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Frequency of noting, and alternative 'off-cushion' practises?

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Recently, I've been trying to note as much as I can in daily life, so there's no 'wasted time'. I've been using Shinzen Young's system(https://www.shinzen.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FiveWaystoKnowYourself_ver1.6.pdf) and 'noting Gone' seems to be the most intuitive for me.

I note 'Gone' whenever some sensory phenomena subsides and I notice it. But, it just feels, for lack of a better word, silly. I feel even more distracted than mindful to be honest, since I'm constantly on the lookout for the vanishing of a sensation.

And I tend to note pretty slowly, whereas a lot of people report being able to label/note every few seconds contionously . That seems like a breakneck pace, I can barely do it every 5-15 seconds or so (When I even remember to do it.) Is my frequency of labelling good, or would I have to speed it up to actually do the practise?

Also, are there other 'off-cushion' practises that are like noting, where it's something you can do throughout the day whenever to increase your baseline awareness? Shinzen's recommended 'off-cushion' practises seem to be 99.9% noting, surely that's not the only way to be continously mindful in daily life?

RE: Frequency of noting, and alternative 'off-cushion' practises?
Answer
12/4/17 11:23 PM as a reply to D..
Noting doesn’t feel natural because we are conditioned to regard our default mode as natural, and noting dislodges it (the default mode is the mind noise that is constantly running all day every day). You can note whatever sensations are arising, and can do so while driving, while out walking, while having a meal or whenever. It’s harder when working at certain tasks, indulging in entertainment, or socializing. There is nothing wrong with these activities, but they do tend to absorb one’s attention. 

You should feel feel free to experiment with different ways of noting, maybe focusing at times on mood and how it manifests in the body, or else on simple sensations of brushing your teeth, or how you respond to a gentle breeze on your skin. Don’t be discouraged if it seems to be a haphazard affair. Anything you can do to get as much continuity as possible between on the cushion and away from it is good for progress. Eventually you will find it a welcome relief from internal chatter, and a method for staying present with whatever is arising. 

RE: Frequency of noting, and alternative 'off-cushion' practises?
Answer
12/5/17 12:16 AM as a reply to D..
I'm a big fan of staying with the breath in your body and using a welcoming practice to thaw out tension. Consistency and making the breath your landing strip is the goal. 

Looking at mental movements (including those related to Buddhism) and seeing their tension and relaxing them helps as well. When doing mental work you still have to do the work normally but you want to default back to the breath so you can weed out extraneous thoughts that are interfering with your work (a form of Right Effort), and go back to work.


http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/210/talk/9813/
Welcoming


https://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/y2009/091228%20Stick%20with%20It.mp3
Stick with it

Good luck!

A game that might interest you: Catch.

Count the number of words in your thought stream. Objective is to catch at 1. Words like: Is are what who how where can should etc. 

If you aren't trying to be mindful, catch all your emotions at their earliest and investigate or play with them. Awesome rewards!

I was going to stop noting, and do something else, but I decided to do it for at least a week, to see if I got used to it. I really have to thank Shinzen Young because his mindfulness system produces the exact same results that he speaks of.

I have more somatic tranquility, and my 'baseline' awareness seems to be boosted to a level that I very rarely have. Noting 'Gone' appears to be a very powerful daily practise, considering I'm already seeing results on the 3rd day of starting it. It's essentially just about noticing the 'dissolving point' of  a sensation.

I'm curious to see if I can develop my 'Gone' awareness to the point that I always reside in the 'Gone' as Shinzen mentions here:

As you become more sensitive to detecting Gone, you may come to a place where you note it so
frequently that Goneness itself becomes an object of high concentration. The gaps between the “Gones”
get shorter and shorter until a figure-ground reversal takes place. Gone becomes the abiding ground.
Self and world become fleeting figures. Needless to say, experiencing something like this will have a
huge impact on how you relate to aging and death.

Has anyone achieved this kind of state after a prolonged period of noting?

RE: Frequency of noting, and alternative 'off-cushion' practises?
Answer
12/7/17 12:19 PM as a reply to D..
Hello D.! Some tips on Shinzen's system.

The core idea at the base of Shinzen's system is building up three attentional skills: Concentration, Clarity, and Equanimity. Concentration is the ability to keep your attention where you want to for however long you want to; Clarity is the ability to track and explore sensory experience in real time, and Equanimity is the ability of not interfering with sensory experience by pushing and pulling on it. Now the reason Shinzen's noting method is much slower than the one in MCTB is that, after you note something, you should soak your attention into whatever you just noted, and this increases your Concentration.

