When to leave anchor object?

Brad John Turner, modified 1 Year ago.

When to leave anchor object?

Posts: 11 Join Date: 4/12/20 Recent Posts
I have recently started practicing the Mahasi method and I have a few questions about the practice.  First, when is one to note objects outside of the rising and falling?  More specifically, I notice many subtle sensations and I have been told that the point is to always stay with the rising and falling and to not be noting all sensations that arise.  Does this mean only the real obvious ones I note?  I have been trying to constantly attempt to return to the rising and falling in spite of noting all the subtle objects that are arising since I have understood this is not an open awareness exercise but more of a staying with the anchor.

My second question is if the above ideology is correct then when I have quite a few seconds between the breath am I noting other sensations before the next arising?  Or do I try to just wait for the rising of the abdomen and not note all the other sensations available?  Have been real confused on when to leave abdomen to note other sensations that are known.  If I  do note these sensations there are times where I may be noting many things before returning to abdomen but I have heard that this is not the practice and one should just return to the belly always.  Thanks for clarifications.
Brian, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: When to leave anchor object?

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/21/19 Recent Posts
Hmm, that doesn't sound like my understanding of Mahasi noting. I may not understand it either, but I'll give you another take.

The rising and falling of the abdomen is what you come back to in the absense of anything else, but it's not as if you're supposed to watch it to the exclusion of everything else. You can't, anyway.

Let's say you're watching the rising and falling. All of a sudden, you know what what you're currently knowing is that your tongue is touching your teeth. You note "touching", and return to the abdomen. All of a sudden, you are knowing that you are looking at the backs of your eyelids. You note "seeing", and return to the anchor. Suddenly what you know is that you're sitting (you feel weight and pressure of your legs touching the mat). You note "sitting" (or "touching", whichever is your habit).

And so on. It's as if you're in a dark room, and telegrams keep arriving, one at a time, one after the other. Each one is from one of your six senses. Your job is to know just enough about it to categorize it correctly. So there could be as few as six notes: seeing, touching, smelling, tasting, touching, thinking. But practically speaking, we divide up some of them a bit more, like "sitting" might be more natural than "touching", and "remembering" or "planning" or "talking" might be more useful than just "thinking". Feed that information back in, provide a new stream of information to the brain about what kind of knowledge is arising.

At first it will probably seem like you're a factory worker and the conveyor belt of items is going a hundred times too fast. But you just do what you can. Just practice well -- if you know you are knowing something, note it. If you practice well, speed will increase.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: When to leave anchor object?

Posts: 1857 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I second this. Very nice explanation. 
Brad John Turner, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: When to leave anchor object?

Posts: 11 Join Date: 4/12/20 Recent Posts
This is what I thought originally.  So basically the anchor is really just another sensation to note really and there may be many sensations noted before each breath is noted am I correct?  The anchor is a primary object but it doesn't take precedence over other sensations I assume then.  It's basically open noting with the rising and falling as something to come back to in times of being overwhelmed.  I hope I'm understanding this right.  Thanks for the response.
Brian, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: When to leave anchor object?

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/21/19 Recent Posts
I think it's like, you form a habit to ask what is going on with the rise and fall? Because of this habit and intention, you have an object to be pulled away from, which I guess is easier to notice, because it's like your primary signal is gone. It's as if the rise and fall is your favorite show, but somebody else is changing the channels.

One example of how the channel gets changed is, you're watching the rise and fall and nothing is drawing you away, but then a trash truck outside loudly drops the dumpster. When the metal clangs on the concrete, all of a sudden the channel is changed to hearing that sound. If you hear it mindfully, know it as hearing a sound, and go back to the object, you may prevent the mind generating weird stupid stories that the sound reminds you of and so forth. You may notice a big difference between what happens when you mindfully handle sense contact and what happens when you don't.

It may seem annoying how often the channels get changed. Just try to get into a thing where if you know that you're knowing something, note it, however many times it happens. I think a big point of this is to help correct the misapprehension that we're knowing a whole bunch of stuff at the same time. Really, experience is like one tiny information packet from the senses after another.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: When to leave anchor object?

Posts: 1857 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Nice. I would just add to that wonderful experience of a dumpster track emoticon 

I get those once a week only but passing cars more often. 

So in my experience it would go like;
falling, falling, falling, imagining (image of belly in my mind), touching (belly skin against the clothes, softness (of the clothes-belly sensation) , anticipation (that the belly will rise any time now), excitement (about this anticipation), pressure in solar plexus (caused by excitement about the anticipation), unpleasant (the pressure in solar plexus), rise, dumb gladness (that belly is rising indeed), rising, imagining (image impression in mind of the belly), rising, touching (belly skin against the clothes) ... then ... suddenly ...

hearing, curiosity, listening, assuming (maybe a car), hearing, imagining (image of a car I can't actually see might have a color and even go certain direction on the road beside our home), hearing, uncertainty, pressure in chest (from uncertainty), doubt (maybe it's not the car), hearing, listening intently, desire to know, tension in chest (from desire), comprehending (it's a bloody airplain passing above the house now), imagining (image impression of a plain which I can't actually see), dumb gladness (that now there is certainty about the source of noise), ... 

rise, rise, fall, fall, itching, ... etc ... 
Brian, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: When to leave anchor object?

