My current meditative experience

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Jeremy Kranz, modified 8 Years ago at 2/11/14 12:49 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/11/14 12:49 PM

My current meditative experience

Posts: 15 Join Date: 7/28/12 Recent Posts
This is my first post on Dharma Overground.

I would like to hear people's thoughts on what they suggest, think or know. When I am sitting these days I go through several stages. These are:

first, awareness of posture. Then almost immediately I go to ...

second, awareness of breathing. Then almost immediately I go to ...

third, awareness of the difference in sensations between the in and out breath. Then on to ...

fourth, awareness of the separation between the sensations of the in and out breath and the knowledge breathing in and out.

At this point my focus is reasonably narrow so that I can only comfortably focus on either the sensations or the knowledge of the breath. Naturally, I also observe my focus as an object at this point. I have, at times, moved my focus from the sensations to the knowledge of breathing and back. When sitting, if I am not sure what to do then I observe the not knowing state of mind and go back to the breath. However, when I focus solely on sensations my attention may, at times, vanish. The main point, as I see it here, is to cultivate the observer state of mind of the sensations that make up our experience. By the way, I am not sitting everyday.

The next time I sit I intend to focus on the sensations of the breath more. What are all your thoughts on all of this?
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Dream Walker, modified 8 Years ago at 2/12/14 10:35 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/12/14 10:35 AM

RE: My current meditative experience

Posts: 1448 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Jeremy Kranz:
This is my first post on Dharma Overground.

I would like to hear people's thoughts on what they suggest, think or know. When I am sitting these days I go through several stages. These are:

first, awareness of posture. Then almost immediately I go to ...

second, awareness of breathing. Then almost immediately I go to ...

third, awareness of the difference in sensations between the in and out breath. Then on to ...

fourth, awareness of the separation between the sensations of the in and out breath and the knowledge breathing in and out.

At this point my focus is reasonably narrow so that I can only comfortably focus on either the sensations or the knowledge of the breath. Naturally, I also observe my focus as an object at this point. I have, at times, moved my focus from the sensations to the knowledge of breathing and back. When sitting, if I am not sure what to do then I observe the not knowing state of mind and go back to the breath. However, when I focus solely on sensations my attention may, at times, vanish. The main point, as I see it here, is to cultivate the observer state of mind of the sensations that make up our experience. By the way, I am not sitting everyday.

The next time I sit I intend to focus on the sensations of the breath more. What are all your thoughts on all of this?

Sounds good. Have you read MCTB yet? Check out MCTB The Progress of Insight Read up on the first three stages.
1. Mind and Body
2. Cause and Effect
3. The Three Characteristics
Read Progress of insite, Starting at Page eight see what you think...
What is your history of meditation?
Good luck,
~D
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tom moylan, modified 8 Years ago at 2/12/14 10:35 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/12/14 10:35 AM

RE: My current meditative experience

Posts: 896 Join Date: 3/7/11 Recent Posts
Howdy Jeremy and welcome!
the standard answer to any such question in this forum is "have you read Daniel's book 'Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha'. So..have you? If not, you really should as it will give you an idea about how a structured practice will bring you through more or less predictable 'stages' or phenomenological experiences. this is a good basis for discussing things here as it tends to keep things bound to earth as far as one can with this stuff.

in any case, my advice as to your current practice is to pick out one of the sensations and stick to it like glue until you can relly clearly see what is the actual sensation and what are the things your mind is adding to those sensations. take this with a grain of salt and know that more and consistent practice will move you along more quickly.

that said, take a look at the dark night sticky threads up at the top of the discussion forums to make yourself aware of some of the things which MIGHT await you. ... and read the book, available free on line here or as a PDF.

have fun

tom
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Jeremy Kranz, modified 8 Years ago at 2/16/14 8:06 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/16/14 8:06 PM

RE: My current meditative experience

Posts: 15 Join Date: 7/28/12 Recent Posts
Thank you both for you responses. I have read MCTB and I am reading it again bit by bit at lunch with a friend. I also recently read, "The Progress of Insight:..." I will follow your advice, Tom, and stick to one of the sensations like glue.

My meditative history goes back 32 years ago when I was 19 . I began vipassana mediation under the guidance of Akasa Levi and then I did several retreats of 7 to 21 days with Ruth Denison, who trained under the Burmese monk U Ba Khin. Ruth would lead us through various stages and experiences often giving a name to the stage or experience. For those of you who have had a personal trainer you may realize that a trainer can push you further than you can normally do on your own. Ruth is such a person. While in college I took several classes on Buddhism while simultaneously meditating and attending the retreats I previously mentioned. In my 20's I spent some of my free time at a Sri Lankan Buddhist temple in Los Angeles. After college, I went with one of the monks to Sri Lanka and became a monk. This did not suit me and I a disrobed after 6 months. After that, I got married, got a job and got busy and have not done as much meditation as in the past.

However, I now feel I have a new outlook on my meditative practice (possibly because I plan to retire in 5 years) and I want to sit more. Basically my meditative orientation is clearly Burmese vipassana and when I discovered this website and MCTB it was like coming home and discovering gold.

Thank you both again.