. The best source of theoretical knowledge, indeed the indispensable source, is the Satipatthana Sutta itself. However, though the sutta is clear and comprehensible enough as it stands, the instructions it offers are extremely concise, often squeezing into a few simple guidelines directions that might need several pages to explain in a way adequate for successful practice. For this reason, from an early period, the ancient masters of Buddhist meditation began to supply more detailed instructions based on their own practical experience.



RE: curious journey
Answer
4/26/18 7:20 PM as a reply to Bigbird.
Wow Bigbird.  Thank you so much for your generosity.  Weirdly, I was reading the Satipatthana Sutta just before you posted.  I do have one question which I think is at the heart of my difficulties, and relates to your points.

You mention: "There are techniques better designed for the job than others. How do you choose." and for almost everything, the Sutta says:  "In this way s/he remains focussed ...

1 Internally on the <x> in and of itself, OR
2 Externally on the the <x> in and of itself, OR
3 Internally and externally on the <x> in and of itself OR
4 On the phenomenon of origination with regard to <x> OR
5 On the phenomenon of passing away with regard to <x> OR
6 On the phenomenon of origination and passing away with regard to <x> OR
7 Mindfulness that there is an <x> is maintained to the extent of knowledge and rememberance."

I guess these are different meditation instructions to suit different yogis.  Obviously MCTB and this blog tend to be focussed on 4, 5 and 6, and have elaborated on these beautifully.  This doesn't seem to suit me, and doesn't seem to be essential except when you get to mindfulness of the five clinging aggregates. But I don't know how to interpret the other approaches.

Can you point me towards anything that lays out the instructions for these other approaches more clearly? 

My intuition is that I have used a mix of 7 and 1 so far, but these are now counterproductive because they are feeding the conceptual mind, ego, and craving for concentration practices.  My intuition is  that I am naturally moving towards something like 3, in cultivating a kind of very mildly non-dual fluxing awareness of experience that feels a bit like jhana or samatha (mild piti, plus awareness and attention kind of merged in a slightly spacious way). But I'm not sure, because it's not very clear what 3 "Internally and externally on the <x> in and of itself" actually means. So I'm looking for any guidance on whether my intuitive approach is appropriate, and if so how to develop it properly.   

I have taken Seth's advice (and Daniel's) and am talking to a Geshe and engaging with some people linked to Spirit Rock.  But so far it seems more like going to church and skirting around preparatory practices only. emoticon
 

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/27/18 11:12 AM as a reply to curious.
Hi Curious, 
                 This is the important part. To know the technique. My comment about techniques may not involve this 1-7. This looks like part of one example of mindfullness and the variables. On face value the answer is you don't choose it's the prominent experience that is known- additionally inside, outside, both similtaniously. As it arises, as it passes, both. Notice whats there. If you choose to look for something, you missed the direct experience of being mindfull, in that, moment. You don't go looking for them. They come to you.
However i don't know what verson of Sutta, or if its legit. I would prefer to see it just in case i've misunderstood. So send me the link. Please.
Further down the track if you are interested in this we can talk on hangouts. A copy of the Sutta arrived within 3 weeks of getting back from Goenke, He said Sattipathana. Obviously when i looked at it, i was confused as it wasn't Goenke. I learn't the meditation part, then began. Its easy.

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/27/18 12:03 PM as a reply to Bigbird.
If you choose to look for something, you missed the direct experience of being mindfull, in that, moment. You don't go looking for them. They come to you.

I want to agree with what BigBird is saying here - this is something that is often ignored (just observing what occurs), to the detriment of the practitioner.

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/27/18 12:27 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
If you choose to look for something, you missed the direct experience of being mindfull, in that, moment. You don't go looking for them. They come to you.

I want to agree with what BigBird is saying here - this is something that is often ignored (just observing what occurs), to the detriment of the practitioner.

The thing I've been pondering a bit is how to employ investigation in a skillful way. For example, I'm starting to work on paying attention to the sensations associated with the feeling of being a centerpoint or observer. That's a choice--a conscious effort to look for something, based on a view. Just curious, Chris, do you see this kind of directional activity in practice as a mistake? It feels right to me to turn the light around a bit in this way, so to speak, but the directionality, the intending, does make me a bit wary. What I tell myself is to notice that the intending and choosing are themselves mind states. Copout? 

