Starting Meditation

[Up­date] this in­tent has been put on hold. Check this com­ment for de­tails. This note was put at the top, be­cause when­ever I see a post about “I’m go­ing to do XYZ” my most burn­ing ques­tion is always, “Well did they?”

I think since about last win­ter I’ve been con­vinced that there is some­thing re­ally in­ter­est­ing that comes from go­ing deep down the path of med­i­ta­tion. Things like hap­piness is a chore, the lit­tle dragon is dead, Ken­sho, “My at­tempt to ex­plain Look­ing”, and Scott’s re­view of Mas­ter­ing the Core Teach­ings of the Bud­dha all were things that lead me to that con­clu­sion.

I’ve had bouts of med­i­ta­tion prac­tices in the past, the longest streak was per­haps a month, and I never got any­where past, “Yeah, I do feel calmer through­out the day af­ter hav­ing med­i­tated, and some­times I feel in­cred­ibly peace­ful in the midst of med­i­ta­tion.”

I am “try­ing to get en­light­ened”, but as peo­ple have pointed out, it doesn’t seem like that’s a great frame of mind to be in through­out a prac­tice. That’s why I’m doc­u­ment­ing my cur­rent goals and as­sump­tions in this post, and then I’m go­ing to for­get about it for a while and look back in a few months and if things have changed.

Here’s the plan:

  • 30 min time for med­i­ta­tion each morn­ing, ev­ery­day.

  • Us­ing The Mind Illu­mi­nated as a guide, go­ing through the var­i­ous stages.

  • Finish­ing read­ing the book over the next week.

  • Each week when I do my weekly re­view, check if I can fore­see days where it will be hard to do morn­ing med­i­ta­tion, and make al­ter­nate plans.

  • I will doc­u­ment any days I miss in the com­ments of this post.

  • I will doc­u­ment any changes in at­ti­tudes to­wards this whole en­deavor in the comments

Things I Want

  • Fewer mo­ments of feel­ing like con­scious­ness is a bur­den.

  • I’ve got a ton of strong cu­ri­os­ity about how minds ac­tu­ally work and what’s re­ally go­ing on in my head, and I want to have a deeper felt/​ex­pe­ri­en­tial map of my own mind and ex­is­tance.

  • I want to suffer less.

  • I want to get in touch with lower lev­els of my ex­pe­rience, and more ba­sic parts of my mind.

    • Both for epistemic clar­ity, and be­cause I ex­pect it will make me hap­pier.

  • It sounds sorta like su­per pow­ers and I’ve always wanted su­per pow­ers.

  • I want to be kinder.

  • I want to be less ter­rified of dy­ing.

  • I want to be less scared of be­ing hurt by peo­ple.

  • I’m crazy ex­cited by the idea of see­ing the “clock ticks of ex­per­inece” (I in­ter­preted an ex­cerpt from MCTB to be say­ing the dude was able to per­cieve the ac­tual se­quen­tial play by play of his ex­pe­rience)

  • In­creased notic­ing skills

As­sump­tions /​ Predictions

  • There are real men­tal states /​ ways of be­ing /​ skills that cor­re­spond to “en­light­en­ment”.

  • Though it might not be par­tic­u­larly quick or easy, I can can make progress to­wards achiev­ing that through non-mys­te­ri­ous means.

  • If I do end up ex­pe­rienc­ing some­thing like “The Dark Night of the Soul” I will be able to pro­ceed through it (not get­ting stuck for more than a few months (made up time scale))

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