Noting Struggle - Mental notes require physical breath

Luis Fer, modified 8 Months ago at 9/1/21 1:57 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 9/1/21 1:57 AM

Noting Struggle - Mental notes require physical breath

Posts: 7 Join Date: 8/31/21 Recent Posts
Dear all emoticon,

First post! Thanks for the community (lurking sporadically for a while), you are inspiring.

My problem:
I started mahasi in a retreat and during it+since then: I developed a habit that whenever I make a mental note, my body requires the physical breath to do so i.e., either exhale, inhale or hold the breath. It also seems to need to 'speak' physically i.e., a bit movement in my tongue is noticable.
It is similar to  when you actually, verbally note or speak i.e., using your breath& tongue.

The only time I can 'separate' form the physical breath is when I note extremely fast (which I dislike) or simply recognize the objects (and not actually label)

The problem is that
a) this breath-dependency interrupts the observation of the noted object every single time i.e., attention goes towards the breath/suffocation feeling
b) It developed a suffocation feeling + a 6 month period where I couldn't breath 'naturally) i.e., it somehow required me to do the active impulse of breathing in as it otherwise wouldn't .. now after 6 months its back to natural (didn't note for a while)

I really like noting, but this problem doesn't seem to go away. Appreciate any help

My experience with noting:
2x mahasi retreats in nepal (3 weeks; 5 months) in 2020
Tomorrow another 3 week one and hoping to improve this noting-issue.

With good intent,

Luis
George S, modified 8 Months ago at 9/1/21 4:13 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 9/1/21 4:12 AM

RE: Noting Struggle - Mental notes require physical breath

Posts: 2391 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Hi Luis, Welcome to DhO!

It could just be side-effects of becoming very aware of the breath. It should settle down over time. There can also be old tensions and emotions which affect the breathing as they are released.

Best wishes for your retreat!
Luis Fer, modified 8 Months ago at 9/1/21 12:33 PM
Created 8 Months ago at 9/1/21 12:33 PM

RE: Noting Struggle - Mental notes require physical breath

Posts: 7 Join Date: 8/31/21 Recent Posts
Hey George,

Thanks for the welcome, advice and best-wishes emoticon.

Thanks I will keep that in mind when meditating!
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Siavash ', modified 8 Months ago at 9/1/21 1:31 PM
Created 8 Months ago at 9/1/21 1:31 PM

RE: Noting Struggle - Mental notes require physical breath

Posts: 1509 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
 It also seems to need to 'speak' physically i.e., a bit movement in my tongue is noticable.

This is natural.
A good portion of auditory thoughts (mental notes, mental talks) have somatic components too, meaning that similar to when speaking outloud, there are small movements and touches in the speech muscles in the mouth and throat. You can try saying some clear mental notes with a open mouth, and observe that probably there will be impulses in your mouth and throat that the mouth wants to close to be able to speech those mental notes more clearly. Though some of mental talks don't have any somatic components in my experience.
 
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Dream Walker, modified 8 Months ago at 9/3/21 12:26 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 9/3/21 12:26 AM

RE: Noting Struggle - Mental notes require physical breath

Posts: 1414 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Luis Fer


First post! Thanks for the community (lurking sporadically for a while), you are inspiring.

My problem

The only time I can 'separate' form the physical breath is when I note extremely fast (which I dislike) or simply recognize the objects (and not actually label)

The problem is that
a) this breath-dependency interrupts the observation of the noted object every single time i.e., attention goes towards the breath/suffocation feeling
b) It developed a suffocation feeling + a 6 month period where I couldn't breath 'naturally) i.e., it somehow required me to do the active impulse of breathing in as it otherwise wouldn't .. now after 6 months its back to natural (didn't note for a while)

I really like noting, but this problem doesn't seem to go away. Appreciate any help

Luis

Oh my goodness, you don't like something. Thats too bad. Wait til dark night stuff kicks in. Don't do anything that might push you forward or solve shit.... Just repeat your uncomfortable stuck stuff until???
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Mind over easy, modified 8 Months ago at 9/18/21 7:39 PM
Created 8 Months ago at 9/18/21 7:39 PM

RE: Noting Struggle - Mental notes require physical breath

Posts: 239 Join Date: 4/28/12 Recent Posts
First off I'm so sorry to reply to you here and off someone elses thread, but honestly I'm struggling so hard to figure out how to PM someone and this is my last resort way to try to message you emoticon But it's been awhile but I'm back around and I don't have my old email and I would love to chat with you sometime emoticon I added you on discord but I can send you my email or figure out another way to connect, whatever works best! 
(and again, apologies to the OP, I just can't figure out how PM's are supposed to work on this new version of the site so this is the best I could do) 
Luis Fer, modified 6 Months ago at 11/18/21 9:30 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 11/18/21 9:30 AM

RE: Noting Struggle - Mental notes require physical breath

Posts: 7 Join Date: 8/31/21 Recent Posts
Thanks everyone for your advise.

The 3 week retreat in 'thai'-mahasi definetely helped but not 'enough':

Why did it help?
It uses a more 'distant'/zoomed out approach to noting compared to the burmese mahasi which i perceive as very zoom-in.
So there might be a lot of 'forcing' involved in my struggling.

Every mental note/mantra/language continues to require my 'breath' though &
 I also am unable to observe any object without the breath being a 'gross' distraction ever since the struggle begin (which I don't think is normal?).

So, I decided to stop labeling + any breath-awareness practice until at least the second is resolved.

Anyhow. Just reporting. Thanks again!

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