RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Jared N's Practice Journal Jared N 5/10/22 10:42 AM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Sigma Tropic 5/10/22 11:00 AM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Jared N 5/10/22 2:14 PM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Sigma Tropic 5/10/22 2:25 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal George S 5/13/22 4:22 PM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Jared N 5/14/22 3:49 PM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Jared N 5/14/22 2:08 PM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Jared N 5/15/22 11:47 AM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Sigma Tropic 5/16/22 2:46 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Sigma Tropic 5/16/22 8:41 PM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Chris M 5/17/22 7:37 AM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Jared N 5/16/22 2:01 PM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Jared N 5/16/22 6:10 PM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Jared N 5/17/22 10:46 AM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Chris M 5/17/22 11:51 AM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Jared N 5/18/22 9:48 PM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Jared N 5/18/22 4:29 PM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal George S 5/18/22 9:43 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal George S 5/23/22 10:15 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal SushiK 5/24/22 2:42 AM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Jared N 5/27/22 6:17 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Jared N 6/15/22 5:28 PM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Sigma Tropic 6/15/22 4:37 PM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Jared N 6/15/22 5:29 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Jared N 6/17/22 1:34 PM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Chris M 6/17/22 2:19 PM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal George S 6/17/22 10:40 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Jared N 7/29/22 11:52 PM
RE: Jared N's Practice Journal Sigma Tropic 7/30/22 6:56 AM
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/10/22 10:42 AM
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Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
I've posted a few times on here. I had a dissolution experience around the end of January 2022, and subsequently was hospitalized, dealt with a lot of DN stuff, and took a 4-month break from meditation. I have decided that I'm ready to come back to sitting practice. This time, it's my decision and commitment to go through these challenges and I'm looking forward to the joys and struggles that await.

I want to alleviate my own suffering, and hopefully become more of a joy and support for people around me as well. So at the forefront of my mind is the goal to become a better human being. As Daniel says in his book, morality is the first and last training, and for me, that seems like the only reason to do all of this stuff. Anyways, I'm sure a lot of these ideas will change as I progress, but I hope my commitment to doing good remains, so this journal will include reflections about morality as well as my meditation experiences/questions.

I think keeping a log will be helpful, so I'll be posting daily or semi-daily for the foreseeable future in order to track my experience and get help along the way.

To everyone who has helped me already in past posts, I'm really grateful to you. To everyone who will help in future posts, I'm grateful for you too. May we all be free from suffering, awaken, and be happy. emoticon

Tuesday, May 10:
Today, I did TMI-style breath-focused meditation for 30 minutes. My mind is struggling to remain on the object of the breath. When I was doing body scanning, it was easier for me to have a steady focus, but I think training on the object of the breath will be a good skill to learn. It's only my 3rd time meditating in over 3 months, so I'm a little rusty on concentration. But I'm not rushed, I think I'll just sit and see where it takes me. As of right now, the main difference is that I notice the sensations in the body a bit more clearly than before.
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Sigma Tropic, modified 4 Months ago at 5/10/22 11:00 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/10/22 11:00 AM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 370 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
I want to alleviate my own suffering, and hopefully become more of a joy and support for people around me as well. So at the forefront of my mind is the goal to become a better human being. As Daniel says in his book, morality is the first and last training, and for me, that seems like the only reason to do all of this stuff. Anyways, I'm sure a lot of these ideas will change as I progress, but I hope my commitment to doing good remains, so this journal will include reflections about morality as well as my meditation experiences/questions.
Very nice to see you starting a practice thread, Jared. I think you have a good goal here and a good View. At a certain point we learn that by dependent arising each and every moment and everything we do and experience is up to us. Therefore, I like your ground-up approach - good foundation.  
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/10/22 2:14 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Thanks, Sigma!

I really appreciated your recent Lion's roar post. : )  It was one of the main reasons I returned to practice. It is helping me associate meditation with ultimate freedom rather than just the suffering and trauma that it was bringing up before. I'm happy to know this is a path that could lead me to that sort of freedom. I'm looking forward to digging into your practice logs and learning a little from you : )
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Sigma Tropic, modified 4 Months ago at 5/10/22 2:25 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 370 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Thanks Jared, that was the intended purpose/effect, and it makes me very happy and humbled to hear that.
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/11/22 5:27 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Wednesday, May 11:
Today's sit was for 45 minutes. I felt yesterday that 30 minutes was barely enough to scratch the surface and settle in, so I lengthened a bit today. I started with a quick body scan for the first 5-10 minutes going slowly down the body, and then one sunlight visualization filling the body up on the way back up to my head. Then I resumed TMI breathing (centered on the feeling on the nostrils) for the remainder of the sit.

After the initial scan down the body, after taking time to observe emotions and tensions, the body relaxed and I was able to sit in the feeling of sunlight for the remainder of the 45 minutes. I think I was in dullness though because I don't remember parts of the sit and I may have even dozed off. Usually, I can't sleep during the day due to anxiety and agitation. So I was actually kind of grateful that I found rest during my normal waking hours. I've also noticed more apathy throughout the day, which I'm not loving. I feel a little more disconnected from the people around me, and I can tell the sensations and brain states that come through meditation are linked to some negative stuff under the surface. But I imagine with time that will be okay. For now, it's just something to notice and observe. I gardened for a few hours afterwards in an attempt to ground myself, and it was really nice to be outside in the sunshine.

In the future, I'd like my sits to be as focused as possible, so I'm going to try to find a way to be more alert, either through posture or better planning and motivation beforehand. Any tips on dealing with this are appreciated. 
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/12/22 12:48 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Thursday, May 12:

I practiced again for 45 minutes this morning. I decided to focus on breath meditation rather than starting with the body scan like yesterday. I am probably at stage 3 in TMI in regards to the breath, though I definitely felt higher stages of insight in previous practice a few months ago. Currently, I'm noticing that I'm still experiencing a lot of sleepiness. I don't really forget the breath though for more than 10 seconds at a time, other than when I start to snooze.

Focusing on the beginning and end of the in-breath and out-breath has been helpful to keep my mind more engaged and not get as sleepy. I will be focusing more on noticing subtle nuances as I breathe in and out. I think I'm better at body scans because I generally feel much more interested in sensations in the body. However, I tend to not get as much Jhanic practice because body scan ends up being almost open introspective awareness rather than a concentration practice, and I'd definitely like to hone my concentration more. I'll be continuing in the same vein over the next week, just ironing out the fundamentals of breath-centered meditation, because I'm realizing I need a lot more practice. emoticon  

It has felt amazing to get back into meditation though. The world seems richer and I'm more in touch with my body than I have been for months. I'm also aware of more anxiety, and still scared of the "drop off" that might come with more insight, but for now, I'll keep noticing and observing. I'm feeling very committed to working through stuff, good and bad. ✌
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/13/22 11:37 AM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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Friday, May 13:
Wow, I have been really impatient with my practice already. I'm noticing how many stories I have about my practice. It should be going faster, why do I feel like I can't concentrate. I must be bad at this. Lots of me, me, me. It's been frustrating, and I can see underneath it that there is a sense of disgust with myself that has to do with not living up to my self's narration of who I should be. I'm trying to let go and observe, not judge, and I'm feeling trapped by my sense of self. Logically I can understand that it's all just an illusion that would be very freeing to let go of.

I practiced for 1.5 hours today. The mind was all over. I tried grounding in the body, then switching back to the breath. I felt like I was unable to concentrate on the breath and kept getting bored with it. I don't know how to investigate it closer, and I'm struggling to find the minute nuances that make it interesting. I did notice today when looking that no two breaths are the same. Each one changes, so although you can observe trends, it's very difficult to find hard and fast patterns that hold true. The beginnings of the breath have the same type of feel, but they are each different. There's also a bittersweetness to it because my allergies have been making it painful to breathe. I feel a slight stinging sensation in my nostrils on each in-breath, and yet it fills my lungs with oxygen and helps me relax. Then there's an annoying whistle on the way out. The simultaneous frustration and calm was interesting to me.
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 5/13/22 4:22 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/13/22 4:22 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 2555 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Rather than trying to force yourself to stay on the breath and getting frustrated, look for some pleasurable sensations in the experience of breathing and focus on really *enjoying* those. Forget about concentration - your intention should be relaxation, pleasure and enjoyment. Once you start experiencing pleasure in the breath then it sets up a positive feedback loop - pleasure fuels more interest in the breath, which increases the pleasure ...  emoticon Let the breath do the work for you!
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/14/22 2:08 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Today's practice was interesting. I scanned through the body and kind of found some emotional blocks or visualizations of emotions or tightness. Then I sat with them and observed. On each one they seemed to dissolve or change until I was left with a rather empty spacious body. Then I began my breath meditation and found it easy to focus for the remainder of the sit. Very little trying.

