A Quick Revisit to Sleazy’s “Warmth” and Shinzen’s “Do Nothing”

I put on a hell of a lot of weight while figuring out my posture/myofascia problem, since the tissue wound around the nerves in the left side of my body caused constant pain and made me unable to fully extend my left arm or leg, making exercise very difficult (and painful, and depressing). That issue is now largely resolved, due to a combination of increased awareness of the problem, plus nondirective meditation techniques which allow the nerves to release the myofascial winds, possibly as part of the parasympathetic “rest and digest” circuit. When the issue is fully resolved, I will be happy to write up a complete guide on how I did it, free of charge.

Since I can now exercise again, I have been going to the gym four times a week and eating right, too. Firstly, I will say that this does make a noticeable difference for meditation and general sense of well-being. I suspect that even something like a 15-minute run would create an upward spiral of positive affect.

After the gym last night I decided, for some reason, to try Sleazy’s “let go of thoughts” tech, which I talked about in my review of his book Meditation Without Bullshit. I did this lying on my bed with my hands beneath my head. I started off with the simple verbal command “let go”, repeated softly whenever awareness aggregated into an “object”: so, if I had a thought, I would simply say “let go”; if I heard a sound outside that induced a mental impression (e.g. of a car) I would say “let go”; if I had an emotion identifiable with a label, I would say “let go”. I no longer have an issue with using verbal commands in this way; in fact, I now think it’s not only fine, but is the right thing to do in certain situations. Words are very powerful. The right brain’s maps of meanings can be lit up by a gentle verbal prompt from the left brain.

The above meditation induced a very relaxing state, which was also flowing since I was letting go of mental objects rather than trying to freeze and solidify them. However, I still felt a strong tension surrounding the verbal command “let go”. I realized that this tension came from the fact that I was still attempting to exert control over the meditation, even if that control was somewhat minor in the form of letting go of thoughts. I was instantly reminded of Shinzen Young’s admonishment in his Do Nothing meditation: “If the intent to control the meditation arises, drop that intent.” So, I let go of the intent to control. This was done via a strong recognition of the intent to control, then a simple “not doing that any more”. It also coincided with the verbal command “let go of the intent to control”, but at that point that may have been part of the “package deal” of the hemispheres getting together under a joint realization.

The result was that, while the intent to control was being dropped, there was an almost time-stopping moment during which the “control” formation was fully recognized then began to dissolve and burn away completely. During this moment an extremely warm wave passed through my whole body, apparently correlating with Sleazy’s “warmth” stage in his book. This was interesting to me as ordinarily I experience absorption states as cool healing energies. Subsequent droppings of the intent to control produced similar warmth / “burning away” sensations; really strong, noticeable feelings of relief. It was not long before I fell into something like a combination of jhana and sleep. I was not particularly lucid and was mostly unconscious, emerging periodically into what I would describe as “love-consciousness”; a sea of warmth and bliss. I suspect I fell asleep into an enhanced neurochemical state caused by the gym and the meditation. I will be interested in seeing how this meditation goes in an upright pose! My thought however is that these are not jhanas arising classically as I first surmised when reviewing Sleazy’s book; rather they are states of samadhi occurring with their own characteristics dependent upon the type of nondirective meditation being employed.

After getting up and exiting this state of warmth, and starting to think about making dinner, I began fixating on how good the state had been, and wanting more of it. This kind of craving is a pretty typical reflex when leaving behind something amazing. I am assuming that full awakening must be attained before that craving disappears fully. Until then, it is something that makes meditation more like an addiction – but one that replaces worse addictions, and has other benefits. I ignored the craving and thought nothing more about the meditation.

This morning however was a different story. I woke up feeling really good. Usually I have to do some meditation for that, but today it was not required. While having a piss, I noticed that all the ambient sounds were coming through really clearly; at this moment it dawned on me that the profound mental silence mentioned in a previous post had reappeared, this time of its own accord. This mental quiet has continued to descend upon me at seemingly random times throughout the day, accompanied by visual objects having space around them, more light appearing in the visual field, time perception slowing down or disappearing entirely, and other good right forebrain stuff.

