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TOPIC: Listing types of noting

Listing types of noting 26 Nov 2013 16:56 #16923

I thought it would be nice to list the types of noting and hear any unusual variations that anyone may have developed. I think it might be good b/c in my experience, doing noting with someone else has been very interesting and also entertaining

The ones I came up with were:

Standard ping pong noting, essence noting, don't know noting, and "koan noting", which Villum showed me and I found it pretty awesome.

In Koan noting, you note with a partner and the only note you use is "interpretation", and you use it to refer to anything that comes up at the present moment, kind of like noting things with "ping".
Last Edit: 26 Nov 2013 16:56 by Femtosecond.
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Listing types of noting 26 Nov 2013 17:58 #16926

- Doubles, especially physical sensation and vedana: tension-unpleasant, coolness-pleasant, tightness-unpleasant, pressure-neutral.
- Self-inquiry-ish noting, inquiring about whatever is arising: For whom does this arise?
- Single parameter evaluation, courtesy of Kenneth: Pick one aspect of experience—anxiety, for example—and note how prevalent it is in this moment on a scale of 1 (not there at all) to 5 (the most you could ever imagine experiencing).
- Classic Mahasi noting! Rising, falling.
- Binary noting: Thinking/not thinking, Noisy/quiet, OK/not OK.
- Noting at the sense doors: hearing, seeing, feeling/touching, tasting, thinking, etc.
- Shinzen style noting: see in/see out, hear in/hear out, feel in/feel out + see rest, hear rest etc.
- Four foundations of mindfulness noting a la Kenneth, practicing each of the foundations separately.
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Listing types of noting 26 Nov 2013 18:04 #16927

- The bystander (Kenneth again): See how it sits, see how it feels amused, see how it feels tension, see how it focuses.
- Something the bystander evolved into for me: there is tension, there is pressure, there is planning. It occurs to me now to do "here is..." although I never thought of "there" as a spatial thing in this case.
- Narrative/story-telling (more descriptive): I am sitting, I notice I am bent over and remember my Alexander Technique class and how I'm bringing my bass to it tomorrow and now I'm thinking about my plans for the weekend and feeling anxiety as I see images about a project I'm working on. There's a great example of this on one of Jayson's old KFD thread, where he recorded a session like this and then transcribed it.
Last Edit: 26 Nov 2013 18:04 by nadav.
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Listing types of noting 26 Nov 2013 18:46 #16931

I've been doing "sounds only" noting with a couple of students. It seems helpful for noting-oriented people who are a bit overwhelmed by the technique or trying too hard, turning it into a morass of scrambling and anxiety. With sounds, the sound arrives by itself. It doesn't need to be looked for or found. Sound also comes from all distances and directions, and is (predominantly) outside the body, so it draws attention to a broader field. It short-circuits the tendency to get overly focused on thoughts, where that is a problem. And we have far fewer fraught reactions to sounds than to visual objects or thoughts, so it tends to guide people to a more relaxed style. It also prevents sounds being thought of as distractions, since they are the object of the practice.

(The idea came up after a talk with Abre in which we discussed the qualities of sound (especially as it relates to broad awareness and spaciousness) and my increasing sensitivity to sound; as well as some other teacher whose work was referenced here who used a "sounds as sole object" meditation for beginners.)

I've also done ping pong noting with a couple students who already knew it (one of them taught me). It's a pleasant and useful way to readjust and steady-up the noting practice if it has gone haywire. It slows down the noting (good in cases where it's gotten anxiety-producing/tense/fraught), and it also is done "in relationship" - there's connection between the two people, so your attention doesn't get all jammed up in your own head and you engage with the other person's emotions, reactions, expressions, etc. We usually end up laughing a lot.
Last Edit: 26 Nov 2013 18:49 by Ona Kiser.
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Listing types of noting 26 Nov 2013 18:47 #16932

Ona, I thought your original practice did not include noting?
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Listing types of noting 26 Nov 2013 18:51 #16933

