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TBnRB's Meditation POWWOW


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On 6/24/2023 at 10:00 PM, ringgggg said:

Any tips for Kasina? The imprint keeps drifting off and I can't keep it still.

 

I just thought of printing out a reticle to act as a guideline, maybe that'll help

Sorry I just now noticed this.

 

It's normal for it to drift around so just let it do that. Realize that you don't have to look anywhere specific to see the afterimage too. Moving your eyes behind your eyelids is pointless.

 

And a reticle as a guideline? Do you mean as a kasina?

 

Maybe like these?

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DGhezASx9C1uwjwN16_ZjXCVMhoUIME6/view?pli=1

 

Or the bottom of this page

https://imgur.com/a/N9jsg

Creation for creation's sake.

 

More of my drawings

 

Resident Dojikko

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  • 2 months later...

 

An interesting guided meditation Frank Yang sent me a while ago. Look for who/what is aware of the breath, or of thoughts, or of emotions, or of sound, or of sight. Look for what is doing the looking itself even. I believe the discussion afterwards is interesting too, hearing one girl's experience with it. Eventually you learn there is no self up there in your head controlling/experiencing everything, and then your awareness unhooks itself from the head and all sensations are just known where they are instead of from a vantage point. This can be extremely disorientating and even disturbing at first but I guess you get used to it eventually. For the record, I haven't experienced this yet, but I look forward to. Many others have and talk about it all the time.

 

There's a little om mani padme hum chanting in the beginning and end too to set the mood and give positive energy.

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Here's a good opportunity to check in before my retreat this week. I'm currently combating disturbing emotions with about 3 hours of meditation a day. Some screwed up life events both minor and major have happened that are unpleasant and I'm just dealing with how to cope with it. Due to my personality, minor events cause extreme suffering to me too.

 

I'm supposed to work tomorrow (don't know if I'm going to do that or not yet) but then my retreat starts the day after. I will make a post again after my retreat to talk about how it went (to what extent I kept up with it since it is virtual meaning it is harder to be accountable since you aren't literally forced in an environment where you have no other choice on what you're going to do), and my state of being afterwards (whether I have afterglow/aftershock/both/neither. Those are the 4 possible things that can happen after a retreat according to Shinzen Young. Afterglow is where you feel really nice and pleasant/equanimous and there is little resistance to feelings/life. Aftershock is the opposite where there is a lot of troubling feelings and you are kind of in a state where you process things better because of all the meditation you've done but it still is rough, and a lot of stuff came up due to the meditation. Then you can have both at the same time (not sure how that feels), or nothing can happen. I'm afraid of the last one happening but Shinzen says that does not mean your retreat wasn't productive. It's just how it be sometimes.

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This is TB's and RB's meditaiton powwow so Rena gets to do a check in too.

Rena: I've been mostly in the background lately. I've been okay with it but I'd like to come to the front more still. I hope this retreat can rekindle some spirit of striving for tulpamancy gains and focus on having close experiences together. I know there's a real chance it will bring up other things TB would have to worry about so if that happens I'm okay if they focus on that stuff first. I'll do whatever I can do to help them with it as I can. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing what impact this has on our lives. This retreat gives me hope things will start going in a better direction, even if they are only a little bit more diligent at meditating than normal.

 

It just occurred to me that I should try to do some meditation for the system too this retreat instead of the assumption that it was just going to be TB doing it all. It's got to count for both of us no matter who meditates right? That's an interesting question, I wonder what your thoughts are on it?

 

If we can hit 12 hours a day like our best case scenario is, that's gotta be real big change, right? I can't imagine that not doing something notable. 4/5 hours a day is legitimate too, though, on the lower ends of our hopes. I hope we can do a residential retreat sometime, too.

 

Good luck us.

Creation for creation's sake.

 

More of my drawings

 

Resident Dojikko

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I do think meditation and other mental activities performed while switched will benefit the whole system. The only things that wouldn't are things core to your own identity, but actual processes going on in the brain still occur in the same brain others in the system will later return to using, so they should be the same influence on them as on you. Moreso if other systemmates can still identify with those things as well, as opposed to think of it as "Just X member's thing" or such

Edited by Reisen

Hi guys, plain text is just me now! We've each got our own accounts: me, Tewi, Flandre, and Lucilyn. We're Luminesce's tulpas.

