Noting simplicity and subtle sensations

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J Groove, modified 10 Years ago.

Noting simplicity and subtle sensations

Posts: 59 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
I've just started reading In this Very Life by Sayadaw U Pandita and realized that I've probably been getting too cute with my noting vocabulary. He writes:

"For sensations in the body we may choose a slightly more descriptive term like warmth, pressure, hardness, or motion. Mental objects appear to present a bewildering diversity, but actually they fall into just a few clear categories such as thinking, imagining, remembering, planning and visualizing. But remember that in using the labeling technique, your goal is not to gain verbal skills..."

So, I've been interjecting content-related descriptive terms into the labels I've been using. "Dharma thought" might be used for any thinking that has to do with the dharma. "Reporting thought" might be used for any of those thoughts related to questions about how would I report this or that sensation. Based on the instructions above, this seems like an overly complex approach.

First, would others agree that the simplest approach is best?
Second, what kind of vocabulary do people enlist for subtle sensations? I've been using stuff like "third-eye pressure" or "'crown pressure," etc., and often seem to be at a loss as far as how to note/report this stuff. Should I just use "pressure" for all such sensations, or maybe "vibrations" in some cases?
Thanks for any help.
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Florian Weps, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Noting simplicity and subtle sensations

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

Long ago, Vince suggested to me to label verbalized thoughts as "hearing". I still use that, it's very useful.

As to the various energetic fizzling and pressuring and swishing around and what not, I simply use "energy".

And I really subscribe to the "keep it simple" strategy for noting.

Something that was surprisingly effective was to switch to feeling-tone, for entire sits, i.e. just the three notes "pleasant, unpleasant, neutral". That Deep Dhamma Thought would be "pleasant", the energy drilling against my third eye "unpleasant" etc.

Cheers,
Florian
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J Groove, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Noting simplicity and subtle sensations

Posts: 59 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
Thanks, Florian. I'll keep it simple and take a Strunk & White approach to the noting!
--Joel
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