Author Topic: Anapana problems and alternatives  (Read 155 times)

nicktw

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Anapana problems and alternatives
« on: January 14, 2021, 10:57:24 AM »
I used to focus on the rise and fall of the abdomen but this really made my stomach uncomfortable and it would gurgle and feel as if it is twisting etc. ( I wasn't forcing the rise and fall) so I moved to the nose area.  Now the nose starts to feel inflamed and sinuses sore (like having flu), part of my face goes partially numb and there are some popping noises coming from behind the forehead/ nose connection area. It feels a struggle to exhale through the nose too during meditation. Even thinking about the nose as I type, brings on this feeling. I guess anapana isn't the way for me.

So, if I changed my object of attention to purely body scanning or a physical sensation such as contact with the floor and included noting, is this still a viable practice? I used the sound of the air-conditioner in my last sit and found it quite nice, but I worry that each new environment will have different sounds so the concentration won't go as deep over time. This is one of the benefits of anapana, it is always with you.

For Metta practice, I've not really come across anyone advocating intense metta practice. Is it possible to practice this for 5/6 hours a day? Or is it better just once or twice?

For equanimity practice, is it purely unjudgemental observation and non labelling? If the mind wanders you come back to unjudgemental observation?

I am wondering which combination of Metta, Equanimity and Vipassana using sensations is best.

Thanks for any advice

dharma bum

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Re: Anapana problems and alternatives
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2021, 03:13:28 PM »
Quote
So, if I changed my object of attention to purely body scanning or a physical sensation such as contact with the floor and included noting, is this still a viable practice?

I think it is. Anapana works for me sometimes but not always because my nose can get clogged often. I find the Goenka style scanning a bit too taxing so I use a more relaxed approach to noting sensations.

Please look at the calm-abiding instructions on the forum's main page
https://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php?page=2
Mostly ignorant

nicktw

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Re: Anapana problems and alternatives
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2021, 03:22:55 PM »
Thanks. I have read that before, and was left with the  and 'then what 'thought. Do you go on to have insights, jhana etc. It seems very much the beginners basics guide with nothing to follow on.

nicktw

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Re: Anapana problems and alternatives
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2021, 03:26:04 PM »
In regards to past experience : I've done one vipassana retreat in which the instructor was very much "I know all and can help you in all techniques" but there was a communication barrier so he couldn't really answer my questions. I'm currently doing a self retreat of about 6hrs meditation a day. I'm on Day 4/10.

Alex

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Re: Anapana problems and alternatives
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2021, 04:10:01 PM »
Thanks. I have read that before, and was left with the  and 'then what 'thought. Do you go on to have insights, jhana etc. It seems very much the beginners basics guide with nothing to follow on.

Those basic instructions can be practiced for years or lifetime and bring fruits of concentration, insight and metta. Interesting that part of you reacts with ‘then what’… as if it feels it is not ‘enough’ in some way?

The sensations you describe seem like there is some kind of tightening, which is not uncommon, even for people with more than basic experience with meditation.
Maybe it’s interesting to bring your awareness more to the emotional relationship you have with the practice at any given moment? Monitoring your attitude, the amount of effort, etc.

I am wondering which combination of Metta, Equanimity and Vipassana using sensations is best.

It’s a good question, what to practice. Again, interesting that part of you is looking for what’s best. Best in what way?

Kindly
Alex

dharma bum

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Re: Anapana problems and alternatives
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2021, 03:05:33 AM »
Quote
Thanks. I have read that before, and was left with the  and 'then what 'thought. Do you go on to have insights, jhana etc. It seems very much the beginners basics guide with nothing to follow on.

I don't really know what jhanas are. Some people say the sense of peace is the jhana. But I don't know how to measure the sense of peace and how to evaluate it. Anyway, I don't see what purpose it serves.

I don't especially have any insights possibly because I read too much and what insights I have are just something I might have read somewhere. For me, the beginners basic guide is good enough. Actually some Zen teachers go on and on about having a beginner's mind. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vDfq1Yt5to
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Matthew

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Re: Anapana problems and alternatives
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2021, 05:53:35 PM »
Thanks. I have read that before, and was left with the  and 'then what 'thought. Do you go on to have insights, jhana etc. It seems very much the beginners basics guide with nothing to follow on.

You seem to be having problems with the beginners basics, so it is not inappropriate to start here.

Development of balanced attention to the physical feelings arising through the whole body, created by the breathing process, and relaxation, will lead to calm, calm leads to development of concentration and insight, and these in turn lead to the development of wisdom.

All these things are fruits of practicing "mindfulness with breathing": the process of breathing being the anchor that holds mindfulness steady.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

nicktw

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Re: Anapana problems and alternatives
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2021, 08:14:30 AM »
Thankyou all for your suggestions.
I think it is appropriate to ask 'then what' if you don't have a teacher to guide you through the process. That is why books are written about practices, so that you know what to expect and how to interpret experiences.

Quote
It’s a good question, what to practice. Again, interesting that part of you is looking for what’s best. Best in what way?
Kindly
Alex

Best in a way that I don't feel like I have been through the Vipassana practices. It is natural to try different things until you find something that fits your personality. I'm sure most people on the forum have dabbled in or research different things until they find what is 'best' for them.

Thanks again
Nick
« Last Edit: January 16, 2021, 12:19:49 PM by raushan »

 

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