​​​​​​​After the sit I went for a walk and it was like someone put a really colorful contact lens in my eyes. It was bright and vibrant and I could see every single detail. Each leaf, color change, blade of grass, and patch of dirt was known in my visual field. Even while being focused on the beautiful visuals and sounds of nature, I was very aware of my feet and hands. As I walked the awareness seemed to fade until at the end I was caught in thoughts and plans for the day.
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/14/22 3:49 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
I'm not sure if the website is publishing these or not, so sorry if you get 3 messages. But thanks for the advice! I think that sounds like a better way of approaching it. I will make sure to focus on that pleasure and enjoyment of the breath in future sits. Thanks, George!
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/15/22 11:47 AM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Sunday, May 15:
Quick Post today! 
-1 hour this morning--planning on adding another hour of sitting this evening before dinner.
-Much more relaxed after George's suggestion to focus on pleasure and relaxed sensations of the breath. The focus was about the same, maybe better.
-A big shift happened when I thought: "focus on the process, not the result." Instantly the meditation felt more skillful and less "efforting"
-Will be continuing mostly with breath practice since it seems like a big weakness of mine, and I'd love to learn how to do it properly. 

Appreciate you guys!
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/16/22 2:03 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Monday, May 16,
Couple of realizations/thoughts:
-There has been a bodily fear/anger/disgust sensation that's been present over the last few months. I finally put a finger on what it is: It's dissatisfaction and self-directed anger and loathing. It seems to be pervasive despite the realization.
-There was a momentary sensation that there was no one to be angry at. The angry/judging sensation still remained, but it changed slightly.
-"Nothing to do, nothing to be"--sensations or thoughts, I couldn't tell, but they kept arising

Overall, my practice seems to be 90% judging and 10% concentration. It is a self-fulfilling loop. I also understand it's all built around a narrative of where I "should" be. I guess I had this idea that my practice would pick up where it left off, but I feel like I'm back to square one.  The breath remains a difficult meditation object because I can't seem to observe it nonjudgmentally.  My allergies make it somewhat painful/stinging to breathe, as well as having an annoying whistle to it. It's almost humorous to me that my mind is so averse to it, because it seems so insignificant, and yet, it's disturbing my practice quite a bit. Let me know if anyone has any skillful ways to work through this or any other advice.

Edit: also, I'm continuing to do twice a day practice, because I'm impatient and also because I don't have anything better to do.
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 5/17/22 7:37 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/16/22 12:31 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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Jared, have you tried accepting your present circumstances? If you sit with the intention of just noticing what you perceive to be negative aspects of you and your practice, what happens? Give your judgment a rest and try it.
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/16/22 2:01 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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Okay, I'll give that a shot. It would be nice to have a break from the judging since it's really tiring me out and making me irritable.
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Sigma Tropic, modified 4 Months ago at 5/16/22 2:46 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 370 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Jarad, the displeasure you desribe in relatin to the breath- it's natural and it's your mind on a basic level learning how to properly center itself. It's restlessness/aversion. This is insight developing. In the beginning it is a strange thing to ask of the mind and there are lots of weird energetic things that unwrap themselves in time. Your mind is trying to grapple with the non-self aspect and trying to focus on an object gets at the root of that. It's not that you're not practicing well, it's that your metric for success is off.

Here, success means diligently, cheerfully, sternly, persistently antidoting the hindrances until they don't arise. When you do work with an antidote, you want to be aware of the effect it has on your mind moment-by-moment, and whether your attitude is sustaining the hindrances or introducing any new hindrances. Sometimes you won't defeat the hindrances in one sitting, but my students can attest that persistence pays off. Sometimes there is a delayed response and you have to be persistent.  But in working with the hindrances and directly, clearly, in the moment, perceiving the varying states of mind and how we can introduce intention, simple mental and physical actions, and begin to get some skill at excercising influence over the mind, we can see that certain things are predicatable about the way the mind behaves and we can use that knowledge to make our subjective experience rich and lively and pleasurable. 

You have basic hindrances showing up, so what I would suggest is the following format 

1)Attempt breath concentration
2) Notice hindrance 
3) keep hindrance in awareness while applying antidote
4) Maintain state of freedom 

Follow up post to come on the hindrances and working with them/ antidoting them. 
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/16/22 6:10 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Quick notes on this afternoons session:
-1.5 hours
-I tried what Chris said and tried to radically accept anything as it arose. I didn't even try to change my mind's direction back to the breath. I simply let it do what it was going to do. Amazingly concentration just happened. I was sitting with a heavy thudding for about 45 minutes, just trying to watch it. It was a little overwhelming, but it seemed to shift and change gradually until it thinned and now I feel transparent.
-I feel sort of buzzing, my body is pulsing and I started to sense a thinning of my being (I don't know how else to describe it). Now I feel a little bit "zenned out" (for lack of a better term). I'm just chilling and very calm. It feels kind of like I'm high, but minus the dullness. Very strange, but I'll enjoy it while it's here.
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/16/22 6:19 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Thanks, Sigma! This is very helpful stuff. Weirdly, this is what happened somewhat naturally when I let go of "trying so hard" this afternoon.

1. Object of concentration. (in this case body scan)
2. Obvious hindrance blocking my concentration
3. Focus on the next hindrance as it arose (what does it feel like in the body, where is it, is it changing, heavy, dull, pounding, buzzing etc...)
4. Eventually, it would leave, and then a new hindrance would come.  

The part I'm confused about is maintaining a state of freedom. What does that mean?
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Sigma Tropic, modified 4 Months ago at 5/16/22 8:41 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 370 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Here maintaining freedom is being in a state free of the hindrances but also maintaining that state, so you master the conditions to get into that state (this depends on circumstances and requires practice), and you can go further into the jhanas or do any other type of practice. And you guard against hindrances arising by maintaining mindfulness. 
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/17/22 10:46 AM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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Tuesday, May 17:
Another 1 hour sit this morning--planning for another hour this afternoon.  The meditation was sort of cycling through the meditation object, observing the hindrance, letting it go, repeating until my body felt nearly empty again. Then I just sat peacefully with the breath and observed the breath, occasionally mind wandering, forgetting, distractions, etc... but with very little struggle. I could tell there was dullness, but there wasn't such a struggle or aversion to it. I'm feeling a bit closer to where I left off in my meditation in January, and I'm remembering some subtle differences in mind state off the cushion that I had forgotten.

Other interesting changes:
-holy wow... it's like someone gave me new contact lenses, hearing aids, and touch receptors and turned them up to full volume. I'm so sensitive to sound. It's becoming almost annoying. I jolted at every single noise last night, and any time my wife would mumble in her sleep it sounded like she was yelling in my ear. The bright side of this is this morning I was so aware of things outside, the breeze on my skin, the sound of the birds, the rustle of the trees. It's like nature was happening in me rather than around me. 
-I was aware until I fell asleep and then not aware, and then immediately aware upon awaking. I couldn't tell where my dream ended and began. This is weird since I never remember my dreams, but last night I had probably 3 long dreams and a lot of short ones
-I was also in sleep paralysis about six or seven times. It was very uncomfortable and unsettling, but I could sense my mind unconsciously "meditating" through it. Observing fear, adrenaline, coldness, and trying to accept/sit with it. 
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 5/17/22 11:51 AM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 4536 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
The engine is revving.

​​​​​​​emoticon
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/17/22 5:18 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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Quick follow up for today's second 1 hr sit:
-Holy golly miss molly, there is so much anger
-I don't know why I'm so angry on and off the cushion. I'm irritable, and feel like everything is supremely annoying. It made me extremely nauseous earlier and I had to lie down, thinking I was going to be sick. The dumbest things are making me angry, like the wind blowing too hard on my leg hair. xD
-It was really hard to focus on anything during the sit. It was all I could do to keep myself from rocking around and tapping the floor. So much aversion and anger. The thought that I should sit with it and accept it felt overwhelming.
-Somehow, rather than upsetting, this has all been a bit amusing, despite the frustration. I guess a part of me knows it will go away eventually, but man, it feels like it's taking its sweet time
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/18/22 9:48 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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Wednesday, May 18:
Today felt like bright, distinct concentration. My entire experience seemed singled down to my nose area and a distinct heartbeat sensation in my skull. The breath felt very crisp and clear despite the persistent pains of allergies in the nostrils, it was somehow easy/natural to follow. At some point, I got distracted, and it was a feeling of hard work/trying to recenter back on the focus on the breath. 

