Author Topic: Journaling Daily Meditations  (Read 6087 times)

Attachless

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Journaling Daily Meditations
« on: December 17, 2015, 07:18:17 PM »
Hey! I've struggled keeping up daily practice consistently so I decided to journal for motivation, inspiration and getting through eventual resistances etc. I want to write down my goals of meditation (that I can also read through in rough times), how I will journal, and what it's supposed to 'accomplish'.

About me: Started first meditating in 2012 and sat four 10 day courses and one 8 day satthipathana Goenka style since then. Not been able to sustain practice daily for longer periods than maybe a few weeks/months and I like to change that now. I'm traveling India for 6 months (first month over) and intent to go on a 40 day retreat in march (another vipassana tradition in Lumbini, yet waiting for getting approved) and like to build a strong foundation for that as well and strenghen my determination. Been one month consistant meditation so far (almost - had food poisening = knock out 3 days. Still maintained mindful suffering tho :-P)

Goals:
- improve concentration skills, acceptance of things (equanimity), establish and maintain a balanced, calm, focused mind, help being mindful and equanimous during the day and activity/ between sittings and therefor practice as an "art of living"
- living a happier and peaceful life
- being more engaged with life and my goals
- making my contentness less dependent on circumstances (whether external or internal), knowing they will pass, not fulfill nor bother me forever
- ground myself in the present moment, being relaxed in myself
- realizing and living the realization that nothing is inherently bad or good, things just are as they are
- strenghten my intention and willpowermuscle to generally establish discipline in my life in and outside meditation

Daily sittings goals:
- morning and evening one hour each
- establish mastery over time through roughless consistency and sustained practice = life long consistent learning
- when sitting, everthing else is of no importance, all the focus to being with the sitting

Journal goals:
- help motivate and maintain daily sittings to establish momentuum and foundation for a life long habit of meditation
- provide journaled insight into my practice to deepen self-awareness in regards to the practice
- eventually get value from others concerning blind-spots in my practice
- hopefully provide value to others as well by publicing my self-investigations

How I will journal:
- Spirit of exploration
- Will go where the energy goes

This means that I will not take track of the content of meditation (my breath was like this, sensations were like that etc.) nor will I judge my meditation as bad or good, but try to investigate, find blind spots, deepen self-awareness and reflect upon my practice

I've started this morning and will probably "release" the journals in bunches (like few days/weekly), so I don't spam this topic too much.

Ok let's start.

17/12 - 9:00 - 55 minutes
Very peaceful mind after 5-10 minutes -> almost too peaceful = sign for me to go over to vipassana. Sat directly after breakfast: effort didn't feel as fruitful as it uses to be (check expectations?), sat with it and observed this fact anyway. Strong impulse to stop meditating and do something else turned soonish out to be a poo/fart that was then released. Is meditation supposed to be funny? Big irony here. Still having trouble with faith (as in regards to the wisdom vs. faith balance) - becomes obvious in sittings like these (after breakfast, thoughts felt heavy and predominant, scanning of body not as penetratingly clear and continous = resultung in "this leads nowhere" and/or "this might lead somewhere for others, but I can't do it -> self-doubt/ doubt in technique -> again, lack in faith). Seemingly counter-acted by just doing it anyway and pushing through the doubts to the "results" (as in getting into "noting without naming" state, which takes the power of doubts by itself, if sustained - but then again sustaining is the goal of practising (hence practising is the goal of practising?)- so it's alright and the circle is closing here.

17/12 - 21:35 - 55 minutes
No bigger hindrances during sitting, want to establish 2-3 hours daily sittings total to build momentuum and good foundation for daily practice in regards to activity as well, to establish and ground myself in the practice. Right now feels too much like going back and forth and it doesn't have to be so (more consistency in regards to daily sittings, right understanding and no excuses that lead to not keeping practice up that lead to "back and forth" and prevent building momentuum, leads to practice not beibg as fruitful as it can be and a resulting frustration. It's not necassery!
to be or not to be - one hardly notices the subtlety

Alex

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2015, 09:47:42 AM »
Hi Attachless

Your enthusiasm, motivation and determination are commendable and inspiring. I hope journaling may benefit your practice.

What strikes me in your post is the goal-orientedness, and the inherent danger of reinforcing ‘discrepancy based thinking’...  the discrepancy between what is here now and what would be better... a desire to become.

Does freedom or wellbeing come from changing ourselves in a goal-oriented manner in order to have experiences that are in a certain way, or is it our attitude towards our experience - whatever it is - that changes in a way that lies beyond our purposeful control? ;)

Kind regards
Alex

Attachless

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2015, 10:10:12 AM »
That's a good question and one that I'm also having a little fight with at times. On one side, having no goals will not lead us anywhere and has not lead me to sustain my daily practice consistently (although having no goals is kinda essential for the practice, as in not wanting to get anywhere), and having goals will direct our energy and effort and influence our daily decisions (although it's counterproductive for the practice itself). It's a little bit of a paradox I think that has to be embraced.

Having this seemingly strict goal lay out shall help me to actually do the work daily and establish the consistency. Over time, I hope I can overcome the pitfalls that come with strict goal-mindedness while having seeded proper daily practice.

The goals are then an instrument, shall be understood and treated as such. They are not meant to be seen as "the final outcome". Paradoxically, not the goals are the desired final outcome, but an establised, consistent practice is supposed to be the final outcome. (Hence goals being an instrument and should be understood as such.)

Wow, is that comprehensive? It's a bit tricky I have to admit, but then again, not so much either :-)

Ps: Sorry, kind of dismissed your second question. In regards to what's been said above, the goal,mindedness shall lead to consistent practice and the practice itself is -and- shall lead to a changed attitude towards experience. (As in -it is the practice- as well as the goal of the practice. Sorry if repeating myself :-P). It's again a paradox to be embraced (as much as meditation is a paradox in itself in terms of "doing the practice/meditation" and just being aware, without "doing anything).

It's kind of a tight rope to balance on, between too much effort and too less effort. Between trying too hard and not trying at all.

Let me know hehe,
Cheers Dominic
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 10:24:57 AM by Attachless »
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Matthew

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2015, 12:14:45 PM »
The goal is to practice or as Trungpa put it in his book, "The Path is the Goal".

Most of the things you describe as goals are fruits of practice. First thing is to regularly get to the cushion and stay there. Then we start development of calm and concentration, through the vehicle of the breath. Just watching the breath and returning when the mind deviates develops calm and concentration. It's not so paradoxical. You can't think your way to these fruits - because the thinking mind is what creates the "problems" that the fruits of practice are the medicine for ..
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Attachless

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2015, 01:23:37 PM »
Thats basically what I'm saying :-)

The goals and journalying are just a means of establishing discipline, as I failed to establish discipline just for the sake of discipline over longer periods of time, but sporadically.
to be or not to be - one hardly notices the subtlety

Alex

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2015, 04:32:12 PM »
If I understand you correctly (which is what I’m trying to do), what you’re saying is that you would like to practice more consistently and that ‘having no goals’ has not lead you anywhere in that regard?

Your logic then seems to be that not having established this discipline is the result of not trying hard enough to establish this daily practice and/or not having set strict enough goals? The same logic would then make you feel confident that clearly setting your goals and journaling will direct your energy towards more discipline?

Attachless

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2015, 05:19:27 AM »
Will direct my energy towards more discipline, and previous attempts to establish consistency have failed (in the long run), correct :-)

Am happy with this approach so far. Journalying definetly helps (not looking at the goals at all, which are more a reflection of positive side effects of my past practice than actual "i have to achieve!!" goals). The goal is the practice, I'm aware of that, hence I'm trying to establish discipline.

Will update journal in a couple of days as a bunch.

Cheers and thanks for the input! Been helpful so far.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 05:28:43 AM by Attachless »
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Attachless

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2015, 10:53:59 AM »
18/12 - 10:40 - 50m

Hard to get "into it", led to unpatience during the end which was OK to sit with tho. Happy I sat, practice is practice leads to mastery. Hence not judging the sitting but whether I practiced or not, hence happy :-P

18/12 - 21:50 - 30m

Decided to stay with the breath only for the whole period as I noticed my mind being very agitated and out of peace in last few days more than usual. All the traveling around here in India and the many impressions may have add to that. Really tired now, hence short session, want to get into right sleep rhythm tho. Feel much more calm, concentrated and focused now. Was a good idea and should have done it earlier (had the impulse to stay with concentration-meditation/breath for one whole sitting to get back stable focus the past days already, will listen to such impulses next times. Theres always something to learn.)

19/12 - 8:00 - 40m

Had to "fight" with sleepiness and backpain = worked with breath only again as I didnt feel fit for bodyscanning/insight meditation still, feeling stable and calmy now, dont like the constant tiredness tho - might be the food here (cant choose what to eat really / india) and lack of wholesome diet. Definetly affects my meditation and overall mood (maybe I let it affect me too much as well!).

19/12 - 12:00 - 25m

Identified that mobile phone use does no good to me and the practice, in the sense that it disturbs more than it does not. Stresses me, gives me headtension (not to say ache) and disrupts my focus. May dis-habit me from it to see if this holds true also in regards to the practice (as it seems harder to get into after "extensive" - or even just regular use, without specific purpose or actual necessity to use it. ). I think it sets the mind into a stressed state (of mind) and hence counter-productive and stupid habit.

19/12 - 21:00 - 55m

Was not so hard to get into it - less habitual distraction (mobile phone) did definetly help maintain the practice during dal(ly activity), so sitting down was and felt more like a continuation of that, and less like a chore or duty to be fulfilled. Sitting itself feels increasingly less reactful and increasingly more observative (as in "notig without naming").

20/12 - 8:40 - 30m

Meditation felt a little bit disturbing (Escpecially the transition from sitting to activity somtimes it), but feel clear and present now.

20/12 - 12:20 - 50m

Mostly been focusing my attention on the touch of respiration, many thoughts to do something else (calling them "thoughts" because they werent as pulling as to call them "impulses"), body feels tense, mind more calm but still some agitation noticeable.

