Author Topic: sensations...what sensations  (Read 9721 times)

sensations...what sensations
« on: February 07, 2011, 11:34:37 AM »
 gota say since joining  this forum i've picked up a lot of information. thank you. two years ago i completed my first goenka 10 day retreat. most of the sensations i experienced were to due to the long periods of sitting .on the 7th or eight day  i experienced some beautiful feelings but after 4/5 days of arriving home sensations died down and it was more an awareness i felt on my body,alas that also died away over the years i've tryed to except there's hardly any sensations and to remain equanimous but after two years i can't really feel anything, ok maybe a little tingle on my head ,hands and legs on occasions.when i have spoken to a assistant teacher i'm told to just carry on. on the course mr goenka states that if you can't feel a sensation on a small area then try a larger area. he goes on to imply that if a sensation can't be felt then its due to having a dull brain! maybe i have to except i have a dull brain.has any other member experienced similar or has advice for me. regards martin

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2011, 10:56:09 PM »
Martin,

My suggestion would be to stop using Mr Goenka's technique and try simple calm-abiding meditation for a month. You will almost certainly notice significant differences.

Warm regards,

Matthew
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Stefan

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2011, 01:16:05 PM »
My suggestion would be to stop using Mr Goenka's technique and try simple calm-abiding meditation for a month. You will almost certainly notice significant differences.

Sure. And as he proceeds, he will reach the same wall that he reached now.  ;)
anicca

Stefan

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2011, 01:17:10 PM »
gota say since joining  this forum i've picked up a lot of information. thank you. two years ago i completed my first goenka 10 day retreat. most of the sensations i experienced were to due to the long periods of sitting .on the 7th or eight day  i experienced some beautiful feelings but after 4/5 days of arriving home sensations died down and it was more an awareness i felt on my body,alas that also died away over the years i've tryed to except there's hardly any sensations and to remain equanimous but after two years i can't really feel anything, ok maybe a little tingle on my head ,hands and legs on occasions.when i have spoken to a assistant teacher i'm told to just carry on. on the course mr goenka states that if you can't feel a sensation on a small area then try a larger area. he goes on to imply that if a sensation can't be felt then its due to having a dull brain! maybe i have to except i have a dull brain.has any other member experienced similar or has advice for me. regards martin

I think you should attend another Goenka-course, that's what I say. Do carry on! Progress never comes in a steady flow, but in waves. Sometimes there seems to be no progress at all, but don't worry ... the next wave is building up already.
There's no reason to stop your practice. No serious problem is in your way but your own craving for immediate progress. The more you crave for "things to work", the less they work.

I think you should pass the "patience"-test, because if you don't, it's likely you will also fail in any other technique.

With Metta, Stefan
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 01:27:40 PM by stefan »
anicca

Matthew

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2011, 04:11:32 PM »
My suggestion would be to stop using Mr Goenka's technique and try simple calm-abiding meditation for a month. You will almost certainly notice significant differences.

Sure. And as he proceeds, he will reach the same wall that he reached now.  ;)

No - proper Anapana doesn't block things from awareness using force. Goenka's suggestion that someone has a dull brain is pretty dull-brained excuse and blaming the practitioner for failings in the technique, one of his favourite tricks it seems.

Calm abiding opens everything up.
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Stefan

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2011, 05:10:17 PM »
Goenka's suggestion that someone has a dull brain is pretty dull-brained excuse and blaming the practitioner for failings in the technique, one of his favourite tricks it seems.

that sounds so ... personal ...

I admit that my brain tends to get dull at times during meditation. that's not a personal offence from Goenka! that's a fact!
And, sorry, if a practitioner is still learning and doesn't get things right, then, yes, the pupil has to try harder. This is not "blaming" a practitioner in an unfriendly way. It is telling him what is happening.

If you feel personally offended because somebody suggests a brain dulling sometimes, then maybe you give too much about "brains"?

Metta to You!
anicca

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2011, 05:16:13 PM »
Everyone has a dull brain, that's why we meditate.  The more subtle a brain becomes the more we can see things as they really are.

Meditation is more effective if you commit to it.  It you produce intensity of effort, intensity of surrender.  If you just drift in and out of meditation it will have lukewarm effects.

Commitment is important.  If you consider your life, all those years of effort, all the stumbling and bumbling, the randomness of it etc... maybe you will be able to say 'I am not going to llive like this anymore - I want change' ... and then you can commit to meditation.  And then you can provide the energy and intensity to penetrate into the meditation.

Energy is required to produce intensity ... so don't waste your energy.






Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2011, 06:16:42 PM »
hi there,

this is exactly what happened to me,

i was craving for sensations, lol.

this is happenening because u dont have practice , ur mind cant stay in that state, since u stopped it, it became the usual self.

i had to gradually start with samatha , then only i could get back the sensations.

just dont worry, ul get there sometime.

