I read about pragmatic dhamma practitioners reaching 1st path and beyond by only using noting. For instance, Vince Horn has posted a detailed description mentioning this. I have been wondering about the details of their noting, i.e., what kind of noting they use, and would like to hear about your experience and opinion.
Here is my experience with a noting progression using different kinds of noting. (1). Out loud detailed noting (I only do this in pair noting.) (2), Sub vocal detailed 4 foundations noting, i.e., memory, itching, etc. (5). More generalized 4 foundations noting. (For instance, instead of “memory” labeling it “thought”. Instead of “itching”, noting it “sensation”). (6). Noting every thing as “that”. (7). Noticing but not noting or labeling. (This means placing the mind on phenomena or letting the mind go to phenomena.) (. Mind is still and phenomena arise and disappear in the still mind.) 9). No difference between stillness and phenomena. Clarity and awareness is evident in all the above. 7 to 9 is probably not noting but seems to be a natural progression in my meditating.
For the last 6-9 months I have been “doing” non-doing/just sitting meditation and decided to add back in sessions using noting.
Hello Jack: No one really posts here anymore. It is kind of a ghost town. Vince Horn was my teacher for a bit, and using noting, he helped lead me to stream entry a few years back. Just note what is arising, whatever you think of it as, and don't get overly worried about what you call it. But see how close you can get to what you are labelling as frequently as you can. For my advice, you may want to post this at the dharma overground, as there are actually people who post frequently on that site.
Thanks for responding, Bill. I had posted on overground the same time as I posted here. I do notice a difference between using (2) or (5) (I notice I screwed up and jumped from 2 to 5.) and (6). With (6) I notice finer phenomena. (7) and on up are different than the lower numbers. ( and (9) are a different cat altogether. Another difference between (2) and higher numbers has to do with filling up band width, something Kenneth talks about a lot.
Did you just use (2) and (5) to get to first path?
Hi: No problemo. I used out loud noting of the four foundations with some variation in terms of how detailed i was noting. It did not take long to hit stream entry, but i had been practicing seriously for a few years at that point and was already in re-observation when I was introduced to the practice. I would caution about getting too caught up in the technique. Technique is important, obviously, but you needn't worry. Of all the different techniques you listed for noting there is probably incredibly minute difference, if any. You just want to be as vigilant as possible with all phenomena as it is occuring, trying to label everything without getting caught up in the content. It won't be perfect of course, but that should be the view. So, thinking about all this and trying to find the best method is not that useful. This is just "thought" or "worry", whatever might be occurring, just note as such. Really the thing is intimacy. Think of it as a relationship as that may be useful pre-stream entry. How often and how close can you be to phenomena? How well can you get to know all the subtle shades of experience? This will occur as you note so it need not be taken on as a separate project. If you are serious about your practice, and you need some help, feel free to message and we can meet on skype if you need further assistance.