ardacigin

(Advice For Leo) Epigenetics and Motivation for Practice

38 posts in this topic

I wanted to talk about a few things about genetics when I've heard Leo talk about how some people are genetically gifted. 

As a meditator myself, I can see how Leo might peg his mindfulness skills to below average thinking that he doesn't have what it takes to glean these permanent insights naturally.

First of all, his very deep 5 Meo insights are coloring his perceptions in negative ways. It is like hearing about piano for the first time and then seeing Mozart play some insane piece and feeling discouraged. 

Second of all, I think genetics do play a role in the beginning. But Leo is way past the initial beginning stages. As far as I know, he has been meditating consistently for 5+ years and he'd attempted many 10 day+ retreats meditating anywhere from 6-12 hours a day. Even if he might think that the quality of the meditation is very low and everything is boring, his physiology is constantly changing with these retreats. I think he only needs more structural and systematic training rather than the multiperspective approach. Going deep both in formal sits and daily life generally occurs with application and rotation of 2-3 very solid techniques. 

So making the bad genetics argument seems like a limiting belief for Leo's situation. Epigenetics also shows us that our genes are NOT permanent and fixed. 

Also maybe holding off on psychedelics a little bit can help the momentum of daily practice turn more into 10 day retreat intensity as Leo have told us that psychedelics are 'distruptive'.

Other than that, even if one may feel demotivated, with consistent mindfulness practice, samadhi states abd psychedelic states are possible to attain naturally.

I personally experience canabbis levels of  experience on a daily basis for the most of the day with minimal effort.

Also experiencing semi-permanent insights (like impermanence and causal dependency of everything) are possible even in a 3-4 years into systematic training. Hopefully no self and stream entry soon afterwards.

Leo's videos on body relaxation, SDS and posture training are really good to implement as well.

I dont find self inquiry to be productive BEFORE mastering samadhi, concentration and mindfulness.

First thinning out the sensory experience with mindfulness and then asking 'who am I' is much more effective in the long run.

So if you've been slacking off in concentration, maybe adding some spiritual weights there can help a lot.

Peter Ralston's ' dry insights straight away approach doesnt seem to be the best approach for most people in my observation.

Other than that, keep practicing everyone. This practice really works.

Much love :)

 

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3 hours ago, ardacigin said:

I dont find self inquiry to be productive BEFORE mastering samadhi, concentration and mindfulness.

Everytime I tried self inquiry I saw how flawed my mindfulness is and how weak it is compared to what seld inquiry needs.

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9 hours ago, ardacigin said:

First of all, his very deep 5 Meo insights are coloring his perceptions in negative ways. It is like hearing about piano for the first time and then seeing Mozart play some insane piece and feeling discouraged. 

I've experienced 5-meo several times and I'm a bit perplexed by this statement. Could you please relate your direct experience with 5-meo to this contextualization?

9 hours ago, ardacigin said:

I think genetics do play a role in the beginning. 

9 hours ago, ardacigin said:

So making the bad genetics argument seems like a limiting belief for Leo's situation. Epigenetics also shows us that our genes are NOT permanent and fixed. 

Your statements about genetics seem vague to me. It doesn't seem like you are making the distinction between inherited gene sequences / alleleic variations and epigenetic modifications. Your statement could be partially true in a certain context - yet it seems like you are conflating two very distinct genetic concepts - which leads to misinterpretation. If possible, could you clarify your view regarding the distinctions I mentioned above?

Without making the distinction, it's like one person saying "the light doesn't work because the lightbulb is burned out" and the other person saying "well, just flip the light switch on". With the distinction between lightbulb and light switch, the statement makes no sense. What good is flipping on the lightswitch if the bulb is burned out? 

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12 hours ago, Serotoninluv said:

I've experienced 5-meo several times and I'm a bit perplexed by this statement. Could you please relate your direct experience with 5-meo to this contextualization?

Your statements about genetics seem vague to me. It doesn't seem like you are making the distinction between inherited gene sequences / alleleic variations and epigenetic modifications. Your statement could be partially true in a certain context - yet it seems like you are conflating two very distinct genetic concepts - which leads to misinterpretation. If possible, could you clarify your view regarding the distinctions I mentioned above?

Without making the distinction, it's like one person saying "the light doesn't work because the lightbulb is burned out" and the other person saying "well, just flip the light switch on". With the distinction between lightbulb and light switch, the statement makes no sense. What good is flipping on the lightswitch if the bulb is burned out? 

Hi. Let me clarify some of your questions.

I meant that since 5 meo dmt is a very powerful insight tool, it can demotivate people once they go back to the cushion.

Since you no longer have access to these insights, subliminal levels of craving and aversion is produced in the psyche.

Especially if you dont have consistent access to intermediate/advanced levels  of  concentration, jhanas or samadhi states, then it will be very challenging to detach from these mind made distractions.

Cravings are one of THE fundamental obstacles which gets in the way of stream entry. 

And after a deep 5 meo insight, what is a left is a residue of thought-image activity of 5 meo assisted awakening which is not actual awakening in the present moment.

And I think this can delude many beginner-intermediate practitioners. Thinking that they have attained these insights in any transformative and permanent way.

This residue of awakening as a seperate experience is the potential problem which nags the meditator on the cushion preventing progress into deeper levels of insight without psychedelic assistance.

As to genetics, industry strength level mindfulness  changes not only the brain physically, but also DNA in fundamental ways.

