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About ardacigin

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  1. What matters is not the raw hours but how many of those hours were utilized in deliberate practice with the right techniques in uninterrupted hours. Deliberate practice. Right techniques tailored to the person. Uninterrupted continuity of practice. Hours and years only make sense in this context. Otherwise, raw hours and years don't mean anything. This path has a deep skill development component to it. I was a non-spiritually inclined person and I've re-trained my nervous system. I wasn't genetically gifted. Most of my 'Gains' in spirituality was due to effort and diligence. I agree with Shinzen. He went hard at this in a monastic setting. Don't think about talent too much. It is a dead end. Just focus on finding a method that works and practice with diligence. You may not grow as quickly as Buddha but you'll make steady progress because of systematic awareness, equanimity and attention training.
  2. I can understand this. I've had a talk with my mother a few days ago and she said that I was 'unusually mellow' emotionally and said that it was unnatural. Especially after radical meditative joy development 2 months ago, my happiness levels just went 100 times higher than it originally was. And I was a relatively chill but neurotic person prior to meditative joy. All kinds of stressful events are going on and I'm smiling and cracking jokes. It definitely feels weird at first. But once you realize how neurotic the alternative is, you learn to downplay the happiness in certain social circumstances and just keep practicing with diligence. People get used to it and even start to get impressed by your emotional mastery. Also, this happiness facilitates care love and compassion towards other people. So you don't laugh at people when you see them struggling. You are in a state of joy combined with caring compassion. So, you go and help them out. But you don't suffer emotionally.
  3. @Serotoninluv I thought 5 meo dmt was not addictive. It is interesting that other psychedelics don't produce this craving. Maybe Dilaudid created a form of attachment to this profound mental state and when 5 meo-dmt at low levels reduced craving to a similar level, the mind has reacted with addictive behaviour, as occured with dilaudid. Maybe this can be one of the reasons why 5 meo was addicting to you? I can definitely get a sense of what you are talking about. Serenity, blissful joy, equanimity in the present moment. I'm pretty sure this is 1000 times deeper and more intense with Dilaudid, but meditative joy gets you these elements as well. Even though they are not on full awakening and nirvana levels of ecstasy, once they dominate consciousness on mid-levels, all negative states of minds go away and craving is radically reduced. The bliss is not subtle and is present in consciousness effortlessly with stability on significant levels. This also enables you to interact with people and do demanding tasks. You constantly walk with a smile on your face effortlessly. But I'm only a meditator with a few years of experience. I'm pretty sure a meditator who has spent decades of time with meditative joy can run with it, deepen it and get it to legit morphine levels with profound equanimity consistently. But we are only talking about the emotional aspects of this path. 5 meo gives you many more insights besides ecstatic emotions and unconditional happiness. Thank you for the comparison though
  4. @SerotoninluvI've never heard of that. How would you compare 5 meo dmt and dilaudid? Even though they are different substances, what sort of similarities and differences they have?
  5. Exactly Mastering the Alchemy of Emotions. Intense exercise and healthy diet is said to increase natural opioid and endorphin production. However, these are very minor developments compared to mental states that can be achieved on jhanas and with meditative joy.
