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Chris André's practice log

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Chris André's practice log Chris André 7/30/18 6:13 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 7/31/18 7:05 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 8/3/18 4:55 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 8/4/18 8:25 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 8/5/18 3:49 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 8/6/18 12:33 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 8/9/18 3:21 AM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 8/10/18 2:54 AM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 8/12/18 3:59 AM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 8/13/18 6:07 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 8/15/18 7:40 AM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 8/16/18 6:45 AM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 8/17/18 4:05 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 8/20/18 8:14 AM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 8/23/18 2:04 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 8/26/18 2:44 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 8/27/18 7:37 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 9/1/18 10:41 AM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 9/3/18 3:34 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 9/5/18 3:52 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 9/20/18 8:15 AM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 10/7/18 11:25 AM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 10/7/18 11:34 AM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 10/20/18 10:57 AM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 10/21/18 1:50 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 10/23/18 5:48 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log Chris André 10/29/18 9:40 PM
RE: Chris André's practice log shargrol 10/30/18 5:52 AM
Chris André's practice log
Answer
7/30/18 6:13 PM
So I'm going to clean up a little because my practice logs were going all over the place. This is the one I started after having attained stream-entry in May 2017: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/6344429. And for a while I thought perhaps I had 4th Path (which I hadn't) and to explore whether that was the case or not this became my journal from then on: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/7112136

To sum it up there has been so many different kind of openings and shifts and things that has seemed important after stream-entry, and for a while I tried to keep track of all these things, but right now I'm less interested in which milestone I may or may not be at, and the focus is primarily on keeping up my daily practice.

One of the primariy tendencies I've been wanting to get to the roots of is how this erratic search for something else than what is here right now also manifests in my meditation practice by me still changing around my techniques so much, ie still not having a daily consistent practice sticking with the same technique. It seems like this has been getting better because that's what I've been focusing on lately, and this is still what I'm working on.

For now I'm really glad to see that there is some kind of fusion going on between the 3 meditation methods I've been spending the most time studying where they all seem to turn into the same thing:

1) Meditation on the breath where the breath is both the focus point and also one is trying to use the breath to get in touch with how the whole body is breathing "Qi energy."
2) Vipassana the Mahasi method, using impermanence to tune into the vibratory quality of reality, how the whole field of experience vibrates. Shinzen Young will call this breaking down frozen material into flowing impermanence, and to me it seems whether you call it Qi energy or impermanence, it is the same thing, some kind of healthy flow is stimulated when reality is experienced as less static.
3) Just Sitting / Shikantaza, just letting things be as they are in an effortless way. The way I do Vipassana these days reminds me alot of the effortless qualities I was in touch with when I used to focus on Just Sitting. I also think this is related to Mahamudra and Dzogchen.

So how it feels I mostly just sit down, and it feels like my being is some kind of vibratory energy ball and the visuel field behind my closed eyelids gets much lighter, and whatever I can find which is "frozen material" / some unpleasent kind of suffering, I just try to see if I can see the vibratory quality of that, and I try to always find more and more suble levels of suffering going on, if that can dissolve into flow / vibrations, and most importantly I have to carry this with me into daily life, because there is just an incredible number everyday of new and creative ways that my mind will find ways to freak out about how this present moment should have been something else then what it currently is.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
7/31/18 7:05 PM as a reply to Chris André.
So it has been so rewarding journaling about my meditation like I have for the last month. Feels like I'm landing a solid, good, technique here, and also I'm building the discipline to stick with it, both in terms of using discipline to stick with the same approach everyday, and using discipline to apply those skills in everyday situations. Yesterday I came home from work with a really strong feeling, almost panick-like, that I needed something radical new in my life, and it seems like more and more, I can use meditation to get to the roots of those feelings. It was really extreme the extent to which I used to get pushed around by impulses like that before, and now it seems like, on a much more consistent basis, I can remember to use the skills I develop in meditation to deal with all the unpleasant thoughts and emotions telling me I need to search for something else than this present moment. This is like strenghtening the basics, but that is still what this haunted mind needs :-)

