Suspended "being" & the Sweet Spot

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Steph , modified 10 Years ago at 9/8/11 1:01 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/8/11 1:01 PM

Suspended "being" & the Sweet Spot

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
Something that has been occurring for quite some time that I'd like input on where to go with/how to play with this...

The sensations of "being" seem to be suspended at certain points. Since a ways back the feeling of a solid mass of "self" has gone. Now it's more like the sensations, when they occur at any of these locations, are suspended mid-air. For example, tension in the chest is felt as a mass of feeling floating there, not connected to other parts of the body. Sensations are also felt more sequentially, rather than grouped together nowadays. There used to be a misconception that "being" was moving towards or away from other sensations, but right now it seems each is their own sensation. To further illustrate the feeling of "suspension" here, sensations often don't feel like they move at all (I haven't tested this thoroughly enough to say all sensations feel this way). They are kind of just there, more still feeling, as if a pause button is pressed when they arise.

So since this feeling of being is now much easier to pinpoint.. how can I use that to my advantage to reduce it further? How can this be used in conjunction with the sweet spot? I know some people have used the actualizing jhanas approach to contrast being feelings against actual sensations. However, I haven't formally learned the jhanas, so tailoring feedback with that in mind would be more helpful to me.

Thanks,
Steph

For reference, the use of "suspended" here is loosely based on this definition: Hang (something) from somewhere, as in the light was suspended from the ceiling
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 9/9/11 3:22 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/9/11 3:22 PM

RE: Suspended "being" & the Sweet Spot

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Sounds promising, Steph, although I have no idea what to suggest for moving forwards other than to keep on keepin' on.

Good to hear your practice is going well.
Jill Morana, modified 10 Years ago at 9/10/11 12:46 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/9/11 4:01 PM

RE: Suspended "being" & the Sweet Spot

Posts: 93 Join Date: 3/1/10 Recent Posts
hi steph,

to me it would make the most sense to see to it that those affective or 'being' sensations are treated exactly the same way as every other sensation--no more, no less. no giving special attention or making them the focus, and no ignoring them or skipping over them to maintain felicity. this would best mimic the default panoramic and balanced attention of a being-less existence. if you give them special attention, you lose some of the panorama, and if you give them less attention you might be overlooking important stuff. this sounds like just giving them equal observation time as other sensations, but i also mean treating them with the same equanimity, appreciation, acceptance, non-condemnation, wonder and innocence as sensations of space, sight, sound, thought, touch, etc., so that you're constantly fusing those 'being bits' into the big panoramic sensation soup, whether you're 'pinballing' or chilling with everything at once. it doesn't make a difference if they feel suspended, solid, stuck, still, moving, heavy or subtle. if any sensations of being are there at all, there is some sort of unequal treatment of sensations going on, and that's what you want to de-condition. the more equal treatment, the more stuff gets seen, and the more stuff gets seen, the easier equal treatment becomes.

jill
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 9/9/11 4:13 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/9/11 4:08 PM

RE: Suspended "being" & the Sweet Spot

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
you say the sensations are standing still. this means you have a good opportunity to see them clearly. the goal is to pierce it with attention. just direct attention to see what, exactly, is going on with those sensations of 'being'.. what are they covering up?

here is a list of ways to try and do that. try doing each one separately, or in conjunction with any of the other ones, either trying to do them at once, or alternating.

a) a method to pierce it: sometimes this technique worked for me: just pick a side to start with and move your attention rapidly up+down on that side. while doing the up+down motion, gradually move the thing that's going up+down across from left-to-right. so now you're scanning like crazy in two dimensions. and add the third dimension - a moving, buzzing plane of rapidly moving attention, moving behind+in front of the whole thing. think of it as a piercing quality of attention, piercing every part of it. might help to see its impermanence.

b) another one: just let attention wander around it, seeing its qualities. use the state of mind you would if you're looking at a painting or trying to figure out something neat. think of it as a puzzle to solve - why are these sensations being sensed?