It seems there was a definite change in the sensation of concentration today. Rather than a general awareness of the general nose area while breathing, there were distinctive, crisp sensations as the breath rose and fell. It felt natural to follow them, and I didn't have to "try" to concentrate on anything. I assume this is a natural progression, and it was nice, but I don't know if that's something that I'll be able to experience every time when I get good enough at concentration.

Might follow up if there's anything notable during tonight's practice.

Follow Up: I had a very important real-world insight this evening after my meditation.  Some part of me believed that I had to give up my goals and "achievement" oriented mindset as I started meditation again. I think because this has been my modus operandi for years, I've been feeling super angry because I wasn't going after any concrete goals or achievements. I presume these ambition/worldly success-oriented goals will fade as I meditate, but some of them are very practical and actually need to happen, such as keeping food on the table for me and my wife, paying rent, etc... As well as this, some part of me thought I had to give up the passion I have for making video games with my brother. I don't know long term what my relationship with videogames will be, but I sure as heck don't think I want to give that up right now, as it's one of the most enjoyable things in my life, and I don't know why I had it in my head that I couldn't focus on both. Also, goals are pretty practical from a moral standpoint because I think it's a good way to plan beneficial changes in our lives. If we didn't set intentions like "I want to listen more intently when I'm talking to others," or "I want to pick up litter on my daily walks." Then I don't think those things magically happen on their own.

So anyway, moving forward, my goals/intentions are to 1. Be a better listener. 2. Be debt-free as soon as possible (student loans man...) 3. Make a kickass game with my brother. 4. Meditate my ass off.

TLDR; I'm going to keep living my life as normal, with the addition of meditation, and not try to restructure my life around meditation because it's bringing me constant anger and frustration and I didn't sign up to become an ascetic (yet). emoticon  
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/18/22 4:29 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Quick questions for all of you smart people if anyone has time to answer:

-Can I meditate too much? I'm finding myself wanting to meditate more and more--mostly because it's bringing up a lot of STuff. I feel like since I started meditating again, I'm experiencing life through the magnifying glass of my own impatience, anger and self-loathing, and some part of me knows I just need to continue to sit with it and build habits of concentration and awareness... So yeah, should I just go for it and keep meditating? For some reason I had an arbitrary rule to only do 2 hours/day, but I want to do more.

-Practically speaking, any advice on how to deal with this new influx of emotions? I feel a weird mix of energized and exhaustion as I'm shining the spotlight on all these new sensations and emotions and I'm finding myself short on energy to deal compassionately with loved ones and myself throughout the day.
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 5/18/22 9:43 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/18/22 9:23 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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Can I meditate too much? 

Yes it's possible! (and I've been there!!) It's like every meditator has a speed limit, beyond which their relationships, work, even their short-term mental health, start being impacted. If you want to do more, the best way to figure it out is by increasing the dose in small increments, observing the effects and backing off when it starts to feel too much.

Also, the amount of meditation you can comfortably accomodate at any point in time depends on the type of practice you are doing. Releasing old emotions is physically/energetically tiring and short-term it can increase your reactivity (because the emotions are already flowing).

In summary: it's great that your practice is yielding results and your motivation is high, but be careful that the inner tyrant doesn't get you to punish yourself by increasing your sit time more than is good for your overall health!
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/18/22 9:57 PM
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RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
You sort of answered this, but do you think some sort of concentration practice is easier to do in larger quantities than something like insight practice? Today I kind of learned the difference through the experience of what it felt like to do concentration vs. the very open awareness sort of scanning that I'd been doing. While concentration practice had its own reasons for being slightly frustrating, it was much less emotional and much more like training a new puppy.

Edit: Also, thanks George for the reply emoticon I hope you're well.
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 5/18/22 10:10 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/18/22 10:10 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 2555 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Yeah I think that's fair to say, insight tends to be more edgy, though if you get into deep enough concentration states then old emotions can be released as well and it's not always smooth. There's no one-size-fits-all answer, best to experiment and get a feel for your own sensitivities, as you are doing.

TLDR; I'm going to keep living my life as normal, with the addition of meditation, and not try to restructure my life around meditation because it's bringing me constant anger and frustration and I didn't sign up to become an ascetic (yet). emoticon  

That sounds like a sensible game plan emoticon
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/19/22 5:45 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/19/22 5:42 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Thursday, May 19:
Good sit today. Nothing too interesting. Bit of strong dullness at the beginning. Then I redirected distractions back to the breath for the rest of the sit. I observed more emotions and hindrances, and they seemed easier to let go of than they were yesterday. I also ended up doing meditation later in the day, which may have a couple of implications. First, I was able to get a lot more work done this morning, without the meditation being a "distraction" from my workflow. Second, I think my meditation was less focused because I was more tired after working all morning. Overall, I view this as a positive shift for the time being, because I really need to get my professional work done, and I can't have meditation interfering in the time being. I'm still going to keep with 2-a-days because I really want to get better at concentration!

I'm also almost through with MCTB and The Mind Illuminated, which I've been reading simultaneously to one another. I'll probably reread both when I'm finished because I'd love to deeply internalize some of the ideas and cognitive frameworks they present. I'm enjoying both a lot and I think my paradigm is shifting about how to view meditation in regards to the rest of my life and belief system--which has been very lovely to reframe in a way that leaves more possibilities open. I feel a renewed sense of responsibility for my choices in life, regardless of the ultimate reality of things (in regards to agency). It's important for me to make strong, compassionate decisions that empower me and those around me to live our best lives. emoticon
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/20/22 6:58 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/20/22 6:57 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Friday, May 20:
Well, today I deeply examined the anger, frustration, and grumpiness of the past few days and just sat with it. It became known that the cause of the anger was a rejection of the current experience. As soon as it became labeled "rejection," it seemed to open and change. The rest of my sit was entirely focused on the rejection/anger that continually arose. I examined it each time until it faded, then moved on to the next "spot" of rejection. This all happened while being aware of the breath in the background, which I thought was interesting, because normally when I get engrossed in examining, I lose awareness of other things. Even as I type I still feel the rejection of my experience as anger and fear, but it feels different somehow and I feel compassionate towards it, instead of loathing it.

It's nice to understand my suffering a bit more. It is interesting that the anger that was so dreadful during the past few days suddenly becomes valuable as I realize what it is. I hope I can learn from this.

Edit: Also, I'm digging the new colors of DhO. It makes it feel much more modern. emoticon
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/21/22 5:53 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/21/22 5:53 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
I woke up sick today and realized the "allergies" I've been feeling are symptoms of the illness. Somehow the illness has been related to the feelings of anger, frustration, and the rejection-of-experience/aversion that I've been feeling. 

However, despite a nose drip all day, I had a nice practice today. As I sat, my nose stopped running and I was able to breathe fine through it. It was so nice and my timer didn't go off, so I accidentally sat for an extra 55 minutes. emoticon As I was scanning through my body observing the resistance/rejection of experience, and just accepting it as it arose, my body started to feel light and airy, and there was a bright feeling, where I almost felt white, and thin. My feeling of being in my head dissolved for a minute, and I couldn't feel anything on my head or skull, so it felt like my head was just bright spacious light. Now I feel very peaceful and I think I'll go on a nice long walk with my brother. emoticon
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/22/22 6:32 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/22/22 6:32 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Sunday, May 22:
I did another 2-hour sit today.  I scanned through the body and noticed more anger/fear/frustration. I recognize it all as an aversion or rejection of my current experience. I did the same thing, sitting with it, noting it. There's even an aversion to dealing with aversion. I noticed I was feeling tired of all of it, and I noted that as well and sat with it. It was a pretty frustrating sit because I couldn't help but relate to the aversion, no matter how I tried to let go (There was a lot of trying, rather than observing). Either way, I'm noticing more and aware of more in the body, and I can tell there's progress.