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
8/3/18 4:55 PM as a reply to Chris André.
Just reflecting a bit more on what a wild and crazy ride this has been. It seems I must have suffered from some kind of chronic identity crisis for as long as I can remember, and even though I must have meditated for 16-17 years now in all kinds of traditions and with all kinds of approaches, my ability to really apply these teachings has been limited because of this chronic identity crisis. I'm inspired by the teachings of the five spiritual faculties these days - faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration & wisdom. How faith in the practice leads to putting energy into the practice, which leads to mindfulness, etc. In my life what I have practically putting my faith in has changed around alot almost on a daily basis, like I have thought I would need this or that, and I've been on a constant search, trying to find whatever I thought I needed to feel whole and complete in life, and whatever mental story I would make up about whatever my life needed, it was really hard to see through those stories because the momentum was so strong. Anyways, I'm writing this because it seems now on a much more consistent basis the value system of the Dharma has been established more firmly in my life, and today I was lying in my bed, and of course all these stories and all this panic (which is much milder right now) continues, and it was just fun to see it in the light of the five spiritual faculties, and how my faith in the Dharma was strenghtening the fact that now my highest priority is to see through these stories and get to the roots of whatever kind of suffering is the driving force behind.

Also, at all these frustrated attempts I've made at practicing the Dharma, there has been a really strong "all or nothing" mentality behind it, where I would like get extremly judgemental about people not practicing the Dharma, or not practicing it good enough, etc etc, and that would of course contribute to some kind of swing-back effect, where I've been alternating for years between dedicated meditation practice and partying.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
8/4/18 8:25 PM as a reply to Chris André.
Just to document these psychological cycles I go through, which is typically like this. Now I've been very inspired by the Dharma for a while. So I start to build up a little bit of what I would call manic inspiration around this, and it gets a bit obsessive. So it gets to feel like I'm finally installing the right software for my mind, like Dharma values, five spiritual factulties, daily meditation, quitting alcohol, etc. And in my mind, the content of my mind, I see the world through a Dharmic lense, like I mostly think about people who are into the Dharma, hear podcasts about the Dharma, think about monasteries I want to visit, and Dharma books I want to read, etc. And so of course this also has a healthy aspect to it, but the part of it that is a bit tiring is that it feels like I try to milk this way of viewing the world for all what it is worth, until it is sucked dry, for this time, and so I'm left sort uninspired and back to meaningslessness and lack of purpose again, until I find something else to milk like this again or start a new psychological cycle of milking an old thing in a new way again. It all has a component of "yes, now I finally got it, my way and approach to life is finally settled." I think perhaps the best teachings I've found to deal with this phenomena is something Kenneth Folk taught me some years ago. He called it to objectify the lense. I would identify which lense I viewed the world through, and then I would objectify it, like "oh this is the Dharma lense, so of course my whole world view now has a Dharma-culture flavour to it." And so this tends to change around quite a bit, and since I'm a hobby-artist and hobby-guitarist (among waaaaay too many other interests), those lenses are pretty frequent and when they are dominent I tend to view the world through the lense of guitar or art being the predominent flavour. The frustrating part is it always seems like I try to establish whatever lense that is going on as some kind of permanent word-view that I would like to keep for forever, until it is sucked dry of inspiration and exchanged with something else, and also, I don't quite get why it has to have such a strong "all or nothing" quality to it. Perhaps it is just a lesson on impermanence, like we would all like something stable to cling on to, even like a stable world-view, but that's not how our reality is. Sometimes I wonder if this is a dysfunction of my mind because I would imagine most people have a more stable sense of their world-view, so I guess it is a combination of me having had a chronic identity crises for as long as I can remember because of probably having grown up in too unstable surroundings to really settle down into a more established character, while at the same time for over half my life I've studied teachings on how to see through the illusion of some kind of permanent identity. Fortunately, thanks to Dharma-teachings, I have good tools to live with a more fluid sense of identity and world-view. I'm also guessing, taking Shinzen Youngs teachings on how "frozen material" breaks up into flowing impermanence through vipassana, that there is some stuckness around this world-view forming mechanism in my mind, that with further practice can break up into something less clingy, less obsessive, and something more integrated, fluid and dynamic.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
8/5/18 3:49 PM as a reply to Chris André.
Great day. 2 hours of meditation, 1 hour yoga at a yoga class, 30 min weight-lifting on my own and 2 hours of mantra-singing with a group of friends. None of the concerns mentioned above has been present, and the present moment has felt fresh and filled with spontanity and possibilties and not chained down with the past.

