Author Topic: Observing or letting go of distraction  (Read 5024 times)

thomas

  • Member
Observing or letting go of distraction
« on: January 13, 2011, 06:24:02 PM »
Hello

I'm pretty new to vipassana meditation. I've been reading mindfullness - plain and simple. Very good book. Something i'm not so clear with at the moment though.

When I become aware of the fact that i have been distracted,m should I be immediatly pulling myself back to the breathe?

I know I should be observing thoughts as they arise and then letting them go. If I'm actually 'IN' the thought.. riiding it by mistake ... then become aware that i lost midfullness, should i be moving my attention straight to the breathe or reflecting on what I was thinking and feeling?

hard for me to phrase what i mean. maybe you understand anyway.

tips welcome.

I have been catching myself daydreaming and go .. 'dam'..oops no its ok, just move back to the breathing.. no problem. But not really observing what i was daydreaming about
back to the breath... and back to the breath....  and back to the breath.... and back to the breath..... and back to the breath

ivana

Re: Observing or letting go of distraction
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2011, 06:47:15 PM »
Hi Thomas
I understand very well because I am facing same problems. I can share my expierence. I recognize how I was pushing my thoughts away by to be aware of my sensations of breathing around my nostrils. I recognize that I try to breath more hard. I had a time that I thought that I do not want to feel it and I felt it despite I finish meditation and I thought I will go mad from it. So do not push your thoughts away. Now I try do nice. If I recognize that I do not observe my sensation I look at my feeling or thougths and I observe it. Someting what I can desribe that I am above my thoughts or feeling. So I am aware and If am aware and I am aware of my sensation of breathing and it is continue of meditation.
It is fine that you are open regarding your meditation
Ivana

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Observing or letting go of distraction
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2011, 06:48:59 PM »
Thomas,

To begin your practice (i.e for a few weeks or months - or more) do not try and be mindful of thoughts and breathing at the same time. First priority is to establish a calm and focussed but awake mind and relaxed body. This is achieved by paying attention to the bodily sensations as you breathe in and out and calming the body as you breathe in and out.

Do not suppress thought, that is a fabrication which is very damaging, just let the mind be. Don't give yourself a guilt trip when you find you have become enmeshed in thinking either - you are just playing into the Judeo-Christian guilt trip we all carry due to culture - be gentle with yourself and have compassion, realise you are overcoming huge habitual energies. It takes time. Just return the attention to bodily sensations and calming the body with each breath in and out.

It will take some time before your mind slows and calms but it will do so. If you want to understand a little of the physiology behind this search the forum for Vagus Nerve - and read some of those posts/threads.

Placing attention on thought is much more effective when the bodymind is fully calm, focussed, awake and relaxed.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

atalero

Re: Observing or letting go of distraction
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2011, 06:55:42 PM »
What a good question! 

I say this because I struggle with this too.  I have noted that I cut off the image/thought/feeling before they hit me.  And started noting that I'm just scared to face them.  A feeling or thought would come to my door and I would slam the door in it's face before it got too close.  I felt so stressed doing that.  Naming/Noting gives me a headache, especially the way I did it;  I was noting/naming with a big ass Red Pen :)

Yesetrday, I let them come in a say what they have to say, then leave when they were ready.  Went back to breath, body tensed, went to tension and boom:  Cried all day.  It was painful, but I caught a glimpse of some of the shame, guilt, anger and sadness that is in my body.  Felt lighter after facing them, but not sure if that is right.  It felt right though.  Trying to find a balance.

budo

Re: Observing or letting go of distraction
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2011, 08:49:51 PM »
You should simply be aware of the thought, and return to your breath. Do not force anything, if the thought does not want to go away, then observe it, eventually it will pass. Be gentle with yourself and your practice, try to be as calm and relaxed as possible, do not force anything.

Simply be aware and observe, this is mindfulness.

budo

Re: Observing or letting go of distraction
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2011, 08:53:07 PM »
What a good question!  

I say this because I struggle with this too.  I have noted that I cut off the image/thought/feeling before they hit me.  And started noting that I'm just scared to face them.  A feeling or thought would come to my door and I would slam the door in it's face before it got too close.  I felt so stressed doing that.  Naming/Noting gives me a headache, especially the way I did it;  I was noting/naming with a big ass Red Pen :)

Yesetrday, I let them come in a say what they have to say, then leave when they were ready.  Went back to breath, body tensed, went to tension and boom:  Cried all day.  It was painful, but I caught a glimpse of some of the shame, guilt, anger and sadness that is in my body.  Felt lighter after facing them, but not sure if that is right.  It felt right though.  Trying to find a balance.

This is good and something most people face.  By ignoring my thoughts and only focusing on my breath, I was putting too much effort on the breath, this alone prevented me from entering the deep states of meditation. When you are unable to accept things as they are, you are unable to let go, and letting go is the only way to progress in meditation.

If you ignore your thoughts, they'll only come back stronger, you cannot ignore them, because you are keeping them inside if you do. If you want them to leave, you have to release control over them, let them do as they wish then they will not come back once they are done their business. Controlling is grasping, the more you try to grasp, the harder and more painful it becomes. This applies to everything in life, not just thoughts.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2011, 08:58:18 PM by budo »

Morning Dew

Re: Observing or letting go of distraction
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2011, 09:07:22 PM »
Quote
If you ignore your thoughts, they'll only come back stronger, you cannot ignore them, because you are keeping them inside if you do. If you want them to leave, you have to release control over them, let them do as they wish then they will not come back once they are done their business. Controlling is grasping, the more you try to grasp, the harder and more painful it becomes. This applies to everything in life, not just thoughts.

So true my friend. Wise words. Thoughts need our energy to live. Energy is passed by taking them seriously, attaching to them by desire or and aversion. Seeing without attaching, without judgeing will sure help.
If you do catch your self clinging to thoughts just remember to return back to your body (whole body), calming it with each in and out breath.

Che

thomas

  • Member
Re: Observing or letting go of distraction
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2011, 07:58:10 AM »
Impressed by how good these responses are. Thank you all so much for your comments.

Again. Very helpful. I think at the moment it's a little too much for me to be thinking about during meditation.

I was successfully concentrating, being distracted, becoming aware of that, going back to the breathe.. in a big cycle. Now that I have tried to be aware more of the thoughts that are popping up it has all become more stunted and I'm not sure exactly how to deal with it.

for now I'll stick with awareness of the breathe and letting go any distractions.. until I am comfortable with that.

thanks again!
back to the breath... and back to the breath....  and back to the breath.... and back to the breath..... and back to the breath

Morning Dew

Re: Observing or letting go of distraction
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2011, 09:00:37 PM »
Quote
for now I'll stick with awareness of the breathe and letting go any distractions.. until I am comfortable with that.


Hi thomas  :) how is this above going for you my friend? I find Shamatha being really helpful in invoking great peace, just as you said "aware of the body breathing and relaxing with each in and out breath, noticing all arisings and letting go of them  :)  how lovely.

Friendly Che

 

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