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2011, 08:00:59 PM »
Martin my friend, what is the issue here I can't tell  :)

Is it as siddharthgode sais? " craving for sensations" ? Why the need for sensing them?
Isnt mindfulness meditation all about letting things be as they are, like let the dull mind be dull, be aware of it and go back to calming the body instead of pondering what Goenka-who said after he had lunch and went off to meditate.

My suggestion would be to stop using Mr Goenka's technique and try simple calm-abiding meditation for a month. You will almost certainly notice significant differences.

Sure. And as he proceeds, he will reach the same wall that he reached now.  ;)

Can you tell me more about this stefan? How precisely will he end up being so confused after practicing calm-abiding which is all encompassing without fabricating? Are you familiar with this practice? In calm-abiding there is no "searching" via "scanning" for sensations  ;D this alone not to mention anapana at the nose is enough for an ego cluttered mind to create more confusion and strain  ;D

Martin my friend, tell me do you maintain a regular practice or was that retreat the only meditation experience? Daily meditation is important.

I, like Matthew would warmly advice you to lay down gOENKA for a month or two and try and see for yourself if Calm-abiding is something for you or not? Listen not to what others have to say about it but test and see for your self.

I never did goenka as such but did Ki-breathing which also involved a form of anapana on the belly. I did get calmer OK, but never got to know that restless self which kept troubling me and causing suffering.

Quote
this is happenening because u dont have practice , ur mind cant stay in that state, since u stopped it, it became the usual self.

i had to gradually start with samatha , then only i could get back the sensations.


I agree with siddharthgode  :)

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2011, 08:34:12 PM »

Having practiced both Anapana as taught by Goenkaji and Shamatha as is explained on this forum, I have to say I found Shamatha more powerful, simple and ultimately - effective. Which is why if anyone sees the column on their left, the Practice School now says, "Shamatha + Goenka"

I do want to start a separate thread wherein I describe my experiences with Shamatha and Anapana (as taught by Goenkaji) both, but right now I do not have the time for it. For the time being it is suffice to say that EVERYONE should give Shamatha (as is explained on this site) an honest try for a month - and then decide for themselves what works and what doesn't. Ofcourse for Vipassana I still practice the Goenkaji method.

I do wish to add that I will always be indebted to this place for introducing me to Shamatha, something I might have skipped in the Goenka tradition.

Warmly,
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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2011, 08:55:54 PM »
Hey Martin,

Thanks for posting. As you can see by the abundance of replies, you are quite welcome in the forum! You're getting a wide range of advice, and you will have to sort-out for yourself your next choice. That's a good thing. :)

So, let me point out what I think everyone can agree on. You are putting too much emphasis on the WRONG things in your practice. Yes, it is important to be able to feel sensations throughout the body. Yes, it is important to be able to keep the mind focused on a single object. But none of that is nearly as important as cultivating a calm and accepting awareness. (Goenka calls it equanimity)

If you are cultivating that kind of awareness, then even when you are distracted, you are making progress. If you don't feel any sensations at all, but all the while you are developing equanimity, you are making progress. Trust me, I've been there. And its true. The depth of your equanimity is your only benchmark. If you go on another course, you will notice that Goenka consistently says this. Every good teacher does.

Speaking of going on courses, I personally think you should go on another one. At the very least, see if you can attend a one-day in your area. Everyone's mind becomes less subtle if they haven't practiced intensively in a while. This is what you are discovering. Over years, and many retreats, you will find that the base-line level of your concentration/awareness increases, especially if you maintain your daily practice. But it takes time.... and equanimity. And its the equanimity that really changes your life.

With metta,
KN
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Stefan

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2011, 07:28:45 AM »
My suggestion would be to stop using Mr Goenka's technique and try simple calm-abiding meditation for a month. You will almost certainly notice significant differences.

Sure. And as he proceeds, he will reach the same wall that he reached now.  ;)

Can you tell me more about this stefan? How precisely will he end up being so confused after practicing calm-abiding which is all encompassing without fabricating? Are you familiar with this practice? In calm-abiding there is no "searching" via "scanning" for sensations  ;D this alone not to mention anapana at the nose is enough for an ego cluttered mind to create more confusion and strain  ;D

...

I, like Matthew would warmly advice you to lay down gOENKA for a month or two and try and see for yourself if Calm-abiding is something for you or not? Listen not to what others have to say about it but test and see for your self.

 :) Maybe you're right, and Gonka-style-Vipassana isn't the right thing for Martin. Maybe we both are wrong and he should try Yogananda-style-Kryayoga instead. There's so many things to advice, how should he judge? Should he try them out all? Randomly jumping from "good advice" to "good advice" every two months?
Dear Che, I would advise you to lay down your practice for two months and join the "Hare Krishna's" instead, who are a decent lot. Then - judge for yourself!! - please enter the "Scientology church" for some months, and after that join Bagwan. After all, how can you judge for yourself, if you don't try it? Where is this going to lead you? I know where this sort of thing led me ...