After the sit, when I opened my eyes, I felt a dizzy almost lens distortion type of effect. Almost like the Hitchcock zoom effect. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it is slightly disorienting. I almost feel removed a bit from my body, so maybe I need to work with some grounding techniques because it's starting to feel similar to how I felt before my first disassociation last time I was meditating a lot.
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/23/22 4:44 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/23/22 4:44 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Monday, May 23:
It was a 1-hour sit at lunchtime, and I'll do another tonight. I'm doing well. Although I'm experiencing anger, displeasure, frustration, and other forms of aversion, it feels further away/or at least I'll catch myself getting caught up in it. My breath was very focused today, using TMI's body scan to build awareness/concentration and then back to the breath. It was the first time I consciously noticed breath while noticing that I was aware of other sensations. In that sense, I guess there's maybe starting a tiny bit of metacognitive introspective awareness, but I can tell none of this was stable, so I'll keep up the practice and avoid counting eggs before they hatch. Also, there was a very noticeable difference when I opened my eyes after the sit. It was almost like I was realizing everything around me was there for the first time. Pretty weird for me. But overall it seems like nothing exciting, so I'll just keep at it.
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/23/22 9:43 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/23/22 9:35 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Adding on because this practice marked a significant change in state. During the meditation, I noticed each sensation in my body. My awareness was really strong, and I was holding most of my body in awareness while watching the breath. The breath and back pains from sitting began feeling like heavy bubbles pounding in my head. I felt really jerky (I still do, and have odd neck stuff going on). My head is currently turned at a 65% angle and seems to return there whenever I'm not consciously holding it in place. My hands also felt huge during the meditation, and I was hyper-aware of individual sensations in them. I'm going to assume this is progress. I can't tell if it's C&E or something else. But there's no intuitive understanding of cause and effect yet, so maybe it's something with mind and body.

​​​​​​​Either way, it's really uncomfortable progress. D: My eyes are doing so many weird things right now! Any tips on how to speed through this are appreciated since I feel like a lopsided rhinoceros. D:

PS: I have a theory that I never entered full-on DN or Disillusionment territory, because I seem to be clearly in the earlier stages of practice, but I also have no idea how all these stages actually work, so I could be wrong. According to Daniel's model it's not possible to pop out of dark night, so I probably was never in it. Maybe reacting to 3C's or some other sense of no-self (which I had very clearly at multiple points)
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 5/23/22 10:15 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/23/22 10:05 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 2555 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
With this kind of jerky stuff or kriyas, what I've found most helpful is looking for the ways I am resisting it by tensing in the body. There were periods when I focused on it a lot, but in a resistant way - subconsciously something like "I don't like this, this is a problem, it needs to be fixed or go away". Then there were periods when I was ignoring it and reaching a relative level of equanimity, but with the tension still trapped in the body, waiting to be released at a later opportunity.

It's really the art of relaxing, which means actively investigating stress in the body. Focusing on it but with the intention to relax into it as much as possible and let the body show you where it needs to go. You want to have as complete an experience as possible of the physical stress. It might help to imagine that you actually are the neck pain or whatever, to see what it looks like on the inside from it's point of view. It can feel overwhelming at times, but you are safe, it can't hurt you. It is actually the body's natural way of releasing trauma (whatever historical emotional or physical stresses got trapped in the body because they couldn't be fully released at the time they arose). Often it's not obvious at first where the resistance or tension is, because one might have been habitually tensing in that area for so long that it has become normal.

There are lots of videos on youtube about trauma release, here are a couple. Obviously everyone has experienced different kinds of stresses, strains, traumas etc, this is just to give you an idea of the strange looking but perfectly natural jerky kind of movements that can be involved ...

(EDIT: and just to make the point that emotional traumas/stresses are stored in the body in much the same way as physical ones)

Polar Bear Not Getting Traumatized
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHVNUDPMeSY

Impala shaking off his trauma
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z41x1BaXMdE

Navy Seal releases physical trauma with TRE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wr2XFrinOlo



​​​​​​​ 
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/23/22 11:21 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/23/22 11:21 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Thank you, George! That's really helpful to know. Those videos are crazy. So I guess it's just the body's way of handling some big emotions. I know there's a lot of anger tied up in the emotions because I know what anger feels like, but I don't feel angry myself, it's like I just acknowledged it. I'm not too worried about it emotionally, I think the main thing was I was surprised about the physical sensations, and I thought I was going to be stuck like that for a few days emoticon but I went to the gym and lifted some heavy weights and the pulsing and automatic movements have stopped for now.
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SushiK, modified 4 Months ago at 5/24/22 2:42 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/24/22 2:42 AM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 157 Join Date: 6/11/20 Recent Posts
I had something  happened to me really similar to the Navy Seal video while I was doing breath work with an instructor.
It was physically and emotionnaly exhausting while  happening but felt definitely lighter afterward.
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/24/22 11:12 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/24/22 6:18 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Tuesday, May 24:
More dealing with kriyas today. That's it. I sat for 2 hours, and I'm going to sit a bit more before bed tonight.

It's very uncomfortable, but emotionally I'm quite peaceful.

Edit: Some extremely noticeable shift with perception after second meditation. Bubble reality came back in a slightly more solidified sense. The flood of sensations is noticed. Each moment of sensations vanishes then just continues and continues. When I close my eyes, a feeling of continued waves/pulsing experience rather than any sort of continuum. Slightly disorienting, yet I'm sure this feels like last time. I don't know if this makes sense, but it's the most accurate description I can think of for what I feel.
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/25/22 6:00 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/25/22 5:58 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Wednesday, May 25:
Wow, it's actually pretty interesting. Last night, I was watching anime with my wife. And if any of you guys have watched anime, there are a lot of repetitive loops of animations that they play to save money while the narrator talks (like during a run animation, they loop the same 5 frames instead of redrawing all the separate footsteps of the run). During these moments throughout the show, I could count the individual frames of the show looping. Also, the animation sequences seemed to be playing in slow motion with each frame being seen clearly and noticed.

I was also mostly aware during sleep last night. I didn't take any sleep medication and was aware of my mind most of the night (aside from when I was actually asleep). It felt like an odd buzzing or pulsing of sensations. Like a pleasant wave of being with everything. Not exactly sure what this is--if it's a change in perceptual awareness, or an increase in sati, or just a heightened concentration state, since it kind of feels like all three. There's also a slight discomfort/fear that I feel when I'm there like I'm not quite comfortable with it. It implies something that I'm not comfortable with (probably something about the 3C’s since similar things have happened to me in January). I'll let you guys know once I put my finger on it.

Also, as for today's meditation, I was feeling a lot of aversion to the kriyas which continue. I was hating them, angry, frustrated, etc. Then I observed them closer as individual sensations of anger, frustration, etc. I saw that they were blocks of "self"--at least that's how my brain imagined it. They were millions of tiny sensations that my brain was holding together as constructs. As I saw that they were dissolving/changing my brain let go or something. They persisted but I was aware more of what it was. I'm not really sure if this is right, but thinking about it afterward, that's all that I could come up with. Later in the meditation, these were let go of and all that remained were whitish prickles for the last part of the sit. There was perhaps too much narration/guesswork on what was happening during the sit, but I don't know how to stop that, other than note it and move on.
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/25/22 7:31 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/25/22 7:31 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
I'm not sure what to focus on. I always go into the meditation with the intention of sitting with the breath. I am sometimes successful, but during the process, my neck/back/ hands start twitching and clenching. It's really uncomfortable and there's a lot of aversion, so I move to working specifically with the sensations of aversion in the body. My intent is always to move back to the breath but it seems like new sensation after new sensation arises and then 2 hours pass and I spent the whole time working with the aversion. 

It's further complicated by the fact that I've been noticing all the sensations in breath and aversion as bare sensation, so my mind gets caught up in trying to notice as much about that as possible. I'd like to make sure I have a strong basis in essential skills before moving too quickly.

​​​​​​​To be honest, I'm a bit unsure how to proceed. Should I concentrate on the breath, ignoring distraction, or allow the movement from object to object? And should I be trying to notice the 3C's or observe things as continuous unified ideas?
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 5/25/22 10:03 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/25/22 10:03 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 2555 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
If the hindrances are subdued then focusing on the breath is easy and pleasurable and you will be drawn into jhana. If that's not happening then it's because one or more of the hindrances is blocking you:

desire - could be sense desire/distractions, or even wanting jhana itself too much
ill will - aversion, anger, frustration etc.
dullness - sometimes it's just tiredness, otherwise it's often aversion to uncomfortable emotions
restlessness - often a function of aversion to uncomfortable emotions
doubt - doubt that jhana (blissful meditation states) or awakening are possible

If you already have some level of access to the jhana factors then you can use that to counter the hindrances. For example, you can use effort (applied attention) to counter dullness, or piti & sukha (physical pleasure and emotional happiness) to counter desire, ill will or restlessness.

