Opera's prelude

  • Opera
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7 years 11 months ago #94135 by Opera
Opera's prelude was created by Opera
Hi all,

I've been lurking on KFD & DhO on and off for years. Very inspiring.

I've never succeeded in establishing a daily practice, though, and that'll be the first goal of this journal: establish a daily practice; emphasis on 'daily', as sits might get as short as 10mn long, we'll see. I'll be noting, with few labels.

I'll give more background info later on.
Cheers,
Opera
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  • Opera
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7 years 11 months ago #94136 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
This afternoon: 10mn

Mainly visual events from the eyelids. In the belly, tension of the diaphragm (?) expanding when breathing in, then its collpase; sounds from a bird singing outside; and thoughts, of course, quite a few of them, about the labels and the practice, but not only; got 'lost in thought' twice but not for too long. Mostly eyelid visuals really.

Question: what to do (other than note it) when the thought occurs again and again and again that there are way too many things going on at the same time to note them all? Picking one of them up for noting becomes an action in itself, it is not noting anymore...And not choosing anything ('choiceless awareness') does not get me far because of my poor concentration skill.
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  • Opera
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7 years 11 months ago #94137 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
This evening: 10mn

First, lasting unpleasantness in the heart/chest area. Harder to maintain attention than this afternoon: further away from physical events, and thoughts taking power.
When the body finally settled down a bit, the heart pounding became prominent; unpleasant. Small tensions all over the face, body etc. External stimuli in the background (at best).

Comments: in retrospect, I see that pleasant/unpleasant/neutral was not on the chart this afternoon.
It was the first time I categorized 'contacts' at the frontier between the body and the rest of the world (such as: eyelid movements, breath within the mouse) in the same bag as contact with external objects (clothes, air etc.).

On the other hand, this evening, most stimuli were internal. Diffuse discomfort over a whole area within the body, for instance.
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  • NickP
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7 years 11 months ago #94138 by NickP
Replied by NickP on topic Re: Opera's prelude
Welcome!
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  • Opera
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7 years 11 months ago #94139 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
Thank you, Nick <!-- s:-) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":-)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:-) -->

I hope I'll be able to display some of your perseverance, and that your own road still has many fruits to bear!
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  • Opera
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7 years 11 months ago #94140 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
Yesterday morning : 10mn

Quite the same sensations as the preceding evening, but weaker concentration. The discomfort zone was also bit lower, down towards the belly.
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  • Opera
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7 years 11 months ago #94141 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
Yesterday evening : 20mn

First half of the sit: this time the rythm of the breathing was steady, and stayed present in the background while the noting was doing its thing elsewhere.

Second half : lost the breath « anchor » ; monkey mind went stronger than the day before. Velleity to « kill » thoughts rather than just note them. The content of many thoughts was about the practice itself. Samples : &quot;instead of studying the discomfort zone in the chest in order, in the end, to make it comfortable, try instead to just note it and forget about avoiding dukkha&quot; &quot;what will my proactice notes be ?&quot; &quot;i had forgotten that sitting on a cushion is easier than sitting on a chair&quot; &quot;10 (or 20) mn is ridicoulsly short&quot; &quot;I can get impermanence, but not emptiness not not self&quot; etc.
Chillness, air, sounds; all external. The &quot;discomfort zone&quot; felt too solid and fuzzy to explore (as usual).
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  • Opera
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7 years 11 months ago #94142 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
Today at lunch : 10mn

I either noted external phenomena (not surprising as I was in a busy &amp; windy business district, so they were many), or I was lost in &quot;thought trains&quot;. Very few internal phenomena. Most thoughts were practice related, which again elicited irritation.
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  • Jack H
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7 years 11 months ago #94143 by Jack H
Replied by Jack H on topic Re: Opera's prelude

&quot;Opera&quot;:1654axy3 wrote: This afternoon: 10mn


Question: what to do (other than note it) when the thought occurs again and again and again that there are way too many things going on at the same time to note them all? Picking one of them up for noting becomes an action in itself, it is not noting anymore...And not choosing anything ('choiceless awareness') does not get me far because of my poor concentration skill.[/quote:1654axy3]

I found that after some practice picking what to note became automatic. After developing a rhythm of noting, whatever comes up when it is time to note becomes the note. The key is keeping at it.

