Message Boards Message Boards

Insight and Wisdom

Matthew practice log

Toggle
Matthew practice log
Answer
3/30/19 4:53 AM
Started TMI but due cannot feel breath in nostrils changed to abdomen ,i reached access concentration ,but now nothing happens ,movements of abdoments and formations of all kind. 

RE: Matthew practice log
Answer
3/31/19 2:03 PM as a reply to Mathew Poskus.
It just felt naturally so I sitted with abdomen movements in background ,nothing happening ,from TMI I knowki got too much in peripheral awareness ,so I focused on abdoment movement and out consistently feel like trying to hold a ball underwater so I guess its correct. The mind slowed down and down .If im going not to much in shamatha side ? Can somebody give some advice ?

RE: Matthew practice log
Answer
3/31/19 4:08 PM as a reply to Mathew Poskus.
Hello Mathew,

Shamatha in translated as something like "calm abidding" and many people consider this concentration meditation. However, Westerners tend to think of concentrating the mind as a forceful, strenuous act that requires the use of will power (maybe I'm incorrect in that assumption, but that is how I viewed concentration for years). There is a bit of a difference between 'concentration' as it is conventionally used to get work/assignments done, and 'right concentration' that was advocated for by the Buddha and his disciples.  

Using forceful methods to hold attention will generally lead to impatience, strain, frustration, etc. These qualities are the complete opposite of "calm abidding".

If you would like to develop shamatha, I'd suggest a light touch on the object of meditation. Don't force the attention too much. It is perfectly normal and okay for thoughts to be going in the background if you're still with the object of meditation (ie not lost in thought completely). For instance, I often have songs stuck in my head during meditation, but I am still able to engage with the object of meditation in a gentle way and keep that in the foreground. If I am pulled off the object completely, I'll come back gently, release any tension or frustration in the body, and reapply the attention on the object. Gentle, patient application of attention is more sustainable and enjoyable than forceful application. When practicing this way, without guilt, without strain, sitting becomes more relaxing, enjoyable, entertaining, and is inherently more pleasurable. 

It is good that you are aware of thoughts as that is one of the first steps in gaining insight into the nature of the mind and body. 

Here is another post that helped me cultivate shamatha in my own practice. I hope it helps you as well: https://old.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/at46qr/questions_and_general_discussion_weekly_thread/eh0w2hf/?st=jtxe05g2&sh=0ff303e5

Good luck!

RE: Matthew practice log
Answer
4/1/19 12:14 PM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Thank you .

RE: Matthew practice log
Answer
4/1/19 12:16 PM as a reply to Mathew Poskus.
Today i did body scanning ,focusing my attention on lower abdomen where I feel pressure causing my frustration ,while imagining my breath going to it and out felt mental pain ,cried ,anger .Probably suppresed emotions.

RE: Matthew practice log
Answer
4/5/19 6:05 AM as a reply to Mathew Poskus.
I have social anxiety ,my stomach muscles contracts that makesme feel uncorfotable in social situations and akward ,maybe someone knows how to deal with that?