In my opinion, epigenetics are still in their infancy. Many scientists apart from people like Rupert Sheldrake and Deepak Chopra are severely underestimating epigenetic modifications. They are more powerful and effective than mainstream science makes it out to be.

You  can research this a little more online so let me address your other question.

Of course, some people are genetically gifted meaning they start this path of meditation with relatively high levels of concentration, awareness, sensory clarity and equanimity. Or if not, these people can develop these skills a lot faster. 

But that doesnt mean people who doesn't have these can't develop them fast and exponentially. These are skills for a reason. They can be RADICALLY developed regardless of your starting point.

The rate of growth can always be exponential if you practice systematically AND deliberately but how deep you'll go in the same amount of practice time compared everyone else will be naturally different because everyone starts out in different phases of life.

I tend to think that combined with 5 meo dmt's intimidating insight clarity and subliminal limiting beliefs about genetics gets in the way of Leo's practice. This is my personal observation :)

Let me know your thoughts and I'll clarify more if you want.

 

Edited by ardacigin

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3 hours ago, ardacigin said:

Hi. Let me clarify some of your questions.

I meant that since 5 meo dmt is a very powerful insight tool, it can demotivate people once they go back to the cushion.

Since you no longer have access to these insights, subliminal levels of craving and aversion is produced in the psyche.

Especially if you dont have consistent access to intermediate/advanced levels  of  concentration, jhanas or samadhi states, then it will be very challenging to detach from these mind made distractions.

Cravings are one of THE fundamental obstacles which gets in the way of stream entry. 

And after a deep 5 meo insight, what is a left is a residue of thought-image activity of 5 meo assisted awakening which is not actual awakening in the present moment.

And I think this can delude many beginner-intermediate practitioners. Thinking that they have attained these insights in any transformative and permanent way.

This residue of awakening as a seperate experience is the potential problem which nags the meditator on the cushion preventing progress into deeper levels of insight without psychedelic assistance.

 

 

Great points definitely agree I have noticed this also, a lot of people I know who take alot of psychedelics have suffered from that and some of them have even ended up giving up there contemplative practices and just use psychedelics. Also psychs are nothing new and have been around for ages and not many spiritual masters say you should use them for awakening. Maybe it would be wiser to start integrating them once you start becoming more advanced in your practice. 

Having said that dose not mean they can't help because they really can and have helped me massively but you just have to be so careful with how you use them and how often. I did dmt once 4 years ago, I became god/ the universe and all that jazz but it wore off and I came back to living a normal life pretty soon after and I felt there would be no need to do it again anytime soon. Just feels like they just show u whats out there and possible but you have to walk the path to get there. 

 

Edited by noselfnofun

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Leo would benefit a lot from just following "The Mind Illuminated" instructions on how to develop stable attention and eventually equanimity. Also, I think he should give mantra meditation a try. His perception of what persistent state of enlightenment is flawed by his 5-MeO use. 5-MeO is more like a God Insight producing substance, but it's really different from what can be maintained in daily life.

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@ardacigin I was curious about how your  direct experience with 5-meo is integrated into your view. How have your personal experiences under the influence of 5-meo shaped your view? It’s as if you are describing the essence of scuba diving - I’m asking how your own personal experience scuba diving is integrated into that view. That is a key component. 

What you write about genetics and epigenetics is somewhat true in a general sense, yet there is an underlying inaccuracy regarding the actual mechanistic model of genetics and epigenetics at the molecular and cellular level. This map is really important when designing a larger, more holistic map. At this point, there are statements in your view that are not aligned with the actual mechanics of genetics and epigenetics. 

You say mindfulness changes the physical mind and DNA in fundamental ways yet don’t seem to have an understanding of the physical nature of DNA and how it is inter-connected to epigenetic mechanisms. For example, if someone inherits an allele with a particular missense mutation in the hemoglobin gene, the phenotype of anemia will arise. Epigenetics won’t change that. Epigenetic modifications will not change the altered primary structure of the protein product - hence it’s secondary and tertiary structure will be still be altered and it will be nonfunctional. Modifying DNA methylation patterns and nucleosome structure will have no influence on that. You can spend a lifetime in mindfulness and trying to alter DNA structure through epigenetic modifications and it would be a complete waste of time. 

In other contexts, epigenetic changes are play an integral role. For example, after traumatic events and abuse DNA methylation patterns are altered throughout the genome - which can alter gene expression in the brain. These alterations are helpful to cope with the acute event in the moment, yet the epigenetic alterations can persist for years - even decades. These changes can cause phenotypes at the organismal level - such as susceptibility to anxiety. For example, a gene involved in the repression of cortisol is epigenetically altered such that basal cortisol levels rise in the person - this can persist for years. Cortisol is a key stress hormone and increased levels can contribute to the physiological sensations of anxiety. Here, your view is applicable. If we can figure out a way to reprogram the epigenetic DNA methylation pattern back to normal for key genes, the physiology will be improved. Biochemists are currently working on how to do this, yet it is extremely challenging for many reasons. What you propose is an alternate method to reset to epigenetic methylation pattern - perhaps through mindfulness training. This is an area I think has a lot of promise and I am currently experimenting on myself.

