Noting: am I doing it wrong?

Chani A, modified 9 Years ago.

Noting: am I doing it wrong?

Posts: 9 Join Date: 8/2/12 Recent Posts
I haven't been meditating very long (and actually stopped for a few weeks and just started again - I have some strange aversion to meditating even though it always makes me feel better). anyways, I'm a bit confused about what it is I've actually been doing.

I was trying to do noting, but it seems like the more I try to label things, the more time I spend in my head thinking about them instead of actually paying attention to them. like, I'll be listening to a sound, then I'll think "listening, listening.. thinking about listening, oh, I'm thinking, how do I get back to listening?" and then usually I repeat the word "thinking" until it loses meaning and I can escape back to paying attention to things. and then it happens again. or, I'll be feeling something, then notice that I'm actually still paying attention to the memory of what was a short feeling several seconds ago, and when I get back to the present, I try to label what's going on and again I'm looking at a memory, spending several seconds figuring out how to label it while the rest of the world goes on without me.

is this normal? is it just something I have to do a billion times until it gets faster? or is there something I've misunderstood?

oh, and I have a second question:
a few times, after getting frustrated with the amount of time spent thinking about how to label things, I just stopped labeling them and tried to simply experience them. I did a.. thing.. the best way I can describe it is, I shifted from existing "in" my head to "in" my chest. I opened myself up to all the sensations in my body and just experienced them as fully as I could, staying in the present moment. it's the closest I've ever got to something I'd call not-thinking. it can be fairly overwhelming at first, especially if I'm stressed, but I usually feel more relaxed and.. grounded.. afterwards. emoticon

does anyone know what it was I was doing there? it kinda seems like it's some sort of concentration thing.. or, "choiceless awareness" sounds like the right sort of words, but, I'm not very familiar with the terminology so I'm not sure if I'm using those words the same way other people are
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Noting: am I doing it wrong?

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Chani A:
a few times, after getting frustrated with the amount of time spent thinking about how to label things, I just stopped labeling them and tried to simply experience them. I did a.. thing.. the best way I can describe it is, I shifted from existing "in" my head to "in" my chest. I opened myself up to all the sensations in my body and just experienced them as fully as I could, staying in the present moment. it's the closest I've ever got to something I'd call not-thinking. it can be fairly overwhelming at first, especially if I'm stressed, but I usually feel more relaxed and.. grounded.. afterwards. emoticon


If you can do this, I would highly recommend committing to doing it for a period (perhaps a month) instead of noting, and seeing what happens. You can go back to noting if you run into any roadblocks or need to look more closely at certain subtle components of experience, or if you're not satisfied with your progress for some other reason.

I don't know what to call it, other than "good practice".

As a small modification to your practice, one set of questions that I would suggest you look at is: what does it mean (experientially) to be "in" your head? What changes when you're not "in" your head but "in" your chest? What would change if you were neither "in" your chest nor your head, but somewhere else (or nowhere else)? (These aren't issues to be fixated on, but issues to keep in mind and look at in a very gentle way as you continue to meditate and focus on doing the practice you described.)
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Noting: am I doing it wrong?

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I don't know what to call it, other than "good practice".

Seconded.

More to add but I need to go just now. emoticon
Chani A, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Noting: am I doing it wrong?

Posts: 9 Join Date: 8/2/12 Recent Posts
End in Sight:

I don't know what to call it, other than "good practice".


haha, I'll try and do it more, then. emoticon
I wish I knew why I find it so hard to meditate, though. it's like some part of me is terrified of doing it, but I'm not sure whether it's afraid of failure or success or what. ;)

End in Sight:

As a small modification to your practice, one set of questions that I would suggest you look at is: what does it mean (experientially) to be "in" your head? What changes when you're not "in" your head but "in" your chest? What would change if you were neither "in" your chest nor your head, but somewhere else (or nowhere else)? (These aren't issues to be fixated on, but issues to keep in mind and look at in a very gentle way as you continue to meditate and focus on doing the practice you described.)


interesting. I have noticed that when I'm "in" my head, I tend to suppress stuff from my body. even more so when I'm "in" a good book, or the computer. it's probably not the healthiest thing, but it's useful when I need to concentrate on work, or when my body wants to throw up.

the "nowhere else" thing is.. sounding like nonsense right now, so I bet it's a good idea to think about that some more. emoticon ..oh, and look at that, my meditation alarm just went off.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Noting: am I doing it wrong?

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Chani A:

I wish I knew why I find it so hard to meditate, though. it's like some part of me is terrified of doing it, but I'm not sure whether it's afraid of failure or success or what. ;)


My take is, as long as you do it, whatever your particular hang-up about it is doesn't matter so much. (The hang-up is less relevant when you don't indulge it.) Just commit and follow through.

Chani A:
End in Sight:

As a small modification to your practice, one set of questions that I would suggest you look at is: what does it mean (experientially) to be "in" your head? What changes when you're not "in" your head but "in" your chest? What would change if you were neither "in" your chest nor your head, but somewhere else (or nowhere else)? (These aren't issues to be fixated on, but issues to keep in mind and look at in a very gentle way as you continue to meditate and focus on doing the practice you described.)


interesting. I have noticed that when I'm "in" my head, I tend to suppress stuff from my body. even more so when I'm "in" a good book, or the computer. it's probably not the healthiest thing, but it's useful when I need to concentrate on work, or when my body wants to throw up.


Good. See if you can look (gently) at the experience of suppressing stuff when it happens, to see what it's like. You may find that this particular rabbit hole runs deep...

the "nowhere else" thing is.. sounding like nonsense right now, so I bet it's a good idea to think about that some more.


It's not a puzzle or anything. It's just: if you can see what changes going from being "in" your head to "in" your chest, maybe your mind can figure out how to make an analogous change to get you to be somewhere even better ("in" some other body part, more open to your experience than when you were "in" your chest, just like being "in" your chest is more open to experience than "in" your head)...or to get you "out" of your chest but not "in" any other particular place.