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/27/18 1:55 PM as a reply to Tashi Tharpa.
Good question!

I would say that if we're really doing vipassana and we really want to explore how things are being constructed then we shouldn't bring a view with us. There are other times and other practices that require a view, but not vipassana practices that are intended to reveal the nature of experience.

What I tell myself is to notice that the intending and choosing are themselves mind states. Copout? 

If you don't know what you're looking for how will you konw when you've found it?

As I talk to practitioners I find this to be a common issue - folks want to "see" not-self, for example. Well, that's what we're supposed to do, but the way to discover not-self (I'd call it an insight) is to explore how reality/experience is constructed so that it will reveal itself. And it will. As Bigbird very aptly put it:

If you choose to look for something, you missed the direct experience of being mindful, in that, moment. You don't go looking for them. They come to you.

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/27/18 2:39 PM as a reply to curious.
Bigbird - I sort of summarised or generalised it.  Here is the link. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.010.than.html.  Very interested to talk further. These discussions are really helpful.

Chris - yeah that was how I first made real progress - the characteristics just revealed themselves to me twice unexepectedly, and not during meditation, but after intense preparation.  In between was a third occasion when I actively looked for no-self with Maharishi Who Am I (link) below.  And that led me to a big event but also some challenging depersonalisation. But I seem to have got sidetracked in the last six months..

https://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/who_am_I.pdf

Chris - one other question.  As you make progress, how often do the characteristics to reveal themselves?  I'm talking about strong realisation of one characteristic flowing immediately into realisation of the other two.  Knowing this would be very helpful.

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/27/18 3:09 PM as a reply to curious.
As you make progress, how often do the characteristics to reveal themselves?  I'm talking about strong realisation of one characteristic flowing immediately into realisation of the other two.  Knowing this would be very helpful.

If you have the realization/insight then they can reveal themselves when you pay attention, concentrate. It's funny but there really aren't "three" characteristics. For some reason, even though they can reveal themselves as three insights, they're all part of the same process - dependent origination. So as you tease them out by closely examining your experience from second to second the insight gets stronger and it requires less and less concentration to see what's actually happening with existence/perception/dependent origination.

That was my experience.


RE: curious journey
Answer
4/27/18 3:11 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Good question!

I would say that if we're really doing vipassana and we really want to explore how things are being constructed then we shouldn't bring a view with us. There are other times and other practices that require a view, but not vipassana practices that are intended to reveal the nature of experience.

What I tell myself is to notice that the intending and choosing are themselves mind states. Copout? 

If you don't know what you're looking for how will you konw when you've found it?

As I talk to practitioners I find this to be a common issue - folks want to "see" not-self, for example. Well, that's what we're supposed to do, but the way to discover not-self (I'd call it an insight) is to explore how reality/experience is constructed so that it will reveal itself. And it will. As Bigbird very aptly put it:

If you choose to look for something, you missed the direct experience of being mindful, in that, moment. You don't go looking for them. They come to you.
I'll have to think about this. I may agree with Almaas that 'there's always a view.' If the view in vipassana is not to have a view but to just see whatever is there, that's cool. (It's still a view but if you can't handle paradox, don't get into this business!)

OK, so if we go back to Daniel's 'Vipassana' video on Vimeo, what he said was that, in working with Sayadaw U Pandita Jr., he resolved to not miss anything--to catch every sensation. In other words, his view or operating idea was to pay as much attention as possible to everything that was there. 

In the course of that, what he saw was that the entire sense of the observer was, itself, just more of the same--a pattern of sensations. The exploration of reality revealed something.

So maybe what we're getting into here is the difference between a prescription for enlightenment and a description of it. The prescription, in Daniel's case: pay attention to everything. The description: Here's what I saw when I did that (the observer is just more sensations).

My inclination in hearing Daniel's description is to change my prescription, so to speak, and try to reach his description by choosing to pay attention to the pattern of sensations associated with the sense of being an observer. Maybe that's a mistake.

