Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations"

Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations" Vivian Duncan 3/28/09 12:59 PM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& Chuck Kasmire 3/28/09 1:28 PM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& C4 Chaos 3/30/09 9:18 AM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& Jeff Grove 3/30/09 11:40 AM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& Nathan I S 3/30/09 11:45 AM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& C4 Chaos 3/30/09 12:23 PM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& Abingdon . 3/30/09 12:44 PM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& Nikolai Stephen Halay 3/30/09 1:01 PM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& C4 Chaos 3/30/09 1:17 PM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& Jeff Grove 3/30/09 3:33 PM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& Nikolai Stephen Halay 3/30/09 3:37 PM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& Antonio Ramírez 3/30/09 5:33 PM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& Wet Paint 3/31/09 1:46 AM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& Wet Paint 3/31/09 3:57 AM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& Hokai Sobol 3/31/09 3:59 AM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& C4 Chaos 3/31/09 5:57 AM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& Wet Paint 4/1/09 2:28 PM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& Vivian Duncan 4/5/09 11:29 AM
RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations& Eric Calhoun 4/5/09 2:36 PM
Vivian Duncan, modified 13 Years ago at 3/28/09 12:59 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/28/09 12:59 PM

Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations"

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/23/09 Recent Posts
Forum: Practical Dharma

I am new to this practice but liked D.I.'s book and think it makes sense. I do not, however, understand how one senses/observes/'sees" the vibrations he speaks of. He recommends starting with following the fast ones, which mystifies me, because I figure surely the slow ones would be easier to "catch" and follow. I sit in meditation, follow the breath, observe it - where in that process, or how in that process do I understand there are vibrations going on?
Chuck Kasmire, modified 13 Years ago at 3/28/09 1:28 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/28/09 1:28 PM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hi Millefleur:
It can help to describe more about your practice. How long do you sit for? How often? It sounds like you are focusing on the breadth as your object and investigating those sensations? If that is the case, where do you focus? Are you using a noting practice as Daniel describes in his book? This is helpful information for people here to have as there are several approaches to becoming aware of the vibrations. Not to overload you with questions but how do you describe your meditation experience at this point? What do you observe?
In general, as you progress, the vibrations will present themselves. So the key is to develop good practice skills.
thumbnail
C4 Chaos, modified 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 9:18 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 9:18 AM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 0 Join Date: 7/26/09 Recent Posts
it would be best if you could answer the questions Chelek mentioned above so other people could give more accurate suggestions.

that said, assuming that your practice is Theravada (noting meditation), here's a good instruction i've been using from Shinzen Young.
see: http://www.shinzen.org/Retreat%20Reading/Focus%20on%20Change-Summary.pdf

for best context, i suggest you also checkout the five ways. so that you have more options.
see: http://www.shinzen.org/Retreat%20Reading/5%20Ways%20To%20Know%20Yourself.pdf

in my experience, Shinzen's description of noticing the vibrations was the most concise instructions i received. since then i've been surfing waves/vibrations like a newbie surfer emoticon

good luck!

~C
thumbnail
Jeff Grove, modified 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 11:40 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 11:40 AM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 310 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
I found vibrations associated with breath were a good starting point. With the rise a fall of the abdomen it won’t be long before you will feel the air spreading throughout your whole body and with this its easy to feel the gross wavy vibrations as well as the more subtle fast vibrations where sensations are rising all over in quick succession. You may come across feelings as if your whole body stretches and shrinks with the breath. Freaked me out when I first notice this as I thought I was starting to loose it. Focusing on the breath you may start to notice different qualities of the breath like thickness or a subtle fast vibration hum. Heat is another good one to investigate.
Nathan I S, modified 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 11:45 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 11:45 AM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/26/09 Recent Posts
I'll admit, i'm not sure what "vibrations" means and always assumed it was shorthand for "the rapid shifting and changing of what would otherwise be considered a discrete phenomena" usually as felt as the Aggregate of Form. I could be totally wrong, though!
thumbnail
C4 Chaos, modified 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 12:23 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 12:23 PM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 0 Join Date: 7/26/09 Recent Posts
not sure what vibrations are either. it has been called differently by different people and traditions. however, for me, a good contemporary explanation (with a scientific bent) is Shinzen's version of equating vibrations as impermanence on a micro (or even nano) scale.

see this thread for more context.
http://dharmaoverground.wetpaint.com/thread/2621874/the+movement+IS+the+message

~C
thumbnail
Abingdon , modified 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 12:44 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 12:44 PM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 53 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Vibrations have been sort of a mystery to me as well. I heard Shinzen Young describe fine, subtle vibrations as being like "the whole body being filled with scintillating mist or effervescent champagne bubbles." I'd describe it more as being "covered in" rather than "filled with" but other than that, I can relate to *that* description. I'm assuming it's that fine, subtle tingling that I can tune into, on the cushion or off. I can't really say I grok any other vibrations, though. I don't know if I'm not able to see them yet, or if I'm seeing them and not recognising them because I'm looking for the wrong thing.