Most interestingly however is that the “warm wave” has begun to happen at seemingly random times also, co-occurring with “bliss for no reason”. This suggests to me that the “relinquishing of control” program has been integrated at a level below conscious awareness and is now triggering itself automatically whenever the “intent to control” formation is recognized. Or, put another way, the meditation has filtered down into the subminds, which are now “meditating me” rather than the other way around. Very, very cool stuff.

I feel very much like a beginner again. I think for some reason that this is the sort of thing I would have experienced in the first year had I followed a reliable meditative tradition rather than doing meditation largely for “the lulz”, on my own path, getting sucked into the pursuit of magick and other crazy experiences. But it doesn’t matter much to me now, for the following reason: Shinzen Young once said (paraphrased) that living one day in liberation makes everything worthwhile. I have now begun to experience that firsthand.

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33 Responses

  1. Arpan says:

    Aspiration is the primary thing, tech is secondary. Sleazy has been doing the same thing since ages, but his worldview and consequent aspiration are conducive for something else.
    This is part of what “Grace/Nature” determines.

    • Magician123 says:

      Why do you think his meditation hasn’t also altered his world view and priorities?

      Is it wrong to assume that the meditation Sleazy uses would dissolve the ego as no control is meant to be in place?

      Your perspective that aspiration plays a part would explain why there are so many celebrities that have done TM for decades who are still neurotic and messed up or egotist (even if it does give them some peace and energy). I always thought they didn’t reach a higher state as they never made it a serious practice.

      • Arpan says:

        Firstly, I would like to emphasize that I used aspiration to indicate something slightly different from or a different shade of, “intent”. Intent reinforces the idea of egoic individual’s mental resolution, which though can be made a into a powerful thing, but is a very strenous path(that too would end in non-doing/surrender).

        Aspiration indicates something softer/subtler and soulful. It’s something that rises to the sky from the limited deluded egoic self to The Self that expresses itself as the Cosmos. A theist would call it “prayer”. Aspiration is belief-agnostic.

        I won’t dissect Sleazy in particular as I hardy know him. But I can address this question in terms of general trends. A few minutes, or even hours, of meditation won’t take you to Liberation. Even if you do it for aeons. It’s the permanent growth that has become intrinsic to your everyday self that matters. If you spend a few minutes in meditation and rest of the day you go back to being someone who is looking to exploit others for some sort of profit or pleasure(all the arguments in the vein of: “Oh but she too wants it” are a self-deception. What she wants is irrelevant. Point is: you are at best being transactional, looking for some satisfaction of this body/mind) you are reinforcing the deep imprints that: “I am this limited self” (tell me how many times do you go out to date in order to please girls and what will you say to a girl who you sincerely want to benefit).
        Also, sadhana requires extremely deep sincerity. A person who lives in abovementioned state would most probably not be free of some such idea of “ego gain” even while meditating. And you can have pretty jazzy experiences and powers WHILE still entertaining that limiting idea. That is why intentional cultivation of magick w/o cultivation of character is a quicksand.

        A word about fixed moral rules/character with respect to sadhana: Yoga says that a person should follow the Shastra(scripture/law/code of conduct) until he has BECOME that character. Sri Aurobindo once wrote:
        The strength of Europe(West) is freedom. Its weakness is freedom. It gives freedom to a person before he understands what freedom means. If one prematurely gives up the shastra, then instead of being a slave to the shastra, he becomes a slave to animal instincts, which is far worse.

        One you have become comfortable following a time table(shastra) you are qualified enough to give up the time table. Now you would have to push yourself not to study/work, such is your character.

