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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Embracing positive energy
« Last post by individualogist on Today at 02:42:38 AM »
When you let positive energy into your life, you can improve every aspect of your day from your relationships with people to your approach to problems. But many people don’t realize the varied sources of negative energy that make up their daily life.

To identify what makes you feel unhappy, keep a small notepad on you and write down negative things as you notice them. These can range from a messy house, watching too much news, not sleeping well, a tough day at work or something about yourself that you don’t like. This can be a difficult list to see, but identifying the negative is most important since it is the first step to solving it.

Next, mark only the things you have control over. For example, if your house is messy, you can fix that if you work hard. However, if you have a difficult coworker, then you can only control your reaction to that coworker. Trying to control everything can actually make you feel more negative than you originally did.

Once you have identified what you can actually fix, then try to fix it. If you have an unfinished project that is stressing you out, either finish it or get rid of it. If you are surrounded by clutter, focus on fixing one area a day until you like the way your surroundings look.

If your negative energy comes from something you don’t like about your appearance, be honest with yourself if you are being overly critical. If you want to get in better shape, then set a goal and work out regularly. If you don’t like your haircut, try new styles until you find something you like. But don’t obsess over something you cannot change.

Once you purge the negative energy from your life as much as possible, then it’s time to bring in positive energy. What makes you feel good can vary person to person, so look for what works for you. Many people benefit by having natural things like flowers or plants in their homes. Others may enjoy having people over to improve the flow of energy.

You can also improve your routine by taking care of yourself. If you feel negative, taking a walk outside or even just showering and changing your clothes can improve your mood. Try writing down your feelings if you have a lot of thoughts you can’t control. You may also benefit from learning a new skill or trying to teach yourself something.

By breaking your routine and introducing new, positive energy to your life, it becomes easier to repel negative things when they happen. When you are more positive, you bring that positive energy back out into the world.

You don’t want to be responsible for making someone else feel negative. By making your home a place of positive energy, you can ensure you are recharged with good feelings before you go take on the world.
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Book Recommendations / Re: Jed McKenna worth reading?
« Last post by tbarron on February 17, 2019, 01:06:17 AM »
I read several of his books and found them entertaining, but light on the details of ways and means. In other words, I didn't find much actionable instruction there.

Tom
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Book Recommendations / Re: Mastering The Core Teachings of The Buddha by D.Ingram
« Last post by tbarron on February 17, 2019, 01:03:33 AM »
Daniel has updated Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha with a second edition. It's also available for free on his website:

https://www.mctb.org/

I read it recently and found some of the "map" information (listing various states, the order they usually occur in, etc.) very helpful. He also has a thorough discussion of the Pit of the Abyss ("Dark Night" in Western traditions) and skillful ways of managing those states.
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Clinging on meditation?
« Last post by tbarron on February 16, 2019, 11:54:39 AM »
What occurs to me is to take the planning thoughts as an object of meditation. When you have a thought about planning your session, just notice it and watch until the thoughts subside. If it comes up again later, watch again until it subsides.

I struggle sometimes with repetitive thoughts about  recent interactions with other people. When I remember, I try to use this approach for those thoughts.
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Problem with concentration on the breath
« Last post by Nicky on February 16, 2019, 04:53:15 AM »
One of the main problems I have recently is concentration on the breath. Once I start focusing on the breath on the nose I feel a huge sensation on the fore-head. I know that this is due to Sankaharas releasing from my head, which have been intensified after practising Vipassana, and I keep completely equanimous with these sensations.

Hi friend

Its not sankharas. Its happening because you are concentrating too forced or too hard. Your wrong effort is creating a headache.

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Overall, it is very difficult for me to keep the focus on the nose. So, during the anapanna I always struggle with bringing the focus back to the nose all the time. Also, due to this I am not able to feel the breath sensations on the nose very clearly, and cannot go deeper.

Yes. This is because your mind is too forced. When you force concentration, this forcing is a thought. Also, it calms the breath so what is left is a forced gross mind and a refined subtle breath. A gross mind cannot feel a subtle breath because the forcing of the mind itself becomes the meditation object; because the forced mind is a stronger sense object than the subtle breath; similar to how a loud noise will become the object of the mind. 

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Just as a side comment, during the retreat I had also this problem and the only advice I received from the teacher was "bring the focus down to the nose", which did not also work very well for me at the time, although I could go a little bit deeper after several sessions.

The Buddha did not teach to focus on anything (except to focus on a mind without craving). The Buddha taught to simply abandon craving (which will manifest a quiet mind). There is no need to try to be aware of the breath. Its like if you run. The mind is aware of the breath when running, even though the mind does not intend to be aware of the breath. Meditation is the same. When the mind is gentle, still & quiet, without any craving ambition, the mind will automatically feel the breathing.

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I will be greatful for your help and comments, especially if you had similar experiences.

I had the same experience during my 1st six weeks of meditation. Even though my mind did not have hindrances, the more I tried different techniques, the more the breathing kept calming & disappearing. But, then, after thinking deeply about the teachings, I gave up trying to watch the breathing. When I stopped trying to watch the breathing, the breathing came to me, very clearly, and continuously. If you wish to master Anapanasati, the mind must be able to remain very quiet, without attachment, without craving. Its counter-intuitive.

 :)
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Problem with concentration on the breath
« Last post by Goofaholix on February 16, 2019, 01:26:20 AM »
In general, is it ok to practice Vipassana with a very wide filed of focus?

Yes, in fact that's what we're working towards, the sharp focus is just an interim step to steady the mind.
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Problem with concentration on the breath
« Last post by haghighat on February 15, 2019, 06:06:58 PM »
Thanks a lot "stillpointdancer" for the comment.

