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ttom

10,000 Hours of Consciousness Work

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I’m currently in the process of documenting 10,000 hours of consciousness work on YouTube. As of this moment, I’m focused purely on concentration meditation, sitting 6 hours a day, divided into 1 hour blocks.

Because I’m only uploading once per day to YouTube, I feel as though a lot of the nuance within my experience is being skimmed over. This is an issue for myself and anyone who may be attempting to follow along. I would like to be able to look back over my experience without the illusions that will arise from hindsight bias etc. Therefore, I will be keeping a ‘sit by sit’ log/journal on this website (and other forums ). My aim is to report back here with the subtler details of my experience. Leaving gross details and longer anecdotes for my YouTube channel.

I am currently 10 days into this process and have accumulated 44 hours of practice. Although I have missed out on the opportunity to document detailed experiences from these earlier sittings, I am not too concerned as there hasn’t been anything particularly remarkable about them, other than a gradual increase in concentration and some subtle observations outside of the practice. All the insights I have accumulated thus far have been somewhat accurately represented on YouTube.

I have decided to begin this more comprehensive documentation now because I feel I am on the verge of entering more interesting territory. These first 40 or so hours have been beneficial for establishing myself in the technique and upskilling through research. I feel as though I am now at the level of understanding where experiential wisdom will benefit me more than additional reading. I will continue my research but with less of an emphasis on it.

If you have been following my videos, heed this warning. Everything I am discussing is subjective and theoretical unless I explicitly state that what I am saying is backed by science. Therefore, a lot of the observations I am making may be scientifically inaccurate or misrepresentations of objective truth. My goal is not scientific accuracy ( Although I will maintain this where possible ), but phenomenological documentation. I urge you to view this experiment and the information it contains as a process/stepping stones of development. Each day, what I believe to be ‘true’, right’ or ‘wrong’ will change. As with all growth and change, there is nothing absolute about what I say or do. I hope you take this into account when analyzing my work. That being said, feel free to correct me on anything that you deem misinformed or a misrepresentation.

This journal/log is an opportunity to map the way for anyone who is considering delving into more immersive/intensive consciousness work, from the perspective of a beginner, rather than someone who has already attained deep insights/awakenings. It is simultaneously an opportunity for me to seek guidance from those who have walked the path already.

Feel free to ask me any questions at any time.

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@ttom An impressive start. That amount of meditation is not easy to maintain. Link to your channel?


Love yourself to death.

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9 hours ago, ttom said:

Therefore, a lot of the observations I am making may be scientifically inaccurate or misrepresentations of objective truth. My goal is not scientific accuracy ( Although I will maintain this where possible ), but phenomenological documentation. I urge you to view this experiment and the information it contains as a process/stepping stones of development. Each day, what I believe to be ‘true’, right’ or ‘wrong’ will change. As with all growth and change, there is nothing absolute about what I say or do. I hope you take this into account when analyzing my work. That being said, feel free to correct me on anything that you deem misinformed or a misrepresentation.

I agree with @Space and would also like to have a link. I see wisdom in your caveat.


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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Total hours of spiritual practice: 54

It feels as though the appropriate place to start is with a break down of the map I will be following for said consciousness work. As I mentioned in the previous post, I am focused purely on concentration meditation at this stage.

My aim is generalized consciousness work, which will entail flirting with many practices from different beliefs, religions, and cultures. However, to get the ball rolling I’ve decided to nest the foundation of my practice in Theravada Buddhism.

To my understanding, there are roughly 3 approaches you can take with Theravada. As there are 3 practices ( Morality, Concentration, and Insight ), and morality is non-negotiable ( From my subjective position ), the 3 choices are as follows. Build a foundation in concentration ( Accessing the jhanas ) as a sort of lubricant for the roller coaster of suffering that comes from insight practice ( Wet insight ). Go straight into insight practice without first cultivating a concentration practice ( Dry insight ). Or, for the talented practitioner, the cultivation of both practices simultaneously ( Damp Insight ??? ).

