Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 9/30/14 11:49 PM
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Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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Hello DhO, this is my first post here. I'm from Sweden so I'm not a native english speaker.
I've been meditating for about 10-45 minutes a day since the beginning of summer this year, so I'm really unexperienced and very thankfull for help. I'm roughly using the Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anapanasati method together with a little spinal breathing (without actually controlling the breath, just letting attention flow up and down the spine a few times before trying to change to full body awareness ). My goal right now is to learn to make piti arise put I'm not sure wether I've already have or not, so probably not. However, since about the beginning of August I've had som strange experiences during most meditation sessions: Most of the muscles in the upper body contract pretty hard, at once, often causing a forced out breath, then relax at once. This repeats itself a few times over the session. It happens not only while sitting but also during walking (as taught by Bhante Gunaratana). 
What is this? Is it a sign of progress?
 
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 7 Years ago at 10/1/14 3:24 AM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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Those things, namely weird breathing patterns, strange muscle contractions, are very common, standard marks of progress and are part of the first vipassana jhana, specifically the stages of Cause and Effect and the Three Characteristics, and can happen faster and more oddly in the stage of the Arising and Passing Away also. Just notice them as they occur.
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/1/14 7:56 AM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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Ok, thank you!
It seems like the Buddha defined jhana as a state containing piti and sukha. I guess there is sukha in my meditation because it feels kind of nice, but what is the piti part? I thought piti was going to be some kind of ecstasy?
What is vipassana jhanas, and why do the suttas not divide jhana into samatha and vipassana jhanas?
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/4/14 12:38 AM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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I didn't even think I was doing insight practise. From reading the suttas I've drawn the conclusion that the dividing of meditation into concentration and insight practise does not come from the Buddhas teaching. It really seems in the suttas, especially Maha-Saccaka sutta, that his method is simply attaining the first four jhanas and then directing ones attention to the three hogher knowledges (of past lives and of the nature of reality). A division into concentration and insight practise does not seem to be necessary. This is why Thanissaro Bhikkhu's method felt right to me. I thought that if I am doing one of "samatha" or "vipassana" it must be "samatha" since you have to get to the fourth jhana to get any insight, according to the suttas fron what I've read there and in the writings of T.B. So I'm very suprised that you say I've made progress in insight.
Can you do that through concentration or have I been doing insight practise all pf the time? The method consists of 1) becoming aware of the breath 2) going through the body with attention on how the breath feels in the different parts 3) changing to full body awareness of breathing.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 7 Years ago at 10/4/14 3:13 AM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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The Samatha/Vipassana thing is complicated.

There are clearly suttas where the Buddha divides the two, others where they are integrated. Without going into some long textual debate, the practical reality is that there is an axis. The more one looks at things as being smooth, pleasant, analog, the more one is doing samatha. The more one looks at things as being discrete, individual, transient sensations and notices that suffering caused by the tention in the illusion of duality, the more one is doing vipassana.

That said, in real practice, nobody can stay totally to one side or the other, and, in real practice, people oscillate from one side to the other to some degree.

So, it is nearly impossible to do pure jhana in a samatha sense and not see some of the true nature of phenomena and gain insight, and it is also nearly impossible to be doing strong vipassana practice and not chance into the samatha jhanas at times. What happens more often than not is what is described in sutta MN 111 where we get into something jhanic and then see some of their true nature and then get into the next jhana and see some of their true nature.

In this way, we get into Mind and Body, which is very samatha in general terms, and then get into Cause and Effect and the Three Characteristics, which are very vipassana, then get into the early A&P, which is very samatha in general, then get into the later part, which is very vipassana, then get into Dissiolution, which is very samatha, then get into Fear, Mistery, Disgust, etc. which are very vipassana, then get into early Equanimity, which is very samatha, then get into late Equanimity, which is very vipassana, this all being a generalization.

Thus, they are at once different things and also integrated. I talk some about this in a video here: http://vimeo.com/69475208

So, if you are having the experiences you are having, those are clearly stages of insight experiences, regardless of what practice you are doing.

The stages of insight are very normal things to just show up, even in non-trained, non-meditating people, as is commonly reported here (as hundreds of people have posted about), and much more so in people doing various meditative practices, including those who are just trying to do samatha or jhanas or whatever they wish to call them.