When a thought keeps coming up, I note &quot;attached&quot; which seems to break the lock it has on me.

Good luck with your practice

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  • PabloP
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7 years 11 months ago #94144 by PabloP
Replied by PabloP on topic Re: Opera's prelude

&quot;Opera&quot;:35votm31 wrote: This afternoon: 10mn

Question: what to do (other than note it) when the thought occurs again and again and again that there are way too many things going on at the same time to note them all? Picking one of them up for noting becomes an action in itself, it is not noting anymore...And not choosing anything ('choiceless awareness') does not get me far because of my poor concentration skill.[/quote:35votm31]

There are plenty of things to do. Try to notice what happens before and after the thought, that widens the scope of your attention. See what parts of the thought is particularly felt unpleasant, neutral or pleasant. Notice if the thought is visual, auditory or physical, and do a binary note thought-image, thought-sound, etc. You can also focus on the characteristics of that compound note: eg. the tension in the body associated with the thought, the warmth/coolness, vibrations, stings, etc.

You can also try Jack Kornfield's &quot;Top Ten Tunes&quot; (A Path with a Heart, pages 105-106). Identify the recurring thoughts and give them funny names, so you can have a laugh when they arise. JK's examples: Mr Achiever, Attila the Hun, The Impatient Lover, Baby Jacky, Fear of the Dark, The Hungry Survivor.

Welcome by the way!

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  • Opera
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7 years 10 months ago #94145 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
I’ve been away on a two-day business trip abroad, and I didn’t sit. In the evening I visited some relatives. I tried to meditate yesterday on the train back, but sleepiness took me over.
Making exceptions came become a rule too quickly. But I also think that resenting my meditation would be counter-productive. So, I don't feel too bad!

[u:3slcymqp][i:3slcymqp]Yesterday evening : [b:3slcymqp]40mn[/b:3slcymqp] (20mn twice in a row)[/i:3slcymqp][/u:3slcymqp]

[i:3slcymqp]First half :[/i:3slcymqp] I could settle on my breath. Less daydreaming, and the thoughts that I caught were like arrows in flight ; they did not seem to come from anywhere and I wasn’t attached to them. Noting them didn’t feel like killing them or interacting with them, it ‘s as if I was already disembedded from them.
Very few contact or sound sensations, mainly just the breath and visuals, and also some blood veins(/arters). [/*]

[i:3slcymqp]Second half :[/i:3slcymqp] lost it. At best, caught up in the content of thoughts.
The discomfort in the belly area is worse when I sit on a cushion, rather than on a chair ; maybe because I tend to rect the pine a bit too much and thus get the belly out of its natural position ? Lots of daydreaming ; when concentrated on the body, rythm of the breath and rythm of the heat were very 1. asynchronous and 2.irregular. It’s quite often like this, when I notice the rythm of the heart.


[i:3slcymqp][u:3slcymqp]This morning : [b:3slcymqp]10mn[/b:3slcymqp].[/u:3slcymqp][/i:3slcymqp]
Speaking of single thoughts (not of daydreaming): when noticing them, I did not feel disembedded from them at all. I tended to judge them, and even though they remained disconnected from each other, I had no breath anchor and jumped from one thought/noticing to another, restlessly.


[u:3slcymqp][i:3slcymqp]This afternoon : [b:3slcymqp]15 mn[/b:3slcymqp][/i:3slcymqp][/u:3slcymqp]
It was already the case yesterday but it was more obvious today : whenever coming out of daydreaming, or just after noting a thought which caught me up even for only a brief instant, I notice that the muscles of my face are contracted.
I watched slight pains in the back arise and pass away.
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  • Opera
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7 years 10 months ago #94146 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
[i:1e5b6kk6]Saturday evening : [b:1e5b6kk6]20mn[/b:1e5b6kk6][/i:1e5b6kk6]

- Same pattern : more calm during the first 10mn, more restlessness in the last 10 mn. Impatience. Heat, itching, perspiration, coolness, heat.
- The ‘jellified’ heart area is, again, a weight. Having an incomfortable baseline for my sits is not enjoyable. It can be seen as a metaphor of life and dukkha, I guess.


