Sensations spilling into everyday life

Kim, modified 10 Months ago.

Sensations spilling into everyday life

Posts: 5 Join Date: 9/23/20 Recent Posts
Hello everyone - new here and first post. I've come to the forum with a specific question and I hope you can give me some advice. I hope I'm posting in the right category (Concentration).

Brief history - I've been meditating on-and-off (mostly off) for 15-20 years and first became aware of MCTB 6/7 years ago. Re-reading now and getting much more from it. Anyway, I joined a Samatha course earlier this year and this has given some structure and direction to my practice. In the last few weeks, I've been concentrating on the breath at one point in my nostril and tingling sensations started to arise around my head. They've since grown much stronger and, though still located around my face and head, are also spreading. They've been joined by a deeper vibration/buzz in my chest and arms that I can feel when breathing.

My understanding was that I should let these sensations arise and, when they become stable, maybe focus concentration on them and this might lead to access concentration at some point.

Only trouble is that the sensations have started to spill over into non-sitting time. I've been waking up in the morning with the strong, deeper vibration. The head-tingling can arise at almost any point (it's going on now as I type this). Though these sensations are not unpleasant, it's becoming a bit draining!

This is very new to me and quite unexpected, so I am wondering if people can tell me what is going on and what I should do about it? Currently sitting 1.5-2hrs per day.

Many thanks
Daniel Slaney, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Sensations spilling into everyday life

Posts: 13 Join Date: 3/9/17 Recent Posts
Seems like you're experiencing the early sensations of piti and it's perfectly normal, especially with samatha practices. If you have joined a course have you mentioned this to the teacher or is it a self lead course? They should be able reassure you that this is expected some stage.

As to what to do with it, you essentially get used to it and let it do its thing. It's so new and unusual when it first starts that you're bound to get a bit wrapped up in it, even more so if you're not warned it may happen. Ideally just let it develop until it starts to become pleasant and then the pleasant senations can be used for Leigh Brasington style jhana practise..
Kim, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Sensations spilling into everyday life

Posts: 5 Join Date: 9/23/20 Recent Posts
Thank you Daniel.

"Early sensations"...blimey! They are quite overwhelming, especially when sitting, and leave me feeling quite exhausted. I understand though that they don't just become more intense, but more refined?

If had this piti tingling around my temple/eyes since I woke up this morning - and I've not sat yet today. It's not unpleasant. It can be pretty enjoyable when sitting! But when it's around all day, it can be very tiring.

I do have a teacher as part of the course, yes, and they have mentioned piti. I've struggled to communicate with my teacher though (my poor skills, not them, I'm sure) and I wanted to get other views. I have enormous respect for my teacher, but it would help me feel less anxious to seek the experieince of others - I hope that's not innappropriate.

I bought the Leigh Brasington "Right Concentration" book only last week, but have not opening it yet. Sounds like I should read it.

Many thanks
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Helen Pohl, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Sensations spilling into everyday life

Posts: 85 Join Date: 8/10/20 Recent Posts
This has been my experience as well. Piti showed up about two months ago for me, hasn't left. 

I'm glad because as a long-time anxiety sufferer I feel that this whole thing is a counterbalance to that. Being able to rest in the jhanas has made a huge difference both to practice and daily life. emoticon
Kim, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Sensations spilling into everyday life

Posts: 5 Join Date: 9/23/20 Recent Posts
Helen Pohl:
This has been my experience as well. Piti showed up about two months ago for me, hasn't left. 

I'm glad because as a long-time anxiety sufferer I feel that this whole thing is a counterbalance to that. Being able to rest in the jhanas has made a huge difference both to practice and daily life. emoticon

Hey Helen, thanks for your comments.

Do you mind me asking how you have coped with it not leaving? In part, I'm finding the constant sensations (particularly waking up at 4.00am buzzing like an phone on silent) quite anxiety inducing!

How did you move from this to a more balanced state in the jhanas?
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Helen Pohl, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Sensations spilling into everyday life

Posts: 85 Join Date: 8/10/20 Recent Posts
Kim:
Helen Pohl:
This has been my experience as well. Piti showed up about two months ago for me, hasn't left. 

I'm glad because as a long-time anxiety sufferer I feel that this whole thing is a counterbalance to that. Being able to rest in the jhanas has made a huge difference both to practice and daily life. emoticon

Hey Helen, thanks for your comments.

Do you mind me asking how you have coped with it not leaving? In part, I'm finding the constant sensations (particularly waking up at 4.00am buzzing like an phone on silent) quite anxiety inducing!

How did you move from this to a more balanced state in the jhanas?

Yes of course. 
First time was quite..intense and then it returned as you say in the middle of the night. Despite feeling quite poorly from night work it was sort of a comfort. I remembered having read about jhanas earlier this summer so I guessed this was what was happening. I did what Brasington recommends basically, shifted attention from the breath to the buzz and went from there. Took a while to get stable, and go from first to second jhana etc. 
The intensity wears off though and I am better able to be with it however it plays out. Better able to distinguish which jhana I am in. 

Regarding the anxiety I felt that it was OK because I've had isolated occurrences like this in the past and they didn't hurt me(my anxiety is of the health-related variety-hypochondria) and I thought they were a release of emotion/tension. Plus, I quickly noticed that whatever was happening was having an effect on everyday life and baseline anxiety levels-they went way down. 
Perhaps the body wants this as a sort of self-comfort....correct me if I'm wrong. Brasington has a theory as to which neurotransmitter produces which jhana that I find quite intereresting. 

Still, it's been like this for quite a while now and I can't help but wonder how long this is going to go on... emoticon
Kim, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Sensations spilling into everyday life

Posts: 5 Join Date: 9/23/20 Recent Posts
Thank you again Helen - it's helpful to hear your experieince.

Leigh Brasington's book definitely seems to be what I should be reading.
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Niels Lyngsø, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Sensations spilling into everyday life

Posts: 325 Join Date: 11/15/19 Recent Posts
Brasington's book definitely sounds relevant for you. So does Culadasa's "The Mind Illuminated", a very thorough step-by-step meditation manual that helps you walk the samatha path.
Kim, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Sensations spilling into everyday life

Posts: 5 Join Date: 9/23/20 Recent Posts
Niels Lyngsø:
Brasington's book definitely sounds relevant for you. So does Culadasa's "The Mind Illuminated", a very thorough step-by-step meditation manual that helps you walk the samatha path.

Thanks Niels - I'd actualy bought "Right Concentration" and "The Mind Illuminated" at the same time, so I'm obviously on the right track somewhere! I shall put MCTB aside and pick up Leigh Brasington's book this evening.
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David Matte, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Sensations spilling into everyday life

Posts: 81 Join Date: 8/3/19 Recent Posts
Hello Kim.

I think it's sort of freaking you because it's a new experience but its just an effect of samatha and decent concentration. 
I would suggest to find ways of working with it using Leigh's book. With practice, you can spread it around and increase the intensity of it and enter absorption (jhana).  If you ever get to experience jhana, you might not mind so much having those sensations. 

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