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Practice becoming mechanical?
Answer
9/5/16 8:00 AM
Hey there.

I've been sitting for over a year now in the Goenka tradition. For now, I really appreciate it. I am curious as to where I may be at and how to proceed.

When sitting, I pretty much immediately drop into some sort of A&P. The sensations are quite subtle, like tiny electrical bubbles flowing from head to toe. My samadhi has all but vanished and I find myself wandering off in useless thought while being consumed by the intensity of these "bubbles."

Sometimes they will vanish and when they do, I find myself lost on whether the practice has become mechanical. I feel a slight tinge of boredom with it. Like, OK ... there's sensations on the body and, yes, they're arising and passing away, they're different moment to moment but ... so what? Sometimes there may be some pain, pressure, heat, etc. but it's pretty consistent in being these "boring" "pleasant" (I find them to be slightly annoying but I would wager that most other people would enjoy them) sensations.

Off the mat, I am having trouble with hypersensitivity ... all the computer monitors are turned way down, sounds can be jarring, being around people is exhausting (these are things that were present for some time but the intensity is increasing). I seem to be cycling through this "depression" (not so nuch a sadness as it is just a disinterest in all things), feeling of disgust/disdain for the world, and yet an intense curiosity in where this is all headed. Though, the curiosity is met with "but the practice might be mechanical so why be curious about THAT?"

I think this may be re-observation or low EQ but I may be overshooting here. Disgust of the body, fear, deliverance, etc. I've experienced on retreat but this current state seems to be cycling instead of consistent ... along with the doubt that I may not be investigating properly.

RE: Practice becoming mechanical?
Answer
9/5/16 10:14 AM as a reply to Mark Orange.
You can google 16 insight knowledge which tells practitioners where tbey are at.

I stopped body scan 3 months after the retreat. Did your mind get noiser and less concentrating with successive scan? For me, it was great for equanimity training as a beginner. It becomes so boring and my physical posture was always changing. I have a tendency to imagine where is the area that I am waiting for sensation.

I absolutely dislike this technique. I prefer qi cultivation meditation if I want to observe impermanence.

RE: Practice becoming mechanical?
Answer
9/5/16 11:09 AM as a reply to Mark Orange.
I found Goenka very helpful, for moving from zero mph (meditation wise) to about 50 mph.  At that point, my practice kind of stalled.  I ran into this post: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1973107which broadened my my understanding of the kinds of things awareness can investigate.

The book 'Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha'  provides much more context and depth for a practice that leaves Goenka's go-slow approach in the dust.  I know that lots of people consider Goenka a 'go fast' approach, but that just goes to show you how wide the field is.

RE: Practice becoming mechanical?
Answer
9/5/16 2:31 PM as a reply to Mark Orange.
I have been reading about the stages of insight and am familiar enough with them to know that self-diagnosis is not the answer hence my inquiry here.

For now, it's nice to be in the Goenka tradition (I have committed myself here for some time which gives me the freedom to continue on my practice without too many worldly obligations to hold me back).

I've started reading MCTB but, again, I know it's better to hear from others than to come to my own conclusion based on intellectual understanding.

That thread is great thus far. Really good stuff. emoticon Thank you.

RE: Practice becoming mechanical?
Answer
9/5/16 5:28 PM as a reply to Mark Orange.
My solution to such issues:
Directly observe and investigate situations and use direct counter-measurement to prevent them should you find then unsatisfying. If it is suffering arising then direct action is needed to stop it. First you must observe current response of your mind and define what it should be. Then you tweak response until it leave nothing to be desired. If you cannot tweak anything in your mind learn to do it by doing it.

Sensitivity is one of these things that can be directly controlled. It might take lots of practice to learn to do it but once you know how it is done you can eg. lower your sensitivity to pain should you find your current reaction level inadequate. It doesn't matter what kind of pain it is, physical, emotional, etc. Mind have even ability to regulate allergic reactions so changing simple things like level of serotonin or dopamine level to make you happy or even from bliss is nothing for it. Mind operate most efficiently when happy so there is no logical reason to go below that and be unhappy.