[i:1e5b6kk6]Yesterday morning : [b:1e5b6kk6]10mn[/b:1e5b6kk6].[/i:1e5b6kk6]

Only restlessness + the usual physical syndroms. Fear of death. Impatience.


[i:1e5b6kk6]This evening : [b:1e5b6kk6]15mn[/b:1e5b6kk6][/i:1e5b6kk6]

Sensations were either sounds or body envelop.
1 long daydream + two medium ones.
This time the very erect spine seemed to make things a bit better regarding the belly.
Some non-neutral thoughts : discontentment with myself (unpleasant), pride (pleasant at first), anticipation (pleasant at first).
Very little concentration in the last 5mn, with ragged breath.

Comments : I’ll have to make the sits longer, but for the moment the first halfs feel better than the second halfs !
Busy day tomorrow and Wednesday, not sure to post.

[i:1e5b6kk6]@Jack and Pablo[/i:1e5b6kk6]: thank you both for your input <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> Will react next week-end.
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7 years 10 months ago #94147 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
[i:1ifgy41b]Yesterday evening: 20mn[/i:1ifgy41b]

- First third of the sit: outloud noting. mostly body sensations, a few sounds. The monkey mind did not have much room left to play on.

- Then silent noting for the rest of the sit. Labels were 'lighter' than they usually are, so it felt more natural; I was able to rest on the belly more. Still, the mind wandered more than during outloud noting. But the 'noting-wall' was thinner, I was closer to the sensations, notes were less present as an intellectual activity.
Muscle tensions in the legs, torso, face, back, hotness, sweat, coolness, eyelid visuals, impatience, slight back pain.

I have sat less than every other day in the last 7 days <!-- s:-( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_sad.gif" alt=":-(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:-( -->
I forgot the practice notes from last week-end in someelse's laptop. I might get them back next weekend.
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  • Opera
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7 years 10 months ago #94148 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude

&quot;Jack H&quot;:2j8wzvff wrote:

&quot;Opera&quot;:2j8wzvff wrote: This afternoon: 10mn


Question: what to do (other than note it) when the thought occurs again and again and again that there are way too many things going on at the same time to note them all? Picking one of them up for noting becomes an action in itself, it is not noting anymore...And not choosing anything ('choiceless awareness') does not get me far because of my poor concentration skill.[/quote:2j8wzvff]

I found that after some practice picking what to note became automatic. After developing a rhythm of noting, whatever comes up when it is time to note becomes the note. The key is keeping at it.

When a thought keeps coming up, I note &quot;attached&quot; which seems to break the lock it has on me.

Good luck with your practice[/quote:2j8wzvff]
Then I still have to keep at it!
In the meantime, I've found out that outloud noting helps me develop a rhythm of noting, so I'll continue noting loudly for a while.
But even when noting loudly, well, the time lapse between two notes is looong (when outloud noting, I note once on each outbreath), so my mind still has plenty of time to think about what to note next, or, I note what happened during my last note etc.

I believe you're right, what I lack most is time on the cushion!

Thanks for your input.

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  • Opera
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7 years 10 months ago #94149 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude

&quot;PabloP&quot;:abt70zln wrote:

&quot;Opera&quot;:abt70zln wrote: This afternoon: 10mn

Question: what to do (other than note it) when the thought occurs again and again and again that there are way too many things going on at the same time to note them all? Picking one of them up for noting becomes an action in itself, it is not noting anymore...And not choosing anything ('choiceless awareness') does not get me far because of my poor concentration skill.[/quote:abt70zln]

There are plenty of things to do. Try to notice what happens before and after the thought, [u:abt70zln][b:abt70zln]that widens the scope of your attention[/b:abt70zln][/u:abt70zln]. See what parts of the thought is particularly felt unpleasant, neutral or pleasant. Notice if the thought is visual, auditory or physical, and do a binary note thought-image, thought-sound, etc. You can also focus on the characteristics of that compound note: eg. the tension in the body associated with the thought, the warmth/coolness, vibrations, stings, etc.