20/12 - 19:00 - 40m

Noticing boredom in regards to the technique of scanning body (repetetive), which I assume is bound to pass, because it ironically didnt get repetitive on any of the retreats.. we will see. Other than that nothing else . could sit lotus bit longer than 35m which was good.

21/12 - 8:20 - 20m:

Mind alert and calm but despite of that strong tendency to "get things done", not utterly unpatient, but rather motivated, "lets do it!" - like a positive pulling. Will try to connect both, present moment noting with the eagerness of going for the "things", altough they feel very "pully" (could be "motivation" haha).

21/12 - 9:45 - 39m

Nothing to say about this sitting. Just being watchative.
to be or not to be - one hardly notices the subtlety

Attachless

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2015, 09:24:42 AM »
21/12 afternoon to 24/12 afternoon
Didn´t have sittings as I was travelling with bus/train nonstop over 2500 km`s to the south. Arrived
after a 52 hours trip quite exhausted at 2 a.m. in the night. Was focused on the present moment to moment
awareness as much as possible tho, using the touch of the breath often as tool of concentration and anchor

24/12 - 13:00 - 40m:
Got "in" quite fast, as in my mind could bring attention easily back to the object of meditation or stay
with the "object of distraction" as object of meditation as well. Now that I`m settled again at one place, regular
sittings will be sat again.

24/12 - 20:35 - 15m:
Been on small party for xmas here in india, drank one glass of bacardi with lychi and guawe and took 2-3 sips of a joint.
Maintained moment to moment awareness with the help of momentuum (which means that the object of breath was used but the
object isn`t the main factor, it´s more like a light switch you turn on and you become concentrated attentive and equanimous and
remain with that moment to moment, and when it slips away you turn the light on again.. bring back the mind into balance, the attention
into the present moment.. in some book someone wrote "one has to grasp, and then try to stabilize the ever fresh realization of
eternity".. it`s not what one would call it in vipassana tradition, but it speaks of the same, so, anyway.) I think
thats basically what a technique should bring you to "do". it is going down (a road, so to speak), moving with certain restrictions,
(do this and this and this, care for this etc.), so that it will eventually lead you to this place of moment to moment awareness with
equanimity (letting go, accepting, some traditions may call it "surrender" but I don´t particularily like that word, unless
used in this context and with the meaning I mean and the experience I`m talking about). Like as it is not really about the experience you
are making, but how you relate to it that will, or should change. Hence its not important what technique, because what
it should bring is a shift in (quality of) consciousness (or "shift in attitute towards the content of consciousness").
So in this sense, meditation teachs you a way of living, which means that it teaches you how to listen, to see, to sit, to walk... when there is listening, there is
only the listened. When there is seeing, there is only the seen. That`s what I felt like writing down today from my experiences this
day and the past days also (and generally anyway). Regarding this sitting, my mind feels and is concentrated, but feels soft. As in,
that it follows my moment to moment intention, but it`s not as penetratingly. It`s like you put a laser on granite where it stays on
one spot, but it`s only fondling the granite. Also tired so that may add to that, but let`s not get into the excuses so much. Alcohol also
tends to make it so, so.. Ok done.

25/15 - 8:00 - 30m
and
12:30 - 30m:
First sitting ended with me getting out of sitting stormy (got inwardly very.. well, stormy describes it very good anyway. When I finished,
I was surprised it has only been 30 minutes of the intented 50), second started stormy and ended OK, if you like to judge it. Head feels
very heavy (maybe from yesterday, or the sudden increase in heat +30 degree here in south). Didn`t manage to sit the intentioned 50 minutes yet,
but will keep on doing until I break through the 30m mark again and sit comfortably for full length or longer. Will get short nap
and then lunch now (didn`t have breakfast yet, got up 6:30 to swim in the ocean and I don`t get up that early usually, although I intent always),
so that might refresh and help with heavy head.
to be or not to be - one hardly notices the subtlety

clayton

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2015, 09:55:35 AM »
Merry Christmas! Getting consistent is hard and failure is a great teacher if you allow it to be.  Practice makes improvement. You're doing good.
Follow your nose

Attachless

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2016, 02:16:05 PM »
Hey! Yes it is, and can be.

26/12 - 19:45 - 13m:
Heavy head turned out to turn into fever, feeling cold when its hot, joint pains and regular toilette sittings (no meditation sittings tho). Popped some antibiotics, water and rest on myself and feel better now (especially joint pains, which meant every move hurts, even lying down). Now it felt better so I tried sit some, but didn`t want to force it on myself also. Hence only 13 minutes turned out to be sat. Will keep increasing feeling better now.. and sittings also. :-P
27/12 - 9:45 - 50m:
Put into action some advice I have given on forums (i.e. the attitude of remaining equanimous and aware "despite" the experiences), which set me in a good frame of mind after sitting the meditation, and because of sitting it (well it`s good that following my own advice is resulting in remarkably positive
practice lol - in the sense that I didn`t give in to "bad experiences" but kept being reminded to practice as I should, despite experiences, experiences only being the tool for practicing, not mindlessly reacting). Joint pains and other sickness-symptoms gone away to most degree, daily sittings back on track. ps: it`s easy to flinch in meditation, and big part of the practice seems to not give in to flinching (i.e. the fact one sits down is sometimes an act of "not giving in to flinching" itself!)
27/12 - 20:45 - 50m:
I would describe this session as a bit slubbish and random. I would forget what part of the body I was and would start at the approximate location, staying equanimous with that anyway, other than that I could practice tho. Light turning up again during vipassana, instead of opening eyes "searching for it" or doing the opposite and ignoring/ just
noting it, I tried to "see whats beyond", which led to shift in perception in some undefinable way, bliss in the chest/heart area accompanyied by fear, I left it at that and went on scanning body (because bliss with fear was already good - or bad - or whatever - enough to have lol). Although at some points I struggled a little with semi-potent excuses to finish my sitting "just a little earlier today", I was surpised when the clock told me it was over already. Funny irony. Well, sometimes.. also noting that I shared a joint with a friend maybe 4 hours ago (which may have added to the session feeling slubbish and random - random in the sense of forgetting and doing random scanning order). Only forgot the concrete part and part on that part. Was noted and well thats it.
28/12 - 7:45 - 50m:
Been struggling a bit with "taking things as they are", equanimity, some doubt has arisen, went back to sensations on the body and doubted the doubt, then the almighty doubt went with heads down away, disappointently saying "atleast I tried..". Was kind of hilarious. When then doubt arisen that "I can`t do it/I`m not good enough" I`d have encountered with questionmarked eyebrows "but I`m doing it all the time? ó.Ò", which was a good way to counter and reinforces the saying that "practicing itself is the best tool against doubt". It works.. Equanimity eventually build up over time, but was also reason to get unpatient and the wanting to have this sit end and get to eat breakfast etc., which I tried to observe as unpatience and encounter
with equanimity (well you have to start somewhere!). Worked out better than other times where it turned to be 30m sittings, leaving the sittings also kinda unbalanced. I have the feeling sometimes that how you end the session becomes the "theme" of the day, or atleast the next minutes/hours, which is fun, because that`s what LSD researcher stanislaf grov during his experiments also concluded in regards to LSD therapy sessions with his patients. Even more reason to not give in to storms and excuses but trying your best to develope ease in the face of .. anything, particularly. :-P
28/12 - 17:30 - ~40m:
Nothing particular about this sitting. Feel very tranquill, calm, centered and clear and focused. Did 10 minutes less than expected, but didn`t force myself to "endure", as there was no particular excuse involved in that moment, and the "theme" of the last moments is positive, as described. Shared joint with friend maybe around noon, didn`t bother me actually much tho in regards to the practice, although it is psychoactive, and kept on practicing and doing my stuff (exercise, get things done, sit down for meditation etc.). I don`t like how it makes me slubbish in the morning tho (5 more minutes.. mh, 5 more.. .. .. ..), and life`s psychedelic with meditation anyway so as long as I stay engaged, it doesn`t really take much from me (and it doesn`t give me much either, which is good. it is what it is). As long as it stays an easy task to say "no thanks" smilingly, it`s perfect. Note to myself: meditation journal entry more about the joint than meditation, but noting that meditating does indeed lower the psychological effects in terms of strongness, impactfulness, and desire to do repeatedly, and enhances the ability to notice unwanted effects, hence the note.
29/12 - 10:00 - ~30m :
Not so hard to concentrate, but to sit. edit: 19.30 now, seen the doctor, got fewer again, joint pain, headache etc. Viral infect, comes and goes, treatment: Do nothing. Uh hurray, I thought. My practice is
the treatment! (sarcasm intented). So see you journal, later day.
30/31.12 and 1/2.1:
Got through fever and stuff on 31/1, regular stomach pains and diarrhea still after that (oh wait what an excuse not to meditate) - well, that energy level is quite low after days of fever and loosing anything you put inside your body already. Sat with no timer today for some meditation as long as it felt comfortable, will be sitting tomorow again regular as it looks.
to be or not to be - one hardly notices the subtlety

Attachless

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2016, 01:48:52 PM »
(I did not really feel like analyzing meditations, to not put so much intellectualizing into practice. seeing continuity and keeping it up is more priority)
3/1 - 10:00 - 50 m
Not feeling like investigating sitting.
3/1 - 19:30 - ~20m
no expectations, no remembrances, no preferences
4/1 - morning - short meditation
5/1 - morning - short meditation
5/1 - 19:30 - 15 minutes meditation
6/1 - 9:00 - ~30 minutes
felt refreshing, no troubles encountered at all
6/1 - 20:00 - 30 minutes
7/1 - 12:00 - 40m
7/1 - 20:30 - 10m
8/1 - 8:00 - 30m
8/1 - 20:30 - 15m
Headache, weakness and joint paint comming back. lying down hurts. got me a joint for estimated painrelief from a friend. paracetamol made me vomit last time, not sure whether the side effects are any better than the actual symptoms. meditation sat to my best capabilities. can use the downtime for more focused mindfulness. lying down is bearable now, good starting point for getting sleep. (22:10 now).
9/1 - Symptoms gone to the degree it doesn´t hurt anymore by morning (night was bearable after joint, still not entirely comfortable really). Did short meditation around midday.
9/1 - 7:15 - 20m
« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 02:14:25 PM by Attachless »
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Attachless