I know CheleK directed his question to Millefleur, not me, but perhaps this will help the discussion. When I do vipassana, I concentrate on the breath, usually at my abdomen. I really can't feel much if I focus on my nose or upper lip as some people say to do. I practice as I understand Daniel to describe (though I may misunderstand! :-) I generally sit 30 mins or an hour, most days of the week. Lately though I've been doing more samatha. I sometimes do walking meditation during my lunch break and focus as intently as I can on my feet and to a lesser extent my legs.

Maybe other folks could chime in with their routines/techniques?

I'd like to hear more folks' input. I'll also give the links above a close look....

Cheers!
Rob
Nikolai Stephen Halay, modified 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 1:01 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 1:01 PM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 7 Join Date: 9/2/09 Recent Posts
For me vibrations are just that, actual vibrations. Whereever I focus on the body there are sensations that are arising and passing rel fast and feel like vibrations. That's what i've always thought vibrations are. I can feel subtle and sometimes quite obvious flow of vibrations throughout the entire body inside and out. The vibrational quality changes obviously depending on the stage I am passing through but even when the dukkha nanas are felt there is always an underlying flow o f sublte vibrations. I have been in the Goenka tradition for awhile and he explains it as subatomic particles arising and passing away a trillion times per second. His words. Anyway whether or not that is the reason, it certainly feels like that explanation.
thumbnail
C4 Chaos, modified 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 1:17 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 1:17 PM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 0 Join Date: 7/26/09 Recent Posts
very cool description of vibrations from Goenka. incidentally, Shinzen also uses quantum physics lingo to describe waves/vibrations (i.e. the dual nature of light: 1) as particle, 2) as waves, although he maintains that this is just a metaphor. (see: http://bit.ly/1aCKZ2) but still i find this contemporary metaphor very useful since i prefer practice to be more science-like than metaphysical.

~C
thumbnail
Jeff Grove, modified 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 3:33 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 3:33 PM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 310 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
Other vibrations I have felt while walking are like I perceive the external world as if I am underwater, thick and wavy and sometimes with time appearing to slow down. Heat can have a filled with type of vibration. I can relate to seeing vibrations as a mist as I have come across really fast sensations that have appeared faster and faster until they are just points of light in a mist and then complete white out, bliss. Millefleur it won’t take long to start to see and feel vibrations and to start breaking these down and see what they are made of.
Nikolai Stephen Halay, modified 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 3:37 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 3:37 PM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 7 Join Date: 9/2/09 Recent Posts
Those subatomic particles are called kalapas in pali. Here is a quote from Sayagyi U Ba Khin, Goenka´s teacher.
from this site

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/khin/wheel231.html


¨The real meaning of Anicca is that Impermanence or Decay is the inherent nature of everything that exists in the Universe — whether animate or inanimate. The Buddha taught His disciples that everything that exists at the material level is composed of "Kalapas." Kalapas are material units very much smaller than atoms, which die out immediately after they come into being. Each kalapa is a mass formed of the eight basic constituents of matter, the solid, liquid, calorific and oscillatory, together with color, smell, taste, and nutriment. The first four are called primary qualities, and are predominant in a kalapa. The other four are subsidiaries, dependent upon and springing from the former. A kalapa is the minutest particle in the physical plane — still beyond the range of science today. It is only when the eight basic material constituents unite together that the kalapa is formed. In other words, the momentary collocation of these eight basic elements of behavior makes a man just for that moment, which in Buddhism is known as a kalapa. The life-span of a kalapa is termed a moment, and a trillion such moments are said to elapse during the wink of a man's eye. These kalapas are all in a state of perpetual change or flux. To a developed student in Vipassana Meditation they can be felt as a stream of energy.¨
thumbnail
Antonio Ramírez, modified 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 5:33 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/30/09 5:33 PM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 55 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
I think I was experiencing vibrations long before I knew that I was "supposed to" or that they had anything to do with impermanence. However, I used to chalk them up to various things instead of taking a look at them in themselves. For instance, if there were vibrations in my neck, I would think that I was trying too hard and getting edgy as a result, so it was probably time to stop. If I felt vibrations in the way muscles relax, I would think it's merely friction between discrete muscle fibers as they slide past each other. Or I'd think it was my "improved blood flow" being felt, one of the supposed boons of meditation, and leave it at that. Or that I was getting spooked (feeling vibrations of fear) due to meditating too long alone in a dark room emoticon So consider the possibility that ordinary sensations that you're excluding from investigation (because they seem like nuisance, or evidence that you're doing it wrong) might be "it."
thumbnail
Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 3/31/09 1:46 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/31/09 1:46 AM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: msj123

