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Body scan vipassana works for everyone?

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Body scan vipassana works for everyone? Simon Liu 8/23/16 3:20 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? neko 8/23/16 5:30 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? Nicky 8/23/16 7:33 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? neko 8/24/16 2:14 AM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? neko 8/23/16 5:41 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? Simon Liu 8/23/16 5:59 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? neko 8/23/16 6:25 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? Nicky 8/23/16 7:53 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? Simon Liu 8/23/16 9:46 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? tamaha 5/22/17 3:27 AM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? thiago gaspary 5/22/17 11:30 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? Simon Liu 8/24/16 10:40 AM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? Ward Law 8/25/16 4:22 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? neko 8/25/16 5:56 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? P K 8/25/16 2:24 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? Simon Liu 8/25/16 8:55 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? Simon Liu 8/25/16 9:28 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? tom moylan 8/26/16 1:58 AM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? Simon Liu 2/20/17 9:56 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? Simon Liu 2/20/17 10:00 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? supaluqi 2/20/17 11:24 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? Simon Liu 2/22/17 9:02 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? supaluqi 2/27/17 10:25 AM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? Simon Liu 2/27/17 7:02 PM
Brain in the vat and the enlightenment Alesh Vyhnal 3/3/17 11:01 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? Simon Liu 2/27/17 7:00 PM
RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone? Simon Liu 2/22/17 9:56 PM
Three months after coming back home from Goenka retreat I had to switch to anapanasati and stop practicing the body scan. I notice that some people found it effective, but for me my mind was getting noiser with increasing body scan. I began with a very silent mind but by the end of one hour my mind was so noisy while body scanning. I gave up on this technique.

For me the body scan is more like Qi (qi (or chi) in Taoism, prana in yoga term, orgone in American term) cultivation. It is very similar to a Qi meditation that I once did. By using my mind to direct the scan direction, I can feel qi movement. As I stand in a posture like holding a watermelon, I can feel qi moving in circular pattern from the tip of one finger on the left hand to the tip of the finger on the right hand.  Upon thinking of my arm, I can easily feel qi movement inside my arm just as people describe wave movement while doing body scan.

This principle is not quite the principle that satipatthana taught. Insight is the observation of sensations wherever they come from and observe that they arise and disappear. A passive vipassana would observe breathing until sensation arises from whereever it may be then the mind notices the rising and falling of that sensation. There is no prediction where the next sensation will come from, so whatever sensation arises is a natural sensation.

In body scan, the mind directs where to feel sensation. As soon as there is sensation, the mind moves on to the next spot without observing the falling of the sensation. With multiple visits to the spot, two conditions can happen. One the sensation is memorized sensation though unintentionlly from the subconscious. Because there was a sensation, the mind when revisiting that same spot can easily feel the sensation through subconscious memory from the previous visit. Another aspect is that mind can cause sensation to be there. In Taoism, the mind takes the lead. Wherever the mind is at, qi follows then blood follows. Where qi followed by blood flows to, there will be sensation. We have induced sensation rather than natural sensation.

Body scan is great for developing equinimity. The scan itself does not produce first insight. It may make you more sensitive to sensations, so you really have to observe sensations when you are not body scanning.  Wave is qi movement. Body scan cultivates qi movement.

What bothers me with body scan is that it is hard to not think of the general area where the mind is expecting sensation. With that the mind gets into visualization easily. With visualization it is easy to feel the presence of sensation when there is none. Its perceived presence is brought about by memory from previous visit to the same spot.  With the intention of waiting for sensation, the mind can also cause qi to flow to there followed by blood which creates a sensation. Moving to the next spot without witnessing the disappearance of the sensation is not consistent with the principle of vipassana.

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
8/23/16 5:30 PM as a reply to Simon Liu.
Moving to the next spot without witnessing the disappearance of the sensation is not consistent with the principle of vipassana.

When you move your attention to the next spot, the sensation disappears from your consciousness. Notice that as you move your attention from one spot to the next one and you will be investigating anicca directly.

If, instead, you think of a sensation as a "whole thing" which requires to be observed from beginning to end, you risk solidifying the sensation. In reality, that sensation that you want to observe until the end does not really exist: it is a construct of the mind, built by "bundling together" a multitude of micro-sensations into a "bigger one", creating the illusion of solidity.