EDIT: This is another good reason why I should stick with this same vipassana technique for a good while now - to see through my tendencies of even becoming obsessed with being a meditation practitioner.

RE: Chris André's practice log
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8/6/18 12:33 PM as a reply to Chris André.
1,5 hour of sitting today. I'm almost feeling too good today. Meditation was really good, but it irritated me that I was having a manic buzz that prevented my mind from settling down. Intention: bring this energy more into balance, perhaps by switching over to lying down meditation when necessary.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
8/9/18 3:21 AM as a reply to Chris André.
So this manic buzz went over into something that felt like a depression yesterday, and now it feels pretty balanced again. Both these states reminded me of discipline, the discipline to stay with the body sensations of whatever state one is in. My mind tends to project really elaborate stuff onto reality, and I haven't really had the discipline before to not become hijacked by all these projections, but seems like it is getting better. When I meditated today it still felt like there was excess energy going on that fueled my thoughts instead of my investigation, and so the meditation felt like I have often experienced that there are two tracks going on simultaneously - both an enthusiastic and elaborate thought-process fueled by the excess energy that the meditation kicks up, and the vipassana-investigation breaking things into impermanence and flow and creating this energy that is hijacked by my thought-process. Noting disappointment regarding that experience.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
8/10/18 2:54 AM as a reply to Chris André.
Before I sat down for 45 min today I made a very clear resolution that I was not going to give in to wallowing in my obsessive thinking as described in the post above. The picture I got in my head was a race-car competition betweeen obsessive thinking and my vipassana technique. I also downshifted to using noting with mental labels instead of noting without mental labels. And quickly I was going beyond this high-energy, creative, inspired, obsessive thinking, and peace, stillness and well-being started becoming the dominating phenomena. Interesting how meditation can kick up so much energy, especially when the speed of the investigation is increased, and how addicted I've been before to using this energy to something that felt creative and inspired but which was really obsessive at the same time, and how clear it is now that peace and stillness is really what I need.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
8/12/18 3:59 AM as a reply to Chris André.
Two days of sitting 45 min per day. I've continued noting with mental labels as I easily get into a bad habit of only being halfway there with the meditation technique if I go for a long period doing noting without that support. Been noting a feeling in daily life now of complacency and that life is "good enough" even though there is some boredom here. I could easily start to not feel the need for meditation when I feel like this, so I'm writing this as a reminder.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
8/13/18 6:07 PM as a reply to Chris André.
45 min sitting today. Seems like daily-life practice is also going much better. Walking home from work felt like doing 30 min of formal walking meditation. I've had a particular interest today in noticing how my body and my being contracts when an unpleasant memory pops up, as if I'm touching something that burns me. Also the speed at which I'm catching various frustrations during daily-life has increased alot. Feels like I can no longer tolerate to wallow in stuff like that when I have this great alternative to note it instead. The most challeninging sensation during daily life to work with today has probably been boredom. That one is a bit slippery for me. When I catch a frustration during daily-life I'm usually rewarded by a sensation of triumph for having been so clever as to catch it instead of wallow in it. I noticed here another day that I was catching a frustration and then the expected sensation of triumph didn't come and I was disappointed but then I managed to catch the disappointment and then the sensation of triumph came.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
8/15/18 7:40 AM as a reply to Chris André.
1 hour sitting yesterday, and 45 min today. Woke up with a strong sense of self-loathing and that everything is wrong about my life, but after 45 min of sitting I feel great. Just a reminder about how long I could run around in chaotic feelings like that before trying to find some external solution. Also I think I'm starting to get a sense of self-esteem around this meditation project. Eckhart Tolle's term for what I woke up in this morning is a "pain-body attack." I'm imagining I'm building up a better buffer to deal with these pain-body attacks by having a steady practice. Perhaps ironic to talk about all this after stream-entry, but stream-entry to me was just yet another impressive opening of some sort in my crazy life that has been a psychedelic roller-coaster ride of wild expansions and contractions all over the place, so my life has continued to alternate like this, but now I'm growing up and I'm having a boring normal life with a daily meditation practice, and I'm not going to take off as easily neither by expansions nor by contractions :-)

