These are reflective notes on my experience of practicing Culadasa’s 10 stage meditation system. The notes in this post are from three consecutive days of practice in the system, a fortnight in. For an introduction to this project, see this page. Occasionally I will post-edit the journal. Any post-editing is [in square brackets like this].
30 mins sit:
- Moving in & out of the concentrated state. I felt somewhat less deeply, internally focused than I have been in my sitting practice recently.
- Had the sense that I was naturally giving up intentional effort, but that released out of the concentrated, deep, internal state, so my mind was kind of alternating between a light, expansive state and a more intentional, internal focus.
Spent the day hiking in the mountains. I had long periods of resting in a peaceful, thought free, very calm state of mind while walking, enjoying the expansive view, flowers & rocks, particularly the animals & birds. Everything seemed kind of ‘soft’ and still. It started raining toward the end of the day. Enjoyed the sensation of cold wind on my skin and getting soaked with blood and mud dripping down my legs from getting scraped up by the terrain.
Second sit, 1 hour:
- Took about 20 mins to get into a peaceful state of mind.
- Once I was there, decided to just sit still & stay with breath, not engage in any of the support practices.
- Tingling around top of head, not so obvious & marked as previously, pleasurable, soft sensations at top of neck, otherwise quiet. This state seemed more ‘introspective’ than this morning.
1 hr sit:
- Became deeply concentrated quite quickly, intentionally following an ‘internal’ direction, allowing external sounds to become more peripheral, keeping focus close in.
- Became aware of a sort of high pitched, internal ringing sound, not very loud, but persistent. I was able to move into & out of experiencing this sound intentionally. The experience of it was more concentrated & internal. Moving out from it widened my sphere of awareness.
- Followed the concentrated internal focus and the sound became louder. Had a moment of mild nausea, then another momentary experience like a weird head zing, then sat in still, deep concentration for the rest of the hour, with the internal ringing sound constant. Moved at one point into a body related kind of humming/vibratory experience inside my chest. This didn’t last long. Mostly the focus was free of any proprioceptive sense of physical body, though it was a concentrated deeply ‘internal’ experience, like the whole of my awareness was defined by being ‘inside’.
Second sit, 1 hour:
- I was not feeling too well when I started to sit. Ongoing bugginess. Decided to sit in one of those nice pleasure jhanas. Not sure what grade pleasure it was. Anyway, I became totally absorbed, maintaining awareness in the sensation.
- To be honest this seemed like taking quite a nice easy break. Not sure if this counts as cheating :-)
- Very light, pleasant ‘cool’ sensation all over my body, more surface area than internal. It was even, there were no strong waves of sensation or tinglings or any of that movement that is highly pleasurable. Just sensation of light all over and quite quickly the intestinal oog and buggy feeling were superseded by light, pleasurable sensation.
- Light, pleasurable sensation continued afterwards for some time. Bugginess returned later in the day.
1 hr sit:
- When I increased the effort of concentration, so that I felt like I was concentrating hard, I got a sense of my whole body pulsing, alongside the same light, cool sensation I had in the last sit yesterday.
Second sit, 30 mins:
- Had that internal ringing sound again, most of this session.