Too many sensations to investigate - Discussion
Too many sensations to investigate
After reading Daniel’s book I want to do things more accurate so I have questions about Insight technique.
As I close my eyes and try to notice the three characteristics of the sensations that arise I find it extremely difficult because there is a festival of them. The zone where I begin is mostly my head because there are those intense tingling and pressure sensations. There are two types of sensations: the “continuum” pressure-like ones that move in different areas of my head and the “dot” ones that appear here and there. The later are easier for investigating the three characteristics, but the former look like continuous and what I could investigate would be the change in pressure and movement (is it ok?). But they overlap. Even more if we consider the rest of the body, noises and thoughts and their respective physical reactions that last for enough time to miss many other sensations. So how am I supposed to investigate them?
I find it easier just not to try to be too pointed and let the flow of sensations pass, but Daniel talks about being aware of 5 to 10 sensations per second which stresses me.
Furthermore, the more minutes that pass the more strong and intense sensations I got (they tend to spread throughout the body), the breathing patterns capture my attention (so we add more sensations) and sometimes I get some kind of raptures.
So, am I just in a stage where I cannot investigate properly the three characteristics or am I doing something wrong?
Thank you so much.
At times you might be able to go faster and that can be fun, but then just drop down again without punishing yourself.
For seemingly solid/continuous objects you can disrupt them in your attention by noticing "mini-frames" of the movie.
Be aware of over-Vipassana leading to instability. Either break from practice or rest in calm/pleasure for a time.
Based on his teaching, with regard to knowing matters, what you experience is what you know. There is no need to mental note.
With regard to the mind, after the ending of mind activity such as thinking or realizing delusional moment you recollect what just happened as the knowing of the mind condition in the present moment.
This is what he has to say about mental noting: his approach is different from that of Mahasi.
6.2.4 Knowing is not mental noting.
22.214.171.124 Knowing is not mental noting or contemplating of an
object as Matter/Mind. It is paying attention ( Manasikāra ) to a present object
in a natural and ordinary way. Many practitioners think that knowing is
noting mentally because they often hear about mental noting of Matter and
Mind or mental noting of a present object. Thus, they assume that knowing
must include doing, i.e. mental noting or contemplating. Accordingly, after
perceiving an object of consciousness, they quickly note it mentally right after
knowing, “lifting”, “stepping”, “angry”, “sound”, etc. This is “mental noting”,
not “knowing.” (However, a beginner might find it necessary to note it
mentally first, but it should be noted that they cannot stall at this preparatory
stage of noting because it is not yet insight development practice.) Some
practitioners are fond of contemplating once more. That is, by no means,
knowing. For example, when the eyes naturally see an object, a practitioner
may deliberately contemplate that “This merely consists of colors. It is not an
animal, a person, a self, I or he etc.” Otherwise, the practitioner may
contemplate that “color is Matter ( rūpa ), knowing is Mind ( nāma ).” All these
What I'd suggest is try to develop a little concentration first. Having a bit more concentration makes it easier to focus on specific sensations. Using the breath either at the abdomen or tip of the nose as a concentration object for a short period, up to 20 minutes depending on how much agitation you're experiencing, can help. When you find your mind moving off the breath, you can note the sensation that caused it to move off, then return to the breath. Once you have good concentration, you can then move to vipassana. You don't need deep concentration initially, just enough to get the mind settled.
I do concentration as well. I could isolate specific sensations and investigate them, but I thought I had to take as many as possible altogether.
I'll work with less sensations at a time.
I have many sensations as you describe, but when I have itch on my face which becomes prominent I pay more attention to the itch though those pointed sensations appearing and disappearing may be in the background. On staying awareness with the itch sensation, I notice how the itch changes into clustered pointed sensation. It no longer is itch any more. It then disappears. I open my awareness to the whole body again.
Just maintain natural awareness. Strongly recommend you download the pdf I mentioned. He goes into detail on the proper way to be mindful.