You can also try Jack Kornfield's &quot;Top Ten Tunes&quot; (A Path with a Heart, pages 105-106). Identify the recurring thoughts and give them funny names, so you can have a laugh when they arise. JK's examples: Mr Achiever, Attila the Hun, The Impatient Lover, Baby Jacky, Fear of the Dark, The Hungry Survivor.

Welcome by the way![/quote:abt70zln]
Thanks for your feedback.

- First, let's jump to my conclusion: I'm not sure I have enough concentration to implement your advice <!-- s:-( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_sad.gif" alt=":-(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:-( -->

- At first, I missed the part of your message that I have bolded and underlined. Hmmm. I don't know what happens before this thought, but during and after it, I note some sensations inside the brain, in its back and bottom part, the same area that I feel when I'm sleepy, for example.

- Pleasant part of the thought: &quot;the scope of my awareness has extended a lot&quot;. And some little dose of exhilaration. Unpleasant: &quot;this much infinity of sensations will always overwhelm me&quot;; but this is all content. Regarding the pleasantness/unpleasantness of the [u:abt70zln][i:abt70zln]brain sensation associated with the thought[/i:abt70zln][/u:abt70zln]: I'm ambivalent, partly because of a history of insomnia.

- The underlined italics above: is it what you mean when you say that a thought might be physical (/visual/auditory)?

- I've noticed that as soon as I look at a sensation (or thought etc.), then I'm not far from the activity of thinking. So I'm a bit afraid of doing anything other than note, note, note (note as in: 'give a label'), otherwise, what might have started as 'insight' (analyze a sensation, explore its characteritics for instance) can quickly end in day dreaming. In fact, I can not distinguish the two activities objectively from each other (thinking vs taking a step back from the sensation and its label).

Thanks again.

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  • Opera
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7 years 10 months ago #94150 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
[b:21ts7roz]This evening: 30mn[/b:21ts7roz]

- First 10mn: Sensing my breath, not really labeling. The belly breath senstions felt less alien than usual, maybe because I easened my posture a bit. The spine was less erect and the belly less protruding.

Mostly belly sensations. When thoughts took over, sensations moved from the belly to the eyelids. (because eyes are located closer to the brain / sight is more connected to thoughts in daily activity than breathing?)

Whenever the 'field of awareness' expanded, the back of the brain felt involved as well. Yesterday I evoked sensations linked to feeling sleepy, tonight it was closer to being a bit high. But I've already observed that lacking sleep can feel like being high, sometimes...

That's also when sensations from elsewhere than the belly started to come up (heart and so on) and 'disorganized' the sensor.

- After 10mn, I tried to note outloud, but it seemed to get in the way. It felt heavy in many ways so I gave it up after a couple of minutes: it seemed to be efficient concentration-wise, as counting breath can do, but it kept me further away from sensations themselves, there was an extra layer of conceptualisation about them.

The body became stiffer and stiffer. I couldn't loosen up my facial muscles. I thought that maybe it looked like what led to an AP-like event last year, so I got a little excited, more thoughts came up, it gave me extra will to stay on the breath but without real success I think. At the end of the sit, when I opened my eyes, the lids were tightly down, even though they did not feel tense. The whole body was heavier. In between, sensations were rather fuzzier (torpor? but the mind did not feel sleepy at all, quite the opposite, though a bit fuzzy itself!).

Today and yesterday, during daytime, there were more moments when I thought about mindfulness (or rather when awareness presented itself to my mind) and I tried it (not for long, but that goes without telling!). I've been reading Mindfulness in plain English, few pages at a time, (overall it was a bit of a let down compared to my expectations), and the parts I read today after work were about how not to end mindfulness upon getting up from the cushion.