If you can't access the jhana factors then you need to work on the hindrances directly, either using insight (3Cs to dissolve into impermanent impersonal sensations, like you just did) or some kind of "therapy" (could be self-directed, but working with content/narrative to access unconscious emotional blocks). Eventually everything can be dissolved into pure blissful energy/feeling/light (at least temporarily), but skillful use of narrative can definitely help with opening up unconscious blocks (and unskillful use of narrative can just get you lost in content!) And even if you can get into nice blissful jhanic states, that's not the end goal, it's preparing the mind for insight anyway.

Meditators sometimes have the idea that they should be doing only concentration (solidifying/becoming absorbed in progressively refined objects) or only insight (deconstructing objects), or need to decide which one to practice. But usually one does a bit of both, sometimes alternating sessions, sometimes splitting a session, or sometimes switching back and forth multiple times within a session. When you're getting drawn into deep blissful states then enjoy them, when you get tired of them or they fade or you find yourself blocked then it's time for insight (contemplating the downsides of bliss states, or investigating the blocks).

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iii-the-samatha-jhanas/26-the-wide-world-of-jhana/
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/26/22 11:10 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/26/22 11:01 AM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
George, thanks as always for the advice! emoticon I liked your breakdown of the hindrances, since I've been simply noting them all as aversion or dullness, it helps to clarify what they are a bit more!

I seem to be okay at using effort/applied attention and can sometimes work through hindrances. I struggle a lot with the piti and sukha though. The pleasure/happiness seems challenging to look for when being blocked by anger/frustration/aversion/other hindrances, etc.  I have noticed everything dissolving into the pure blissful energy that you mentioned. What is that? I'm not sure what it is, or if it needs to be defined, but I'm curious if it's something specific.

Also thanks for the clarification on that last point. I feel like that was one thing I was confused about since in MCTB it mentioned a trap novice meditators fall into (focusing on both simultaneously, rather than one or the other... But after a bit of research, it seems like there are a lot of different views on that). 

Referencing this passage:
​​​​​​​
It is extremely common for people, particularly on retreat, to start getting into low-level jhanic states that are a weak fusion of concentration and insight, such that they give some attention to the three characteristics of their primary meditation objects, but do no investigation of the low-level shamatha jhanic background, such that they have a weak half-insight, half-concentration hybrid that neither advances their insight practice much nor allows any great delving into the rich world of deeper concentration states. However, as this may be such a relief from spinning in neurotic content or their back and knee pain, they cling to it for the rest of the retreat. It is an improvement over what came before, but not much more.

My advice to counter this trend to cling to low-level half-samatha, half-vipassana jhana is to pick either concentration or insight and really develop that, such that you really power either the insight or the concentration aspect of practice at any given time, meaning that if you are working on concentration, give that your all, and when you are doing insight practice, give that your all. If choosing vipassana, tear down the deceptive blissful seductive shamatha factors with the rapid investigative ruthlessness that getting them to unstick requires. If choosing samatha, give the smooth bliss your full attention and cultivate it without restraint. If you are working with a teacher, such as on a retreat, seek their input and work out what approach will be best in that context.

​​​​​​​-MCTB2 Ch. 27 The Concentration States
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 5/26/22 11:52 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/26/22 11:52 AM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 2555 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
 People often find one easier or more natural than the other initially, based on their conditioning. For the sake of seeing some results to increase motivation for practice, it can be helpful to focus on one for a while. But once you’ve got a solid practice going it’s best to be open to both and just go with whatever the moment requires – relaxation or investigation.

If you’ve already have the experience of everything dissolving into pure blissful energy then that’s great, you’ve got the muscle memory so to speak. All you need to do is use the mind’s power of recall and call up the memory of that state. Really give yourself permission and time to savor and bathe in that feeling of bliss. This kind of felt unnatural to me at first, almost guilty, because I was so habituated to believing that I had to earn pleasure that my ego had a hard time accepting that I could feel 100x the most pleasure I’ve ever felt in my life just by “doing nothing”! On the other hand, you make a lot of (apparent) sacrifices to mediate and do self-enquiry, so you can look at this as your “payback”, if you want to think of it that way.

The bliss feeling is probably the jhana factor of sukha which is associated with the third jhana. If you look at the more coarse end of the spectrum you find piti (more of a physical/energetic buzziness, associated with second jhana). If you notice that even sukha has a slight variation which disturbs the mind, then you let go of it and sink more into equanimity (associated with fourth jhana) or pure experience of mind/nimitta (harder version of jhana). Anapanasati explains the natural progression of these states, but you can jump into any one of them at will depending on your skill/conditioning. 
 
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/27/22 6:17 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/27/22 4:17 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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Friday, May 27:
Since Wednesday, I've been practicing MIDL meditation's foundational skills of retraining the breath and "softening into." It's actually been incredible, and I've felt a lot of piti and sukha in my practice since then. My thought was "this feels like cheating the system, who knew this much pleasure was available just from breathing." It kind of feels like just pure spontaneous happiness and leaves me feeling very contented. 

I have backed off a tad on the exquisite attention to individual sensations of the breath, so either because of that or because of an increase in bodily contentedness/lightness, most of the kriyas are gone, except for lingering soreness where I think I strained my neck from one particularly powerful jerk.  It's hard to tell if I'm feeling dullness or not when I get to the piti/sukha. It just feels like white light, but often it's hard to tell if I'm concentrating, aware, or what's happening at all. It's like I'm just finely attuned to the flow of the body I guess.

It's also nice to have a "step-by-step" instruction that flows nicely with TMI, so I've appreciated TMI and MIDL in tandem with each other. I really like completing steps so it's been nice to kind of have a quantifiable and clear practice to perform.

Edit: Kriya's back on further investigation of the subtle sensations. However, with the skill of "softening into" the aversion, I realized how much of the Kriyas is my own tension created through holding. When I let them be with equanimity, it was a simple and relatively painless observation process.
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/28/22 6:13 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/28/22 10:13 AM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Saturday, May 28:
More or less going to start updating just when things happen rather than every day.  There was lots of random stuff in the last day or two:

I had a breakthrough w/ investigation of bare sensation. I just did nothing. I literally watched and just let it all happen with or without me. I stopped effort, stopped everything. Sensations became clearer and big chunks of tension relaxed. Kriyas still happened, sometimes painfully (I'm really sore in my neck today). But there was much more ease each time I could feel the tension rising because there was also the knowledge that the tension was simply my "trying" and when I stopped "trying," it immediately relaxed. However, when I looked really close at the bubble sensations, things got pretty fuzzy and my whole head tensed up painfully. So I kind of sat outside of that zone and just watched for about 2 hours.

My concentration and clarity are crisp. I don't think I dropped the meditation object or awareness/ got caught up in thought at all during any of my 3 sits yesterday. I also am fairly certain I was free of dullness. There is however a lot of tension, ill-will, and "trying" that happens anytime I'm not actively relaxing into them. But the piti and sukha have been arising more regularly and it seems like a nice place to rest temporarily. The meditation with the Kriyas is especially exhausting. I slept a lot yesterday, but it was weird to sleep...

I was completely aware all night--including during dreams. I feel like today is just a continuation of yesterday with no pause in between. I was meditating automatically (trying to relax into tension, noting, paying attention to the rising and falling). I also had my first real lucid dream in my life. I thought it would be more fun, but really it was just kind of sad as I watched my brain try to fulfill sexual fantasies, and then realize the nothingness behind it--then forget, and try again.

I also realize there's an off-cushion shift in awareness. Things seem wider like everything's just here, and I seem more dissatisfied with life. I feel angry for feeling angry at myself for so long. I feel anger at the world for sucking. And I'm uncomfortable in my skin. There's a visceral feeling of something gross and icky. Maybe just that things suck, or they're never going to be how I thought they were. There's no magical fairytale land that's going to make it all better. I feel really cynical and grumpy. Yet paradoxically, there's a peace here when I just sit down, relax with the breath and observe it all.

