Hi spatial, choosing a way of sitting, say a really comfortable couch. Has benefits such as making it easier to relax, less pain with more space to develop concentration or better comprehension.This is a short term gain. I don't think being to comfortable because you tend to fall asleep, is going to work long term either. One day sitting meditation will become extremely comfortable. At this point in time pleasant, unpleasant and neutral feelings or sensations must be allowed to display their nature. You need to work with pleasure, pain, neutral or indifferent feelings. So choose a sitting method that has long term benefits, unless you have disease or injury.Choosing to avoid working with pain will not benefit long term. For anyone who reads this, if your on a couch because of disease or injury that will cause you harm if you sit another way, then you doing the right thing. If your on the couch to avoid pain, its not doing the right thing for your practice.So your choice to not avoid the painfull or unpleasant feelings or sensations is the right way. Remember being mindfull of these unpleasant feelings or sensations is going to promote more unpleasant sankaras coming up, or if your still in material aspect insight into that. Although your method of sitting falls into the right category for one aspect, its falls short in another. There is no future up there for some of the meditation experiences one will probably encounter in the future. If everthing switches off, will you stay upright. Try it. let yourself slump, and see if it stays up, for 1 hour 2 a whole day. A basic Burmese comfort will stay up, no problem. Try it, 50-60mm cushion max get a small forward tilt and slump into it. Add some Sri Lankan style to really test it. All you do is basically drop your face into your lap. Its a strange style, but not if your Sri Lankan. It can stay up for a day, probably way longer. If not you want fall far. Understand the importants of this, having to remain aware of the basic physical body, is not recommended. A basic Goenke experience can have you on a lean but not realize, think your leaning but your not. Slowly lean until your head is on the floor. This will happen because you let it, and keep meditating. Thats recommended. Its going to be different up there, im guessing. I saw youve got a retreat in 2 months. Maybe after that, but think ahead. I wrote some stuff about your practice, then came up with another idea. These neutral sensations. You could be (edit) past A&P. In which case they are the darkness your eyes cannot see yet! There are places in that direction that do not oscillate at all. Don't follow your nose, follow reliable teachings. At present you have no formal instruction or technique developed and haven't developed the primary object. If you don't get up to speed with correct literature (use the link), take the time to read what is to be done, you will not get the opportunity to go-wow im doing alot of stuff that i shouldn't be doing and not doing alot of stuff that i should be doing if i want to get to this place. Then notice that you can see the pleasant, unpleasant and neutral and these 3 aspects are on the last pages with the neutral thing on last page with the thing that doesn't oscillate. Don't go looking to see if you've got a non-oscillater. You have one. But you've got so many of the other ones you can't appreciate the non-oscillater anyway. So i will send you a link to this free 56 page book. Start at page 54 Experiencing the deathless. Read those two pages then work backwards noticing the habits you need to drop and the ones you need to pick up. If you can't get your skills up to speed, you still have the opportunity to use noting. It can help if one can't keep their unnecessary level of conceptual mind off the stage, or can't penitrate the object etc. I won't post any more stuff. Let me know if the reading material is suitable, if you want to talk etc. When this book is finished you will need to go back one more small book, Sattipathana Sutta first sit primary object. Then progress forward in a process of direct experience to that non-oscillater. Best of all its with you right now all the time allways is. There's not much to do or get, but heaps to undo or Let Go! Best wishes, for a single excellent night.www.nissarana.lk/pdf/Books/Eng/VenUD_Eng_Bhaddekarrata.pdf
Although your method of sitting falls into the right category for one aspect, its falls short in another. There is no future up there for some of the meditation experiences one will probably encounter in the future. If everthing switches off, will you stay upright. Try it. let yourself slump, and see if it stays up, for 1 hour 2 a whole day. A basic Burmese comfort will stay up, no problem. Try it, 50-60mm cushion max get a small forward tilt and slump into it. Add some Sri Lankan style to really test it. All you do is basically drop your face into your lap. Its a strange style, but not if your Sri Lankan. It can stay up for a day, probably way longer. If not you want fall far. Understand the importants of this, having to remain aware of the basic physical body, is not recommended. A basic Goenke experience can have you on a lean but not realize, think your leaning but your not. Slowly lean until your head is on the floor. This will happen because you let it, and keep meditating. Thats recommended. Its going to be different up there, im guessing. I saw youve got a retreat in 2 months. Maybe after that, but think ahead.
Are you saying that I should try leaning over and seeing if I fall? That I should actually lean over and fall?
I agree that I was changing things somehow. I was worried about my body, and made that my focus. I think I got back on track by realizing I didn't know how to fix my posture, so I may as well just observe it. I'm not sure if this detour was necessary or not...maybe it was. I don't want to just push through things when they are uncomfortable and injure myself, but I also don't want to condition myself to shy away from discomfort. I remember when I started meditating, I could not sit in a chair for 5 minutes with my eyes closed without feeling nauseous and like I wanted to jump out of my skin. It's probably good for me to keep checking in with myself and making sure I am actually meditating.
From the 5 minute comment to what your doing now. Thats awsome. Takes dedication to do that. Regarding the changing things comment. Regarding technique or framework, you were completely leaving the arena. I will give one of many possible examples. (Below) This form of analysis does not fit the framework. Doing this can become very different to a framework of being impartial or impersonal, not me, not i, not mine. Analytical meditation practices are very different in the Buddhas framework. Below is one of a number of practices that lacked effectiveness. It looks harmless but it has a form of ownership when analyzed this way. It can be a case of just the explanation not the practice, so i may misunderstand. There were many other examples in you logs, i chose this one for its potential harm. Awsome logs by the way.
