Multiple questions :)

Ian Andersen, modified 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 11:28 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 11:21 PM

Multiple questions :)

Posts: 6 Join Date: 1/11/12 Recent Posts
Been reading for a while now, decided to ask some questions after tonight's sit.

I've been practicing off and on for 7 years or so. The last two months I've been really dedicated to my practice, not missing a day. More recently it's gotten even more intense and I've begun to really believe that awakening in various forms are possible, not just for those people I read about, but for me as well. As such, I've been practicing with joyful exertion about 2 hours a day and recently got back from a 5 day retreat. I've mostly been doing concentration practice in order to better prepare my mind for insight practice.

Tonight during a one-hour sit, I noticed I had trouble letting my breath "just be." I have asthma and have been increasingly aware of how much that interferes with my practice, as I sometimes feel intense anxiety or panic when I start to lose sense of my breath and often feel the need to take a deep breath, which is very distracting. I've tried letting the anxiety be as well and relaxing into it and it seems to help a bit, but eventually I lose out and have to take a deep breath. Any tips?

Second question, tonight I also noticed that when I breathe, I have a tightness in the solar plexus area, as I was rather concentrated at this point, I decided to move my attention to that area and rest there. At first when I breathed out, it felt as if intense energy shot up my back to the top of my head, not unpleasant, just intense. Then after a bit, my entire stomach felt like it was energetically vibrating, (it didn't feel like a physical vibration, but had an energetic quality, not sure how else to describe it). Any idea what was going on here?

Third, throughout the session, I felt some joy arise and would move my attention to the joy and would quickly lose focus of it and return to the breath. Near the end however, joy arose and as I gently moved my attention to it, it very quickly exploded outward throughout my body with a similar energetic vibrational quality as before, and I could feel my body "fading" in and out. It felt as if I had to keep checking excitement that was threatening to break it up, but it stayed stable for a few minutes until the bell rang. A lingering sense of it stayed for a while afterward as well. What was this?

Lastly (thanks for reading this far), I should mention that about two months ago, when my re-invigoration with practice started, I had a profound, but subtle, experience which caused me to completely abandon drinking very suddenly and I have had no desire to drink since then. I also stopped seeing most of my friends who are not into meditation, and want to do nothing but meditate when I get home from work. Seemed worth mentioning.

Thanks so much, and I'm glad to be joining the conversation instead of lurking emoticon.

Ian Andersen
Kriss S, modified 10 Years ago at 1/16/12 4:00 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/15/12 2:11 PM

RE: Multiple questions :)

Posts: 8 Join Date: 11/22/10 Recent Posts
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Ian Andersen, modified 10 Years ago at 1/16/12 6:03 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/16/12 6:03 PM

RE: Multiple questions :)

Posts: 6 Join Date: 1/11/12 Recent Posts
Hi Kriss,

Thanks so much for your reply. I do find a bit of panic occasionally with the breath. Generally it happens when the breath becomes something that I am paying full attention to but also begins to become less "real" or fixed. Then my hyper-vigilance I've learned over the decades of dealing with asthma kicks in and snaps it back into place.

I think the sense of letting it be as it is and noting the sense of panic will be helpful, thanks. I'll also start doing some yoga again emoticon.