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Please critique my practice report

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Please critique my practice report
Answer
9/5/18 8:52 AM
I am currently trying to be more objective in the way I think about my practice sessions. I notice many thousands of experiences every time, and I find that I usually lack the vocabulary and memory to really talk about them. So, I want to practice this. Additionally, I wonder if sometimes I get caught up in my own interpretations of what is happening. I want to keep returning to the actual experience of sensation.

Please let me know what you think of the following report. There is something very uncomfortable about writing this. I know that it is not an accurate representation of what I experienced, because many things are left out, probably some things are out of order, and maybe the way I'm describing things is not really the best way. I feel hesitant to commit to a description that isn't 100% accurate (like I will be challenged or asked to defend it). Thank you for any insight!



Stage 1:

Lots of mental agitation. Thoughts about my life problems.
Attention zooming around, throughout my body. Somewhat slow, but very noticeable. Pressure in head corresponding to moving attention.

Distracted away from breath by thoughts. Feel sick when I notice this.
Tingling in abdomen.

Worried about posture. Feeling of panic at not sitting up straight. Noticed my head is titled, more panic. Am I hurting myself? Tried to sit straight. Resolved to observe with compassion further sensations related to this issue.

Felt like my foot was falling asleep. Rather than adjust immediately, resolved to count 10 breaths and then adjust. After 10 breaths, noticed foot was not asleep.

Adjusted posture anyway. Then, felt much greater panic about foot. Located feelings of panic as a sour feeling in center of chest. Also, throbbing pain in legs. Felt a connection between the two areas of sensation. Eventually, panic subsided.

Stage 2:

Sensations like wind blowing across my body, especially face.

When I focus on breath, breath is there for a moment, and then disappears.
Many other things appear.
Able to hold attention on breath while I am noticing details of everything except breath.
Intense agitation, but I can hold it in my peripheral awareness.
Rather pleasant when I get the hang of it

When I go deeper, eye movements seem to calm down.
Eyes go back into head and then pop back out.
I have a sense that my mind is trying to take in large areas of my awareness and group them together into regions, and then trying to unify the whole thing. This is a dizzying process.

Stage 3:

Not sure if there was a definite transition this time.
At some point, aware that the dizziness has subsided, and I am experiencing only minor agitation.

Able to clearly focus on breath again.
Zooming in to spot on upper lip
Tried to find a single point, but couldn't.
Was able to locate some tiny throbbing circles, which changed in size.

Peaceful glow in visual field.
Much more stable awareness.
Tiny sparkling dots.

Feel thoughts, sensations as they are, no need to chase them or make them complete.
Noticed urges to seek out those slightly uncomfortable moments when I experience these unsatisfied cravings.

Pleasant tingling on face.

Thoughts:
Ok, I have calmed down. Am I supposed to zoom in more? Get higher resolution?
Kick up more dust and then calm THAT down?
Or, just go with this calm?
If I zoom in more, then more dust will get kicked up, guaranteed. Is this a purification process I must go through?

RE: Please critique my practice report
Answer
9/5/18 12:11 PM as a reply to spatial.
Hi Spatial.
I think this is a great report. Your stated goal was to describe your experience in a way that was free of excessive interpretation, and I think you've accomplished that.
Your misgivings also make sense to me. It's difficult to fully capture everything in a sitting or to get it all in chronological order.
But this journal entry seems to have captured at least a portion of what was center stage for you immediately after the sit--the recollections, questions and insights. Maybe not valuable every time but it's possible that the record will make it easier to spot themes and larger patterns over the long haul. 

RE: Please critique my practice report
Answer
9/5/18 5:49 PM as a reply to spatial.
This is great. I love the level of detail. For your questions, I think it depends a lot on what your goal is. Do you want to get a ton of detail on the inner workings of your brain? Get a sense of how it operates? That can definitely be very helpful and illuminating. Do you want to chill out? If so, then I wouldn't kick up that dust. I've found both approaches very rewarding, depending on what I needed when.