One thing I really like about Goenka is that he advises you to stick to it. In EVERY practice (be it Vipassana or Guitar) comes the moment when you don't see the point of it any more, where you think it's no use to go on ect. THIS MOMENT IS A TEST. "Are you able to stick to it allthough it's a bit tricky right now?" You have to get past this point or no technique will help you. Because it's likely you'll drop any other technique as soon as you experience the wall of your own ego again.

How precisely will he end up being so confused after practicing calm-abiding which is all encompassing without fabricating? Are you familiar with this practice? In calm-abiding there is no ...

No, I'm not familiar with this practice, and I never would advise anyone to stop practicing it because he experiences mild difficulties. I'd advise him to carry on with his calm-abiding meditation.  ;)
            _____________________

Sorry Martin  :) unknowingly you entered the "Battle of the Techniques" ... sometimes it is like "The Life of Brian"  ... but really it's up to you to decide your way. I advised you to stick to Goenka only as a counterweight to the advises to try something else.
We are all no teachers. It really isn't up to us to give you advice which path to choose.
            _____________________

In calm-abiding there is no "searching" via "scanning" for sensations  ;D this alone not to mention anapana at the nose is enough for an ego cluttered mind to create more confusion and strain

 8) Dear Che, I'd like to advise you (again!!) to lay down your calm-abiding for some weeks and try Goenka. Then you can judge for yourself wether THIS routine of scanning really is "searching for sensations" ... it isn't ...

And, the ego-cluttered mind doesn't create any confusion and strain due to Anapana ... no, the ego-cluttered mind is shown his own confusion and strain that has been there all the time again and again and again. three days of Anapana isn't exactly nice, but most beneficial to why I should stay and take it serious. I was taught a LOT about my mind and my ego in those three days of Anapana.

"Follow the Bottle!" (The Life of Brian) & Metta sincerely, Stefan
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 07:32:14 AM by stefan »
anicca

Stefan

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2011, 07:36:02 AM »

Everyone has a dull brain, that's why we meditate.


:)
anicca

Stefan

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2011, 07:48:01 AM »
But none of that is nearly as important as cultivating a calm and accepting awareness. (Goenka calls it equanimity)

If you are cultivating that kind of awareness, then even when you are distracted, you are making progress. If you don't feel any sensations at all, but all the while you are developing equanimity, you are making progress. ... The depth of your equanimity is your only benchmark.

That's what you always have to remember. It's not the sensing of sensations which we practice, it is to stay equanimous to ... everything that's coming our way. Pain? Relax, observe, stay calm, stay equanimous. Pleasure? Observe, don't participate, don't deny, stay equanimous. Nothing at all? Don't push, stay equanimous, observe, relax. Can't concentrate? Stay equanimous to the fact that you can't concentrate. Observe you being distracted. Relax.  :)
Equanimity is the first and essential thing to learn.

Metta to you!

PS.: I'm sure calm-abiding meditation and some other meditations do the same thing. Only they use slightly different words to descirbe what cannot be described with words ...
anicca

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2011, 08:22:54 AM »
Quote
One thing I really like about Goenka is that he advises you to stick to it.

So does the Pope  ;D  LOL

Quote
Dear Che, I would advise you to lay down your practice for two months and join the "Hare Krishna's" instead, who are a decent lot. Then - judge for yourself!!

Dear stefan I would advice you to join for one month the KKK which are a decent lot, then judge for your self!!  ::)
I really don't see how can you as an experienced meditator come up with such comparison REALY  ;D
Do you think there is anything similar between insight meditation and all the ones you mentioned ... "Scientology church"  ??? ::)

BTW, my dearest stefan, I did not lay down THE practice as our dear Martin did. I thought there must be a reason why one stops practicing such technique and maybe because he is not practicing and hanging in some sort of status quo to try and see whether Calm-abiding suits him, which I am sure might since it is RELAXING into the body and gaining direct insight into all that is taking place without putting any effort.
NOTE!!! It is not that I would EVER advice an active Goenka-who practitioner to change it for Shamatha  :)  This member stopped with it ... what ... 2 YEARS AGO  :) it just might not be the right practice for him.

I am not sure why you fight for this G guy, maybe to justify your own practice maybe not, up to you, but comparing the Scientology church to Calm-abiding ... well  ;D  you write the rest if you want  ;)

Quote
I do wish to add that I will always be indebted to this place for introducing me to Shamatha, something I might have skipped in the Goenka tradition.


