Author Topic: Vipassana routine  (Read 231 times)

philclaffey

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    • S N Goenka, Vipassana
Vipassana routine
« on: January 12, 2018, 11:33:22 AM »
Hello everyone,

   Thank you for accepting to this forum, this is my first post here.

I am an experienced Vipassana meditator, having completed 4 x 10 day S.N. Goenka retreats in the past 8 years.

I wondered if any of you could relate to the current phase of practice in which I am experiencing?

More often than not I am finding my practice a little mechanical, not exactly boring, but on the verge of being very systematic.

I sit for around 30 minutes, twice a day at the moment, am extending it 5 minutes a week until I get to an hour sit for each.

I begin by a simple routine of arm stretches, pay homage to the triple gem, and then sit in the Burmese style.

I then immediately scan my body, head to foot meticulously for about 3 -5 minutes and then sweep en masse paying attention to any blockages or overt sensations that arise, after close inspection of those, they usually dissolve, within a minute or two, any longer than that I move back to a scan, maybe two and then return to sweep en masse.

There are occasions where I am clear and enter perhaps the first inklings of Jhana, but they are rare.

A habit that seems to be forming is where I get predictive with oncoming discomfort and enter a state of mind which seems unable to step back and simply observe the mind state I am entering and simply become agitated and impatient.

Does any of this seem familiar to you? I do consider myself very lucky and am grateful for the insights, concentration abilities and peace of mind that Vipassana has gifted me, but for a while have been practicing in this vein.

Any comments very welcome.

   Thank you,

Phil.

stillpointdancer

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Re: Vipassana routine
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 02:33:51 PM »
Sounds like most meditators I have ever talked to, including myself. The problem is coping with the long periods when nothing seems to happen. The mind hates any strategy that tries to tame it, and tries everything to make you give up. My own experience is that I developed some fun meditations for when things got too bad, and these kept me meditating until I could settle down to the basic stuff again. I still use them now and then after 30 years of 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

philclaffey

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Re: Vipassana routine
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2018, 08:05:02 AM »
Hey,

   Thank you for your reply, I think it has shifted, another kindly reminder that suffering exists! Wanting what I don't have, having what I don't want.

I remember some instruction given during the 10 day regarding this and by changing the pace and the starting point of my scan as well as varying the direction of the sweep en masse, as well as being aware that everything is in flux, I am able to pay closer attention and mindfulness to present moment.

Just out of interest what fun types of meditation did you summon when this arose?

I recently brought in troubling situations in to see their reaction to my mind and body, just to watch them wither, as recommended in a Dhamma talk I heard by Ajahn Amaro...

   Best wishes,

Phil.

stillpointdancer

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Re: Vipassana routine
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2018, 02:31:24 PM »
Hey,

Just out of interest what fun types of meditation did you summon when this arose?
I recently brought in troubling situations in to see their reaction to my mind and body, just to watch them wither, as recommended in a Dhamma talk I heard by Ajahn Amaro...

Phil.

Perhaps 'enjoyable' is a better word than fun, although any that leave you relaxed, smiling and wanting more will do. A 'safe place' visualisation is useful, where you create a safe, inviting place such as a garden, in your mind, and you visualise yourself walking there, with all the senses working to enhance the experience.

Another is a chakra - type meditation, where you visualise your different-coloured chakras opening up, filling your body with rainbow light in layers. As you breathe, the air circulates around your body and gives energy to the light, making it brighter. In the end this energy shines out of your body in a multicoloured display, sending metta everywhere.

My favourite of the moment is to imagine a globe in my hands as I meditate. As I breathe, the energy from the breath generates white light, metta again, which overflows like mist, to fill the room and the world beyond. Strangely, the more energy you give away like that, the more you seem to generate for yourself too.

Most teachers don't like you experimenting like this, but I don't think it does any harm to find something that keeps you meditating through the rough times.

“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

philclaffey

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Re: Vipassana routine
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2018, 06:54:26 AM »
Hey,

   Thank you so much for your reply and kindly suggestions.

I just happened upon this (see the attachment) from Joseph Goldsteins' book "Insight Meditation".

I like his approach, that is essentially a call to look closer and to awaken.

   Best wishes,

Phil.