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TOPIC: Welcome!

Welcome! 10 Aug 2017 20:53 #107510

Hi all, I'm Matt, just joined up yesterday. I was reading about the stages of insight and came across this website so I decided to register.

I've been practicing daily since about February, so I'm newer to meditation. I practice at a local Zen center once a week and sit for about 90 minutes a day at home (two 45 minute sessions). I've also read "The Mind Illuminated" and "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha" but recently I just got Mahasi's Manual of Insight and it seems much more indepth and thorough than anything else I've come across, so I've decided to go with his noting style practice. I know that Zen usually scoffs at maps, but I made do with what I have when seeking a bit more instruction than "just sit".

I was looking up the stages of insight as noted above because I was wondering if I had crossed the A&P. About three weeks ago I had a very bright white light hit me like a lightning bolt, then was very relaxed and tranquil for a few hours later. I had a lot of piti beforehand for every single sit, and nowadays it is gone. Now I just sit and I get some aversion to sitting, and during the day I'm finding it hard to care so much about routine responsibilities, so maybe I am in dark night territory. Maybe not, this stuff is so squishy, but that's how I came here!
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Welcome! 11 Aug 2017 08:53 #107511

Hi Matt. Good to have you here. Looking forward to hearing how things go for you.
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Welcome! 12 Nov 2017 23:20 #108045

Hello all,

I started practicing in 2003 after receiving a Reiki treatment that kicked me immediately into a forceful A&P followed by a few hours of fear and anxiety, an awakening of energy currents in my body, and the permanent dropping away of boredom and irrational anger that had characterized much of my late teenage years leading up to the experience. After that I changed my major to East Asian Studies and began studying Buddhism and Daoism while engaging in all manner of practices, ranging from zazen in the Rinzai tradition, qigong, Reiki, Daoist inner alchemy, some Shingon esoteric practices, and energy work in Robert Bruce's NEW system. I dabbled through these various traditions and techniques as I intensely studied the religions and languages of East Asia through undergrad and grad school. After finishing my degrees I switched gears by teaching the Western classics for the last decade or so. As a result, I am thoroughly versed in the primary texts of the East and the West and have focused all of my free reading time on developing my understanding of the complexity and interconnectedness of the contemplative traditions throughout the world. I also am the type that can easily switch my reality tunnels, going from Christian to Buddhist to agnostic or from faith healer/energy worker to pragmatist to skeptic as the day goes by and my conversational partner switches.

A year ago I discovered The Mind Illuminated by Culadasa and have been working my way progressively through the Stages, which has given me a foundation that my practice has long been lacking. Over the summer I went on a 10 day Goenka retreat (my first retreat that was more than three days) and on Day 5 I had a massive kundalini awakening and I hit a dark night so shockingly powerful that it sent me home early from the retreat in an ambulance (I thought I might be going crazy and the retreat leaders had no idea what to do with someone who was convulsing uncontrollably with kriyas). I experienced numerous permanent shifts (wavelike piti on command, more mental silence, jhanas opened up easily afterward) following the peak experience, but I suspect that I am presently vacillating between reobservation and equanimity, given the anxiety that comes on every few days (following my first passing of the A&P I had stopped feeling any anxiety, even before giving speeches to large audiences). This anxiety is powerful and it does not seem to have any source, but I can pretty easily watch it without any clinging or aversion. Otherwise, my sits are filled with joy and pleasure.

That about sums up where I am right now. I look forward to working with this community.
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Welcome! 13 Nov 2017 01:34 #108046

Welcome home Daniel.:)
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Welcome! 23 Nov 2017 10:48 #108082

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!
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Welcome! 04 Dec 2017 07:36 #108127

Hello, everyone. I'm a 29-years-old guy from Italy whose practice has recently deepened and, lacking a teacher in real life, is looking for guidance on the web. By posting a log on this site, I hope to get some much-needed feedback from more advanced meditators for my increasingly unusual experiences.

I consider myself to be a very easygoing person who has discovered Buddha's teachings and found them incredibly sensible, agreeable and compelling. I strive to follow them and the Eight-fold Path, trying not to cause suffering to myself or others.

I started meditating on June of this year, but it's only recently (past two weeks) that I realized I want practice to be my clear top priority in life. I've been steadily increasing the time spent on the cushion and I'm working on creating an even more conducive environment for myself in the upcoming days. I plan to have 10 consecutive hours of daily meditation in retreat-like/lite conditions, starting later this week or the next one. Since I don't expect this endeavor (or its fruits) to be simple or easy to navigate, I thought it safe to find someone I could sort-of report to for support and motivating purposes. And if there's a way I can contribute to supporting and motivating others on their path, I think sharing my experience (or lack thereof ^^) is the way to go.

