Mind as Object, Or..?

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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 9 Years ago at 1/13/13 4:16 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/13/13 4:16 PM

Mind as Object, Or..?

Posts: 704 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
Something I stumbled on seems to be paying dividends of late. But I'm not certain what is happening, (or if it really is paying dividends) so wanted to find out if anyone had similar experience or knew what was going on...

Instead of diving right into piti/sukha at the start of meditation I have been focusing "inside my head". It *seems* like focusing on the mind as object, complete with this spatial element (dead centre of the skull, maybe a bit closer to forehead than back). The concentration is off the scale (for me). Totally nuts. There's a lot of speeding up of vibrations but also clear progress through the stages of insight. I typically go through the A&P with lots of "free falling", a little fear, exhilaration etc, then the DN --BUT it's like a hot knife through butter --although there is a sense of hanging on for dear life in the A&P, the equanimity is rock solid, like being very matter of fact about a roller coaster ride. All the while, anchored in this odd focus. In the DN it's the same. Crappy sensations come and go, but it's over with very quickly.

As I focus, sometimes piti / sukha arise, get strong, then fade away. But they seem silly things compared with this. I don't know what "this" really is. I thought it was 4th jhana for a while but that seems unlikely.

In EQ things seem to be heading in the right direction, though after about 2hrs I can start to get a good deal of tension in the head. I will have to experiment with dropping the focus at that stage. Maybe it's too much at that point?

Does anyone have a clue as to what is going on here?
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Richard Zen, modified 9 Years ago at 1/13/13 10:38 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/13/13 10:38 PM

RE: Mind as Object, Or..?

Posts: 1656 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
Sounds like a second gear practice of using the "self" behind the eyes as a watcher to concentrate on and if you stay on that there should be some relief as the self drops away. I had a couple of great experiences of equanimity doing that. I remember eating a plain sandwich and it just seemed so good.emoticon
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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 9 Years ago at 1/14/13 6:35 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/14/13 6:35 AM

RE: Mind as Object, Or..?

Posts: 704 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
Richard Zen:
Sounds like a second gear practice of using the "self" behind the eyes as a watcher to concentrate on and if you stay on that there should be some relief as the self drops away.:


Yes. This does seem to happen Richard. At some point in EQ that focus area seems to widen to the whole body (note that I have the whole body in focus anyways, and this is in addition to) and there is an attenuation of the "centre point" --if that's what it is.

It's an astonishingly good technique that needs more exploration..
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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 9 Years ago at 1/14/13 4:34 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/14/13 4:34 PM

RE: Mind as Object, Or..?

Posts: 704 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
A few additional observations for anyone interested...

  • During EQ it gets to be "too much" I think, though it could also be just the amount of tie I spend doing it beforehand. It can become unpleasant/tension filled and seed a headache.
  • Although the concentration seems quite amazing, it kind of isn't also. Its easy to wander off in thought even whilst focusing solidly.
  • Letting jhana build and then focusing on this space seems to work very well as it keeps concentration in check.
  • It seems I can "take a break" from it then return quite easily once in jhana but at a certain point it becomes hard not focus on it. Force of habit? Maybe..
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 1/27/13 2:28 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/27/13 2:27 PM

RE: Mind as Object, Or..?

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
Bagpuss The Gnome:
Something I stumbled on seems to be paying dividends of late. But I'm not certain what is happening, (or if it really is paying dividends) so wanted to find out if anyone had similar experience or knew what was going on...

Instead of diving right into piti/sukha at the start of meditation I have been focusing "inside my head". It *seems* like focusing on the mind as object, complete with this spatial element (dead centre of the skull, maybe a bit closer to forehead than back). The concentration is off the scale (for me). Totally nuts. There's a lot of speeding up of vibrations but also clear progress through the stages of insight. I typically go through the A&P with lots of "free falling", a little fear, exhilaration etc, then the DN --BUT it's like a hot knife through butter --although there is a sense of hanging on for dear life in the A&P, the equanimity is rock solid, like being very matter of fact about a roller coaster ride. All the while, anchored in this odd focus. In the DN it's the same. Crappy sensations come and go, but it's over with very quickly.

As I focus, sometimes piti / sukha arise, get strong, then fade away. But they seem silly things compared with this. I don't know what "this" really is. I thought it was 4th jhana for a while but that seems unlikely.

In EQ things seem to be heading in the right direction, though after about 2hrs I can start to get a good deal of tension in the head. I will have to experiment with dropping the focus at that stage. Maybe it's too much at that point?

Does anyone have a clue as to what is going on here?



I don't have a clue, but I thought I might share my practice notes and see if it is anything similar to what you are experiencing.