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2016, 01:19:46 PM »
9/1 short meditation I think, maybe once, maybe twice and 10/1 and 11/1 I didn`t quite take track of to be honest with myself, and I did not sit 11/1, sitting longer has been increasingly harder for me obviously, maybe I should perform a small refreshment retreat, as it has helped very much doing in the past when such thing occured (hard to get into again or staying in).
Anyway - now 12/1 - short meditation, didn`t take track of time, come back to this later.
13/1 - 15 minutes meditation in the morning
14/1 - 15 minutes in the morning
15/1 - short meditation in the morning
16/1 - short meditation in the afternoon
Small resumee. I have included yoga and breathing exercises in the morning (to oxygen the body fully), and put meditation either before or after these sessions. Has led to
shorter sittings though obviously, I will make hereof the commitment of intenting to sit 50 full minutes again by this evening. I have not yet done the shorter retreat and
don`t see it comming soon to be honest, I will go with the other approach of just doing it, seeing through excuses and denials
17/1 - short meditation in the morning
18/1 - used clock again - 8:30 - 30 minutes
Obviously didn`t manage to commit to the commitment :-D but working myself up again.
18/1 - 13:00 - 35m
19/1 - morning meditation 20 or 30 minutes don`t remember exact
19/1 - evening short meditation
20/1 - spent all night and day in train, used time from time to time to meditate still with closed eyes, got at hostel around 20:00, short meditation before falling into bed
21/1 - 10:00 - 30 minutes
21/1 - 17:00 - 20 minutes
in / at the end of the session I felt deep sadness and the desire to cry, which I went into and tried to let happen, but it eventually didn`t happen and got not released (if it was supposed to be released anyway), I would have welcomed it though - even now in retrospective writing this I can sense it, feel it subtly
Also, body feels very tensioned, exhausted and some stressful, which may have many definite causes, will investigate this in a different journal, noting that getting back in regular disciplined longer sittings would definetly help, reminding myself of the possibility of a short retreat by myself to touch the ground of stillness a little deeper and gain ground, as it often feels I`m "grasping at puffs smoke" - sometimes later, often sooner.
22/1 - 9:30 - two sittings 50 minutes each with short break inbetween
First sitting working with the breath: could develope over that small period of time some deep relaxation and continous awareness stream, although not resistance-less, I could touch inner peace and tranquility more indepth, which was (and by the time writing 14:30 still is) anchoring me good in the present moment by moment awareness. Which means, less tensions, e.g. around the eyes, or generally in face area more relaxed - all of body let go more, and I can more easily remain in that space created by meditation. Anyway
Second sitting body scan, vipassana, which was generally less enjoyful and needed more applied and sustained effort again, with many captivating thoughts, over a long period of time, making quite sense even over long time, as in it was all related to another, and less of a "jump from one to another thought" etc., could have been a long speech that makes sense, this kind of thought-stream, very clear and continoous, kinda just noting it, it being captivating, while remaining to go through the body. At times I really had to force myself into the body again, just by noticing that it got too captivating, but forced me smoothly, not fightingly, although "force" would apply such. Anyway, doing daily physical exercises after that small re-introducing retreat was easier than usual, and it was easier to get through the hard parts ("one more.. just one more"), and I didn`t fall for the parts where I`d eventually say "uh thats exhausting..", but pushing through was kind of easy and effortless, although the intensity was really just the same as everyday, which I had put into the meditation-basket, the practice creating bigger gaps between stimulus and response, with less adherents to the power of the stimulus, and more power to intent and staying unreactive to the stimulus-impulse. Gives more power to me, obviously.
to be or not to be - one hardly notices the subtlety

Matthew

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2016, 02:17:20 PM »
Quote
in / at the end of the session I felt deep sadness and the desire to cry, which I went into and tried to let happen, but it eventually didn`t happen and got not released (if it was supposed to be released anyway), I would have welcomed it though - even now in retrospective writing this I can sense it, feel it subtly

Release will come as calm comes and as your mind is in a place to accept whatever is being released, not before and not by chasing it. It's all about peace and not trying to force things .. this seems to be your approach and if so it is a good one.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Attachless

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2016, 11:05:45 AM »
Quote
in / at the end of the session I felt deep sadness and the desire to cry, which I went into and tried to let happen, but it eventually didn`t happen and got not released (if it was supposed to be released anyway), I would have welcomed it though - even now in retrospective writing this I can sense it, feel it subtly

Release will come as calm comes and as your mind is in a place to accept whatever is being released, not before and not by chasing it. It's all about peace and not trying to force things .. this seems to be your approach and if so it is a good one.

Thanks for that. I try to be on that track yes.

In regards to the journal, I may have got "off-journal" while journalying, but I believe it ain`t so much off journal anyway, because everyday-life and other things relate to sittings and vice-versa in a way, and impact eachother. So I apology for that while at the same time don`t apology at all, if that makes sense :-P I "go with the flow", whatever outcome that will have.

22/1 - 19:45 - 50m
Let`s speak of expectations, oddly enough it was "harder than expected", came back to breath regularly and stayed with it near the end. more physical exercise would do me good in regards to back, neck, sluggishness, probably also concentration. as well as standing up earlier and sleeping less, I need to get this fixed, and use the time for meditation and exercise, would definetly help with the practice and general sense of well-being. I need to get the practice up now. Lazyness is no excuse anymore, although a hindrance, which I will intent to not let me slip, especially during sittings. This room I moved into has crazy noises nearby and smells like poo-pipi- is this also unsatisfactory, impermanent and no-self? (it obviously isn`t me though) :-D Vipassana-jokes are the best, can bet..
23/1 - 10:45 - 50m
getting unpatient till the end, that unpatientness carried (and often carries) over into the day, especially the immediate period after sittings. especially when I`m occupied with thoughts like "how long, I hope it ends soon" - will go to breath when something like this occurs the next time, and will get a peaceful, stable mind before leaving the sitting, and not some unpatient "gotta get somewhere"-motive-impulse-thingy - could also be my expectation that I should somehow feel centered and peaceful after a sitting and when I`m not I blame the sitting "wooahh"
23/1 - not possible meditating after 1 pm until next day
24/1 - sat longer at the beach meditating in the midday/afternoon, didn`t take track of time, did good (as in, it did good to meditate)
24/1 - 20:00 - 49 minutes
got quite hard till the end, body very heavy, getting ultra tired, often almost falling away sleeping, when minute 49 was ticking I decided to sleep right away because it felt I`d be gone within a minute - without knowing it was only under one minute left of course - didn`t fall asleep as fast as I thought though (hadn`t slept the night before, very tired, only few hours in late morning)
25/1 - small meditation around midday
25/1 - around 17:00 at the beach- 40 minutes
Intented to do 50 minutes but it got really windy and sun was about to .. wow two excuses, thats one more than it needs! No, it was really getting uncomfortably windy and I went home to take a shower. Meditation was comfortable, drifted here and then, but with awareness, which could partly be brought back to breath or body or both, like I never drifted far off or forgot to remain attentive - in that sense, "drift off" may be an inaccurate formulation. Note: was quite a joyful sitting, in the sense that it was very positive, enthusiastic, the engagement in practicing itself as well as the attitute of thoughts that were comming up, very positive, thoughts felt intuitive, fresh and right, not repetitive, senseless and negative or compulsive, rather inspiring session all in all. as if one would imagine a sitting only full of doubts and fears, this was quite the oppositve, wasn`t to say that sensations weren`t unpleasent at times or so, still i note, sitting in the sand is much more comfortable, because it melts with your ass to provide comfortably good seating - not too hard, nor too soft. (marketing idea: small sandbox for at home to meditate. better than a cushion :O! ). I actually want to establish a habit of waking up early, and use that time for meditation, like 2 hours every morning or such. I feel this would do me enormous good, but waking up early hasn`t worked so far (no matter for what reason). I will try the "bucket of cold water above my head" alarm clock, because the trick of that is: if you want to hit the "snoose" button, you gotta stand up refill the water..!.. "that`s totally gonna work". Meditationjournal abuse to silly jokes.. ending it now sorry.
26/1 - around 14:00 - 50m
26/1 - around 19:10 - 30m anapana, short break, then 35 or 40m vipassana
The last meditation felt kind of rushed (however one could "rush" a set amount of time anyway). I went to a party after with LSD, and got home 4:30 or something and got to sleep later from roughly 7 to 10 am or something. This 27/1 day I didn`t really think about sitting, neither on the 28/1, it become to feel like an obligation anyway, like something I have to do, or have to force myself to do, or tell myself I should be doing. Also not having a regular schedule for sittings (obviously) kind of emphatizes this to me even more, as I feel like and often find myself telling me "I have to put an hour sitting into the schedule", and then mostly "getting through it", while most beneficial would be after waking up, or shortly after, especially to gain the momentuum right from morning and not "when I feel like it", or simply "checking to sit 2 times at any time a day", as if it was about the sitting only - which it is not, of course. Anyway, I`m not entirely dissatisfied with how the last two days went, I had a good night dancing, could reflect on some things, and not sitting doesn`t mean I`m not practicing or being unmindful - sometimes strikes me also that I`m sometimes more at ease when not having meditated, and less self-conscious ; sometimes it`s the other way around, also, so I guess it is how it is at times. Now to today:
29/1 - 19:35 - roughly 40 minutes
Sitting mixed with being uncalm and being calm, restless and restfull. Mostly breath as object, sometimes bodily awareness, but not specifically the "from head to neck to shoulder" approach.
30/1 - sometime late - roughly 15-20 minutes
31/1 - 15:20 - 55m
This sitting was a sitting of determination. I chose to sit the full duration, no matter what. I would not react to impulses, such as wanting to get up, to move, to do something else, would do my best at all times despite distractions, because I felt a little bit fed up with not being men enough to stick to doing something consistently that I know does me enourmous good if I`d approach it with the right mindset of determination, right effort and knowledge of what I`m doing, and how I`m doing, and then just doing it, to my surprise, by doing exactly this, when the bell rang, I could have sat another hour. I want this same decisivness all around, and do my best, knowing that my best will wary every day, but decide to do it.
31/1 - 19:45 - 25m
Intented to sit 55m, but felt not good at all and it didn`t feel good to keep going. Later turned out that my stomach is kind of upset, as if my stomach was cola, and what I have eaten was mentos.. had to vomit several times and it turned out to be just so. Drinking some water with natron to bring back balance helped some as well as forcing it all out.. Mindfulness with Stomachfulness, ow no, doesn´t go good.
1/2 - 16:30 - turned out I kept vomiting all night, up to the point I could hardely breath because of the contractions in my stomach, up to this point. I will recover before doing sitting, as I can barely keep water inside for long, still, and feel miserable. "This is india" they probably say. "This is friked up" I say, so, in conclusion, "India is friked up"?






