Author Topic: Confused with this part of Mindfulness in Plain English  (Read 2688 times)

whtrbt

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Confused with this part of Mindfulness in Plain English
« on: December 28, 2009, 08:16:57 PM »
What the heck does this mean? In my own meditations I have reached the point where it feels as though the breath has disappeared, but I don't know what this bit means:

Quote
As you keep your mind focused on the rims of your nostrils, you will be able to notice the sign of the development of meditation. You will feel the pleasant sensation of sign. Different meditators feel this differently. It will be like a star, or a peg made of heartwood, or a long string, or a wreath of flowers, or a puff of smoke, or a cob-web, or a film of cloud, or a lotus flower, or the disc of the moon or the disc of the sun.
Earlier in your practice you had inhaling and exhaling as objects of meditation. Now you have the sign as the third object of meditation. When you focus your mind on this third object, your mind reaches a stage of concentration sufficient for your practice of insight meditation.

What is this third sign? Also when it comes up, do I move my awareness from the breath to this third sign? I just don't understand this part.

mik1e

  • Guest
Re: Confused with this part of Mindfulness in Plain English
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2009, 08:52:00 PM »
You focus your attention on the breath to make it calm, fluent, subtle and refined.

The reason is that common person's breathing activates certain center in the brain, and if this center is constantly disturbed, you cannot concentrate properly.

When you make your breath subtle and refined to necessary extent, breathing signals pass through this center without disturbing it, and you begin to feel the state, related to constant activity of "calmed mind". The sensation of this activity is called "the third sign" in your quote. Actually, I can say that this is the undisturbed activity of the named center. That's why they say that "This sign is strongly present at the rims of the nostrils."

One can say that this sign is something like reflection of the object at the lake's surface. When you breath "ceases", you begin to see this reflection, and can focus on it. After that you can use this sign as an "anchor" to the present moment.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 09:30:31 PM by mik1e »

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: Confused with this part of Mindfulness in Plain English
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2009, 09:58:46 AM »
What the heck does this mean? In my own meditations I have reached the point where it feels as though the breath has disappeared, but I don't know what this bit means:

Quote
As you keep your mind focused on the rims of your nostrils, you will be able to notice the sign of the development of meditation. You will feel the pleasant sensation of sign. Different meditators feel this differently. It will be like a star, or a peg made of heartwood, or a long string, or a wreath of flowers, or a puff of smoke, or a cob-web, or a film of cloud, or a lotus flower, or the disc of the moon or the disc of the sun.
Earlier in your practice you had inhaling and exhaling as objects of meditation. Now you have the sign as the third object of meditation. When you focus your mind on this third object, your mind reaches a stage of concentration sufficient for your practice of insight meditation.

What is this third sign? Also when it comes up, do I move my awareness from the breath to this third sign? I just don't understand this part.

whtrbt,

You need to do more simple sitting: calming meditation (Shamatha) before delving further into insight meditation. Your confusion is a reflection of this. You do not have a stable base of Shamatha practice with which to develop deep insight and this is manifesting as confusion.

When you have a good solid base of simple breathing, calming meditation these issues will no longer confuse you.

At the moment you are chasing the dragon which is feeding restlessness. Develop calm and equanimity as the first priorities by simply watching the breath, learning to let thoughts arise and fall naturally and not engaging with them. Over time the mind calms. This can not be achieved with any force or fabrication.

This may take you some weeks, months or years depending on how effectively you do this work, your current state of mind and how much time you put into sitting on the cushion/chair/mat/stool or whatever.

Don't be afraid to ask for clarification if you need some. Welcome to the forums.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 10:00:25 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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whtrbt

  • Guest
Re: Confused with this part of Mindfulness in Plain English
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2009, 08:27:23 PM »
Thank you for your responses. I'm fairly new to meditation. I started about a month ago, and I can now sit for 30-45 minutes at a time. All I've been doing is focusing on the breath and when I notice that my mind has wandered I bring my attention back to the breath.

I do not have a teacher, so I'm glad I can come here with my questions, and I appreciate your guys' help very much.

 

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