        About techs: Techs were really never the focus of East. If you look at our most advanced yogis, they only write about states of consciousness, faith, aspiration, purity of mind etc. Techs were minor aids. Buddhism was the first outcrop of East thst was so tech-heavy. Infact, as a result of bitter argumentation some Hindu thinkers had written that Buddhism has caught on abd developed those strands of Hinduism that can help Asuras(titans/self seekers/heartless/faithless). It is the creed for adharmikas(ppl who hv deviated from Dharma) so that they too have a chance at Salvation. Infact, Buddhism too has developed worship of signs(theravada) amd later fullfledged deities(vajrayana) as it took in ppl of all types in foreign lands(tibet etc) into its fold.
        Buddhism caught the fancy of West, as post-Rennaissance West has become a great believer in “systems”. From sophisticated administrative setups and industrial machines to even “marital contracts”. Everything is a cog-chain-cog system. So they view spirituality too as a “system” where “I” can do “x” to get the output “y”. It’s also partly because “systematic and rational buddhism” sharply contrasts with uncompromisingly narrow and aggressive Christianity(which is their idea of spirituality-with-faith/soul). Similarly Patanjali is one yogi whose writing caught Western-eyes because he too was focussed on systems.

        Now what’s the problem with the above ?
        Even the most “tech oriented” Eastern approaches were taught in a culture where some qualities of character and surrender to the Guru etc were axiomatic. You can see how Yamas and Niyamas in yoga(especially Brahmcharya) are totally ignored in West. So is Panchsheel of Theravadin Buddhism. So are other dietary and lifestyle regulations. Even Buddha emphasised on “surrender” to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
        Practicing without these solid foundations opens up the vital energy before the mind is ready abd wreacls havoc within a person.

        As Jordan Peterson said: East is old, West is young.
        Some Hindu temples have erotic imagery on outer walls. The young would stop enthralled by it. The old one who has seen enough, will walk straight in to the sanctum.(I dunno where he learnt it but it is quite near to the truth. These temples were to be circumambulated whike watching the images. If any image arouse oneself, then one had to meditate till he was unaffected. He could enter omce he could circumambulate the temple with an unaffected mind).

  2. Joe says:

    After reading your review of his book I bought it and it reminded me of a Taoist meditation I learned and liked called Empty Mind. I did Sleazys practice for a month, then Do Nothing for a few weeks and finally settled into Awareness Watching Awareness. I experience times, sometimes hours of bliss and well being. It comes and goes on it’s own. Some days not at all, others I get a sense of well being that lasts throughout the day, and occasionally a feeling that goes beyond well being and bliss into something euphoric. The bad part is I feel I have wasted over a decade watching objects, doing scans and just spinning my wheels. I have made more progress in these last few months than in the last dozen years. I owe my progress to you and the others that post here. I am not nearly as advanced as any of you, but I know I am now on the correct path and I thank you for leading me to it.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Thanks Joe, you have warmed my heart. 🙂

      The kind of joy I have bursting forth now is like when you haven’t been on holiday in three years and then finally go to the seaside. You see the ocean and are like, “Fuckin’ hell! It’s MASSIVE!” That’s how the world looks to me during these times; it is like a dream.

      I am not sure the decade of directive meditation is a waste. It prepares a stillness of mind and the confidence to get out your own way. Also, it allows you to then basically follow ANY method, which is obviously a plus.

    • Magician123 says:

      Hey Joe,

      I was wondering how long you meditate with the Awareness Watching Awareness technique each day ( i’m assuming its the same as described here: https://albigen.com/uarelove/awa_instructions.htm) and whether you believe one should do a Letting Go/Do Nothing meditation for some time before moving on to AWA.

      When i have attempted AWA it appears to me to be a more directive concentrative meditation so i’m thinking one would need to be more adept at not having intention before being able to ‘fall into’ awareness watching awareness.

      • Illuminatus says:

        “Awareness watching awareness” is the state you eventually fall into from Letting Go / Do Nothing. AWA, said another way, is “awareness without intent to control/manipulate awareness”. In this sense it is the product of nondirective meditation.

        Awareness can be touched into directly but this tends to be the result of cultivating “awareness watching awareness” in prior meditations. It is extremely difficult to know what that looks like without having experienced it many times before, and the ego will almost always jump in and try to distort your efforts, make you think what you are doing is AWA when it’s something else, etc.

        So, AWA gone for “directly” is very difficult, requires lots of experience to be free from delusion when practising it, and is prone to all sorts of ego interference.