to be or not to be - one hardly notices the subtlety

Vivek

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2016, 11:45:27 AM »
Quote
31/1 - 15:20 - 55m
This sitting was a sitting of determination. I chose to sit the full duration, no matter what. I would not react to impulses, such as wanting to get up, to move, to do something else, would do my best at all times despite distractions, because I felt a little bit fed up with not being men enough to stick to doing something consistently that I know does me enourmous good if I`d approach it with the right mindset of determination, right effort and knowledge of what I`m doing, and how I`m doing, and then just doing it, to my surprise, by doing exactly this, when the bell rang, I could have sat another hour. I want this same decisivness all around, and do my best, knowing that my best will wary every day, but decide to do it.
That's really great!! Congratulations on completing the Aditthan sitting. May you find the determination and diligence to continue sitting this way.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2016, 11:28:41 PM »
:-) Oddly enough, it is just then when one remembers back the periods when one really had benefits and could observe change happening through daily consistent practice. I believe that the weekly group sittings (twice a week) for one hour gave me the needed .. power - for the lack of a better word, like a reinforcement, and thats been missing since I'm traveling here in india. Been a good ezperience to cognize that I can actually do it on my own - if I really wanted to. Been a good learning experience so far, despite - but probably due to the fails, and the trying agains. Sharing a journal with sangha been helpful so far, because I feel at times I have to justify laziness and alike not only infront of myself - without guilt though! Very positive motivation, thanks for letting me share.

Metta (working on metta still though, by the way. Been much better in the past, like, much. As if it was actually there for more than a brief second at times.)
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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2016, 05:40:35 PM »
3/2 - 14:55 - 50m
Feel better, but not 100% fit. This sitting was quite diverse, starting with good concentration, which kept carrying itself throughout the sitting, during the middle/almost end I simply enjoyed the center of tranquility and the noises of singing birds,traffic, and anything just as it was. Kept getting harder by then, couldn`t quite get the focused concentration back and stable, faced some impulses; when I knew it was about 45/50m I did short metta and stood up. 5 minutes before I intented, which had been 55m; during the middle at around minute 25 or something I got some backpains and stuff, when I went into it, my back and any area I would put my attention onto would straighten-up and stabilize, my body was utterly relaxed, so getting my feets into full lotus position wasn`t unpleasent at all (which I did after straightening up, smoothly), because there felt to be less inner tensions basically. stomach seems a bit nervous still, he`ll get some orange juice now
4-6/2
Why didn`t I sit, well there is no excuse really. Been laid back and working on some stuff in quite isolation and mostly when I`m not dealing with people I`m not minding not meditating so much, which is probably for the wrong reasons. Comfortability it is probably, most definetly even. Anyway, I have forgiven myself already
7/2 - 14:00 - 50m
This sitting was strange. After 2 minutes, up to minute 5 or something, I could see `myself`as a whole - as in - the way you`d look at a table, I`d look at myself. All the thoughts and different emotions and themes present at this moment, not taken as each of them but in a symphonie that I would - by observe detachedly - simply "listen" to; e.g., when this experience ended, I did again see thought as thought, each as seperate, as comming, then going then another one comming, then here`s a sensation, theres a sensation, every sensation distinct and on its own. During this experience it was as if I looked at it as a whole - like you`d look at a table or something outside - but instead you look inside. To be honest, this was quite a psychedelic experience that you`d maybe have during a LSD or so experience: I felt quite familiar and comfortable (thanks to my experiences with psychedelics, this allowed me to feel very "at home" and to explore this experience), still it was unusually clear; I could see directly how I am subject to the manifestation of all this sum of inside that is happening in this very moment to moment, how it`s changing every moment but at the same time the theme of it is not necasserily changing - or just slowly. It`s not like I am angry in this moment, then sad, then happy; you can be happy for more than a moment, it stays steady, YET it is changing all the time; it was moving yet steady; so I directly saw how I was (before I had seen it as it is in this particular way/perspective) subject to this current state of being (as to describe the sum of all that`s "me", as much as the sum of the parts of the table are the table", and see me as a WHOLE and how I`m subject to that - as in, this is me in this moment, it is just happening. I`m just happening, and to what is happening that is me. I have no control, I am simply subject to myself). After these few minutes or something it subsided, and I could again see thought as thought, quite not-interrelated, sensansion distinct from another sensation (I mean I could see that before too, but the difference now being that I see the single sensations and thoughts etc. without it`s interrelation to the sum of all which is me and without myself being subject to myself in this matter. I mean, we don`t create shit. It`s all flowing, it simply is. I`m not going to start a "we have no free will" discussion here though, because we can surely direct the flow. We are the "intent" so to speak, or - intent is just another mechanism of the sum, or a result of the "sum" that is me/this very experience. Whatever :-P We being "intent" itself sounds good though, poetically. It gives us this one last freedom - to choose, to intent.). It`s hard to explain; this experience also led me to remember how meditation is a tool for rising ones awareness and reach higher states of perception, which can be sustained throughout the day by continoous practice, creating a state of "heightened awareness", which, after some time, would become normal, and if it`d be stopped (the sustatining by practicing consistently), it would subside - you would notice a gap, a difference, a CONTRAST, until what is "normal" to you changes again. I`m writing this because this made me realize kind of how - as I did in the past - when you would practice for some time regularly for 1,5-2 hours daily and see change happen, and you stop, notice contrast but as time goes by, you`d forget most about it, because what has become "normal" back then is again replaced by another "normal", by repetition, day by day (which is, simply repeating to not meditate, for that instance). It is as if we forget the magic of being a child, by repeatetly being adult, until we forget this state of being totally, but with intention and knowing this, we can create whatever "normal" we want - because "normal" is just the thing one is used to, by getting used to something is simply dependent on what we are experiencing or forcing ourselves to experience. To be happy, for example, to be something normal, we simply have to remind ourselves to be happy repetitively, until it becomes normal. Same with everything else. Wow I guess I just discovered the magic of repetition? On that note, I decided it would be a good idea to add at the end of each sitting five minutes of actively smiling and being happy and loved. I have done it one minute with some very positive experience, so I think I will try this Metta-version of my own and see how it goes for a while, like, repeatetly ;-P For that reason, give me a smile, and smile whenever you think of it. I have added it to my practice (e.g. when I`m sitting in coffeeshop waiting for my tea, instead of being present and not distracting myself or something, I smile also. It will loosen up the areas around the eyes and have some other positive effects - you may even get other people to smile when they happen to look your direction, just by sitting there happily smiling :-) it`s a good practice. Smile all day, relentlessly :-D Smileterrorists we gotta be. No. Matter. What.
7/2 - I think another sitting roughly 40 minutes or something, not sure
8/2 - didn`t write down either, two sittings, one 50 minutes, another I think a bit less, didn`t make it through.
9/2 - didn`t write down either, two sittings each 40-50 minutes
At one of these days I meditated at the beach and when I finished and would open my eyes, I would realize just how much damn water there is in this bathtube called ocean. Like, god damn thats some huge amount just lying down there to the below due to gravity, floating to the ground; it hit me hard -seeing- it directly as this huge loads. Like wow. being amazed.
10/2 - 12:20 - about 40 minutes. A bit hard and doubtful, might have to do with last night though, a bit exhausted. I`m glad I sat though because usually after a LSD trip I don`t necessarily do, will definetly have a longer break from that though now, made me recognize to start giving more importance to what I eat, drink and exercising again (especially cut out sugar again) - it just hyperstimulates my brain and this makes me function not so good; eating fruits did me wonder today, as well as putting my phone on flight mode when not needed - and away from me (wow, this felt huge), which I will do during meditation now too. Overall insightful; made me realize the importance of meditation again, from a different angle, but doing it all is another thing.
10/2 - 20:30 - 30 minutes
Intented to do 50 minutes - but made it roughly to 30, often felt like quitting and giving up, bad concentration, few times became good and stable but else - although I kept pushing many times, got me a pillow because of back pain (which didn`t go away), and when I gave up I was surprised it was only 30 minutes, at all. Addhitana is tired and it`s been now 24 hours since LSD intake, which should not be an excuse but be taken into consideration (afterglow effects, no sleep, overall draining). Will try next day again with full enthusiasm and leave this tool aside again until more time (than last time) has passed and most of the stuff is implemented (routine of many fruits,veggs,nuts, etc.; daily exercise and meditation; taking responsibility for my well being and caring.)
11/2 - 12:00 - 50 minutes
11/2 - 21:20 - 25 minutes
Did only half of what I wanted but went to sleep instead
12/2 - 12:00 - 40 minutes
Did Anapana only, did 10 minutes less than intented. Had short glimpses of joy during meditation and calm, the rest was rather fizzi-fuzzy.
12/2 - 21:05 - 45 minutes
Did switch between Anapana and Vipassana a lot, tried to stay as aware and equanimous as possible- sensations were quite the same with pains from sitting, but with more equanimity it was more bearable and OK, but - anyway. I had some talk with friend today regarding the practice and also metta (which made me give more importance to practicing metta again after every sitting because developing compassion which I didn`t quite understand until my talk today; actually we texted but anyway. More clarity now.); my focus is "so lala" which means a long "nyaaa.." with head-wobbling; I guess I know it ain`t no estimation of progress or so but I can`t get into the phenomen which some call "the watcher"; or maybe I`m so used to switching that I don`t particularily recognize when I`m observant and when I`m "involved" - or "too involved" as there being no discernment, no gap of watching. Guess what I`m trying to get down here is that the practice takes quite some effort and I can`t get quite into "sustainable", which I would characterize the experience of "the watcher"; because there is sustained - to an efficient degree - concentration, calm and peace; which could be linked to first Jhana state; maybe I need more practice of concentration. Having 3 sittings a day did have this glorious impact in the past; also I still didn`t manage to reduce amount of sleeping and eventually use the won time for practice; I`m still working on it though, but there never seems to be an initiative to choose "getting up doing work" over comfortablity lying in sleep; maybe I should check my attitude regarding it as "work to do"; more rapture/joy someone? Being utterly attentive and quite equanimous -is- indeed rapturious and joyful (which belongs to or near the "watcher" phenomen and is described as such) - if I could only get there (crave someone?). Note: Periods of "not getting through the 50-60 minutes of sittings" I have had several times already and they come like in waves. I think addhitana alone doesn`t do it most of the time, maybe it does though. Also the "having two sittings a day" builds kind of the false impression in me that that`s the period to practice and when I "get it done" I`m done for the day (or until next sitting) which seems to (the mindset) diminish the results - because it diminishes the practice and I sometimes find myself being more mindful of the practice during days that I did -not- sit. Paradoxically, when I would sit more (like 3 times a day), it did help immensely to stay focused and mindful also during the rest of the day. Makes me wonder. Maybe having not sat makes me guilty so I am much more intentious during the day, while having sat my sitting reliefs me of that obligation, which then again places wrong value on the sitting in terms of purpose and intent, not? Like, even calling it as an "obligation" seems so wrong, but it seems to be such in my mind often, especially when I`m not "in the mood" which in itself is a sign of lack of attentiveness and equanimity. When I had periods where I did sit 3 times a day almost religiously and effortlessly, it was something totally different and more so a continoous practice - hence more or less effortless I suppose, and more joyful and sustained. Being the only one nearby doing this though makes it hard for me to get enough priority for that, because it doesn`t seem to be everyone elses priority to do something like that obviously; I know of none. Self-motivation must succeed over doubt continously, and only practice can reinforce self-motivation and succeed over doubt paradoxically, and since I alllways come back to practice after periods of doubt and refusal, it should to some degree diminish intellectual doubt at some point, shouldn`t it?
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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2016, 05:44:50 PM »
(Post was too long hence split into two posts)


