Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Continuing a vipassana session

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

So I have been meditating regularly starting with the standard vipassanā technique of concentrating on the abdomen and watching the rise and fall of the breath. The mind stills. Sometimes I then follow an impulse to move my attention elsewhere... it is as if my body is completely still and surrrounded by a beautiful golden glow. This time I followed the attention to my throat, where it felt like the golden glow was somewhat broken up and there were various threads, which my intuition told me had to do with different things, like one had to do with a "nunnery". Then I lost it and returned to abdominal breathing.

So my question of today for the online Sangha was do you find that your meditations take you to different locations in the body? Or even to entirely different spaces, where things seem to happen before you are released and return to your abdominal breathing? Or do you just stick purely to the abdominal breathing and force any impulses aside?

Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Force impulses? I am eh . . . just sitting. :3 Have I gone peculiar again?
    http://www.vipassana.co.uk/course/

    However . . . I do take myself to different parts of the body to relax them. It is a sort of body at ease pre-flight practice, similar to yoga nidra.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Hi @Kerome.

    You might be interested in the meditation teachings of Thannisaro Bikkhu.

    He talks about finding the place in the body where we can focus on the breath most easily then spreading the breath energy throughout the whole body.

    His theory (as I understand it) is that it is easier to develop concentration when focusing on the breath energy throughout the whole body as opposed to just the breath in one spot.

    Check out his meditations here.

    www.dhammatalks.org/

    lobsterDhammaDragon
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    So my question of today for the online Sangha was do you find that your meditations take you to different locations in the body? Or even to entirely different spaces, where things seem to happen before you are released and return to your abdominal breathing? Or do you just stick purely to the abdominal breathing and force any impulses aside?

    I liked to keep my attention to the breathing which reduces the tendency for the mind to wander to another time or place. I don't forcefully push any impulses away but merely maintain a sense of detached curiosity and ask why they arise (the condition for their arising) in the first place? If those impulses lead to dukkha, why hold on to them?

    Bunkslobster
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited May 2

    @Kerome said:> So I have been meditating regularly starting with the standard vipassanā technique of concentrating on the abdomen and watching the rise and fall of the breath. The mind stills. Sometimes I then follow an impulse to move my attention elsewhere...

    In the Satipatthana Sutta breath meditation is included in the first frame of mindfulness, which is mindfulness of the body - I regard this as foundational. You then have the option of broadening awareness and working with the second, third and fourth frames, ie feelings, states of mind and mental activity. The aim is to develop insight into the transience and conditionality of experience.
    Ideally mindfulness should be maintained off the cushion,

    Note the samatha ( calm ) and vipassana ( insight ) are qualities of mind, not methods.

    lobsterKerome
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I certainly find it interesting that certain blissful states regarding awareness of the body and the subtle body after the breathing stage are very transient... they seem to age, turn or curdle in the mind's awareness.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited May 4

    Another interesting path is described in the Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah in the lecture called Just Do It where he talks about samatha and watching the in breath and the out breath. I paraphrase:

    After a while, the mind stills and the breath begins to diminish and the mind becomes subtle. Both become pliable. Eventually the breath becomes smaller and smaller, until it seems you have no breath at all. At this time don't run out, thinking your breathing has stopped. It just means the mind is at peace and you can just sit there, watching what comes.

    Personally I find there are areas of my mind which I kind of need to connect to the breath. When I focus on the breath and follow the procedure, I still sometimes notice a stream around my forehead where there are other thoughts happening. If I then focus on that and tell it to focus on my breath, then it is as if more of my head becomes still. It is as if these are peripheral areas which were acting independently, and which also need to be brought to rest.

    I'm happy to be making some progress though, the last few times I've shifted to observing the breath in the nose and throat, and have managed to reach quite deep and restful states of meditation quite easily. I've been doing this regularly for some months now, most mornings, and I'm finding I come out of meditation crisply, wholely and awarely in just a second, which distinguishes it from sleep.

    I've not yet gotten to developing the other parts besides sitting and laying down, where Ajahn Chah continues to talk about developing samatha while standing and walking.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Kerome said:
    So I have been meditating regularly starting with the standard vipassanā technique of concentrating on the abdomen and watching the rise and fall of the breath. The mind stills. Sometimes I then follow an impulse to move my attention elsewhere...

    In the Satipatthana Sutta breath meditation is included in the first frame of mindfulness, which is mindfulness of the body - I regard this as foundational. You then have the option of broadening awareness and working with the second, third and fourth frames, ie feelings, states of mind and mental activity.

    So I have been trying to extend awareness of the breath to stillness of the mind, to awareness of the body, to awareness of feelings, and that's as far as I've gotten. Today's session took 38 minutes, awareness of the body showed up a few hindrances in the way of twitches where things were running too fast to attune to the breath... especially my throats seems troublesome.

    Eventually I got so far that my awareness of the body was totally smooth and attuned to the breath, which felt satisfactory. I then turned my attention to my feelings, to be confronted with an impression of an unordered jumble of mostly bright feelings, which kind of swept me away and after a few moments got me to end the meditation.

Sign In or Register to comment.