​​​​​​​Makes sense?

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
8/23/16 5:41 PM as a reply to Simon Liu.
Wherever the mind is at, qi follows then blood follows. Where qi followed by blood flows to, there will be sensation. We have induced sensation rather than natural sensation.

These are the kind of worries that one gets into around first and second nana. What is mind? What is body? What is the cause and effect relationship between the noting process and the intention to note on the one hand, and the sensation that is experienced? I suggest to keep working with whatever sensations come up.

One word of caution: You are worried about the difference between an induced sensation and a natural one. Well, in order for a sensation to be "induced", there has to be an "inducer". What is this inducer you are talking about in this case? A person? A thought? A natural process? Have a look for yourself and see if you can inspect directly this process of a sensation being induced.

Does this help?

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
8/23/16 5:59 PM as a reply to Simon Liu.
Observing anicca based on moving from one area to another is inconsistent with well established teaching from well known and respected teachers and sutra itself.

Insight is developed from observing arising and falling sensation. With practice one begin to see that the sensation arise and disappear many times a second. it is not through directing the mind to else where.

Induced sensation or remembered sensation is real.

We will have to agree to disagree our viewpoints.

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
8/23/16 6:25 PM as a reply to Simon Liu.

We will have to agree to disagree our viewpoints.

No need to take this topic so seriously: I don't even practice body scanning and I am not a fan of it as a method.

I thought you were looking for help with body scanning and I offered some pointers that I thought might be useful for your practice. No biggie if they do not resonate with you.

Do whatever works for you emoticon

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
8/23/16 7:33 PM as a reply to neko.
neko
Moving to the next spot without witnessing the disappearance of the sensation is not consistent with the principle of vipassana.

When you move your attention to the next spot, the sensation disappears from your consciousness. Notice that as you move your attention from one spot to the next one and you will be investigating anicca directly.

If, instead, you think of a sensation as a "whole thing" which requires to be observed from beginning to end, you risk solidifying the sensation. In reality, that sensation that you want to observe until the end does not really exist: it is a construct of the mind, built by "bundling together" a multitude of micro-sensations into a "bigger one", creating the illusion of solidity.

​​​​​​​Makes sense?

This sounds like you are intellectualising (thinking about) the 'vipassana' rather than seeing it directly without thinking about it. 

​​​​​​​........

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
8/23/16 7:53 PM as a reply to Simon Liu.
'Sensation' is not a prerequisite for 'vipassana'.

'Vipassana' is to see impermanence directly therefore what better object is there to start observing impermanence than the in-breathing & out-breathing.

As for body scan, yes, it obviously makes the mind very busy. 

Goenka method is a misinterpretation of the Pali scriptures since 'vedana' (feelings) in the Pali scripture do not refer to bodily sensations, which are mental sankharas or mental stress stored in the bodily nervous system. 

Any meditation technique that applies mental awareness to the physical body (such as the Goenka method) will bring some positive results however this does not necessarily mean such a technique is the ideal method for develop samatha & vipassana. 

.........

 

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
8/23/16 9:46 PM as a reply to Simon Liu.
Thanks for all the inputs.

I was curious if others who have tried body scan and also dont like it. 

Although I dont like this method, I am arduous in recommending this retreat to others because it does train equanimity. Because of it, I am able to sit on the floor for an hour. Otherwise, I can never sit on the floor for an hour. The retreat kick started me to meditate daily and hourly twice a day.

With respect to vipassana, I disagree with this approach. It simply is Qi meditation. The only difference is that Qi meditation is not concerned with equanimity. I want to point this out to people who learn this technique and do not feel it is working for them. Dont abide in something just because it has been taught, but know if it is working for you.

I am focusing on anapanasati and passive vipassana.

There is also a less known technique called dynamic vipassana. It was developed by a lay person where the practice involves constant arm movements. Say, when driving you could constantly move something like fingers or hands to maintain constant awareness.

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
8/24/16 2:14 AM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky
neko
Moving to the next spot without witnessing the disappearance of the sensation is not consistent with the principle of vipassana.