As I am on no particular time restraint, nor do I have any urge or desire to reach any specific goals pertaining to enlightenment. I have decided that the development of a concrete concentration practice would be a beneficial and satisfying place to start. Mainly due to the enticing promises of bliss, rapture, formless states and dare I say it… Siddhis. Of course, taking into consideration the benefits it will bring to my insight practice in the future.

It’s worth mentioning that I am being driven strongly by curiosity, which it seems to me is not always the common motive for someone pursuing enlightenment. From my encounters, there seems to be a common theme of suffering that propels many practitioners. While it would be downright dishonest for me to claim I do not suffer. My curiosity has been the driving force in my life ever since I decided to see what would happen If I stuck my head In an egg as a little sperm. Only in my childhood, did adverse experiences begin to impress themselves upon my psyche. Leading to annoying complexes that I watch “myself” act out on a daily basis, followed by the suffering they present. While both are constituents of my drive, curiosity is primary and suffering is secondary. I believe this is important because everything I’ve ever approached from a place of fear ( suffering ) has reflected that as it played out. You may get to the same destination, but the journey is a hell of a lot bumpier.

As a very broad overview of my map, which as all wise men will point out, is not the territory. This is what I plan to do…

I will maintain my concentration practice for roughly 250 hours at 6 hours a day. Although near the end of this period I will be doing a retreat or two in an attempt to escape the distractions that I can already feel damping the intensity of practice (social interactions and the maintenance of my conventional reality). I hope to have at least reached access concentration by this point ( My definition: Sustained, prolonged attention to the object of concentration ). These first 250 hours will also be accompanied by deep research ( down the rabbit hole type ) on the domains of practice that will follow, providing a conceptual framework of the work ahead.

Somewhere during this first 250 hours I will integrate a Kriya yoga practice. I have explored Kriya in the past and experienced interesting results. I have already integrated stretching and Pranayama as a precursor to my concentration sittings. But proper Kriya seems an appropriate addition to add the dimension of energy work.

At 250 hours I will transition to insight practice with sprinklings of self-enquiry and contemplative exercises. During this period I plan to play around with tools like fasting, breath work, deprivation tanks, isolation, silence, etc. to amplify the foundational practices.

Once I feel as though I have established a very strong basis in insight and self-enquiry, I will begin tinkering with psychedelics ( If I still have the desire to ). While they present miraculous opportunities for deep insights, I am hesitant of their use. I am extremely sensitive to them and often find myself verging more on the side of psychological instability when I push my consciousness expansion too far, too fast. As Carl Jung once wrote…

“Is the LSD drug you’re referring to mescaline? It has indeed very curious effects, of which I know far too little. I don’t know either what it’s psychotherapeutic value with neurotic or psychotic patients is. I only know there is no point in wishing to know more of the collective unconscious than one gets through dreams and intuition. The more you know of it, the greater and heavier becomes your moral burden, because the unconscious contents transform themselves into your individual tasks and duties as soon as they become conscious. Do you want to increase loneliness and misunderstanding? Do you want to find more and more complications and increasing responsibilities? You get enough of it.
If I once could say that I had done everything I know I had to do, then perhaps I should realise a legitimate need to take mescaline. If I should take it now I would not be at all sure that I had not taken it out of idle curiosity. I should hate the thought that I had touched on the sphere where the paint is made that colours the world, where the light is created that makes shine the splendour of the dawn, the lines and shapes of all form, the sound that fills the orbit, the thought that illuminates the darkness of the void. There are some impoverished creatures perhaps, for whom mescaline would be a heaven sent gift without a counter poison, but I am profoundly mistrustful of the pure “gifts of the gods”, you pay very dearly for them.
This is not the point at all, to know of or about the unconscious, nor does the story end here. On the contrary, it is how and where you begin the real quest. If you are too unconscious, it is a great relief to know a bit of the collective unconscious. But it soon becomes dangerous to know more, because one does not learn at the same time how to balance it through a conscious equivalent. That is the mistake Aldous Huxley makes, he does not know that he is in the role of Zauberlehrling, sorcerer’s apprentice, who learned from his master how to call the ghosts, but did not know how to get rid of them again.’e the splendour of the dawn, the lines and shapes of all form, the sound that fills the orbit, the thought that illuminates the darkness of the void. There are some impoverished creatures perhaps, for whom mescaline would be a heaven sent gift without a counter poison, but I am profoundly mistrustful of the pure “gifts of the gods”, you pay very dearly for them.This is not the point at all, to know of or about the unconscious, nor does the story end here. On the contrary, it is how and where you begin the real quest. If you are too unconscious, it is a great relief to know a bit of the collective unconscious. But it soon becomes dangerous to know more, because one does not learn at the same time how to balance it through a conscious equivalent. That is the mistake Aldous Huxley makes, he does not know that he is in the role of Zauberlehrling, sorcerer’s apprentice, who learned from his master how to call the ghosts, but did not know how to get rid of them again.”

