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More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements

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More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements Mathew Poskus 12/6/17 11:11 PM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements Bruno Loff 12/7/17 4:51 AM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements Mathew Poskus 12/7/17 5:13 AM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements Bruno Loff 12/7/17 5:28 AM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements Mathew Poskus 12/7/17 8:42 AM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements Bruno Loff 12/7/17 2:31 PM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements Mathew Poskus 12/7/17 6:16 PM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements Yilun Ong 12/8/17 4:54 AM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements Bruno Loff 12/8/17 5:04 AM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements housecrow 12/8/17 8:27 AM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements Mathew Poskus 12/8/17 10:33 AM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements Sunnata 3/18/18 1:40 PM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements JohnM 3/22/18 7:05 AM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements Kim Katami 3/22/18 12:23 PM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements JohnM 3/23/18 7:18 AM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements housecrow 12/7/17 8:25 PM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements Caleb T 3/21/18 11:08 PM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements Mathew Poskus 3/22/18 12:48 AM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements alguidar 3/22/18 6:58 AM
RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements Mathew Poskus 3/23/18 7:23 AM
Hi ,i have practiced more than 2 years of noting ,sadly i didnt achieve any state or stage, basically my practice was just note every mental image ,mental talk feeling ,when it begins and when it ends ,no vibrations no flickering just for ex. mental image as piece of solid image ,also noting for me is really frustrating and tyring . I have read MCTB but as i understood i look at 3c's like this when there is a thought i perceived it from begining till end (annica?) , i notice it came from nowhere(annata?) and its impermanent so unsatisfactory (dukkha?).Can someone give me advice to progress further or correct me if im doing it wrong  ?And if one is deppressed  its better to stop doing insight practices (maybe that why it feels so frustrating for mind )?

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
12/7/17 4:51 AM as a reply to Mathew Poskus.
Have you ever done a meditation retreat?

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
12/7/17 5:13 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
No never ,actually where i live there is none or maybe some in summer zen retreats

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
12/7/17 5:28 AM as a reply to Mathew Poskus.
Then my advice is to do a meditation retreat for at least 10 days.
  • Do it really intensely: find a way to waste VERY LITTLE TIME with food and hygiene and anything other than meditation, so you can meditate at least 14 hours a day.
  • This may involve going through the dark night nanas with great intensity, expect frustration, crying, angst, wanting to quit, etc, felt to the bone like you didn't before.
  • Eventually break through to the point where you can consistently pay attention to everything in a panoramic, again and again, relaxed, broad way. This is equanimity.
  • Then stay there, makind it broader, more inclusive, more consistent, more refined, etc.
  • Eventually you hit stream entry.
At least that's how I did it. For me, progress outside of retreat is unusual.

Maybe finding a guide for your retreat is a good idea, also; do you have a meditation teacher?

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
12/7/17 8:42 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
No i dont have /had any teacher ,im thinking to do home retreat when i have possibility ,but should i stay with Mahasi noting or can i use Shinzen noting because i found after practicing Mahasi noting it became more automatic mantra like noting while with Shinzen i found more relaxed method and do I have to note all phenomena or all so trying to note and see atleast one of 3 characteristics?

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
12/7/17 2:31 PM as a reply to Mathew Poskus.
Noting stuff is not the goal of noting. The goal of noting is to start seeing in a phenomenological way.

You break down your experience into its smallest components.

When you are doing noting practice very well, eventually you have to drop the noting, because the breaking down of experience becomes too fast for you to be labeling everything.

Insight practice can develop in a few different ways.

Insight practice can become more refined, as I learn to break down aggregate phenomena. So I start by noticing only aggregate things: e.g. the sensation of bum against the floor, followed by sensation of back pain, etc. Then these things start breaking down further: the sensation of bum is made part of a burning at the skin against the chair, part of the sensation of pressure of the sitting bones against the bum's flesh, part the way the blood coarses through the bum at high pressure; back pain isn't just back pain, it comes with lots more information, like prickling in some area, tension, drawing of attention into the pain, etc. Each little event in my perception sums up to an entire sensation. Being able to break down every sensation into many tiny sensations is one of the skills that noting is meant to develop.

When practice is very refined, I am able to break anything in my experience into seemingly hundreds of tiny sensations.

Insight practice can become more broad. I start by breaking down local things: a pain here, a pressure there, a thought sometimes, and so on. Then my attention gets more powerfull and I start being able to break down large parts of experience all at once, e.g. my entire sensation of body gets broken down into small sensations, all at one time. Being able to break down my entire experience is one of the skills that noting is meant to develop.

When practice is very broad and refined, I am able to break down everything that is happening into seemingly hundreds of tiny sensations.

Insight practice can become more consistent. I start by being unable to stick with it for more than a little at a time, and quickly my mind gets taken by some other thing. Then my attention gets more powerful and I am able practice for long periods, eventually I am always kind of just practicing all the time.