Helpful?

Daniel
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/4/14 4:35 PM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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Ok, so in most meditation methods we are more or less always partly practicing samatha and partly vipassana. That's relieving, probably means I can continue making progress with the method I'm currently practicing even though it's mostly samatha, right? 
By the way, could you give examples of suttas that divides meditation into concentration and insight? Would be an interesting read.
Thank you so much for your help!
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/4/14 5:10 PM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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One more thing:
If these "meditation spasms" would disappear even though I continue meditating as much as I do now, would that be a sign of regress? Is there a fenomenon that might  replace the spasms in my next step on the path? 
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/6/14 11:29 PM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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I've investigated the contractions and breathing patterns a bit more, read some more in the MCTB and come up with some arguments for why I might not have reached cause & effect or any nana or jhana at all...
1) I do not remember having had any unitive feelings nor do I understand the "dualistic split" from my own experience, so I probably have not even reached mind & body. 
2) The contractions/spasms seem to start in the diaphragm. Also, most of them seem to follow upon a pause in the breath after a very short out breath. So I thought that maybe the whole reason of the contractions is that there is too much carbon dioxide left in the lungs after breathing out short, so my diaphragm contracts forcefully in order tp push it out. 
What do you think about this theory?
Even if this theory would be true, could there be some hope that the out breaths become too short because of meditation progress? Maybe I could test this through doing something other than meditation, maybe watching a movie, while in meditation posture and seeing if I get any spasms. If I do, then the phenomenon might be causes by the posture rather than the practice it self. That would be sad...

Edit: On second thought, and after a few more sessions, the second theory seems a bit far fetched since far from all twitches start in the diaphragm. That is a relief.
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/13/14 3:31 AM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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Those contractions are starting to get less frequent. Am I losing a nana or something? emoticon
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Teague, modified 7 Years ago at 10/13/14 7:48 AM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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Meditation keeps unfolding.  The contractions may go away now, and perhaps reappear later.  It can be a trap to start clinging to some symptom brought up during meditation, because eventually it'll go away and something else will takes it's place.  That's simply Anicca; everything changes.  You wouldn't want things to stick around anyway, would you?  You want to move forward, which means letting go and continuing to observe and investigate.

Good luck,
Teague
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/13/14 10:38 AM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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I know I shouldn't cling to stuff but it's really hard not to... And moreover, nothing has replaced the spasms really. I get nothing while my friend who doesn't even meditate gets kundalini experiences... My ego is hurt because of this, but maybe that's just good emoticon
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/17/14 5:28 AM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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bump

Does anybody know what should come next? Three Characteristics with pain and stuff, right? Nothing like that has occured yet, and my concentration skills are only slowly improving...
Maybe I´m too curious and worried for my own good haha
Small Steps, modified 7 Years ago at 10/17/14 1:27 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/17/14 1:26 PM

RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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Just keep practicing, don't worry so much about where you are at this point. If you begin each sit by developing your concentration, then set your mind to noticing the three characteristics of each sensation, that's probably good enough. Don't concern yourself with whether you should be feeling the particulars of each stage as described by, e.g. Mahasi Sayadaw or Daniel. Their descriptions are generalizations and good markers, but it's wise to take them just as such. That is, not everyone will experience what they write about in that particular way.

Just keep practicing :-)
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago at 10/17/14 3:26 PM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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Hi Pal

When I first started meditating I had no idea what jhana was.  I was going consistently for about 10 minutes a day just placing attention on various parts of the body and accepting various physcial discomforts (I hate sitting still in general).  It took about 6 months, and I got hit by piti like a bolt out of the blue.  Focusing on the body works very well, IMHO, becaus piti arises in the body as a physical sensation.  By watching body sensations, you are paying attention to where the piti will first start.