When you move your attention to the next spot, the sensation disappears from your consciousness. Notice that as you move your attention from one spot to the next one and you will be investigating anicca directly.

If, instead, you think of a sensation as a "whole thing" which requires to be observed from beginning to end, you risk solidifying the sensation. In reality, that sensation that you want to observe until the end does not really exist: it is a construct of the mind, built by "bundling together" a multitude of micro-sensations into a "bigger one", creating the illusion of solidity.

​​​​​​​Makes sense?

This sounds like you are intellectualising (thinking about) the 'vipassana' rather than seeing it directly without thinking about it. 

​​​​​​​........

Hahaha, then I must have done a shit job explaining myself, I was actually trying to bring the discussion back to practice emoticon  

Either way, I am not very interested in discussing to what extent body scanning is compatible with this or that interpretation of the suttas, which seems OP's main interest in this discussion, so nevermind emoticon 

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
8/24/16 10:40 AM as a reply to Simon Liu.
'Sensation' is not a prerequisite for 'vipassana'.

'Vipassana' is to see impermanence directly therefore what better object is there to start observing impermanence than the in-breathing & out-breathing.

As for body scan, yes, it obviously makes the mind very busy. 

Goenka method is a misinterpretation of the Pali scriptures since 'vedana' (feelings) in the Pali scripture do not refer to bodily sensations, which are mental sankharas or mental stress stored in the bodily nervous system. 

Any meditation technique that applies mental awareness to the physical body (such as the Goenka method) will bring some positive results however this does not necessarily mean such a technique is the ideal method for develop samatha & vipassana. 

We are in concurrence on every point that you posted. These points are exactly my thoughts prior to posting the thread.

I am also on another vipassana forum which I noticed that the topic "goenka" can easily spinoff into fierey debate and temperament.

I posted my thread because I do know that there are many people who go to Goenka retreat and take everything he taught including the discourse as the gospel truth even if it is not working for them as effectively. For me, if my mind is getting increasingly nosier with increasing body scan and my posture changing, then it is time to stop. There are many techniques, not one fits all. It is also easy for beginners in the meditation arena to forget that the crux of Goenka vipassana is not the sitting but the noticing in waking moments. The sitting increases sensitivity to sensations to allow for observation during waking moments.

For me, since I have cultivated Qi before, I can be sensitive to sensation without body scan. Just by feeling an area, mind directing the intention to feel from an area, qi will flow and then blood will flow. This is induced sensation.

This is my opinion only that it is more proper to focus on a base for observation of impermanence and then when sensation arises from anywhere the mind observes in a choice-less manner. This way whatever arises did it naturally and not by induction.

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
8/25/16 2:24 PM as a reply to Simon Liu.
Simon Liu
Body scan is great for developing equinimity. The scan itself does not produce first insight. It may make you more sensitive to sensations, so you really have to observe sensations when you are not body scanning. Wave is qi movement. Body scan cultivates qi movement.

What bothers me with body scan is that it is hard to not think of the general area where the mind is expecting sensation. With that the mind gets into visualization easily. With visualization it is easy to feel the presence of sensation when there is none. Its perceived presence is brought about by memory from previous visit to the same spot. With the intention of waiting for sensation, the mind can also cause qi to flow to there followed by blood which creates a sensation. Moving to the next spot without witnessing the disappearance of the sensation is not consistent with the principle of vipassana.

From what I see you have pretty good insight.

I myself practice visualization which is done via 'visualized touch' which is pretty much form of body-scanning. Over time it evolved to be more subtle and precise. Subtle = more influential as the more subtle stimulation the stronger reaction.

Any seemingly dynamic scene such as eg. you noticing vibrations doing noting can be separated into static experiences which include rules of their interconnectedness as part of experience. These can be modified or completely replaced, disabled, added, etc. changing perception in pretty drastic ways. Unlike what off-putting first appearances of visualization might tell you this direction of development have great insight and all-overal improvement potential in it.

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
8/25/16 4:22 PM as a reply to Simon Liu.
Why are induced sensations less valid, as a meditation focus, than choiceless sensations?

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
8/25/16 5:56 PM as a reply to Ward Law.
WardlawWhy are induced sensations less valid, as a meditation focus, than choiceless sensations?