Multigenetic traits become far more complex and is an interplay between inherited allelic sequences, environmental input and epigenetic modifications. Yet your view is not recognizing the underlying mechanism of how epigenetics is working. In my view, this leads to a distorted view you are proposing that is only somewhat accurate. It is over-generalized inaccurately. In particular, because it is not making the distinction between variations in allelic sequences and the mechanics of epigenetic modifications.  Imo, that relationship is key to clearing up the underlying inaccuracies in your view. I’m not saying it is fundamentally bad or wrong. I think you are onto something powerful, yet just need some tweaking.

Leo is making a point that is true in a certain context and you are making a point that is true in a certain context. Yet you are not seeing this because you are not making an important distinction between genetics and epigenetics, which I will explain in laymans terms below. I would be happy to go into more detail if you would like to build a more accurate thesis.

Epigenetic modifications are a key feature of DNA structure and gene expression, yet it does not alter the sequence of DNA.  That is the ”epi” part of epigenetics. That is really important when creating bigger picture models. For example, your “starting point” concept is only partially true. It’s true in the sense that one could consider their allelic make-up as a “starting point” and epigenetics can influence that “starting point”. However, epigenetics is not altering the underlying code, it is influencing how that code is expressed. This is a really important distinction to understand the role epigenetics plays and how we can use this model to rewire the brain. I think epigenetics can be a powerful model in rewiring the brain and I hope it can be combined with practices such as Reiki. Yet one needs to be knowledgeable and skilled with the underlying mechanics to use it wisely and effectively. 

I’m impressed with your big picture thinking and the way your are integrating multiple fields together. When creating holistic views, I think it’s important to recognize gaps and holes. In this case, I think you point to some insights, yet there are gaps in direct experience and the underlying mechanics of genetics. Imo, adding this in would create a deeper, more accurate  holistic view.

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50 minutes ago, Serotoninluv said:

@ardacigin I was curious about how your  direct experience with 5-meo is integrated into your view. How have your personal experiences under the influence of 5-meo shaped your view? It’s as if you are describing the essence of scuba diving - I’m asking how your own personal experience scuba diving is integrated into that view. That is a key component. 

How have you found integrating 5meo? Thats my worry about trying it is that it will be just another experience that wears off and eventually the mind just comes back down to baseline and you forget the insights you got from the 5meo. 

That has been my experience with every other psychedelic I have tried, is 5meo different? 

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@noselfnofun I think that is a very good question and I think it depends on several variables - such as the nature of the substance itself, your physiology, energetics etc.

Similar to what you describe, I would say psychedelics temporarily reveal “something” and that something can be difficult to integrate into daily life. I often have an afterglow in which I am fully connected and insights are so clear and obvious. Yet, like a dream it can wear off - I find reflecting and writing down the “dream” to be helpful. 

Yet there are also aspects of a trip that stick. It’s like once I see something, I can’t unsee it. For example, the first time I experienced “ego death” and “rebirth”. That fundamentally changed my awareness and it has never left me. I may forget time to time, but it’s always right back there. 

For me, each psychedelic often shows an aspect of truth, awareness, enlightenment, nonduality - whatever one wants to call it. There is often a “lesson” and some type of theme. I would say 5-meo has similarities - yet it is special in a way. It is like a crystal. It is clear and contains everything and nothing. 

For me, aspects of it do wear off. Afterwards, it’s like I’m my higher Self - yet that sense wears off. Yet there are other aspects that are lasting. For example, 5-meo took me to “Mu” in which I was shown all distinctions dissolve to nothing and then reassemble into distinctions again. This had a profoundly deep impact on me that has lasted. I cannot unsee what I was shown, even if I tried. It was crystal clear and very little effort was needed to “integrate” it. I just wrote out the experience in the 5-meo thread and Leo gave some input that it was one side of a coin, that the other side was still missing, that it was important to get grounded in the side I was shown and how I could integrate/stabilize it. It didn’t take much work. Yet I may have gotten “lucky” and was in the “right place at the right time”. 

Yet I also think there are many variables at play. Overall, I wouldn’t say that 5-meo is any easier to integrate or has mor abiding effects than other psychedelics. It’s more the nature of the substance. For me, it’s the most lucid and clear. 

And I agree with what you wrote about psychedelics and how advanced a person is in their practice. I had practiced over 20 years before utilizing psychedelics. I had stable job and life. I was fairly mature and well grounded spirituality. If I had tried to use psychs in my younger years, the impact would have been very different. I think this is one key to understanding psychs - they can have very different impacts depending on the person, their level of development and where they are in life.  

When I was living in the mountains of Peru, I noticed people refer to Aya as “medicine”. Most people in the towns and villages didn’t see the Aya medicine as being good or bad. Rather, it was beneficial or nonbeneficial depending on a person’s condition. 

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5 hours ago, Serotoninluv said:

@ardacigin I was curious about how your  direct experience with 5-meo is integrated into your view. How have your personal experiences under the influence of 5-meo shaped your view? It’s as if you are describing the essence of scuba diving - I’m asking how your own personal experience scuba diving is integrated into that view. That is a key component. 

What you write about genetics and epigenetics is somewhat true in a general sense, yet there is an underlying inaccuracy regarding the actual mechanistic model of genetics and epigenetics at the molecular and cellular level. This map is really important when designing a larger, more holistic map. At this point, there are statements in your view that are not aligned with the actual mechanics of genetics and epigenetics. 