On the other hand, I'm not actually sure what I'm looking for in doing that, so it's a bit different from trying to, say, find no-self. I don't have a clear idea of the experience or insight that would arise from paying keener attention to the sensations that make up the sense of the observer, at least I don't think I do. 

So maybe all I'm doing there is exploring how reality/experience is constructed. I have found that useful in the past in picking apart experience: 'OK, I get it, vedana actually is a thing' or 'Oh yeah, there are mind states there that I wasn't aware of.' Don't know if I'm making any sense. 

Hmm...

Anyway, thanks for much for taking the time to answer my question! 

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/27/18 3:38 PM as a reply to Tashi Tharpa.
If I may - what you should be looking for is part of every object (or frankly any object) but it only reveals itself when you look in the tiniest fractions of moments of time that you can see, and in the snippets of process that you can see. Re-read those parts of MCTB in which Daniel describes this in detail. This is why he talks about frequency and speed. You need to be able to discern very small increments of time because that's how fast your mind processes information. Speed is the key, as Daniel says over and over and over again.

Think about it this way: when you hear a sound a series of steps takes place from the moment of contact with your ears to the mental image of the thing you think you heard (but may not even be able to see). to giving that thing a name. That process is what you want to observe because in that process all is revealed. In seeing that process lies the keys to the magic kingdom.

It's almost imposible to see this with an idea (object) like not-self or the idea (object) like "the observer." It's much easier to observe this process using a sound or a touch sensation. Those were always the ticket for me, anyway.

emoticon

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/27/18 3:35 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
One more thing -- this is why it's so hard. This is not something that is easy, or sounds reasonable, or sensible, or even particularly smart. It's weird in many ways and folks just think it's not the right thing to do for all these reasons. That, I suspect, is what motivated Daniel to write MCTB. It was because he knew what to do, very clearly he knew absolutely what the fuck to do, and yet almost no one would do it.

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/27/18 8:10 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
One more thing -- this is why it's so hard. This is not something that is easy, or sounds reasonable, or sensible, or even particularly smart. It's weird in many ways and folks just think it's not the right thing to do for all these reasons. That, I suspect, is what motivated Daniel to write MCTB. It was because he knew what to do, very clearly he knew absolutely what the fuck to do, and yet almost no one would do it.
Yeah, I've never really worked with either speed or frequency. I've done things like stare at a physical object for an hour until I was seeing it without any thinking about it and also until it was like I disappeared. (Probably just went into hard jhana with the eyes open to get into this only-the-foreground state.) And then I've done a lot of kind of medium-tempo, continuous noting, heavy on the verbal note. 

To be honest, I lean toward the lazy end of things and think of my mind as generally slow-moving, so I haven't been inclined to pursue speed/frequency but I'll contemplate diving into this. Thanks again! 

EDIT: I guess it's, like, right there in the instructions. I've kind of stayed with the whole noting-once-per-second thing for quite a long time. Hmmm...speed and frequency. 
As one progresses, one may note more rapidly and inclusively, noticing the sensations that make up the breath or the motions of the feet many times in one step or one breath, and thus begin to notice the true nature of those sensations and their Three Characteristics. As one progresses further, one may begin to perceive things too rapidly to note them, such as in the insight stage of The Arising and Passing Away, at which point one may switch to generalized noting or drop the noting entirely and just be with bare vibrating or flickering sensations until such time as one needs the noting again to stay present and grounded in one's sensate reality...


RE: curious journey
Answer
4/28/18 1:03 AM as a reply to Tashi Tharpa.
Interesting discussion! Absolutely get the dependent origination point, about breaking the chain of becoming. Verbal noting never appealed to me as I had vacated most of my internal talk, and seemed to make progress by other routes.  But rather than go back now, I think I can use rapid generalised noting, or just being with the energetic sensations. This is just as Daniel suggested in his video, and in MCTB.  Must read that book more often!  Also, Bigbird's advice seems spot on.

So I think I just need to get out of my own way, stay really mindful, and let it happen at its own pace.  

I'll go away for a bit now, and try to do just that.