Here's our "Ask Thread", and here's our Progress Report (You should be able to see all of our accounts on the second page if you want)

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The Immersion retreat is finished now. I'm watching the closing circle.

 

I'm not surprised, but we didn't meditate as much as we hoped. Rena probably did half or more of it. I did most on the first and last day I think, then the 3 days in the middle was a lot of Rena and occasionally me.

 

We did 3-4 hours a day for most days I think? Some days are as low as 2 though. This is not retreat level meditation, but it is a high dose in context of just daily life meditation. I think the benefit will be worth it if I keep up this level of meditation outside of the retreat, so I always do 2-3 at least, even 4 some days.

 

I feel some minor afterglow. It's like a lite version of what I felt in 2017, so that's astoundingly good I suppose. I feel calm when I think about things that make me anxious. Some things still cause an intense dose of anxiety but it is still muted a little bit. If I keep this up I think it should only get better, and maybe I will find what I had again, and hopefully go beyond from there.

 

Something I learned this retreat is that I don't have the discipline to meditate 12 hours a day, perhaps because I've never done it before. A virtual retreat has the downside that you have access to your computer so you can do whatever you want and ignore some of the retreat. I was in a Zoom room 99% of the time but I abused workshops where teacher-trainers teach techniques or talk about various ideas that do with meditation and life integration, and techniques on how to handle various things, like anxiety. So they are helpful, but it isn't meditation. They often have short 10 minute meditations though so I still got some time from them. They are selling the recordings of these for 97 dollars so I bought it because there are some workshops I wanted to attend but didn't because they were too early in the morning for me.

 

But yeah, I don't have the discipline to do it on my own. I need to be in an environment where it is more forced and you have less choice. I need a residential retreat. There is a short 4 days residential retreat at a monastery that is about 2-3 hours away from where I live in 2 months from now, and registration opens in 1 month. I want to attend it but I am scared. I might just wait until next year to do it because I'm sure they'll have it again... or I might do a retreat in like march or something of next year, though it would probably be longer and harder if it isn't the beginner's retreat.

 

But yeah, I marked my calendar for it just in case I get the courage to do it. I have to hope my ride to work is still willing to drive me that far. She said she would. I just have to pay for her gas probably. And the retreat is free unlike most retreats, so that is astoundingly good. I'm pretty lucky in that regard, I just need to take advantage of it.

 

Hopefully at those retreats my concentration gets pushed to the levels of jhanas and shamatha, if I don't get it on my own at home. Jhanas are states of deep absorbtion. Basically really strong concentration to the point the body produces a bunch of joy and happiness. Shamatha is peaceful abiding, where you are calm and collected fully. Not like normal levels, a pretty altered state level of calm and collected, and I think jhanas kind of can count towards that, I'm not sure. I need to learn the difference.

 

Anyway, Rena had fun meditating for me, and will probably do so more often now since we see that is a productive thing for her and us. Sorry for the long rambly recap post.

Edited by TB

Creation for creation's sake.

 

More of my drawings

 

Resident Dojikko

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  • 2 months later...

I don't think I've talked about Sila here. That is Pali for ethics. When on the spiritual path to end suffering, ethics is just as important as meditation. Meditation without ethics isn't as effective.

 

One of my favorite suttas is the Vitakkasanthana Sutta, or "The Relaxation of Thoughts". It's about how to think what you want to think and not think what you don't want to think, or to have more wholesome thoughts and less unwholesome thoughts. https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/MN/MN20.html

 

It seems to repeat itself a lot and sounds redundant, but I think that is on purpose. It's to really drill it into your subconscious. I think it is worth reading fully. I'll summarize it, though, as well.

 

The Blessed One said: “When a monk is intent on the heightened mind, there are five themes he should attend to at the appropriate times. Which five?