But my question is that with only Vipassana the concentration does not get sharpen. For example, currently without doing Anapanna I feel that my "field of concentration" is too wide but it gets sharpened after doing Anapanna.

In general, is it ok to practice Vipassana with a very wide filed of focus?


Thanks a lot Kamma for the helpful comment.

In fact, I do a couple of minutes of relaxing my body, feeling and relaxing the muscles, etc. and then start the meditation. Maybe you are right: I may have developed some unconcisou sensitivity to this problem durng time and it might be one reason why it keeps happening.

Regarding your comment on "Anapanna": the reason why I practice it first is to sharpen my focus and the switch to Vipassana to feel the sensations with high resolution. Without that I sense the sensation very roughly and have no clear perception of them.
It seems to me that without Anapanna my focus will not sharpen during time?

Personally I don't focus on where the breath is, but on the counting aspect. Ten minutes of counting after the breath and then ten minutes counting before the breath, after a check to see if my body is relaxed, usually 'sets up' the rest of a 40 minute meditation. Over the years I've come to understand that any subsequent vipassana meditation was really an extension of mindfulness, but bringing it to my thoughts and ideas about the world and how I see it rather than mindfulness about the location of the breath.
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Problem with concentration on the breath
« Last post by haghighat on February 15, 2019, 06:02:02 PM »
Thanks a lot Apkallu for the helpful response. You are right: my third eye has already started openning and I know that having huge energy on the forehead is partly because of this.

Your description is very interesting because I also feel the same sense of "detachment" or "witnessing" when I am able to finally get rid of the huge energy and enter deeper into the breath sensation.

I feel like I have a distance from my body and I am observing the body, breath, and all the sensations from a distance and I am fully detached from them. This also feel very relaxing and calm.

The only problem is that I struggle for a long time to enter this state and in some meditation sessions I am not able to do this, and have to finally switch to Vipassana for the rest of the session.


But I will defintely try as you said to focus very lightly and from a distance and see if my ptoblem is going to be solved.



Also I have a question: is doing Anapanna is necessary to sharpen the focus? My guess is that doing only Vipassana is ok but my focus is point remains very wide and does not get narrower and sharper.

Thanks again for the very helpful comment.



In my own experience (I face the same issue), you have developed energy and the 3rd eye is becoming active (ie the cleaning/activation process has begun).

As energy follows intention, if you "focus", you put too much intent in your concentration.
Concentration here is to be distant (not really the way of other concentration methods where focus is dominating), just to observe without being into the sensation.
Like another you (doctor or external self) would observe what is happening in the body.

The same way you observe your breath by letting it go with no control (which can be only achieved through being an "observer" to me). At first, then, it is difficult (for me) and you can't but control it, then observe the tiny nose zone which about some time allows you to "disconnect" from controlling your breath to just observing it.
This is the only way I can now disconnect from my huge sensations in the forehead (like bubbles exploding quite harshly) and really achieve my anapana and then vipassana).
Or at some point where you discovered your consciousness for a period (with no thoughts), you would be this consciousness in the background just observing the physical and mental processes. It is like being in 2 différent places at the same time.

But I have only started vipassana one month ago and I might be completely wrong.

P.S.: Maybe I am wrong again, but this energy is not Sankhara but prana. Sankhara should be sensations arising from nowhere like unexplainable emotions.
By the way, do you hear some cracklings (wall, ceiling, wood, windows, screens ?) when these bubbles explode ?
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Thanks a lot Kamma for the helpful comment.

In fact, I do a couple of minutes of relaxing my body, feeling and relaxing the muscles, etc. and then start the meditation. Maybe you are right: I may have developed some unconcisou sensitivity to this problem durng time and it might be one reason why it keeps happening.

Regarding your comment on "Anapanna": the reason why I practice it first is to sharpen my focus and the switch to Vipassana to feel the sensations with high resolution. Without that I sense the sensation very roughly and have no clear perception of them.
It seems to me that without Anapanna my focus will not sharpen during time?

Personally I don't focus on where the breath is, but on the counting aspect. Ten minutes of counting after the breath and then ten minutes counting before the breath, after a check to see if my body is relaxed, usually 'sets up' the rest of a 40 minute meditation. Over the years I've come to understand that any subsequent vipassana meditation was really an extension of mindfulness, but bringing it to my thoughts and ideas about the world and how I see it rather than mindfulness about the location of the breath.
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Problem with concentration on the breath
« Last post by Apkallu on February 15, 2019, 11:35:29 AM »
In my own experience (I face the same issue), you have developed energy and the 3rd eye is becoming active (ie the cleaning/activation process has begun).

As energy follows intention, if you "focus", you put too much intent in your concentration.
Concentration here is to be distant (not really the way of other concentration methods where focus is dominating), just to observe without being into the sensation.
Like another you (doctor or external self) would observe what is happening in the body.

The same way you observe your breath by letting it go with no control (which can be only achieved through being an "observer" to me). At first, then, it is difficult (for me) and you can't but control it, then observe the tiny nose zone which about some time allows you to "disconnect" from controlling your breath to just observing it.
This is the only way I can now disconnect from my huge sensations in the forehead (like bubbles exploding quite harshly) and really achieve my anapana and then vipassana).
Or at some point where you discovered your consciousness for a period (with no thoughts), you would be this consciousness in the background just observing the physical and mental processes. It is like being in 2 différent places at the same time.

But I have only started vipassana one month ago and I might be completely wrong.

P.S.: Maybe I am wrong again, but this energy is not Sankhara but prana. Sankhara should be sensations arising from nowhere like unexplainable emotions.
By the way, do you hear some cracklings (wall, ceiling, wood, windows, screens ?) when these bubbles explode ?
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