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
8/16/18 6:45 AM as a reply to Chris André.
45 min sit today. Even though there is still a lot of imbalances left on the relative level, on the fundamental level it has been hard to get a grasp on what is left to do. Today all that felt much clearer. Been working on vipassanizing:

- the desire to get somewhere else
- the feeling that something is wrong with the present moment
- the feeling that there is work left to do
- the sense of something over here that wants to get over there
- the generel sense of dissatisfaction with something not being quite right on a fundamental level
- the attempt to put some kind of pressure onto the present moment in order to make it right
- dissatisfaction with lack of clearity around what is left to do

In one sense it feels like some kind of exposure therapy. If I can just expose myself enough to all the sensations telling me something is wrong with the present moment, then perhaps at some point those sensations won't bug me anymore.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
8/17/18 4:05 PM as a reply to Chris André.
1 hour sitting today. Yesterday, when I was at my job in the evening, some strong grief suddenly came up and my immediate reaction was a combination of "if only this or that," "doesn't feel like this shit is ever going to go away," and "why is this happening to me?" but pretty quickly I was able to dissect it into "ok, so these are the body sensations that comes along with this feeling, and these are the mental images and this is the mental talk, and these are the additional feelings of resistance, self-loathing, regret, etc" and along with that the resistance disappeared and I had what felt like a much purer experience of the grief along with feelings of faith and inspiration regarding this process of meditation. Pick it apart in order not to wallow in it and then a more proactive and resourceful attitude appears.

In my daily life I'm noticing there are still a lot of these feelings of:

- "if only this or that."
- "why is this happening to me?"
- "doesn't feel like this shit is ever going to go away."

So I will just continue to vipassanize that to the best of my ability. I think resistance towards experience, in whatever shape or form it comes in, is a big one.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
8/20/18 8:14 AM as a reply to Chris André.
2 hours sitting on saturday, 45 min yesterday and 45 min today. Concentration didn't feel so good today, but I had some emotional stuff coming up that took most of the bandwidth, not sure whether I wallow in it or whether it is feelings that I have to allow to get expressed like that, or if with stronger determination to concentrate the vipassana investigation could have been better. Felt like something in between these three different takes, and I noticed both an emotional relief after sitting but also disappointment that the concentration had been so weak. Feels like I'm alternating between sometimes deep insights, sometimes some really awesome concentration states, sometimes just dealing with difficult emotions, and sometimes just plain regular everyday-life boredom.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
8/23/18 2:04 PM as a reply to Chris André.
Been out of town for 3 days, but it was easy to keep up my practice. Actually the first day I sat for 2 hours and 10 min just because I was getting such a kick out of being in a different city. Sat for 45 min both day 2 and 3. It was also easy to do my practice on the bus now, before I used to feel formal practice always got wishy-washy if I did it sitting on a bus. Now that my daily practice has been steady for a while, I've been fascinated with the concept of really drilling those 45 min per day into the core of my being by thinking about it as my platform in life, and actually, perhaps most of the time, my daily sit is the most pleasant activity of the day, and I think it gets easier and easier to just pull it off without thinking much about it, whether I'm having a day off or I'm working day-shift, evening-shift or night-shift, or when I'm out travelling. Really want to tap into the power of habit, routine and discipline. Been thinking much about devotion too, and how much devotion there is in having a daily sitting routine. Like life is always trying to distract us in one way or another from doing what we really want to do, whether externally or internally (like feeling too tired or having other unfullfilled needs that one feels like prioritizing instead), but to really just sit down with whatever kind of resistance one meets, day after day, there is something very devotional about that. Also, now that my 3 month of abstaining from alcohol is getting close to its end, I'm so happy about these 3 months that I choose to prolong this decision for the rest of this year. Everything feels so much better and safer without having a few drinks 3-4 times a week and occasionally getting drunk.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
8/26/18 2:44 PM as a reply to Chris André.
3 days of 45 min per day. Half the sit yesterday, and the whole sit today, I changed to noting aloud. I find I'm drifting off when doing both noting with and without mental labels, so I'll do noting with verbally spoken labels now for some time. The hierarchy of noting I'm following is this:

