Message Boards Message Boards

Toggle
Void between breaths
Answer
4/14/20 10:27 AM
I have been reading TMI for a week and my guess is that I am at Stage 3-4. So the thing is that when I focus my attention on the pause between breaths there is a void with strong atraction force. At first I could ignore it because I focused in the overall breath in and outs but without too much focus on the detail but as the book recommends its necessary to hold the attention focusing on the sensations of the breath.
And so the void appeared again. It has such force that it break my attention on the breath everytime I pass over it and it feels like my attention "moves" from the breath to the void.
Today during my practice I got tired and just put my attention in the void and it felt like I was in the edge of a cliff, a feeling like amazed and vertigo but it lasted a lot of time the same feeling. As i keep my attention there it started crawling up to my chest, my body was moving back and forth. Then because I was interpreting and thinking of it, it stayed there in my chest and didnt continue but the feeling lasted.
What was that? Even if the experience is nothing or not importante, what is this void? Why it appear all the time? What should I do?
Its kind of frustrating. Thanks.

RE: Void between breaths
Answer
4/14/20 10:51 AM as a reply to Erik - Aellen.
Shinzen Young says that of all the methods he teaches, the best one is focusing in vanishings, just what you're describing. It's a Zen method, which in fact is a rare mix of self-inquiry and vipassana. Check pages 95-99 in his PDF and his youtube videos  Vanishings and Noting Gone plus Flow, Gone & Figure-Ground Reversal .

 

RE: Void between breaths
Answer
4/14/20 12:17 PM as a reply to Pepe.
Thank you for your help. I watched those videos and also watched this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg-h_MSijDo&t=305s and it helped understand better what is going on.
I also remembered the first times this "vanishing" appeared and I also remember that I got really freaked out and it was so primal, like "get the hell away from that thing you are going to die" kind of fear. Even right know I can access that "vanish feeling" but without the approapiate set up of relaxing and "warm up" of my concentration I get repelled and cant stay there.
I am really "new" in this kind of practices so there is a fear that there is something wrong going on. A feeling that I am so useless I cant even meditate without having weird stuff going on, so all the help and advice is really welcome.
What should I do now? Tap this vanishing feeling during my practices, observe all the feelings that arise and pass and keep observing the process unfold? Do that over an over again?.

RE: Void between breaths
Answer
4/14/20 1:11 PM as a reply to Erik - Aellen.
Not sure if this helps, I can't speak to The Void other than everything I've read says that you should wait until you are fully ready to dive into that space.

Perhaps try watching the sensations of your breath, the beginnings and endings specifically, and then also the space between the breath. For me I am more likely to lose concentration between the in and out of the breath - in that void space you are describing.  Simply note where the breath has ended completely, down to the last sensation, and then notice the start of the next breath.  Try to focus completely on the rising and falling of the breath. 

All of the 'weird' stuff going on is not necessarily a sign that your practice is not working, it can actually be a sign that your practice IS working, but you don't need to be overly distracted by these thoughts.

RE: Void between breaths
Answer
4/14/20 5:13 PM as a reply to Erik - Aellen.
Erik - Aellen:
Thank you for your help. I watched those videos and also watched this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg-h_MSijDo&t=305s and it helped understand better what is going on.
I also remembered the first times this "vanishing" appeared and I also remember that I got really freaked out and it was so primal, like "get the hell away from that thing you are going to die" kind of fear. Even right know I can access that "vanish feeling" but without the approapiate set up of relaxing and "warm up" of my concentration I get repelled and cant stay there.
I am really "new" in this kind of practices so there is a fear that there is something wrong going on. A feeling that I am so useless I cant even meditate without having weird stuff going on, so all the help and advice is really welcome.
What should I do now? Tap this vanishing feeling during my practices, observe all the feelings that arise and pass and keep observing the process unfold? Do that over an over again?.

Erik, as you're practicing TMI, my best advice is to contact their dharma community at their forum Dharma Treasure where your question would be answered, plus you could find a teacher to suit your needs. AFAIR reading in TMI (or in a post there), the gap between inbreath and outbreath should be as short as possible, so the void shouldn't be happening. 

That void you're experimenting is a glimpse of Anatta. And as you wrote, your natural reaction was of mental fear and body disgust. Plus, you say your're really new to this kind of practices. So, IMO it's too early for you to try this. My best advice is to stop experimenting with this for the time being. Find a teacher in TMI or in Shinzen Young's crowd at his Facebook page "Shinheads" that is particularly experienced in the noting vanishings method (most there don't, so be aware). Plus read MCTB2, TMI, and Shinzen Young's PDFs and videos, so as to be at least intellectually prepared to the challenges you'll face throughout the path. 

