Some of the information you find here can be considered personal, so
I leave the choice with you to read it or not. It's public. I'm OK
This log is about my experience with insight meditation (IM).
Meditation is a strongly subjective activity, which makes it hard to
talk about. Moreover, kicking "concept" itself off the throne is one
of the core elements of IM, which leaves one with not much to talk
Good bye :)
So what's the point? Why meditate?
It reduces mental anguish by eliminating some "endless loops".
The bottom line seems to be that sustained focus on the process of
attention and direct perception sets in motion a certain change in the
way attention and perception work. It seems shuffle things around
into a more harmonious configuration.
Relentlessly paying attention to things you normally don't pay
attention to will make you notice things that are normally unnoticed.
Some of these "insights" can change your idea of "self" in quite
radical ways, making it all feel a bit more natural and integrated.
The main mechanism behind this seems to be sustained, repetetive
exposure to direct experience of physical sensations. Once you see
something clearly, over and over again, as it presents itself, it
looses its disturbing power. Staring will not make "bad" sensations
go away. It merely opens the door for them to be integrated in the
whole of experience.
Paraphrasing Daniel Ingram, once "your shit" loosens its stranglehold,
it's a lot easier to deal with!
* * *
It all started end of November 2011 with this HN post  which
referred the Hamilton Project website and lead me to Daniel
Ingram's videos, book "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha"
, and Dharma Overground website.
Daniel's "minimal dogma" approach spoke to me in a very direct way.
My background is in science and engineering and I can very much
appreciate cutting to the essence without too much story.
( EDIT: 2012-11-24, one year after starting meditation.. )
In that period I was plagued by a lot of anxiety. In this state
Daniel's videos pushed me over the edge to give it a try, and the
continued progress has kept me on the cushon ever since.
In case you wonder, I am not religious. It's a big irony to me that
"dharma" means "truth".
After about 3 months into doing daily IM practice I can say that it is
definitely worth the effort. It gave me what I was looking for, which
was basically a better handle on stress and anxiety. Beyond that it
is interesting to say the least. More like a revelation, really.
In this log I try to follow Daniel's advice and will attempt not to go
(too much) into my "stuff". There's plenty of it though and I will
just label it as such.
I will also attempt to keep the logging of experiences separate from
their interpretation, which isn't always possible either. Suggestion
and wishful thinking are always lurking.
