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Vipassana: Noting/Mahasi Style

Me vibrating versus it vibrating

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Me vibrating versus it vibrating
Answer
8/4/10 3:56 PM
Hi folks,

I was just reading that great thread about noting, and something came up that's been puzzling me for a while.

Suppose you sit on top of the washing maching during the spin cycle: Everything's vibrating at that point! This is how I've expereienced noting in my limited experience: I note the breath, in and out. Soon the noting becomes more granular, and the object becomes more granular also. Pretty soon, this generalizes to my whole nervous system. At this point I get the washing maching effect: Everything has a frame-by-frame quality but there's also this perception that this is a quality of 'me' that's affecting my perceptions. Have I missed something fundamental about noting practice or is this more a matter of philosophical perspective on what or who is doing the vibrating?

Thanks as always, paul

RE: Me vibrating versus it vibrating
Answer
8/4/10 4:25 PM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Sounds good. You're onto something, but don't philosophize too much about it. Instead, here's a little experiment:

What happens if you stop noting at that point? Is this repeatable to some extent?

Compare with this description

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Me vibrating versus it vibrating
Answer
8/4/10 4:48 PM as a reply to Florian.
It seems to be that if I stop noting, the vibratory aspect of the perceptions fades over time. If I continue to note, it becomes more intense. But I'm not experiencing the kind of immediate causal effects described in the link. Maybe in time.

Still curious about the philosphical aspect though - let's call it the X-Ray Spex effect emoticon

Thanks, Paul

RE: Me vibrating versus it vibrating
Answer
8/5/10 12:31 AM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Don't worry about replicating the descriptions exactly. One lesson I learned (hard) is that this Dharma stuff really, really isn't about the particulars of our experience, and that includes tracking the particulars of other people's experience. On the plus side, that means this stuff is quite resistant to scripting, which I find reassuring.

The philosophical aspect - well, cause and effect is a huge menu to choose from (remember the Monty Python philosophical dinner?) So, what shall it be? First cause, last result? The Doer? Billiard-ball model vs. conditions model (necessary/sufficient conditions)? The role of the past and future in cause and effect? Kamma and the fruit/result of Kamma (vipaka)? Randomness and choice/freedom? Sameness and change (what causes sameness across change)?

Have fun, but keep up the practice.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Me vibrating versus it vibrating
Answer
8/5/10 4:20 AM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Paul Anthony:
Hi folks,

everything has a frame-by-frame quality but there's also this perception that this is a quality of 'me' that's affecting my perceptions. Have I missed something fundamental about noting practice or is this more a matter of philosophical perspective on what or who is doing the vibrating?

Thanks as always, paul


i am interested in this also, i am pretty novice and have had a feeling like 'i' am making it up when things speed up.

ill just wade in with some philosophical ideas which may be way off but may be of interest

i am reading a book about the the mind and free will at the moment... (called The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force)

it covers a wide area, the physical brain, free will, quantum physics, buddism etc. I find it interesting because it links things together philosophically and scientifically and gives an sense of the mechanics of things theoretically.

a lot of it resonates with insight practice and buddhist thought. Apparently, (this might be a bit jumble, i am writing fast at work) according to some interpretations of how quantum physics works, (which i assume can be understood more properly through direct experience) physical things only really come into a definate state of being when they are conciously observed, (the rest of the time they are waves) and the state of the brain itself to be concious of of what it is observing too kind of collapses into the focus of attention. (like everything else falls away)

so in terms of insight meditation, to me at the moment it makes some kind of sense that it wouldnt be so much like the processes are there vibrating away and you just have to notice and experience them as they do there thing, and more that as the process of observation, directing attention, and being concious of things is inherent to what we experince, (as what we dont focus on falls away) then there must be a you, a concious observer, who runs the show. (or a part of the show.. the mechanical processes that are conciously bubbling up are presenting us with all kind of compulsions, free will would appear to sit above the physical processes and just have to power to conciously say yes or no, defy or focus on a compulsion, or simply be aware of a mechanical process without neccessarily acting on it)

ie it is your concious will to notice the processes that is the key, and i think that would give the sensation that 'you' are affecting you sensations.

in that sense it seems like a very fast cycle of coming concious of things again and again that is the main thing, no matter what the physical processes themselves are doing,.. so you are probaby experiencing things as it should be, if what i have written and understand of it theoretically has some sense to it. without the active 'i' it would be purely mechanistic, it is very much the interplay between the 2.

it would be interesting to know what anyone else thinks about that...

RE: Me vibrating versus it vibrating
Answer
8/5/10 9:27 AM as a reply to Florian.
Ok - that makes sense. From that point of view, what I experience is that the rapid noting sets up a kind of sympathetic oscillation/vibration kind of thing, which is not exactly the same as teh description but I can see how it could be related and this is a type of causation. So whether it's the 'self' or the 'object' that this oscillation seems to come from maybe doesn't matter so much, the thing is to continue to note the oscillations?

I think I know what's refered to by the jerky ratchety movements although frankly this is a bit to close to how I am most of the time!

this has been most helpful, thanks for your time.

RE: Me vibrating versus it vibrating
Answer
8/7/10 10:50 PM as a reply to Paul Anthony.
Let it be fast if it is fast, and even if it seems you are making it fast, just meet it as fast as it is joyfully, fully, completely, with complete engagement, as fast is it will go and faster, and then as complete as it will go and then more so. Do not fear the staggering power and resolution of the mind. Blaze and enjoy!