Some more corrections if you want to keep working with Shinzen's system.

A variable noting speed is, generally, speaking, not a recommended approach. You should try to keep a steady pace. Once every 15 seconds seems definitely too slow. If there is an event that you are particularly interested / attracted to, it is fine to note multiple times the same event: So, say that you are noting at a pace of about once every three seconds, and you are very attracted to an external sound, then you might be noting "Hear" as many times as needed, even five or ten times, while trying to soak your attention in that external sound, exploring it in real time, and renewing your interest in that sound every time you label "Hear" again.

One more thing about you saying "I'm constantly on the lookout for the vanishing of a sensation": What do you do when you cannot find a sensation that is vanishing? In Shinzen's system, you are supposed to keep noting at that steady pace you set for yourself, so, say, "Hear", "See", or "Feel", for whatever sensation you noticed that is not a Gone, and soak your attention into that sensory event for some time, at the steady pace I mentioned above.

Lastly, about off-cushion practices, practice does not need to be formal noting and labelling in Shinzen's system when you are doing background practice: You can just be trying to contact one aspect of your sensory experience, for example "Feel Flow", without necessarily doing the formal noting and labelling process.

Hope this helps!

neko

RE: Frequency of noting, and alternative 'off-cushion' practises?
Answer
12/7/17 12:14 PM as a reply to D..
D.:
I'm curious to see if I can develop my 'Gone' awareness to the point that I always reside in the 'Gone' as Shinzen mentions here:

As you become more sensitive to detecting Gone, you may come to a place where you note it so
frequently that Goneness itself becomes an object of high concentration. The gaps between the “Gones”
get shorter and shorter until a figure-ground reversal takes place. Gone becomes the abiding ground.
Self and world become fleeting figures. Needless to say, experiencing something like this will have a
huge impact on how you relate to aging and death.

Has anyone achieved this kind of state after a prolonged period of noting?
It could take quite some time and work to get to that point, I suggest that you do not set it as some kind of goal in your mind that, until you reach it, you haven't got anything out of your practice. The idea is that while you are doing the work, you are training your CCE (Concentration, Clarity, and Equanimity), which is what Shinzen's system is all about, much more than getting any specific kind of abiding in any specific kind of perceptual modality.

RE: Frequency of noting, and alternative 'off-cushion' practises?
Answer
12/7/17 1:16 PM as a reply to neko.
neko:

Some more corrections if you want to keep working with Shinzen's system.

A variable noting speed is, generally, speaking, not a recommended approach. You should try to keep a steady pace. Once every 15 seconds seems definitely too slow. If there is an event that you are particularly interested / attracted to, it is fine to note multiple times the same event: So, say that you are noting at a pace of about once every three seconds, and you are very attracted to an external sound, then you might be noting "Hear" as many times as needed, even five or ten times, while trying to soak your attention in that external sound, exploring it in real time, and renewing your interest in that sound every time you label "Hear" again.

One more thing about you saying "I'm constantly on the lookout for the vanishing of a sensation": What do you do when you cannot find a sensation that is vanishing? In Shinzen's system, you are supposed to keep noting at that steady pace you set for yourself, so, say, "Hear", "See", or "Feel", for whatever sensation you noticed that is not a Gone, and soak your attention into that sensory event for some time, at the steady pace I mentioned above.


Hope this helps!

neko

I'm practising a slightly modified version of the normal noting practise:
Basic Instructions for Just Note Gone
Whenever all or part of something drops away or drops off, note “Gone.” The thing that drops away or
drops off may be well defined or vague, big or small, simple or complex. It may be something that has
lasted a long time or something fleeting. In some cases, you may not even know what it is that
vanished!
If nothing drops away or drops off for a while, just hang out until something does. If you have any
reaction to the absence of “Gone,” that reaction won’t last long. When it drops away, note “Gone.”


I feel that just noting gone will probably let me go at a pace of roughtly 3 seconds or so(once I'm used to it.) but if I'm doing something like:

Itching sensation(LABEL: Feel Out) -> Itching dissolves(LABEL: Gone)

Then it just seems very 'busy' compared to just noticing the dissolving of a sensation, like:

Itching sensation -> Itching dissolves(LABEL: Gone)

I'll definitely try going at the recommended pace of 3 seconds though, fast labelling makes a lot more sense now that I know that I can label a single event multiple times. I thought 1 Label = 1 unique event rather than 1 Label = 1 event.