Meditation Discussion Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Meditation, Practice And The Path => Topic started by: Jason on February 13, 2009, 05:54:42 AM

Title: Getting meditation
Post by: Jason on February 13, 2009, 05:54:42 AM
hello everyone, Jason here. I have been practising Vipassana meditation on and off for a few years...but i never seem to get "it"....for example, i realize that the breathing is very coarse at the time u sit down and meditate and then it gets finer, is this the time where we shift our focus to develop the "sign"? I realize that i always go back to watching my breathing when i am starting to visualize the air going in and out of my nose tip....please help! Thanks.......(just realized that i was posting at the wrong board) :)
Title: Getting meditation
Post by: Paul on February 13, 2009, 08:22:27 AM
Hi Jason,

You're not the only one out there.  When I try to practise standard Vipassana as taught the Goenka (body sweeps) way I can assure you that aboslutely nothing happens!  Its a good concentration exersise, but apart from that it doesn't do much for me, my breating doesn't change, I never reach bliss etc., etc.

I think its a matter of 'horses for courses'.  I have since tried other practices, and some of them have really worked.  For exampne, for formal sitting meditation, Zen meditation really works for me.  Its very simple, you just sit and watch what goes on, using your breath as a background anchor to prevent you from flying off to the beach.   Iyengar Yoga works a treat for me too, I've learned a lot from practising yoga.  Even Aikido has taught me to let go of cetrain things, and live in a more effortless and haromnious way.

So I would suggest trying some other stuff.  Don't get caught in the trap of thinking there is only one way, and that you HAVE to follow that way.  There are many ways; free yourself, follow your instincts and try things out!  Its great fun, and I'm sure that you'll come across the thing that works for you.  And you can also go back to trying Vipassana too, you might find that it works better once you've detached yourself from it a little too.

Good luck and have fun!

Paul
Title: Getting meditation
Post by: Flipasso on February 13, 2009, 05:07:24 PM
I think I know where you got your instructions from...

You probably read Mindfulness in Plain English, right??

The "sign" stuff got me confused a bit at first, but then I kept practicing and re-read that part a few more times.
There is no physical sign!! Nothing new appears to you.
The sign is just a "state" of concentration, where you can easily grab the main object (breath) while still seeing other objects (thoughts, feelings, etc.).

There is no post-sign or light that goes on or bell that rings...
It's just that shift in grossness or subtleness of objects, and it is very gradual.

Go ahead and re-read that part a few times, and tell me what you think.
Title: Getting meditation
Post by: Hazmatac on February 13, 2009, 09:05:45 PM
Hey Jason,

Can you be more specific? What is your question exactly?
Title: Re: Getting meditation
Post by: Jason on February 15, 2009, 04:34:02 AM
Hi Paul, thanks for your advice, i will explore some other options too....

Hi FlipAsso, yes you are so right......i downloaded it online and have been reading it.......and i am reading and re-reading trying to get what it means..........which leads me to....

Hi Hazmatac, which leads me to my question.....is the sign a "state" of concentration?....when we are getting deeper and deeper into our concentration, are we still aware of our breathing? because i close my eyes while meditating and because i was looking for the "sign" and was so caught up with it then i realized that i have not watched my breathing and that was when i go back watching my breathing and to and fro and i am just wondering if this is right.......

Thanks everyone.......you have been of great help........it is comforting to know so many of us out there....
Title: Re: Getting meditation
Post by: Flipasso on February 15, 2009, 05:41:08 AM
Haz, Jason here, is practicing according to Henepola Gunaratana's Mindfulness in Plain English.
Don't know if you're familiar with this book.

There is a part when Bhante Gunaratana says that when your concentration gets deeper you'll be able (I'm saying in my own words, but compare it to the text) to notice the breath (main object) but in a subtler way and at the same time you'll see other objects clearlier(spl?). - He says this is the "sign" of concentration.
At first I also thought something like as if I was driving down the road and had to be aware of a certain post-sign or something...

With a bit of practice and a few more reads I came to understand that there actually is no physical nor mental sign, it is just that state when breath becomes subtle and other objects become clearer.

But my advice is..  don't worry about it too much keep following his instructions and see where it leads you.
Title: Re: Getting meditation
Post by: Matthew on February 15, 2009, 08:55:29 AM
.....is the sign a "state" of concentration?....when we are getting deeper and deeper into our concentration, are we still aware of our breathing? because i close my eyes while meditating and because i was looking for the "sign" and was so caught up with it then i realized that i have not watched my breathing and that was when i go back watching my breathing and to and fro and i am just wondering if this is right.......

Jason,

As you have just described above, very clearly, if you are looking for "the sign" you have stopped meditating. You are in a process of thinking about meditation.

The best approach to meditation is to drop your expectations. unfortunately this is easier said than done yet I think it is underestimated sometimes in it's importance. Much better to just watch your bodymind, which is the point of meditation, rather than searching for progress which is the opposite.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
Title: Re: Getting meditation
Post by: Jason on February 16, 2009, 12:34:37 AM
Hi Matthew, thanks for the advice..........very much indeed......
Title: Re: Getting meditation
Post by: Hazmatac on February 16, 2009, 01:08:39 AM
Hi Hazmatac, which leads me to my question.....is the sign a "state" of concentration?....when we are getting deeper and deeper into our concentration, are we still aware of our breathing? because i close my eyes while meditating and because i was looking for the "sign" and was so caught up with it then i realized that i have not watched my breathing and that was when i go back watching my breathing and to and fro and i am just wondering if this is right.......

Jason,
I would suggest you don't try to find the "sign" at all and just concentrate on your breath. Bhante G said that the concept was pretty advanced, so if it exists it will probably appear pretty far in the future.

Rob