It sounds like you're trying to deal with some doubts or uncertainty about method.  The truth is, the method or the object of concentration is not as important as the sustained awareness.  I'd suggest picking a method where it seems easiest to pay attention to some object (sight, sound, sensation, anything will do).  If you are feeling troubled and uncomfortable, one of the great things about meditation is that you don't have to fight anything.  Simply allow yourself to be troubled and uncomfortable and go back to the object.  A good hint for finding concentration: it's more about removing distractions from your awareness than it is about placing awareness intentionally.  The best way to ignore something is to accept it, and go back to what you're doing (i.e. paying exclusive attention to a single thing).  Don't feel like you need to play any mental games with yourself, pretending you don't want to attain a jhana when you really do.  That will only hold you back if you feel like you need to work it out somehow or indulge it.  Just, the moment you notice you're striving or trying to suppress thoughts, or being distracted in any way, immediately go back to the object of concentration.  Accept everything as it is, even your own negative reactions to outside stimuli and go back to the object.  Maybe you notice you have back pain, oop, go back to the object.  There's a loud noise and it makes you feel a little stab of anger, oh, that's ok, you can be angry, just go back to the object.

Haha, that's all you need to do.  Think of it like an acumulation.  Every moment you are paying attention to the object, you're adding a few grains of sand to a scale.  When the attention wanders away on its own, the sand doesn't go away even half as fast, it's still there when your attention comes back.  So don't try to reason anything out, just add more sand.  Eventually the scale tips, and you won't even feel like you did it yourself - you just finally acumulated enough concentration points, haha.

If it makes you feel better, I haven't been able to map any of my meditative experiences using the progress of insight.  I think the maps only make sense in retrospect.  Something to keep in mind - the progress of insight was developed for monks who were teaching to help diagnose their students.  Without our own hindsight to compare it too, it's just a shot in the dark.  The advice is not to worry about where you are, but that can feel patronizing - what if you're off track or practicing wrong?  While it's almost impossible to meditate "wrong," the jhanas have a way of giving you what you're looking for.  The raptures and bliss are very impressive and kind of give what you do a personal legitimacy.  To get there the fastest, you just have to pay attention to something - you don't even have to try very hard or wear yourself out, you just need to be consistent and methodical about it.
Small Steps, modified 7 Years ago at 10/17/14 3:29 PM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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Not Tao:

If it makes you feel better, I haven't been able to map any of my meditative experiences using the progress of insight.  I think the maps only make sense in retrospect.


Well said.
+1
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/18/14 2:59 AM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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Nice to hear I'm probably om the right path emoticon

yes I'm worried about method a lot, because of reading the suttas. I have a lot of respect for them. I have thought, if method is not that important, why did the Buddha describe his methods in such great detail? 
The instructions in the anapanasati sutta are pretty long. If it would have been enough to focus on an object and drop everything else, then wouldn't the Buddha have thaught only that when teaching meditation.
There is one sutta where a monk tells the Buddha how he practices anapanasati: he just focuses his attention on the breath. The Buddha answers with something like "that's ok, but the practise is brought to it's culmination like this:..." And then follows the classical long anapanasati instruction.

 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn54/sn54.006.than.html#fnt-1

Doesn't this sutta say that practicing a method correctly is actually pretty important? Or is the way the monk Arittha practises, which also seems to be the way most teachers nowadays teaches anapana, enough? 
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago at 10/18/14 7:34 AM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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In the instructions, the buddha says to reach the fourth jhana before changing the object of concentration.  By the time you're in that state, the mind is so completely in control that it's very easy to direct it towards anything.

Up until step 12, he's describing what happens naturally as concentration builds and the mind steadies itself.  1 - 2: Pay attention to the breath first then 3 - 4: move that same attention into the body.  A full body awareness is what brings attention to the tensions in the muscles and helps become aware of the hinderances - emotions are felt in the body.  5 - 8 describes the progression of the first four jhanas to equanimity. 9 - 12 seem to be describing the process that happens in the fourth jhana.  Equanimity is a special state that you need to rest in for a while so it solidifies.  The first three jhanas are a smooth arc towards equanimity, and then equanimity is a kind of landing point.  While you rest in equanimity, the residual background noise in the mind is fully released - thoughts kind of change form in jhana into an almost physical disruption in the back of the mind, so equanimity stretches out a bit and becomes a refinement process.  From there, once everything has stilled completely, the buddha says to direct the mind towards insight.  This is also the jumping off point for the formless jhanas.  Because the mind is so still, the attention becomes more self-absorbed and the feeling of being in a body sort of expands and dissolves until the mind is like space.  From there it gets pretty weird, haha.  I actually can't say much for the last four instructions the buddha gives.  Equanimity is so still and thoughtless it's difficult to imagine doing anything at all in that state.  However, once you're done meditating, the mind stays very receptive for a time, so I could see directing the mind towards specific things at that point.