        This is why AWA should be practised as the product of a nondirective meditation (it is the state you end up in), and should not be considered a directive meditation, especially by beginners. The instructions at https://albigen.com/uarelove/awa_instructions.htm for example would not be productive for most beginners, in my opinion.

        https://albigen.com/uarelove/most_rapid/chapter09.htm on that site is better for beginners. He even says at #1: “If your ego will not allow you to practice the Awareness Watching Awareness Method, the Abandon Release Method is the second best choice.” (Emphasis mine.)

        This is just my opinion. I have been wrong about virtually everything else I’ve ever said so if some beginners picked up AWA and used it right out of the box to great effect then it wouldn’t surprise me. Hell, I never thought I would be doing something so simple as “letting go” but my experience of life has improved a hundredfold just since practising it the last week.

        • Magician123 says:

          Yeah this makes sense. When doing AWA my ego/mind is very much in the forefront and I can never really lock onto something without my thoughts constantly deluding or doubting where my attention is placed.

          On the otherhand Letting go/non directive meditations often have me getting to a point where my thoughts can flow on their own with ‘me’ being vaguely aware of them.

          • Illuminatus says:

            >Yeah this makes sense. When doing AWA my ego/mind is very much in the forefront and I can never really lock onto something without my thoughts constantly deluding or doubting where my attention is placed.

            The emphasis I have added there shows you are coming at AWA very much from the directive mindset, which won’t work for AWA.

            AWA for a beginner is very much like a fish who does not know what water is. You ask him to look at the water, and he looks around for something to “lock onto” and sees NOTHING.

            Awareness is the same. It is everywhere. Every bit of your experience “is” awareness.
            So beginners should let go of mental objects until just the awareness remains.

            You CAN watch awareness directly. Here is the main tip if you wish to try: use SOFT ATTENTION.
            So, if you hear a sound, don’t try to “lock onto” it. Instead, do the OPPOSITE: be aware of the sound in the least engaged way possible. Let your attention go onto it as softly and distantly as possible. This induces a very rapid nondualistic bliss.
            With eyes closed you can let your awareness just move between sounds in the environment. This way awareness just “touches” itself lightly, tracing its own edges.

            Then you can go further, to just awareness of awareness itself, but that is even more murky and indistinct!

            • Magician123 says:

              I do think I become aware of awareness when doing it as I would but only for a microsecond at a time – it would also take constant effort which is frustrating for me. When it is done right I feel like I’m looking directly at myself, which is what the guy says to do in this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbIJRtbxUZM. <- I watched this and 'looked at myself' as it explains years ago and did have a semi-spiritual experience that lasted for a couple of days as a result. I'm hoping that falling into awareness through non-directive practice will give me the same feeling of lightness and ease I had back then as an indefinitely permanent state.

              Maybe I need to persevere in AWA but it seems like for those who do it very clear on how to go a bout it. I can't get the Soft attention to work for me, I think I'm trying too hard at not trying lol. So back to building up my time spent in basic non-directive meditation for me.

  3. Joe says:

    I can only speak for myself, but usually one hour first thing in the morning and a half hour to forty minutes before dinner. The book recoamends a minimum of 2 hours a day, eventually discarding all non essential endeavors and practicing as much as possible. Obviously, I am not there yet.
    As to whether it is more directive, I am not qualified to guide you. I can only speak for myself that compared with focusing on an object, to me it feels very non directive. When a thought begins to arise, I turn away from it and just sit, being aware of my existence. The results are incredible. I have never had this lasting sense of peace, and it seems to grow stronger each day.
    Others much more advanced than I will give you much better advice, I’m sure, but I can only advise that you try whichever non directive meditation suits you and give it a fair trial. I did do nothing for several weeks first, but allowing thoughts to enter at will did not suit me personally, though the same sense of bliss often arrived after meditation and throughout my day. I guess it’s whatever you enjoy and can do consistently

  4. Lars says:

    Hi.

