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Solid sensations in the chest area

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Solid sensations in the chest area
Answer
2/7/17 10:07 PM
Does anyone else have solid, persistent, painful sensations in the chest area? How do you deal with them?

I know that in goenka tradition it is thought that chest area is where strong emotions are held and it was advised against paying too much attention in this area during retreat.

These sensations arise frequently during my sits. There is a solid tightness and additionally painful sensations. I started to use them as objects of meditation.

 I am not sure whether to ignore them or keep my attention there all the time, since there seems to be always a sensation there, dominating my awareness.

RE: Solid sensations in the chest area
Answer
2/7/17 10:55 PM as a reply to M C.
www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/93663

I asked a similar question a while back.


Nikolai


Edit: having trouble linking it so just copy and paste the address above. 

RE: Solid sensations in the chest area
Answer
2/8/17 12:27 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Oops.. I remember that thread.  Should have searched. Thanks! 

RE: Solid sensations in the chest area
Answer
2/8/17 1:05 AM as a reply to M C.
I have the same issue, for ten years now. I've also read that thread before and it's gold. Revolving attention that Tarin describes (like a centrifuge) is something I did in my head region, just my own experimentation on retreat and, according to AYP teachings anyway, caused an unintentended premature crown opening and subsequent kundalini process that I've been dealing with since. But...my headspace has always been mostly clear of heavy sensations since then and I never get headaches anymore, something I can't say for the rest of my body that is totally energetically clogged and has mostly remained that way since I started practice, with my channels fully clearing on only a few occasions - but not for years 
As much as I'd like to do this same practice on my chest and be done with these uncomfortable sensations once and for all (and become enlightened in the process?) the whole 'mind being torn from the heart' thing sounds a bit dodgy. Also one time when I intently focused in on the chest I depersonalized so much afterwards I forgot who I was for awhile and wandered aimlessly and confused in the woods. The next sitting I passed out and was subsequently banned from Goenka retreats. Probably for the best, IME the assistant teachers are teaching hardcore techniques with potentially severe consequences with no knowledge or tools for dealing with the outcomes. The source of the heavy/painful sensations is my heart. It's a sensation like anxiousness that constantly leaks from there, whether or not I'm thinking anything or experiencing emotion. In one sitting I felt like I pierced something there when I was zapping my heavily concentrated fourth jhana awareness all through my body 
Anyway Nikolai, did that heavy concentration in your heart region lessen/eliminate the heavy sensations for you there? Did it result in a path moment, is that what you were describing in that post? By the way, I always dug that story of you cleaning Goenka's house. I'm sure you have a few others where that came from lol

RE: Solid sensations in the chest area
Answer
2/8/17 10:02 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Sorry, 

What is an AYP teaching?

RE: Solid sensations in the chest area
Answer
2/8/17 8:26 PM as a reply to Jeff Goldman.
Kilroy Was Here:
Sorry, 

What is an AYP teaching?

http://www.aypsite.org/

RE: Solid sensations in the chest area
Answer
2/9/17 6:02 AM as a reply to M C.
I would say a few things, part of which Tarin mentions in the thread above but not in full detail:
  • One way of working with these sensations is by focusing on them with the intent of having the progress of insight happen at that spot. If this works properly, the sequence of events to watch out for is the following:

    One focuses on the sensations with sustained effort, with the intention of "powering-through" them, some point the sensations gain a life of their own, they are still very solid but the awareness/focusing becomes self-sustaining (1st jhana territory), then letting the focusing continue by itself may lead the whole thing to feel like melting, or rather what was once only solid sensations may become vapid, rapid and possibly blissful/exciting (2nd jhana).

    At that point one tries to "go deeper"; this matures in sensations of an unpleasant, scratchy, fight-like quality; as if a sinusoidal wave had been replaced by a triangular one (3rd jhana).

    At that point the right thing to do is notice the edges of the thing, just keep attention going back to the periphery of the throbbing mass which is currently that sanskara. There will be tingling, electrical stuff breaking through the border, and this matures in a wide, panoramic, soft throbbing (4th jhana).

    At that point one keeps lightly aware of the whole thing as it tends to fade away. It may or may not happen that there is a sudden flash of connectivity, where something gets released and current flows unimpeded. (Fruition/cessation is a phenomenon just like this.) In either case, the samskara will have been permanently improved, and possibly disappeared altogether.

    Doing this over again with the available samskaras will lead to cessation sooner or later.

  • Another way of working with these sensations is to ignore them, but work on releasing other blockages. Because it sometimes happens that focusing intently on a blockage will make it worst faster and more intensely than one can build up to 1st jhana. This seems to happen because the phenomenon of attention and focus is actually part of what is creating the problem in the first place. So the pain becomes so intense that it is not possible to overcome it.

    On the other hand, it has often been the case for me that releasing a blockage on one chakra will lead another to open up partially or temporarily. Then working with that second blockage becomes possible. This is effect is particularly strong during retreat, where the releasing can gain a momentum of its own.

    For me it seems to happen that releasing the chakras lower-down will facilitate the job of working with those higher up. This is actually counter-intuitive, in that it sometimes feels that one should "work from top to bottom". But maybe that's wrong actually.

RE: Solid sensations in the chest area
Answer
2/9/17 6:04 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Danielsan: did that heavy concentration in your heart region lessen/eliminate the heavy sensations for you there?

It mostly did the opposite. In the end it was no focusing on the heart region but awareness becoming duffuse and fully panoramic coupled with beginner's mind that led to baseline shifts, all of them. 

Daniel son: By the way, I always dug that story of you cleaning Goenka's house. I'm sure you have a few others where that came from:

A few yes, like dusting his personal study, having to dust  the large book cases full of interesting stuff. Had to dust each page;-), letters from other famous dharma teachers, first copy books with messages written in them, we were naughty indeed, the rare little Burmese books with far out there U Ba Khin stories in them were most interesting. We even dusted the Buddha relic holder, put our crowns to it to see if it we could sense them.  Even dusted his pair of Nikes. 

Namo guruji