The only time I formally did noting practice was for the first 4-6 weeks after I started working with Alan, as he thought it would help settle me down and develop less distracted meditation (I was spending a lot of time lost in content and heavy emotional reactions). We used a style from Shinzen with just a few word labels (thought, image, sound, etc.) After things refocused, I switched to just sitting.
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Listing types of noting 26 Nov 2013 18:54 #16934

So that is a case where noting was used as a practice sedative. That's not typically the purpose ;-)
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Listing types of noting 26 Nov 2013 19:01 #16935

:D I tend to use it that way, myself!** But as you yourself have pointed out that Relax! is important...

**eta: as in recommending simple slow noting as a way to regroup and settle the practice when it is scattered, overwrought, etc. And so far only in cases where the person already had done noting, so it was in their tool box (even if in an overwrought way). Most people I've worked with are doing way too much and using way too much effort (no matter if they are doing magic, devotional work, just sitting, yoga, noting, etc.).
Last Edit: 26 Nov 2013 19:05 by Ona Kiser.
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Listing types of noting 26 Nov 2013 19:08 #16936

Um, okay, but when I said "Relax!" (yes, it's an important thing to do) it was not meant as something a noting practice should be used for.
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Listing types of noting 26 Nov 2013 19:49 #16940

I think to keep in mind that if people seek out a teacher, it's usually because they are floundering, or even freaking out. So working with whatever framework they can understand while trying to reorganize their overall relationship to practice is a priority. That doesn't mean that is what noting is for. It may even be an abuse of the term!! I can come up with a new word for it...
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Listing types of noting 26 Nov 2013 23:49 #16946

It's interesting that, having not done Mahasi noting since the start of this year, because after a long period of fruitful but very intense and (I now see) grasping and tight practice it had bad associations for me, it's recently become a place I can actually relax back into when that seems to be appropriate, for example if I'm very distressed or if there's a lot of thinking-and-pondering and it seems right to move away from it (sometimes it feels right just to stay with it too). For example, here's what I journalled from a 30 minute sit a little while ago:

Sometime in, maybe about ten minutes, I decided to start Mahasi noting cos I was getting so embedded [in thinking-and-planning]. Not sure whether I should switch practices during a sit, I'd usually say no but in this case it all felt right.

Was doing that for about ten minutes, and then I had a vision of Shiva's face coming to say, it's OK, now I will take care of you, you can stop this practice at this point. So I did, and thereafter every time I started getting embedded He would arise again.


In other words, Mahasi noting now does for me the complete opposite of what it used to do (not in terms of 'outcomes' but in terms of how and why I'd use it)
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Listing types of noting 26 Nov 2013 23:52 #16947

Oh, another type which was recommended to me and I found really helpful in the DN lead-up to Second Path is 'vedana' noting: noting ONLY liking/disliking/neutral. It just makes all of the narratives and significance around those fall apart, and even though it can be boring it has a great self-correcting quality inasmuch as that boredom is just more disliking.
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Listing types of noting 28 Nov 2013 08:42 #16973

I do some Shinzen Young's Note Gone and found it very useful. I usually just use sound here. At times I also do his Note Flow.

[quote="Limbic" post=16923essence noting, don't know noting, and "koan noting", which Villum showed me and I found it pretty awesome.

In Koan noting, you note with a partner and the only note you use is "interpretation", and you use it to refer to anything that comes up at the present moment, kind of like noting things with "ping".[/quote
==
limbic,can you say more about these types of noting??
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Listing types of noting 28 Nov 2013 19:11 #17002

Well the essence noting comes from Kenneth and Beth, also known as Mahamudra noting, where one listens and notes with "listening" and also notes any positive states, and then notes any negative states with one of the following, Releasing, Surrendering, Allowing, and Accepting.

The don't know noting is where one just notes with "don't know". We did a little bit of this at the conference but I frankly didn't get it myself, probably was still quite embedded.