Crystal, I am looking forward to see this thread to put some light on this subject.

Friendly Che

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2011, 08:32:33 AM »
....
Sorry Martin  :) unknowingly you entered the "Battle of the Techniques" ...

That's not quite true Stefan. Things have changed a lot here. I don't advise everyone to drop their Goenka practice, but when that advice seems beneficial I do. You entered/created a battle out of this and your clinging:

sometimes it is like "The Life of Brian"  ... but really it's up to you to decide your way. I advised you to stick to Goenka only as a counterweight to the advises to try something else.
We are all no teachers. It really isn't up to us to give you advice which path to choose.
......

There are two long time Goenka practitioners who are moderators on the forum now Stefan. I don't really argue with anyone about this stuff if I can help it, for the benefit of all. As I say we don't have to agree about everything to benefit from sharing.
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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2011, 11:38:02 AM »
Hi Martin,
I did have a whole lot written here, but it sounded like a sermon, so I deleted it. No need to thank me ;D ;D

love

andy





« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 12:01:55 PM by daydreamer »
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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2011, 12:14:53 PM »
...
I did have a whole lot written here, but it sounded like a sermon, so I deleted it. No need to thank me ;D ;D
..

;D
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Stefan

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2011, 07:25:07 PM »
....
Sorry Martin  :) unknowingly you entered the "Battle of the Techniques" ...

That's not quite true Stefan. Things have changed a lot here. I don't advise everyone to drop their Goenka practice, but when that advice seems beneficial I do. You entered/created a battle out of this and your clinging:
...
There are two long time Goenka practitioners who are moderators on the forum now Stefan. I don't really argue with anyone about this stuff if I can help it, for the benefit of all. As I say we don't have to agree about everything to benefit from sharing.


oh-oh ... to get it clear: DON'T take me too seriously. I was sort of hinting that maybe it would be better to encourage him to carry on with HIS practice rather than changing it.
I read the post and Matthews answer, nowhere do I understand that Martin stopped for two years (@ Che ...).
That's all. The rest is words only. So ... "Battle of techniques" was a joke, I thought the smiley would point that out.  :) ;) :D ;D 8)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 07:27:23 PM by stefan »
anicca

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2011, 07:49:38 PM »
I did have a whole lot written here, but it sounded like a sermon, so I deleted it. No need to thank me ;D ;D

LoL  ;D Man I did this so many times LoL write and write and write just to realsie that I would help that person more by simply not saying a thing  ;D  so I would just delete it all.

Sometimes not saying a thing sais it all  8)  :P


Friendly Che

Stefan

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2011, 07:55:39 PM »
Dear stefan I would advice you to join for one month the KKK which are a decent lot, then judge for your self!!  ::)
I really don't see how can you as an experienced meditator come up with such comparison REALY  ;D
Do you think there is anything similar between insight meditation and all the ones you mentioned ... "Scientology church"  ??? ::)

No. People from Vienna use to exagerate when they want to throw light on a certain point. Please don't take me word by word. (Still, I do believe the "Krishnas" are nice folk.)
I think it helps more to work out why I am stuck in my progress than to throw it overboard and try something new. That's all that has been hidden behind my speech which might be confusing since I use english words but translate vienna phrases.

But if Martin really hasn't practiced for two years (I didn't know) then it is of no real importance.  ;)

Peace, Stefan

But Che, one thing I'm serious about (it is off-topis, we don't need to discuss it here or at all): Goenka's body-scanning is not at all "searching for sensations", as you put it. The description gives the wrong impression of what is happening.
anicca

Stefan

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2011, 08:01:53 PM »
Hi Martin,
I did have a whole lot written here, but it sounded like a sermon, so I deleted it. No need to thank me ;D ;D

Yes ... but then, on the other hand ... we didn't join an internet-forum for nothing  ;)
anicca

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2011, 08:19:07 PM »
@ stefan  :)

Kein problem mein freund. Ich bin geboren in Deutschland in Hamburg. Ich verstehe dich sehr gut. Laß es sein  :)

Friendly Che

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2011, 08:23:39 PM »
I must admit... I think I would have really enjoyed a sermon from Andy! Just sayin'   :D

Goenka's body-scanning is not at all "searching for sensations", as you put it.

Perhaps, perhaps not. But wouldn't it be a wonderful skill to have in life--to be able to search without clinging? To put in effort without attaching to the results?  ;)
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Stefan

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Re: sensations...what sensations
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2011, 07:13:36 AM »
Goenka's body-scanning is not at all "searching for sensations", as you put it.

Perhaps, perhaps not. But wouldn't it be a wonderful skill to have in life--to be able to search without clinging? To put in effort without attaching to the results?  ;)

Yes. That's what we are practicing!
"Searching for Sensations" would mean the contrary.
Metta!
anicca