The above will makes up the bulk of what I have planned so far. However, I’m deeply interested in all the forms of mysticism around the globe. As my research progresses I hope to be able to diversify my practices from both a utilitarian and exploratory standpoint.

I am also currently having one reiki session per week with a talented practitioner ( according to my estimation ). Although I’m still uncertain on how energy work functions, and frequently get bogged down by an aspect of my psyche that clings to rationality, using cognitive bias as an explanation for many subjective phenomena. I find these types of consciousness work very difficult to dissect, given their metaphysical nature. However, I will make more of an effort to explore and document these domains in the near future. It is hard for me to leave it out entirely, given the experiences I have had with this avenue. I’m sure the unconditional compassion radiated by the practitioner has a large part to play. I will continue doing this for as long as it is readily accessible.

As a final note, this is a very rough and vague draft. Therefore I am almost certain it will change in accordance with the territory that presents itself in coming times and my ever-developing understanding of this work.

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Posted (edited)

@Marc Schinkel  Synchronicity - I just filmed a video discussing Ken. I was listening to his 'Buddha at the gas pump' interview this morning and it made me realise that I had slipped into a one-track mind in regards to "waking up".

I'm a fan of his models and a lot of the work I have done over the last few years would fall into the category of 'growing up' & 'cleaning up'. My reason for recently deciding to chase states of consciousness was because I felt like I had neglected my 'waking up' in comparison. I haven't read integral meditation but I'll definitely pick it up asap. I appreciate the recommendation. Thank you.

I'm patiently waiting for a gnarly ego backlash. But so far everything has just flowed. It's early days though so watch this space, as the chaos is sure to emerge.

What's your current practice like? and how long did your intensive practice last for?

 

Edited by ttom

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@Marc Schinkel @ttom

You guys both might also benefit from reading "The Mind Illuminated" by Culadasa. The model of consciousness and the map of development presented there are amazing.

I think the notion of dullness that Culadasa introduces explains how we bypass emotions that well up to the surface as we progress. You can find tools in the book to work trough this phenomenon as well.

 


 

 

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@Privet  Thanks! I actually bought it the other day. Just waiting for it in the mail. It sounds very comprehensive.

Have you read Daniel Ingram's book? I found his models very insightful. Although his style of writing is quite polarizing. 

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Posted (edited)

Total hours of spiritual practice: 60

Lifestyle factors that influence concentration meditation

Over these past 60 hours it has become clear to me, what external factors promote or deteriorate concentration practice. My best days have always occurred during complete isolation and very limited interaction with conventional reality. Anything that one does to be or feel ‘normal’ seems to disrupt concentration practice. Predominantly activities that involve interacting with other people.

My hypothesis, based on self-observation, is that when I interact with people, I begin to unconsciously identify with a ‘self’. Which I otherwise, in periods of present moment awareness, perceive as illusory. This intensified self-narrative seems to increase the volume and frequency of thoughts that arise in my mind. On any occasion that I have meditated after conversing, particularly about something I am passionate about, the voice in my head becomes unbearably loud. Significantly diminishing my concentration. It seems that the more consecutive sits I am able to do in the absence of social interaction, the deeper I can go.

