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[–] swagath [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

7th:

There's an ashram/math near my house that I'd been meaning to go to for ages. I went there with my mum today. We looked around the garden and talked about the plants. Then we sat and meditated for ten minutes. The ten minutes seemed like a long, long time. We finished with some metta.


8th:

Don't remember.


9th:

I spent a lot of the day distinctly aware of what I was doing, feeling detached. Did a few things differently than I would have had I not been aware. Didn't sit to meditate, however.


10th:

I sat without a timer for the first time today. I don't know how long I meditated, I don't suppose it matters. Tried various poses, was uncomfortable with some of them until I found ones that were sustainable. I've taken to not sustaining attention on the object at hand (namely, breathing) and instead paying attention whenever distraction occurs. And here, instead of focussing on the distraction or the reason for it, I watch for the impulse that leads to my mind wandering to it. I find that it's mostly my mind wanting to experience pleasure and avoid pain, which reveals an extremely biased mind.

And this time, curiously, I found it very difficult to summon up feelings of metta at the end of my meditation. I managed, however, and ended up wanting to express it instead of simply feeling it. So upon completion I called my uncle, whom I've never called without reason before, and another dear friend whom I've sadly not kept in touch with. I then also helped my mother with some errands that I'd been avoiding for a while.

11th:

Didn't meditate.


12th:

I was out with friends for the weekend. A friend I've grown close to said yes when I asked him if he wanted to join me in my daily meditation. Did 15 minutes with instructions. Friend enjoyed it a lot.


13th:

The friend I sat with the previous day asked to be included in my meditation today. But we forgot and didn't find an opportunity. I too did not meditate.


14th:

Went to the math to meditate, but found out it was closed. Walked to a nearby cemetery instead and sat there. As before, I decided against the use of a timer. Ended up doing anywhere between 30-50 minutes. Forgot metta. Got up with renewed clarity of my priorities in the short term.

Later in the evening, went to the math again. Meditated without timer for half an hour, but my attention was very turbulent as it was closing time and people were doing things all around me. Got accosted by two well-meaning monks on the way out who really wanted me to read the works of Swami Vivekananda. The book Jnana Yoga was recommended to me. I'd like to get to the book sometime, but it seems that they really want to teach me these things firsthand and now. I'll try to be more frank and assert that I'm only looking to find a place to meditate, but it's complicated by the fact that I also am really interested in reading his works. Perhaps both can happen simultaneously?


15th:

Meditated at the math for about 15 minutes.


16th:

Visited the math but didn't meditate.


17th:

Didn't meditate. Watched Yogis of Tibet at 3 at night.


18th:

Didn't meditate.


19 - 24th:

Meditated thrice in the earlier days, but have since been in a slump. First two times were alright. Third time I kept falling asleep because I tried to do it on the couch. That's okay too, just not ideal. Almost nothing ever is. We work with what we have.


25th:

Meditated while lying on the couch. I've been feeling very directionless lately. A lot of that time was spent on the couch. Today, I made the decision to set down the laptop and meditate, staying vigilant. I did fairly well, before I fell asleep.

At night, at a time when I felt like staying up all night with my laptop, I went and took a hot shower instead, and maintained awareness throughout. I let distractions wash over me, with my focus remaining on my intention to sleep tonight. I write this while I maintain that intention.

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[–] Kurplunk 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I might be more advanced than anything that will be of interest to you guys but I will go ahead and try to log some of my sessions. Feel free to ask any questions about my practice or just terminology. I hope this does not scare any one else away from logging their experiences. Anyways, I practice mindfulness of breathing. Usually, I pay attention to the rise and fall of the abdomen and all the different tactile sensations involved in that.

7/09

I usually sit and within a minute or so I am experiences the insight stage of "arising and passing away". Therefore, I don't really try and develop my concentration any further, rather I focus on insight, observing the rise and fall of sensations. A&P arises, for me, most noticeably as "visual snow" and with more concentration it will arise as tingling sensations in the body. Sometimes, as visual snow, when it is arising it will arise first in my periphery then it will arise in the center of my focus. Sometimes it seems to just arise all at once.

Today I sat with the intent of really developing concentration and came face-to-face with the fact that I can't hold one-pointed concentration for much longer than a single moment (that was expected- I normally practice "dry" insight which only requires momentary concentration); 10-30 seconds at best. I find that this is an aspect of meditation where it really pays to be truthful with yourself. It can be easy to think that because I did not stop focusing on the air rushing through the nose that I did not lose focus but in reality, wandering thoughts kept popping-up. I am to the point now that I immediately recognize them and let go of them; though sometimes they are somewhat sticky and want to keep arising. After 10 minutes of doing that I gave it a rest and went back to just observing the rise and fall of sensations.

I have been cycling through the dukkha nanas for awhile and they are fairly unpleasant. It seems like the longer individual stages last the easier they are to deal with. It is actually the juxtaposition of feeling good then feeling like crap that I consider much harder to deal with. I think, for the next couple of days I am going to sit with the intent of getting into Jhana. Hopefully, if I can manage to enter Jhana it will cause my experience (during formal sits and outside as well) to be much more pleasant and will speed up my progress of insight.

Second sit:

I just got up from a 40 minute meditation session. I intended to go for 30 minutes but piti was so pleasurable I extended it a little bit.

I started by focusing on the rise and fall of my abdomen. My dog pushed my door open and the sound of the door brushing against the carpet startled me (I beleive that is the insight stage, knowledge of fearfulness and/or knowledge of danger). I continued to focus on my abdomen for 10 minutes then moved on to focusing on the "anapana spot" at the upper lip. I split my focus between the physical sensation and a conceptualization. After 10 minutes of that I moved on to recollections of death. I usually start that recollection with the internal phrase, "I am already dead". That usually sets the mood for that meditation object. 5 minutes into recollecting death piti arose and was fairly strong so I switched to the pleasantness of that sensation. It arose first in the chest and spread out from there. I eventually opened my eyes to get a sense of what my visual distortion was and it was fairly intense. Aside from visual snow there seemed to be a slight rainbow effect and the floor and walls were faintly pulsating, morphing and breathing. All of this was fairly pleasant and therefore easy to attach to (something to watch out for).

I spent the last five minutes slowly stretching my legs out (my knees were painful from sitting in lotus). I used this time to reflect on the impermanence of piti and the visual distortion. Also, I reflected on painfulness in regards to my knees. All in all it was a pleasant experience. Even though all the jhana factors were there (I am not sure how mature they are) I am hesitant to call it jhana without an obvious nimitta.

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[–] swagath [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Thank you for sharing. It's always good to be around people more knowledgeable than you. I found lots of terminology I didn't know from your post, some of which I didn't pursue further because, well, spoilers.