Author Topic: Body Scan Questions  (Read 2208 times)

mcgee55

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Body Scan Questions
« on: September 22, 2009, 09:35:52 PM »
Hello all,

           Its been over a month since I've last posted a question.  This one has to do with body scanning.  I have just begun scanning the body in my meditation practice and I am having a sort of awkward problem.  Namely, I am having trouble using the breath as a secondary object of attention, and body sensations as the primary.   Larry Rosenberg (Breath by Breath) indicates in his instructions to let the breath fall to the background (while not losing touch with it) and to primarily focus on the sensations you feel in the area your scanning.  Jeffrey Brantley (Calming Your Anxious Mind) describes the technique as breathing through the part of the body you are scanning, and cradling the sensation in the breath.  All of this sounds very nice, but when I breath my mind instantaneously is attracted right back to the nostrils.  I know it sounds a little ridiculous to have the problem of not being able to get attention away from the breath in the nostrils, but I know that in order to one day practice real vipassana i need to be able to use the breath to work things other than my nose.  Has anybody else had this problem???  Perhaps somebody has a different way of summarizing the technique so that it might make more sense.   Thanks a lot guys.   

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Body Scan Questions
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2009, 10:42:27 PM »
I would suggest you stick with Anapana for the time being. If your mind is not settled enough yet for this extrapolation of the technique then more investment in Shamatha is indicated.

When you have reached one pointed mind of absolute concentration then you will be able to anchor meditation in the breath, fully concenrate on any arising phenomena and return to the breath with ease.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

mcgee55

  • Guest
Re: Body Scan Questions
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2009, 10:15:21 PM »
ITB,

I certainly considered that option.  After practicing the body scan several times, however, I have started to get the hang of it.  I believe the problem was that I didn't quite understand how one could use the breath to anchor awareness in anything but the breath.  I'm an analytical person, and I kept approaching it from more of a problem solving mentality ("how can I make this work...") instead of just letting it happen.  My brief experience (1-2 hrs. per day for 4.5 months) with vipassana has taught me that part of having a soft or open mind is just letting the experience take you.  I can breath with sensations, but only if I stop trying and let it just happen naturally.  I am young, but I know there is a valuable life lesson in that revelation. 

Regards...

wildfox

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Re: Body Scan Questions
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 03:53:33 AM »
Matthew called it right.  Here's how to know when you are ready for the body scanning part.  The breath will get so tranquil that you will get keenly aware that when you breathe, your body moves in response.  Observe this and study it a while, noticing your capacity to notice breath and body at the same time.  You have moved from "fixing" the breath at the nose to "linking" the breath movement with the body movement.  This is Rosenberg's step 3.  It is a matter of maintaining attention foreground and background.  When you lose the breath, you lose mindfulness.


Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Body Scan Questions
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 12:41:14 PM »
Matthew called it right.  Here's how to know when you are ready for the body scanning part.  The breath will get so tranquil that you will get keenly aware that when you breathe, your body moves in response.  Observe this and study it a while, noticing your capacity to notice breath and body at the same time.  You have moved from "fixing" the breath at the nose to "linking" the breath movement with the body movement.  This is Rosenberg's step 3.  It is a matter of maintaining attention foreground and background.  When you lose the breath, you lose mindfulness.


Absolutely correct. Thanks again wildfox.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~