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RE: Head tensions... amidoingitright?

josh r s, modified 4 Years ago. - 2/22/12 9:24 PM

Head tensions... amidoingitright?

Posts: 337 Join Date: 9/16/11 Recent Posts
For a few weeks I have been having some headaches localized around the base of my skull. There is a muscle knot on one side which i can feel with my fingers... or maybe its a tumor. But I am pretty sure it is a muscle knot, the fact that it is on just the left side is interesting, I seem to have good control of the right half of my body though ;)

My practice is basically minimizing the attention wave and paying attention to pure sensate experience and inclining towards sensuousness (those are pretty much the same thing) as close to 24/7 as possible, which amounts to making attention as wide and still as possible, when doing this "mind movement" there are corresponding sensations in the back of the head... so I assume I am tensing some of the muscles in the back of the skull.

My concern is that this implies I am doing something wrong, all other indications would point to things going well, but tension is generally a bad thing... I worry that I am somehow artificially mimicking my 4th jhana experience in a useless way. Rather than "me" not being there and thus not "looking" anywhere (thus creating a panoramic view of everything)... instead me looking everywhere at once. This type of 4th jhana mimicking seems to be the intuitive thing to do at the moment, it seems to reduce affect.. has anyone experienced this? any thoughts about it?
josh r s, modified 4 Years ago. - 2/23/12 5:44 AM

RE: Head tensions... amidoingitright?

Posts: 337 Join Date: 9/16/11 Recent Posts
Hmm... after lots more inspection of this tension and my recent practice, I realize that I've spent quite a lot of time, since near the beginning of my practice (on and off since then) in a bizarre and subtle trap, I don't know if others have found themselves here too.

So, what I've spent a pretty good amount of time doing is this: by trying to pay attention to everything at once, what I've actually been doing is widening the fabricated "edge" of attention. An image might help, the way I was conceiving of attention was that it was a sort of rubber band, you could push it outwards and thus pay attention to stuff everywhere or you could let it fall back inwards on its own. The actual rubber band was some kind of affective thing which I was pushing out so that it layered on top of everything, so that "i" was inhabiting everywhere at once.

When I did this, (alot of the time for over a year) I actually had little idea what the physical sensations occurring were. Instead it was just as if I was staring at this affective fabricated representation of the abstract idea "awareness." I finally realized this after putting about a million puzzle pieces together, "data" i collected based on how felicitous I was depending on what I was doing, the bit in the satipathana sutta on the second frame of reference... it turns out I didn't actually know what sensations I was experiencing... this is quite a bizarre trap, I don't know if others have had this or can even understand what I am talking about, as this could be based on a really peculiar and unique delusion. Oh well, I assume that the progress I have made was from actually knowing all the individual sensations rather than paying attention to this idea "sensations" and hopefully I can speed up progress by greatly increasing the proportion of time I am actually paying attention to actual sensations.
katy steger, modified 4 Years ago. - 2/23/12 7:15 AM

RE: Head tensions... amidoingitright?

Posts: 1745 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Hi josh r s

Here is a video by Shinzen Young on various "traps". Perhaps you are referring to the last "trap": you might start at 7:33 or 8:18 min and check out that particular bit, start listening there
Oliver Myth, modified 4 Years ago. - 2/27/12 6:17 AM

RE: Head tensions... amidoingitright?

Posts: 143 Join Date: 6/10/11 Recent Posts
Occasionally I will fall into this trap a few times where I am looking at an "idea" instead of present moment awareness. I don't think that means one wasn't present the whole time because they were looking at the wrong thing, they just were under a false impression. Focusing on an object no matter what it is and then eventually seeing thru it (via the three characteristics) is a bit like a insight practice that I used in High Equanimity when I was trying to get a fruition. This was the suggested practice at KFD for a while way back when. Do you think that describes what you ended up doing when you saw thru the trap (focusing on what was stable until the three characters showed themselves?