I would say that, right now, your best bet is to work with the first section.  Once you reach a stable awareness and feel the piti rise, things make more sense, I think.  In the sutta I see the Buddha describing what I've experienced as a mostly passive process.  Notice how he says to be "sensitive to" things.  There isn't much you do actively.  Mindfulness of breathing and a focus on physical comfort are both very relaxing and satisfying, which is why it makes a good meditation object - it's easy to pay attention to.  Paying attention is the main theme of the instructions.  What you pay attention to changes over the arc of the jhanas, but it's very natural and happens mostly on it's own - like a state of flow.

Edit: To your question, I think method both is and isn't important, haha.  I think the sutta instructions are a bit vague, personally (they are 2500 years old, come from an oral tradition, and are translated from a dead language, after all).  The Buddha may have had very detailed instructions, and this short string of phrases is all that's left of it.  There is a lot of disagreement over what jhana actually is, as well.  Really, though, once you get into it and explore the teritory for yourself, there really is such a wide array of things that happen, you're going to be forced to give up on the idea of maps.  I can vouch for the fact that the jhanas exist as they're described, but I can't say they always follow the exact order laid out in the suttas or that they always manifest the same way time after time.  Think of yourself as an explorer in your own mind.  The suttas provide hints, and the traditions provide support, and other people provide methods and personal experience.  All of that combined is what's going to help the most.

Just speaking personally, I do think sustained attention is the main cause of jhana.  Abandoning the hinderances makes sustained attention very easy - as does watching the breath and paying attention to the body in particular.  I got to jhana by paying attention to different parts of the body in succession and letting go of everything.  In many ways, it's actually pretty simple, so there isn't much need for concern over method so much as persistence.  The jhanas are a natural part of the mind, after all - like feeling happy or feeling the sense of touch.
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/18/14 10:02 AM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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Thank you for the great explanation. 
So you, like Thanissaro Bhikkhu, interprets the instructions like you should be aware of the whole body at once sooner or later? But you think any point in the body works too?

By the way, how much time do you need to get piti? I usually sit for several 15 min sessions a day. 
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago at 10/18/14 11:26 AM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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As long as you do a little every day, it will come.  Actually, if you are consistent meditation has a way of being consistent as well.  Once I had felt what piti was like, it seemed a lot easier to call it up, so it only took a minute or two to feel it and each jhana seemed to last 3-4 minutes like clockwork.  Toward the end of that period I was rising up to the seventh jhana every day.  (Bounced off the 8th a few times, haha.)

Several 15 minute sessions sounds like a good practice.  If you lose your drive, or you don't have as much time in the future, just try to log even 10 minutes a day.  You can also practice concentration just while doing menial tasks.  Focus on the visual field.  This can help build up a concentration backlog and you'll notice a difference when you sit.

As for body awareness - what I actually would do is start by placing attention on different body parts and "breathe into" them.  Like, breathe into the feet, then inhale from the feet and breathe into the lower legs, then inhale from the lower legs, etc and so on.  Once I'd done that for the whole body, I would breathe with the whole body for a few breaths.  If there was some part that seemed out of attention, or if my mind wanted to wander, I would do the whole thing again.  Also, if I felt like the mind had started to wander while focusing on a specific part, I would repeat that part one or two times until I felt the attention was stable the whole way through.  I think this worked well for me because it was very active, so it was harder to get bored or lose track of what was happening.

Eventually I started to feel a buzzy tingling in different body parts as I'd do this, and once it started happening consistantly, it would only take one time through (or even just through the legs) to feel the buzzing and the whole body wold start to melt into the rapture.  It would flare up during the day if I was in a good mood, too.  So it's definately accumulative.  I stopped practicing jhana specifically a while back, and now it's a bit more spotty if I try for it.  Still possible, but more effort initially - so I think routine is a big part of it.