1. Noting without mental label
2. Noting with mental labels
3. Noting aloud with verbally spoken labels

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
8/27/18 7:37 PM as a reply to Chris André.
45 min noting aloud today. When I get to ease and well-being, even my voice becomes mild and soft. I even see the vibrations in my voice correlate with the vibrations in the rest of my field of experience. I can use the voice a little bit the same way as I do when I sing mantras where I imagine that the vibrations in my voice give my body a massage. I catch much more vibrations than I manage to label because of the time-delay in the labeling-process, but it seems like I can both label and then at the same time catch vibrations outside of the labeling-process. It is just a really good tool to make sure I spend my time efficiantely.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
9/1/18 10:41 AM as a reply to Chris André.
45 min per day still of noting aloud. Seems like this whole "dharma practitioner identity" thing is totally gone.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
9/3/18 3:34 PM as a reply to Chris André.
I'm turning the amount of sitting down to 30 min per day for a period now. Suddenly got intensely fed up with that 45 min per day chunk.

RE: Chris André's practice log
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9/5/18 3:52 PM as a reply to Chris André.
30 min per day, but my life is starting to get so good (and busy) again that meditation is a bit like just another stupid chore I have to get through. Even though I adjusted it down with 15 min, I still want to be as religious about those 30 min as mentioned above about making them into my platform in life. I just have to become even more on task in order to get to roots of the resistance that is now coming up.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
9/20/18 8:15 AM as a reply to Chris André.
Still sitting 30 min per day. Sometimes longer. 30 min per day is my absolute minimum, but it is preferable to sit longer. Went crazy here the other day about wanting to have a yoga-based practice instead, but now inspiration is back with vipassana. I do some yoga every now and then, and it helps to think of working with my meditation posture as a kind of yoga practice when the longing for more yoga pops up. Some yoga every now and then can also really help to get the inspiration back with meditation. It is incredible how it can help to make the spine feel erect, open up the chest and relax the shoulders, both in general and especially when sitting in the meditation posture.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
10/7/18 11:25 AM as a reply to Chris André.
Ayahuasca ceremonies

Last weekend I went to an ayahuasca ceremony that lasted from early saturday until late sunday. I've been part of this circle since first time drinking ayahuasca the new years eve that concluded 2010, and for a four year period I drank ayahuasca approximately 20 times, but now I've had a break for 4 years, so it was really nice to re-connect with this group.

Ever since I took a break I've had a very ambivalent relationship towards ayahuasca, so I kind of didn't leave it being on good terms with it, even though it has done a lot of good for me. The reason for the ambivalence of it is probably because of the horror one goes through on an ayahuasca trip, but also the ecstascy that comes at the end of the journey, so there has been a lot of repulsion towards the difficulties of that path, but also attraction towards the rewards of it and the interesting and exotic group of people it attracts and sort of the call to really dive into my traumas this really hardcore way. So this combined sense of both repulsion and attraction at the same time got too confusing at some point and I just gave up on the whole thing.

Too make a long story short, I've spent a lot of time in therapy these last years, as I'm on the 2nd year of a gestalttherapy education where we do pretty huge amount of therapy, both individual therapy and group therapy, in fact there is almost no normal teaching at all in this education as the whole thing is basically just a therapeutic group process. And I also did like a year of individual therapy with one of the teachers on this school before I started this education.

So the thing that has been my theme lately has been to really extend the period of time that I allow myself to really dip myself down into my sorrows, pains, vulnerability and confusion. So even though I've been meditating for quite a while, it seems the tolerance for staying with that kind of "yucky" stuff has still been low. I often even go about my meditation with an attitude of just pushing myself through that shit in order to get to the rewards at the other end, instead of just allowing myself to stay there with patience and no rush to get anywhere else.

So gradually I'm picking apart as many of the escape routes that I can in order to allow myself to stay with stuff like that when it arrises for as long as necessary, and I'm thinking since the amount of dark night material or trauma or whatever you want to call it has been so bottomless it sometimes seems like, I think I just have to keep processing it as much as possible and not try to run away at all anymore. Getting comfortable with vulnerability.