When practice is very consistent, broad and refined, I am able to break down everything that is happening into seemingly hundreds of tiny sensations, again and again and again and again and again...

If you reach that level of practice, and maintain it for a few days, that should be enough for stream entry.

So I wouldn't worry too much about the three characteristics. If mahasi noting makes your practice consistent, broad and refined, do mahasi noting; if shinzen noting makes your practice consistent, broad and refined, then do that instead.

When I'm on retreat, the sheer persistence of meditating many hours a day brings me to a high level of practice. If you are serious about meditation, then I highly recommend you do a home retreat, for at least 10 days. During the retreat, give it all you got. Meditate ALL THE TIME. ALL THE FREAKING TIME, every second of every hour of every day, as if meditating was the single most important thing in your life at every given instant. Eventually you should break through to a place where your practice is consistent, broad and refined. Then deepen that as much as you can, and somewhere down the line you should hit stream entry.

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
12/7/17 6:16 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
ok thanks Bruno i will try in a week or so ,but can you explain little bit of seeing the 3c's is it that when you noting it just naturally reveales themself or as Daniel stressed that you should look for them as a next practice to noting?And maybe some tips like sitting meditation 1 hour and walking meditation 1 hour?

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
12/7/17 8:25 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
My situation is in some ways similar, except that I seem to go through a little cycle of skill that very gradually moves higher. So right now I will spend maybe a week out of a month being able to suppress distraction and control my alertness levels, but then will cycle down to increased distraction. Why does it go by months, my theory is it has to do with finances and the network of desire/stress that goes along with that... the one thing that has improved linearly is the refinement of detail in attention.

Anyway, I too want to do a retreat, but I will have to structure it myself. I can't do ten days in a row at the moment, but with effort I can probably arrange three days a month for a good handful of months.

Like Mathew, I wonder about an effective way to structure the time during the course of a day. Alternating hours of sitting and walking? Any suggestions? Right now I sit about one hour, sometimes one and a half, daily.

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
12/8/17 4:54 AM as a reply to Mathew Poskus.
WRT 3Cs: Just pay attention. You know already that seeing sensations come and go is Impermanence. Just by noticing this can get you enlightened. Suffering/Dissatisfaction is what it is, there is no need to look for it. No/Not-self: See that you have no control and leave the philosophy far away from practice. They are all linked but no need to sweat over what you know/don't know. All the instructions to practice are in bold above.

Sit/Walk: Best to know yourself. On a breakthrough, if it seems that sitting 3 hours will get you through, why stop at 1? Although IME, rarely if ever, a shift occurs past the 90 minute mark. YMMV.

Why walking meditation?

1. It is excellent to raise energy for beginners. It seems to get the engine started, making vibrations stronger/more perceivable. It keeps you awake and going. You are exercising. You are not wrecking any joints.
2. Walking meditation grounds the energy as focus is on the feet/sole/leg. This counteracts the excessive energy in the head during meditation, allowing the energy to dissipate/burn off. 

How to balance?

Sit longer when the momentum feels good or you smell a breakthrough. Stay with scheduled 60/90/120 min. if nothing extraordinary happens. Walk longer if you feel excessive energy in the head. Know and balance yourself.

All the best!

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
12/8/17 5:04 AM as a reply to Mathew Poskus.
What Yilun said.

My own retreats are planed for roughly 1 hours sitting 1 hour walking, but when practice becomes sufficiently high level I start doing a lot more sitting, because it allows for more subtlety.

Walking is great if you are prone to sleepiness.

For setting the overall schedule: Make sure your logistics are good, you don't want to be wasting time going to the shop because you ran out of food, or be interrupted in any other way. Then your day is simple: meditate non-stop all day from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. Balance your energy so that it's plentiful but not excessive. You want to be alert, not wired / burned-out. If you practice well, at around day 4 (maybe day 3, maybe only day 5) you should feel your mind is a lot more powerful than usual. Develop a consistent, broad, refined practice, as far as you can make it go.

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
12/8/17 8:27 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Thank you all very much.

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
12/8/17 10:33 AM as a reply to housecrow.
Thanks for help 

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
3/18/18 1:40 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hi Bruno, I'm kinda new to vipassana(satipatthana) so I have some questions about your experience with the practice.
Not long ago I start doing some mindfulness practice as preliminary to my samatha(metta) meditation and i'm trying to learn how to do it with better results. What I'm doing is alot like the Mahasi method of noting, but with mindfulness of the breath instead of the abdomen.

First do you follow some specific technique like the Mahasi or Goenka method that I can read about in more details? Or may be a blog or practice log in this forum?
What is you focus or range of noting, do you try to notice physical sensations or thoughts or the movements of the body or do you notice just anything that comes with contact with the 6 senses without searching(scanning) the body for specific sensations. Also do you have some grounding object like the breath or rise and fall of the abdoment?
My first problem is that when I try to be mindfull of the breath or let say a phisical sensation that is strong and last for a long time, my awareness (of the thoughts and other bodily sensations)start to get less sharp and it start to feel more like samatha practice on one object instead of mindfulness practice. Also sometimes the calmness turn in to dullness witch slow even more the clarity of the mind.