    I was testing out the awareness watching awareness meditation, and I sort of fell inn and out of this deep stillness and silence. The experience of the silence has been very brief when I sort of stumble into it, and then I get caught up in a thought or a feeling. It seems to me that the silence and stillness is an inherent property of the consciousness I’m trying to watch. Am I on to something here, or am I just creating concepts? Also, would it be the same meditation if I try to tune into the silence instead of the awareness given that the two might be the same thing. Or is the silence just a part of what I’m trying to observe? I am asking because I feel really attracted to that silence, and it really feels like I’m “on to something” when I glimpse it, but I’m really not sure whether or not I should make it my focus instead of the underlying awareness.

    I hope this makes sense.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Lars, those questions make perfect sense.

      > It seems to me that the silence and stillness is an inherent property of the consciousness I’m trying to watch.

      That’s the conclusion I drew. The silence is so profound I considered it a “higher order” property (I have seen Arpan quoting some scripture where silence is considered by someone to be “the highest order”). I consider silence a higher order than bliss. Meaning, if I was hypothetically offered silence forever, or bliss forever, I would choose silence (though I am imagining we will end up with both 😉 ).

      >Also, would it be the same meditation if I try to tune into the silence instead of the awareness given that the two might be the same thing.

      I think the silence is a “revealed property”, meaning it is found to be present behind surface noise. I don’t think you can tune into it because the act of “trying to tune into something” itself is a mental noise on a lower order than the silence.

      >Or is the silence just a part of what I’m trying to observe?

      Exactly. So my opinion is that you should progress as you have been and the silence will show itself more. Do not grasp for it.

      In my case the silence became constant for several hours during one meditation (then happened again on a subsequent one). After this it would “descend” on me at various times throughout the day, unprompted, and continues to do this now. Additionally, some element of the silence has remained permanently, meaning there is less mental noise now as a permanent change.

      • Lars says:

        Thank you very much. I appreciate it a lot!

      • Arpan says:

        I don’t think I said that it’s the highest. However, your emphasis on it is right. There is indeed much praise for “silence” in the tradition. Silence is the basic requirement for “serious stable progress” as opposed to funky experiences that your as-yet-unstable system is unable to hold and assimilate, launching you into a new cycle of craving for “spiritual highs”.
        I am glad you put “bliss” aside!

        • Illuminatus says:

          I know you didn’t say that. You did some quote where you said “Some cunt said bliss is the highest order, then some fuckface said no it’s silence, then some arsehole said no it’s light” blah blah blah.

          Can’t find it but it really was fascinating. 😉

          • Arpan says:

            Only thing that remotely sounds like that debate amidst my comments is this:

            http://www.personalpowermeditation.com/types-of-meditation/#comment-99310

            But this has no mention of silence, because it was dealing with levels of reality, Bliss Brahman(not your normal meditative bliss) being highest. Silence is a background which is good for building up your practice.

            The comment where I actually talked about Silence was this:

            http://www.personalpowermeditation.com/forum2/general-basic/ingram-on-depression-and-psychological-problems-wtf/msg337/#msg337

            • Illuminatus says:

              Yep, first link was it. Sorry, I’m a bit hazy. Took a hay fever pill and it’s almost knocked me out. Garbage stuff.

              I also mentally confused that debate with something I read on this link from the LuminousBliss Q&A:
              http://sri-summairu.blogspot.co.uk/

              “Silence is the absolute truth and the highest form of spiritual teaching. If you’re unable to be silenced by the Sage, who is the embodiment of silence itself, “Summa Iru” is the highest verbal teaching.”

              • Arpan says:

                How does Silence tie in with AFM in your case ?
                Silence is usually best developed without using too much “imagination”. I follow Sri Aurobindo’s yoga and he is big on silence. Even when using a theistic approach(as is his) the conception of Divinity/aspiration of what you wish to attain has to be kept as “formless”, with only some contours in mind so as to formulate the aspiration(or intent, in your case) so as to not disturb the purity of experience emerging from silence and letting it take the form it wishes to take. SA calls it “clear austerity”. As an example from one my favourite books on yoga(I am quoting from a later section dealing with advanced stuff, but the book begins with mental silence):

