Vibrations

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Brian Davies, modified 11 Years ago.

Vibrations

Posts: 4 Join Date: 7/24/10 Recent Posts
Hi,I have been practicing mindfulness through breathing with limited success for a number of years.Recently I bought a hard bound copy of Daniel's MCTB,I found it difficult to digest info from the download version on the monitor,too long in the tooth I guess.The book is a fine book and generally very clear and understandable,but under the chapter on Impermanence Daniel talks about vibrations and advises to aim for ten per second.I am afraid I don't understand this,how does one set about it? I hope this is not too dumb a query,I have searched the FAQs to no avail. Thanks in anticipation .Best Wishes to all.Brian Davies.
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Florian Weps, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Vibrations

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi Brian,

it's nothing mysterious. How fast can you notice change? How fast is your "sample rate" while doing insight practice? If you're doing noting practice, how fast can you note (before it becomes mechanical)? That's it, in a nutshell.

Cheers,
Florian
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Brian Davies, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Vibrations

Posts: 4 Join Date: 7/24/10 Recent Posts
Hi Florian,Thanks for the answer,I am still in something of a quandary.I do use noting during meditation but for wandering random thoughts not for sensation.I fail to see how anyone noting at the rate of ten per second can achieve any kind of tranquility,could you elaborate? Regards Brian Davies.
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J Groove, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Vibrations

Posts: 59 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
Hi Brian.
Kenneth Folk talks about noting and noticing. When stuff gets so fast that actually noting it is not possible, then it's all about noticing. See if this Q&A from Kenneth's site helps.
Best regards,
Joel

Question: Do you drop noting altogether when doing vipassana? If you continue to do noting, how do you note it? Or do you do other techniques to get deeper? What are the indicators of improvement (e.g. sensations, visions, etc.) that one should be watching for when practicing vipassana?

Answer: As a general rule, note until things become very subtle. At that point I would let go of noting as it is unnecessary and can disturb subtle states of concentration. And if you are practicing the samatha technique, don't note. You can use a mantra to gain access concentration, but once you enter jhana, stop all self-talk and take the jhana itself as object. That might mean physical sensations or mental phenomena depending on the jhana and how deeply you have dived into it.

With regard to indicators of improvement or progress, there is a tendency to think that if you are accessing pleasant or subtle states you are doing it right. Sometimes it will be pleasant and/or subtle, sometimes it will be unpleasant and/or coarse. You are doing it right if you are clearly seeing whatever arises. There is a large element of trust required here, as it is not always obvious that you are making progress. Sometimes you may feel that you have regressed when in fact you have accessed a new stratum of mind that just happens to be unpleasant by nature. If you trust the process and apply the vipassana technique consistently you will certainly make progress over time. Don't look for any particular sensation, and certainly don't look for visions. See whatever is there. Whatever is in front of you now is the door to the door to the door, etc. You can't open the door that you haven't yet reached.
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Florian Weps, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Vibrations

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi Brian,

Brian Davies:
I fail to see how anyone noting at the rate of ten per second can achieve any kind of tranquility,could you elaborate? Regards Brian Davies.


Noting at 10/s and tranquility: Without wanting to go into hair-splitting, here's a simple conceptual model I find useful:

1. Concentration is not the same as tranquility. Concentration is, well, concentration, focus, narrow beam. Tranquility is smoothness and stability. Tranquility can arise when concentration is held very stable over the long term.

2. "Momentary concentration" is what powers the 10-per-second noting practice. Think of each notice as a flash of concentration. You're right, this is not tranquil. When tranquility arises from noting practice, the noting has likely become a smooth, rhythmic thing without any noticing going on. This is why a drumbeat can be the object of concentrated, tranquil states, even if it sounds so discontinuous.

There are many ways to play this. Straight noting practice will forego the tranquility, result in these quick, harsh bursts of highly concentrated flashes, and while a fast way to proceed can be very unpleasant.

Another way is to get all tranquil and concentrated (whether by entering jhanas, or just powering stable concentration on something), then let it go on its own for a while (maybe abide in the jhana for some time, or just let the concentration sustain itself if you're not into counting jhanas), and pay close attention to what happens when the thing ends, perhaps do some noting practice at that point. Very pleasant, but it can be a bit seductive to just enter the nice, smooth state again without looking too closely at the icky shifting things it broke apart into.

Another way is to not enter any very hard concentration state, but instead to be on the constant look-out for drawbacks even to the most refined states. This requires one to stay "out" of the states most of the time, at door-frame, peering in, so to speak.

Really, experiment. Often, practice will take you one way or another in this spectrum between tranquility and insight. A good teacher will be able to guide you; or you might go the gung-ho route and do noting practice like there's no tomorrow, or you might rely on your intuition.

Often, I think that the most useful model is: whenever one is doing *something*, that *something* stays done (which translates into "trust the process").

Just as often, though, I like the more refined and geeky models better emoticon

Cheers,
Florian
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Brian Davies, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Vibrations (Answer)

Posts: 4 Join Date: 7/24/10 Recent Posts
Hi,Thankyou Florian and also J Groove for your help,I now have something to get my teeth into and although still struggling will carry on.Best Wishes To You Both . Brian Davies.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Vibrations (Answer)

Posts: 3199 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Hey, the speed thing is stage dependent, and at early stages it is really hard to see for most.

It is something you build up to, something you work towards. Initially things seem at once so chaotic that it is hard to focus, and yet also solid that it seems that teachings on impermanence make no sense.

As practice progresses naturally those things will sort themselves out, but knowing what to look for helps also.

If you have notice the chaos part, see how fast the chaos changes, every litter flicker of it, and I think you will find that it is so fast you hardly know what to do with it. That is exactly and precisely the point: it is fast. Just go with that, and if you can't see it, just keep practicing, keep paying attention, and see how it applies as best you can, and if you practice well, you will see all that and more.

Daniel
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Brian Davies, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Vibrations (Answer)

Posts: 4 Join Date: 7/24/10 Recent Posts
Hi Daniel,Thanks for the advice,I guess I must be at the chaos stage but I intend to stick with it as I am sure I am making progress.Thanks again.Best Wishes,Brian Davies.