The most likely cause for your depression and hypersensitivity is repression of some kind of pleasant experience which caused you to seek the same kind of stimulation in negative experiences. The more you experience these bad experiences the more you forget what originally it was all about and such is the spiral road to depression hell. Best approach is to find this experience, separate it from everything else and be able experience it freely, directly, like you move your hand. When you do happiness will also become volitional.

RE: Practice becoming mechanical?
Answer
9/7/16 6:52 AM as a reply to Mark Orange.
There is an ability what everyone has, is to dissolve sensuality and attain clear mind. Example you are shopping, now when you clear your mind then you are just picking stuff from the shelf or when someone is yelling at you you can clear your heart influence and its then just someone yelling at you.
I could do it before i ever started regular meditation. Things get unsatisfiyng and dry when you can at will take away the intoxication. But its only if you remember to do so, im influenced by toxication as long i come aware i am. Also despite of bad feelings i don't realize i can remove them, i just don't remember.

So there is a point where things are unsatified, dry and pointless. What part of the thing i exactly like that i should buy it? So mediation, contemplation on this unsatisfactory, impermanence, notself is a good idea to attain clear seeing, vipasyana.

edit: that blank state i use as a start, and can make sure that the method i do is not below/inferior to that state so i actually do practice whatever method what doesn't violate that state. You can also go through that state to do your activities(listen music etc) and that state is on a background because you came(started) from there, and ocassionally i can see "knowledges" or insights rising, it could be also energylike..so can do activites and mediate at the same time. Depending on waht arises, i sometimes will focus more on that and do a pause on activity, easy..Also one more thing you need to follow dharma, as your aim or intent you need to hold is others liberation not selfsatisfaction. So main thing is i don't pick my practice or where i am, otherwise i violate that blank state.

RE: Practice becoming mechanical?
Answer
9/7/16 5:17 PM as a reply to Banned For waht?.
dissolve sensuality and attain clear mind
The issue with such slogans is putting sensual experience as a whole in negative light, as source of suffering which presentation only cause more suffering instead of solving anything. In reality suffering caused is not by sensual experiences themselves but by relief. Treat anything like source of relief, that it will be your liberation, even for a while, and it will be your hell. It is possible to be fully 'sensual' or even hyper-sensual and have clear mind, not suffer.

When free from clutches of seeking relief there is no such experience which would cause clear mind to not be the case. It is possible to do every possible action to solve any issue without seeing completing it or any of things leading to it as source of relief. Life lived like this is free from suffering. It is so true that even physical pain cease to be pain and is experienced as pleasure when not seeking relief from it. Background physical and mental/emotional discomforts are seen as all overall pleasure that is felt all the time. When relief seeking is not done even hell is experienced as highest heaven. When seeking relief even heaven is unpleasant and can not satisfy.

Also one more thing you need to follow dharma, as your aim or intent you need to hold is others liberation not selfsatisfaction
self-satisfaction is relief seeking which is causing dukkha
liberating others is relief seeking which is causing dukkha - albeit somewhat different 'flavour' than seeking relief trough self-satisfaction

BTW. regarding 'sensuality', it is hard to be satisfied by it because what you experience is so removed from actual presentation of senses that should be experienced that what is experienced is like mockery of the true thing, unsatisfying. Imho the best solution and the one I personally use is to just experience it in its full glory just like it wants, or what I call reference experience, which is actually much easier than trying to find a way around it. The issue is not being able to do it, though not my issue apparently =)

RE: Practice becoming mechanical?
Answer
9/8/16 11:27 AM as a reply to P K.
Pleasure comes out or apparent when rubbing hands together or changing position etc. You may tweak your senses so that you get even more pleasure if your skill allows it. You can stop seeking, so it may produce friction or some other pleasurable effect as a result.