Best wishes!

RE: Void between breaths
Answer
4/14/20 5:17 PM as a reply to John W.
Thanks for the advice.
The void appears when I place close attention to the sensations in the end of each breath. If I just watch my breath in my whole body its all great, nothing happends.The more in detail I pay attention to the end of in or out breath there is this anxiety and fear that the void is there is really terryfing.
Thats why I dont know if this is a problem or what. Should I just change technique? or just note "void" each time I observe it in each and every breath?.

In the evening practice I focused on observing the void in the cycle of breaths even though my attention wanted to flee away from it because of the fear. 
Like really what is going on? 

RE: Void between breaths
Answer
4/14/20 6:00 PM as a reply to Pepe.
I knew it. I knew I was touching something really deep. Thank you for this information.
Thats why I am here, this forum is alive the forum you recommend me the last activity was 7 months ago, its dead. 
I read TMI till the stage 5 and didnt continue because I am not there yet, so no point in reading that.
I will read Shinzen Young's PDF, than you.
MCTB I read the first one and I will check the second one. Its interesting to see all the maps and jhanas and stuff but I am not there yet its like reading a fantasy book for me. I need clear instructions in what to focus on and what to do right now thats why I am focusing on concentration because Ingram and TMI both agreed that concentration power is neccesarry to investigate in the three caractheristics to gain insights.
So I guess that If I have some "inborn ability" to look into Anatta thats good news right?. So what if I keep streghtening my focus attention and then do Vipassana into Anatta?. I knew I am new but it is possible to work from here on what to do? 

RE: Void between breaths
Answer
4/15/20 12:02 PM as a reply to Erik - Aellen.
In Reddit you can connect with an active TMI community .  I won't offer advise nor instructions on how to proceed, just links so that you build your safety net. You're aiming to go too fast, too soon, a recipe to disaster. One of the things you first learn in meditation is to hear what your body is telling you. DhO is full of dark knight yogis, many of them because of being reckless. So buyers beware.

Good luck
 

RE: Void between breaths
Answer
4/16/20 10:55 AM as a reply to Erik - Aellen.
Erik - Aellen:
I knew it. I knew I was touching something really deep. Thank you for this information.
Thats why I am here, this forum is alive the forum you recommend me the last activity was 7 months ago, its dead. 
I read TMI till the stage 5 and didnt continue because I am not there yet, so no point in reading that.
I will read Shinzen Young's PDF, than you.
MCTB I read the first one and I will check the second one. Its interesting to see all the maps and jhanas and stuff but I am not there yet its like reading a fantasy book for me. I need clear instructions in what to focus on and what to do right now thats why I am focusing on concentration because Ingram and TMI both agreed that concentration power is neccesarry to investigate in the three caractheristics to gain insights.
So I guess that If I have some "inborn ability" to look into Anatta thats good news right?. So what if I keep streghtening my focus attention and then do Vipassana into Anatta?. I knew I am new but it is possible to work from here on what to do? 
Yeah I would think if you're able to discern this type of thing that's a good thing. You may be more naturally inclined to understand things such as non-self.  The panic and fear associated with it can actually become your strongest motivators. Still, if it were me, and I am a beginner, I would be in no rush at all to dive into this void. It's dangerous and can lead to psychological problems if you try to dive in too early.  So if it were me, I would just take a passive approach to it, so yes, noting the void when it appears, noting and acknowledging the fear, allowing it to exist and observing it, but not getting overly fixated on it.  

Something that comes to mind is the way that some Tibetan teachers talk about the realization of non-self or non-existence.  The realization can be either blissful or terrifying, but either of these reactions is a sign that your practice is working.  

All this said I would agree with Pepe not to take it too fast.  It's better to keep the fire going at a slow and steady pace than to burn out completely.  I would do the reading he suggests and work on cultivating your concentration and insight working your way up through the Jhanas to the eventual understanding of non-self/Anatta/void that you may be naturally predisposed to understanding.

RE: Void between breaths
Answer
4/17/20 9:23 AM as a reply to John W.
Thank you and Pepe,
Yes I might sound like "in a hurry" but I just wanted to make the best out of my time. I will just build my concentration and see how it evolves.