You say mindfulness changes the physical mind and DNA in fundamental ways yet don’t seem to have an understanding of the physical nature of DNA and how it is inter-connected to epigenetic mechanisms. For example, if someone inherits an allele with a particular missense mutation in the hemoglobin gene, the phenotype of anemia will arise. Epigenetics won’t change that. Epigenetic modifications will not change the altered primary structure of the protein product - hence it’s secondary and tertiary structure will be still be altered and it will be nonfunctional. Modifying DNA methylation patterns and nucleosome structure will have no influence on that. You can spend a lifetime in mindfulness and trying to alter DNA structure through epigenetic modifications and it would be a complete waste of time. 

In other contexts, epigenetic changes are play an integral role. For example, after traumatic events and abuse DNA methylation patterns are altered throughout the genome - which can alter gene expression in the brain. These alterations are helpful to cope with the acute event in the moment, yet the epigenetic alterations can persist for years - even decades. These changes can cause phenotypes at the organismal level - such as susceptibility to anxiety. For example, a gene involved in the repression of cortisol is epigenetically altered such that basal cortisol levels rise in the person - this can persist for years. Cortisol is a key stress hormone and increased levels can contribute to the physiological sensations of anxiety. Here, your view is applicable. If we can figure out a way to reprogram the epigenetic DNA methylation pattern back to normal for key genes, the physiology will be improved. Biochemists are currently working on how to do this, yet it is extremely challenging for many reasons. What you propose is an alternate method to reset to epigenetic methylation pattern - perhaps through mindfulness training. This is an area I think has a lot of promise and I am currently experimenting on myself.

Multigenetic traits become far more complex and is an interplay between inherited allelic sequences, environmental input and epigenetic modifications. Yet your view is not recognizing the underlying mechanism of how epigenetics is working. In my view, this leads to a distorted view you are proposing that is only somewhat accurate. It is over-generalized inaccurately. In particular, because it is not making the distinction between variations in allelic sequences and the mechanics of epigenetic modifications.  Imo, that relationship is key to clearing up the underlying inaccuracies in your view. I’m not saying it is fundamentally bad or wrong. I think you are onto something powerful, yet just need some tweaking.

Leo is making a point that is true in a certain context and you are making a point that is true in a certain context. Yet you are not seeing this because you are not making an important distinction between genetics and epigenetics, which I will explain in laymans terms below. I would be happy to go into more detail if you would like to build a more accurate thesis.

Epigenetic modifications are a key feature of DNA structure and gene expression, yet it does not alter the sequence of DNA.  That is the ”epi” part of epigenetics. That is really important when creating bigger picture models. For example, your “starting point” concept is only partially true. It’s true in the sense that one could consider their allelic make-up as a “starting point” and epigenetics can influence that “starting point”. However, epigenetics is not altering the underlying code, it is influencing how that code is expressed. This is a really important distinction to understand the role epigenetics plays and how we can use this model to rewire the brain. I think epigenetics can be a powerful model in rewiring the brain and I hope it can be combined with practices such as Reiki. Yet one needs to be knowledgeable and skilled with the underlying mechanics to use it wisely and effectively. 

I’m impressed with your big picture thinking and the way your are integrating multiple fields together. When creating holistic views, I think it’s important to recognize gaps and holes. In this case, I think you point to some insights, yet there are gaps in direct experience and the underlying mechanics of genetics. Imo, adding this in would create a deeper, more accurate  holistic view.

Thank you for your explanation. You definitely make good points about genetics and I tend to agree with you overall. It is important not to over-generalize everything. 

As to 5 Meo experience, I had it very similar to Leo's situation. Amazing insights that don't stick. When I get more serious about mindfulness to a point where my ordinary experience started to get low-level psychedelics for the most of the day, I've tried psychedelics again and I no longer had the craving of awakening in meditation.

Trying psychedelics before solidifying in intermediate/advanced stages produced a lot of frustration, expectations and demotivation for me. Again, very similar to Leo's situation.

Once I've started doing 2 hour SDS in cross legged posture with industry strength level mindfulness in daily life for 5+ hours every single day, my life basically started to reflect the full-on retreat intensity.

First of all, physical pain of sitting cross legged has disappeared for the most part. My experiential understanding of pain has changed on a neurological level since pain is essentially subjectively experienced through the brain. This is an insight experience Shinzen talks about. Equanimity +Pain = Purification

Then once I've learned how to observe pain with clarity, I've seen that it flickers on and off on a subliminal level. This is an insight experience into impermanence. This tends to happen 1 hour and 20 mins into a SDS sit where the pain solidifies and then starts to flicker and flow if you can exercise equanimity with concentration until 1 hour and 45 mins mark. (For me of course)

At that point, you experience a radical reduction in suffering while maintaining the same level of pain which gives you the insight into suffering.

As you constantly have these insight experiences, your psyche starts to embody them and turns them into actual insights where your daily life is perceived through these insights. They start to become permanent.

Then more months have passed and I've started to experience how the sense of self is thought, image and feel activity. How it wells up and reduces in intensity depending on external situations. Once I've had strong introspective awareness of self-referential thought, image and feel activities, I've started to have insight experiences into no-self.

I've also started doing self-inquiry at this point and it was VERY effective. I could go very deep with it. I've also started doing the 'gone' technique of Shinzen Young. 

At this point I've started to increase the SDS sits to 3 hour period and then everything started to break down. That's when I've had my first 'close to awakening experience'. 