I wish all of us great patience and courage on our journey!
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Welcome! 04 Dec 2017 07:45 #108128

Welcome to Awakenetwork, Daniele.
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Welcome! 05 Dec 2017 00:44 #108140

Welcome, Daniele! Your plans sound ambitious and exciting. I look forward to hearing how your practice unfolds.
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Welcome! 17 Dec 2017 09:27 #108224

Hi everyone! I'm Lewis, 28, and work as a games developer in Sheffield, UK. I started an on again off again mindfulness practice in 2008, took up dedicated daily practice in 2013, and after having some pretty wild, unexpected A&P stuff happen shortly thereafter found the pragmatic crowd online after finding the local Buddhists and meditation folk weren't too eager to discuss that kind of stuff. I've since tried a number of techniques, mostly I practice Shinzen's Unified Mindfulness noting techniques, though I've been reading through the Manual of Insight with a few friends and am interested in learning more traditional Mahasi style noting. Happy to be here and find another community of like-minded people to share this work with!
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Welcome! 17 Dec 2017 09:47 #108225

Welcome, Lewis!
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Welcome! 27 Dec 2017 20:53 #108257

Greetings AN community - I'm Eric, 43 in Denver, CO. Been practicing just shy of 20 years in the Zen tradition heavily doped with the vipassana teachings of Goldstein, Kornfield, etc. Constraints of time and geography have kept me pretty much practicing at home, although have done a few week long retreats over the years. Although my practice has often been rich and rewarding, I wouldn't say it has a definite direction. So I'm hoping that the Pragmatic Dharma community can help establish this.

Peace.
Eric
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Welcome! 30 Dec 2017 01:01 #108264

Hey Eric - I'm not in Denver but there is a Denver Pragmatic group that is part of the awake network. This is their meetup page - www.meetup.com/DenverPragmaticMeditation...Y3LWUyZjM5Y2QwOWVkNQ

I sometimes video into their meetings. Good stuff.
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Welcome! 16 Feb 2018 20:17 #108503

Hello everyone,

My name is James, I'm a near 30, avidish practitioner currently living in Brisbane Australia. I am currently in my third year of med school. I came across this site via the Australian Pragmatic Dharma google hangout, as I noticed a number of you were members and so I thought I would check it out.

As far as practice goes, my primary practice is TMI (Stage 4-5), however I also go to a Gelug FPMT centre here in Brisbane and I have started to combine Lam Rim practices with my TMI practice. As far as pragmatic dharma goes, my primary interest lies in establishing how the Tibetan teachings are grounded in very ordinary experiences, along the lines of Ken Mcleod's Then and Now course, or "Turning Confusion Into Clarity" by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. As such I read widely within multiple traditions (including Zen and Therevada), although in terms of human influence my main influence is via the Gelug school.

I look forward to practicing and having fruitful discussions with you all.
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Welcome! 17 Feb 2018 09:34 #108505

Welcome, James. Glad you found us.
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Welcome! 02 Mar 2018 15:42 #108543

Greetings!

I'm Michael, 36, in Terre Haute, Indiana. After many fruitless years of Advaita-ish stuff punctuated by brief attempts at regular seated meditation informed by Zen and a Goenka retreat, I stumbled across TMI last May and immediately acquired a consistent and committed daily practice. I've since dabbled with quite a few approaches, but noting techniques were creating agitation and I couldn't justify subjecting my family to that process. Fortunately, a heavy dose of metta and body work seems to have altered my relationship to noting, and I am currently building some momentum with a technique based on simple labels at a varied pace (based on my capacities at the time I'm meditating).

I'm currently mining this board's archives for valuable information and I look forward to being a part of this community.
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Welcome! 02 Mar 2018 16:52 #108544

Welcome, Michael!
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Welcome! 15 Mar 2018 10:48 #108608

Hello!

I'm John and living in Tokyo since 1998. I'm returning to Mahasi-style noting practice which I did for a few years in the 80s before meeting Canadian Namgyal Rinpoche aka Ananda Bodhi aka Leslie George Dawson and training in his tradition for three decades. For the past three years I've been flying solo. During this time I was doing an hour or two per day from among the many practices of the eclectic Vajrayana/Theravadin hybrid Namgyal tradition. Recently I read Daniel Ingram's and Shannon Stein's books, and Daniel's "fast noting" (1-15 times per second) set my practice alight and got me back on the noting track. I do mostly walking and sitting Mahasi-style one or two hours or more per day as possible with work etc., interspersed on occasion by Tibetan-style visualizations etc. for specific purposes. I'm finding the Mahasi approach immensely fruitful compared with my younger days when the instructions were difficult to follow due to raging hormones, confused ethics, childhood trauma, etc., much of which have been sorted out by life experience and the wonderful training with my teachers in the interim.

In light of my current aspiration and circumstances, Daniel and Shannon suggested I seek the community and guidance of fellow practitioners rather than another formal teacher/student apprenticeship, so here I am! I look forward to learning and sharing with you all.
Last Edit: 16 Mar 2018 02:32 by John Munroe. Reason: "Crossing i's and dotting t's." :-)
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Welcome! 15 Mar 2018 10:56 #108609

Welcome John!
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Welcome! 21 Mar 2018 18:37 #108638

Hello everyone!
My name is Stig, I am 64 and living in sunny Spain. Originally I am from Norway, but with all the minus degrees and snow going on up there I found it best to find a Spanish woman to marry :)
For the last 30 years or so I have had some kind of spiritual practice. It has varied over the years; many years with yoga and TM, then years in the Eckankar org until it fell apart (well it is still there but...). The last 5-6 years it has been all about Self-Inquiry meditation (Ramana Maharshi) . I have also listen a great deal to Adyashanti whose words resonates with me. I have, as I guess many of you gays also, had "openings" which have showed me that I already am what I am seeking. I feel like the man who is in the city he is seeking to find without knowing he is there and jumps on trains and buses to get there. This has brought me to contemplate if my relationship with my spiritual practice, that is to gain something from it, rely is the wrong one. Maybe we need to lose it all !?

Great to be here!
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