They can be just as valid, if you investigate them correctly. Not very easy for beginners, though.

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
8/25/16 8:55 PM as a reply to Simon Liu.
practice visualization
I have done qi meditation, which is a form of visualization meditation. I imagine energy moving around my arm, throgh my chest, to the other arm in circular pattern.

No doubt, I can feel ball of qi moving in pace and in direction in accordance with my mind's intention.

At night, I can feel wave moving in my arms in synchronous with breath. Sure, I can observe impermanence of the energy in my arms.

Dont think my mind will be persuaded because I know that is energy movement of qi. 

Sensation rising without my intention would have better persuation. My mind needs to see impermanence of nature by nature not by my induction.

Taoism focuses on qi without equanimity or impermanence consideration.

Insight focuses on impermanence without qi consideration.

​​​​​​​Each has a different focus.

​​​​​​​

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
8/25/16 9:28 PM as a reply to Simon Liu.
The conscious mind has to be convinced before subconscious mind will embrace.

What does the mind see regarding an object that is vibrating because of a device versus an object vibrating on its own? 

Does the mind buy into impermanence when the outcome is fabricated versus one that is natural?

When a device is causing impermanence,, of course the mind will see that the device caused impermanence. Not convincing right?

​​​​​​​When it happens on its own, then the mind will see - yesm, there is impermanence.

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
8/26/16 1:58 AM as a reply to Simon Liu.
howdy,
Goenkaji's scanning technique worked for me but I never felt comfortable with it.  On my first retreat I got to the point on day six where i was following my laserlike focus inside my spinal cord and around my organs and brain. 

this was my first 'potentiated' experience of that type and proved to me that the technique worked.  that said, there was always too much work involved for moi.  i also remember having trouble (actually a hidden realization) teasing apart my own intentions and the objects i was "observing" during scanning.

my goenka retreats were small islands of concentrated practice while i was busy being fascinated with tibetan mahayana theory and practice.  i looked at them as a tool to further my 'real' practice instead of wholly accepting them as their own universe of practice which may have led to my basic critique and acceptance of them.

anapanasati later became my base practice and remains so today.  i loooooove it.

always there as long as you are breathing, can take it on vacation or to prison with no charge or tax or extra baggage charge.  its a pleasant abiding here and now.

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
2/20/17 9:56 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
howdy,
Goenkaji's scanning technique worked for me but I never felt comfortable with it.  On my first retreat I got to the point on day six where i was following my laserlike focus inside my spinal cord and around my organs and brain. 

this was my first 'potentiated' experience of that type and proved to me that the technique worked.  that said, there was always too much work involved for moi.  i also remember having trouble (actually a hidden realization) teasing apart my own intentions and the objects i was "observing" during scanning.

my goenka retreats were small islands of concentrated practice while i was busy being fascinated with tibetan mahayana theory and practice.  i looked at them as a tool to further my 'real' practice instead of wholly accepting them as their own universe of practice which may have led to my basic critique and acceptance of them.

anapanasati later became my base practice and remains so today.  i loooooove it.

always there as long as you are breathing, can take it on vacation or to prison with no charge or tax or extra baggage charge.  its a pleasant abiding here and now.

I have been doing anapanasati for 1.25 year, but learned this weekend that I did it wrong. 

The way it is taught at Goenka retreat and many others are wrong. Concentration meditation leads to self hypnosis. I changed to the way exactly as taught in Anapanasati, and now even so much better.

Read the sutta carefully. It never said to concentrate on nostril area or abdomen. 

Now, I feel tranquil even hours after doing the way Anapanasati should be done.

No focus, but just mindfulness breathing with sensitivity to the whole body. Just be aware without focusing on any part of the body. Just be aware of the whole body.

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
2/20/17 10:00 PM as a reply to Simon Liu.
Samadhi is stillness of the mind, but been poorly translated into concentration.

Neuro science research shows concentration leads to below critical alert level. Introspection raises critical awareness level to level that supports vipassana.

Google Dr Punnaji to learn the right way of doing anapanasati.

