Comments on “The Mind Illuminated, a journal: days 14 to 16”

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Clay 2019-11-11

I am a pretty novice meditator who started with TMI about 5 or 6 months ago, and now do something between TMI and Zen meditation.

I think I’ve always had a quiet tinnitis, and kind of assumed that everybody would if they listened.
Sometimes when I find trying to focus on the breath to be frustrating, I instead listen to and analyze my tinnitis. I find this pretty enjoyable. Once, while I was doing this at night, in the dark, high on cannabis (not a common practice of mine), the tinnitis got louder over the course of perhaps a minute, while my visual noise turned up substantially. The tinnitis was seeming larger and more distinct, but in a pleasant way. Then there was a rapid THWOOOMP sensation as what I usually experience as two distrinct persistent sounds, one in each of my two auditory hemispheres, merged, and my attention vertiginously plunged in with the creation of the illusory centrally-located sound-source. Basically a perceived-motion illusion from the outside to the center. Everything became blacker for a moment, and I felt dizzy and sort of nauseous.

Your blog post reminded me of this experience. Thanks very much for the blog btw, very interesting.

Perhaps unrelatedly, I find that trying to analyze the breath sensations in great detail unavoidably involves trying to shape my attentional experience of the breath into visuo-spatial images/imaginings. Similar to when I seem to see the outline of my hand when I wave it in front of my face in complete darkness. However, in the case of shaping my experience of the breath, I am trying out different potential paradigms. I sometimes do this in an exaggerated way to motivate interest in the breath if I have a hard time working up the diligence to focus on it.

I would love to meet you and David sometime if possible and learn more about your practice, and other things.

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