20130516 Dharma Integration: getting overwhelmed
Fruition in dream
20130508 Ego death
20130505 Ebb and flow
20130502 There's something about the sound of fans
20130430 Discontinuity of thought
20130429 Day creates duality
20130428 Accepting depression
20130403 Not following the swirl
20130401 3 doors
20130328 Blip classification
20130317 DhO fav threads
20130312 Forced into identity by social contact
20130311 Sleep strengthens ego
20130308 Fear of death - to be wrong is the death of an idea
20130228 3 speed
20130224 Power of joy
20130223 Zen and the Brain
20130222 Why does working feel normal?
Meditation is babysitting awareness
20130221 Dharma doing me
20130216 Before sit
20130212 Days vs. nights
20130211 Sailor Bob Adamson, Non Duality Melbourne Style
20130209 Waves in my left foot
20130208 Upset.. inevitably the self returns, right?
20130207 Working with "Ick" ~ Stephanie Nash
20130205 Shinzen Young on turning off attention
Shinzen Young on the Category Theory metaphore
20130202 Social anxiety
Silly sense of accomplishment
Mindfulness throughout the day
Success is demotivating
20130127 Low tide
20130125 Fear of death and loss
20130112 Impermanence and Not Self
20130107 Suffering is identification
20121219 Happy days
Dealing with other's ego stuff
20121218 Ben Smythe
Kranti Ananta - Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview
20121215 Depressed, anxious state
20121213 Mornings are different
20121212 Blip after "not-my-problem"
20121210 Remembering the humility
20121209 Deep jealousy
What is wrong with Buddhism
20121207 Consciousness and Primordial Awareness
20121206 Practical problem
20121202 Nowhere to hide
20121130 Drop solidification
20121125 From space to time
20121123 interpretation is dangerous
20121118 Feel lighter this morning
20121117 Some progress
Self is only pain
20121116 Strong resentment
20121115 Dark night again
20121114 Tension storage
20121113 Afternoon sit, dropout
20121112 2nd path, same lessons as 1st path, different territory
Reobservation 2nd path
20121111 Facing resentment
20121110 Drop the agenda
20121109 Real-time drop out blogging
20121104 The answer to which one shoould I pick..
20121025 Sloth & embedding
20121020 Focusing on the arising and passing of self
20121018 Dark night?
20121009 Formless realms
Seeing in the seen
20120928 Out of the bubble
20120920 Fear of gettig to know people
20120908 A general, all-purpose jhana thread
20120812 Beginner mind
Talking too much
20120810 Loosing touch
Writing a lot lately
20120803 Understanding conflict
Replace judgement with compassion
Integration: not getting hooked on resentment
20120801 Resentment in daily life
20120731 The Witness
20120723 My projects
20120721 Dukkha weekend
20120720 Another dark night?
20120718 New path starting?
20120717 Catching morning resentment
20120710 Selfless State
20120709 Jhanic states
20120703 New formal approach
20120624 Last week
20120617 Today's sit
20120611 Piercing through fear
20120610 Last couple of days
20120607 Frame rate of awareness?
20120604 Practice and non-practice
HP posts on MCTB vs. other
20120603 Frame rate
20120602 No self vs. blipping
20120529 Last week
20120517 Couple of bad days.
20120513 Wondering ..
20120507 Taking things personal
20120512 Last couple of sits
20120505 The "You" *is* the fighting
20120504 Hacking vedana
When in the midst of misery
20120503 Resentment & fear
20120502 Different again
20120427 Sitting through confusion without blinking
Another interesting sit
Sensation and mental representation
20120423 Transition to equanimity
20120420 Later, a shift.
20120418 The Watcher
20120416 Snapping out of it
20120410 Back in reobservation?
Equanimity & fallback
20120409 Three Characteristics
Interesting HP posts
20120408 Reborn into the moment
20120407 Yesterday's sit
Please, please, distract me!
20120403 Still sick
20120402 Day after
Is meditation eliminating looping?
Kenneth Folk @ buddhist geeks
20120326 Facing noon
20120325 Daniel on Powers
Response to Fear of knowing
20120324 Emotional turbulence
20120322 Fear of knowing
20120316 Taking breaks
20120314 Cold & partial awareness
Identifying with intelligence
20120313 Back in Belgium
20120303 Follow up
20120302 Observing the effects of alcohol
On remembering advice
Can't do it
Resentment against concentration
20120218 Meditation at Work
20120213 Responsibility and Panic [stuff]
20120212 On the path
Where do I want to go next?
The No-Complaining Bracelet
20120207 Good day
20120204 [stuff] Anxiety, Resentment and Boredom
Anxiety, deconstructing the feeling
Loving Kindness & Insight
20120130 Morning meditation
20120126 Accepting pain
20120116 Today's mindfulness at work
Back on track?
20120115 Noon is the problem
20120111 Knowing fear
20120104 Letting go of love
20120101 What has changed? [stuff]
20111231 Very calm
20111230 Strange experience
20111229 Last days
20111225 Feels like something is coming
20111223 Pfff [stuff]
20111217 Background Anxiety
20111212 Watching Yuttadhammo
20111208 Today's practice
Noticing neurotic stuff
20111206 Evening meditation
20111203 30 mins
20111201 More anxiety
Noon practice, 20 minutes.
Waking up, reassembling
20111129 The Three Trainings
20111127 Alan Chapman - Becoming a seeker
20111125 Restarting practice
Dark Night Yogi