Anapana Spot question

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Meggo Mu Mu, modified 10 Years ago.

Anapana Spot question

Posts: 29 Join Date: 3/26/11 Recent Posts
Hi!
A very interesting forum you have here! emoticon
Maybe someone of you guys can give me some tips on meditation emoticon
I wanted to train myself to attain 1. jhana through concentrating on the anapana spot.
I just have a few small questions emoticon
How big should the spot be? I tried concentrating on an area of ca. 1cm2. But sometimes I loose awareness of the breath over this spot for a longer time and get distracted. Should i change to another spot when this happens? Should i make the spot bigger?
And also:
If i concentrate on the nostril are or the tip of the nose something strange happens, which i can not intepret.
I get a pressure sensation which starts at my nose area (bridge) and continues to grow until it reaches the frontal sinus (between the eyes). When i concentrate on that pressure it continues to become stronger (sometimes it gets really painful) until it suddenly dissolves (or explodes) just to be replaced by a strong tingling sensation which flows over my body for a few seconds or so. After this event the sensations over the anapana spot get much clearer for some time (maybe 10min) until i get distracted again.

thx for any suggestions
Meggo
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Anapana Spot question

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
How big should the spot be? I tried concentrating on an area of ca. 1cm2. But sometimes I loose awareness of the breath over this spot for a longer time and get distracted. Should i change to another spot when this happens? Should i make the spot bigger?


First thing I'd suggest would be to drop the obsession with the size of the anapana spot, you're worrying about nothing and wasting your time. If you're not too hung up on focusing on anapanasati then why not try focusing on the rise and fall of the abdomen? It's a bigger area to pay attention to, you don't need to worry about specific areas as you're just following the natural in and out of the breath. If you want to stick with the ananapasati then you're only really paying attention the where the sensations of the air entering, and exiting your nostrils occur. It's that simple.

If you notice you've become distracted from the breath, return your attention to it gently and don't get pissed at yourself 'cause it's only natural. The attention isn't used to being directed in this way and it needs to be trained like a puppy, that means being firm with it but not aggressive or overly forceful. The same thing happens to me sometimes and I've got pretty strong concentration abilities so don't expect to perfect it in a week, stick with it and you'll see the benefits over time.

If i concentrate on the nostril are or the tip of the nose something strange happens, which i can not intepret.
I get a pressure sensation which starts at my nose area (bridge) and continues to grow until it reaches the frontal sinus (between the eyes).

Third eye activity, most likely. Is there a sort of "fluttering" sensation happening in the area?

When i concentrate on that pressure it continues to become stronger (sometimes it gets really painful) until it suddenly dissolves (or explodes) just to be replaced by a strong tingling sensation which flows over my body for a few seconds or so. After this event the sensations over the anapana spot get much clearer for some time (maybe 10min) until i get distracted again.

Sounds like you may be hitting 1st jhana already, particularly the fact that you focus on the tingling (a sensation I associate get with 1st jhana). I don't know about the painful sensation, although the pleasurable sensations in 1st can often become rather annoying after a while but I don't know if that's related in any way.

What you're saying sounds like you've probably got some fairly strong skills already, but it sounds like you're getting a bit closer to vipassana if you've noticing that level of detail in sensation. In samatha you're just staying with the object, not looking at the details.

Hopefully that's of some help!
Welcome to the DhO.
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Meggo Mu Mu, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Anapana Spot question

Posts: 29 Join Date: 3/26/11 Recent Posts
Third eye activity, most likely. Is there a sort of "fluttering" sensation happening in the area?


Well, there is this pressure, which is changing in some way with the breath, expanding and conctracting, though i don't feel that it is always "in sync" to it. Underlying it is another sensation, which is to slow to be called fluttering. It feels like some kind of tingling flow, also in sync with the breath.

Sounds like you may be hitting 1st jhana already, particularly the fact that you focus on the tingling (a sensation I associate get with 1st jhana). I don't know about the painful sensation, although the pleasurable sensations in 1st can often become rather annoying after a while but I don't know if that's related in any way.


These pleasurable sensations start when the pressure subsides suddenly, so there is no pressure/ pain in this area anymore when this little "explosion" between my eyes occurs.

Ok, i will try not to concentrate on the details of the breath sensation anymore. And when this pressure begins, what do you think, should i take the pressure between the eyes as a new concentration object? Because when i am staying at the anapana spot it doesn't dissolve and just rests there as pressure, at least during the 40-50min sessions i am doing.

thanks! emoticon
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Dauphin Supple Chirp, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Anapana Spot question

Posts: 154 Join Date: 3/15/11 Recent Posts
I agree with Tommy. It very much sounds like you're experiencing first jhāna already. Also (which would not be surprising) you might actually be close to A&P. I thought I was doing samatha for three months, because I was focusing on the breath. A friend had told me a couple of weeks into my practice to briefly note whatever distractions arise and then return to the breath. I thought it was a neat little trick to improve concentration. In reality it meant I was doing vipassana. As a consequence, I hit A&P the first day I ever ("officially") did choiceless awareness. Around the same time, I started experiencing first jhāna.

I also agree with Tommy when it comes to size of the ānāpāna spot. In this case, size really doesn't matter. If anything, you're asking the "wrong" question, but rather than calling your question wrong, I would say the fact that you are asking what you are asking indicates you are (at least to some extent) investigating your sensate experience (i.e. practicing vipassana) rather than focusing on a concept (which is what you would do in pure samatha practice).
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Meggo Mu Mu, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Anapana Spot question

Posts: 29 Join Date: 3/26/11 Recent Posts
I think you are right. Maybe i should learn a bit more theory then to distinguish between the different stages/ experiences i am having.

Thanks!

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