Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

thumbnail
nosuchthing, modified 1 Year ago.

Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 73 Join Date: 7/5/18 Recent Posts
Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure
thumbnail
Daniel M. Ingram, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 3168 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Interesting.

What are the chances that the things you label as stream entry and second path were the A&P or Equanimity? It is exceedingly common for people to mistake these for path attainments.

Stream enterers and beyond tend to cycle pretty rapidly, so the long periods of difficulties you describe would be more likely to have moved through or changed or morphed or whatever in a shorter period of time.

Spontaneous movements and the like when sitting are typical of the Three Characteristics and A&P stages, as well as a bit in Cause and Effect.

When you say you are good at vipassana, what exactly do you mean?  By what criteria do you judge your accomplishments?

What phenomena did you label as stream entry and second path? What exactly happened? With whom were you working, if anyone, and what did they say about what you were going through at the time?

I agree, the Brahmaviharas are great.

Thoughts?
thumbnail
Stickman2, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 375 Join Date: 7/24/17 Recent Posts
"I like rhubarb"

Then you should make this it's wicked scrummy.

https://godfulfood.blogspot.com/2016/04/youd-have-thought.html
thumbnail
Stickman2, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 375 Join Date: 7/24/17 Recent Posts
I made it, it's nice.
Adam, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 110 Join Date: 3/10/16 Recent Posts
I'm not sure how to use off-cushion time.

You may find the Morality part of MCTB inspiring. There are endless options, sometimes the hard part is giving yourself permission to ask yourself what you really need right now and then going for it, even if that just means taking a nap.
Adam, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 110 Join Date: 3/10/16 Recent Posts
To expand a little (since it may seem fatuous to suggest taking a nap), your posts remind me of my own struggles to integrate daily life & insight, not realising I was missing an essential part of practice - learning to allow the wisdom gained from insight to change my habits & actions. Some people find this so natural it doesn't seem worth mentioning, but other people (like myself and perhaps you) take naturally to practice techniques, but need to steadily work at adapting life in line with the lessons learned from insight. Things like listening to the needs of the body and mind, finding ways to relax which aren't primarily aversive, acting on instincts to curtail bad habits and give good habits a chance, making a point to treat each day as having a bit of malleability, allowing room for cultivating tranquility, flexibility, openness... but without necessarily needing to make it all into A Big Thing (which naturally results in aversion), instead just gradually adopting a perspective that listening to inner wisdom and taking occasional chances to make a little change will bit-by-bit create a positive loop, as insight, mindfulness and life all work together and help each another out. Sometimes that means just doing mundane, ordinary things that don't seem spiritual at all, like developing a life skill, taking a trip to the shops, taking time for a wholesome hobby, chatting with a friend... and sometimes taking a nap is clearly the only thing to do.
Adam, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 110 Join Date: 3/10/16 Recent Posts
I'm mainly referring to the insight that comes from crossing the A&P - in my opinion the whole of spiritual life after that is just one long process of coming to terms with the big ol' can of worms that's been opened up.

That new way of seeing complicates things. All the craving, avoiding & ignoring that is a routine part of normal life isn't so easy to turn away from anymore. There is now a friction between existing coping habits which have served a valuable purpose, and the new knowledge that all sensations are fleeting. These things naturally cause tension, since there are now two fundamentally opposed ways of seeing and acting. So the integration I'm referring to is learning to bring the ways of seeing and acting off cushion more closely in line to the ways of seeing and acting on the cushion. It's a slow process to allow that fundamental insight to integrate into the ordinary, mundane day-to-day, and to let familiar habits gradually change, but if you can make it a part of every day it will gradually start to snowball.

At some point, this becomes the only thing left to do - working on concentration and insight won't do much more good, because the rest of the day is spent rejecting the insight already there. Similarly, mindfulness off-cushion can't do much good without being willing to either change or make peace with whatever is observed. I've been at this point several times and not realised it, and somehow got over it each time without understanding that is what had happened. Not understanding what was going on made it hard work, and I fought it all the way until I finally gave in and let some tense habitual behaviour start to relax a bit, and eventually to adapt. At least this seems to make sense to me about what was going on, and still seems to be helpful now. I don't know if this applies to you too, but your story reminds me of those times in my life.

Aside from the aspect of integration I mentioned in the earlier post (working to make regular ordinary life a bit less aversive and more rounded), there are other things that can be useful - anything that seems to help cultivate peace, equanimity, tranquility, joy, a sense of balance, centeredness or groundedness off-cushion. Since you've done plenty of formal practice in brahmaviharas, maybe you'd find it helpful to try cultivating those more informally. Anything that appeals to you that helps to imbue normal life with those qualities - activities like gardening, walking in nature, cooking, some fun kind of exercise... whatever works for you. It may not sound super-spiritual, but for some people it is the most important part of spiritual practice to work on.
thumbnail
Chris Marti, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 3786 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
All I wanted was to become an Equanimity-man of steel without emotions and vulnerabilities. 