c) focus on the sweet spot/cultivate naivete

d) be as sensuous as possible (as attentive to what is here/now as possible). either do it however you regularly do it, or try focusing on a particular aspect such as delight/consciousness/appreciation or benignity/space or stillness/nothingness.

e) do d, then try diverting attention from d to a glob of sensations. try to find that aspect of sensuousness in that glob of sensations. after doing a bit of that, go back to d, and alternate back+forth.

so you can also try a+c simultaneously, or b+d simultaneously, or c+e, etc... lots of possibilities.

lemme know if any combination helped in any way.

EDIT: hehe... funny to contrast this post to jill's post. it seems the goal of all of the things i mentioned is to get an equanimous look at all those sensations.. though i haven't been keeping that goal in mind. might be a good thing to look at to adjust my practice
fred flinstone, modified 10 Years ago at 9/9/11 5:59 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/9/11 5:59 PM

RE: Suspended "being" & the Sweet Spot

Posts: 50 Join Date: 6/12/11 Recent Posts
absolutely great post Jill, is this the type of vipassana-type practice that led to actual freedom for you?
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Steph , modified 10 Years ago at 9/10/11 12:48 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/10/11 12:45 AM

RE: Suspended "being" & the Sweet Spot

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
TJ Broccoli:
hi steph,

to me it would make the most sense to see to it that those affective or 'being' sensations are treated exactly the same way as every other sensation--no more, no less. no giving special attention or making them the focus, and no ignoring them or skipping over them to maintain felicity. this would best mimic the default panoramic and balanced attention of a being-less existence. if you give them special attention, you lose some of the panorama, and if you give them less attention you might be overlooking important stuff. this sounds like just giving them equal observation time as other sensations, but i also mean treating them with the same equanimity, appreciation, acceptance, non-condemnation, wonder and innocence as sensations of space, sight, sound, thought, touch, etc., so that you're constantly fusing those 'being bits' into the big panoramic sensation soup, whether you're 'pinballing' or chilling with everything at once. it doesn't make a difference if they feel suspended, solid stuck, still, moving, heavy or subtle. if any sensations of being are there at all, there is some sort of unequal treatment of sensations going on, and that's what you want to de-condition. the more equal treatment, the more stuff gets seen, and the more stuff gets seen, the easier equal treatment becomes.

jill


Hey Jill,

Thanks for this. Looking back at my initial post, I can tell there was a trying to pinpoint things. I've actually done this with sensuousness too at times.. I think it's because lately I've been reading some of the old Buddhist texts and trying to wrap my head around certain sensations that seem to associate with being - and trying to crack those open into smaller and smaller sensations. Probably getting too laser pointed insighty in the midst of the more free flowingness of actualism.

Anyway, this evening I took a leisurely long walk around my neighborhood and tried to find what seemed a good balance of panoramic where I wasn't necessarily excluding or emphasizing. Took a bit to get the hang of.. but it seemed to work well when I just naturally strolled and enjoyed, lots of looking around, but not landing too hard on anything. I acknowledged a few times when some subtle fear crept up, a funny instinctual thing when it seemed I walked pretty far and realized I didn't really know the way back (just moved to a new neighborhood). Saw the fear, saw it was silly because that fear isn't going to do anything constructive. Pulled out my phone because us modern folk have GPS for situations like this. No biggie. For the most part the walk resulted in really nice EE with a brief drop into PCE, so I can see this was closer to a more sweeping, all inclusive approach like you mention. Rad, I'll keep at that and see what else happens.

emoticon
Steph
Adam Bieber, modified 10 Years ago at 9/11/11 8:33 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/11/11 6:22 PM

RE: Suspended "being" & the Sweet Spot

Posts: 112 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
TJ Broccoli:

yes, but not the whole way. this type of "vipassana" (or actualism?) became my constant and only practice only after things became very light and fine, when experience ranged from neutral and equanimous to emotional highs.