In my experience, vibrations are what happens when you practice vipassana on seemingly solid sensory experience. The tingling in the body tend to be very fast vibrations. Thoughts are often very fast vibrations. This is why they are easy to see on the background of slower vibrations. If you listen carefully to sound, you can experience its vibratory nature--- it arises and passes, a little vibration against silence, or other noise. With a lot of practice, I've sometimes seen sight space dissolve into vibrations.

Simply applying the technique leads to this, there's nothing extra.

Even a mountain is a vibration--- albeit a very slow one--- a ripple on the earth.
thumbnail
Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 3/31/09 3:57 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/31/09 3:57 AM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: msj123

I was also thinking about this in relation to the maps. Vibrations started coming up for me a lot around the 3-4th nana. In the 4th nana, they came up with a fury. If I were a beginner, I wouldn't worry about them. There is plenty to do with mind/body, cause/effect, and the three characteristics.
Hokai Sobol, modified 13 Years ago at 3/31/09 3:59 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/31/09 3:59 AM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 4 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
@Millefleur - haven't heard from you since the original post. It'd be great if you would give more info by replying to some of CheleK's questions. Anything useful here?
thumbnail
C4 Chaos, modified 13 Years ago at 3/31/09 5:57 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 3/31/09 5:57 AM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 0 Join Date: 7/26/09 Recent Posts
one more perspective i'd like to add about "vibrations"...

my introduction to "vibrations" was when i started practicing lucid dreaming and OBE techniques. in my experience, OBEs and lucid dreams are almost always preceded by vibratory sensations. for example, if i become aware in-between waking and sleeping or (when i'm doing lying down meditation) and then vibratory sensations get stronger or finer, that's a signal that my awareness is about to shift to the dream state. if i stay with the vibrations, surrender to it, and just ride it out, then i enter the dream state with lucidity. as a vipassana practitioner, my main goal is to continue with vipassana practice in a lucid dream wherein perception and sensations shapeshift and are less solid than in the waking state.

anyway, in short, if you've had an experience of being aware in-between waking and dreaming and you remember having a vibratory experience, then that's the vibratory sensations to watch out for.

~C
thumbnail
Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 4/1/09 2:28 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/1/09 2:28 PM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: garyrh

This is the vibration I experience. However; attempting to notice the detail of this fast vibration causes another slower vibration that varies in speed (maybe it is a harmonic).
Vivian Duncan, modified 13 Years ago at 4/5/09 11:29 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/5/09 11:29 AM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/23/09 Recent Posts
Thanks to all for your helpful posts. I meditate about 20 minutes a day, focusing on my breathing, usually in the nostrils. CheleK asked whether or not I used Daniel's noting technique - I hadn't, but applied it this morning to a longer sit and found it valuable. I wasn't sure about how you balance the noting with the breath awareness, so I was jumping back and forth between the two. The noting was going quickly - for a quiet room there was a lot going on. Birds calling outside, house creaking, twitching muscles, pressure from sitting, little pains and pulses, visual disturbances, thoughts; it was fast-paced. I felt I was much more aware than when I just follow the breath without noting. I am going to keep up the noting and read the links to helpful websites that others have provided.
Eric Calhoun, modified 13 Years ago at 4/5/09 2:36 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/5/09 2:36 PM

RE: Looking for help with understanding/sensing/observing "vibrations&

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/25/09 Recent Posts
Pain that arises during sitting is great to investigate, and can lead to insight into vibrations/Impermanence of all things. Next time this happens, follow the pain, you'll find it just won't stay constant. It might shift around a little bit, and when you really watch it, pain will begin to dissolve from "pain" to just sensation, which has a flickering quality.

I also find it easier to pick a very small, discrete point to focus on other than the breath. Breath is interesting because you find that it is hard to define just what "the breath" is, and is composed of many sensations. But for getting a basic handle on finding vibrations, try something like putting two finger tips together and watching just that very carefully, or the upper lip which is stimulated by the out-breath.

Happy Huntin'!

Breadcrumb