  6. Here is a great interview on jhanas from Leigh Brasington on Deconstructing Yourself Podcast. In a scientific sense, it appears that deep meditative joy is basically stable and consistent opioid (sukha) and norepinephrine (piti) production in the nervous system. This is currently Leigh's theory on the science of jhanas. Subjectively, this is how I feel as well. Norepinephrine gives that bouncy energy and agitation in the physical body. It is more present in the 1st and 2nd jhana. Opioid gives you the happiness and joy with warmth and contentment. It is more present in 3rd jhana. Opioid is really where stuff gets super interesting. For instance, Heroin is a very addicting and powerful form of opioid so in a sense, you are getting a fraction of that naturally. This is brain's natural opioid endorphins. Obviously, I don't know what heroin feels like but if jhanas are a vastly less potent form of heroin then stabilizing just the 1% of a heroin high naturally with meditative joy is pretty damn sweet. It'd make holding on to negative states of mind almost impossible. It is that sweet. Jhana practice is basically teaching the brain to manipulate these neurotransmitters for the purposes of deep insight practice. But these states in and of themselves reduce craving so much that they can be directly insight practices themselves. (if you have enough mindfulness) In the deeper jhanas like the 3rd jhana, opioid and endorphin production increases a lot so that the element of contentment and equanimity with joy and happiness becomes really pronounced. Leigh says that mastering meditative joy and jhanas to a stable level so that your emotions in daily life is skewed to the positive and your baseline happiness is permanently increased takes about 5 years of work. It is a long term project. This time frame is for non-monastics. And overall, I do agree. It took me 3-4 years with TMI. But I have never intentionally practiced jhanas. I was learning deep access concentration with TMI and I was thrust into the world of stable joy and happiness. So maybe, if I were to cultivate joy and happiness and focus on that as a meditation object, I'd have experienced this shift in 1-2 years. Regardless, 5 years is a doable time frame IF you have a consistent jhana practice + access concentration. If you don't have a hardcore daily practice like that, then you may not even get any meditative joy in 10 years. You must make this work a priority. Anyways, here is the interview. Listen to it in a state of deep meditation, access concentration and hopefully in a state of joy and happiness.
  7. @integralI haven't used GABA supplements but still, I think a spiritual practitioner should be careful on this. This is not quite like psychedelics. These supplements are quite safe and in the short term usage , go for it. But we don't know its effects on the nervous system for long term usage. My concern is that if you use GABA supplements too consistently, the brain might stop producing GABA on its own since you are constantly outsourcing it. This is also not a chemical you can directly take from food. So you don't want to use supplements that can potentially reduce the brain's ability to produce GABA. In my experience, jhana and meditative joy increase both GABA and opioid production in the brain as a baseline in a stable way. This is the ideal solution. But I totally understand why one would like to try a GABA supplement. Since we don't know how GABA supplements would affect brain's natural GABA production and indirectly one's access to meditative joy and jhanas, don't use it consistently just in case. But someone who had experimented with GABA supplements for a few years can comment on its effects and how withdrawal feels like. I hope it doesn't make natural GABA production more difficult What do you guys think?
  8. That is great. Exactly what I've should have done. I wish I've learned how to smile in meditation and also in daily life looking for the joy and equanimity. Recently, I've been experimenting more with meditative joy and the reason I've found it so profound was not the pleasure itself. I've gotten used to experiencing meditative joy with solid levels of equanimity. That equanimity component was making the whole experience profound and more stable. I've tried to drop equanimity and just focus on meditative joy and the mindfulness collapses much faster. The joy is challenging to access AND maintain at the same time. It is great that you are seeing some effects of smiling. Subtle is significant. Stage 6 is fairly frustrating. Subtle dullness is not a show stopper but Subtle distractions are pretty important. Don't be paranoid about it but try to relax into the present moment with diligence whenever you are aware that the mind goes back and forth between distractions. As I've mentioned before, my development towards stage 7-8 occured in a state of heavy dullness (not even subtle) but diligent TMI attentional training in a 4 hour session without interruptions. Subtle distractions were mostly overcome. I've gotten to the effortlessness of stage 7 with a lot of dullness and maintained that for the entirety of those 4 hours. Even if this is not ideal, it still did the trick. On that night, I've started accessing meditative joy on demand. So keep building the attention with the breath. I've used extrospective awareness of sounds mostly in stage 6. Let me know your practice goes
