Author Topic: quick newbie question about vipassana  (Read 1830 times)

DJ Shaka

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quick newbie question about vipassana
« on: October 27, 2008, 05:52:36 PM »
Hey guys, just joined this forum and want to make a quick question. I started reading Mindfulness in Plain English last week and it's great so far.

I have one question though:

The book talks a lot about focusing your mind on your breath, but also about observing your mind and thoughts, how can I do both things at the same time? At what point during meditation should I stop focusing on the breath and start observing my mind?

I'm confused.

mettajoey

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Re: quick newbie question about vipassana
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2008, 07:29:47 PM »
Hi DJ,
You'll quickly start observing your mind and how it acts by trying to stay focused on your breath.  Try and just breathe and notice nothing but your breath and see how quickly other thoughts entire your mind.
Good luck!
The best type of meditation is the one that you'll do

Matthew

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Re: quick newbie question about vipassana
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2008, 09:28:36 PM »
Hey guys, just joined this forum and want to make a quick question. I started reading Mindfulness in Plain English last week and it's great so far.

I have one question though:

The book talks a lot about focusing your mind on your breath, but also about observing your mind and thoughts, how can I do both things at the same time? At what point during meditation should I stop focusing on the breath and start observing my mind?

Welcome to the forums DJ.

Focus your awareness on the rise and fall of your belly as you sit and meditate. Notice deeply how it feels.. Feel the muscles moving. Pay attention like that for a week. Every time you notice you are thinking about something else just notice the thought, let it go, start noticing your breathing again.

Then you will establish a good base for shamatha stage of meditation which is a prerequisite of vipassana. You kind of start to merge the two. As your awareness of your breathing deepens it will naturally calm the mind. You will be able to pay attention to a greater and greater extent to both the mind and the belly rising and falling.

I recommend the belly for good neurological reasons. It rejoins body and mind directly through the Vagus nerve and its connections to the Ganglia in the gut that gives rise to gut feelings and reactions and it's afferent (towards the brain) signals from the diaphragm. This nerve runs directly into the brain and also controls the larynx and is linked to the linguistic centres in the brain so it is a real key nerve to get fully activated.

Just keep sitting, even if it's half an hour, ten minutes or even five twice a day, that is the real key. Do some every day.

Enjoy the forums.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: October 27, 2008, 09:29:16 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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Flipasso

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Re: quick newbie question about vipassana
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2008, 12:28:54 AM »
Hi Shaka.
I practice according to Mindfulness In Plain English, and one thing I notice is that if I re-read it I will learn new things from it!! I also read a lot of texts from the web and talk about meditation here in the forum, which as helped me a lot aswell.
Bhante Gunaratana explains that very well in the chapter "Dealing with distractions Pt-II". He explains that you should observe whatever distracts you from the breath and he gives you specific things to observe in the distraction like "What is it?", "How strong is it?" and "How long does it last?".
My advice is start practicing and if you have doubts re-read it and probably you'll learn something new...
=)

 

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