writing down meditation experiences ?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

writing down meditation experiences ?

Postby purple planet » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:58 pm

the way i learn now is by doing a few meditations and then calling the teacher and describing feelings i got when meditating (regular feelings nothing special) and how it went

i wonder should i write down the experiences after each meditation so i wont forget how it went when i talk to him on the phone - i call now every 3-5 days
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: writing down meditation experiences ?

Postby SarathW » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:31 am

I think meditation all about letting go.
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Re: writing down meditation experiences ?

Postby Kamran » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:55 am

Thanissaro Bikhu on trying to memorize insights:

"If you're looking for the little formulas or the little nuggets of wisdom that you can wrap up and take home, in hopes that they'll allow you to drop the effort that goes into being so attentive, it's like the old story of the goose laying the golden egg. You get a golden egg and then you kill the goose. That's the end of the eggs. The goose here is the ability to stay attentive, to be present, to be fully engaged in what's happening with the breath. The insights will come on their own — you keep producing, producing, producing the insights — not for the sake of taking home with you, but for the sake of using them right here, right now. You don't have to be afraid that you're not going to remember them for the next time. If you're really attentive, your sensitivity will produce the fresh insights you need next time. It will keep developing, becoming an ability to read things more and more carefully, more and more precisely, so that you won't have to memorize insights from the past. It will keep serving them up, hot and fresh."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tions.html
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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Re: writing down meditation experiences ?

Postby Ben » Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:48 am

You might find it of benefit to write down meditation experiences.
My perspective is that by writing them down one may fall into the danger of feeling that they are somehow something special, when in fact, they are just ephemeral transient phenomena manifesting due to conditions.
Whatever you are experiencing, I think it is wise to try to regard with awareness and equanimity - in other words, just observe, just let go.
kind regards,

Ben
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

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sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: writing down meditation experiences ?

Postby manas » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:24 pm

purple planet wrote:the way i learn now is by doing a few meditations and then calling the teacher and describing feelings i got when meditating (regular feelings nothing special) and how it went

i wonder should i write down the experiences after each meditation so i wont forget how it went when i talk to him on the phone - i call now every 3-5 days


Sounds reasonable enough to me. It's not that you are trying to record or 'hold on' to these experiences, from what I hear; but rather, the writing down is just to aid the question and answer session with the teacher, yes?

However, even though I see the points above about letting go of each meditation so as not to cling to it as a kind of possession that it can never be - I must say, that when I consider the vast, almost unlimited amounts of mundane rubbish that people in general either write about, or journal about (romance, the lives of movie stars, the workings of a psychopathic mind...etc etc ad nauseam), then someone writing about their meditation experiences suddenly seems really good by comparison, regardless of their reasons for doing it!

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Re: writing down meditation experiences ?

Postby SarathW » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:20 pm

Try to remember or even try to experience what you have experience before is a hindrance for your development. it is not the present moment awareness. It is something like you try to write down how to ride the bicycle! :smile:
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Re: writing down meditation experiences ?

Postby James the Giant » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:28 am

SarathW wrote:Try to remember or even try to experience what you have experience before is a hindrance for your development. it is not the present moment awareness. It is something like you try to write down how to ride the bicycle! :smile:

No, there's a role for remembering past experience and using that to assist with current experience. One translation of Sati is remembrance.
For example, one monk I read ( I can't remember who it was unfortunately ) recommended recalling the remembered experience of being in Access Concentration, and using that to more easily get into Access Concentration.
You remember the mental feeling of being in that state, and the mind calms quickly and one gets into that state much faster. I use this daily, and it works well.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
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Re: writing down meditation experiences ?

Postby manas » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:48 am

James the Giant wrote:
SarathW wrote:Try to remember or even try to experience what you have experience before is a hindrance for your development. it is not the present moment awareness. It is something like you try to write down how to ride the bicycle! :smile:

No, there's a role for remembering past experience and using that to assist with current experience. One translation of Sati is remembrance.
For example, one monk I read ( I can't remember who it was unfortunately ) recommended recalling the remembered experience of being in Access Concentration, and using that to more easily get into Access Concentration.
You remember the mental feeling of being in that state, and the mind calms quickly and one gets into that state much faster. I use this daily, and it works well.


Agree with you there, James; working with the mind involves remembering what works, and also what does not. And ime a fair bit of experimentation as well (in the sense of striving for how to best apply what, to the best of one's knowledge, the suttas are actually getting at). Sometimes I have this perception of the mind as a landscape, a terrain, that with experience, one gets better and better at negotiating.

The phenomenon of somehow wanting what one previously had back again, well one realizes over time that it cannot be, and to stop doing this. Yesterday's meditation session is gone forever, so yes we have to let it go. But if we learned something useful during that meditation, a new strategy or skill we can then apply again, then we would want to try to remember that new skill or strategy, I would've thought...

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Re: writing down meditation experiences ?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:38 pm

purple planet wrote:the way i learn now is by doing a few meditations and then calling the teacher and describing feelings i got when meditating (regular feelings nothing special) and how it went

i wonder should i write down the experiences after each meditation so i wont forget how it went when i talk to him on the phone - i call now every 3-5 days

Well it wouldn't hurt, and setting aside some time after a sitting to fully collect your thoughts about it is useful.
I did make some worksheets (and have a new one coming in the next few weeks) which you may find useful found here but the specific one you may find useful here
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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