When you say that you break down your experience into its smallest components how are you doing it? Do you put conscious effort into seeing every sensation in more details(and searching for new ones) or you get there automatically with the sharpening of the mindfulness after you get deeper in your retreat?
Can you consiously make the mindfulness more refined and broad outside intensive retreat and to what extend.

My other problem is that I often miss the thoughts for too long time and when I notice them thay stop so I dont have a chance to mentaly note them. If I note them after thay have disapeared it feels like i'm noting the past and not a present experience.

Also when do you drop the noting. Does it happen automatically and prior to that, how fast are you noting? Like 1 word a second or more.
What happen when in early stage you notice several sensations at once, do you mentaly note only 1 or 2 of them? And do you try to note the sensation exactly the same time it occur or let say the sensation get to you field of attention, you mentally direct you mind on it(to see it more clearly) and after that you mentaly note it? Because sometime the noting feels automatic and shallow especially on a repeating process like the in/out breath or an itch that last for minutes. 

I hope there's not too many stupid questions. emoticon  I have always been more into samatha and my interest in satipatthana is only recent so I didnt have a chance to read much on the topic.

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
3/21/18 11:08 PM as a reply to Mathew Poskus.
I'll just chime in by saying that I practiced for 4 years before I knew that progress was even a thing to be had. I just had faith that I was learning a lot and sitting regularly was a worthwhile task. It wasn't until the Dhamma talks on my first 2 month long retreat that I even knew the progress of insight existed and that enlightenment had some well defined criteria in the Theravada tradition.

Even on that retreat I didn't make any progress I could notice until about a month in. That first month was rough.

I didn't make any more progress between that retreat and the next one... In fact, I started my next retreat back from the beginning instead of resuming where I left off.

I'm grateful for these maps. They can help provide some reasurance that what you're doing is working. You can do many forms of Zen sitting for decades before you even know that you're not doing it correctly.

I like to think that the maps are tools. A tool is useful, but only when it's appropriate to use it.

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
3/22/18 12:48 AM as a reply to Caleb T.
Caleb T:
You can do many forms of Zen sitting for decades before you even know that you're not doing it correctly.

Yep ,that's what I didn't like about Zen they don't even talk how to meditate properly ,atleast where I was (Kwan um zen centre) ,so you can do nonsense for years without knowing ,absurd.

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
3/22/18 6:58 AM as a reply to Mathew Poskus.
Mathew Poskus:
Caleb T:
You can do many forms of Zen sitting for decades before you even know that you're not doing it correctly.

Yep ,that's what I didn't like about Zen they don't even talk how to meditate properly ,atleast where I was (Kwan um zen centre) ,so you can do nonsense for years without knowing ,absurd.


I also think about this.

I feel a profound pull to practice zazen, "Just Sit", but can´t track progress or know if im doing it right.

Do it twice a day anyhow.  emoticon

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
3/22/18 7:05 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Thanks Bruno and everyone for these very helpful instructions. I have a rather basic question.

I'm focusing on noting practice these past several months after many years of visualization, "karma yoga," etc. I have a question about jerking/twisting/moving of the upper torso/head in what looks like Three Characteristics where I often find myself as I do more hours in a non-retreat setting. Sometimes there seems to be a bit (or a lot) of volition in these movements in response to back pain etc, though often they are completely spontaneous. Should these generally be shut down (creating a bit of a "freeze") or allowed to go to the extreme (often results in sitting twisted for a minute or more before the back releases to straight)? Often the latter posture results in an energy release followed by lengthy periods of alert streaming bliss. Any advice would be much appreciated.

In spite of many retreats over the decades I don't recognize much beyond the dark night stages and equanimity (latter was well in the past in a couple of retreats) and currently find myself bumping up and down in the first five insight stages - some "droppings" occurring which seems to indicated moments in Dissolution. I'm trying to do as much as I can on my late teacher's advice that "two hours of sitting is maintenance, anything above that can facilitate progress" until circumstances permit more retreat work.

Thank you!

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
3/22/18 12:23 PM as a reply to JohnM.
Have a go with this: https://www.en.openheart.fi/113

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
Answer
3/23/18 7:18 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Thanks Kim. That looks like an interesting approach. I'm still wondering about my question though. Any thoughts much appreciated!

RE: More than 2 years of vippassana and any achievements
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3/23/18 7:23 AM as a reply to Mathew Poskus.
Oh yeah and I forgot to mention with misleading instructions or proper teachings how to practice can just lead to more suffering and developing more bad mental habits ,wich you will have to remove eventually,so this situation can now just lead to wasting time but also be damaging , this happened to me emoticon .