Hey and good luck Tashi, and Yilun too if you are reading, and indeed to all.  Thanks Chris, and thanks Bigbird (and of course Daniel).  I'll check in occasionally in case there is more people want to add.

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/28/18 3:26 AM as a reply to curious.
Good luck to you too! I'm just trying to be as relaxedly mindful as possible, what can I notice other than what is here? emoticon

RE: curious journey
Answer
4/30/18 11:12 AM as a reply to curious.

Hi Curious, 
                 I had a look its just part of the technique. I see there's talk about different ideas. Its good to have a good look at different ideas, but choose the one you like and do it. Don't  go around trying your luck.

I don't suggest looking for something. I suggest letting yourself be shown something. How will you know when you've seen it. Its on the list. If its not on the list, it will have component parts that are on the list. If you work the technique, noticing what comes to you, not caught in any particular view, everthing is free to express itself,as it is. As Chris says, keeping up with what unfolds becomes a very direct sound or touch experience. Ideas, even the list fall away. The only real limiting factor for me was the stress. The component that was behind the stress played a big part in this process.

There are definitley variables in how things unfold, that are dependant on each individuals conditioning. Satipathana practice appears to address these variables.

      
       Satipathana.

This "objective" way of looking at a thing, freed from considerations of the personal reactions to that thing, is the pith of the method and constitutes what is called "knowing as it is" (yathabhuta ñanadassana). Also by its quality of reckoning just what is present, mindfulness cuts down discursive thought and prepares the mind to take in the actual characteristics of the cognized objects. In this sense, mindfulness lets the objects speak for themselves and unfold their nature.


RE: curious journey
Answer
5/16/18 6:32 PM as a reply to curious.
Just recording a few things for my future reference. 

I now have answers to all the challenges I posed in the spirit of Martin Luther. However, talking more on that seems likely to feed ego and suffering, and to be rude, so enough said I think. Thanks again to those who interacted.

I had an experience before sleep (posted elsewhere) of a sudden shutting of the sense doors, total cessation of the breathing reflex, and a strong pull into a void-like textured blackness.  Seemed like a very deep and intense jhanic state.  I chose to resist this, and have decided to pull back from intense practices for now, in case the results outrun my ability to cope with them.

Another night I had an arc-lamp bright nimitta, just before sleep. But this was out of the field of view, to the right.  It was as if it was just reflecting around the corner.  Then last night, just before sleep, I saw the textured blackness again but without any of the other factors present.  I inspected the textured blackness, and found that it did not move when I rotated my eyeballs. So it must be an internal feature of eye-consciousness, not a feature of the sense organ.  Maybe this shows some interruption to Dependent Origination at the level of contact?  

There has been no accompanying sense of insight from any of this, but my default state has had a noticeable shift up in energy and joy.  I continue to cultivate mindfulness in daily life, while pondering, examining and mentally inspecting the Dharma.  Not expecting anything except a long slow evolution of the mind.  Feeling happy.

RE: curious journey
Answer
5/23/18 8:12 AM as a reply to curious.
So here I am a week since my last update. Continuing to feel happiness, some joy and love, and increased energy.  Some small level of evaluation and worry has dropped away in the last few days, and my focus is increasingly on the present.  I am trying to be mindful of the brahma viharas, mindful of the paramis, mindful of food, mindful of what I am doing, moment by moment.  Not sitting, but pondering on the dharma or being mindful of the buzzy flux of sensations for several hours a day. Sometimes spotting points of angst or regret and zapping them into little raptures. Mindful of emotions that might otherwise have led to a mental reflex. Very occasionally failing, with subtle fight or flight reflexes causing an unskilful karmic response. Occasional unusual sensory events continue.

Mindfulness of the flux of sensations leads to a stronger sense that the body is just another object in the field of perception. The mind-nature or non-duality of the world is also returning. This now includes a very mild sense that things are just happening and I don't need to worry about them.  Also, I now realise that the world is just pure sense consciousness and this makes up most of the mind; however, I am nowhere near perceiving that directly.

For now I am content to be happy in the world, moment by moment, to be mindful, to keep deconstructing sensations, and to process my karma/samskaras as they arise.  For now, anyway.  Might feel different tomorrow.