So bringing this new willingness to stay with my difficult shit into an ayahuasca journey, woah! that was really something. I didn't freak out at all as I used to do, and there was no attitude of just forcing myself through the difficulties. At one point I had a little bit of panic, but then quickly I remembered to trust and surrender to the process, even though it was very uncomfortable. Seems so simple, now that I'm at the other end of it, but it actually took me 8 years to get to this point of trust with ayahuasca. Just to make that clear, I've probably been a more neurotic and freaked out about life kind of guy than most people, so probably wouldn't take anyone else so much time to follow simple instructions as "trust the process, don't fight it." And not to say I've mastered this once and for all either, I'm pretty sure ayahuasca has some new and interesting ways of challenging me deeply to my core again and again should I ever go back to it again, but right now, a week after the trip, this feels like a really brilliant way of processing stuff. Feels like I've had a really great reboot, and so much "stuckness" has been cleared out of my system.

There is a really great guy and his really awesome wife that guides us through these ceremonies. He is a really awesome musician and yogi, being inspired both by traditional Santo Daime churches (the catholic version of ayahuasca communities) and eastern yogis, and she is sitting right next to him the whole time just pouring so much love into these ceremonies. Whenever I was going through some really difficult stuff, it was like she was picking up on this at just the right time and sent me a smile and deep loving warm eye-contact, and that made me feel uplifted again. I remember one thing she said during the first day and that was I you really wanted this medicine to work, you had to really believe that deep down you were worthy of this sort of healing, and I remember I started crying when she said that and I resolved for myself that no longer will I believe that I'm not worthy of good things in life and that I was going to fully embrace this healing.

They suggested for us to have some sort of intention for what we wanted out of these ceremonies, and the two things I asked for was:

1) Healing my relationship towards psychedelics

and

2) Help and inspiration with my daily meditation practice

Regarding number 1) I've been quite a psychonaut during my spiritual journey, but I've always had this love/hate relationship towards psychedelics, and that came because I didn't use them wisely, so I was getting super-obsessed with them, and then I started to hate this obsession and wanted to get rid of my whole relationship with them. Now it has been 3 years since I've used any other psychedelics, and I don't intend to start to use them again anytime soon - one ayahuasca journey was plenty for me to work with for a while, but it would be nice to get a more nuanced view on them and their role in our (underground) culture, instead of this love or hate kind of thing. All serious users of psychedelics, as far as I can see, seem to promote some kind of daily meditation practice, and it feels really good to have this firmly established as a platform to integrate these experiences into my daily life.

Regarding number 2) I wanted to use these ceremonies as a meditation retreat to get new inspiration with my meditation practice. Also this couple who are guiding these ceremonies promotes a holistic path of healing including both ayahuasca, psychotherapy and daily meditation, among many things. It was pretty interesting to see that during even the most intense and horrifying experiences of my whole being being churned into endless fractals, geometric patterns and strange and unusal psychedelic beings interfering with me, that I could still use my vipassana technique and make the totality of my experience flicker in the vipassana sense of it. All this stuckness in my being, lets just blow it open with a very potent psychedelic, and make every "dusty little corner" of my psyche get some new and fresh air and lets just re-arrange everything, turn it upside down inside out in 10.000 fractalized exponential geometric patterned ways, and lets even add some vipassana to all that to make even that whole thing flicker.

So it feels like my whole being has been thoroughly ventilated. So much love and devotion in these ceremonies. I feel inspired and grateful, and it was good to get this need for a little bit more exotic spiritual adventure satisfied again :-)

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
10/7/18 11:34 AM as a reply to Chris André.
1 hour of sitting today. Gosh, so much inspiration after these ceremonies. Been trying to conceptually (outside of sitting) bridge the gap between psychedelics and vipassana. What did I seek in psychedelics all those years that now I prefer to find in vipassana? I think it is all those qualities of challenging my sense of control over my reality, seeing things about my reality that I believe to be permanent dissolve into a sense of flow. Although this often happens in a much more forceful and brutal way with psychedelics,  and the flavour of it is not exactly the same, I think my motivation for seeking both these types of dissolution has come from a wish to be more in harmony with reality instead of fighting it. So I think both vipassana and psychedelics are making the ground fertile for a surrender into the way things are. Fortunately, these days I don't chase extreme experiences the way I used to do, and I'd much more prefer a quiet and disciplined daily meditation practice where I study reality turning into vibrations / tinglings / flickerings.

I also think both tools allows me to access parts of my being that I wouldn't normally been able to access had I lived my life in a more conventional way, giving me both the opportunity to release old trauma and also to discover cool new skills, abilities, potentials and perspectives that makes life more fulfilling.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
10/20/18 10:57 AM as a reply to Chris André.
45 min sit today.