"There is the case where evil, unskillful thoughts—connected with desire, aversion, or delusion—arise in a monk while he is referring to and attending to a particular theme. He should attend to another theme, apart from that one, connected with what is skillful. When he is attending to this other theme, apart from that one, connected with what is skillful, then those evil, unskillful thoughts—connected with desire, aversion, or delusion—are abandoned and subside. With their abandoning, he steadies his mind right within, settles it, unifies it, and concentrates it. Just as a dexterous carpenter or his apprentice would use a small peg to knock out, drive out, and pull out a large one..."

 

If unskillful thoughts continue to occur, you should scrutinize the drawbacks of those thoughts. Consider how those thoughts cause you stress or grief.

 

If unskillful thoughts still continue to occur, pay no attention to them or pay them no mind.

 

If unskillful thoughts continue to occur even still, attend to the relaxing of thought-fabrication with regard to those thoughts. "Just as the thought would occur to a man walking quickly, ‘Why am I walking quickly? Why don’t I walk slowly?’ So he walks slowly. The thought occurs to him, ‘Why am I walking slowly? Why don’t I stand?’ So he stands. The thought occurs to him, ‘Why am I standing? Why don’t I sit down?’ So he sits down. The thought occurs to him, ‘Why am I sitting? Why don’t I lie down?’ So he lies down. In this way, giving up the grosser posture, he takes up the more refined one..." I think also, becoming aware of the pleasantness of the space between thoughts, or at the end of thoughts.

 

And if unskillful thoughts continue finally, crush your mind with awareness. Mindfulness will see the drawbacks of the thoughts without you having to intellectually consider them, and correct the problem on its own. The reason your mind does anything at all is because subminds in your unconscious become prominent enough that their thoughts win out and appear in your conscious mind. All your subminds want you to be happy, but often disagree with what will make you happy, so conflict occurs. Subminds that work against you are usually lacking in information, and mindfulness will have them correct themselves where a lack of mindfulness would keep you stuck in your old habitual ways. The more subminds agree with one another is called unification of mind, and will lead to behaving in the way you want to with less effort or resistance.

 

Unification of mind is also required for jhanas, and is part of the source for the benefits of meditation. Practicing Sila will help with the unification of mind. When you behave poorly you cause reasons for worry and remorse, and this causes the opposite of the unification of mind, and makes jhanas and awakening nearly impossible.

 

“Now when a monk… attending to another theme… scrutinizing the drawbacks of those thoughts… paying no mind and paying no attention to those thoughts… attending to the relaxing of thought-fabrication with regard to those thoughts… beating down, constraining and crushing his mind with his awareness… steadies his mind right within, settles it, unifies it and concentrates it: He is then called a monk with mastery over the ways of thought sequences. He thinks whatever thought he wants to, and doesn’t think whatever thought he doesn’t. He has severed craving, thrown off the fetters, and—through the right penetration of conceit—has made an end of suffering & stress.”

 

Bard AI summary:

Quote
Summary of the post on Sila (ethics) and Thought Control:

Main Points:

  • Ethics (Sila) is crucial for spiritual progress and effective meditation.
  • The Vitakkasanthana Sutta outlines techniques to control thoughts and cultivate wholesome thinking.
  • The five strategies are:
    • Switching to a different skillful theme when unskillful thoughts arise.
    • Scrutinizing the drawbacks of unskillful thoughts.
    • Ignoring them completely.
    • Observing the relaxation between thoughts.
    • Crushing the mind with awareness (advanced).
  • The goal is to unify the mind (subconscious agreement) for less internal conflict and easier progress in meditation (including jhanas) and achieving awakening.
  • Practicing Sila helps unify the mind by reducing worry and remorse.

Key Takeaway:

Mastering your thoughts through ethical conduct and mental discipline is essential for spiritual growth and ultimately liberating yourself from suffering.

Bonus:

  • The post offers a metaphor about a carpenter using small pegs to remove larger ones, illustrating the gradual approach to dealing with unskillful thoughts.
  • It also highlights the pleasantness of the space between thoughts as a potential focus point.

Note:

The original post includes more details and personal insights. This summary captures the central message.

I hope this is helpful! Feel free to ask if you have any further questions.

 

Edited by TB

Creation for creation's sake.

 

More of my drawings

 

Resident Dojikko

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