It didn't stick as in stream entry but it definitely wasn't some samadhi state. I was getting close to penetrating the sense of being an individual self. This certainly wasn't 5 meo level intensity of insight, but I would say that it was a more diluted form of it both in intensity and insight clarity. Although my mind couldn't penetrate very much, probably this path goes 5 meo levels of clarity if I've practiced for 40+ years.

Anyways, the more impermanence I've observed with clarity, the more my mind is transforming the rigid self to a flowing thought-image-feel activity. 

I've also started to integrate more compassion and understanding to my relationships with people. I'm still working on this and it is challenging for me on many levels. But mindfulness really helps in developing compassion in my observation.

Even though my daily experience of life moment by moment is still permeated by some level of suffering (even in samadhi states) and even though I would not qualify my attainment as stream entry (because my experience of self-liberation is not permanent), the training I've been going through is heavily suggesting that things are moving in that direction.

Hopefully, this helps some of you understand where I'm coming from and maybe become a motivation for deeper levels of practice.

Let me know your thoughts and feel free to tell me about your own experiences in meditation. :) 

 

 

 

 

 

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I also think that stream entry is not to be taken lightly. It is definitely possible if you train systematically but this first awakening attainment means that suffering goes away radically AND permanently.

So when you wake up in the morning at 6 a.m. and you have to go to work or school, if you think 'Oh I don't want to get up, it is so cold outside' and if you suffer as a result of that, then you are not a stream enterer. 

When you speak with your family and friends, if you default to relating with people with the self agenda in mind rather than seeing them as yourself,  you are not a stream enterer.

If sleepiness, pain and frustration breaks up your connection to your sense of no-boundry, then you are not a stream enterer.

Awakening has high standards. But this radical change is possible with retreat level practice if you are consistent with it.

Again, I'm not a stream enterer. But my experiences are heavily leaning towards this level of attainment. 

As a practice program, I've trained with Culadasa's breath work and Shinzen Young's noting and gone techniques in daily life. Also added self-enquiry once I've hit Stage 7 in Culadasa's model of samadhi stages.

Do these systematically AND intensely.

I don't personally see how anyone can get to stream entry with a beginner level practice like 60 mins formal sit with micro hits in daily life. (unless you have a spontaneous awakening out of nowhere without systematic training like Eckhart Tolle which has a very low probability in my opinion).

At some point, I highly suggest going up to 90-120 mins SDS sits consistently. That is where my transformation had occurred. Also very deep relaxation and noting practice in daily life helped me continue the momentum of formal sessions.

Hope these suggestions help :)

 

 

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1 hour ago, ardacigin said:

As to 5 Meo experience, I had it very similar to Leo's situation. Amazing insights that don't stick. When I get more serious about mindfulness to a point where my ordinary experience started to get low-level psychedelics for the most of the day, I've tried psychedelics again and I no longer had the craving of awakening in meditation.

Trying psychedelics before solidifying in intermediate/advanced stages produced a lot of frustration, expectations and demotivation for me. Again, very similar to Leo's situation.

Whoa, let's slow our roll here for a second. . . 

What I'm seeing is conflation between relative and absolute as well as extrapolating personal experience. Notice how the mind thinks "I had it very similar to his situation". And then uses that assumption to establish truth for subsequent statements. In this case "amazing insights that don't stick". The mind does this again when it says "Again, very similar to Leo's situation". Notice how the mind is again using an assumption to make a statement as if it was true - in this case that psychedelics have caused another person frustration, expectations and demotivation.  . . .That is the relative experience of your mind-body. Be careful assuming that it is the experience of another mind-body. This is a filter that creates distortion within the mind. It is a major distraction, ime. . . . As well. . . I'm not saying this is your intention, yet assumptions can also be a sneaky way for the mind to discredit another's direct experience and elevate their own direct experience / beliefs. In this case, using assumptions to label another's experience as having expectations, frustrations and demotivation. 

I'm more curious about your direct experience with 5-meo-dmt. If I may ask a few more questions. . . If you are willing to answer my questions please don't refer to Leo and focus on your 5-meo usage. You say that you were not able to integrate amazing 5-meo insights into your daily life. I am trying to develop methods that can help people that are unable to integrate their 5-meo insights. I've been working to develop methods in my own experience and value the experience of others.

1. How many times have you tried 5-meo? What were your dosages and roa?  (This can have a big impact on the 5-meo experience.)

2. You said you had "amazing 5-meo insights". Could you describe these "amazing insights"? What would you say was your most amazing 5-meo-induced insight?

3. After 5-meo trips with amazing insights, what practices/activities (if any) did you do to specifically integrate the insights? How long after the trips did you engage in the practices and how much time did you invest?

4. Looking back on your 5-meo trips, what is one practice/activity you think you could have done to help integrate your amazing 5-meo insights into your ongoing life?

To me, it sounds like you are saying 5-meo yields amazing insights, yet you were unable to integrate them. I'm really curious why you were unable to integrate them. Integration can be a challenge for some people and I think it would be awesome to develop methods to help such people.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, ardacigin said:

Once I've started doing 2 hour SDS in cross legged posture with industry strength level mindfulness in daily life for 5+ hours every single day, my life basically started to reflect the full-on retreat intensity.

Thats insane. How did you manage your time? You must have had an extremely flexible job or no job at all? 

