settled mind to one pointedness

shazan, modified 8 Years ago at 2/15/14 12:43 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/15/14 12:43 PM

settled mind to one pointedness

Posts: 4 Join Date: 2/15/14 Recent Posts
Hi all,
I have been practicing mindfulness of breathing for some time now and am able to sit in the "settled mind" state with almost no distractive thoughts (I am still perfecting it right now). THe problem is that mind althought settled naturally in itself, isnt able to onepointedly focus on breath. It wavers here and there in the space of mind. Secondly mind space isnt clear, Its still a little bit clouded. Not exactly thoughts, but there still is some movement in the space of mind, its not still.

So any specfic methods to achieve one-pointed-still mind?
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 8 Years ago at 2/15/14 5:05 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/15/14 5:05 PM

RE: settled mind to one pointedness

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
From my experience, it isn't actually possible to follow the breath all the way from beginning to end without some kinds of perspective shifting taking place. Or perhaps questioning going on. Also, I have yet to encounter true stillness with enough lucidity to claim that so I can't comment there.
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Ian And, modified 8 Years ago at 2/15/14 11:46 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/15/14 11:46 PM

RE: settled mind to one pointedness

Posts: 785 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
shazan shazan shazan:

THe problem is that mind although settled naturally in itself, isnt able to onepointedly focus on breath. It wavers here and there in the space of mind. Secondly mind space isnt clear, Its still a little bit clouded. Not exactly thoughts, but there still is some movement in the space of mind, its not still.

So any specfic methods to achieve one-pointed-still mind?

What do you mean by "wavers here and there"? > Describe what is happening; otherwise, no idea what you're talking about!

What do you mean by "mind space isn't clear"? > Ditto!

If it is "not still," what exactly is it doing, then? > Describe what is happening; otherwise, no idea what you're talking about!

Generally speaking, if your mind is still wandering, simply keep bringing it back to the breath, time and again. It takes practice before your mind settles down and begins to obey your commands. That is why they call it meditation "practice." Keep practicing, and eventually, practice makes perfect! emoticon

Also, it helps if you can enter into samadhi.
shazan, modified 8 Years ago at 2/16/14 12:52 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/16/14 12:52 AM

RE: settled mind to one pointedness

Posts: 4 Join Date: 2/15/14 Recent Posts
Well now that I am re-reading jhana factors, I realise where I am stuck. I had been reading Alan Wallace's attention revolution which explains things from a different (tibetan) perspective than the thervadians.

sustained thought is like a bee buzzing around the flower


This is where I am stuck right now. My mind settles down, its quiet happy there, cognizant of breath all the time, but not still, and not one pointed. Its not distracted, but not "anchored to" the object either. And no matter how hard I try, it doesnt get hooked, it moves around in a space of like an inch from the breath. And then the breath becomes unnoticeable, and it gets even more difficult to achieve onepointedness.

Also Alan wallace says that at some level a sign will appear which then can be used as a substitute of breath. When and how does that happen.
shazan, modified 8 Years ago at 2/16/14 9:08 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/16/14 9:08 AM

RE: settled mind to one pointedness

Posts: 4 Join Date: 2/15/14 Recent Posts
Ok now I know exactly what I was looking for. I am stuck at a very refined form of Sustained Thought with almost no effort, and want to go from here to one-pointedness, and have no Idea how to do it. There is no Piti or Sukha in my practice, only a diffuse serene feeling that is very difficult to focus upon. And mind keeps on roaming "around the breath" rather than getting anchored to it.
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Ian And, modified 8 Years ago at 2/16/14 10:50 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/16/14 10:50 AM

RE: settled mind to one pointedness

Posts: 785 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
shazan shazan shazan:
Well now that I am re-reading jhana factors, I realise where I am stuck. I had been reading Alan Wallace's attention revolution which explains things from a different (tibetan) perspective than the thervadians.

sustained thought is like a bee buzzing around the flower


This is where I am stuck right now. My mind settles down, its quiet happy there, cognizant of breath all the time, but not still, and not one pointed. Its not distracted, but not "anchored to" the object either. And no matter how hard I try, it doesnt get hooked, it moves around in a space of like an inch from the breath. And then the breath becomes unnoticeable, and it gets even more difficult to achieve onepointedness.

The quotation from Alan Wallace is saying that mindfulness is established on the breath.

If you have not established mindfulness before entering into meditation, then of course you will have a difficult time establishing contact with the breath. Don't over-think this. One-pointedness just means that the mind can focus clearly upon one object; in the present case, this means the breath.

The way to anchor the mind to the breath is to incline the mind toward the breath. Otherwise, are you aware of any other way to do this? I'm certainly not. No one else can do this for you or tell you how you can do it. It is up to you.

shazan shazan shazan:

Also Alan wallace says that at some level a sign will appear which then can be used as a substitute of breath. When and how does that happen.

You need to consult with Alan Wallace as to when and how that happens. It is his direction you are listening to; not anyone here. We cannot help you with whatever it is that Wallace it talking about. If you don't understand what he is saying, then you need to ask HIM! Not us. And he will explain it to you.

shazan shazan shazan:

Ok now I know exactly what I was looking for. I am stuck at a very refined form of Sustained Thought with almost no effort, and want to go from here to one-pointedness, and have no Idea how to do it. There is no Piti or Sukha in my practice, only a diffuse serene feeling that is very difficult to focus upon. And mind keeps on roaming "around the breath" rather than getting anchored to it.

What makes you think that being "stuck at a very refined form of Sustained Thought" [whatever that means to you] is incompatible with one-pointedness of focus on an object? Anything that is "sustained" seems to me to be pretty well established, don't you think? If it is not being sustained upon the breath, then guess who you have to blame for that? No one here has any control over what your mind focuses upon and what it does not focus upon. And in that case, anyway, as was mentioned above, mindfulness must first become established on the breath before beginning your meditation session.

On another matter, it is not necessary for piti and sukha to arise in order to attain to a level of samadhi, like appana samadhi or fixed concentration. Piti and sukha can be helpful in guiding a practitioner of dhyana meditation to recognize the level of concentration they are in at any given moment on the way to the fourth dhyana. But other than that, they are not an absolute necessity for a person to enter into samadhi. Most beginners to dhyana meditation would find it difficult (if not nearly impossible) to discern the arising of subtle waves of piti and sukha due to a lack of strong mindfulness not yet having been established. As one's mindfulness grows in strength and develops, discernment of subtle events improves and things (like the stages of dhyana meditation) can be more easily discerned and used as guideposts. Therefore, it is advisable not to be too concerned with discerning these subtle events until your practice develops more maturity.

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