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Vipassana: Noting/Mahasi Style

Access Concentration?

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Access Concentration?
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1/25/19 3:00 PM
Have I stumbled upon access concentration? The technique I use is Mahasi noting and while doing it my mind becomes easily fixed to the sounds surrounding me. So while I might start my sit with “in out in out itch itch in hearing out,” after 20 or 30 minutes or so I’ll end up noting “hearing hearing hearing etc.” My mind usually becomes fixed in ambient noises such as the pool pump at my house that sounds similar to that of an AC or if it’s at night when my pool pump is off, Itll usually become fixed on the constant cricket noises. The thing is, regardless of how I note, my mind will inevitably get fixed on the sounds. There are still other things that pop up in my mind like an itch or sensation or agitation but I’m still able to focus on the sound while these things also come up. So I was wondering what this is and how it fits into progress. 

Question on about that, I was once on a 10 day retreat and I told the instructor about this and hesaid to use the breath as an anchor instead of sound. However, if I try to use the breath either at the nose or abdomen, I inevitably get drawn to the sound and end up focusing on it. Is sound a reasonable anchor?

Thanks!

RE: Access Concentration?
Answer
1/25/19 7:46 PM as a reply to shen k s.
shen k s:
Have I stumbled upon access concentration? The technique I use is Mahasi noting and while doing it my mind becomes easily fixed to the sounds surrounding me. So while I might start my sit with “in out in out itch itch in hearing out,” after 20 or 30 minutes or so I’ll end up noting “hearing hearing hearing etc.” My mind usually becomes fixed in ambient noises such as the pool pump at my house that sounds similar to that of an AC or if it’s at night when my pool pump is off, Itll usually become fixed on the constant cricket noises. The thing is, regardless of how I note, my mind will inevitably get fixed on the sounds. There are still other things that pop up in my mind like an itch or sensation or agitation but I’m still able to focus on the sound while these things also come up. So I was wondering what this is and how it fits into progress. 

Question on about that, I was once on a 10 day retreat and I told the instructor about this and hesaid to use the breath as an anchor instead of sound. However, if I try to use the breath either at the nose or abdomen, I inevitably get drawn to the sound and end up focusing on it. Is sound a reasonable anchor?

Thanks!

Just curious, do you hear yourself talking in your head when you're thinking? I do and I think it makes sound a very distracting sense for me.

Any sense or object is fine to note - just note whatever comes up. Goenka is big on the breath but that's only one way to go. Sound is a great thing to note. There are whole traditions based on listening to sounds and to silence (nada meditation), and of course the famous Zen koan "what is the sound of one hand clapping" is a pointer to look closely at the impermanence of sound.

Access concentration is just when the distractions start dying down a little - you're probably there.