RE: New to practice

Florian, modified 12 Years ago at 4/27/10 3:10 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 4/27/10 3:10 AM

RE: New to practice

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi Kira,

Welcome to the Dharma Overground!

Thanks for your detailed descriptions. I recognize many of the experiences you mention from my own practice - they come and go. It's interesting when they pop up, and some of them can be cultivated, and that's usually called "concentration practice" or "samatha practice" around here. For example, when I become aware of my eyes looking straight ahead through my closed eyelids, I also become aware of a nice feeling of relaxation around my eyeballs, and relaxing into this feeling leads to interesting, nice states of mind.

The other, developmental aspect: the fact that at some times, it's easy to concentrate and get into all kinds of impressive mental states, while at other times, attention won't focus on a single spot, or distractions are just too intrusive, or motivation slacks off - that is actually a fairly predictable pattern, summarized in "the progress of insight" as it's called here at the DhO. Have you read the description? If not, I'm certain that you will recognize a lot of what you describe. For example, that last shift from almost effortless concentration to getting tangled up in distractions and being disappointed by this apparent loss of concentration ability, is a pretty good indicator of what's called "dissolution, entrance into the dark night" in terms of the progess of insight as presented in the above link. Doing techniques designed to move one along the progess of insight is called "insight practice" in the local slang.