  9. You are welcome! Keep going and be consistent. Emotional mastery is very important.
  10. Also, there is no such thing as 'being advanced enough that I can drop mindfulness and start self enquiry'. Mindfulness can be infinitely deepened. Self-enquiry is done in a state of deep mindfulness. Peter Ralston is not thinking about what to eat for lunch or how boring contemplation is when he is doing self enquiry. He is in a state of profound presence. Try to change your assumptions towards what self enquiry and mindfulness is supposed to feel like. They all repeatedly direct the attention and awareness to the present moment. When an adept meditator does mindfulness and self enquiry back to back, the transition is barely perceptible. You can't run away from mindful awareness. This is the essence of this work. I understand your current frustration but you need to face these emotions head on rather than going for seemingly the easier path with self-enquiry. Neither path is actually easy. You just need to rewire your existing negative mental reactions to positivity and joy just enough with mindfulness so that present moment awareness is fun and enjoyable like a video game. Self-inquiry won't solve this emotional issue for you unless you actually become awake. And even then, you will need to do deep emotional work regardless because not all craving and suffering will be eliminated in the initial stages of awakening. So keep these in mind while making your decision. Hope this helped
  11. Your mind is experiencing a lack of unification towards meditation and this produces aversion, negative feelings, boredom and frustration. You are also negatively reinforcing this process of attentional training by constantly reacting with negative unwholesome states of minds like frustration and boredom. Try the jhana practice taught by Leigh Brasington for awhile. Learn how to smile properly in meditation. Add and try to look for the joy and happiness (however you can find at this phase of your practice). When the mind's negative momentum towards the present moment is partially undone, you will start to find stable attention more fun and rewarding. At this point, motivation will slightly increase and your practice will go deeper. After stable attention, you'll add metacognitive awareness and whole-body awareness with meditative joy and things will go even deeper. Then profound equanimity will start to develop and things will go even deeper than before. Then the mind will be able to do majority of the insight practices (including self-enquiry and many more) with relative effortlessness, joy and ease. Mindfulness is more of a fundamental skill than self-inquiry in a state of mind wandering. Remember that self-enquiry is an advanced insight practice. It is not designed for people who have fixated thoughts in their minds. (and pervasive self-related negative emotions for that matter) The problem is you haven't quite gone deeper into mindfulness as you potentially could in 5 years. Dropping and changing techniques like that will only make the process take longer and frustrate the mind even more. Find a mindfulness or yoga technique that works for you and develop the skills like stable attention, equanimity, joy and awareness. But feel free to try self-inquiry as well. Hope it works out either way
  12. Hello everyone! As I've been meditating with diligence these days, I've developed a systematic process of transition that will enable the meditator to develop their mindfulness skills from stage 7-8 to stage 9 in TMI. Now, as some of you know, I've close to effortless access to meditative joy and stable happiness in my life from waking up to going to bed. To attempt practicing stage 9 level of TMI mastery, something close to 'fully developed' meditative joy is VERY helpful. This facilitates the 4rth jhana levels of equanimity we must develop in stage 9. You don't have to pervade the joy into your life as I've done. But you must develop and systematically cultivate subtle-low levels of joy and happiness here and there with some amount of stability. Meditative joy can be subtle but it can't be too unpredictable and too inconsistent. If it is, practice more the pleasure jhana described in TMI stage 7. Now, here are a few skills you already need to be pretty good at before attempting what I'm explaining here. - Stable Attention + Awareness: You need to have the skill to sustain attention to the breath sensations at the tip of the nose meanwhile the awareness includes the joy, body and mental reactions. In other words, the breath is primary and everything else is secondary. In reverse, you also need the skill to sustain attention on meditative joy, body or mental reactions meanwhile the awareness includes breath sensations. In other words, meditative joy, metacognitive awareness and body is primary and the breath is secondary. - Some level of experience in SDS sits: If you can do 60-90 mins long SDS sits with relative equanimity, you can attempt this provided your stable attention and awareness skills are at the level I'm talking about above. The equanimity can be below average and there can be A LOT of pain at the end of SDS sits. That is totally fine. In fact, that is why we are moving towards stage 9. The equanimity gets to extremely profound levels due to the physical and mental pacification of the senses. That is it. What I'm going to be explaining here can also be thought of as deep 3rd and 4rth jhana levels of joy and equanimity with powerful mindfulness + effortlessly stable attention and tranquility (all combined at the same time) as TMI advise. The end result will be physical pliancy and mental pliancy. This will further develop internal meditative joy but most importantly profound equanimity which will give rise to insights of suffering, emptiness, impermanence and no-self. After you have started to experience low-mid levels of meditative joy