Selfnature as the quality what you can awoke by reflecting "who i am" or "where i am" or any other method what let you taste it, can also come from a friction.

ok, pleasure is not bad. But let me cultivate urges and such things to give momentum to energy and it may be not pleasant first but the outcome is pleasure/relief, so you also must say that relief seeking is okay.

Knowing how to adjust accordingly you want, you will become a shapeshifter hehe. Knowing how to deal with different urges caused by pains or pleasure or neutrality, gives you ability to make things/force/energy follow your command or will without moving a finger or doing anything.

But learn also to cultivate consciousness skandha, entire world/realm/being, 4th jhana?.

RE: Practice becoming mechanical?
Answer
9/8/16 5:21 PM as a reply to Banned For waht?.
ok, pleasure is not bad. But let me cultivate urges and such things to give momentum to energy and it may be not pleasant first but the outcome is pleasure/relief, so you also must say that relief seeking is okay.
I will not accept relief seeking. If relief is going to come in very next moment then I can only loose by having my awareness focused on it. I loose some other nice experience that is happening at the same time. If relief is happening right now in this moment... is it the best experience to experience in this very moment? Very unlikely. If it happened moment ago then is thinking about it the best experience that can be experienced? Third time 'no'.

Relief itself is about experiencing 'reference experience'. Why focus on relief which is wanting reference experience even for a single moment and not directly experience reference experience that is 'inside' it? When having enough contemplative fitness to see things clearly it becomes a matter of logic.

But learn also to cultivate consciousness skandha, entire world/realm/being, 4th jhana?.
As I see it 4th jhana is below my default mind state which is Sahaj Nirvikalpa Samadhi. I am in permanent union with everything else at all times. Matter because of its nature cannot get to speed of light and coming near it require more and more energy. Light on the other hand always go at this speed and from its own perspective everything happens at once in one everlasting moment. I realized nature of light, experience of light... and of gravitation because I apparently have broad scope of interests and one type of enlightenment is not enough ~_^

What about formed realm 4th jhana? I can visualize it easily. See no point in doing it classical way 'for real' because I can already do what practitioners all around the world really want and not the other way around.

Knowing how to adjust accordingly you want, you will become a shapeshifter hehe. Knowing how to deal with different urges caused by pains or pleasure or neutrality, gives you ability to make things/force/energy follow your command or will without moving a finger or doing anything.
Yes,
The more finger need to be moved the worse method is used.

When I go to work and do my responsibilities I do them using methods I describe. Falling on reference experience is how I deal with any issue, solve any life problem. I use it at work to solve every single issue that I need to solve. It is also how I define Arhat level of enlightenment. Non-Arhats still tend to make excuses to not be in meditation, Arhats do not. It is not even about permanence because it itself is a lie which is fueling relief seeking behavior, and more knowing what is being useful and what is a waste of time. Relief is complete waste of time, takes away everything and gives nothing in return. It is a thief of souls.

RE: Practice becoming mechanical?
Answer
9/9/16 6:03 AM as a reply to P K.
If i do something then the energy will also move but when i come aware then they are stopped, as awareness is "timeless" so i manually set energies to move without losing awareness, so i have movement when i stay unmovable.

So at the beginning it were hard to find where i am, or what i should do. It took long time to set the energy moving. As i used minor methods, doing these i get to know more things.
These were all done by not moving body but just sitting, you can switch to "unable to move your body mode" and when you want to move body you switch your consciousness to the point you can move your body. If you won't dissolve sensuality then you won't feel the change in consciousnesses there is subtle effect what i cultivate, eventually switching between different channels you feel differences so then these differences will allow to see the sameness of gross(lower rank method) and finer method(quicker, better way etc) so then i can do the new method what really isn't different from the old, but i do a lot faster progress.

I think you don't have energy. For that to have you need to have knoweldge how to stop moving and few other things. Dissolving sensuality is essential.

People figuring how to get out of body, but it is they are most of the time out of body. The problem is opposite, how you can find your body and way in, you need to find breath and to find breath you need energy. 

Thing is pretty simple either you believe that you can transform body or you don't: It already defines where you are at with your vechiles.