I felt the dissonance after a conversation with my wife. The main points were:

-There's nowhere to be. Nowhere to go. It's never going to get better with a  bigger house, better job, or new clothes. The knowledge that this is all there is was so intuitive and powerful that it felt ridiculous to me to see it any other way. I used to be such a striver and I guess over the last few months I hopped off the hedonistic treadmill a bit. I think that's a difficult change for both of us.
-Meditation takes up all of my time. I suddenly see it as one of the most important ways to spend time, and I think to other people it might look like a waste of time or value-less. As a result of meditating more, naturally, a lot of things are falling away in my life as I don't have time for them. 
-I'm bored with drama. I don't know how to engage with people in the same way and I feel like I lost a lot of conversation points as a result. Maybe the realization is I feel like I don't have much interesting to say without judging or criticizing or comparing egos in some way. But this has been hard because people who are used to me talking a lot are not enjoying the change.

Edit: This is going to sound really stupid. I thought a lot of the chi/kundalini stuff was hokey and now I'm literally rolling around on the floor like Satan's spawn if I don't stop myself. I'm a little worried. Does anyone know how long this lasts? My body is literally controlling itself if I don't intervene. Definitely feels like something is moving inside me I just want to make sure it's not dangerous
Martin, modified 4 Months ago at 5/28/22 2:08 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/28/22 2:08 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 491 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Sounds like you are really cooking!

"I feel like I don't have much interesting to say without judging or criticizing or comparing egos in some way."

This is a tough one for me too.
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/30/22 9:29 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/30/22 9:29 AM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Monday, May 30:
A distinctive flavor of suck has entered my life. Everything seems so unfulfilling--like it will never be enough. It scared me watching my loved ones drink last night. I'm not sure why, but there was just a vapid quality. Everything seemed so flat. I assume this is a realization of unsatisfactoriness to some degree, but it's hard to tell if it could be triggered "content."

I was sleeping last night and I felt an extreme expanding sensation followed by complete openness. Then I began to panic. The feeling of fear coursed through my spine, but I remembered to breathe and soften into it. The thoughts "I need to get out of bed and get help," "I can't handle this," etc. came into my mind. I watched them come and stay and go. After letting them go, a feeling of weightlessness spread through the expanded space. And then I realized my sense of location was deconstructed entirely. My vision made no sense, just a series of grey blobs slowly forming into shapes. My hearing was literally wherever the sound arose. My body seemed like a huge jumble of felt sensations. Nothing felt like it had any place to be.

I almost started laughing because I felt like a Picasso painting. I remember thinking that I was a stickman broken into sticks and I had to fit each piece back into place. I felt like a kid building legos, picking them up a piece at a time and fitting them into place. As I did so, I became vaguely aware of a body-like structure reforming, and aware that it was my 5 sense doors, but it was floaty and ethereal. After some time (it could have been a minute or an hour), I hugged myself and patted my body, and my sense of location was restored. I don't remember what happened after that.

In terms of maps, I'm pretty baffled. Feeling like I'm in M&B still in some ways, and in C&E in others, and potentially 3C's, or Disillusionment in others. The course is the same either way--continue meditating, and noticing exquisite detail in sensations as they arise.

I'm also working specifically on developing Shamatha, but it's hard for me to even understand what that means. I'd like to direct the mind more towards concentration since I feel my single-pointed attention is lacking. When I sit down to meditate without doing a body scan or some sort of open awareness practice first, I'm almost always bogged down by hindrances. It's usually only after I've done a body scan that I can really focus on the breath with ease--and often I find it more engaging to continue scanning or observing phenomena as they arise.

I think maybe it's an aversion to being bored/slowing down my practice. I feel like if I focus on the breath, I have to go back to square one and relearn how to remember the breath, stop mind wandering, and deal with dullness. It all seems tedious. Those hindrances don't seem to be there when scanning or noting.
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Jared N, modified 4 Months ago at 5/30/22 7:59 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 5/30/22 7:59 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Hmm. Still pretty confused, but still moving. Great sit today. 2.25 hrs. During my meditation, the first hour was concentration. I tried to complete the meditation "by the books," only using 1 technique, returning to the breath repeatedly. Only using alternate techniques such as noting or scanning to allow me to get back to the breath. Eventually, I settled in. I think I may have lost the breath once or twice for a moment, but other than that, I would guess I was in access concentration the whole sit. It felt bright and crisp, and the breath was clean and fresh. There was a wonderful sense of relaxation with each out-breath.

After the first hour of sitting, I observed some kriyas beginning to shake me in my pelvis region (I had been ignoring/redirecting to the breath). Instead, I let them move. I kept my eyes closed and observed for the next hour and fifteen minutes as my body did various yoga, rolling, stretching, and shaking (including a stretch where my body naturally moved into sun salutations and other common yogic poses?). It was extremely pleasant and felt as though my body knew exactly where it needed to move to work out kinks, knots, and stretch places that hadn't been stretched in years. Feels so completely weird to have unconsciously made so many movements that seemed so effective. There were also some weird things where my body moved so that my head was angled oddly on the ground, then would rock back and forth until my neck cracked. It was similar to chiropractic care? I have no idea how or why it knew to do that, and if anyone has recommendations for more reading on this subject, I'm really dying to know what's going on. There were literally no conscious intentions, and yet I seem to have just done the most effective workout of my life. Also, my wife is really really weirded out.
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Jared N, modified 3 Months ago at 5/31/22 6:28 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 5/31/22 6:28 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Tuesday, May 31:
3-hour sit. Kriyas continue. Investigation of 3 C's when repeating "I am, me, mine" in my head. Interesting to observe the 3Cs of the feelings that come up when I think about "me" and my sense of self. Had a feeling of being stretched out horizontally. Sensations and reality felt choppy as I investigated the 3C's and still is a bit vibratory as I type.
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Jared N, modified 3 Months ago at 6/2/22 6:54 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/2/22 6:54 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Thursday, June 2:
I've sat an average of 3-4 hours over the last 3 days, and it feels pretty uneventful. The kriyas kind of slowed down/stopped and since then, it's been mostly just chilling in active awareness with the breath at the center, with the occasional dullness that my mind seems to catch fairly quickly. I've been alternating focus between bare sensations and a more dynamic constant model of the breathing where I label it, note how long, short, qualities, etc. Other than that, I sometimes have been doing some forms of self-inquiry and examining the sensations that come up when I think about "me." (especially ones linked to my head/ or negative emotions that arise)
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Jared N, modified 3 Months ago at 6/4/22 5:16 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/4/22 5:14 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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Saturday, June 4:
emoticonemoticonemoticonemoticon Today I sat down. I was in access concentration in about 2 minutes (not that it matters), but I was feeling really nice. There was a sense of letting go of everything. Just breathing and relaxing with whatever comes. At some point, I think I started reflexively considering "self." There was this moment where I burst out laughing and smiling, then started crying. "It's not me. It's not me. It's not me. It never was, and it never will be." I just kept laughing and crying and thinking how silly it is.. There's so much anger and constriction and pain but it doesn't matter because it's not me, and it never will be. It's silly but it also hurts. The way it hurts to see a child crying. I feel like I have a lot of compassion for myself-- like I finally understand the hurt a bit more, and it's okay now, and it will always be ok. It feels like waking up from a dream where everything was stressful and bad. And it still is stressful and bad, but at least now I know it's just a dream. Phewww
Martin, modified 3 Months ago at 6/4/22 6:44 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/4/22 6:44 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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Nice!
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Jared N, modified 3 Months ago at 6/8/22 5:55 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/8/22 5:55 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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Wednesday, June 8:
Practice has become a bit less manic over the past 3 or 4 days, which is nice. I think today, I was at the border of the first Jhana. I don't know for sure, but it was like riding this boundary where I knew that if I just let go of my anticipation and distraction, I would've just been sucked away entirely by the pleasure and focus. Despite not quite "getting there" it was still very pleasant and there was a strong sense of piti/sukkha. It also helped me remember that I'm pretty sure I've been in the first Jhana before--in January, pre-hospitalization. I remembered the feeling so distinctly, and now that I'm almost there again, it's like it had a strong nostalgia, and it brought up all the memories. I remember it felt like a warm egg yolk pouring out from the crown of my head coating my whole body with a soft warm buzzy-ness, and my concentration shifted from body scans to just sitting with the pleasure of the body and the breath. I remembered that really clearly today, but at the time, I thought it was some insight into no-self (which it kind of triggered back then, so maybe there was some insight in there too).