I've listened to half of Radiohead's albums these last two days. I'm not sure what to make of that!!
Spinning plates in a glass house...
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  • Opera
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7 years 10 months ago #94151 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
At lunch: 10mn

In a busy environment, sat on a bench, it was harder to watch the breath than the eyelid visuals that were vivid and intense in daylight. I tended to shut out sounds. I also sensed coldness and wind towards the end. Impatience again.
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  • PabloP
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7 years 10 months ago #94152 by PabloP
Replied by PabloP on topic Re: Opera's prelude

&quot;Opera&quot;:13s63t5w wrote: - Pleasant part of the thought: &quot;the scope of my awareness has extended a lot&quot;. And some little dose of exhilaration. Unpleasant: &quot;this much infinity of sensations will always overwhelm me&quot;; but this is all content. Regarding the pleasantness/unpleasantness of the [u:13s63t5w][i:13s63t5w]brain sensation associated with the thought[/i:13s63t5w][/u:13s63t5w]: I'm ambivalent, partly because of a history of insomnia.

- The underlined italics above: is it what you mean when you say that a thought might be physical (/visual/auditory)?
[/quote:13s63t5w]

I'm sure you have already noticed that when you're angry, your muscles get tensed somewhere. I'm also sure that you've already found that some thoughts are recurrent while meditating, and you're reaction is something like &quot;Oh, not that again!&quot;. What I'm trying to say is that when you're about to say that (or just have said it), you'll notice some kind of tension, either in your skull, eyes, jaw, chest or hands. So say out-loud &quot;recrimination + tension&quot;. You could even note that with all 4 kind of phenomena, such as &quot;recrimination + judgmental + tension + unpleasant&quot;.

Below is a list of the notes I use for thoughts. Try to find out which physical sensations usually pop up with these thoughts on and off cushion.

planning
remembering
images
speculating
wandering
questioning
fantasying
recrimination
rehearsing
analyzing
reasoning
reporting
mapping
judging
doubt
confusion
self-criticism
self-praise

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  • Opera
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7 years 10 months ago #94153 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
[u:2h56nw98]Saturday evening:
[/u:2h56nw98]I tried to meditate while reclining in my bed. I fell asleep within 10mn.
In general it seems that I can't meditating while lying down, which is a shame.


[u:2h56nw98]Sunday evening:[/u:2h56nw98] [b:2h56nw98]10mn[/b:2h56nw98]
I don't remember much about it.


[u:2h56nw98]Monday evening:[/u:2h56nw98] [b:2h56nw98]10mn[/b:2h56nw98] (I had set the timer on 20mn but I [b:2h56nw98]panicked[/b:2h56nw98] half-way)
I noted outloud for the first minutes. I stood with the spine very erect, overall the body was tilted more onwards than usual. Again I felt a weight in the chest. Fear of death at ~40yo. Tried to watch the sensation in the chest. At some point it grew stronger, and I panicked, end of the sit!..


[u:2h56nw98]Tuesday evening:[/u:2h56nw98] [b:2h56nw98]20mn[/b:2h56nw98]
- Started the sit with some anxiety: I was careful not to take yesterday's posture...It was even 'sloppy' (?) at times.

- I noticed how all thoughts were related to muscle tensions in the face (mostly around the eyes or in the cheeks) . I noticed quasi-exclusively unpleasant (negative) thoughts.

- Even when I don't have a thought, if I'm not on breath, then it's rare that the facial muscles are slack. If I note eyelid visuals, some muscles around the eyes become active.

- I settled on the breath after ~8mn. In this state, the envelop nof the body + muscles feel heavy. Nice rythm, it's easy to follow the breath. If I move or sway saliva or whatever, I know it in advance and can easily note intentions for instance.

- After a while, I got a second shift; the back of the brain was involved. This time it got harder to keep track of the breath and I got sucked into thoughts quite easily. When following the breath, I noticed that &quot;one the things that the heart does&quot; (I'm ignorant of anatomy...) was perfectly in sync with the end of the inbreath. Coolness.

- At the end of the 20mn, I decided to add an extra 10, but after 3-4mn my attention got worse, I got impatient and stopped the sit unexpectedly.
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  • Opera
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7 years 10 months ago #94154 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude

&quot;PabloP&quot;:3i24nk8g wrote:

&quot;Opera&quot;:3i24nk8g wrote: - Pleasant part of the thought: &quot;the scope of my awareness has extended a lot&quot;. And some little dose of exhilaration. Unpleasant: &quot;this much infinity of sensations will always overwhelm me&quot;; but this is all content. Regarding the pleasantness/unpleasantness of the [u:3i24nk8g][i:3i24nk8g]brain sensation associated with the thought[/i:3i24nk8g][/u:3i24nk8g]: I'm ambivalent, partly because of a history of insomnia.

