Author Topic: Updates on my practice  (Read 374 times)

John Bruzi

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  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
Updates on my practice
« on: January 07, 2018, 12:23:20 AM »
Hi guys and happy new year! It's been a while.

Well I want to say that first, I have nearly solved my posture problem. I no longer meditate lying down but instead on a chair with an upright posture which I am actually beginning to enjoy. My shoulders, arms and legs would be completely rested but my back would be so straight I could almost feel a "straight line of energy" moving through my spine and up the back of my head.

Also, the racing heart thing is beginning to fade away thanks to my reformed way of breathing (I am no longer doing conscious and vigorous breathing but just observing the breath without trying to control it), but the (not unpleasant) feeling of pressure in the crown of my head and/or between the eyes/forehead remains and has in fact gotten much stronger, which tells me this is the next level of my practice. I can almost feel my presence more in these spots when I meditate, sometimes so much that I get this feeling that I am on top of my own head!

However, I do feel like I'm mostly stuck in between my head and my chest, hence the lose of concentration. Do I need to focus more and stay in the head?

Marc

  • Member
Re: Updates on my practice
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2018, 07:32:12 PM »
Hey!

Seems you are doing great. It will help your concentration that you are now able to sit instead of lay down. Regarding your question, I don't fully understood. What is your practice like, what instructions do you follow?

Phatley

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    • Mindfulness
Re: Updates on my practice
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 10:17:40 PM »
John, I am new to meditation and in no way experienced to offer advice but I felt like I should chime in on your experiences with the head pressures. I started to accept them during meditation and continue on with my meditation and leave it be just as they were sounds, feelings, or thoughts. When I first started meditating they were very strong and I would spend my time focusing on them and wondering what is going on and would lose motivation to practice observing my breath. I started looking into other meditation methods and even trying to use them as my focus, but I kept questioning my methods and if it is even working. I had a recent break through where I realized that I was using these sensations to avoid following my initial goal to watch my breath, perhaps the monkey-mind was wanting to use this to distract me, and I simply chose to ignore them and at that point I observed my breath to a level I have not achieved. The pressures did not go away, I continued to focus on my breath and in the background the pressures started swirling and it felt as if a river was above my head and my "soul or energy" was traveling into it. Again, I just let it be and kept focusing on my main objective, to watch my breath and I feel I broke through something similar to what you are dealing with.

I would say to keep on track with your meditation objective and let the pressures and feelings where you feel stuck be. Because of your awareness of feeling like you are stuck between your head and chest is making you lose concentration, try to accept it just like a thought and return to your breath. I know exactly what you are talking about and just let it take you wherever it takes you while maintaining your focus on breath. It can actually be pretty amazing and something no one else I personally know even understands, good to hear I am not alone on that! The pressures have not gone away but they are just a part of my background in meditation and I accept them. I even look forward to them to be there in the background because it has become a part of my experience. Again, I am new and learning, but this is what has worked for me and my experiences so hopefully this can help you! Best of luck.

Quardamon

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    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: Updates on my practice
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 09:47:17 PM »
Hello John,

Good to hear from you again. I am glad that the racing heart is less of a problem now, and that you know that that came about by reforming your breathing, by making it less vigorous.
On the flow of energy I want to make a remark, and I hope that it helps.
In the yoga traditions of India the picture is used of energy raising along the spine from bottom to top. The ideal is, that bringing the energy above the head could induce bliss.
In China the tradition sees the energy flow as a circulating thing: It starts from bottom to top along the spine, and then goes down along the front side of the body. The ideal is balance and a long life, not bliss.
(For the general reader: this can take years, and it does not need to occur at all.)
You still have this motto that you seek control, not happiness. So I think that the Chinese picture is more apt for you. It is more earthly. (From what I read, it takes faith in the divine to go above one's head, as is done in the Indian picture.)
So my advice would be, that if you feel a lot of energy at your crown or above it, bring your attention to your face. Or if there is a lot of energy between your eyes, bring your attention to your throat. My idea is, that the attention will guide the energy. If a lot of energy builds up in the throat (at the front side of the body), you can bring your attention to the heart (at the front side of the body), and so on.
I hope that this helps to give you a sense of strength and vitality.

Again: glad to hear form you.    Q.

John Bruzi

  • Member
  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
Re: Updates on my practice
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2018, 01:18:42 AM »
Thanks for the response Marc and Phatley. Quardamon it's good to see you too.

You see I'm not actually complaining about those pressure sensations. In fact, the pressure sensations are usually an indication that I've gone into a deeper state of mindfulness, and are rather encouraging. I know I said earlier that I feel stuck but things have changed since my last post. Let me update you.

I've realized that during meditation there is usually this urge to breath consciously, especially when the tension around the chest starts to build up and one feels like they need to take a deep breath to relieve it all. However, if one can tolerate that tension and resist giving in to conscious breathing (which is what I've been doing lately) the breath becomes more uniform/shallow and the "movement sensations" start to feel more obvious. I feel like it's all in the breathing. But where is this going?

Middleway

  • Moderator
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Updates on my practice
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2018, 03:39:54 AM »
Thanks for the response Marc and Phatley. Quardamon it's good to see you too.

I've realized that during meditation there is usually this urge to breath consciously, especially when the tension around the chest starts to build up and one feels like they need to take a deep breath to relieve it all. However, if one can tolerate that tension and resist giving in to conscious breathing (which is what I've been doing lately) the breath becomes more uniform/shallow and the "movement sensations" start to feel more obvious. I feel like it's all in the breathing. But where is this going?

Looks like you achieved a certain subtlety of the mind. Where do you go from here? You could turn inward to investigate the workings of the mind. Observe how your mind divides itself. See how your awareness toggles between breath and you (ego-self).  When you see a bird on a wing...that the bird is over there, meaning you are here. This is mind dividing itself. Bird on a wing is just a 3D simulation in your mind and your ego-self that arose (born) is also product of your mind. Mind is virtual reality. Have fun!

Kind regards,

Middleway
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.