Practice-FOMO

Victor, modified 1 Year ago at 3/4/23 3:55 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/4/23 3:55 PM

Practice-FOMO

Posts: 3 Join Date: 3/23/18 Recent Posts
Hello! My background is that I’ve been interested in meditation and spirituality for many years but never established a regular meditation practice. The reason for this is probably that when I was younger I didn’t really prioritize it. The last ten years I can just summarize as life circumstances not having been great for it. I believe the time will come pretty soon when I cannot postpone this meditation thing any longer and I have been wondering about something related to starting a meditation practice. 
Even if my practical experience is very limited I know some of the theory around different methods and maps through reading and lurking on forums like this. My question is basically which style of practice to start with and here are some of my thoughts around it:
I have heard several people even from a therevada/noting practice background like Daniel Ingram, Kenneth Folk, Shargrol etc. saying similar things regarding the gradual vs sudden approach to awakening. That there is in principal nothing preventing any person from just realizing that this moment, these sensations, happening right now are it. That it’s possible to just look in the right way and have a profound realization of “no self” that changes your perspective profoundly. That makes me think that if some kind of pointing out instruction makes you get a glimpse of that it would be a good thing and the project then would be to return there over and over and  stabilizing that becomes your mindfulness-practice dzogchen-style. The problem of course is if you don’t get a glimpse through those kinds of exercises you have to do something else. This seems to be the case for many people, myself included. So even here my understanding is that different traditions have different approaches. Correct me if I’m wrong but is it not the goal for most styles to through different methods reach a state that is maybe not exactly equivalent but at least similar to POI-insight stage of equanimity? Some kind of open, relaxed awareness so free from the hindrances that it is ripe for profound insight (like stream entry)? Approaches like zen or dzogchen try to in some way go there straight away while therevada-style noting practice takes a different route to get there?
So I guess I have two questions:-Is my general take on the whole thing reasonable or am I completely of here?
-If it is reasonable, do you have an opinion which kind of method is most effective for most people? I guess most peoples experience with for example open awareness/objectless shamatha is not as simple as it sounds for a beginner and is not gonna find yourself in some perfect state of equanimity from the get go. But it’s still not obvious that the detour of noting-style practice is the way to go, it could still be that just continuing the open awareness practice would be more efficient. I know I’m probably speaking to a therevada-style-practice heavy crowd here but that’s partly why I think it’s interesting asking the question here. In some way it seems to me that going through the POI in the way it is described by Ingram might be unnecessary painful?
Hector L, modified 1 Year ago at 3/4/23 6:41 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/4/23 6:36 PM

RE: Practice-FOMO

Posts: 141 Join Date: 5/9/20 Recent Posts
Depends on what you want to do but if I were to give myself advice back in time I'd probably start with TWIM (https://www.dhammasukha.org/beginner-lovingkindness) and Illusory body + Inner heat (Wim Hof etc) before adding vipassana. Having a nice tranquility base as lubrication makes the insight part less dry. Also not sure if you can use POI as a travel guide, for me it was more like oh shoot I'm in this part of the POI that sucks but hey there's an end in sight.
Martin, modified 1 Year ago at 3/4/23 7:30 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/4/23 7:30 PM

RE: Practice-FOMO

Posts: 873 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
What works will depend, in part, on what works for you. Most people find certain practices more interesting and accessible than others. It's a bit like the situation for a person who has decided to take up exercise. It's hard to say which sport or routine will suit them best but if they find something that they are naturally inclined to, they are likely to get in shape. The important thing is to start. Once you are started, you can switch. 

Observationally, I would agree with Hector that, if samatha comes easily for you, it makes sense to start there. I have encountered many people who have become extremely unhappy in the course of Mahasi and Goenka practice, but samatha injuries appear to be less common. 
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 3/4/23 10:29 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/4/23 10:29 PM

RE: Practice-FOMO

Posts: 212 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
What desire motivates you to start meditating consistently?
What is your intention?
It seems that you are mostly concerned with what type of meditation is right.
But what makes it right for you depends on your goal.
Victor, modified 1 Year ago at 3/5/23 5:23 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/5/23 5:23 AM

RE: Practice-FOMO

Posts: 3 Join Date: 3/23/18 Recent Posts
Thanks for the responses everyone, very helpful. I think starting with some type of shamatha practice to see how it goes seems reasonable. I keep hearing mixed things about twim. Don't know what illusory body is really. What is it?

And also a good point that it's actually not a big problem, the important thing is just to start. Was just wondering if you had any pre-test probablies to share that could help.
Hector L, modified 1 Year ago at 3/7/23 11:01 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 3/7/23 11:01 PM

RE: Practice-FOMO

Posts: 141 Join Date: 5/9/20 Recent Posts
Sort of like a body scan, if you feel pain on the inside send a probe to touch it. It will come in handy later on as a foundation for jhana 6 and dream yoga if you end up doing jhanas or tibetan dream yoga. I just happened to do it naturally since childhood but I'm not sure what interacting effects it has with other practices but lots of visualization practices seem to use it.