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
2/20/17 11:24 PM as a reply to Simon Liu.
hey Simon...really fascinating thread!
I share the concerns you initially raise but in a more general sense, not just related to body scanning.

I would be grateful to hear your thoughts/experience (esp.from a chikung practitioner) regards the 'quality of attention'. By this I mean, (in my made up language), that there can be a more Yin or Yang quality to attention. To use a kinaesthetic metaphor, a more yang quality to attention is like vigorously probing an area of your body with your 'attention' fingers, whilst a more yin quality to attention would be like gently placing your 'attention' hand on a babies chest to feel its heartbeat...

Applying this to body scanning, perhaps utilising a more yin quality of attention may mitigate/reduce the inducing of sensations and thus your concern?

Ultimately 'observing' will induce some sensations, either from a full body or just the tip of ones fingers vantage points.

Are sensations present if you are not aware of them? Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound without anyone to hear it? emoticon

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
2/22/17 9:02 PM as a reply to supaluqi.
Here is the thing:

It is said that the retreat teaches Buddha's original, unadulterated practice passed down thousands of years and preserved by Myanmar monks.  This is totally untrue.

The taught anapanasati is attentional meditation leading into self hypnosis. There is scientific research on this.It is no different than any other concentration meditation like TM, chanting, and etc. Critical awareness goes down.

The anapanasati that Buddha taught is mindful breathing, based on awareness rather than attention. Anapanasati Sutta says mindful breathing and never mentions anything about focus. It is all awareness.

Second, Buddha never said to practice body scan. Instead, Buddha said when cultivation of mindful breathing is mature it will lead into Satpatthana, which then leads into 7 factors of awakening and onto sotapanna.

When breathing with sensitivity to the whole body and tranquilizing of the body, it will lead you into jhana. Breathing sensitivity to the whole body, you can feel the sensation of the whole body. You can feel slightest change in you with respect to feeling pertaining to craving and aversion and other emotions. This is all you need to notice so that you can bring unconscious emotional reaction into consciousness.

It is not about, wow there is wave motion in body.

It is about constant practice in daily life to bring out the emotional reaction to the consciousness. When this happens, you can see body changing and it's relationship to emotion. The tranquility of the mind allows you to observe the constant changes of the 4 foundations.

Google Anapanasati Sutta.

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
2/22/17 9:56 PM as a reply to supaluqi.
We know sensation is always there. 

I think the main point is not to know sensation for the sake of knowing sensation. The teaching in body scan does not add much meaning to it. I sense light thread sensation on face and it disappears. I feel a wave of sensation pervading through my body. So what? Yes, I see impermanence of my body.

Now, knowing what changing sensation is a sign of unconscious arousal of feeling is helpful in the path. Generally, it is chest, heart rate, muscle tense up that is important to know. You notice body and mind changing with respect to emotional reaction.

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
2/27/17 10:25 AM as a reply to Simon Liu.
Thanks for taking the time to respond!

Iam aware of the approach you outline. That wasnt my question!  emoticon

Anyway, it sounds like Dr Punnaji's interpretation has a very similar if not identical emphasis as Ajahn Brahm's, and the approach I generally prefer too!

For what its worth, personally I regard 'body scanning' or 4 elements, taking the breath in a more narrowly focused way, on the lip, say, as the object of samatha, noting, doing nothing, self enquiry, koans, sky gazing, mantras etc are all skillful means for particular meditators at particular times, although they may not be explicitly contained in the suttas. Plenty of debate around here about these things.

"We know sensation is always there"

My take is that depends on how one conceives of what is a sensation, and ones epistemology. One infers physical processes within a body part say, are constantly happening although we may not be aware of them. Turning our attention/spreading our awareness to the body part, particular sensations arise. One may infer from the sensations that physical processes are occurring. I think this is more consistent with dependent origination as far as I understand it, and directly observable!

The original question was about the character/attitude (yin/yang) of how one observes affecting the sensations which arise.... emoticon

best wishes...

ps
"So what? Yes, I see impermanence of my body"
Perhaps revisit MCTB2 for there being more to see here:
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB+Impermanence

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
2/27/17 7:00 PM as a reply to Simon Liu.
One aspect is the seeing of impermanence. To me, the observation of impermanence is seeing an object changing its condition in successive present moments without interruptions. When I experience an itch that morphs into clustered area of pointed sensations, pain pulsating for a period of time, sudden arising of sensation and then watching it disappearing, and etc, I am observing impermanence in bodily sensations. These observations agrees with the rational mind and are passed on to the subconscious for observations. The repeated observations by the subconscious mind will render the arising of insight one day.