Every time I experienced a sensation, I asked myself "what is unsatisfying about this sensation?" I noticed what my urges were to eliminate pain or hold on to pleasure. This isn't the first time I have thought about my urges this way, but this was the first time I made a deliberate investigation of analyzing ALL of my experience in this manner.
In one discussion you were having, someone commented that techniques were just basic guides that were not mean't to be strictly adhered to, or something in that direction. Thats completely wrong. In the case of Mahasi or Goenke these are highly developed techniques by master practishoners. The framework is built in to the specifics of the technique. Until one gains a deep understanding of this, they do not have the ability to decide which parts can be changed. They would need help. The meditation experience itself is of no use without the framework. It is the Buddhas framework that liberates. Example. Meditators with strong Kundalini experiences can have amazing perceptual abilities. Yet they flounder because they will not adhere to a correct framework. All the sensations agitate the mind, so they indulge in endless mental proliferation. Try and use any concept to point to a practice or framework and they take the concept and proliferate. In a majority of buddhas techniques thoughts are regarded as thinking.So where does this leave you. On june 4 you continued the process of mental proliferation which can only hinder your progress in the long run. This time however you scored. You started doing things that adhered to the Buddhas framework and in this case the Goenke technique. Not alot i might add, just abit. Now i'm looking at your last post 36. Now you are doing some things that will not support the practice. It will lose its built in effectiveness if you don't keep to certain specifics. You will wander away again. In the Goenke technique. You have the breath where it touches the body(1 spot only), subtle sensations, gross solidfied sensations, blind areas. Then the just observe or aware or equanamous or with the understanding of anicca(impermanence). The routine is critical, because it contains the framework built in. Each and every part is critical. As soon as you notice a subtle sensation-move to the next spot is critical. When you notice a gross solidified sensation or a blind area stop and observe for a minute or two(choose now 1 or 2 minutes, then stick to it) is critical. Just aware and EQ, just observe, then continue-move. This is critical. Not try and dissolve it, or see through it, or this or that etc, etc???? When the times up you move, never get excited or upset about what happened, the practice has got nothing to do with that. Whatever happens is what happens is critical. Your job is to notice it. Just observe, aware and EQ. Now at this point the EQ is just a word, there's no real EQ. However there is a form of EQ amongst other things built into the technique, that is way behond the meditators current ability in most cases. Just sensations is critical. Disregard thoughts, let them arise and pass is critical. Don't get effected by what happens, its not about what happens. You can observe both primary object and bodily sensations. You can adjust how much attention you give to the primary object or the other. You can leave the primary object all together and go full sensate and (dynamic-meaning on the move), you can use the primary object as a form of EQ to work with painfull or even pleasant sensations. As soon as you become aware that you have left the primary object or sensations bring your attention back. If you are doing that continuously, thats fine. Whatever happens is what happens so don't get exited or upset and if you do don't get excited or upset about that as its distracting and reacting. Just thought i would throw all that in for you as well.Goenke teachers are bound regarding what they can say. As much as it causes difficulties regarding advice, it does have its benefits or strengths. The most valuable asset you have apart from being in the human realm, is the Buddhas framework, and specifically that technique. Your in nanas 1-3 Pre-Vippasana Stages (alot of Three Characteristics),1st Vippasana Jhana. Use the link from Chris and read Daniel Ingrams descriptions, there some of the most detailed available. I'm hoping you will have a look and then get out of there. The Goenke technique is one of the best ever techniques for nanas 1-4. The technique not only gets A&P, but has a high rate of a complete penitration. Thats just a flux A&P, no boundries, no internal, no external. That is the maximum one can penitrate into the nature of material phenomena (like the gold standard). The june 4 session indicates that the meditation is at the stage where the elements can present themselves or the object can break apart, is another way of saying it. The technique is what has the major potential regarding this process. Applied correctly it can reach a point of no return. It lost momentum when you became scared of damaging yourself. Recognizing thoughts as thoughts etc was good. Then you went off track a bit. It may help to talk with someone about the process so that you can relax into it.In your logs there was alot of unclear information, alot of opinion. The last couple of posts had good clear yogi stuff. Right now your on the surface(thats what indicates where you are) You have the subtle, gross and blind. Thats the entire cast in that department. You don't even need to identify the Elements, however your a 4 element meditator(insight) so its earth, air, fire, liquid or water at this stage. Having the subtle, gross, blind up and running is something you should take advantage of now. Follow the full specifics of the technique, don't bring anything else in. Get the A&P under your belt. Then continue the full specifics of the technique until any weak spots can be identified. Then and only then adjust the technique, to get the Path. That is my advice. I am aware of some difficulties your having regarding part by part and getting confused. Also following the breath etc. I will private message you. Give my Gmail address. If you download the free Google Hangouts App. You can use my Gmail address to contact me on hangouts. I just use audio for a cheap phonecall. If you decide to. Google current time in Perth Western Australia for time difference. I will explain which are the parts you shouldn't change and why, or ways around it. Banging out long detailed posts is still not nearly as effective as abit of back and fourth dialogue. I won't be offended if don't want to talk, or if you don't follow my advise. So don't put any pressure on yourself about it. Best wishes.Edit. If you do look at the nana descriptions, probably look at 4 as well. That was starting to show. The descriptions may help you to be more comfortable with the actual experience. Im sure you will relate to parts of them as soon as you read it.