My christmas present to you: an object lesson in how little ‘experience’ can be worth sometimes, in regulating the ups and downs of esoteric work.

   first we have an almost quaint bit of optimism and certitude as we contemplate ending the ritual on a high note.

Direct download: AUG16-exit_strategy.mp3

 podcast page here

then we have, the very next day, the pits of despair and confusion.

Direct download: AUG17-patience_and_endurance.mp3

 podcast page here

…the intimations of a soon-to-be-familar cycle of elation and despair.

 Such is the way of it.

and before I forget, again: Greg from Occult of Personality put together a nice set of questions for me to go with his profile of my work, which may give folks a slightly different perspective on me than you get from my own florid self promotion, so slide on over and hook yourself up.

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Augoeides Day 17-18: How to turn on a dime

  1. I haven’t been keeping up with these unfortunately, but definitely will do some catching up. When it comes to these meditative things, ignorance isn’t bliss. (Well, it never is, but seeing as I don’t have a teacher, and I suppose I’m fairly serious about this whole thing, I gotta know as much as I can about just what the hell I’m in for.)

    I’m not sure if I should add this, but I want to, and — of course — I’m hoping you may chip in with a comment if you have any thoughts on this.

    I’ve started the whole meditative practice about 8 months ago; and I am taking it seriously. By ‘serious’ I mean I’ve been doing concentrative practice on a frequent basis for the past 5 months (I was more lazy prior). “Frequent” meaning every day for an hour or half an hour — if I slack, it’s every other day.

    Now what I’m about to suggest, I feel it’s really stupid, but I gotta be honest. It seems within those 5 months of my so-called ‘serious’ practice, a lot of random unlucky shit has been popping into my life. Now to most folks, these bad events may just be the norm, but I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life and I’ve been damn lucky in the past. Never had any medical emergencies, no surgeries, no serious illness (except the rare flu every 3 yrs. or so), etc.

    Within the past 5 months: 1) I had an outbreak of what turned out to be allergy symptoms (I didn’t even know what types of allergies I had prior), but shit looked so bad the doctor thought I had a Staph infection at first, and 2) I had to take a semester off as a result of the symptons being on my foot and any walking caused it to get worse — and this outbreak just happened after a couple of days after I finally got up to the first Jhana (or I think it was 1st Jhana). 3) I take a flu shot and end up with the flu a week later. 4) Just today, someone broke into my home. Yeah, those were all in the last five months.

    I’ve read that meditation opens up one’s body or some such; opening up previously blocked resistences, channels, whatever. And I can’t help but wonder if the sudden allergy symptoms were triggered by the progess in my concentrative practice just days prior.

    As for the other random stuff: I’m wondering if my cynical outlook on life, coupled with the regular concentrative practice may somehow be pulling these events into my life in some fucked up yet “magical” way. I know I sound paranoid and really foolish, but it’s tempting to look at it this way.

    So yeah, I’m even more so now looking for info. on just how these practices affect one’s life — no myths, no cultural trappings, but as down to earth as possible. Been also looking through The Biology of Kundalini. http://www.biologyofkundalini.com/

    If this is inappropriate, then feel free to delete it. And I’m sure in a few hours from now I’d regret writing this and making an ass out of myself. Yeah, so I DO have supernatural powers. LOL No, I’m guess they’re probably just coincidence, but… damn this sucks.

  2. well, a few thoughts;

    from a purely medical perspective, sudden alergies are usually the result of some kind of toxic buildup in the digestive track or a parasite in same. cleaning up one’s diet and some fasting, as well eliminatingthe trigger substance will help. in the long run, more fiber, more vitamins and minerals, and some good quality digestive enzymes and probitoic supplements should go a ways to clear it up.

    -sometimes, when you start really applying yourself to practice, and your mind knows you’re taking it seriously it will start to throw up problematic stuff in terms of emotions and body symptoms. it’s a way of bringing to light a prior investment in negativity and toxic emotions. a more balanced mind contradicts these things, so you’re sort of being asked to take your decision to another level, a more holistic one if you will. that’s one way of looking at it. your mind is confused by how your old patterns and the new ones don’t really match up, so it manifests something to get you to clarify your decisions or to reaffirm it in a new context.

    -you could also think of it a mark of success. in spiritual terms, we usually only get the challenges we can handle, so maybe you’re growing into some bigger challenges. an odd way to think of it, i know, but it’s an odd lifestyle.

  3. hey, Gen, check out Dharma Dan’s Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha. He doesn’t go into concentration with much depth really. My suspicion is that if you’ve been meditating 90 minutes a day for months and only recently reached the first jhana you’re doing something really easy to fix really wrong. Maybe shorten your practice period and focus on maintaining constant concentration, or change your object to one on which you can concentrate easier. I stuck with mantra forever with success, but have been trying to focus on my breath and it took me a month to realize that I was more practicing pranayama–I wast trying to take in all the sensations at once, which is ridiculous–than focusing on the narrow region in the nostrils that allows one to access concentration. I’ve also found Ingram’s advice re: lying, sitting, standing, and walking priceless, being an over-worked type who is likely to nod off.

    Mr. Zacharius, I think your second piece is hilarious. Of course there’s not always enough time to do this crap. Especially during the holidays. E.g., my previous comment about “fucking xmas parties fucking everything in my fucking schedule fucking up”–you’re just ‘crossing the abyss’, right? (turnabout is fair) Sounds like you were overcharged and burnt out on yang energy and out of cards to play in that game at that moment. Come on, the idea of several days of sleeplessness is super-macho. Go play with some animals and children, or take the more direct route and as a my favorite quote from a certain Daoist manual I own says, “eat eat eat.” ahem.

