Author Topic: Whats best for a body scan/sweep? Removing sanksaras?  (Read 2853 times)

JMatlack

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Whats best for a body scan/sweep? Removing sanksaras?
« on: September 22, 2014, 01:07:00 AM »
I am wondering. How do some of you readers out there go about performing a body scan or body sweep to become more aware of the subtler sensations of the body?  I have heard to go every 3 inches but is that horizontally speaking or is it in a diameter around a particular point of the body? Do I evaluate the legs and arms together or separately?

 Also after I have established a strong awareness of body, How do I discriminate thoughts to prevent and eliminate sanskaras?  Do I label, for example whether a thought is useful or not useful, do I ask where it came from and feel the sensations on the body that correlate? Basically, how do I go about removing  sanskaras in the simplest and plainest way you can describe?
"THE ALL (god) is MIND; the universe is mental" written in The Kybalion

Tobin

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Re: Whats best for a body scan/sweep? Removing sanksaras?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2014, 02:02:38 AM »
The idea I got from my Goenka retreat was that sankaras are released by allowing the sensations that arise to be as they are.

As far as spacing goes, starting with larger chunks as you build sensitivity and reducing them to smaller chunks as you become more refined is how I was taught. I don't think there is a hard and fast rule about how large a chunk is/should be, but I could be wrong. If you are having trouble noticing sensations with the size of chunks you are working with, make them larger until you can consistently notice and reduce from there. Goenka never really mentioned EXACTLY how to split all parts of the body, so just go with what works for you.

Edit: To answer your other question, work with one area at a time. Goenkas method started with the head, moved down to the neck, then to the right arm (shoulder to hand), then the left arm, then the front of the torso (top to bottom, and finishing with the entire front of the torso), back of the torso (same applies here as the front), buttocks, right leg (thigh to foot), left leg, and then back up in reverse.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2014, 02:20:22 AM by Tobin »
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Tobin

JMatlack

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Re: Whats best for a body scan/sweep? Removing sanksaras?
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2014, 02:21:13 AM »
Thanks Tobin that was very helpful!
"THE ALL (god) is MIND; the universe is mental" written in The Kybalion

Tobin

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Re: Whats best for a body scan/sweep? Removing sanksaras?
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2014, 02:34:45 AM »
No problem, I hope it helped a bit.

Your question made me do a google search on removing sanskaras and it doesn't sound anything like what I learnt. Some sites say that to remove sanskaras you must create an opposite sanskara, other sites says that it can not be done alone and you need an outside force to help you (like a teacher). I'm sure someone else here has a better idea of how it works.
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Tobin

yossarian

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Re: Whats best for a body scan/sweep? Removing sanksaras?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2014, 03:54:32 AM »
I am wondering. How do some of you readers out there go about performing a body scan or body sweep to become more aware of the subtler sensations of the body?  I have heard to go every 3 inches but is that horizontally speaking or is it in a diameter around a particular point of the body? Do I evaluate the legs and arms together or separately?

 Also after I have established a strong awareness of body, How do I discriminate thoughts to prevent and eliminate sanskaras?  Do I label, for example whether a thought is useful or not useful, do I ask where it came from and feel the sensations on the body that correlate? Basically, how do I go about removing  sanskaras in the simplest and plainest way you can describe?

I interpret a sankhara as an impulsive response based on past memories, reactions, genetic conditioning etc. With that, you don't need to really ask where thoughts or sensations come from, whether or not they're useful... they just kind of exist.

 The exercise to "remove" sankharas occurs as these reactions/sensations/thoughts arise and you just sit there and notice them rather than react to them and let them determine your mood and behaviors. So, just sit there and be with them.

At least, that's my take.

JMatlack

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Re: Whats best for a body scan/sweep? Removing sanksaras?
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2014, 03:17:23 PM »
It makes sense that being completely aware of a sensation without any reaction puts a stop it.  Because it has fulfilled its purpose.  Things that happen in the brain and body happen so that they will be noticed do they not? What else would be the purpose oif a sensation and thought other than to be witness and used or discarded?  So I will pursue the Goenka technique of anapana and body sweeps and hopefully learn through watching his video recordings what else is to be done after that.  Thank you all for your replies they were very helpful!
"THE ALL (god) is MIND; the universe is mental" written in The Kybalion

Vivek

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Re: Whats best for a body scan/sweep? Removing sanksaras?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2014, 07:59:07 PM »
I think Tobin may have answered it but just reiterating: the "every 3 inches of the body" does not indicate anything set on stone, it is not that you SHOULD do it exactly that way. Moreover, when we sit for meditation with closed eyes there is no real way to measure out every three inches accurately with our minds. The point is not that at all. Sweeping the body with awareness part by part is advised to develop your sensitivity to the subtlest of body sensations. Once you are able to observe even the subtlest of sensations, there is no need to go part by part. Goenkaji says that we can cover the whole body in just one breath when we have practiced enough. So, the goal is whole-body awareness of sensations. Once you have mastered that, there is no real need to observe part by part. 
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

JMatlack

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Re: Whats best for a body scan/sweep? Removing sanksaras?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2014, 04:13:01 AM »
wow thanks for clearing that up.  That was a very helpful post.  I wonder if goig the path of goenka is the one I really want. I don't know.
"THE ALL (god) is MIND; the universe is mental" written in The Kybalion

Marc

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Re: Whats best for a body scan/sweep? Removing sanksaras?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2014, 03:48:44 PM »
wow thanks for clearing that up.  That was a very helpful post.  I wonder if goig the path of goenka is the one I really want. I don't know.

why don't you try going to a retreat of his and then decide?

JMatlack

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Re: Whats best for a body scan/sweep? Removing sanksaras?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2014, 07:15:21 PM »
I have been trying to breath anapana sati while paying attention only to the nostrils but it is extremely difficult for me. I keep bringing my attention to the stomach/ diaphragm region.  Sometimes I am aware of both the diaphragm and the nostrils but rarely am I just aware of the nostrils. I feel it would be a waste of time to go to the retreat if I am unable to accomplish the prerequisite. Don't you think?
"THE ALL (god) is MIND; the universe is mental" written in The Kybalion

Marc

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Re: Whats best for a body scan/sweep? Removing sanksaras?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2014, 10:44:43 PM »
Well its not a prerequisite. The first 3 days are dedicated to learn how to do that. Most people go there w/o knowing what they will have to do, or what is meditation like. You are ahead already :)