I should also note that "letting go" was a big part of my practice.  I was dealing with a lot of physical discomfort, so I had to practice a lot of acceptance while sitting.  This can be a pretty big part of the process, so don't try to force anything - let the awareness move away from the pain by becoming interested in the pleasure rather than trying to take it off the pain, if that makes sense.
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/19/14 6:25 AM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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That sounds a lot like what I do. I breath into 1. Middle of the belly 2. Right and left sides of the belly 3. Same with solar plexus and chest. 4 base of the throat 5. Middle of the head (hardest part except for full body breathing) 6. Spinal breathing  7. From toes head. 8. From fingers to head. 9. Through legs and arms to head 10. Whole body.

I have thought a lot about letting go. In the  Indriya-vibhanga sutta it is said that when developing samadhi one makes it ones object to let go.  When focusing on the breath, aren't we doing kind of the opposit and clinging to the breath? This passage, together with the Hindu definition of samadhi has made me unsure about wether samadhi really means concentration in the context of the suttas. 
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago at 10/19/14 7:15 AM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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This has been a conflict for me, too, actually.  I used to swing back and forth between simply letting go, and specifically directing awareness.  Very, recently, though, I'm starting to see that both of those things are related.  I'll try to explain what I mean, but this is kind of a new idea for me.

Letting go is about specifically allowing what's happening to continue happening, and the effect of this seems to be that it slows down the movement of the awareness. Doing just this has brought me through the jhanas before - as well as open-eyed meditation states that are hard to place anywhere. Interestingly, specific concentration practice has produced the same results. As I look over past notes, I see a pattern where neither one was ever used all by itself. In fact, it looks a bit like a pendulum where every other day I'm telling myself to rely on one or the other. I think that concentration enables letting go, and letting go enables concentration. Concentration isn't a directed effort, but rather a letting go into a specific sensation.

Maybe an analogy would be better. Let's say you're making a bonzai tree. You go out into the woods or to the store and buy an untamed cedar bush and bring it home - this is how we start out, grown from our past experiences, branches sticking out every which way. The first trimming is usually very harsh. You cut off the tap root, trim down the branches, wire everything into a specific shape. It's all very unnatural. This is like our first effort to meditate. We need to force the mind to behave, it often takes a great deal of effort. After this, you have to leave the tree alone to grow into its new shape. This is where you begin to let go - once the mind is beginning to take the shape you want, you practice leaving it alone. Over time, you need to trim more and let it grow more, but evetually it's tamed and there's very little you need to do - it's become what you wanted it to be.

The trimming portion of this analogy is specifically related to unwholesome or undesireable states. There is no faster way in the beginning to get rid of them than by using concentration to move the mind away from them. Later on, though, when these states pop up, you will see them for what they are right away, and acceptance can be used to move right through them. The goal is to become natural and effortless, which can only be achieved through letting go, but the truth is, we want to be natural and effortless in a specific shape - not as a wild and angry bush but rather a tamed bonzai tree - so we need to practice creating the shape we want before we are able to let go into it.

At every point in your practice you're going to have to decide what amount of each to use. But I'll throw a last curve ball at you - they're essentially the same thing. Awareness IS itself acceptance. When you concentrate, you are letting go, and when you let go, you are concentrating. They seem opposite, but they end up merging conceptually. At least, this has been my experience.
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/19/14 8:03 AM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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Ok, cool! Sounds a bit weird to me right now but I guess I'll get it later on. Thanks! emoticonEdit: by the way, do you know any good full body concentration focused retreats?
Small Steps, modified 7 Years ago at 10/13/14 12:56 PM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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Pål:
Ok, thank you!
It seems like the Buddha defined jhana as a state containing piti and sukha. I guess there is sukha in my meditation because it feels kind of nice, but what is the piti part? I thought piti was going to be some kind of ecstasy?
What is vipassana jhanas, and why do the suttas not divide jhana into samatha and vipassana jhanas?


Hello Pål. I thought I'd respond to this portion of your thread... Piti, as I've experienced it, has a pretty wide range. From the feeling of a short thrill, where your hair stands on end, all the way to a deep ecstasy. There's a list of the various manifestations on this Wikipedia entry.