In body scan, I simply notice the existence of my body part. According to neuroscience, our mind has a mapping of our body parts so when we raise our hands we have an idea of where our hands are. Repeated body scan only gave me the sense of where my body parts are at. Now, my head starts out calm then becomes denser such that I cannot sweep through my head easily anymore. My lower back, due to my inflexible body, becomes increasingly sore. I scan and scan. The only things I feel is the existence of my body parts, blank sensations, and changing characteristics in my head and lower back. Of course, I sense them in 5-8 minutes interval. So it is not seeing them change in successive present moments. All of these changes, head and lower back, have their rational causes. The rational mind doesn’t see any impermanence here. Nothing is passed on to the subconscious mind that body is impermanent. Rational mind is the gate or the filter that filters observations onto the subconscious mind.

When sensation at a spot changes and is only observed after 5-8 minutes later, such observation is not observation of impermanence. Culadasa, Pamojjo, Mahasi, and others all say that you need to see this moment as is and recollect immediately when delusion or daydream occurred.  If you realize change 5 minutes later, it is not vipassana. You need to see it in the present moment. If you feel the existence of your ear, and immediately move to feel the sensation of your cheek. How is that observation of impermanence, assuming the two spots have different sensations? There are different area. Of course, chest will not feel what lower back will feel. When my itch at the same spot is changing, I am seeing impermanence.

The second aspect is important to daily life, and has profound impact when practiced. This is the seeing of changes in bodily sensations as indicator of arising unconscious emotion. Seeing itches or pain or whatever is not going to help recognizing the arising of unconscious emotion. Deny oneself a strong craving, then one can recognize the bodily sensation associated with this emotion. It is recognizing the different signatures of bodily sensations pertaining to different emotions. Early detection of changes in bodily sensations help one recognize the arising of unconscious emotional reaction so that one can intervene and act instead of react to situation in real life. This practice can advance one’s progress faster because it weakens unconscious power over the practitioner.  It is in this context that I said “okay so what, I see changes in sensation”. It is not just any sensation but sensation that is pertinent to the arising of emotion.

On the 10th day of the retreat, many people were still confused as to how to use the sensations to remove sankhara. Sensations are not all equal. Itch or some pain sensations do not mean there is going to be the arising of unconscious emotion. They are helpful for seeing impermanence, but the other aspects of bodily sensations are more meaningful during daily life.

I don’t need to do body scan to notice changes in bodily sensations. I experimented with denying craving, and I was able to immediately see what to look for. Samatha/vipassana meditation and daily mindfulness practice allows me to see impermanence of bodily sensations even when I am not doing sitting meditation.

Body scan without daily mindfulness is useless. I have noticed that many body scanners just do body scan. Many drop out. For those who are devoted and experience body wave all the time, it can change you. If you don’t experience body wave after practicing many years, then it is sort of wasting time because you are not seeing impermanence nor applying it for early detection of the arising of unconscious emotion.
Samatha/vipassana is more natural, is passive, and can just as easily see impermanence in bodily sensations. Daily mindfulness practice reinforces sitting practice and vice versa. In any activity you do such as eating, you can practice.

When you are eating you don’t practice body scan. So, the daily activities and the sitting do not have direct mutual reinforcement pathway. Takes a long time for some to see body wave. In the meantime, they don’t see impermanence. It is equanimity training instead of
vipassana.

In my humble opinion, body scan may be efficient and effective method for some but mostly ineffective for most people. It is dry vipassana. Scripture says dry vipassana can only take you so far, but not all the way to the final enlightenment.

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
2/27/17 7:02 PM as a reply to supaluqi.
Don't know how my post end up being reply to myself. It was meant to be a reply to you.