13/2 - 13:00 - 55 Minutes with Metta
I wanted to write down something about this sitting, didn`t feel like it after the session and don`t quite know now.. ah yes. when the moment came where I would usually quit, I instead observed feelings and many tensions in the body, my breath was very short and fast, and it subsided quickly together with the impulse to stop; I also came to "take all experience as equal" throughout the day as well and also all experiences along the rest of the sitting. sometimes I forget that the practice is about seeing everything as equally important and developing the right focus and attitude towards them, and sometimes instead of being a tool to do so (the experiences), they hindrance me to do so, which is of course funny because they can be both at the same time - a door for right practice and for whatever the other thing is that one`s doing when not noting sensations as what they are but reacting :-) and we get so lost in our own agigation and misery it`s not even funny
13/2 - 24:00 - 55 Minutes with Metta
Kept going seeing all experiences as equal, what I refered to the watcher is pretty close to how they describe the second Jhana state, but since it happens during insight practice and is being different in its content, like keep going observing sensations as equal in the sense that they are all subject to change and impermanent, and being equanimous, quite untouched by the experiences themselves and remainingly peaceful, with seemingly little or no/least effort at all. at some point it just happens and it mostly did after 40-45 minutes of effortful practice (back in past periods of disciplined sittings). just noting; also metta was enjoyable, could have gone on wishing good things and feeling them as good as I do, as they feel honest and come as they are and flow. will keep on practicing (obviously) and not leave out a sitting, because leaving out a sitting is reacting to changing phenomena in an aversive manner, which per se is the opposite of vipassana meditation, so leaving out the sitting is like a double-not-practicing!
14/2 - 6:00 - 49m
did I manage to get up early for meditation? No, I just didn`t go to sleep. Deep tiredness did overcome me one minute before end funnily (I thought it was around minute 20-30 though! funnily too), so I slept some hours then. missed metta though
14/2 - 24:20 - 24-25m
This was quite the opposite. Didn`t feel like this less but it was only 24-25 minutes. really tired. concentration is good, equanimity is flacky like a flame, there not there there not there, as unstable as the breath and as fragile as porzellan - yet it is there! and not. There and not, there and not. This is extremely odd when in interaction with others, one moment you`re grummy, the next second you`re perfectly fine and smiling, the next moment you not until the very next you back stably focused again. Like a flackering flame, but hey, it`s been only the first or second day since I could maintain "all exerience is equal" for full duration of sittings and transfer it into the day between sittings, always with breath or/and sensations, although maybe not always equanimous (as described as as flacky as a flame. Ever watched a flame? It`s dancing like that.). Constant effort, constant awareness. When comming home one`s quite eager to sit to reload the awareness-tank, because the more time passes, the more effort it takes to remain equanimous and all, and feeling eagerness to sit, thats a good sign, not? Yet there`s still the portion of me that fuels me into distraction and forgetting rather than constant remembering, so it`s never "all happy to sit" and I`m sure it never will be, but the awareness and equanimity of and with this impulse will increase and hence its strengh and impact will decrease from that of a comet to that of a water drop, becoming a refreshment for ones practice rather than a burdensome hindrance. Like "hey, resistance to sitting, what a good opportunity to practice equanimity!". Ain`t that a good comparrisson? Metta felt good also, and I can see how this can develop into a skill to be used at hand when needed, just as concentration and equanimity do. The immediate times after sittings I can see myself being more kind of a person and also more open and heart-centered. This decreases as day passes by. Impermanence, eh? Although meditation has not made me the utterly happy and loving/full of love person at all times yet, it has shown me degrees of living where consuming any kind of drug has become a disturbance to my normal state of being. Go try describe someone how MDMA/Extacy is disturbing you and how you can`t enjoy it as you used to.. you`ll sound pathetic, been there tried that. When you touch real happiness and love with clarity, it just can`t give you; oddly enough that one forgets this every time one stops to practice regularly; guess that`s how fragile the path and the way is, thats how fragile meditation is, it has to be treated softly and careful, as if it could scatter at any moment. Because it can. It`s the least addictive drug there is, because if you stop taking it, all the symptoms be gone. It`s as you stop running and hence all movement stops. Does -that- make sense at all? I think it does to me atleast. Also this sitting I could sense sensations quite clear, but not maintain equanimous at all always. But distinctive awareness. You fly only so high with one wing though. Probably repeating myself, but mentioning because during the day my concentration been good also, so when I`m unequanimous but my concentration is good - how do I get equanimous again? The state of unequanimity and discomfort is sometimes really overwhelming as to smile and be content with every experience moment to moment. OK nvm I will keep going and practice will self-correct. It does, it always does.
15/2 - 12:40 - 55m
Good sitting. Every sitting that is sat is a good sitting, whether one makes errors or applies that which one has learned from them. That and during the day also I could (oh well good that I could lol) reflect on some things Jiddu K. Murti said, being "Meditation is not a process of learning how to meditate; it is the very inquiry into what is meditation. To inquire into what is meditation, the mind must free
itself from what it has learnt about meditation, and the freeing of the mind from what it has learnt is the beginning of meditation." among others. E.g. meditation is not a means to an end. It is both the means and the end, which I found wonderful.
15/2 - 23:00 - 28-29m
Either it took quite some effort to observe, or the content of observation was exhaustion. Either way, I took it as a sign to rest (although I did not go to sleep right after, in fact I`m still awake 1:45 now, having done a few exercises and then kept on drawing on a painting.). My concentration wasn`t quite bad or so really, just tired and willpower been also exhausted (not exhausted enough to not finnish my drawing today lol). We had that already nailed down though haha. Did also short metta, but it turned to be really short, same reason. On evenings it`s often been harder to push through resistances I noticed (especially when the mind`s quite agigated, which is not the case most of the time in mornings and needs to be tamed. Tame! Sounds so forceful. Let`s say calmed.). Okay enough excuses, do again tomorow.
16/2 - 12:40 - 45m with metta
At some point I had thoughts like "its enough etc." and then I thought something like a thought that inherently questioned this thought and the accompanied emotions and impulses, but instead of finnishing that thought I just got "I got to..", the thought stopped and I became silent and present to bodily awareness again. Thoughts kept going at that point, but still, felt like writing it down. Because usually we are like glue to thoughts, and this subsided more recently the past sittings, which I admire to consistency (without expecting this always being the case anyway of course). Less overall involvement and more space noticeable. I noticed also how easily my attention gets pulled. Its really a pulling. Like someone enters the restaurant etc. and my attention goes to others. THis annoyed me since long but got very noticeable lately. I think by giving most importnce to what oneself is doing, you are honoring yourself, and by doing the other way around or getting pulled, you are honoring someone else, the other over yourself. I practice especially when this happens more intentious self-awareness of my actions, my sitting, my breathing, my eating, reading, gestures, thoughts, feelings. etc.