You seem a little concerned with whether or not you are experiencing manifestations of the jhanic factors, but it may be better to let go of the expectations and simplify: just work on your samatha practice. Drop everything else and really put all your attention on your object (like many others, I like the spot below the nostrils and above the lips, the so-called anapana spot). Over and over again, sitting after sitting. There's a lot to be said for the classical training in concentration.

When the hindrances diminish, the jhanic factors arise. My first experience of Piti felt like a full body orgasm, that's how "rapturous" or "ecstatic" it was. Be careful what you wish for, however, since it may well be followed by a lot of inconvenient after effects, e.g. involuntary body twitching and spasming for many days afterwards. Try explaining that to your co-workers emoticon

Also, don't get attached to trying to get back that feeling once you have a taste of it. Too much grasping side tracked my practice for a short while.
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/13/14 2:32 PM
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RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

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Ok, well then maybe I've been there too then emoticon

One thing that puzzels me is this anapanaspot and wether it was actually taught by Gotama or not. Maybe caring about the ancient texts fits better at a forum like dhamma wheel but here are my thoughts about that subject:

Thanissaro Bhikkhu is the only buddhist teacher I know of who says the Buddha taught full body awareness of tje breath rather than noticing sensations on a tiny spot. I read the instructions for anapanasati in the suttas amd they said that you should breath in and out focused on the entire body so I thought, hey Thanissaro is right and all other teachers are spreading methods not thaught by the Buddha! That is why I started practicing his method. However, rereading the anapanasati sutta I found a line where Gotama says that the breath "is classed as a body among bodies". Maybe that would mean that focusing on the entire body means focusing on the entire breath although I find it a little far fetched.  I also found that the passage where the buddha instructs the monks to set their mindfullness" to the front" also can be.translates as "at the entrance" which also speaks for the nostrills interpretation. But this interpretation also seems a little far fetched since the recommendation to set ones mindfullness to the front/at the entrance/parimukham also is found in the anapana instructions in the kayagatasati sutta where later the buddha clearly promotes full body awareness (filling ones body with jhana factors of which one is pure bright awareness. Here there is no doubt the body means the real body and not the breath). 
Sometimes I really consider changing my practice to traditional tiny-spot samatha because so many people recommend it but then I remember what the suttas say and I end up unable to decide so I stock with Thanissaro's method.


thank you guys so much for your answers! It's really great to get advice from experienced people emoticon
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/29/14 11:46 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/29/14 11:46 AM

RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

Posts: 778 Join Date: 9/30/14 Recent Posts
I just had a reeally  weird session. During the last 5-10 mins my arms spontaneously  flapped upwards repeatedly, maybe like 20-30 times... Is this all right? This time I sat by myself, but mostly I meditate on the bus or train, what are people going to think and what if I happen to slap someone if this continues lol. I must admit it was very fun though.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 7 Years ago at 10/30/14 1:53 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/30/14 1:53 AM

RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

Posts: 3224 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
There is a nice section on arm-flapping (see page 123, 2nd paragraph, in the Raptures section) in A Path with Heart, by Jack Kornfield, which I consider a bit of a must-read.
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/30/14 4:11 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/30/14 4:11 AM

RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

Posts: 778 Join Date: 9/30/14 Recent Posts
Ah that one! Actually I skimmed through that part a while ago. What if it was all placebo? That would be boring.
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 10/31/14 6:13 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/31/14 6:13 AM

RE: Fast muscle contractions, weird breathing patterns

Posts: 778 Join Date: 9/30/14 Recent Posts
I just tried meditating in a library and the movements/spasms got much calmer compared to the wild flapping of the last few days. I wonder why this could be. Possible reasons I have thought about:
•I was slightly nervous since there were other people around. Might have made the meditation not as deep. I got very nicely relaxed however emoticon
•About mid-session the thought popped up that the only placed the Buddha recommended for meditation are the wilderness and empty buildings. My exoteric side went all "you're doing it all wrong!!". I think I managed to keep that thought in the background however. It's actually a pretty stupid thought since I mostly meditate at busses and I believe I have made good progress.
what do you (anybody reading) think? Do these things matter? 

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