Brain in the vat and the enlightenment
Answer
3/3/17 11:01 PM as a reply to Simon Liu.
To be honest I don't understand the focus on the body permeating many meditative techniques. I believe that even a "brain in a vat" can attain enlightenment. Or to simplify things imagine a quadriplegic who has absolutely no sensory input from his body. I have to admit that I didn't meditate for the two long years due to my illness so perhaps I am missing something. 

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
5/22/17 3:27 AM as a reply to Simon Liu.
Simon Liu:


There is also a less known technique called dynamic vipassana. It was developed by a lay person where the practice involves constant arm movements. Say, when driving you could constantly move something like fingers or hands to maintain constant awareness.


Where can I know more about this dynamic vipassana? Your suggestion to use it while driving is interesting, which is what I was looking for. Please provide links, if any. Thank you.

RE: Body scan vipassana works for everyone?
Answer
5/22/17 11:30 PM as a reply to tamaha.
The dynamic meditation is called mahasati. It was developed by Luang Por Teean when he was a lay person. He got quick results, and his disciples say that it builds sati/awareness quickly. He ordained, but his style is much more zen than theravada. He bowed to lay people as monk, he talked in riddles. Very interesting character.


Here are some links:


http://awarenesswithmovement.com

http://www.mahasati.org

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vczom5qjrPY&ab_channel=dhammatube - In this video, Bhikhu Nirodho talks about Luang Por Teean.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ulz1vymcjQ0&ab_channel=dhammatube - The same monk talk about Teean's illness and death. Very intersting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow4ffdfw0BI&ab_channel=xolotlana - In this video, Ajahn Tong shows the formal sitting practice.


I higly recommend the following books:

Normalty, One That Feels, Manual of Self Awareness (Luang Por Teean)

Out of the Cave (Luang Por Somboom)

Watching, Not Being (Luang Por Khamkeean) - One of the main disciples of Luang Por Teean

Akaliko - Luang Por Jarun

Bright and Shining Mind - Kampol Thongbunnun - This is a guy who suffered an accident and became tetraplegic. He used the movement of his one good hand to build up awareness.

Spiritual Tips for Meditators - Luang Por Khamkeean and Phra Paisal Visalo - Very accessable book.


Here are some quotes from the books:

One That Feels:

This book is by the guy that developed the method.

Page 10 - "The method to develop the total awareness that can end dukkha, as I understand it, and as I believe the Buddha taught, is to practice in our daily life."

Page 12 - "Magga (the noble path) is the way of practice leading to the cessation of dukkha. The way of practice is to be aware of thought.
 [...] Those who don’t know try to stop dosa – moha – lobha, they try to fight and suppress it, but one that knows just has sati to watch the mind and see thought. [...] You should not pay so much attention to the movement, but use sati to watch conceptual thought. Just passively see the thought; do not "stare" at it. When thought arises, let it pass away."

Pages 18/19 - "First, the method that led me to find real calmness. Without paying any special attention to any point, I just do the movement, and just have sati (awareness) knowing all postures and all movements, such as standing, walking, sitting, lying, bending, stretching, and all
the movements. When I have practiced in this way, and have awareness of all my movements, panna (knowing) arises within myself."

Page 24 - "To see our own mind clearly, without being caught up in its movement, to watch thought without trying to do anything with or about it,
simply seeing it and letting it go, this is the way to freedom from dukkha."

Page 52 - "Be simple, and just move, one movement at a time, and know. When you don’t know, let it pass; when you know, let it pass. Sometimes you know, sometimes you don’t know: so it goes – but know. When the body moves, know it. When the mind moves, know it. This practice is a twenty-four-hours-a-day practice, so relax and just be natural, just be normal. Set up the mind to really practice, and practice
comfortably."


Spiritual Tips For Meditators:

Page 130 - "Briefly speaking, mindfulness brings the mind back to the activity or meditation object. Once your mind is with the object, you have awareness, you know and you see clearly."

Page 134 - "It is important for you to keep your mind in balance, to not watch or concentrate too closely nor to let it loose to all distractions. This will enable your mind to be aware of the mind, to be aware of the body, not only of your hands, but the whole of your body and also its surroundings."