Basically I have noticed that there is kind of a gap in communication between my upper and lower body, as well as my left and right brain. Sometimes it feels good to keep my focus on the (lower) body (root, abdomen, chest). Other times it feels "right" to stay in more of a witness(?) mode. There could very well be a correlation between these two in regards to hemisphere (left and right respectively), as I have noticed this before. Taking this only as a working hypothesis though.

So yeah, I will shift my practice focal point back and forth on this x/y scale as pleasantry dictates, following vibrations (it is clear they are not complete or in sync, however...sometimes I can give a guess which nana I am in that moment by what temporal element of the vibration is most clear)

For whatever reason, it is kind of hard for me to see specific nanas and jhanas (really not a fan of this word) at this point on a larger macro scale. I did, however, develop a nasty headache on my left side radiating down into my stomach (nausea) a few nights ago after a couple hours in what seemed like a equaninimous state. Eventually something felt like it kind of slightly dislodged (not completely) and I went to sleep, but I was a bit anxious the next morning wondering if it would return.

Does any of this sound familiar?
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 1/27/13 4:52 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/27/13 4:45 PM

RE: Mind as Object, Or..?

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
Just another something to add here:

Did a little sit and noticed that I was primarily working out of a "left eye" perspective. My current experience is that this correlates to the more lower body, physical sensations side. While in this "mode" my practice involved riding the line of some kind of enjoyable sensations in the body. In this way, there was kind of a "this is it," "I like this," "yes" kind of mentality almost like a woman having sex (at least that is how I have experienced it from time to time).
What I have noticed and did notice was that whatever line I am riding eventually kind of shows itself to be a dead end. I want it to go on but it doesn't. I reached this point in my practice and consciously broke my concentration, shifting my body position slightly.
From this perspective a new position emerged, more of a "right eye," theoretical, in the head perspective. Rather than clinging to some enjoyable sensation there is a more "I want it," "where is it" kind of approach. Almost as if whatever is occurring is not what I want, I kind of consciously blank my mind and ride this line. Its more of an attainment like approach. The cue I use to break this concentration is when I notice the thought "ah there is what I want" and yet am not at that point (its kind of like noticing a theoretical space that you want but doesn't actually exist). In the past I have caused myself some pain and suffering by going for this space even when it was causing me great pain in the present moment.

Anyway, if my experience in the past few days serves as a guide, the above process will repeat, collapsing down until I cross the A&P in some kind of new light (have yet to cross it with complete clarity of formations, still a bit out of sync). After this point I will kind of just cruise through the some vague dark night stages, my ego saying "oh yeah, I can handle this, I know exactly where I am." Some kind of low equanimity will arise, pretty chill, and then at some point my ego starts to feel really cramped and freak out. This is where I got my headache a few days ago.

The above process seems to be accelerating somewhat. The ego freak out mode is what has inspired a lot of my frantic posts on here I think. Following this it kind of recovers, finds somewhere new to hide, and the whole process repeats again.

Its almost like the garbage from all the fractal junk that I was dealing with a few months ago started coalescing and is trying to complete a circuit.


Edit: Just realized I perhaps should have started a new thread for this. Oh well...
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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 9 Years ago at 1/29/13 1:37 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/29/13 1:37 PM

RE: Mind as Object, Or..?

Posts: 704 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
Hi ADR, sorry for the late reply!

I can relate to some of what you say but not all. In particular, shifting focus to where it feels right is very much in line with my experiences. I have dropped focusing on this kind of mid-brain spatial location exclusively as on further examination it seemed to be causing too much "strain". Now though it seems kind of incorporated into the wider focus, assimilated into the wider range of body and breath. I can feel it wanting to dominate but it helps to not let it!
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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 9 Years ago at 1/30/13 9:45 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/30/13 9:45 AM

RE: Mind as Object, Or..?

Posts: 704 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
ADR:
My current experience is that this correlates to the more lower body, physical sensations side. While in this "mode" my practice involved riding the line of some kind of enjoyable sensations in the body. In this way, there was kind of a "this is it," "I like this," "yes" kind of mentality almost like a woman having sex (at least that is how I have experienced it from time to time).
What I have noticed and did notice was that whatever line I am riding eventually kind of shows itself to be a dead end.


I can relate to this also. Big time. Well, apart from the sex bit.. heh! This "line of experience" is very much like how i go into jhana, or tune jhana on the fly --by focusing on the line (i have referred to this in the past a few times as "strands of experience") the vibrations speed up, the body feels light and things get "interesting". But like you, eventually they prove to be dead ends. My current strategy is to develop dispassion for all this "fluff" and focus on the real bodily sensations.

Hope that helps,