Anyways, it felt nice, then I just laid down in my bed and kind of basked in the rested quality for a while. It kind of felt like waking up after a nice nap, and it kind of had the "oh darn I didn't want to get woken up" feeling when I got back to reality.  Other than that, my practice has mostly been working with the hindrances (mostly ill-will: self-hatred/loathing, anger, frustration, feelings of not good enough, etc.) I've been seeing a bit more of "not me" in them, but nowhere near as clearly as the other day when it hit me in the face. Nonetheless, some of the "edge" of the anger is gone, and it feels easier to take it less personally (who's there to take it personally, ya know? emoticon )
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Jared N, modified 3 Months ago at 6/15/22 11:09 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/15/22 11:07 AM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Wednesday, June 15:
Meditation has been solid. Averaging around 2 hours a day--sometimes more, sometimes less--just depending on what's going on. My concentration seems strong, and the MIA is getting stronger as well. I feel very aware of my internal comings and goings. I seem to be able to reach access concentration within 20-40 minutes, except on especially agitated days. Sometimes there's still slight dullness, but I usually see it coming. Other times, the monkey mind is strong, and ill-will is very present almost always. I've been better at relating to the "self-hatred" which is really just me--trying to be me. And struggling--because there is no me. It's usually pretty easy to see through once I realize what's going on...

The "softening into" skill taught in MIDL meditation has been amazing for my mental health. I rarely feel anger or fear that has any real hold for more than a few hours (as long as I notice it). But I still forget frequently and get caught up being "me." My practice has consisted of alternating between various forms of meditation: mostly Samatha practice, though I've been throwing in some Vipassana whenever the urge arises to look closely. It's almost all body scans now, with a background awareness of the breath. But I realized I can treat the body scan similarly to the breath--focusing narrowly or broadening out. And it seems more interesting to me to follow the sensations all over the body and the flow of prana than to watch the breath. But I still want to work on my skills with the breath, so I think I'll keep doing some Breath concentration every now and then.

It must be a more stable patch, but I feel less neurotic about getting help and attention from others. Maybe when the dukkhas nanas hit again I'll be back to my old worry-wart self, but for now, I'm enjoying the freedom and open quality of my experience. Getting caught up in self really sucked and it's nice to see through that a little bit emoticon

​​​​​​​Hope everyone else is doing well! Thanks to everyone who's been sending good vibes and help my way emoticon
George S, modified 3 Months ago at 6/15/22 2:28 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/15/22 2:26 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 2555 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Sounds good emoticon

Yeah this "self-hatred", when you look closely at it, is really just an old emotion (anger/ill-will) with a habitual story (thoughts) attached to it. The more you can just sit and experience the purely physical sensations of the emotion, without getting caught up in the feedback loop of narrative thoughts, the quicker the whole thing will drain out of your system. Easier said than done, but this basically sounds like what you are already doing, so this is just a bit of encouragement - you are heading in the right direction emoticon

It's almost all body scans now, with a background awareness of the breath. But I realized I can treat the body scan similarly to the breath--focusing narrowly or broadening out. And it seems more interesting to me to follow the sensations all over the body and the flow of prana than to watch the breath. But I still want to work on my skills with the breath, so I think I'll keep doing some Breath concentration every now and then. 

This is the natural progression of anpanasati (mindfulness of in-&-out breathing). You start off with awareness of in-&-out breathing (steps 1-2), then widen the awareness to the whole body (step 3). As the breath/body calms (step 4) you become more aware of energy sensations (piti/prana, step 5). As you go deeper into this step then awareness of physical body starts to fade and you are left fully immersed in the experience of piti. You are still aware of breathing in and out, but not the actual physical sensations of breathing, it becomes more of an energy flow like you say. The piti is still somewhat physical and feels a little coarse, so the next step is shifting awareness to the smoother underlying emotional experience of sukha (bliss in the heart-mind). This is quite similar to the description of the first jhana, which is what anapanasati is training for:

It’s like when a deft bathroom attendant or their apprentice pours bath powder into a bronze dish, sprinkling it little by little with water. They knead it until the ball of bath powder is soaked and saturated with moisture, spread through inside and out; yet no moisture oozes out. In the same way, a mendicant drenches, steeps, fills, and spreads their body with rapture and bliss born of seclusion. There’s no part of the body that’s not spread with rapture and bliss born of seclusion. This, great king, is a fruit of the ascetic life that’s apparent in the present life which is better and finer than the former ones.

​​​​​​​
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Sigma Tropic, modified 3 Months ago at 6/15/22 4:37 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/15/22 4:33 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 370 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Glad to hear you're doing well Jared. Now take those results, but a nice bow tie on them and offer the fruit to God. If you ascribe the fruit to a self then that is corruption of insight. You can do this every time the practice has fruit. Also if you're interested, maybe get a Jesus or God statue and do prostrations before your sits. Thank Divine forces for divine gifts and give back those gifts to the Divine. It's how bliss and rapture can be channeled toward awakening.
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Jared N, modified 3 Months ago at 6/15/22 5:29 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/15/22 5:16 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Hmm... I feel that a belief in God got me into the mess I was in. Holding on to any sort of bigger thing than myself, and any sort of perfect or eternal "thing" was the issue in the first place. And I grew up in a deeply religious home--losing my faith in Jesus was one of the things that brought me to meditation in the first place so I'm not too excited about turning back in that direction.  I'm not sure how all my beliefs line up, but I think I like my dharma without Christianity. I would consider myself atheist or at least strongly agnostic. Surely you can follow the path of insight without God involved?

I don't think I ascribe my results to my "self." I would say the way I see it is the fruit develops on its own, because there is no self to develop it. Is that not the case? I guess I'm just confused about what you're talking about with attributing it to the Divine. Maybe it's just my conditioned aversion/bitterness towards Christianity shining through, so sorry if this comes across as defensive.
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Jared N, modified 3 Months ago at 6/15/22 5:28 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/15/22 5:27 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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Yeah this "self-hatred", when you look closely at it, is really just an old emotion (anger/ill-will) with a habitual story (thoughts) attached to it. The more you can just sit and experience the purely physical sensations of the emotion, without getting caught up in the feedback loop of narrative thoughts, the quicker the whole thing will drain out of your system. Easier said than done, but this basically sounds like what you are already doing, so this is just a bit of encouragement - you are heading in the right direction

I think this is what I'm doing for sure! And not to ascribe too much meaning to the kriyas, but they seem to come up whenever I do this for an extended period, so it seems like the right direction indeed.

Also thanks for the tip on the Anapanasati. It's good to know it's a natural progression since it felt like the right way to go. I hope you're doing well George. It's good to hear from you emoticon​​​​​​​
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Sigma Tropic, modified 3 Months ago at 6/15/22 8:02 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/15/22 8:02 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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For the Divine well I guess I mean just a sense of the totality of things. Something more powerful than the person. The whole universe could be the Divine. This might not feel right and that's ok just feel free to ignore. 
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Jared N, modified 3 Months ago at 6/17/22 1:34 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/17/22 1:34 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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That makes sense. After thinking about what you recommended the other day and looking at the emotions involved, I realized there was a lot of fear and anger associated with it. And that maybe there is a need for me to be more humble and grateful for things as they are. There is pride and arrogance in not giving thanks. I think hearing what you said highlighted that for me, so thanks! I will try to be open and let things be as they are, no self needed.

I think I understand what you mean by the Divine, though like you said, maybe the word for it didn't resonate. But I also understand far less than you about the workings of experience and the flow of things. So maybe things like Divine or God will make more sense with more practice. Thanks for your advice. As always, I really appreciate it emoticon
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Chris M, modified 3 Months ago at 6/17/22 2:19 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/17/22 2:19 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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My personal view on this - I've been practicing for over 30 years and not once has anything resembling a god, God, or the divine occurred to me, appealed to me, or seemed to be something to investigate or pay attention to. At one point, about 10 or 15 years ago, a friend of mine, a Zen priest and prior to that a follower of Adi Da, wanted me to develop a devotional practice. He had all manner of reasons for that being a good thing for me, but I just couldn't get there. I guess what I'm saying is, this stuff is very personal and there isn't a formula, a one-size-fits-all, kind of path. We need to follow our instincts and our best judgment in regard to what works for us.
George S, modified 3 Months ago at 6/17/22 10:40 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/17/22 10:40 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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I like the feelng of surrendering to life, the universe or the totality of experience (god?)
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Jared N, modified 2 Months ago at 7/6/22 7:25 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 7/6/22 7:25 AM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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It's been a hot minute since I updated, so I just wanted to say I'm alive and well. I took a two week break from practice because I was feeling uncomfortable with the speed of progression and also got a new job/went on vacation so it's been a flurry. I noticed how manic things are without meditation. Even though I have much more time (+2 hrs free), the time feels busy rushed and kinda pointless.

