Jose's second log. Is this progress?

Jose C, modified 2 Years ago at 10/11/21 9:45 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 10/11/21 9:43 PM

Jose's second log. Is this progress?

Posts: 3 Join Date: 7/18/21 Recent Posts
Hi community,

A bit more of my background on this post
Basically, did a 10 days Goenka course in March, and I had what was probably and AnP experience. My practice have been 1.5-2 daily hours consistently after that. 3 months ago after taking some advice from this community I decided to start followign TMI as I felt my concentration was only getting worse with body scanning.

Right now I am experience some stable attention for the first 20-30minutes of meditation and later my mind just start wandering again, and I notice that those distractions, those tougths are attached to strong emotions/unconfortable senstations, so I try to focus on those, but most of the time my mind wonders again and I lose concentration and go back to mind wondering. My current goal and intentions are set to observe those unconfortable emotions, to not to react, but has been quite challenging as it makes me finish my meditation time sometimes 10-15 minutes earlier. From what I have read in the book is that those ugly sensations/resistance would arise stronger as I went deeper, but in my case they are attached to my mind wondering so I am not sure if I am in the same field.

I have had maybe 3 episodes of continuos attention, which felt kind of -not normal-, trippy, so I would suspect almost like 1st Jhana from what I have read in MTCTB. My attention was in the breath like a dog to a bone, and any distraction were noted but woulnd't take my attention for more than a second. They lasted around 20 minutes, and I have no clue what I did different to go there.

I will try to join my local buddhist community as I realized that I have no one to talk about these difficulties and as I write this I am already feeling a relieve.

Thanks for your time, I appreciate any opinion.

Lotus Vu, modified 2 Years ago at 10/11/21 10:43 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 10/11/21 10:16 PM

RE: Jose's second log. Is this progress?

Posts: 2 Join Date: 10/10/21 Recent Posts
Hello Jose,

The number one mistake practitioners make when severe uncomfortable sensations or emotions arise is to focus on it.  Where attention goes, it magnifies whatever it looks at. Unless you're in a rest/relax state. Bring attention back to the breath, take deep breaths (but not with too much effort, just more naturally). This naturally kicks in your parasympathetic system (rest and relax system). When you're in pain, the sympathetic systems get activated and tightens up your muscles and body, makes you feel it more, especially if you're forcing on it. Breathe in normally, when you breathe out, exhale slowly (like 2 or 3 times longer). After a couple of breaths, it pain will subside and feel less painful. The most important aspect of this is to "relax" the body, accept whatever arises as you breathe out.  I practice using the 4 foundations of mindfulness from the Nikaya Suttas. I don't scan or focus on my breath at the nostrils or stomach. The instructions on suttas say that on the in-breath you experience the whole breath and your whole body doing the breathing. On the out-breath, you tranquillize the body formation (that's now known in physiological psychology as kicking in your parasympathetic systems to rest/relax by slowing down the out-breath to release tensions and tightness).

I use the R's which is very simple.

Noticing you're hooked
Return to your object of meditation - I use the whole body in the sensations of breathing, you get distracted with a particularly uncomfortable feeling, sensation or train of thoughts, just return to the object (noticing the whole body, which is all the sensations of the body at the same time as you breathe). Bring back attention to noticing the whole body - (noticing the sensations of the whole body, not noting but noticing, noticing is not labelling it) - I use the whole body as an object, noticing its sensations as I breathe in and out. It diffuses your concentration a little more and requires less effort and produces more clarity.
Relax (tensions or efforting in your mind, the body follows suit) - remember to exhale all of the breaths in the body, not some of it. Do it naturally
Release (this happens on the out-breaths as the tightness relaxes and your whole body sinks down and muscles relax) - don't make a big deal out of the distraction, don't stay with the hindrances. Just focus on the sensations of the whole body as you breathe

Smile - (this really helps, physiologically when you smile your mind follows suit) - if you notice your forehead between your brows and it is tight, you're not relaxing or releasing. Smiling release the tightness on the face and it helps with the brain as well.

Repeat - keep doing it every time you notice something amok that hooks you away.

This takes away a lot of the mental distractions.
Every thought is an energetic movement in the body. Tightness is from holding thoughts, feelings or something.  This means the attitude you have is either you like it and are hooked by it (desire-moving towards it), or you try to push the experience away (aversion), both cause attachment and suffering ensues.

I hope this helps. I just did this throughout my practice and went through all the Jhanas and Arupas with it.