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2016, 11:09:35 AM »
16/2 - 23:30 - 45m with metta
Got massive electric jolts and flow in upper leg until the tips of the toes while going to bottom, like the letters and numbers in the matrix movie flowing down, when I wanted to move to top and go through all the body I noticed craving, and I was aware that craving will not be supportive of that at all, so instead of going to the top of the head and then through all the body which would have been, would it have been judged, a pleasent experience, I went to the craving instead, and that turned out to be massive heartrate, uncircular breathing (as if one needed to get breath badly) and other unpleasant symptoms, which made me think how bad the act of craving is actually for us, in what kind of reaction it sends our body, it`s not even funny. It subsided quickly by putting my attention towards it, as did the electric jolts, but none of my business; the craving reaction came before my awareness of it as well with the awareness that craving is there which in turn will not make me succeed (in terms of seeing this experience equanimously, attentively, as it is, as it comes, stays, and goes, remaining unattached to it), hence the decision to direct attention to craving instead, which, in my books, is an act of equanimity in spite of pleasant sensations and the craving towards it. On the low side, I probably ended 5 minutes earlier because I hardly ever intent a 45 minutes sitting but 50 or 55 minutes, so I guess it`s an even sitting. :-D
17/2 - 13:30 - 50m
Got nervous a bit in mid/near end, unpatient, but got through that.  I need to learn to observe the phenomen of unpatience instead of getting unpatient, which means, being totally involved in and with that state of mind.
17/2 - 23:00 - 45-50m, I forgot to write that down but I definetly didn`t miss this sitting, would have noticed (see next day)
18/2 - 9:15 - 30m
got to stand up earlier but was quite tough as I went to sleep 3-4 a.m., I snoozed, when time for meditation come I decided to practice 15 minutes while lying (I`m not sure how much of that turned out to be practice and how much be sleeping, I`m sure it`s quite equal though) and the rest formal sitting practice. Nothing special to say. Awareness of things, comes and goes, calm, awareness, and repeat at infinitum. :-D
18/2 - came home from tattooing at around 1 night, sat down after a shower but was about 8 minutes only and went to bed after, really tired. I want to sit anyway despite such circumstances, even if I fall asleep during sitting, because next day:
19/2 - 13:00 - 53m
it was quite hard to sit, with lots of resistance, and less equanimity to push through easily, but I knew not sitting is worser than pushing myself to sit now. Probably because yesterday was exhausting and I did -not- put in effort to focus myself enough back in the evening and hence kind of broke the continuity and replaced by sluggishness a bit. Felt this today, which I take as a good sign of the continuity and momentuum of practicing. When I sat down (remembering the saying "meditation is not a means to an end, it`s both the means and the end), it didn`t -realllyy- feel like the later, but strongly like a means to an end. By the middle of the sitting, means and end got established again with a calm and more sensitive mind to the present moment, although I did stand up shortly for 2-3 times and funnily got down 2-3 decisions during that sitting, impulsively, they just came (as in where I`m going to travel the next 2 months, where my creative energy will be flowing to (projects, drawing, idea), and 1-2 other. Was handled fast, sat down as fast again as I got up and continued (not to say that these breaks weren`t a continuation by themselves, shouldn`t become the norm though). Sitting was something different, which I welcome. Never know what`s gonna happen, I like that. Should keep me alert and attentive. Feeling good to go and kinda re-established again and take this as a lesson to not miss my sittings, not even if I fall asleep half death. Those 50 minutes sitting will do me more good than any 50 minutes of sleep, I will increase to 55-60 minutes sittings though in the nearer future (will be serving 20 days on two courses in about two weeks and then go to nepal for a 14 days retreat in Lumbini Panditarama, Vipassana technique different than Goenkas; looking forward to driving a different car on this road of living) and after that I think 60 minutes should be easily implemented, not to say that it would be too bothersome to implement them now as well, but I`m feeling confident with my 50 minutes. It gives me a sense of "I can do THAT" when I sit and pushing through the 40-45 minutes is easier than with 55-60 minutes. Taking the easy path, am I?
19/2 - can`t remember evening sitting when or how long
20/2 - not quite sure, I think one sitting longer, another very short rather refreshment than sitting
21/2 - 25m on afternoon, not sure morning, short refreshment only maybe
21/2 - 23:00 - 25m
22-23/2 - did one/two sittings every day, funnily I ended up standing up at minute 25/26 every time (and the days before too). Always started calm and was able to do vipassana after some minutes, but got very stormy at that time (minte 20+) and it kind of blew me away obviously. very hard to even focus, like it was washed away - the act of meditation. And I was just sitting there basically in a storm trying to catch my breath :-P
I got some pot on 20th feb 3 days earlier, oddly enough I kind of, in retrospective, still have that impulse sometimes to go for it - not always though, and I asked only for a small piece for one joint but my mate gave me the big one of course.. so I usually end up binging (in retrospective) to kind of numb myself; with the difference being that (what another friend put into nice words as following) there`s been a shift from content to context, so binging ain`t work anyway, that impulse to numb myself is still there obviously; my friend`s gonna fly back the next days again and said he would leave me the rest of his marihuana because he can`t take it with him, I shall use it or give it to anyone else. I think I will give it someone esle, although even while writing there`s this small voice opening the possibility to not do that and "enjoy last one time", "you could smoke it" etc., but I can tell I`m gonna end up binging it, still surrounded by context, unimpressed by the content and as Goenka says "start again" when I smoked it all. I don`t wanna start again either - I, despite that, kept sitting every day the last few days. It was often hard, strangely the first 20 minutes weren`t hard at all, it was after that when it hit me always and I couldn`t sit through it and ended always few minutes later (always intented to sit 50m with metta!). Until today 24 which comes now
24/2 - 11:00 - 50 minutes and metta
Usual quiet and "easy practice" the first 25 minutes, almost enjoyable, with all the noises of the surroundings and outside and smells entering my awareness as time passed by more better, which subsided a while after when it got stormy and the meditation kind of fall off from me like a veil of dust, but I pushed through and stayed with breathing until the very end and did some metta after on. I feel centered now, an unmotivated contentness, just sitting, breathing, writing, hearing the birds and cars driving by, strangely the water is dropping somewhere in the toilete or something like "tip tip tip" and you hear it all lol but it`s perfectly fine as it is, guess that`s the practice; and it´s - just reminded me of something that I came to realize the past days; after having smoked but still cared about the practice is that this actually brought me to break up the relationship with my dad, because the first time I noticed something akin to what I did the past days was when I came shortly after a retreat to visit my dad (which I did only saw every few months anyway), it was vey hard to relate to him, and to even relate to him, I had to numb myself down, and we ended up smoking some pot and then communication was as it always been (atleast for some time), I couldn`t even tell him about my experience even if I wanted to.. no way to relate to that. And I would tell him not to supress (often times, regarding my sister etc., to call her etc.) and deal with stuff -now-, and now I find myself with the same tendency to numb myself, repress my emotions to not deal with them or having to feel, which doesn`t solve anything but only puts another date on having to do that. Which seems comfortable, but I don`t want to overanalyze that now. Just wanted to write down that I kind of got unpleasantly aware of that, of what I`m doing. Insight practice, brings things from in sight into sight, so you can see it, not? I mean I got aware of that earlier I guess too, but it didn`t really hit me as hard like "look, look what you`re doing" as this time around. When I sat today, when it got stormy and I pushed, or even before that shortly, I had doubts comming up regarding the practice, the same doubts that I dealt with for soooome time from november-januar or something (just subsided more recently with the continuity and applied discipline), with the same force I could feel that it always overcome me back in these months, but I doubted the doubts immediatly because how obvious it was at that moment that what I would do instead is indeed doubtful and that the practice is not leading "nowhere" and I`m not wasting my time but doing the right thing and I`m doing it anyway because it needs to be done. I think this happened just before I came to realize my tendency to numb myself and my behaviour I just wrote about. Maybe that was the storm all about I was escaping the past days always at the same time? In a week I`ll be serving for 20 days and then have a retreat myself, an opportunity to further strenghten the goods and diminish the bad influences and qualities in my life, but it will come as it comes anyway, I will do the investigation, what comes out of that (or not) is non of my business.
24/2 - 23:15 - 40m
Went to bed at minute 40 because I was sooo tired and fell asleep within a few minutes.
25/2 - 12:00 - 45m
regular sitting. a little distracted I often was, not quite following the technique "how I should practice", but relaxing, feeling the whole body, dwelling in the awareness, moving to hands, feet, all body, then just parts, accompanied with relaxing the tensions there (by default, not by intent). felt also a little lazy to do the "ultra focused session" as usual (which yields the best results though, because it ain`t lazy practice :-P). Still feeling tired though - may be contributed to me taking a jew sips of a hash-joint yesterday evening from some guy in the restaurant who sat next to me - it definetly helped with the pains from my tattoo that usually kept me from falling asleep the last days; that slugginesh is very unwelcomed side-effect though. LIIIFEEE-force, ain`t so present lol. Still better than binging that stuff, but ain`t gotta worth it anyway despite getting the sleep. practiced anyway "proudance"
25/2 - 23:30 - 25m
26/2 - 11:00 - 55m with metta
Had some disliking /urge to move out of meditation in the middle / near the end, felt quite effortful and not joyful, near closure relaxation into everything came and everything came to relax, the sounds of outside came into awareness and everything opened up, as if it had never been any other way :-P Good that I didn`t give in and kept going. "Level up in persistence and closure, you have only 97 levels to go". My persistamon pokemon is growing strong ;-) lvl 3 good enough for now, as long es the enemy`s only lvl 4. manageable.
26/2 - 14:45 - 35m
26/2 - 00:15 - 25m

