• I do think it helps to categorize thoughts. This is the benefit I get from labeling distractions. The idea is to recognize them quickly in the future before they snag you. A distraction such as a physical sound is easy to recognize, but some kinds of thoughts are downright sneaky and require extra vigilance.

  • ward replied to the topic Rebirth in the forum Principles of Dharma 9 months, 1 week ago

    I am of the opinion that SOMETHING of the person persists after physical death, and I might describe that as the patterns of thinking, being, feeling, behaving, etc. that have built up in this life (and previous lives) and that already persist in some form outside time and space. Those patterns don’t belong to anyone, as there is no core self, but…[Read more]

  • I have had a few OOB experiences in my life and am familiar with the vibrations you speak of. I do not think they are piti or are directly related to meditation. For one thing, I didn’t have a regular practice until recently. Plus, the vibes were generally accompanied by sleep paralysis and sometimes the perception of demonic attack…[Read more]

  • Look for friends who share your preferences. A few close relationships is plenty. Friends who are comfortable just sitting around saying nothing.

    As for your old friends, you don’t have to break with them overtly. Just quit participating in the mindless stuff day to day. Show up at a party every now and then, shake everyone’s hand, and feel the…[Read more]

  • ward replied to the topic Fasting and meditation in the forum Meditation 1 year, 1 month ago

    I fasted recently for 3.5 days, for the first time in a couple of years. It was rather difficult, due to my waning health (at age 65) and consequent heavy elimination symptoms (including emotional). I was open to going a few more days but opted out in the interest of safety. Meditation was not easy or satisfying; it was effectively like trying to…[Read more]

  • ward replied to the topic Self retreat schedule in the forum Meditation 1 year, 2 months ago

    Yes, thanks much. It’s hard to imagine that my subminds will ever “shut up and listen,” but I’ll try to stay open to that and hold the intention.

  • ward replied to the topic Self retreat schedule in the forum Meditation 1 year, 2 months ago

    Jeremy said “…the sub-minds in a mind-system unified by meditation are no longer wasting their energy by incessantly generating desire- and aversion-based thoughts and feelings at an unconscious level; the act of meditation is a much less energy-intensive process than our usual neurotic mental activity!”

    Wouldn’t it be more correct to say that…[Read more]

  • A couple of mundane thoughts, which may or may not apply:

    If there is significant sugar and other empty carbs in your diet, dropping them in favor of increased dietary fat might make a difference. Could improve sleep too.

    Bright light is said to inhibit melatonin production, which might explain a temporary increase in wakefulness. It’s also why…[Read more]

  • Ward Law posted a new activity comment 1 year, 8 months ago

    In reply to: Ronald Craig posted an update Culadasa writes, “Checking In: Instead of waiting for introspective awareness to arise spontaneously, as you have been doing, now intentionally turn your attention inward to see what […] View

    I’m not qualified to answer that. But working on increasing peripheral awareness sounds like a good experiment to me. You could try “being aware” of thoughts and sensations before you start focusing on the breath. What happens to them when you focus on the breath? Are they already gone when you first check in?

  • Ward Law posted a new activity comment 1 year, 8 months ago

    In reply to: Ronald Craig posted an update Culadasa writes, “Checking In: Instead of waiting for introspective awareness to arise spontaneously, as you have been doing, now intentionally turn your attention inward to see what […] View

    The book also says that using attention to check in creates a “snapshot” of what the mind was doing a moment ago. You might find it helpful to inquire about that snapshot, such as: How vivid was my perception of the breath sensations in that moment? Was there a thought present, and if so, how much of my attention was on it? Was I aware of…[Read more]

  • I see what you mean, now that I’ve looked into the hard problem a little further. I wonder if there are any meditation masters who have addressed this directly. I suspect that the answer you would get is that the solution is transcendent and cannot be expressed in the realm of duality.

  • I suggest to go back and re-read the Seventh Interlude. It is one of the most profound pieces I’ve ever read. The problem is “hard” only if you equate consciousness with human subjectivity. You mentioned trees as an example of unconscious entities. Coincidentally, this article came out today:…[Read more]

  • For me it can definitely be a challenge engaging with the faint sensations at/in the nostrils. Two situations are especially difficult: strong dullness and strong agitation. Although these seem like opposites, what they have in common is that noise in the nervous system overwhelms the more subtle sensations in the nose. In the former case, it is…[Read more]

  • For me it can definitely be a challenge engaging with the faint sensations at/in the nostrils. Two situations are especially difficult: strong dullness and strong agitation. Although these seem like opposites, what they have in common is that noise in the nervous system overwhelms the more subtle sensations in the nose. In the former case, it is…[Read more]

  • ward started the topic Buried Treasure in the forum Meditation 1 year, 9 months ago

    I have enjoyed exploring the “Jhana and Insight” Yahoo group (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/jhana_insight/info) over the last couple of weeks. In particular, I wish to draw your attention to the posts written by Culadasa, which date all the way back to 2005. They are most enlightening and have provided me with an excellent supplement to The…[Read more]

  • It seems to me that the teaching’s emphasis on strengthening peripheral awareness would be more of a challenge to some meditators than to others.

    As someone with a neurotic, anxious nature, peripheral awareness is a given for me. The slightest change in my external or internal environment almost never goes unnoticed and usually stimulates a…[Read more]

  • As I struggle with strong dullness, I am experimenting with expanding the scope of attention to include more elements of the breath. As my breathing becomes shallower, I often find it difficult to “tease out” the faint sensations in the nostrils from the background of mental (especially hypnagogic) noise. It’s as if those faint sensations don’t…[Read more]

  • ward replied to the topic Dullness and insomnia in the forum Meditation 1 year, 11 months ago

    Thanks for the encouragement, Jeremy.

    Today I was able to meditate for an hour without nodding off. There was strong dullness, but I was able to overcome it enough such that I would lose track of the breath only momentarily (not much vividness, though). After an hour, the struggle was so fierce that I decided to “quit while ahead” and end on a…[Read more]

  • I’m a lifetime insomniac who lives in a perpetual state of mild sleep deprivation. My meditative skill is somewhere in stage 2, though I haven’t really mastered stage 1 yet. As you might guess, strong dullness is my main obstacle. On the other hand, dullness is my best friend at bedtime.

    My sleep technique, which I already sort-of knew but…[Read more]

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