with stability, get familiar with this. Spend however days, weeks or months you need until the craving you have towards this intrinsic pleasure is reduced to a degree where you are fine letting go of this profound stable happiness and focusing back on narrow meditation objects like the breath at the tip of the nose. If you have been doing open awareness practices + meditative joy with open eyes, drop them temporarily. If you want to get to stage 9 equanimity, we are going to change our approach. We'll do our sits closed eyes as much as we can and our attention and awareness will alternate between the narrow sensations of the breath and the wide open sensations of the whole body + meditative joy in a 90-120 mins SDS sit. You'll also be doing all this cross-legged. So if you've been meditating on a chair to facilitate meditative joy, drop that. Again, don't start stage 8 practices towards stage 9 unless you are already familiar with the wonderful meditative joy. Technique Explanation: The Level of Meditative Joy: Do not expect mid-high levels of stable joy and happiness in these sorts of formal sessions. Be content with subtle-low levels of meditative joy because the energy of the mind will be focused more on the breath, equanimity development, and the whole body awareness. There simply isn't enough conscious bandwidth to sustain crazy levels of meditative joy you are used to experiencing in daily life in a relatively long 2 hour SDS sessions when the attention carefully examines the breath while awareness needs to include both the body and analyze the equanimity levels in real time. There are only 2 obligations regarding meditative joy: 1- Slight smile: You will slightly smile (without creating tension) because this will facilitate subtle levels of meditative joy and happiness when pain starts to arise in a 2 hours SDS. You have to always smile, however subtle. Depending on how stable the joy is, you can emphasize or de-emphasize the smile as needed. At this point, you need to get comfortable smiling and looking for the joy in meditation. 2- Subtle levels of meditative joy: You can't emotionally flatline and dive down into drowsiness, dullness, lack of sensory clarity and sleepiness. The antidote to all these is meditative joy and all you need is to maintain subtle levels of joy and happiness. So don't feel pressured to increase joy to high levels. But you must have enough skills to maintain in subtle but perceptible levels. SDS Movement Restriction: In a cross-legged posture, your only key restriction will be legs. You are allowed to slowly move the upper body occasionally (not always) depending on your level of pain. But you can almost never break the cross-legged posture. The reason is that, while developing physical pliancy, you are going to experience RADICAL reductions in pain sensations in an SDS sit. The most noticeable will be the elimination of leg pain. After sitting cross-legged without high physical pliancy for 90 mins, your legs will be full of unbearable physical pain. That will create a lot of aversion and you'll barely continue the sit while grinding your teeth. That is what a pre-stage 7-8 meditator feels before developing physical pliancy. So to get to stage 9 equanimity, you need to pacify the senses so that the actual pain sensations in the legs go WAY down and the equanimity towards existing pain sensations go WAY up. Attention and Awareness: You'll do the entire session closed eyes. At the first 30 mins, get to effortlessness in TMI stage 7 in the following manner: - Effortlessly Stable Attention is on the breath at the nose meanwhile, subtle meditative joy + body awareness is covered by awareness at the same time. Once you've stabilized the breath effortlessly with high levels of sensory, do the opposite - Effortlessly stabilize attention on meditative joy + body awareness meanwhile breath is covered by awareness in the background. Don't forget to adjust meditative joy accordingly with smiling. Be content with subtle levels of meditative joy. At this point, you'll be around 60 mins mark. Continue going back and forth between breath narrow attention and open body awareness. But this time add the contentment element going forward because at this point physical pain might usually get noticeable. Try to let go of the breath and put the attention more to the meditative joy and equanimity. But still, hold on to breath sensations in awareness with vividness. Then the next step is adding open body awareness more. Basically, let the awareness and attention experience 4 different elements in this sequence. The left side is attention and the right side is awareness. Attention /// Awareness 1- Breath + Meditative joy 2- Meditative Joy + Breath 3- Breath + Meditative Joy + Equanimity and Contentment 4- Breath + Meditative Joy + Equanimity and Contentment + Whole Body Awareness As long as you do this transition process with the tips I've recommended, you'll start to experience deeper physical pliancy and profound equanimity going towards stage 9 TMI mastery. Practice well
  13. Noting is an adept insight practice that enables the meditator to maximize sensory clarity with momentary concentration. It can be done with labeling or just noticing. It is really powerful if you have the proper skills to do it. So TMI stage 6-7 is a good time to try it. Also you can try the labeling version in stage 3 TMI as well. Mantra is too much of a conceptual meditation object for the purposes of developing awareness. It is useful in developing stable attention but its ability to produce insight and develop metacognitive awareness is very low. It is not a technique that is in an adept meditator's toolbox. Initially, it can be useful though. Formal session simply implies sitting practice where your intentions are doing the technique with diligence. Daily practice is your ability to bring that quality in movement. Hope this helps.