Do you mean emotional lows as well? I seem to be either equanimous or emotionally low (more like fits of despair) at this point in my practice.
Jill Morana, modified 10 Years ago at 9/12/11 8:56 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/12/11 8:56 AM

RE: Suspended "being" & the Sweet Spot

Posts: 93 Join Date: 3/1/10 Recent Posts
Adam Bieber:
TJ Broccoli:

yes, but not the whole way. this type of "vipassana" (or actualism?) became my constant and only practice only after things became very light and fine, when experience ranged from neutral and equanimous to emotional highs.


Do you mean emotional lows as well? I seem to be either equanimous or emotionally low (more like fits of despair) at this point in my practice.


no, practically no lows. like maybe at most a total of five minutes of noticeable feelings of dissatisfaction in a period of six months
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 9/12/11 3:53 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/12/11 3:53 PM

RE: Suspended "being" & the Sweet Spot

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Just wanted to drop a quick thank you to Jill (and Claudiu & Steph) for the advice on this thread, it's really effective stuff and the route Jill took has inspired me to go back to formal vipassana as part of my practice along with the actualizing the jhanas, HAIETMOBA and all the rest.
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Jeff Grove, modified 10 Years ago at 9/18/11 6:21 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/18/11 6:21 PM

RE: Suspended "being" & the Sweet Spot

Posts: 310 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
Steph S:
Something that has been occurring for quite some time that I'd like input on where to go with/how to play with this...


Hi Steph,

I discovered much from working with the sweet spot. I noticed that there was a movement of energy in this area that felt like a swirl of turbulent wind rising up.

At every opportunity I watched this energy and became aware that this movement of energy rising from the sweetspot appeared to provide a creative forward momentum which changed how I was experiencing this moment and would mistaken it for some emotion or imagined fantasy.

Overtime the change in energy in the area of the sweet spot would appear to surge in tune with my immediate surroundings, the breath, blood pressure, temperature, heart rate or perhaps the flow of adrenaline. The natural energetic rhythms of the bodies daily cycle appeared to coincide with the ebb and flow of emotion experienced throughout the day.

The more I watched this energy flow the more I noticed that I had mistaken this momentum as an emotion or how I was experiencing the moment.

The curious thing was this energy was not me, not under my control and over shadowed by the emotions and the memories that resulted

Observing allowed me to perceive the energy flow mid emotion and mid mental projection and then when seen through the emotion would stop and you would be left with the rising energy alone, no self grasping.

With continued practice this energetic movement lost potential and started to taper out quicker. The sweet spot became less reactive

The sweet spot became still and PCE occurred. By maintaining this stillness the length of the time spent in PCE increased.

The sweet spot provided early insight into the bodys reaction to the surroundings. The energy varied in density, speed and turbulence with which it rose creating a change in feelings, moods and mental projections.

This flow of energy was always part of experience, identified early as what it feels to be me, my uniqueness

Left with new clarity in perception I looked to confirm there was no me left but found what I believed to be the last vestige of the feeling of being towards the back of the head.

As I tried to focus in on the location of that feeling the easier it was to locate the focal point of that last feeling of me.

There was a need to confirm it is finally gone. Now I look to see it is gone but that very act of looking was mistaken for the feeling of being. Mistaking cause for affect

How is using the sweet spot working out for you

cheer
Jeff


Steph S:

So since this feeling of being is now much easier to pinpoint.. how can I use that to my advantage to reduce it further? How can this be used in conjunction with the sweet spot?


What makes you believe this the feeling of being?
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 10/22/12 11:43 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 10/22/12 11:41 AM

RE: Suspended "being" & the Sweet Spot

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
Jeff, was this progress via sweet spot basically a matter of paying attention to the energy there and gaining insight from it?

Can simply observing the energy result in unraveling reactive patterns?