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6 hours ago, molosku said:

Thats insane. How did you manage your time? You must have had an extremely flexible job or no job at all? 

 You wake up early to do the 2 hour SDS sit. And you continue the practice in daily life regardless of whether you have a job or not. You can do 5+ hours of practice in daily life if you are motivated enough. Time-wise, there are no problems. Even a 9-5 job can allow for this schedule. I personally have flexible hours because I have a business. But the issue is whether the skill and motivation is there to pull of such intensities of practice on a daily basis. Once you have the skills developed, managing time is easy. Meditation no longer occurs in life but life occurs in meditation in advanced stages. Also I suggest doing these SDS sits while watching videos and listening to audios at first. (The first 30-60 days) Otherwise, you might not have the motivation to go through so much pain everyday. First, go from 60 to 90 mins. Then go from 90 to 120 mins. If you can do more than 2 hours SDS in cross-legged posture, then all the power to you. Don't do longer SDS sits on a chair because the point is to observe pain with clarity and equanimity. Compared to cross-legged postures, doing a 2+hours of SDS sit on a chair is easier. I think someone can pull that off once or twice with A LOT OF suffering at the end of their first year. But reaching 2 hour SDS in cross-legged with little to no suffering CONSISTENTLY will require a lot of intense daily work for 2-5 years. (in my experience) And it will literally force you to have insight experiences at some point in the practice. Somewhere in that process, the insight into suffering/impermanence will be VERY pronounced. The transformation will occur fairly quickly afterwards if you keep up the practice.

Edited by ardacigin

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12 hours ago, ardacigin said:

I also think that stream entry is not to be taken lightly. It is definitely possible if you train systematically but this first awakening attainment means that suffering goes away radically AND permanently.

So when you wake up in the morning at 6 a.m. and you have to go to work or school, if you think 'Oh I don't want to get up, it is so cold outside' and if you suffer as a result of that, then you are not a stream enterer. 

When you speak with your family and friends, if you default to relating with people with the self agenda in mind rather than seeing them as yourself,  you are not a stream enterer.

If sleepiness, pain and frustration breaks up your connection to your sense of no-boundry, then you are not a stream enterer.

Awakening has high standards. But this radical change is possible with retreat level practice if you are consistent with it.

Again, I'm not a stream enterer. But my experiences are heavily leaning towards this level of attainment. 

As a practice program, I've trained with Culadasa's breath work and Shinzen Young's noting and gone techniques in daily life. Also added self-enquiry once I've hit Stage 7 in Culadasa's model of samadhi stages.

Do these systematically AND intensely.

I don't personally see how anyone can get to stream entry with a beginner level practice like 60 mins formal sit with micro hits in daily life. (unless you have a spontaneous awakening out of nowhere without systematic training like Eckhart Tolle which has a very low probability in my opinion).

At some point, I highly suggest going up to 90-120 mins SDS sits consistently. That is where my transformation had occurred. Also very deep relaxation and noting practice in daily life helped me continue the momentum of formal sessions.

Hope these suggestions help :)

 

 

This is what I have been doing, recently I came of a retreat and I was doing 5 plus hours of SDS everyday, life became like a mild acid trip like u say. What i noticed was when I really started to up the pratice I expirenced a massive ego backlash, have you found this? I've recently just come out of it and plan to continue with the intense meditation but it's almost like u have to be prepared mentally and also have your life in check. Also do you have a teacher you can go to who is stream entry ? That's always helpful  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@ardacigin Very inspiring, both your posts and your experience, i would be really interested to have your opinion/advice on my situation if you don't mind

 

I've been doing 2 hours daily sits (no SDS just regular for the most part) of vipassana meditation for like 2 years now (i started like 3 years ago, sometime less than 2 hours a day but total that would make 2 years where i actually did 2 hours a day, also been doing 5 ten day retreats), and after having look back on the results/fruits of the practice in those last years, i've found that it was not really effective, given the time invested and the mosty low results i've got in daily life

After a retreat (10 days of 10hours daily) I would nearly always see great fruits/change in my experience of life that last for a few weeks, so i'm satisfied with those, but i just don't manage to maintain a good enough quality of focus/meditation (I think) with 2 hours practice of vipassana so after the momentum of the retreat fades off I just get little fruits/benefits in daily life of this 2 hours practice

I've been thinking that the reason i get little results of 2 hours is that outside of retreats I can't manage to have a good enough quality of focus to make this particular technique effective enough with 2 hours daily and a high-distraction environement (aka life), but i might be wrong that's just my feeling (I would say 20-30% of the seated time where i'm kind of focused on the technique (which is basically body scans while staying equanimous to the sensations), and the rest is lost in monkey mind)

Although one think that i've always found effective and to give clear results even outside of retreats is SDS, basically when i'm in a period where i do SDS, it's quite easy for my mind in daily life, when there is pain or an unpleasant sensation, to go like "ow okay i can see the unpleasant sensation there, it's wayyyyyy less intense than the one i've got in my SDS lol, so no big deal lol"

 

So i've been changing massively my meditation practice recently, 1-2 weeks ago, and now i'm just doing self-love / self-acceptance practice/visualisation 1h30 daily (simmilar as the one in leo's self acceptance video), so far I find it really effective and to give great effects in daily life, basically way less self-added negativities so a better enjoyment and experience of life

 

