• Thanks to everyone, this has been quite helpful.

    Aaron A – I’ll check that out, hopefully it will prove helpful.

    Jamie – After listening to many talks by various trust worthy teachers, and working with an ex-monastic as my actual teacher for two years, one thing I’m fairly sure of is that the suttas are written in a kind of a code. Not a…[Read more]

  • Not sure if this exactly the right place for this, but it seemed the most logical.

    Wondering if anyone else here finds the suttas a little bit less than direct, or really coming through in plain english. I’ve bought a copy of the Majjhima Nikaya, and find it somewhat impenetrable. Sure, you can simply read it, but when trying to take it at more…[Read more]

  • Florian,

    Thanks, it’s really helpful to have your experience mirrored by others. It at least tells me it’s not my mind playing games.

    I agree, the best thing is to be done with it. I had my last dose of caffeine on Monday, and I tapered down gradually for a week or so. Strangely, the first two days were no problem. Then today the wheels fell of.…[Read more]

  • Thank you for the replies both of you. I’m surprised more people don’t have an issue with this, to be honest, as we’re such a heavily caffeinated country and culture. Energy drinks galore, Starbucks on every corner, and independent coffee shops are near ubiquitous.

    Apparently I’m just unusually sensitive to the stuff. I have been down to about 10…[Read more]

  • I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced problems on and off the cushion as a result of using caffeine.

    I’ve noticed it off cushion, but it wreaks havoc with actual sitting practice. Monkey mind, scattered attention, uncomfortable feelings and emotions that hinder any attempt at stable attention. I’ve quit several times, for as long as ninety…[Read more]

  • Thanks. I think you may have misunderstood me though. I’m not giving up on the TMI method or practice. I’m only trying to simplify. Bhante G’s book was recommended as a way of doing that. It’s interesting how much Mindfulness in Plain English has in common with TMI. No surprise really.

    I’ll remain a member of this community and will continue to…[Read more]

  • Alex K,

    Thanks for that. Your timing is coincidental, as I’ve already softened my position about following things to the letter. First through Blake Barton’s instruction (see above) then I set TMI aside and decided to try Bhante Gunaratana’s approach as outlined in “Mindfulness in Plain English”

    Something about how Bhante G writes makes a kind…[Read more]

  • Alex,

    Thanks for the help and input. I was unfamiliar with that sutta. That was very helpful to see that these issues have always been with us.

    Best to you,

    Darrell

  • Blake,

    Okay, I’ll just keep to your instructions and post a follow up when I’ve become able to mostly overcome mind wandering, and gain a clear awareness of where my attention is moving moment to moment.

    I’ve had some profound results from walking meditation in the past, so I’ll integrate that back into my practice.

    Yes, the energy sensations…[Read more]

  • Upali,

    I wish I could say about the sensations. It’s currently a mystery to me. At first I attributed it to caffeine, or supplements taken, due to the irritated quality this sensation has. But when those are eliminated as a cause, the sensation remains. What’s interesting is that it seems to happen approximately at the same time in every session.…[Read more]

  • Blake,

    Thanks for your help. What you say jives with my hunch, based on what Culadasa has stated in TMI.

    I’ll be putting your suggestions into use, and will report back at some point.

    Meanwhile, how do you suggest I know when it’s time to begin moving forward in the practice, and what do you suggest the next moves would be when that time…[Read more]

  • Hi Alex,

    Hello dcurtis,

    I’ll respond in the same fashion –

    >>>I quickly scanned your post from last year. In relation to what Blake wrote, do you still agree with your assessment that you are sure this is mind wandering? It took me some long face to face discussion with a teacher to realize that I did not forget the breath, but that I was…[Read more]

  • Thanks for the reply.

    I’ve tried to be very specific about the use of attention vs awareness, per the descriptions in TMI. That being the case, I don’t doubt I could still be mistaken/confused. Would you mind clarifying what you’re referring to specifically?

    I’d love to work 1:1 with a teacher, but really don’t have extra funds to spare…[Read more]

  • Approximately a year ago, I posted here looking for help with my practice. I was stuck in stage two, and as of this writing, still have not met the exact requirements for mastery of stage two as defined by Culadasa at the end of the chapter for stage two. I’m close, but not quite there. It was suggested I begin to incorporate some stage three…[Read more]

  • Sadly I’m still in the same place more or less. I’ve wanted to post again to get further advice/suggestions/help/input, but I have difficulty even knowing what to say or how to describe what I experience during meditation.

    What you said about checking in – Exactly. In TMI is suggests checking in about every twelve in/out breaths. I can’t keep my…[Read more]

  • I’ve read the article you linked to, and have been making efforts to practice this way. Simply put, everything in my life becomes a part of the practice. It’s not just fewer meals, etc. That’s only one element. I already eat very little, and have a simple diet, so it requires little time. I still exercise, I just use that time to train the mind to…[Read more]

  • I don’t know if this will be helpful or not, but here goes –

    I’m coming at this from the place of a raging agnostic. Hyper agnostic. Atheism and theism both seem like a leap of faith to me. Yet, I find it impossible to accept that everything comes from nothing. I was pushed by a teacher I had been working with (a Buddhist ex-monastic) to accept…[Read more]

  • Adrain,

    Thanks for posting this. I too, am at almost this exact same place. It helps so much to know I’m not the only one going through it.

    Thanks,

    Darrell

  • Thank you Meshe,

    I’d heard that these sorts of things can indicate progress, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. That of course doesn’t mean anything, it’s just how it feels.

    I appreciate your input, I’ve been told before to be curious about the practice. Honestly, I’m not sure how to do that, or how to be playful, but I can try.

    Thank you

  • Hello All,

    This is a follow-up/extension of an earlier post http://dharmatreasurecommunity.org/forums/topic/difficulty-in-progressing-beyond-stage-two

    I’ve been putting into practice those things suggested by Blake, which is basically my using stage three techniques/methods. I’ve become largely comfortable with the use of following, connecting…[Read more]

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