I would like feedback to check my understanding and technique

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old dried leaf, modified 8 Years ago at 1/12/14 6:45 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 1/12/14 6:38 PM

I would like feedback to check my understanding and technique

Posts: 40 Join Date: 8/7/13 Recent Posts
Hi, I thought about sharing my understanding and technique when I meditate, including how far I think I have reached, so that others can read that and share their thoughts on it. I want to hear any thoughts you have. If you think my understanding of vipassana or samatha is incorrect, or you'd like to add any input on how I can improve the technique, I would be most excited to hear those. Thanks for considering this information!

~

[indent]Awareness has two aspects: Cognition and Sensation. When awareness is experienced, there is an experience of a sensation from a sense organ (tactiity, sound, image), and co-emergent with the sensation is cognition, which is the mental impression of knowing what the sensation is. Cognition can be weak, and so I may not even know that I am experiencing a sensation, although it is there.

[indent][/indent]When cognition is 'developed, cultivated, accumulated' enough, it can then be 'stabilized, centered, focused' onto one object, which is the technique of samatha. The object represents of specific field of sensations, I always choose the breath. If cognition is not energized enough, it will not be able to be gathered onto one object and stay at that object without lapsing often. Therefore, awareness must initially energize cognition through vipassana before beginning the technique of samatha.

[indent][/indent]I use the technique of vipassana by allowing cognition to suffuse over all sensations equally and without apply a position for cognition to stay. Cognition becomes more and more energized as it more and more frequently greets new sensations. The effect of this is rapid flickering of cognition through a fluid river of impermanent sensations. When the flickering is pretty consistent and fairly rapid, this is a sign that cognition has become energized for samatha.

[indent][/indent]I use the technique of samatha by focusing cognition onto the whole field of breathing sensations. When cognition emerges from a 'distraction, diluted sensation', cognition slightly loses some of its energy, UNLESS I focus cognition onto the distracting sensation long enough to feel like I have awakened from its dreamlike quality. If I ignore the sensations which dream cognition away from its position over the breath, cognition will weaken, and all of the energy previously accumulated from vipassana will diffuse. Samatha will constantly fail thereafter, never being able to achieve access concentration.

[indent][/indent]In reaching the first jhana through samatha, cognition is focused in a way where it is over the whole field of the breath sensations, yet also beyond the breath sensation field. Cognition also subtly includes the entire field of matter sensations, as if there were an outer strata of cognition. 'Rapture, showering/waves of tingling' and 'Sukha, mental satisfaction of being successful with breath' occurs most often when I specifically do this method of samatha.

[indent][/indent]The second jhana occurs when I release the application of cognition entirely from the field of breath sensations. Now cognition is only is only subtly positioned over the entire field of matter sensations. Cognition just scopes out and relaxes. Cognition increases in space, becoming even wider over the matter field, and seems to grow larger than the body. Rapture becomes much more energetic the more I release effort from applying cognition, although some subtle application is still there to continue samatha.

[indent][/indent]I think I've entered the third jhana a handful of times only by recognizing that, in the second jhana, rapture dissolves away and leaves a residual cool tingling over the skin. Cognition of the matter field is even larger--outside of my body--than in the second jhana. And application of cognition is even more subtle, everything just becomes increasingly calmer. Thoughts occur even less here and seem to be experienced in an 'altered, dreamy' way.

[indent][/indent]Only once I have experienced the sensation of my entire matter field opening up in a three dimensional way, and space went on forever. I felt enormously full of empty space, expanded far beyond my body, I related the space could have held the entire galaxy. I assume this was the fourth, or fifth jhana, and it occurred during a two hour sit when I first did vipassana, and then samatha, and then switched to vipassana again--probably at the third jhana. The flickering just became more and more rapid, and then space just opened up.[/indent]
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Bailey , modified 8 Years ago at 1/12/14 8:32 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 1/12/14 8:31 PM

RE: I would like feedback to check my understanding and technique

Posts: 267 Join Date: 7/14/11 Recent Posts
Keep it simple. *All insight meditation is the same. No matter what technique you use it boils down to Awareness + Acceptance.

Mahasi = choiceless observation
Goenka = feeling body sensations + equanimity
Adyashanti and Eckart Tolle = awareness of the moment + acceptance
Anapana = watching the breathe and letting it be, without controlling it


When you watch reality in this manner, without effecting it, you are able to see it is as it is and your mind will come to conclusions and push you along the path (the nanas) until Enlightenment, which is really just the conclusion to logical deduction.



*some exceptions that I won't argue about, yet the point is unaffecteda
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old dried leaf, modified 8 Years ago at 1/12/14 9:18 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 1/12/14 9:07 PM

RE: I would like feedback to check my understanding and technique

Posts: 40 Join Date: 8/7/13 Recent Posts
Thanks, Raine. I was considering acceptance earlier today as being a primary factor when doing vipassana, it is nice that you have mentioned it. I understand acceptance as, 'surrendering control to what is now', 'to allow all things to be exactly their original nature', 'to not add, subtract, or alter any thing in any way.'

Perhaps the question of 'how to use acceptance' is extremely mundane, but, do you have anymore input on acceptance, like how to increase it, or use it effectively?
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Bailey , modified 8 Years ago at 1/13/14 8:52 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 1/13/14 8:52 PM

RE: I would like feedback to check my understanding and technique

Posts: 267 Join Date: 7/14/11 Recent Posts
After rereading your post I have to concede that mine doesn’t apply as much as I thought lol… had tl:dr fever.
That being said the simplicity I brought up cannot be emphasized enough.

It sounds like you are wielding the jhanas strongly. Simple get into them and then use that concentration on an insight practice, like Anapana or Mahasi-style noting. I would choose the latter, a lot of people here have had success with it and they would be happy to help you here.


I understand acceptance as, 'surrendering control to what is now', 'to allow all things to be exactly their original nature', 'to not add, subtract, or alter any thing in any way.'


Yep.

Perhaps the question of 'how to use acceptance' is extremely mundane, but, do you have anymore input on acceptance, like how to increase it, or use it effectively


You don’t use or increase acceptance. You be it.

Wow, I'm so deep emoticon


Something more pragmatic… Bring more awareness and intention into your everyday actions. Feel your actions, your mind, your body, thoughts, emotions, whatever you can feel at that particular moment. Be present right here and now, not so much worrying about the future or regretting the past. After you travel long enough down the path it becomes effortless, you do it naturally, you are embedded in the moment.

For fun on this topic you can go watch some of the Advaita videos. Just youtube Eckhart Tolle, Gangaji, or Papaji.
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Dream Walker, modified 8 Years ago at 1/14/14 12:28 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 1/14/14 12:28 PM

RE: I would like feedback to check my understanding and technique

Posts: 1414 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
old dried leaf:
Thanks, Raine. I was considering acceptance earlier today as being a primary factor when doing vipassana, it is nice that you have mentioned it. I understand acceptance as, 'surrendering control to what is now', 'to allow all things to be exactly their original nature', 'to not add, subtract, or alter any thing in any way.'

Perhaps the question of 'how to use acceptance' is extremely mundane, but, do you have anymore input on acceptance, like how to increase it, or use it effectively?

Additional thoughts on the opposite of acceptance- Who is the controller? the judger? the doer? What is not being accepted? what filters and distorts the naturally occurring sensations as they are? what happens when you don't accept?
Good luck,
~D

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