Now i'm quite unsure about my meditation path/progress and how i should go about it, it seems clear to me that the way I was doing it before is just too uneffective and that there's way better for me to do than that, self-love/acceptance seems to be a great thing to do and effective, but I don't know too much about the rest like regular presence/focus/equanimity/mindfullness/whatever practice

 

Also as far as SDS outside of retreats, i've been hitting some technical difficulties :

If i sit (half lotus or just cross-legged) on the floor with a cushion under my butt, after one hour my legs feel numb in a weird way like there's no more blood flowing, so I don't think it's good

If i sit on my bed with a cushion under my butt, I just don't feel much pain in one hour (in the retreats I would feel a good amount of pain after 45minutes untill the one hour mark, and usually being able to finish one hour but with suffering)

So what i've been doing is that i sit on my bed with a cushion but i put some small object under my butt to add some kind of pain, but it's not really convenient, sometime i will feel not much pain or too much pain depending on how i place the object/sit, there's more randomness to that

 

Another thing I've been thinking and implemented a bit, is to create shorter-intense situation where there is unpleasant sensations, rather than having to wait 45minutes to have pain arrise, one thing i've been doing is to put water on my face, but not wipe it with a towel, so i just stay immobile and the water slowly goes down on my face, and it actually produce quite intense unpleasant itching sensations

What do you think about implementing some practices like that to train equanimity ?

Edited by Jordan94

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2 hours ago, Jordan94 said:

@ardacigin Very inspiring, both your posts and your experience, i would be really interested to have your opinion/advice on my situation if you don't mind

 

I've been doing 2 hours daily sits (no SDS just regular for the most part) of vipassana meditation for like 2 years now (i started like 3 years ago, sometime less than 2 hours a day but total that would make 2 years where i actually did 2 hours a day, also been doing 5 ten day retreats), and after having look back on the results/fruits of the practice in those last years, i've found that it was not really effective, given the time invested and the mosty low results i've got in daily life

After a retreat (10 days of 10hours daily) I would nearly always see great fruits/change in my experience of life that last for a few weeks, so i'm satisfied with those, but i just don't manage to maintain a good enough quality of focus/meditation (I think) with 2 hours practice of vipassana so after the momentum of the retreat fades off I just get little fruits/benefits in daily life of this 2 hours practice

I've been thinking that the reason i get little results of 2 hours is that outside of retreats I can't manage to have a good enough quality of focus to make this particular technique effective enough with 2 hours daily and a high-distraction environement (aka life), but i might be wrong that's just my feeling (I would say 20-30% of the seated time where i'm kind of focused on the technique (which is basically body scans while staying equanimous to the sensations), and the rest is lost in monkey mind)

Although one think that i've always found effective and to give clear results even outside of retreats is SDS, basically when i'm in a period where i do SDS, it's quite easy for my mind in daily life, when there is pain or an unpleasant sensation, to go like "ow okay i can see the unpleasant sensation there, it's wayyyyyy less intense than the one i've got in my SDS lol, so no big deal lol"

 

So i've been changing massively my meditation practice recently, 1-2 weeks ago, and now i'm just doing self-love / self-acceptance practice/visualisation 1h30 daily (simmilar as the one in leo's self acceptance video), so far I find it really effective and to give great effects in daily life, basically way less self-added negativities so a better enjoyment and experience of life

 

Now i'm quite unsure about my meditation path/progress and how i should go about it, it seems clear to me that the way I was doing it before is just too uneffective and that there's way better for me to do than that, self-love/acceptance seems to be a great thing to do and effective, but I don't know too much about the rest like regular presence/focus/equanimity/mindfullness/whatever practice

 

Also as far as SDS outside of retreats, i've been hitting some technical difficulties :

If i sit (half lotus or just cross-legged) on the floor with a cushion under my butt, after one hour my legs feel numb in a weird way like there's no more blood flowing, so I don't think it's good

If i sit on my bed with a cushion under my butt, I just don't feel much pain in one hour (in the retreats I would feel a good amount of pain after 45minutes untill the one hour mark, and usually being able to finish one hour but with suffering)

So what i've been doing is that i sit on my bed with a cushion but i put some small object under my butt to add some kind of pain, but it's not really convenient, sometime i will feel not much pain or too much pain depending on how i place the object/sit, there's more randomness to that

 

Another thing I've been thinking and implemented a bit, is to create shorter-intense situation where there is unpleasant sensations, rather than having to wait 45minutes to have pain arrise, one thing i've been doing is to put water on my face, but not wipe it with a towel, so i just stay immobile and the water slowly goes down on my face, and it actually produce quite intense unpleasant itching sensations

What do you think about implementing some practices like that to train equanimity ?

interesting man I can relate to this, I have done lots of retreats and always feel onto of the world for about 2 to 6 weeks after but then it fades and so dose the intercity of the practice. Do you think that maybe when on retreat, because you get to spend so long focusing on taking the mind to places it normally couldn't go to because of the free time you get to spend there you get attached to that feeling subconsciously, and when back in the normal world your expectations of what meditation could do for you goes up? thats what I feel has happened to me slightly. Its similar to what we were saying earlier regarding  I do agree the meditation you learn at vipassana dose not seem to integrate as well into daily life as other practices do. Certain types of yoga, more loving meditation eat as you say works better. I met a awesome monk in a retreat once and he said when he use to live as a lay person he would find 3 hours a day is just to maintain a constrained state and if he wanted to progress he would need to do even more. I guess if we are not in a monastery or ashram we have to do what integrates best to day to day life 

