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Flickering awareness?

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Flickering awareness?
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3/15/19 1:26 PM
I'll admit I did not first search existing forums, as I'd like to write it out to see if I can uncover any more insights about my concern. So, thanks for your patience if this has already been discussed.

In my daily sittings I typically focus on the breath coming in and out of the nose for some time, and then after I feel like my mind has calmed down a bit, I then move into body scanning. Sometimes part by part, sometimes sweeping. (Yes, Goenka.)

I've never been sure that I could hold awareness of sensate experience of different parts of the body at the same time, unless I connected those two parts with my awareness, or moved very quickly between them. When I first started with sensate awareness and I would sweep both left and right halves of the body what felt like simultaneously, it felt like I was doing both sides at the same time, at least that's what I thought. I hope that makes sense.

Recently, I started reading MCTB, and came across a section that says something to the effect of, "you can't hold sensate experience of two different parts of your body at the same time." And the author goes on to describe, as an example, moving awareness between a finger on each hand.

Now, the quality of my meditation has changed, and when I do the simultaneous scanning of both sides my awareness feels like it's jumping back and forth between both halves of my body. I've had this flickering experience in the past with breath-focused meditation, but never with the body.

I realize that there might not be a simple answer to this, aside from "keep practicing," but am hoping to be pointed to an existing discussion, or to hear what other experiences folks may have had similar to this.

There's more I could explain, but I think this gets the gist of it. Thank you for any information!

RE: Flickering awareness?
Answer
3/15/19 1:52 PM as a reply to Luke.
Luke, I think you can certainly hold awareness of two parts of the body at  the sametime.  I guess it depends  where you hold the awareness from.  If you purely have your attention on one area or are position out of the body with awareness on both sides.  Where are you in relation to the body?  I personally find the sweeping practice too out of body and prefer the more embodied practice of being inside the body but thats because I am more inclined to be several places at once.  Maybe just experinment with it and see what happens - we are all different and it is what works for you after all.  emoticon 

RE: Flickering awareness?
Answer
3/15/19 1:56 PM as a reply to Luke.
I think there’s a difference between attention and awareness. Maybe experiment with it?

RE: Flickering awareness?
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3/15/19 1:59 PM as a reply to Luke.
"you can't hold sensate experience of two different parts of your body at the same time." And the author goes on to describe, as an example, moving awareness between a finger on each hand.
Good point. When I started meditating it was feeling the inner sensation of various parts of the body, with a view to eventually unifying it all into one single sensation. This does in fact happen after a while, and I think results in what people here call an A&P experience. So it's interesting to consider what exactly happens during this process, and I'm not sure I have an explanation.