- The underlined italics above: is it what you mean when you say that a thought might be physical (/visual/auditory)?
[/quote:3i24nk8g]

I'm sure you have already noticed that when you're angry, your muscles get tensed somewhere. I'm also sure that you've already found that some thoughts are recurrent while meditating, and you're reaction is something like &quot;Oh, not that again!&quot;. What I'm trying to say is that when you're about to say that (or just have said it), you'll notice some kind of tension, either in your skull, eyes, jaw, chest or hands. So say out-loud &quot;recrimination + tension&quot;. You could even note that with all 4 kind of phenomena, such as &quot;recrimination + judgmental + tension + unpleasant&quot;.

Below is a list of the notes I use for thoughts. Try to find out which physical sensations usually pop up with these thoughts on and off cushion.

planning
remembering
images
speculating
wandering
questioning
fantasying
recrimination
rehearsing
analyzing
reasoning
reporting
mapping
judging
doubt
confusion
self-criticism
self-praise[/quote:3i24nk8g]
I've tried to pay more attention to the links between thoughts and physical sensations, accordingly. But I've mainly noticed them in the belly and the face: I'll try to expand my scope of attention beyond these two.
I should also try to discriminate the various kinds of thoughts more: my number of labels is very limited compared to yours...

Thank you, Pablo

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  • Opera
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7 years 7 months ago #94155 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
Three months already, huh!! <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( --> <!-- s:roll: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_rolleyes.gif" alt=":roll:" title="Rolling Eyes" /><!-- s:roll: --> <!-- s:x --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_mad.gif" alt=":x" title="Mad" /><!-- s:x --> I would have guessed one or one and a half.

This summer's been unusual and good. Last 3 weeks not so much.

After I stopped posting, I had two more sits.
This week,
1°) I sat [b:1e8rpg77]15mn on the cushion[/b:1e8rpg77], mostly calm and peaceful; some mental chatter of course but no negativity towards it.
2°) I [b:1e8rpg77]lied down 15mn[/b:1e8rpg77]. Again, some calmness but also some chatter leading to impatience: twice, I caught myself on the brink of getting up unexpectedly, coming out from a train of thought, which was stopped just as some muscles were starting to flex.
3°) Tonight, [b:1e8rpg77]30mn on the cushion[/b:1e8rpg77]. First part was ok but monkey mind crept in more and more. After about 15mn, the body got stiff and calm, so was the mind. Some pleasurable sensations linked to this, especially if I allowed somewhat unnatural eye movements inside up inside the globes, and the brain sensations that come with them (instead of relaxing muscles all over the body, which would cancel everything at first). The head cleared up. After 5mn, a similar pattern repeated: more calmness came but with a stiffer body and mind, and if I stayed with it, it went a bit deeper but somehow what felt right was re-straightening the body and get back to noting.

I'm getting more and more busy and I'm afraid that, if I sit regularly, I won't have much time left for anything else!
Which would be fine, as long as there's no avoidance strategy thrown into it, which I'm not sure of.
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  • Opera
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7 years 7 months ago #94156 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
Monday, 23rd: [b:2sjda5w5]20 minutes[/b:2sjda5w5]

[i:2sjda5w5]Conclusion: [/i:2sjda5w5]I think it takes about 15mn to settle the body and mind. So I'll try to sit for longer periods.

[i:2sjda5w5]Description:[/i:2sjda5w5] The first 10-15mn were a series of mental chatters interrupted by stiffness in the the chest and belly muscles. I breathed through the mouse (instead of though the nose) for ~10mn (just like this week-end in fact).
My posture was more erect and active than this week-end. Effect: maybe I settled slightly quicker (I'm not even sure of that), but I the uncomfortable body sensations were more present.