  4. yeah well, I was REALLY crossing the abyss, and i have the slash marks on my wrists to prove it. i’ll be posting my anguished poetry with accompanying pictures on myspace soon.

    turnabout. yes. >grunt

  5. bear in mind this last was dated to about three weeks ago now, as the time lag has opened up quite a bit.

    we’re going on six weeks of this lunacy, but obviously there have been some adjustments. you’ll be hearing those soon.

  6. About the allergies, I’m currently undergoing treatment for it: taking shots; one shot per week for a month, then one shot every two weeks, and finally down to one shot per month. The allergy test revealed that I’m allergic to things in the air. Basically five different types of weed, one type of grass, one certain type of tree, and I’m also allergic to cats and dust mites.

    I suppose reflecting on these random events I can turn these experiences into something of value; something I can use to motivate me and help me grow and develop my weaker areas. If I were to shift my perspective a bit, I CAN see how these events have ended up being positive in a strange unexpected way. The sudden allergy symptoms helped me take a much needed break from college and opened up more free time for me to pursue my interest in meditation. I also found that I can be composed in a situation like a an intruder breaking into my home. Yeah, so some bad shit is finally crossing boundaries and creeping into the once safe haven of my personal life — I’m hoping it stops.

    Laboratorian, it’s ironic you bring it up, but I have read Dharma Dan’s book — it was the book that finally pushed me to actually start practicing and consider that there really may be something valid to all the claims surrounding meditative endeavors. But as for the actual practice, I’ve found it’s really difficult to determine whether you’re doing the practices “right” according to the instructions. And I do want to go about it right, but it’s hard to tell since the actual practice is internally focused and it’s subtle. So right now I’m probably gonna start tweaking around, making slight adjustments here and there (maybe using mantras when intruding thoughts surface, perhaps a different object to meditate on, a more tighter focus on the object when attention starts shifting around, etc.).

    As for the typical length of time for each meditative session, it’s usually around 30 mins. – 40 mins. every day or every other day. I wouldn’t say that’s even remotely hardcore, but for someone like me who’s rarely seen anything through to the end, I’ve determined that I’ll see this to the end — so yeah, for me, it’s pretty serious.

    I’ll admit, I do feel really disappointed with my lack of progress. I doubt I’ve reached any higher than the first Jhana, and it’s usually just access concentration for most sessions. I can’t help wondering if I’m doing this correctly. I know I’m supposed to conceptualize the breath as smooth and continuous and without any breaks, and not zoom in on each of the little sensations that make up the breath… it’s still hard in practice though despite the simplicity. Oh, and no I’m not accidently doing Pranayama (in case anyone was wondering); just concentrating on the breath without trying to control it.

  7. When you say “conceptualize the breath as smooth and continuous” what you need to do is focus on a very, very, very small region. Like the air moving in and out of the nostrils–otherwise you’re just doing a very slow insight practice. That said, I find both mantra and visual point-of-focus much easier. Israel Regardie recommended putting a small quantity of red pepper extract (capiscian, I think, it’s in the arthritis care section and be careful, it lingers in clothes and sheets for days, and even getting in a hot shower hours later can cause some minor discomfort, and it’ll hurt hurt hurt if it gets in your mucus membranes) on the breastbone or the top of the head to draw the attention to the heart or head centers, though i think that’s cheating.

  8. it’s tricky subject because so much of it is subjective. ( all of it, really )
    words tend to be inadequate at best, misleading at worst.

    all i would say, especially in the access phase of things, is RELAX. if you’re ‘trying’ to meditate, you probably aren’t doing it. it’s like ‘trying’ to listen to music. either you are or you’re not. relax into the flow of your own relaxation. sit down, chill out and do something that will absorb the attention and take it off any thoughts that are stressing you out. mantra, mandala, narrow focal points etc. even just intoning the word CAAAAAALLLLLLLMMMMMMMNNNNNNNEEEESSSSSSS to yourself over and over is perfectly fine. if it’s something you need to force yourself to sit with, you’re going to be waiting a long time for good effects.

    in other words, chill the fuck out and don’t worry about it so much. these aren’t plattitudes; it’s the only way this stuff actually works. once you can start to feel the mellow buzz of the jhanna then you can focus on that and move into 1st 2nd etc…

  9. Thanks to the both of you for the feedback and advice. I’ve copied and pasted it for future reference. LOL

    Yeah, it’s a slippery subject to try to communicate through words. I suppose you can’t be trying too hard, yet initially you go into it with the intention and effort (trying) to meditate. And somewhere along the line you have to turn down the level of exertion and relax into the experience, yet if you relax too much you end up drifting off and losing your focus. Finding the right balance seems really difficult — but I suppose once that balance is reached, then you sort of let the momentum of that state of being carry you through. So close yet so far.

  10. (Laboratorian) “Come on, the idea of several days of sleeplessness is super-macho. Go play with some animals and children…” That’s funny, I had almost the exact same thought during that part.

    (zac) “RELAX. if you’re ‘trying’ to meditate, you probably aren’t doing it. it’s like ‘trying’ to listen to music. either you are or you’re not. relax into the flow of your own relaxation. sit down, chill out and do something that will absorb the attention and take it off any thoughts that are stressing you out. mantra, mandala, narrow focal points etc. even just intoning the word CAAAAAALLLLLLLMMMMMMMNNNNNNNEEEESSSSSSS to yourself over and over is perfectly fine. if it’s something you need to force yourself to sit with, you’re going to be waiting a long time for good effects…in other words, chill the fuck out and don’t worry about it so much. these aren’t plattitudes; it’s the only way this stuff actually works.”

    Best damn take on meditation I’ve seen yet. And a good reminder for me.
    And onward I go, to the 19th installment…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s