Page 135 - " For the beginners, do not be confused with what I said. Be aware of your body first. Do not pay much attention to the mind or to the thoughts because you have to go step by step. You may be aware of your surrounding at the same time, of the noise or whatever; just be aware with mindfulness."

Watching, Not Being:

Here he talks about the experience of awakening. Pages 66/67 - "This is nature, this is the law of nature; it has nothing to do with reasoning.
One doesn’t know exactly how the lock is opened: it is the DHAMMA, it really is the law of nature and it is beyond speculation.
It is as if the body, feelings, perception, volition and consciousness have a job, they have their duties and they are diligent at doing their duties. But it is a job that is bound to fail, just like little children playing with sand: they are diligent to build sandcastles but it won’t be long and they are destroyed. But now they work together, they stop together, they come to a halt at the same time and everything returns to nature. The body, feelings, perception, volitional formations and consciousness go back to nature, there is a separation, they go their own individual ways.
At first, one still tries to connect them but it is no use: it is like trying to connect two different things with each other: It may look like they are connected but they are not, they are separated: they have returned to nature and they can’t become one in the same way that a rope that has been cut can’t be put together. There are just ‘movements’ left. It is the end of self. There isn’t anything further to do."

Here he talks about rebirth. Very different approach for a theravada monk. Pages 146 / 147 - "In the scriptures it is mentioned that a Stream-enterer and Once returner (first and second stages of Enlightenment) are people who still get ‘reborn’, that is to say, after death they are reborn in order to strive to be an ARAHANT (fully Enlightened one) in the future. But I understand the word ‘rebirth’ to mean thought, interest or whatever causes interest. When one has overcome that, one doesn’t go back and think about things many times.
For example, the eye sees a form or the ear hears a sound: as soon as one perceives it in one way or another, one reaffirms it
and thinks about it again and again until, for example, craving and lust arise.
For a Non-returner there is only one life (this one), which refers to thoughts that sneak in just once, and they won’t go back to think
about old stuff. They have realization and power: having thought once, it fades; they don’t return to it and so there is no ‘rebirth’.
The word ‘birth’ doesn’t mean being born from mother’s womb; that kind of birth happens only once; everybody knows that.
But ‘being born’ here, is the birth and death of NAMA-RUPA (in other words, the endless arising and passing away of the feeling of self).

The BUDDHA said: ‘Before I attained insight-knowledge, I wandered around through SAMSARA (the round of transmigration), for countless lifetimes; I searched for ‘the house-builder’, that is to say: craving, the thing that creates ‘being’. Being born is suffering each time!’.
The words ‘countless lifetimes’ stand for the arising and passing away of NAMA-RUPA. The collected birth stories of the BODHISATTA
(a being striving for BUDDHA-hood), refer to this. It doesn’t mean that the BUDDHA was born as a rabbit or whatever in previous lifetimes, but there is nothing wrong with that explanation. The ‘birth’ of a Non-returner is a thought arising which they immediately leave behind and annuls, so that nothing remains. It doesn’t have value for him or her and no KAMMA is created. Such a one is not a servant of thought, they are free.
They relate to things as being ‘me’ or ‘mine’, only very little. Those things drop off. We discover and see these things without anybody telling us."


Here he is talking about the formal sitting practice, a series of fourteen movements. Page 243 - "If we would count we would get fourteen times: fourteen movements, fourteen moments of awareness. Make it into a rhythm but don’t count. Know, know, know. Know each second. Don’t do it too slow. When you lose it come back. Feel the hands. Don’t lose it, don’t concentrate, don’t count. Know each time, as separate movements. This kind of knowing is not a continuous state, that would be tranquility meditation and one won’t see thought because it doesn’t arise. But this kind of knowing is just knowing for a moment, from moment to moment. We are not afraid of thought: we’ll get to see whatever arises and we’ll return to awareness. Awareness is not thought, it is an experience."

Page 245 - "Everything is an opportunity to know. Blinking the eyes and breathing can be known. Apart from the formal rhythmic meditation, you can train with this and with that. Sometimes too much formal practice can make one weary. We should change the posture then.
Adjust yourself a bit. If we have been in the same posture for too long we should make some change. Start anew. Make awareness prominent. A movie maker doesn’t stay with one scene for too long."


Enjoy!