Koan noting, though, was awesome. It had the effect for me of turning everything around, and once it was as if I had settled on an impression of the moment, the literal reminder, coming from noting "interpretation", served to reorient me immediately, and it was mind boggling. I tried to practice this alone, and it worked a little bit, but I recall it was particularly powerful with another person in the mix, since eachother's noting and tone of voice all swirled together into an inscrutable constant re-apprehending of whatever the perception was.
Last Edit: 28 Nov 2013 19:12 by Femtosecond.
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Listing types of noting 30 Nov 2013 12:48 #17074

Limbic wrote:
Well the essence noting comes from Kenneth and Beth, also known as Mahamudra noting, where one listens and notes with "listening" and also notes any positive states, and then notes any negative states with one of the following, Releasing, Surrendering, Allowing, and Accepting.

The don't know noting is where one just notes with "don't know". We did a little bit of this at the conference but I frankly didn't get it myself, probably was still quite embedded.

Koan noting, though, was awesome. It had the effect for me of turning everything around, and once it was as if I had settled on an impression of the moment, the literal reminder, coming from noting "interpretation", served to reorient me immediately, and it was mind boggling. I tried to practice this alone, and it worked a little bit, but I recall it was particularly powerful with another person in the mix, since eachother's noting and tone of voice all swirled together into an inscrutable constant re-apprehending of whatever the perception was.
==
Limbic, I know and used the "Ships in the Harbor" meditation in your first paragraph above. I used the Don't Know meditation briefly previously.. The meditation in your third paragraph interests me. Is the point to separate the actual phenomena from the conceptual interpretation that follows?

By the way, the first lesson in the book A Course in Miracles, a Christian interpretation, is to sit and say to yourself, "Nothing I see {in this room, from this window, in this place] , means anything." "Look slowly around you and practice applying this idea very specifically to whatever you see. (For example) This table does not mean anything. This chair doesn't mean anything." And so on. Very similar to the Don't Know meditation..
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Listing types of noting 30 Nov 2013 23:49 #17092

That definitely seems to be what it does, it catches perception in mid-swing and reorients it, and when I tried it it was pretty awesome. I'd be interested to try it some more, I've only done it a few times
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Listing types of noting 01 Dec 2013 14:09 #17102

I tried the koan noting this morning both with a partner and solo. Very useful. After using "interpreting" as a note for a time, I switched to using "that". Same results. it cut off the labeling/interpreting and left me with the bare sensation. I also was able to notice more subtle gradations of phenomena than regular noting. Thanks for bring this to my attention, Limbic.
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Listing types of noting 05 Dec 2013 11:08 #17159

I notice when I do what you call koan noting, it is pretty much the same as my normal just sitting doing nothing meditation. The koan noting using "that" or "interpretation" does highlight catching the bare awareness of phenomena before labeling. It is the opposite of the 4 foundations noting I do using labeling. I do both methods at times every day, sometimes during the same sitting..

I am questioning the role of labeling. What does labeling a phenomena "itching" change the experience from just experiencing the bare sensation without labeling? Does labeling help in disembedding? Labeling does seem to cut off experiencing the finer sensations of an itch. Kenneth might say that detailed labeling does fill more band width but filling band width seems to hinder not help my process.
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Listing types of noting 05 Dec 2013 15:19 #17162

IMHO one of the main purposes of noting is simply to keep the mind 'on track,' to stop the mind getting caught in what it's examining - so, embeddedness or 'distraction.' Particularly with thoughts, it tends to stop them from unrolling into long 'mindless' narratives. It's obviously highly conceptual which may be an issue for trying to remove conceptual barriers between oneself as observer and phenomena/consciousness. Personally, I found that after initially practicing for a few months, I seemed to usually have the mindfulness to be able to simply bring my attention to the object and observe it without needing to use notes - although they were and still are good to go back to in times of distraction, distress, etc. I ended up doing formal sitting practice that way, but walking practice using notes, which seemed more appropriate for a more stimulus-filled environment... YMMV
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