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If you get an itch while meditating, should you scratch it?



  • octinomosoctinomos Explorer
    edited March 2015

    i guess it depends on where the itch is located? we're not dogs, we're people...

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Let's not go there..... :lol:

  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2015

    Soto Zen..
    A general guide on an itchy path between two extremes

    If you scratch every itch that arises, it trains your ego/identity/self to create another itch as the automatic time out from meditation whenever it starts to feel challenged by the practice. Any sense gate that you give total attention to is a sabotaging of your chances of developing meditative equanimity.


    If you have a persistent itch that occupies all of your awareness, and you refuse to address that itch by scratching it, your meditation has really just become an itch focused concentration exercise.

    Scratch an itch in whatever way is the least intrusive for your fellow practitioners if that itch has dominated your other sense gate data for longer than 10 minutes and then settle back into the formal sitting.

    This helps allow you to practice with itches in formal meditation without becoming subject to the "scratch every one" or the "scratch none" dogmas.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    I don't see anything wrong with scratching an itch, same as there's nothing wrong with adjusting your posture or whatever.

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