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Antero's practice journal 6

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Re: Antero's practice journal 6

Postby Bill29ish » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:38 pm

Thank you for the explanation. No need for an apology.
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Re: Antero's practice journal 6

Postby Antero » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:41 am

The Wind Blowing Inside the Body

Doing full body breathing and other somatic practices that fill the body with awareness to the brim have made subtle tickling sensations of electricity that flow throughout the body common phenomena again. The body feels spacious and alive and the sensations can be very much like the movement of air on the exposed skin on a windy day, engulfing the whole body in a shower of cool tingles, except the wind is blowing inside the space of the body.

Right now my practice is all about feeling the body and letting go of all tension and releasing it into the earth. This shatters the normal conceptual body-experience and brings me into direct contact of the nature of reality that is open, vast and in a constant state of flux. The body loses it’s supposed and expected solidity and becomes a transparent tube of moving air that flows through without boundaries.

At times letting go of tension can be so abrupt and dramatic that the perineum contracts, sending a show wave through the central channel that starts to vibrate violently, shaking the entire body. There is a sinking feeling to it that closely resembles Nirodha Samapatti The mind is clear and quiet afterwards.
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Re: Antero's practice journal 6

Postby Bill29ish » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:44 pm

I'm glad the earth breathing is resonating with you. I've found it's a unique practice in some way I can't explain. To echo what you already wrote, my experience is that the more I practice with the body it becomes harder to say what the body is, so that the sensations feel they could be the whole environment, as if the body is outside of the body. Are you doing this practice in a formal way or is it just becoming more a part of your other activities?
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Re: Antero's practice journal 6

Postby Antero » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:51 am

I could not agree more with you Bill. The more I do bodywork and explore the body from the inside, the more fleeting and transparent it becomes. I am currently starting all my formal meditations sits with some form of bodywork, filling the body with awareness and continuing from there.

Off the cushion, at times when the space of awareness is not so easily apparent, I switch back to sensing the body from the inside. The feeling of bliss arises and soon the conceptual image of the body is penetrated and it's solidity dissolves.
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Re: Antero's practice journal 6

Postby Antero » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:52 am

The Body is an Afterthought

50 minute sit
Although recently the body has felt pretty open and transparent and there has been very little gross muscle tension, I still started working with the body first. The silent vastness of the mind has been easily available, but doing bodywork in the beginning opens up the mind further and creates a solid ground for further unfolding.

I used the body as a focus, filled it completely with awareness and finally dissolved the focus into space. At the start of the practice, the body was a transparent membrane that contained some floating pockets of tension. With the shifting of focus into space of awareness, the perception of the body changed into a cloud of high frequency buzzing vibrations with no clear boundaries.

With the dissolving of the body image, subtle layers of mental tension were revealed, but were not entirely let go of. The mind was very quiet and flexible, but there still was some unresolved tightness and background fluctuation remaining.

I looked at the space of awareness more closely, investigating it’s extent and relationship with the body and this enhanced the quality of awareness considerably. The compulsion to anchor the experience to the space of the body dissolved and for a while there was a feeling of profound freedom. The body clearly is just an afterthought.
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Re: Antero's practice journal 6

Postby Antero » Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:43 am

Evolution of the Body Experience

Before I became more involved with the Bodywork, I had been mostly interested in the mental level of the experience of emptiness and had neglected the selfing contained in the bodily tension, that gives rise to the the conceptual image of the body, which is mistakenly identified as the genuine body experience.

With the penetration of the conceptual body, the ongoing body experience can be likened to a diffuse boundary filled with flows of vibration. There is a feeling of open-endedness and hollowness within the upper body extending down into the earth from the base of the spine and up through the top of the head. Attending to the hollow core of the body increases the awareness of space and brings blissful feeling.

Currently the openness and the flowing quality of the body is present at all times and even the unwanted body sensations of discomfort and pain do not cause solid contracting feeling. There are only small pockets of contraction present, that will promptly soften with the increase of mindfulness.

Directing the mindfulness to the feeling of space, that is this body, expands the boundaries even further. When the space of awareness comes more to focus, the physical sensations appear like swarms of energy bursts on the radar screen.
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Re: Antero's practice journal 6

Postby AnthonyYeshe » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:23 pm

Thanks for the reports Antero. I always enjoy reading your posts.
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Re: Antero's practice journal 6

Postby Antero » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:52 am

AnthonyYeshe wrote:Thanks for the reports Antero. I always enjoy reading your posts.


Thanks Anthony, nice to see you here :)
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Re: Antero's practice journal 6

Postby Antero » Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:00 am

Trekchod - Cutting Through

How to maintain a state of mindfulness that by definition cannot be found and cannot be maintained? The emptiness of the body has been like an anchor for me, keeping the touch light on everyday experience and preventing the habitual grasping from taking over. Still it has often been the case that the openness is overlayed with a slight feeling of tension or at times it may is too relaxed resulting in the identification with mind objects. This overlay can be so subtle that it is hard to pinpoint, almost like a thin layer of dust covering the mirror. The application of Trekchod has proven to cut through the fabrications like a knife and has become my favourite way of keeping the awake emptiness fresh during the day. First cutting through three times and then cutting through the knife itself.