27/2 until 1/3
Had sittings that I don`t remember, spent 2-3 days in the train going 1650km northeast to varanasi for the vipassana service. Met some german guys on the train, had a great deal of fun, I ended up smoking hasch with them, and drinking lots of indian chai (milk tea with sugar), which kind of made me hyperactive (too much sugar, 15 cups per day). Didn`t have sittings per se, but kept awareness of bodily sensations and breath at all times; anyway, here comes the next part
2/3 to 13/3 - giving service on a 10 day vipassana retreat
2/3 - Day 0 - arrived quite sleepy in the afternoon, didn`t sleep much due to being in the train for 2-3 days, drining lots of chai with sugar, and generally sleepy due to the hasch I guess
Day 1 - not much to do on the course, so I had time to sit 6 hours that day in total between some small obligations in the kitchen and playing the discourse. I went to the course very enthusiastic, but by day one after some meditation I got some biiig doubt, and at the end of the day, I became aware of me being enthusiastic at first, and then being doubtful, and kind of just.. being aware of these two states and how they changed to eachother and just saw it as it is.
Day 2 - again not much to do (not much to do all the retreat anyway) - again sat 4-5 hours total. I started to become really depressive, like really anti-life, and I just would lie in bed in between my obligations and the meditation, somewhat still meditating and resting, not asleep, but just depressive and no thirst for life of anything -at all-. This was coupled with a lot of fears of the future, which would get very intense, present and disturbing. like, I`d think of suicide being a relief
Day 3-5 - 3-4 hours daily it stayd like that for this period; I think (I write this in retrospective, one week after the service) on day 5 I started to draw how I felt, like intuitively, just as I felt it. it turned out good, and it would symbolize insanity, hopelessness, lostness, fear etc.
Day 6 - about at this time it got quite better, as if it had fallen off of me, everything became lighter again, more tranquill, and silent; I added "hope" to the painting, symbolising a deep pit, with crooked ladders that are more like just a long piece of wood and less real ladders, like, harder to climb, but still, it would symbolize hope.
Day 7-10 - the depressive period was gone, and I couldn`t relate so much to some parts of the painting anymore. I instead added Joy, Laughter, love to the picture. It`s not finished yet, it needs colour (which I hadn`t at the time), but I knew what color it would have later on to transmit the feeling of the different states of being more better (funnily, the colors I chose fit to the mental states, according to google. Like depression has this color, etc.). On day 7 or 8 it got also quite clear what I want to do (again), and where I want to invest my energy, how I want to act when I come back after traveling and stuff like that, that I`d like to lessen distractions, work on some things that are important to me etc. I put a moment of clarity on paper into words.
Day 11 - I fear`d this day a bit, because I felt this urge to get myself high and dumped down again after the retreat, so I had not to face the challenges I would set myself, or have to face anyway, although I`d know that it was just a distraction, and not a solution. anyway, I met some german guys on the last day who were sitting their first course, and we spent the next days in varanasi, I was veery busy the next 5 days, met a lot of people, and really only had time to myself during the two hours I would sit for meditation each day. which is:
13/3 to 18/3: 2 hours each day. Like 50 minutes twice a day. The two guys from the course would join me on the sitting, which was strong for me and helped my practice, sitting together in the hostel etc. One guy left one day after, and the other guy shortened his sittings every day by a bit because he lost concentration, gave in to impulses etc. (first retreat, didn`t meditate before ever etc.). I sat anyway; he also said he hadn`t the confidence to sit with people around (we were in a dormitory). I sat anyway. Some people were quite nice, and when they saw me meditating when they came in, would do everything slowly and silently, whisper etc. Some would just behave normaly. Sometimes I felt comfortable (like when they whispered) and accepted, sometimes I would face insecurities/malaise, but would sit with that and it eventually passed away. Part of the practice. Now, today, I feel good. I don`t like to smoke, looking forward to my 14 day vipassana retreat in lumbini starting on 22/3 where I will explore a different approach than the goenkas. The practice stays the same though I`m sure of that
to be or not to be - one hardly notices the subtlety

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2016, 09:28:36 AM »
19/3: two sittins, 25-35 each during the day, and short sitting in the night. I met a girl the past days who gifted me mutual understanding, which is the gift of being understood, and that day we came close sexually as well. She had a boyfriend and we just met as travelers, so it took some time to get to that point. I had no problems staying present during that day, I would only ask me if I would become attached to that and what would happen to these enourmous joymous moments when they were over.
20/3 - 8:10 - bit more than 45 minutes
I had a strong urge to sit and face eventual inner turmoilt before I go into the day. That girl left yesterday night to Nepal, and we probably won`t see again, and I can sense inner reaction to all that event, especially in my chest area. I can somewhat control, or, influence how attached I get to things through practice, but I can`t control falling into connection which one would call fall in love (atleast a bit). I left a book that I read yesterday at the end of a chapter (which was really fitting the other day and was about meaning in life. Book: Lessons of the dying). Todays chapter was about suffering. It basically told me what I had the urge to do myself already anyway. To understand suffering, to feel it, but not identify with it, and to learn from it. Also aware of the urge to let it pull me down a pit, but only if I`d identify with it too much, which I didn`t do yet and I don`t intent to. Rather, I did just that, feel it, be aware of it, and it`s a sweet pain - I rather have this pain, than not have had this experience, this bond at all. So, life is suffering, but is suffering bad? Who are we to judge suffering, which is inherent to the word, the understandig, but has anyone ever questioned whether it`s bad or good? I think most implications of "life is suffering" are wrong, and hence many conclusions, because they take it as a sad, bad, negative statement. But it`s just that, as it is. You can see life as suffering, and then try to escape from that very life, and hence from suffering, which the desire for nothingness kind of implies, isn`t it? (this is buddhism critic, as well as the desire to erase karma, free from rebirths and hence from suffering, find nibbana etc.). But life is suffering, and it`s pleasure, and it`s more. We are not to judge it and then come to conclusions too early, as I guess I did when reading about life, and suffering. I got a new perspective on suffering today I guess. Also interesting, I had breakfast, not too much, two eggs and 2 slices of toast with green tea, then I ate a banana, after half a banana I felt full, as in, I don`t need any more, but there was half the banana left. I ate it and something interesting happened: I ate more than I needed. The emotion I was feeling, would dull. My capability to feel and sense it clearly and as it is, would decrease. I would feel heavy, dull, I would not feel my suffering, but nor the joy. Just dull. I will take it as a learning experience, and not eat more than I feel I need, even if it means wasting half a banana (or eating it later) - especially when I`m in emotional and mental states that want to be felt and explored. I can still feel it though, and I`m sad today, as a fact - there is sadness. It coloured everything until now - the music feels sad, the food tastes sad, it renders everything according to how I feel. It`s interesting - you could easily get entangled in this. Some would ask, what is meditation? is it observing the breath? and then the bodily sensations? how could one explain to another that meditation seems to be this very lifely experience, and learning from it, without hiding from any one part, nor identifying too much with them. I will observe me being sad today then, with glimpses of bitter tasting moments of happiness. Sounds better than putting on Johnny Cash and singing together "I hurt myself today.. to see.. if I still feel.. buuuääääähhh". :-D
20/3 - 17:00 - little more than 45
Hardly any sustained focus for the first 20 minutes or something, my mind rotating a lot around that girl and the grief and thoughts, hopes, wishes etc., after 20 minutes got somewhat focused and stable and had a peaceful experience in the sense that I could observe things as they are, including my emotional pain. Also had a quite overwhelming intense experience related to that girl near the end that I couldn`t quite put into a box of phenomena, and I wouldn`t like to write it down because I`d have a hard time even getting it down to words. I just tried to let it happen and subside eventually and thats it.
21/3 - didn`t meditate yet (16:30) because I had to checkout,get breakfast and didn`t really find the time , met some nice people and spend the day with them until I went to the train, and now am on my way to Lumbini for my 14 day retreat which will start by tomorrow evening I suppose; I`ll get there maybe around midday, and well, maybe start right away? This was one of the few times that I`d actually -really- have missed meditation not becaues of excuse or lazyness, but out of circumstances, and I`d actually wanted it to be that I could have sit, and I want to sit now and meditate. I don`t want to relapse, in any way whatsoever, and part of that is religiously meditating, observing myself all the time, not just 6 days of the week. I might miss something important on the 7th day. Continuity is king.
22/3 to 25/3 (writing 22/3 to 8/4 in retrospective)
I`ve intented to stay 14 days in Lumbini until the 5th April, but I left after the third day. The practice was different - you`d alternate between sitting meditation where you`d observe your abdoman movement while breathing and note anything that`d come into awareness or distract as such (thought as thoughts, etc.), and walking you`d note "rising, moving, falling" when walking slooowly, and also note any sensations or predominant stuff comming into awareness. You`d do everything in slowmotion during the day, not only during walking meditation periods. Anyway; I had hard time observing e.g. emotions or thoughts as distant, as not me, as passing by, as unstatic etc. after the first day, I`d try my old practice and wow, the difference was so huge. By the third day I realized what I had already have with my old practice, and that the new approach felt like going back to kindergarden, and that I`d not in no way invest the same amount of energy just to get where I was with the other technique already, as they`d both eventually just yield the same benefits, it didn`t seem worth the effort at all. And it made me appreciate my progress so far in Goenka`s approach so much, like, so much. Experiencing the contrast made me go "w.o.w."; beside that, it`s been a monastery, and there were morning and evening prayers together and chantings, and people would bow down before buddha statue three times always. And I mean, for myself, I came to realize - also through the dhamma talks, where it was much about enlightnement, nibbana, and clinging to nothing else but the path - that this is not what I`m searching for, beside it just being - and this seems like a judgement from me, which is OK - another projection in the mind into the future, making meditation a means for enlightenment, but that`s not what I got tattood on my arm. Meditation is not a means to an end, it is both the means and the end. In that sense, I came to realize, and to step back from enlightenment, buddhism, the tradition, the belief involved, rebirth, the need for freeing ourselves of that etc., including these parts in the goenka traditions teachings. I picked them out, I practice for the practices sake, for the benefits here and now, for the insights here and now for my life, for my happiness, and my throughouter understanding of life and myself, as good as I can get to do that. I came to realize why buddhism is called a "religion", and that opened my eyes for atleast what I wanted - or not in that case. So I left politely on the third day, heading to kathmandu instead.
26/3-28/3
Long journey to kathmandu, arrived late, went to bed; sittings regular until 28/3 - 50 minutes twice a day, with the momentuum of the retreat (where I practiced my old approach after the second day, which helped me to not be attached to the predominant heartache and mind wandering to these moments so much at all, and just let it be, which was not possible starting the new approach). On 27th I met a girl I spend the next 10 days with, and on 28th I met a dude in hostel who also practiced vipassana and we came to sit together the next two days for daily sittings. Was really refreshing, and funny too, because after sitting I`d either say "damn that took long" and he nodingly agreed, and another sitting I was like "dang that was fast!" and he surprisedly agreed "so much!"; really fun how we shared the same subjective experience of time and degree of "difficulty" of sittings.
30-31/3 or something around these dates I moved to different hostel, my sittings became more unregular, 20-50 minutes twice a day, I spent all the time with that girl which was a fantastic and very intimate time that I enjoyed throughoutly, I took every moment to the fullest and used every opportunity to sit (which weren`t many), so I had to create opportunities to sit; although I sometimes was a bit slippery with my practice, I managed to not leave out sittings, eventhough they weren`t as long as they could have been. Seemed like a matter of priorities at the time. Went like this until 5th april. I didn`t have hard time continuing momentuum throughout this period at all though, as in, aware of breath and sensations continously, and equanimously, which  means, kinda relaxed.
5th April evening journey back to india, arrive on 7th April. Had no opportunity for sittings, arrived very exhausted, sat for 25 minutes, then took a nap. Today:
8/4 - 49 minutes (had to go to toilette) - not much problem getting "into", as I`ve not been "outo" much at all, despite missing silent sittings, because, I sit all the time with eyes open, in a sense, so, it`s been refreshing though, followed by some yoga, and I feel good again. To be continued.
9/4 and 10/4:
busy day, two sittings morning and evening between 20-50 minutes each. It felt harder to keep up the momentuum and also sit for full duration, especially because of tiredness, and so also during the day I felt less continuity, and continuity took more effort to sustain. Also felt quite weakened, today 11/4 I felt also sick and now taking a time off from everything and just recover my energie. Also feeling like vomiting. I feel good enough to meditate now, and will sit for some time. I feel more and more bad to not keep up continuity - bad in the sense that I miss the benefits of being meditative all day: being present, being aware. And when I miss a sitting, or can`t sit long enough, I feel the contrast of having missed it so much, and life becomes much more effortful. I like that change definetly, it makes meditation being a big self-motivator in itself. I have a hard time meditating for full 50 minutes when being totally exhausted and sleepy though. I usually end up sitting 10-30 minutes and then fall to bed sleeping immediatly. I`m trying not to feel bad for myself or as if I have "given up" or made "bad compromise" there.
to be or not to be - one hardly notices the subtlety

