Internal Awareness Help

Tom Armstrong, modified 4 Years ago.

Internal Awareness Help

Posts: 5 Join Date: 3/24/17 Recent Posts
Hello Everyone,

My first post, but have been lurking for some time now.

I've been meditating every day for about 12 months now, between 30-50 minutes. Recently read the first half of TMI and think that I'm in the 5-6 stage area in that I can reach very good concentration after a few minutes of watching the breath. I'm pretty good at breathing into the whole body now too, but I have a couple of areas that I think are holding me back. They are:

(Also, as to where I am on the path, I don't think I've crossed the A&P yet). I'm probably stuck in the 3Cs. Noting no longer affects the breath directly. Also, my body moves and aligns itself as I go into concentration. 

1) Internal awareness - I'm great at external awareness and have excellent peripheral awareness. However, this internal awareness stuff is hard for me to get a handle on. Anyone have pointers on how to work on this aspect?

2) In a recent thread this comment was made by JC:
Then (as Tarin Greco once suggested) take the part of your mind that's not noticing the breath, and turn it to noticing how you're noticing the breath. Concentrate on your concentration. This sets up a kind of loop that allows you to fall into first jhana.
This particular detail I also have difficulty with, and it's pretty much the same as 1 above I think. When I try the above my head starts buzzing and I can get a headache within a few minutes of doing this. I'm going to start focusing on this each practice now and maybe once I break thru, the internal awareness will come. 

Thanks,

Tom



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synelg, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Internal Awareness Help

Posts: 63 Join Date: 9/26/16 Recent Posts
Hi Tom.   If you're doing TMI, there are other sites that are really good to have a look at also.  

There's one called
The Mind Illuminated
which has teachers-in-training who answer questions such as yours.  
https://www.reddit.com/r/TheMindIlluminated/

Another called
Stream Entry
which is very active
https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/

and another called
Dharma Treasure Community
http://dharmatreasurecommunity.org/

I started out doing Mahasi Noting but got myself into trouble and have been doing TMI for a few months now.   I belong to an eSangha which is a group of us who meet via Hangouts each week with one of Culadasa's teachers.  It's really awesome and you donate between $10 and $20 if you can.

By the way, the TMI Stages don't really align with MCTB's Path of Insight - the TMI Stages are stages of Samatha.

Good Luck emoticon
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synelg, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Internal Awareness Help

Posts: 63 Join Date: 9/26/16 Recent Posts
Tom - it might help you to listen to Culadasa's explanation of conscious experience. 

Here is a link to one of his audio talks.   Click the 'download podcast' and have a listen - he explains about 'attention' and does a guided mediation on i.  If you then go back to the page where you downloaded the podcast, you'll see a link to audio no 2.  That's where he explains about peripheral awareness and does another guided meditation.

Hope it helps.   emoticon

http://dharmatreasure.org/sit-breath-wake-up-1/
Tom Arm, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Internal Awareness Help

Posts: 5 Join Date: 3/24/17 Recent Posts
Thanks, where can I find about en eSanga with a TMI teacher? Is there a link for who you work with?
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synelg, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Internal Awareness Help

Posts: 63 Join Date: 9/26/16 Recent Posts
Tom Arm:
Thanks, where can I find about en eSanga with a TMI teacher? Is there a link for who you work with?
Here you go Tom - this is the link to Tucker Peck's online eSangha - he is a psychologist and an authorised TMI teacher.   He has experience in other methods also.   Hope to meet you at eSangha.   emoticon

https://meditatewithtucker.com/online-meditation-class/
J C, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Internal Awareness Help

Posts: 644 Join Date: 4/24/13 Recent Posts
Tom Arm:

2) In a recent thread this comment was made by JC:
Then (as Tarin Greco once suggested) take the part of your mind that's not noticing the breath, and turn it to noticing how you're noticing the breath. Concentrate on your concentration. This sets up a kind of loop that allows you to fall into first jhana.
This particular detail I also have difficulty with, and it's pretty much the same as 1 above I think. When I try the above my head starts buzzing and I can get a headache within a few minutes of doing this. I'm going to start focusing on this each practice now and maybe once I break thru, the internal awareness will come. 


The buzzing/headache sounds like piti (rapture), one of the jhana factors. So you're on the right track.

I was looking for the original quote, and it's actually not Tarin, it's Nikolai:

Nikolai Halay:


One way, which I believe could help yogis stay with the breath 24/7, would be to not allow the mind to wander off and get sidetracked by overloading the mind with enough work to do that it has no space to wander and get distracted. When we observe an object of concentration like the breath, I speculate that we don’t often lend a full 100% of our attention to that object. Perhaps 60% on the object and 40% caught up in pleasant sensations, a thought of an non-existent future or past, lost in some fantasy or story or distracted by sounds or bodily discomfort. The mind is giving fuel to the strong tendency to proliferate stories, mental reactions, judgments, fantasies, memories and just plain old mental masturbation.

So, what if you gave the mind no fuel to do that? What about giving that fuel to an “extra” job for the mind to do? When you observe the incoming and outgoing breath, you sense its touch at the entrance at the nostrils and above the upper lip. Along with this awareness, you could also become aware of the very act of perceiving the breath. That is, you are aware of the object, the breath as it goes in and out naturally, but you are also aware that that the mind is perceiving the breath. Try it! It actually works wonders in maintaining the mind in one spot and it is then able to truly pay 100% attention to the object.

"When the meditator breathes in a long breath, he comprehends that he is breathing in a long breath; and when he is breathing out a long breath, he comprehends that he is breathing out a long breath." The Buddha, The anapanasati sutta

In the quote above, the Buddha advised to "comprehend" when one is breathing in and when one is breathing out. If the yogi is just aware of the touch of breath but does not pay closer attention to comprehend how it comes in and goes out, the mind is left with a lot of space to start wandering and getting distracted. And this is what I mean when I say you could pay attention to the very act of perceiving the process of breathing in and out. This gives the mind more to do and less space to get distracted and thus will hone your concentration skills to greater heights. The more you do this, the more concentrated you get and you may possibly reach and access the jhanic territory (jhanas=mental absorptions).


from http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com/2010/11/going-for-stream-entry-on-goenka-10-day.html

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