So bringing back sitting over the past 4 days has been welcome to say the least. Immediate relief when I remembered "this is all there is" and none of it is me (: 

Overall, I've been struggling with a lot of Ill-will and aversion and self loathing. Tons of anger and frustration and constriction that I'm pretty sure is just my brain trying to be a permanent self. Once I see what it is/remember, it seems silly.

There's a new flavor recently that feels really creepy? Kind of cold and tingly and a little icky I guess. It makes me feel kind of nauseous or at least reminds me of that feeling.  I'm not totally sure what it is, but maybe it has to do with sensing dissatisfaction. I know yesterday I kind of had the first "wow, that's unsatisfactory" moment.  It was just this sense that everything, no matter what it is or how great could every be "it" or enough or whatever. It was kind of bittersweet and a huge sense of loss, but also kind of beautiful and perfect at the same time.

Also I think I've hit the first Jhana now a few times? It feels the same every time... Something like an egg cracking over my head and spreading pleasantness and openness and tinglyness. I've had a bit of a hard time staying in it for more than 20 seconds or so, so I think my next goal is to get more stable with it and bring it on more consistently, since it only happens once every 6 or 7 sits.

​​​​​​​Dullness has been mostly gone and when it does come I cut through it quickly.

I think that's basically it for the update, but I'll be back sometime soon.
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Jared N, modified 2 Months ago at 7/6/22 7:32 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 7/6/22 7:32 AM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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Also, quick reflection point... When I first heard about "no-self," it was one of the most frightening, intense and scary things I'd ever heard. It felt like dying. Like someone was ripping my soul out and my entire world was shattered. Quite literally it had me broken, in the hospital. 

​​​​​​​Now, 5 or 6 months later and it's about the happiest thing you could tell me. There's no me in here.  Every time I remember it it's like waking up/getting out of jail/and opening a Christmas present all in the same moment. Now I just need to work on remembering it more often. (:
George S, modified 2 Months ago at 7/6/22 6:29 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 7/6/22 6:29 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

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 It was kind of bittersweet and a huge sense of loss, but also kind of beautiful and perfect at the same time.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Ahhh ... life emoticon
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Jared N, modified 2 Months ago at 7/29/22 11:39 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 7/29/22 11:39 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
It's been a while since I posted anything.  I just finished my first 3-day retreat. I did it at my own house. My wife was nice enough to leave and give me some privacy for a few days. Spoiler alert: there's a nice ending despite some of the more painful stuff. Also, second spoiler alert: this is gonna have terrible grammar and I don't care.

Let's see, first day was tons of hindrances, lots of frustration early in the morning, self-loathing, the usual stuff to work through. Easy enough to deal with since it's been here for months now, but I can usually get through it in an hour or so. I think I reached Jhana or access concentration just before lunch. Then I ate lunch and got even more focused after that. I got so focused that things got kind of particle-y and bubbly and then I hit some massive kriyas/energy flows/ tension relieving itself, whatever you wanna call it. Basically non-voluntary yoga that sometimes hurts like hell. Later, right before bed, I hit a wide open space where it felt like I was gone. I kind of cried/laughed, but mostly cried, then got hit by some fear/dread. Then kind of calmed down with some breathing and went to bed.

Second day was not the best. I think I was getting hit by a bunch of discouragement and fear from the previous day + the boredom and a fresh wave of hindrances was back. Around midday, I had a kind of cry-sesh where I felt like I was losing everyone or had to lose everyone--or at least was still stuck in the delusion that I ever "had" anyone in the first place. Logically, I know it's not true, and I've seen it a few times pretty clearly now, but impermanence still kicks my self in the butt pretty often.  Anyways, I thought it would feel better after that, but then things got really clear and sharp and I just sensed emptiness everywhere and this fear in my body like impending doom.  After that, I was still pretty gloomy, though there were moments of clarity and level-ness or equanimity or something sprinkled in there... I've come to identify the suffering and feelings of suffering as my body/brain still under the delusion of being "me." But even though I know it's not me, and even when I see no-self/ glimpses of it in some ways, I still feel like "me" in other ways. It's pretty distinct because I realized it's always painful being me... I mean the process of me mistakenly thinking I'm me is inherently painful. It feels like tightness and closed and narrow, and normally pretty heavy.

Then this morning and day also kinda sucked. More delusions of me, despite sensing "my" annihilation. The self seeing itself go is not a happy camper. Also more feelings of general suck--impermanence related. Why do I have to lose my wife, my brother, Everything is empty I'll never be happy, etc. Then this afternoon, I still had that crispness and clarity from the previous night (it never went away, I think I may have even been sleep meditating again)--feelings of the bright sensations spreading like Jhana kept happening during the night.  Anyways, I reached that kind of buzzy, vibrating spot again and then had a fresh wave of kriyas that lasted for about 3.5 hours. Basically my body found every way to cleanse/stretch/rotate my spine into submission and finally at the end of it (I was determined to just let it happen), my body finally just laid itself down and rested. The rest was really nice... all the aches and pains went away and it was just the bright clear emptiness, with the internal sound of my head kind of humming away. (It never goes away anymore... kind of a tinnitus but pleasant sort of buzzing sound). It was the first time in the past 3 days that I was able to let go of effort because I think my brain finally was just too exhausted and said "fuck it, no more..." and just laid there in the vast nice brightness. It was probably only 30 minutes but it felt like a long nap when I got up. Finally to the good stuff:

After all that this evening, it was probably 8:30 and I thought man I am so sick of meditation, I just want to go on a nice night walk for myself.

So I put on my flip-flops and walked outside. It was still evening, dusk or so... before the sky lost all of it's light. I walked for a bit, head down just stepping. Then I remembered there was a sky and I looked up. And it was this kind of flip the moment I looked up where the sky was just there. Like I was the sky. Or at least that it wasn't separate. There was this distinct feeling that the trees were just there, the crickets chirping were just there, and this body was just there, walking itself along. I felt like for a moment I was just floating and the sky was just floating. Then I just giggled. Everything seemed so funny like I kept forgetting it was there, then boom, there it was, just a part of the experience. Cars drove by and I just laughed. They must have thought I was insane just staring at them and cackling as they drove by. I think what was so funny was just the fact that they would just be there. Like I'd forgotten what a real car could sound and look like and then there it was headlights shining across the screen. I kept looking down and thinking, "gee this body sure is good at walking." It was like everything was new and funny and exciting. I heard kids playing in a pool and I just had this genuine moment of childlike glee.

Basically the whole walk felt kind of like what I imagined Felix Felicis from Harry Potter felt like. Just sort of this body ambling along, doing whatever it wanted, where nothing could go wrong.

Towards the end of the walk, I felt myself clinging to the good feeling of the walk and wanted it to stay, then I realized it was my brain trying to be me again and I just kind of let go.  Now as I'm typing, I still just kind of have this vague sense of me in the background but mostly it's just watching these hands type and interestedly watching the thoughts and writing happen.  I don't really know what to think. Maybe it will last, or maybe not, but either way, I'm pretty happy to see it like this.  Also side note, everything is so pretty right now. My computer screen, the sky outside... It's all just really nice and perfect. Even dogs outside which I normally hate I just kind of giggled when I walked by like "haha this thing (my brain) doesn't like dogs"

Anyways, I'm just trying to watch and be mindful. I feel like the book "After the Ecstasy, the Laundry" and "with great pride cometh the fall" keep going through my head... Like maybe I'm in for it now... But whatever.. it will come what comes.

Hope you guys are all doing well and goodnight (:
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Jared N, modified 2 Months ago at 7/29/22 11:52 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 7/29/22 11:52 PM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 76 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
A follow-up question for any of you smart people:  this feeling of just "is"ing around... Like that tree is just there, that sky is just there, those cars are just there. This body is just here, these thoughts are just here. What is that?
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Sigma Tropic, modified 2 Months ago at 7/30/22 6:56 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 7/30/22 6:56 AM

RE: Jared N's Practice Journal

Posts: 370 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
Suchness is what they call it. That's some equanimnity it sounds like good going!

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