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2016, 03:49:54 PM »
Okay little update of a different kind now and maybe the last for a while:

I`ve been keeping up the daily practice more or less since I first started this project to kickstart a daily habit for real. I got back from my india journey 4 days ago and have been sitting daily anyway of course, not always managed a full 50-60 minutes but it is definitely habitual now and even occasionally when I have time I sit down for 10-30 minutes (depending on time available) and it feels natural, as it has become second nature, second skin and I keep caring for that skin so that it remains strong.

In that regard, I`ve come back here, back to obligations and many movements into "should" and "must do`s" in regards to work, study, apartment and stuff like that. And what I noticed, being back home, is a subtle difference. I am happy exactly where I are. I don`t feel there is anything to be added or taken away; what is going to happen will not add to my contentness. I have no need to run -anywhere- at all. Someone called it (funnily I came across that by accident) going from "deficiency awareness" which keeps most people driving for happiness to "being awareness", so you simply are happy (in a broad sense), and nothing to be done will necessarily add to that, and nothing to be not done or be failed at will necessarily take anything away. From a constant searching mode, restlessness, to finding I guess. Rest in being, kind of. I will keep on practicing.

Funnily, one could assume that this would kill all motivation to do anything at all, because, what to pursue, if not for happiness? It`s quite different. The motivation is different now. I am more motivated now than before, because It felt like a burden before - I didn`t feel content, and doing something didn`t necessarily mean that it will grant me contentness - there was still the possibility to fail and waste effort.  I will do things now not because I lack something or I need something out of it, but because I either deem it as 1) necessary (obligations) and do it smilingly, or as 2) interesting and worthwhile, or because it simply excites me to do that, or challenges me, or feels good to do. Whether I do it, or fail to do it, is not as much important. The outcome requires nothing at all - it`s doing for the sake of doing it, more or less. Yes, I`m not perfect yet, it takes constant (which is more or less ingrained through momentum) awareness of the present moment and it`s enoughness, and it`s nothingtobeaddedness, which could be translated as contented equanimity.

Funnily, as I started practicing for the sake of the practice itself after my short stay at the lumbini retreat, and stopped pursuing something out of it - happiness/no suffering, but moreover things like - enlightenment, end of suffering, or even nibbana (which wasn`t my goal at all anyway), or even pursuing the "way of the Buddha" - and with the gained momentum, I see my practice taking on a whole new level making me a in general much happier person. Because doing nothing fulfills me already with enough joy - for the moment. This may be object to change, as my general "unmotivated contentness" is also changing throughout the day - it does - but I`m coming back to it very fast, very often, and not leave it for very long. It`s when I forget that I leave it, which most certainly happens during lots of activity - and then it happens that I try to pull this contentness out of -what I`m doing- instead of out of -what I`m being-, and that is, aware, attentive, equanimous and this results in contentness and joyfulness. I find making much more jokes recently, because I don`t have to take things much serious, do I? Because there is nothing to loose, as I have joy already.

There are many fears left, and much space for growth, and I think this is a good step into the right direction and a good stepping stone in my practice. I feel confident for the time being, today is the first groupsitting since 6 months (am back in my country) and I will have them weekly again, which I am very thankful for.

Thanks for sharing my journal as it has helped me tremendously keeping up my practice in spite of resufal, tiredness, denial, "not feeling like it" and other moodswings. It would certainly not have been possible to keep my daily sittings all alone by myself for such a long period of time without proper assistance - even if it was mostly just mental, knowing that I`d share my fails and wins here, doing all my best not only for the sake of myself - which now I feel like I am enough to be practiced for the sake of myself, as it does me good and became enjoyable even when it`s not so much - even that is ok.

Thanks and cheers for now :-)
to be or not to be - one hardly notices the subtlety

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2016, 01:27:01 AM »
I can see the pros/cons of journaling particularly for meditation and the paradox of goalsetting for meditation.

I have been doing this for a while, but my durations are much shorter than yours 15 mins/day. I reduced it because I couldnt sustain a longer duration (45 min) for more than a couple of months, even though I found immense benefits. Maybe I will go back to longer duration in future.

I am a newbie, so please feel free to correct me.

I think the major problem most people face in the beginning is to maintain the daily practice. I think in the beginning instead of  perfecting your meditation technique its best to first make it a habit to meditate for short durations. how do you form habits?

You set goals and track them, "religiously". If you cant get to your goal, you have to find out why. Did you stay up late so you didnt have time to meditate before work? did you want to meditate before going to sleep but fell  asleep? Everybody is different, so everybody probably will have a different issue. In this phase, you are definitely goal directed (which I understand is not the best condition for meditation), but if it doesnt become a habit, you wont get anywhere. Forming habits definitely need  positive and negative reinforcements, which journaling, being part of  a sangha, other social/montetary contracts, public journals will help.

Once you have done this for a while (>90 days, my understanding is that you need atleast 90 days to form habits, but I usually aim for more like 180 days), you can let go of the crutch of daily goals, and practice without goals.

I agree completely with Matthew and only understand it now how simple meditation is. Recently I had another realization of the important of relaxation. I always find it hard to listen to complex debates at work for long duration of time. I dont know whether its because of meditation, that I have become more aware of my senses, but I sensed that when I was trying to listen hard, i would tense up very severely which would only make it  harder to listen to complex arguments, and retain them and process  them. I just decided to relax, and I was able to listen, retain and process way better than I have ever experienced. I think this is something matthew mentioned in one of his articles, and I have been focusing on my breath and relaxing more during  my meditation.

MarcT

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Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2016, 04:21:27 AM »
Quote
having no goals will not lead us anywhere

One of Krishnamurti's quoute was "The truth is a pathless land". A pathless land is anywhere. If you consider this you can reason that having no goals may lead you to the truth.

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    • Vipassana
Re: Journaling Daily Meditations
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2016, 12:40:56 PM »
Thanks for the input guys.

@MarcT

You gotta start somewhere. If you start with "having no goals", then there`s no start. Why would one start meditating without having goals in mind first, right :-P and after all what is "the truth". "The truth" is you live now and someday you will die. How will we live? Either in acceptance or in denial. For me, meditation is a way of acceptance, to live in truth with every moment, not in denial. Also, maybe truth is not a destination, right?

@alpha_wolf

Yeah, even the goal-setting was for the sake of establishing a habit. It was more or less for my left hemisphere of the brain, to motivate, to keep it going no matter what on a daily basis. And it worked, so, judge the method by its results, right? It`s been over 5 months now, which is about 130 days now, and it`s habit definetly. And I miss it if I don`t sit, and it feels natural to sit. It`s become part of what I do everyday. And definetly the way you describe it, relax into all the senses that will open up in a calm and smooth manner, not forced, that`s so beautiful. I enjoy it so much. That`s partly to what I refered as "I became so happy since I dropped all the goals and meditate for meditations sake". I don`t need get anywhere. I`m relaxed, I`m present, I`m attentive of all is going on in my senses, I hear, I smell, I see, I feel my body, my sensations, and I`m relaxed in all that. I`m not tightened up anymore, my body is so let go, so am I. And I feel much more free to be free, be myself, be funny, be happy and content, because I can act from a place of "enoughness", because I`m relaxed in what is present at this moment and all around me, and I don`t need to get anywhere, achieve anything, etc., which only leads to so much tension, which leads to resistance, which leads to frustration and wah...

During meditation yesterday I stood up for a moment to write a poem, which goes along like this (its more beautiful in my language, I translated it..)

Would hastiness abide,
it would bear quiescence.

And that`s all meditation is about basically :-D

Have a nice day, stick to your practice, and be a happy person :-)
to be or not to be - one hardly notices the subtlety

 

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