Yeah, that's what a lot of folks seem to want. It's impossible to do, as you're finding out. It would, on the surface, be so nice and wonderful and freeing to be immune to the pain and the fear and the anxiety, wouldn't it? Or would it? This deserves some deep pondering.

One thing that happens in most sits is remembering. I'm observing the breath or the walking motions until I stop to note something. Then, and later, memories occur of what happened before. This seems to be one of the most consistent things that happen.

As an exercise, you could look for this. Memory plays a huge role in how you perceive the world as you live through it. It's happening all the time (it's uber-consistent, you could say), and it's happening second by second. Can you observe that process as it happens, in the now?
shargrol, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 1494 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Each little glimpse of equanimity and saying yes to life has the result of "positively conditioning" the mind, just a little, which makes it that much easier to remember in the midst of tough nanas and depression and obsessive thoughts. We can usually endure any difficulty if we know the difficulty is temporary and that veil will eventually be lifted again.

No one ever just develops in a straight line, getting better and better... It's much more scatter shot, all over the place. it's actually more like watching someone do an oil painting: a splash of color here, a different color there, little dots all over the canvas, for hours and hours, and then amazingly this big spacious picture starts taking form, almost as real as a photograph. Amazing.

Each time you objectively and fully experience a sensation, an urge, an emotion, or thought pattern, it's like you have separated a muddy mess of oil paint into the bright colors that make it up. And your life becomes a little more bright and colorful. Not all at once, and the colors can get mixed up again, but we develop this instinct that things can be bright and colorful.

Ironically, once you go looking for the bright and colorful --- saying yes to life --- you see more and more bright colors. That's why after a while it isn't a total uphill battle. The mind wants to mindful and joyful and equanimous and cool as cucumber emoticon So we will always get pulled in that direction, it just takes time.

It's important to know that when the "bad stuff" shows up in our sits, it's just our mind working on taking a muddy mess and turing it into the bright colors that make up that mixture. We need to see the bad stuff so that it can be transformed into the good stuff. And the way it gets transformed is with patience, acceptance, and curiosity.
thumbnail
Chris Marti, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 3786 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I think it's a craving - for food.

emoticon
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I think this is really unfair and actually scientifically incorrect. Keeping a diet and exercising more doesn’t work for a body that has settled for a default weight that is overweight. The body will just burn fewer calories to keep its default weight. I know a lot of people who exercise a lot and eat in a healthy way and still carry overweight. I also know plenty of slim people who don’t exercise at all and eat junk food. Judging people from their looks is not very skilfull, and it causes harm. Even if they are eating in an unhealthy way, that’s not for anybody else to judge or comment.
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I am interested in science and that’s why I read scientific journals in real scientific databases, not on reddit. I have access to those databases through work since I work as a scientist at the university. You are wrong, and what you are saying causes harm. Do you really think that people who are struggling with overweight haven’t thought about cutting down on what they are eating and increasing their exercise? That’s really patronizing and condescending and not helpful in any way.

This is your practice log so I won’t go into any more debate.
thumbnail
Chris Marti, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 3786 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I was joking!

Anyway, there are many "causes" of people being overweight. It's a complex mix of metabolic factors, genetics, diet and level of physical activity.
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 1494 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Sounds good, rock on (responsibly emoticon )!
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Raving Rhubarb:

Social Life:
Some people claim that it's very important who you socialize with. Hang out with successful and happy people, and their habits will rub off on you. On the other hand, hang out with losers, and you're most likely a loser yourself.
So far, I had categorized this sort of advice under "Questionable things said by weird callous people who try to optimize their life by questionable standards".
Last week, something happened which made me more seriously consider this concept.
I hung out with a friend who is basically a good guy but would by most people be considered a loser.
We had quite the fun, but I noticed how his attitude would slowly creep into my behaviour.
I ended up stuffing myself with junk food. I stayed too long and I drank too much caffeine and I couldn't sleep the whole night! So I ruined that day's calorie balance, and the next day I felt like crap.
Why? I seriously don't know. In fact, I was well prepared. I had brought my own food and had a rather exact plan of what I would do. And it all crumbled pretty fast.
What can I do? Obviously, I can't really blame him for what happened me. But if I don't find a way to prevent those negative effects on me, I will need to stop hanging out with him. This sucks.


Who gets to decide who is successful? According to what standards? This sounds like potentially very ableistic and elitistic advice, depending on what is meant.

When it comes to your friend, is there a way for you to talk about your own needs when the two of you hang out? Would it be possible to explain that you end up doing things you didn’t intend to do and that you would appreciate if you could hang out in a way that doesn’t include eating foods that make you feel unwell and drinking too much caffeine? Formulated in a non-judgemental way, of course. Maybe you could say that you are trying to establish certain habits and are too easily distracted from them, that you get tempted or just fall into old habits? Perhaps if you hang out for several hours, you could take a dinner break away from each other and then meet again afterwards? Sounds like it would be a shame to waste your friendship with a good guy just because you have different needs with regard to eating habits. If you explain that this life change is important to you, would he listen and respect that?
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
That’s kind of what I meant with ”depending on what is meant”. Successful in terms of being compassionate, wise and respectful towards other sentient beings - sure. That’s a good choice of people to hang out with. Successful in terms of prestige and conventions - not so much. I saw that you said that too, but you seemed to consider it after all.