[i:2sjda5w5]Other thoughts about practice:[/i:2sjda5w5]
Sometimes I think that I should practice as Nick did at some point: kasina practice for 15mn and then shoot aliens for the rest of the sit.
Some other times, more gentle practice like Kenneth's one-note-every-two-or-three-seconds is more appealing.
Or take up MuMuMuWu's offer.

[i:2sjda5w5]Post-it:[/i:2sjda5w5] the first proximate goal is to establish a daily sitting practice: it should help reach SE and trod a path.
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7 years 7 months ago #94157 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
I was sure I had reported Tuesday's sit! Oh well, I guess I previewed it instead of submitting it. Here's what I recall:


[b:2pmn1kmy]Tuesday, September 24th: 30mn.[/b:2pmn1kmy]

I started by counting the breath. It was pretty ok, I didn't miss many breaths, but between them I was noticing plenty of thoughts.
So, when I stopped counting the breath, for a while I would just get lost in thoughts.
The posture was quite erect and adjusting it regularly brought more comfort, as it's supposed to.
As in every sit since the end of the long &quot;summer break&quot;, at some point I felt the pulse (of blood) through the lower 'bones' of the skull.

Overall I didn't get much calmer after ~15mn, I got impatient after about 20mn, almost got up, and the end of the sit was a mix of impatience and short calmer phases.



[b:2pmn1kmy]Yesterday[/b:2pmn1kmy], I went home late and tired, so I didn't sit.



[b:2pmn1kmy]Thursday, 25th: 35mn.[/b:2pmn1kmy]

This time counting the breath didn't work. At first, in-between breaths I noticed again tons of quick thoughts, which eventually led to missing a few breath, which eventually led to missing more than a few breaths!! The other, and in fact dominant, scenario, was to find the myriads of body sensations much more interesting than the breaths, but I couldn't keep a general awareness on them, and if I focused on one then another, eventually I got lost in thought.

Basically, there was no continuity of attention during the sit.

When the posture was 'slouching' (?), I tried to let it as it was, to see if it would lead to interesting results, and of course it didn't not, a vertical spine is advised for a reason. I'm feeling like a total beginner all over again.

[i:2pmn1kmy]When the head starts spinning and there is tension building in the muscles encircling the eye globes, can it lead to interesting results?
[/i:2pmn1kmy]

I got impatient, not restless, in the last 5mn. I was more relaxed about the many failures (as I think of them) of the sit, and concentrating anew felt refreshing, relaxing.
I still can't physically relax tense muscles (around the spine for instance) though. Facial muscles are much easier to let go of. After the first few dozens counts, counting the breath didn't disturb them.


I still think MUCH too much. Hard to just be in the moment, not washed over by swirling or obsessing thoughts. So I'm too far removed from basic sensations (other than thoughts).
&quot;Deliver us from Stuff!&quot; <!-- s:twisted: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_twisted.gif" alt=":twisted:" title="Twisted Evil" /><!-- s:twisted: -->
Or rather, Keep striving <!-- s:arrow: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_arrow.gif" alt=":arrow:" title="Arrow" /><!-- s:arrow: -->
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  • Bill29ish
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7 years 7 months ago #94158 by Bill29ish
Replied by Bill29ish on topic Re: Opera's prelude
&quot;I still think MUCH too much. Hard to just be in the moment, not washed over by swirling or obsessing thoughts. So I'm too far removed from basic sensations (other than thoughts).&quot;

Hi Opera,

Isn't this itself a thought? If conceptualizing/thinking/ideas are a problem than how can you invest in the one above? I empathize though.

But yo, what I really wanted to ask is what the picture is by your user name? I can't see it well, but it looks beautiful.

Metta,
Bill
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  • Opera
  • Topic Author
7 years 7 months ago #94159 by Opera
Replied by Opera on topic Re: Opera's prelude
[b:1bt4pxg7]Saturday, 28th: 25mn[/b:1bt4pxg7]
I tried to note with the most usual method: breath is the anchor, note anything that takes over the center stage and return to the breath once it's gone.
It did not improve things, but at least, thanks to Bill, I was less judgmental about myself when I came mental wanderings.
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