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Beginner Questions
ñana vipassana mind and body
Answer
6/11/17 11:15 AM
Hello, I have very recently begun Vipassana meditation (2-3 days ago!) following the Mahasi noting method. For about three months I have been working on Shamatha to develop concentration and although  I had not reached 1st  Jhana I am sure I had reached access concentration and at least stage 7 in Shamatha (this is based on Culadasa's book TMI). I thought it was time to move to insight based practice...

I believe I am hovering around the Mind and Body - Cause and Effect nanas and have a few questions:

1) Mentally saying 'rising/falling' is a label and the bare sensation of rising and falling is a note? Is this correct and if I just experience the bare sensation of rising/falling is this the right  way of 'noting'?

2) There are moments when I realise there is only nama and rupa and I become a witness. It almost feels like the breathing is doing me rather than 'me' doing the breathing? Does this sound like 1st nana/am I close? 

3) In these automatic/mechanical moments, a sense of self is lessened, though I still witness this happening from a 'space'. Again is this 1st nana territory?

4) After sitting for 30 minutes noting the rising and falling of the abdomen, I came to the feeling where I realised the very subtle nuance of intending to breathe and then the movement and then the sensation of movement. This was not seen in clarity though, ony glimpsed at. I take it this is 2nd nana territory?

5) I feel a fullness (or fuzziness) in my solar plexus/just above the abdomen after noting the rising and falling for 30 mins, is this an indication of progress at  this stage or just another thing to note?

6) I have these experiences when meditating, when I finish meditation, the experiences last for a while and then go.  I have the insight while meditating, then the impact of this insight lessens off the cushion and then I re-learn/remember the insight the next time I meditate and perhaps this time see the insight  with greater clarity or more depth. Is this how things develop?

7) How do I move onwards to the three characteristics, do I just continue noting?

Many thanks for helping out a newbie!!

RE: Beginner Questions
Answer
6/13/17 7:10 AM as a reply to Keep Calm.
Not sure if this is a development, but towards the end of a 40 minute sit last night, the rising and falling of the abdomen seemed to dissapear even though when I looked and placed my hand there, it was still rising and falling. Does this  happen and how do I note rising/falling if it disappears?!

RE: Beginner Questions
Answer
6/13/17 1:11 PM as a reply to Keep Calm.
Hey Keep Calm,

Glad to see you are putting in some consistent practice.

1) Afaik, label and notes are synonyms.

Do not fret, you're doing alright. Disappearing is pretty normal. I guess one idea can be to note "knowing knowing knowing" when you detect that the abdomen has disappeared.

Keep posting.

RE: Beginner Questions
Answer
6/13/17 10:17 PM as a reply to Keep Calm.
Forget to add. Have you considered adding walking meditation? I think adding some minutes before sitting can be beneficial regarding Energy (Viriya) in case the sits are dull and sleepy. Also, great for digestion in my experience.

This might help to get started:
http://vipassanadhura.com/howto.htm#q

RE: Beginner Questions
Answer
6/14/17 12:22 AM as a reply to Keep Calm.
The best way to learn what a nana is is simply to practice. Eventually you will see patterns in the way your experience changes as you meditate/remind mindful and will form a personal definition of progress based on how things have presented themselves to you in the past.

As for your question 1), you may find labeling to be of more use at times, and other times the "noting".

As for your question 6), yes, though with time the insights will become more readily available in your day-to-day experience.

RE: Beginner Questions
Answer
6/15/17 4:43 AM as a reply to Mettafore.
Mettafore:
Forget to add. Have you considered adding walking meditation? I think adding some minutes before sitting can be beneficial regarding Energy (Viriya) in case the sits are dull and sleepy. Also, great for digestion in my experience.

This might help to get started:
http://vipassanadhura.com/howto.htm#q
Thankyou for your reply! Yes, I've also been practicing walking meditation before/after formal sitting.

RE: Beginner Questions
Answer
6/15/17 4:44 AM as a reply to Incandescent Flower.
Incandescent Flower:
The best way to learn what a nana is is simply to practice. Eventually you will see patterns in the way your experience changes as you meditate/remind mindful and will form a personal definition of progress based on how things have presented themselves to you in the past.

As for your question 1), you may find labeling to be of more use at times, and other times the "noting".

As for your question 6), yes, though with time the insights will become more readily available in your day-to-day experience.
Thanks for the  reply, yes I was beginnning to get th e feeling that instead of conceptualising things, to just get  on with the practice  and insights wil arise naturally.