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/21/19 Recent Posts
Wow, that's very detailed.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: When to leave anchor object?

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Brian:
Wow, that's very detailed.


lol, really, man. Brian, you should see one of Papa Che's noting-aloud videos, available in singalong form. Take your pick at---

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/19872769

Approach with caution, though, i tried one and got my sense of how fast i wanted to be going in how much detail skewed so bad that i had a giant breakdown and Papa Che had to make a whole new video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhw0S-yWCjA

to heal me.
Brian, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: When to leave anchor object?

Posts: 93 Join Date: 1/21/19 Recent Posts
I have a hunch that there may be types of people who naturally gravitate toward noting. I keep thinking it might be possible to devise a test consisting of a few questions that help shuttle people into one of the major strategies. I always sucked at noting, and the brahmavihara stuff seemed to happen much more naturally. Maybe we could devise a poll about other talents that might reveal a tendency to benefit from one strategy or another, like ability to play fast-reaction video games.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: When to leave anchor object?

Posts: 1857 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Brian:
I have a hunch that there may be types of people who naturally gravitate toward noting. I keep thinking it might be possible to devise a test consisting of a few questions that help shuttle people into one of the major strategies. I always sucked at noting, and the brahmavihara stuff seemed to happen much more naturally. Maybe we could devise a poll about other talents that might reveal a tendency to benefit from one strategy or another, like ability to play fast-reaction video games.


Back in 2009/10 I gravitated towards Shamatha and concentration absorption's. I hated the idea of dry Vipassana. What a ridiculous practice thought I. Until the DN totally screwed my life and of those around me so I decided to try it as thoutgh by Kenneth Folk. This I did last year between February and July. It really helped plow through it. And by the way I even realized that there is lots of Samatha in this apparently "dry" practice of Noting emoticon 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: When to leave anchor object?

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Brian:
I have a hunch that there may be types of people who naturally gravitate toward noting. I keep thinking it might be possible to devise a test consisting of a few questions that help shuttle people into one of the major strategies. I always sucked at noting, and the brahmavihara stuff seemed to happen much more naturally. Maybe we could devise a poll about other talents that might reveal a tendency to benefit from one strategy or another,


I love that idea. I am bipolar, and there are rumors afloat in the psych world of some kinds of testing that really can have a better chance of somehow analyzing genetics, etc., with an eye toward the most optimal medications being determined, as well as what might be counterindicated in particular in a given case. A good simple questionnaire-type assessment thing, a la the Myers Briggs stuff in all its variations of sophistication for meditators!

like ability to play fast-reaction video games.


lol, my first read of MCTB, in 2011, was exactly along those lines: like, holy shit, i'll bet this Ingram guy, aside from all these other specific aspects of genius, is VERY FUCKING GOOD at fast-reaction video games.

I am, uh, not.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: When to leave anchor object?

Posts: 1857 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
It's not about wanting speed in noting to the point of causing frustration and head spinning. Speed of noting arises on its own then drops down into slow gear but goes deeper into sensation (at this stage there could be more of a Samatha factors involved). At some stage there is not even much noting but mostly effortless noticing going on (later stages). 

It really is like driving the car through a terrain that has hills, and muddy parts, and plains ... adjusting the gears accordingly. No wishful thinking here. No matcho elitism. 

These paces come and go. Ever changing. Go figure emoticon 

I just feel like clarifying why I offer these videos;
back in time during my dark night I really wanted to find videos where people do this shit so I can really get the feel for it. I hated just reading about it. I could only find Kenneth Folk's vids but the guy is fully realized and I wanted a practitioner on that bloody vid to see her/him plow through this stuff. I'm a visual and auditory personality. Need to hear and need to see. Reading helps only so much in my case. Hence I've decided to do vids once in a while during this journey of mine in case others might have need for such. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: When to leave anchor object?

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts

I just feel like clarifying why I offer these videos;

back in time during my dark night I really wanted to find videos where people do this shit so I can really get the feel for it. I hated just reading about it. I could only find Kenneth Folk's vids but the guy is fully realized and I wanted a practitioner on that bloody vid to see her/him plow through this stuff. I'm a visual and auditory personality. Need to hear and need to see. Reading helps only so much in my case. Hence I've decided to do vids once in a while during this journey of mine in case others might have need for such. 


What amazed me was your pretty much instant response to my distress and your ability to show me, to let me hear and see, a pace without macho elitism, ambition, etc., that was pretty much exactly right for me, once you had the coordinates. You tuned it, very very finely.

I will write the intro to your video package, for the smallest, really nominal cut of the proceeds, and blurb on the back cover for free. Brian will conduct his poll and get an array of types, we will take blood samples or something and develop a sophistication system from an intitial swab test to full-on n-dimensional-tuning, and you can just note on the various frequencies to your heart's content, we'll get the right labels on them, and bingo, ummm, good stuff, or something.

Now that I think about it, forget it. Leave me out of this work, except for the blurb, and the intro tossed in for free. But all that other stuff i just described? I am really am a lazy SOB.

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