  14. Happiness and joy is a comprehensive mental state that can be cultivated consistently and is available to a skilled meditator. Equanimity and peace does NOT mean neutrality. The claim 'True happiness is the end of unhappiness' can be interpreted as neutral dullness because that too would be the end of unhappiness. But true happiness is the joy and happiness that arise by eliminating craving and desire. Its mind's natural state to be in when mind unification occurs. I'm talking about that 'giggly' happiness. I also claim that this happiness in the casual sense can be made 100 times more powerful by combining with profound equanimity, mindfulness and peace. These are highly related but distinct lines of spiritual development. I'm pretty sure Rupert Spira experiences the happiness from within. Don't mistake his demeanor with adept stages of spirituality actually being this 'glum' peace without joy and happiness. It is just his style. He is wise and knows what he is talking about. You watch Eckhart Tolle and he emphasizes the joy aspect more by smiling and speaking in less serious undertones. So keep on practicing and cultivating happiness and joy in meditation. If you become too serious, you'll just make the journey harder for yourself. That sort of mindset can 'lock' the emotional states in sleepy neutrality and dullness which is not at all what true happiness is all about. It is also not as helpful in meditation as one might think. That neutrality can induce more equanimity but that is not an accurate description of how an adept meditator lives their lives. Within that neutrality, there is A LOT of aversion. That is why the mind is not happy in the usual sense. Equanimity and neutrality are completely different terms. So, a skilled meditator doesn't experience neutrality with equanimity. They experience profound equanimity with stable joy and happiness. They don't flatline emotionally. These are totally different emotional states.
  15. Your understanding of awakening is limited. Depending on how deeply craving is extinguished, an awakened person can not only say no to heroin but also deal with heroin withdrawal symptoms. I think people don't understand what the elimination of craving actually is. Also, remember that heroin addiction is overcome by people who have NEVER meditated. Just over time, with a lot of resistance, ordinary people do give up this substance. So we are not talking about a level of addiction so high that no ordinary person even has a chance of giving up. All 'addictive' substances (like heroin) has been overcome by ordinary people at some point in their lives. A deeply awakened person can give up any substance (including heroin) without suffering (or if unskilled with minimum suffering). This doesn't mean they wouldn't experience pain. They would. But they would momentarily ease into the experience of pain knowing that sensate reality is impermanent, occurring to no-self, and resistance to this sensation resulting in craving and suffering. If you couldn't deal with extreme cases like heroin addiction, then why even pursue awakening? The end of suffering is not a simple statement. It is a radical statement. A skilled meditator would also experience as much equanimity as possible with meditative joy as well depending on the severity of the pain. And again, depending on your skills, you can experience joy and happiness in spite of great physical and emotional pain. If I've done this with low levels of pain, then someone who is actually awake can do this with great pain. They would also have vastly improved skills in stable attention, mindful awareness, sensory clarity and equanimity than I do. Therefore, skillful practice even in heroin addiction (which has one of the most painful drug withdrawal symptoms out of all drugs) is possible for a deeply awake person.