                “A Christian saint having a vision of the Virgin and an Indian having a vision of Durga may see the same thing; they may have entered in contact with the same plane of consciousness, the same forces; yet Durga would obviously mean nothing to the Christian. On the other hand, if this same force manifested itself in its pure state, namely, as a luminous, impersonal vibration, it would be accessible neither to the Virgin worshipper nor to the Durga devotee; it would not speak to their hearts. Devotion, too, has its place, for not everyone has the necessary development to feel the intensity of love contained in a simple little golden light without form. Still more remarkably, if a poet, such as Rimbaud or Shelley, came in contact with these same planes of consciousness, he would see something completely different again, yet still the same thing; obviously, neither Durga nor the Virgin is of particular concern to a poet, so he might perceive instead a great vibration, pulsations of light, or colored waves, which in him would translate into an intense poetic emotion.”

                Also:
                “we see two sorts of things: impersonal currents of force, which can be more or less luminous, and personal beings. But they are two forms of the same thing: The wall between consciousness and force, impersonality and personality becomes much thinner when one goes behind the veil of matter. If one looks at a working from the side of impersonal force one sees a force or energy at work acting for a purpose or with a result, if one looks from the side of being one sees a being possessing, guiding and using or else representative of and used by a conscious force as its instrument of specialized action and expression…. In modern science it has been found that if you look at the movement of energy, it appears on one side to be a wave and act as a wave, on the other as a mass of particles and to act as a mass of particles each acting in its own way. It is somewhat the same principle here.184

                Some seekers may therefore never see beings, but only luminous forces; others will see only beings and never any force; it all depends on their inner disposition, on their form of aspiration, on their religious, spiritual, or even cultural background.”

                The author discourages using “personal forms”.

  5. Joe says:

    Hi, Lars,

    I’ve been practicing AWA exclusively for several months now with wonderful results. At first, I too had trouble accepting is this awareness? Am I supposed to be observing something specific?
    In the book on page 61 he gives these alternate instructions which cleared things up for me. I hope they help.

    Shut your eyes .
    Do not observe thought. Observe awareness.
    Awareness Watching Awareness is empty.
    There is nothing to observe there. Don’t complicate it by thinking there is more to it. Awareness is subtle. In awareness watching awareness there is only awareness. It is simple. Remain in awareness observing itself.

    Best regards

    Joe

  6. Jrager says:

    >I have been going to the gym four times a week and eating right, too.
    What has your diet been like lately? I recall you saying earlier this year you had been eating mostly fruit. How did that go for you? I think fruitarian plus soft leafy greens combined with enough fasting is probably the healthiest way to go if one can handle the detox symptoms. It’s something I’d like to try soon, though the idea of eating avocado so often to get enough fat is something I could see myself getting sick of fairly quickly.

    • Illuminatus says:

      When I wrote the post I was eating rice, bananas, oranges, apples, and meat at weekends. That went on a for a few weeks. It was really nice, after the initial adjustment. Then I had a series of parties (birthdays, work lunches, bank holidays, and that sort of thing) during which I was eating lots of heavy crap.

      I find it very easy to fall off the wagon regarding diet. I can get it to the point where I’m happy eating bland things but if I deviate from that (e.g. by eating something spicy and heavy like curry, rice and naan) my body won’t be satisfied by bland things for a few days after that. It’s like any substance withdrawal really. So I now need to look into not indulging in rich foods even if they are offered. This will be difficult since I love those foods, and do many activities where they are consumed. E.g. I have another work outing/ social event tomorrow night. This rich food thing is just another addiction essentially.

      • Jrager says:

        Have you done much fasting? I’ve heard some people say that their cravings for unhealthy foods were eliminated completely after fasting (drinking only water) for a few days. A health expert who makes videos on YouTube and runs a fasting center named Loren Lockman has convinced me that long fasts are the key to reaching perfect health.

        • Betha says:

          Fasting starts yielding results when it becomes a habit and you do it consistently. In my experience, a few days isn’t enough to wipe the slate clean and eradicate all cravings. The more you fast, the easier it gets and that’s when you start noticing the benefits of it.

  7. Rob says:

    You ever hear of tummo (inner fire)? I am a Wim Hof Method practitioner. I can achieve some very euphoric states with his breathing method consistently.

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