Author Topic: mantra vs vipassana  (Read 1026 times)

deerock

  • Member
  • Who are you?
    • vipassana
mantra vs vipassana
« on: April 06, 2017, 05:27:35 PM »
i practiced mindfulness 4-7 days per week for several months. i would focus on my breathing and got mixed results and hated doing it and struggled to stick with it. i was advised by my therapist to practice relaxation response, saying a mantra word on exhalation for 20 minutes twice per day. this is easier to do and easier to stick with.

here is the conflict i have: a well known meditation teacher who teaches mindfulness, when i told him i was using one point to build concentration he said that was limiting and recommended focusing on my whole body when breathing in and out and noticing where the breath sensations appear.

i didnt ask him why it was limiting. i should have.

i am meditating to help with anxiety and depression. any thoughts on which method to use and does it matter and if so does it matter a lot?

Middleway

  • Moderator
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: mantra vs vipassana
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2017, 09:38:55 PM »
Deerock,

For the beginners it is advisable to focus on the sensations in the body produced by breathing. Since you are finding this difficult, counting of the breaths will help at the beginning. In a way, you are doing something very similar by repeating the mantra word on exhalation instead of counting. The mindfulness teacher is suggesting where (i.e the whole body) to focus your attention while breathing. So, you can follow both what the therapist has asked you to do and the mindfulness teacher's suggestion.

Once you establish some level of mindfulness, you can drop the mantra. Hope this helps.

Welcome to the forum!

Middleway
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

stillpointdancer

  • stillpointdancer
  • Member
  • Retired teacher, deepening understanding of Dharma
    • Insight meditation
    • Exploring the results of 30 years of meditating
Re: mantra vs vipassana
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2017, 10:48:44 AM »
: a well known meditation teacher who teaches mindfulness, when i told him i was using one point to build concentration he said that was limiting and recommended focusing on my whole body when breathing in and out and noticing where the breath sensations appear.

i didnt ask him why it was limiting. i should have.

i am meditating to help with anxiety and depression. any thoughts on which method to use and does it matter and if so does it matter a lot?
The trouble with some of these teachers is that they are sometimes too focused on your development, what to go to next. He was probably right, but that you aren't ready to move on yet, as Middleway suggested. Where the breath sensations appear is just the next part of basic mindfulness of breathing, and something else to concentrate on rather than use a mantra. Maybe that's what he meant, that it was limiting the development of your mindfulness of breathing practice.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Manohar Shrestha

  • Member
  • Let's explore our mind and body
    • Vippasana ( Sayagi u Ba Khin tradition) student
Re: mantra vs vipassana
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2017, 04:33:06 PM »
Hi,

In fact, visualization and verbalization (Mantra) creates a peaceful layer in your mind. The existing layer related to anxiety and  depression will suppressed by the peaceful layer of mantra. You may feel better. Later on,  the layer related to anxiety and  depression will re-surface again. Thus, this is only a temporary solution.

The method recommended by your teacher will remove layer of anxiety and depression for ever. You need to decide depending upon your situation.

All the best.