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9 hours ago, Jordan94 said:

@ardacigin Very inspiring, both your posts and your experience, i would be really interested to have your opinion/advice on my situation if you don't mind

 

I've been doing 2 hours daily sits (no SDS just regular for the most part) of vipassana meditation for like 2 years now (i started like 3 years ago, sometime less than 2 hours a day but total that would make 2 years where i actually did 2 hours a day, also been doing 5 ten day retreats), and after having look back on the results/fruits of the practice in those last years, i've found that it was not really effective, given the time invested and the mosty low results i've got in daily life

After a retreat (10 days of 10hours daily) I would nearly always see great fruits/change in my experience of life that last for a few weeks, so i'm satisfied with those, but i just don't manage to maintain a good enough quality of focus/meditation (I think) with 2 hours practice of vipassana so after the momentum of the retreat fades off I just get little fruits/benefits in daily life of this 2 hours practice

I've been thinking that the reason i get little results of 2 hours is that outside of retreats I can't manage to have a good enough quality of focus to make this particular technique effective enough with 2 hours daily and a high-distraction environement (aka life), but i might be wrong that's just my feeling (I would say 20-30% of the seated time where i'm kind of focused on the technique (which is basically body scans while staying equanimous to the sensations), and the rest is lost in monkey mind)

Although one think that i've always found effective and to give clear results even outside of retreats is SDS, basically when i'm in a period where i do SDS, it's quite easy for my mind in daily life, when there is pain or an unpleasant sensation, to go like "ow okay i can see the unpleasant sensation there, it's wayyyyyy less intense than the one i've got in my SDS lol, so no big deal lol"

 

So i've been changing massively my meditation practice recently, 1-2 weeks ago, and now i'm just doing self-love / self-acceptance practice/visualisation 1h30 daily (simmilar as the one in leo's self acceptance video), so far I find it really effective and to give great effects in daily life, basically way less self-added negativities so a better enjoyment and experience of life

 

Now i'm quite unsure about my meditation path/progress and how i should go about it, it seems clear to me that the way I was doing it before is just too uneffective and that there's way better for me to do than that, self-love/acceptance seems to be a great thing to do and effective, but I don't know too much about the rest like regular presence/focus/equanimity/mindfullness/whatever practice

 

Also as far as SDS outside of retreats, i've been hitting some technical difficulties :

If i sit (half lotus or just cross-legged) on the floor with a cushion under my butt, after one hour my legs feel numb in a weird way like there's no more blood flowing, so I don't think it's good

If i sit on my bed with a cushion under my butt, I just don't feel much pain in one hour (in the retreats I would feel a good amount of pain after 45minutes untill the one hour mark, and usually being able to finish one hour but with suffering)

So what i've been doing is that i sit on my bed with a cushion but i put some small object under my butt to add some kind of pain, but it's not really convenient, sometime i will feel not much pain or too much pain depending on how i place the object/sit, there's more randomness to that

 

Another thing I've been thinking and implemented a bit, is to create shorter-intense situation where there is unpleasant sensations, rather than having to wait 45minutes to have pain arrise, one thing i've been doing is to put water on my face, but not wipe it with a towel, so i just stay immobile and the water slowly goes down on my face, and it actually produce quite intense unpleasant itching sensations

What do you think about implementing some practices like that to train equanimity ?

The biggest reason many people struggle high quality transition from retreat to daily life is that as meditators, we need to develop certain pillar skills in order to pull that off. So a beginner meditator who struggles to maintain bright continuous attention to the breath sensations at the tip of the nose for more than 20 consecutive times will not be able to integrate retreat quality back to daily life. 

I think retreats should be done with VERY serious preperation. You need to solidify in skills like equanimity, stable attention and sensory clarity. Unless you are somewhere above beginning stages of intermediate practice, you won't be able to get that high quality retreat effect into daily life.

You must already have some amount of that low dose psychedelic effect in daily life already so that retreat level practice will solidify and exponentially increase your baseline level of mindfulness.

And for most people, getting to beginning stages of intermediate practice takes somewhere around 1-3 years. And that is if you know what you are doing, practice diligently and very intensely. 

Many people don't do that and their retreat results are less than optimal. 

For instance, I don't know Leo's subjective experience in retreats but what I gather from his video reports is that he is mostly bored out of his mind and suffers a lot. This tell me that stable attention to the meditation object with an ample amount of equanimity (and most likely sensory clarity as well) is not present. Meaning his skills in reaching and staying in access concentration is not yet ready for intense 10+ hours long retreat training.

And to start the insight practice like self enquiry and vipassana, having this foundation in samadhi is VERY IMPORTANT. This can make the difference of getting INCREDIBLE growth from a 10 day retreat and a little to no growth from a 30 day retreat. 

Quality matters. So my advice is to not take a retreat before developing these mindfulness skills to a sufficient level. Meaning if you can experience a semi-permanent level of high mindfulness in daily life (in a bus, walking, listening, talking) and can maintain it for most of the day relatively well, then it is time to head down to the nearest retreat center to gain some mind-blowing spiritual gains :)

But before that, to develop the stable attention, I highly suggest that you train yourself with Culadasa's book 'The Mind Illuminated'. Go up to stage 6-7 in that model and you'll get a lot of return on investment on retreats after that point.

Hope these suggestions help :)

 

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