My attention has also been drawn towards the relationship between diet and concentration. On the odd occasion that I have decided to indulge, it has had dire consequences on my practice. One of the most distracting sensations, when one is attempting to pay attention to the subtleties of the breath, is a heavy gut. Even worse, a sore gut. While fasting seems to create altered states that may amplify the potential for insight, I do not believe it has much utility for developing concentration. My best practices have been midway between meals when I am not being bugged by hunger signals, but I also don’t feel like any food is in my stomach. However, this window is short lived.

My current routine involves 1-hour sittings, punctuated by periods of research, writing, exercise, and filming. Even these activities seem to have a dampening effect on my concentration states. My hypothesis so far is that concentration is best cultivated on retreats. Meaning periods of complete isolation and full immersion in the practice. My next retreat is in August so I will confirm this then. In the meantime, I have come up with this protocol.

- Spend as much time in isolation as possible.

- Limit activities that tend to invoke unconscious behavior

- Eat as cleanly as possible

Edited by ttom

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I love it. It seems like an exciting process. I might do something similar 

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@d0ornokey I feel the same way and have subscribed to his YouTube but for now I'm not going to allow myself to think about such an ambitious undertaking in using the excuse I'm a stones throw from being a wore out old man. 

Good luck ttom,,, give it hell!! 🙋‍♂️🙂


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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16 hours ago, d0ornokey said:

I love it. It seems like an exciting process. I might do something similar 

Stay tuned @d0ornokey things are gonna get weird for sure.

I highly encourage you to do your own. Let me know what your plans are and I'll hold you accountable ;)

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16 hours ago, Zigzag Idiot said:

@d0ornokey I feel the same way and have subscribed to his YouTube but for now I'm not going to allow myself to think about such an ambitious undertaking in using the excuse I'm a stones throw from being a wore out old man. 

Good luck ttom,,, give it hell!! 🙋‍♂️🙂

@Zigzag Idiot Thanks :)

From what I've heard, worn out old men tend to take to these sort of practices like ducks to water. But I also respect anyone's decision to keep their sanity intact.

I appreciate the subscription. 

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23 hours ago, Marc Schinkel said:

Cool cool cool, I went straight for "waking up" without growing up or cleaning up much, so now I have the inverse problem. 

If you're already familiar with his stuff then you probably won't get a lot out of the book. I think it was written as a condensed emergency info pack for people like me. Check it out anyway.

Don't worry about an ego backlash, if it comes it comes. No need to psych yourself out and create problems that don't exist!

I have almost no planned formal practice at the moment, although I am doing walking meditation now.

I am mostly journalling and learning how to not be a basic fuck wit.

I did about 1000 hours.

 

@Marc Schinkel 1000 hours is a good grind. I'm sure that was enough to rattle your fundamental beliefs about reality ;)

Good luck with the walking. I'm interested to hear how you go!

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On this last YouTube, the insights you gave about looking at the clock during meditation was interesting and helpful. It's something that's been discussed a little by Journalers here in the recent past. 

I pasted the video since I mentioned it in case someone wanted to view it.


"To have a free mind is to be a universal heretic." - A.H. Almaas

"We have to bless the living crap out of everyone." - Matt Kahn

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Leo made a comment recently about the limits of practice in spirituality. it might be of use to you 

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4 hours ago, d0ornokey said:

Leo made a comment recently about the limits of practice in spirituality. it might be of use to you 

@d0ornokey  Where can I find it?

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Posted (edited)

After maintaining 6 hours of practice for a few weeks I began to feel like a shell of a person. This is fine when you have time to spend in isolation but I was unable to balance this with conventional reality. For the time being, I have eased up my practice to 2 formal meditations a day. However, this shift has allowed me to put a lot of effort into Active meditation. I've been utterly shocked with how much progress I have made as a result of this. Here's a video explaining my experience with it.

 

 

Edited by ttom

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Posted (edited)

 

Edited by ttom

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