noting - make a mental "verbal" note, or just perceive?

Beoman Beoman, modified 11 Years ago at 8/30/10 10:28 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/30/10 10:28 AM

noting - make a mental "verbal" note, or just perceive?

Posts: 12 Join Date: 8/11/10 Recent Posts
Should I strive to actually make a mental "verbal" note on each sensation (like "Itch", "pressure", etc.), or is it OK to just "notice" sensations? I ask this because there are 2 possible interpretations for my desire to just "notice":

1) I've only started noting recently, so I'm not good at it. I should make verbal notes to help focus my concentration / what I'm actually experiencing.

2) I've meditated for 6 months before I started noting, so my concentration is somewhat good enough. I can get into a state where I can focus on 6-7 parts of my body that have some sensation - for example, pressure on face, slight pain in right side of the back, pressure on left upper arm, itching on the right side, feeling the floor on my butt, feeling the floor on my legs - and then kind of hold these in my head "at once" and try to constantly pay attention to them. They normally feel somewhat solid, but if I pay attention to them enough maybe that illusion will dissolve? (I mean, they feel solid since they persist for a few minutes, but the itching, for example, eventually disappears). I also slip in noticing the breath occasionally if I can, and whatever else may come up - like my ears are ringing constantly if I have earplugs in, so sometimes I'll notice that noise.

When I try making a verbal note, I find I can't notice as many things, since I have to rationally think a little about what it was I felt, then make that note.

In this interpretation, I still make verbal notes on my thoughts, since they distract me a lot and I'm not as good at perceiving them in this way yet.


Any ideas? I'm leaning towards 2 but most things I've read say to speak aloud mental syllables.

As an aside: should I note the noting, or notice the noticing? Like if I note "rising" for breath, should I note "noting" for me making the "rising" note? It seems I'd get into an infinite cycle if I do that.. but is that a useful thing to try to do?
Pål S, modified 11 Years ago at 8/30/10 4:48 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/30/10 4:48 PM

RE: noting - make a mental "verbal" note, or just perceive?

Posts: 196 Join Date: 8/16/10 Recent Posts
Noting the noting isn't going to get you anywhere it will just lead to an infinite loop of "noting noting noting noting...".

As for the verbal stuff, it doesn't matter that much, the important part is to direct awareness to the sensation so that you objectify it. Don't get to into how to note as that just brings with it more thinking which then gets by without being noted.
Florian, modified 11 Years ago at 8/31/10 3:10 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/31/10 3:10 AM

RE: noting - make a mental "verbal" note, or just perceive?

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

I strongly recommend verbal notes. If it gets too fast, you can note with a "dit". Rambling trains of verbal thought can be noted "hearing" to good effect. Don't spend a lot of time thinking of the "right" note, though, the note is an acknowledgement, not a description. The advantage of noting is like the difference between just seeing that there are some red cars passing by, and actually ticking off the red cars on a sheet - in the end, instead of a vague "yeah, there were red cars" there is a much clearer impression. Also, noting technique has a built-in feedback-loop; it's less easy to space out or get caught up in some tape-loop.

Noting also drives home the difference between investigation and tranquility.