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First time Mahasi noting
Answer
6/27/11 10:54 AM
Today I had my first serious Mahasi noting session. I did it lying on my back on my sofa. The labels/notes I had from most occuring to least occuring:

falling rising touching lying looking intending seeing thinking hearing drowsiness sleepiness anxious pressure tension warmth prickling itching space

In addition to this there were quite a few sensations I couldn't label, but that I was aware of. I also did some moving of my hands and such, and it was hard to be aware of all the sensations of that.

My mind seems to only have two gears: park and 6th gear. Today my mind is in park and is very still, so there wasn't much mental things to note. Or maybe I'm not sensitive enough yet to notice mental formations?

The most interesting, by far, were the few intendings and thinkings that I had. These seemed to go away incredibly quickly after noticing them, maybe so much so that it would be gone before I was done with the silent note. That felt very freeing as I could just keep going with the meditation instead of trying to dismiss the thoughts or bargain with the intentions.

I also did some eye flickering to see what would happen. It was hard to notice the open-eyed image while flickering (but not so hard to notice the closed-eye image, which would be the back of my eyelids), but the moment I stopped flickering (leaving my eyes open) I noticed the beginning of seeing. It felt like a rising feeling. Like fading from nothing to the image of seeing (which happended to be the celing of the room).

I don't really understand how I am supposed to deal with sensations that lasts for a while. For example: further into the session my abdomnen falling would take quite a while and I didn't know wheter to note with a "faaaaaaaaaling" or "falling, falling, falling, falling".

Ending the session was really awkward. I felt paralyzed by my intent to note everything since I wasn't able to keep up with the sensations of stopping the meditation and getting up, so I had to force myself to stop noting and get up to end the session.

Overall I am very happy with this session. My previous attempts of noting have been nothing compared with today. Thumbs up!

RE: First time Mahasi noting
Answer
6/28/11 1:54 AM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Schools of thought on whether to note "Faaaaaallllllliiiiinnnnnggg" or "falling" "falling" "falling" etc.

I like the second, more rapid school. Notice that every time you notice the breath is going down is a new set of sensations, not one continuous sensations. There are no continuous sensations, only the false impression of that, so the rapid way is closer to what is actually happening.

RE: First time Mahasi noting
Answer
6/28/11 9:51 AM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
I don't really understand how I am supposed to deal with sensations that lasts for a while. For example: further into the session my abdomnen falling would take quite a while and I didn't know wheter to note with a "faaaaaaaaaling" or "falling, falling, falling, falling".


I'm with Daniel on this one. Noting "faaaaaalling" might give the impression that there is one sensation that is lasting a while. But, in fact, it's just a chain of sense impressions, one following the other, which seem continuous - this is especially obvious in the A&P when you can start to notice things 20-40 times/second.

so, i would say, focus on the falling sensation, and every time you notice the sensation anew, even if it feels the same, note 'falling'. if it feels solid then note 'solidity', since that, too, is a sense impression. focus on the impermanence of the solid-seeming sensations and you'll break through it eventually.

RE: First time Mahasi noting
Answer
6/28/11 1:27 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
I concur that "falling, falling, falling" is better, although that can get sort of rote after a while, so at that point I just switch to, like, mentally chopping up sensations into milliseconds, which creates a bit stronger of a feeling of impermanence for me.