Good for you.
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Great post. Bravely openhearted and facade-less. It warms my heart. I really hope you will find a way to be truly kind to yourself, because (1) even if you don’t believe it, you do deserve it, and (2) nobody needs to deserve it - it should be a default right.

I have been very sceptical about narchotic drugs, but if it really helps you, I’m happy for you. Just please be careful. You have probably heard that to death already, and you probably already are careful. I just worry easily, so if you keep checking in to show that you are still alive, I’ll be grateful.
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Raving Rhubarb:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Great post. Bravely openhearted and facade-less. It warms my heart. I really hope you will find a way to be truly kind to yourself, because (1) even if you don’t believe it, you do deserve it, and (2) nobody needs to deserve it - it should be a default right.
I've actually tried to include similar thoughts into wise reflection and trick my mind into accepting this. But it seems to me that it's not as simple as sitting down "yo bro, be kind to yourself, you deserve it". There's no reaction at all. Instead what happens is I start to think about if it's true. I soon realize that I could effortlessly write a 20-page essay debating why everyone deserves to be kind to oneself or not. But I suppose the subconscious mind doesn't react to 20-page essays very well. Also I don't think there's a reason to be found. It's simply that being kind to yourself means you suffer less and so the mind would naturally choose it if it hadn't erected barriers against it. So I assume that I'll have to find those barriers and deactivate them long enough for the mind to learn how "being kind to yourself" actually feels.


Hm, no, it’s not that easy when one truly doubts that one is worthy of it. I have been there. I really hated myself. I wanted to throw up my soul (I believed in a separate soul back then). One thing that did have effect on me was brutal. My husband at the time yelled at me that it was self-centered to have higher standards for myself than for others. Did I really think I was that special? I hadn’t thought about it like that before. When I thought about it, I realized that if I required of myself to be perfect to deserv compassion, then that was also indirectly standards that I set up for the world. Did I want that kind of world? I did not. Or maybe it just had an effect because it allowed me to feel guilty for yet another thing, I don’t know. Probably a bit of both. Anyway, it took me many years after that, but I still remember it as significant. Two therapeuts, many different kinds of antidepressants, three neuropsychiatric diagnoses and three coming outs (as polyamorous, bi-/pansexual and non-binary) later, I somehow learned to be kind to myself. I have become surprisingly good at it. It isn’t always popular, but it is the only thing that works in the long run. Sometimes it feels very selfish to take care of myself, but if I don’t, I don’t have energy enough to be kind to others.


I can allay your worries: if you check the statistics, you will discover that basically no one dies because of psychedelics, especially the low-risk ones. I'm pretty sure that riding my bicycle is more dangerous.

That said, I did notice that after taking the 10g dose my mind became unreasonably optimistic, i.e. somewhat reckless. I didn't recommend to anyone that they try microdosing on their small kid, but I did think about it emoticon However, that changed after the 15g dose. It was intense enough that afterwards I thought "what the fuck are you doing with your mind?" and now I feel much more careful.
Then again, I had meditation-caused freakouts on retreat, compared to which the mushroom trip was a piece of cake emoticon


Right. That does help. Thankyou! Yeah, I probably have a lot of fear-based prejudices against drugs. That’s ironic, because I do take dexamphetamine for my ADHD.

I once spent a whole day shaking in a fetus position because of withdrawal from my body’s own chemicals after an evening of really great touch. I could barely eat, and when I did, salty crackers tasted exactly like strawberries. I had motion sickness because I could feel my pulse in my whole body and it was out of synch with itself, so I had to hold on to my friend’s sofa.

Talking about risk, I just ate clams in spite of histamine intolerance that makes me ill, because Peter Singer says it’s ethically okay to eat them. It has only gone a few minutes and I can already feel my neck stiffening and rashes developing. I really hoped it would work this time. I still hope it did, because if it doesn’t get worse than this, I can take it. (I do have medicines and it doesn’t affect my breathing.)
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
How did your meditation go yesterday? Comforting me seemed to cause you some fear with regard to it. I hope it passed. Best wishes!
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
You know what? You really helped me yesterday. What you wrote about all the uncertainty was compassionate without trying to fix anything, and it made me remember that I actually chose this unknowing because it is liberating. There will always be something that I can learn from you. You are wiser than you know.
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Interesting. Lately I get the impression that you are letting go of fasades in a way that allows you to dig deeper.
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
What’s up with erasing all your log reports? Are you okay?
thumbnail
Raving Rhubarb, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Raving Rhubarb's Meditation Adventure

Posts: 73 Join Date: 7/5/18 Recent Posts
sent you a pm.

Breadcrumb