I've gotten super-fascinated with psychedelics again. Been listening to podcasts and reading stuff by Vince Horn about how he was a "straight edge" meditator who became interested in psychedelics. Read about another dude who recommended 3-4 months for integration after a trip, and someone else who recommended 6 months. That seems more right for me, since I have been using them irresponsibly before. Psychedelics are to me like a nuclear bomb going off in the psyche that needs long time for integration. 3 weeks since I did those ayahuasca ceremonies now, and I still feel very much like I'm in the afterglow of that.

So I took a break from drinking alcohol from the end of May which is going to last at least until this year is over. And I'm also going to spend at least the rest of this year integrating these ayahuasca ceremonies before I even consider doing more psychedelics.

So with those things being said, I have to say the afterglow I'm in now has been really amazing. I have much inspiration both in my work, studies, hobbies, physical exercise and meditation. Exactly the boost I needed for this fall season, which I think would have been quite heavy without. Also it is very fun to study this new interest in psychedelics among buddhists that has been talked alot about lately at BuddhistGeeks.com.

And perhaps, most importantly, with all this inspiration and energy that has been kicked up now, which makes me think alot about previous psychedelics experinces I've had, the role of psychedelics in our culture, thirst for more psychedelic experiences in the future, gratitude for having this exciting and potent tool available, etc, etc, all that energy can easily become very mental/intellectual, so I have to remember to just bring it back down into my body and into the present moment, over and over again. If I succeed with that, I think it can bring me a lot of healing, getting this Qi energy to really flow and open up my body and giving a meditative massage to my whole being, but if I don't succeed this whole thing can easily just turn into yet another mental fascination/obsession.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
10/21/18 1:50 PM as a reply to Chris André.
1 hour of sitting today.

From a vipassana point of view it only makes sense to vipassanize this ayahuasca afterglow as sensations. Especially all this enthusiasm and fascination, to see the attachment to that, and to also see the suffering in trying to continue to cling to it / try to "milk it."

The same pattern applies - whenever I get fascinated with something - I work myself up into a bit of a manic state. But to see the stress in that, instead of getting attached to it, is what is cooling it down, and makes me go into a more peaceful state, which is what I need more than anything else.

Today I tasted peace again in my meditation, instead of just getting high and inspired.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
10/23/18 5:48 PM as a reply to Chris André.
2 hours of meditating yesterday, and 1 hour today.

Yesterday during meditation I felt close to feeling "done" again, but I didn't "lock down" or land in that experience the way I have before. Was a nice reminder of why I meditate. I usually forget such an experience is possible. In that experience it feels like the present moment is totally synchroniced with itself, and there is nothing out of whack with experience. It feels like beingness is its own reward in a positive feedback loop kind of way, instead of all the energy leakages going on most of the time when the search for something outside of the present moment is going on. In the light of this vipassana just seems like a kind of exposure therapy tool for exposing myself to all the various little (or big) tensions telling me something is wrong with the present moment in one way or another. This is just my personal notebook theory, but perhaps the mind will establish itself permanentely in this understanding when my being have been enough purified of all the dark night material that so far has knocked me out of this understanding the few times I have experienced it before.

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
10/29/18 9:40 PM as a reply to Chris André.
Trying to add more lovingkindness into my vipassana technique. Some kind of fusion. More pleasant to see my experience dissolve into vibrations when my experience has a bit more lovingkindness flavor to it. Very soothing :-)

RE: Chris André's practice log
Answer
10/30/18 5:52 AM as a reply to Chris André.
I like your "exposure therapy tool" theory and I wonder if it is a bit like somatic experiencing (for trauma) too.

There is a cognative side (the thoughts within the dark night) and the visceral side (the little tensions). I've noticed that there are varying degrees of proficiency at seeing both of these sides and sometimes people are great at the visceral and blind to the cognative or, perhaps more commonly, great at the cognative but not sensitive enough to pick up on the visceral. It's such a delicate balance of mind and body, cognition and visceral embodyment.

And as you are pointing out in your last post, sometime "practice" is inherently aggressive and motivated by "ill will". People forget that the goal is "ease". Or maybe you could say "tranquility in disturbance".