I have been noticing the habit of the conceptual mind to try to fit the natural state into a thing, reducing it into just another idea that can be pinned down and safely categorized. As an antidote to this, the Dzogchen teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoce recommends cultivating an attitude of abandon to the realization of the mind’s essence and being open and relaxed about it. This is the principle of looseness and it is the solid basis of mindfulness.

After finding the looseness and relaxation the bright and sharp quality of the senses can be emphasized. When the senses are fully open and simply present, this is the attitude of brightness. In a state of relaxed openness with the flow of sensations unblocked, one can arrive at the lucid quality of the essential nature itself. In every sensation there is the bright presence at work, which is a quality inherent to the mind.

These foundations of looseness, brightness and lucidity have been the underlying priciples of my latest off the cushion practice. The original instructions of Trekchod in the root text of Lamrim Yeshe Nyingpo are as follows:

”This instant of freshness; unspoiled by thoughts of the three times, You directly see in actuality by letting be in naturalness”

Creating something artificial is always moving away from the natural state. Being motionless is leaving things be as they naturally are with nothing added or removed, wanted or rejected. For that reason this practice can also be called the Three Ways of Let Be or Training in Threefold Motionlessness.

Let the body be

The first aspect is called the unmoving body like a king of mountains. If we are doing formal meditation on the cushion, the body is kept erect and relaxed like mountain. This principle can also be applied to any posture and used in movement as well. If letting go of the deeper bodily tension is mastered through the practice of bodywork, just attending to the body and dropping all fabrication is enough to put the body at ease and to connect to the subtle emotional body and deeper to the emptiness body as well. There can be an initial rush of tingling sensations, the body feels open-ended, floating and vibrating in space and deeply rooted in the earth. There is a complete acceptance of the physical conditions and openness to all experiences of the body whether pleasant or unpleasant.

Let the senses be

The second principle of let be is also called unmoving senses like planets and stars reflected in a lake. All the senses are left open and the stream of sensations are let be just as they are: bright, unceasing, unblocked and not manipulated in any way. There is no selecting or blocking of the sense input. The field of sensations, whether sounds, sights or tastes, form together a unified mix of vibrations in space with little contrast between the periphery and the centre [1]. Not even the flow of thoughts are blocked in any way.

No intention to pick up sights and sounds is necessary, the senses are left open and receptive and there is perfect and unhidered flow of sensations. How much effort does it take to see or hear anyway? There is a specific difference between reaching out with the senses and allowing the perceptions to appear.

Let the mind be

The third principle is leaving the mind be as it is, clear and lucid and dropping any trying, comparing, judging, meditating, being or becoming. This is also called the third motionlessness: unmoving mind-essence like a cloudless sky. It goes without saying that one can only cut through the mental fabrication all the way to the natural state only if it has been recognized and familiarized before.

I have noticed how even resting in a state of tranquility and nonconception, there is often an underlying idea, a non-conscious attitude that I am meditating. This is an example of a subtle form of fabrication that limits the awareness. The concept of ”I” could be as subtle as clinging to a form of the body in an otherwise open space. This attitude is not a regular thought that can be perceived, but more like an assumption beneath the level of the thinking mind. Even if those ideas have already been let go of, there could be some subconscious checking going on about the extent and quality of the awareness or perhaps comparing it’s quality to some idea of an ideal state.

When all the fabrications and ideas are gone, there is just open vastness of knowing awareness, the union of shamatha and vipashyana that is mind-essence. Drop all techniques.

[1]
”If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite”
- William Blake
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Re: Antero's practice journal 6

Postby Antero » Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:12 am

Self-cognizance

This has been my sitting practice lately:

I drop all the attachment to the the body, imaginary borders drawn in space and spacial location and get absorbed into the spaciousness and emptiness of my own body. I have started to call this experience the emptiness-body because of the physical nature of it.

I look at the vastness and emptiness of this bodily experience closely and loose myself in it. The object of investigation is this void of non-attacment that is empty of all inherent properties and at the same time has potential for endless spontanious manifestations.

There is seeing happening, but what exactly is being seen?

There is seeing happening, but what excatly is the one that sees it?

Doing this practice over and over again, coverings have been pulled away piece by piece and I have arrived at a definite conclusion that there is no-thing is that is doing the seeing and no-thing is seen. Whichever way I approach it, this is the undeniable truth of things: At the bottom of the experience the object of seeing is excatly the same that sees it. While they are the same, they cannot be found. This is the concrete phenomenal manifestation of emptiness: there is nothing to be found and somehow this can be known.

After repeatedly investigating this, I have slowly come to the definite conclusion of this nature of self-cognizance of phenomena.
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