How to deal with sensations in daily life?

John Smith, modified 2 Years ago at 7/18/20 8:53 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 7/18/20 8:52 AM

How to deal with sensations in daily life?

Posts: 8 Join Date: 1/15/20 Recent Posts
Hello everyone,

First, i apologize for my english, i'm not a native english speaker.

I've been having some challenges figuring out how to let my daily life flow, and putting the sensations in the body in the right perspective, concerning how to lead a daily life that's healthy and sane.

So basically for medical recomendations I have been told to stop meditating for a while, recomendation which i'm following strictly for now.
What happened in the past, is that I started meditating 2h/day, and did some 10 days vipassana Goenka retreats in the course of two years, which altered how i function in the day to day.

It happened that because of such intensive vipassana pratice, I started being much more centered inward than outward in daily life. I believe untill that point there is nothing wrong with it. What started happening though, perhaps as a escape mecanism to not deal with suffering, is that i started dealing with situations based on my sensations. That is, my decision making, would turn into something like this: If i had a pleasant sensation regarding something that demanded a decision, I would do it, if not, I would avoid doing it. It got to the point where I would act based on my body on the must mudane decisions.

Now, currently, in last months i've been dealing with a particularly solidified gross sensation region, located on the solar plexus area. It mostly manifests in relationships. I notice, for example, a sensation of heaviness triggered in the area when there is a feeling of rejection.
Of course you should observe the sensations with balance, but how does that affect your decision making on the day to day basis? surely on pratical terms you want to do what feels good and avoid suffering. Vipassana thought me to me more aware of my body, and see how certain (and i would add unskillfull) actions create tensions in the body (which would bring us to the importance of morality, and how healthy actions support peace as opposed to the turmoil unhealthy actions bring).

Anyway i would love to read your thoughts on the subject, since there are clearly some doubts regarding the pratice / ways to implement it in daily life. Thanks a lot!
Ni Nurta, modified 2 Years ago at 7/18/20 11:02 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 7/18/20 11:02 AM

RE: How to deal with sensations in daily life?

Posts: 938 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
There are many things which can be done to deal with unpleasant phenomena.
Best imho is to keep proper view, which is how our body is buit and with what kind of beings. This facilitate right action and numerous discoveries. For the so called normal conscious mind is but one that exists in this moment and something which might be obvious from different view ming be obstructed from one rely on now.

BTW. Not acting when there is an issue is not a good solution. Depending what you would do it might be better than acting but overall there are many things which can be done. Some are skillful, some are not. Best to do some investigation from time to time even if mostly you use methods which know to work.
John Smith, modified 2 Years ago at 7/25/20 2:31 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 7/25/20 2:31 PM

RE: How to deal with sensations in daily life?

Posts: 8 Join Date: 1/15/20 Recent Posts
Thank you for your insigh Ni Nurta.
Anyone else got any thoughts?

Ed76, modified 2 Years ago at 7/26/20 2:03 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 7/26/20 2:03 PM

RE: How to deal with sensations in daily life?

Posts: 24 Join Date: 6/13/19 Recent Posts
You could think more about the three trainings and how they interact.

Being mindful of sensations is great for insight. Decision making is more in the realms of ethics and what is skillful vs unskillful.

The 12 links might be a good teaching to look at......between vedana and craving there is said to be a 'gap' - I have even heard it described as the battle ground of the spiritual life.  The gist is that when pleasant and unplesant feelings arise we naturally experince push and pull and this forms the basis of most decisions.  However if you can be mindful of sensation as sensation...then more choice opens up. We can let skillful and unskillful be the basis for our actions instead of reacting habitually with greed and aversion.....

good luck!
Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 2 Years ago at 7/26/20 11:44 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 7/26/20 11:44 PM

RE: How to deal with sensations in daily life?

Posts: 704 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
Hi John, 

what is it that qualifies your doctor to advise you to stop meditating?

Personally speaking, the more I ignore my annoyingly rigid small mind and go with what feels right the better things seem to go. Having said that, Ed76's point about skillful vs unskillful is well made. I would definitely get a bad feeling about meeting new people, and I know that if I followed that feeling it would be to my disadvantage (so my small mind has some uses after all emoticon
Ni's point is worth reading  again. And maybe once more after that. 

Smiling Stone, modified 2 Years ago at 7/27/20 6:29 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 7/27/20 6:29 AM

RE: How to deal with sensations in daily life?

Posts: 279 Join Date: 5/10/16 Recent Posts
Hey John,

You already got good advice, let me add the Goenka stance, because it seems to me something in the discourses did not get your full attention :
What does Goenka mean when he talks about “playing the game of sensations”? You encounter some pleasant sensations and you develop attachment toward them, you want them to last, you want to repeat them... You encounter an unpleasant sensation, you develop aversion toward it, you want to get rid of it... “This is NOT Vipassana!”. Vipassana is developing equanimity toward all kind of sensations, not reacting to them, whatever they may be.
The understanding of the nature of equanimity is (in my opinion) a lifetime job, but it is important to head in the right direction from the start.
It seems to me that you were playing this “game of sensations” in daily life. You must be acquainted with a center if you did a few courses in only two years. Did you approach a teacher about that issue?
Bagpuss had a point. In my own practice, I realized that an easy way to elicit pleasant vibrations was to have egoistic self enhancing thoughts. That's where I was. Did it mean I should trust that these experiences point to the truth?
It is perfectly normal to make mistakes, we all do, especially when we dive head-on in the practice... Goenkaji makes a few important points in his discourses, and this is one of them.

All the best with your practice (when and if you come back to it). I hope I did not offend you, sorry if I was blunt.

You can find more in the first few posts of this thread : some views on the technique in the Goenka tradition (cannot do the link thing these days..)

with metta
smiling stone