Author Topic: About scanning the body versus observing the body as single unit  (Read 318 times)

mahesh

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Hi,

I attended the 10 days course twice, but unfortunately couldnt keep up with daily practice. Now I am determined to start it again.
I just have one issue. For me scanning the sensations on body from head to toe  seems to make my mind lose focus and wander. On the contrary, if I observe the entire body as a single unit, I do better. (Also sometimes I try to cut off all the thoughts from my mind and make it thoughtless - even this works for me.)  But as for Vipassana, is it ok that instead of scanning the body I focus on the sensations considering the body as a single unit? ( English is not my native language so I hope I have expressed my thoughts well.)

Regards
Mahesh.

Thanisaro85

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Re: About scanning the body versus observing the body as single unit
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2020, 02:41:46 AM »
Hi,

I attended the 10 days course twice, but unfortunately couldnt keep up with daily practice. Now I am determined to start it again.
I just have one issue. For me scanning the sensations on body from head to toe  seems to make my mind lose focus and wander. On the contrary, if I observe the entire body as a single unit, I do better. (Also sometimes I try to cut off all the thoughts from my mind and make it thoughtless - even this works for me.)  But as for Vipassana, is it ok that instead of scanning the body I focus on the sensations considering the body as a single unit? ( English is not my native language so I hope I have expressed my thoughts well.)

Regards
Mahesh.

Vipassana is a phenomenon happened during meditation, and so is shamatha.

One can use focusing on the breath, watching the rising/falling of abdomen, scanning the body or some chanting to anchor the mind. Use whichever that is comfortable and easy for individual.

 Depend on what one wanted to achieve using meditation. If one only hope to achieve just stillness/blissfulness(shamatha), all the above can do, if one wanted to achieve vipassana, one had to pay attention to the rising and falling of the vedana(feeling, sensation, thoughts.) With any of the above method as the foundation.When doing all the different methods of meditations.One may or may not experience stillness/blissfulness when Observing the rising/falling of vedanas.

If your aim is to gain insight(vipassana), then you should not cut off thoughts, as it will only lead to shamatha. Rather, watch the thoughts arise and goes away.



A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

Martinba

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Re: About scanning the body versus observing the body as single unit
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2020, 04:49:40 AM »
.

If your aim is to gain insight(vipassana), then you should not cut off thoughts, as it will only lead to shamatha. Rather, watch the thoughts arise and goes away.

This is exactly what it's currently working for me now. I use my breath as an anchor and a vehicle and contemplate sensations and thoughts from it. I feel that every body tension has something to say and I hear everything even if its something I dont really like. In order not to get lost within thoughts and sensations Im always aware of them using my breath as the unique perspective/vehicle.

Kind regards,
Martin

georg7887

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Re: About scanning the body versus observing the body as single unit
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2020, 07:21:40 AM »
Hi Martinba,
an issue becomes only an issue if you make it one. Recognizing the mind loosing focus and wander is either good/nor bad, it's just being mindful in the moment when you get aware of not being mindful. That's how your mind behaves at the moment, maybe you don't like the reaction, which comes afterwards. Did you note that during meditation or have you maybe missed something?

Maybe it is helpful when starting again a daily routine, to make more smaller sessions, instead of one or two long runs during the day. They can be of more quality than the long ones, because mindfulness has to be build up again and in my opinion it's wiser to use patience as your friend instead of force.

greetings


Thanisaro85

  • Member
  • When thoughts, sensations, feelings arise,know it
    • Reverend father Jaran, Pramote. Theravada
    • Still breathing.
Re: About scanning the body versus observing the body as single unit
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2020, 09:35:56 AM »
.

If your aim is to gain insight(vipassana), then you should not cut off thoughts, as it will only lead to shamatha. Rather, watch the thoughts arise and goes away.

This is exactly what it's currently working for me now. I use my breath as an anchor and a vehicle and contemplate sensations and thoughts from it. I feel that every body tension has something to say and I hear everything even if its something I dont really like. In order not to get lost within thoughts and sensations Im always aware of them using my breath as the unique perspective/vehicle.

Kind regards,
Martin

Just to ensure we are on the same page, there are 2 types of thoughts that we might be discussing. One is a type of thought is auto generated from our mind without us summoned it up, the other type is triggered when we observed something arising( like vedana)and we try to analyse/contemplate it.

Once you are aware of both they will disappeared, replaced by next bit of consciousness.

A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

mahesh

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Re: About scanning the body versus observing the body as single unit
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2020, 12:11:37 PM »
Thank you all for the replies. They are really helpful and gave something that i didnt know earlier.
However, i am sorry to say that my main question remains unanswered:

"But as for Vipassana, is it ok that instead of scanning the body I focus on the sensations considering the body as a single unit?"

Regards
Mahesh.

Thanisaro85

  • Member
  • When thoughts, sensations, feelings arise,know it
    • Reverend father Jaran, Pramote. Theravada
    • Still breathing.
Re: About scanning the body versus observing the body as single unit
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2020, 01:43:59 PM »
Thank you all for the replies. They are really helpful and gave something that i didnt know earlier.
However, i am sorry to say that my main question remains unanswered:

"But as for Vipassana, is it ok that instead of scanning the body I focus on the sensations considering the body as a single unit?"

Regards
Mahesh.

Perhap you could read my reply to you again and see if you can get your answer?

I can't answer directly to your question, Reason being, your phrase " focus on the sensations considering the body as a single unit", can be interpreted differently. 

But if you understand Vipassana as explained by many meditation teachers, it arised thru the constant observing of coming and passing away of not just sensations, but states of body, formation of thoughts and feelings.



 
A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

Martinba

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Re: About scanning the body versus observing the body as single unit
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2020, 06:18:50 PM »


Just to ensure we are on the same page, there are 2 types of thoughts that we might be discussing. One is a type of thought is auto generated from our mind without us summoned it up, the other type is triggered when we observed something arising( like vedana)and we try to analyse/contemplate it.

Once you are aware of both they will disappeared, replaced by next bit of consciousness.

Yes, I feel those thoughts as voices that have been muted. when Im aware of them its like raising the volume  to its natural intensity in order to fully contemplate them. I think that the fact of the volume being muted is what psychology considers as repression.

Lately, im having this rare sensations, i dont know how to describe them yet. Its like fear on its very natural state, not obscured by anger or anything, like madness, and it feels intense on volume but pretty light on density, like a free wild animal. It a sensation that I have felt before, it feels so familiar to me, maybe i felt it as a child. I just let everything be, im happy with how my practice is going. 

I would appreciate any thoughts :)

Thanisaro85

  • Member
  • When thoughts, sensations, feelings arise,know it
    • Reverend father Jaran, Pramote. Theravada
    • Still breathing.
Re: About scanning the body versus observing the body as single unit
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2020, 01:28:22 AM »




Lately, im having this rare sensations, i dont know how to describe them yet. Its like fear on its very natural state, not obscured by anger or anything, like madness, and it feels intense on volume but pretty light on density, like a free wild animal. It a sensation that I have felt before, it feels so familiar to me, maybe i felt it as a child. I just let everything be, im happy with how my practice is going. 

I would appreciate any thoughts :)

Whatever vedanas (fear, anger, sad, happy, neutral etc)  arised, know it, aware of it . Watch it arises and falls away.
A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

 

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