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meditime

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i think i'm doing something wrong
« on: February 23, 2010, 05:31:28 PM »
i just got back from a 10 day retreat, just 2 days ago. i'm continuing my meditation day and night, but i think i'm doing something wrong or i that maybe i dont  understand the technique properly.

i always start with anapana for about 10 min then vipassana. i start from the head down to the toes, but the only thing i feel is a tingling sensation on every part of the body and a few muscles moving here and there.
when i was at the retreat everybody was getting some memories from the past or some kind of gross sensation. i asked and they said it was ok and that even if i didn t get any gross sensation it was ok and that i was still getting some sankaras out, but it does seem to make sense since everybody else was getting good or bad memories which made them very happy.

can somebody tell me what i'm doing wrong or if it is really ok to just feel the tingling sensation and nothing else. to me, it only looks like i'm missing something.

Crystal Palace

  • Member
  • "Move on Bhikkus, Move On" - Buddha
    • Thai Forest Tradition
Re: i think i'm doing something wrong
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2010, 05:49:45 AM »
Dear meditime,

Firstly, you are not doing anything wrong. If you paid attention to the discourses properly, SN Goenka says time and time again that one must not compare one's own meditative experiences with that of the others. Your experiences in meditation are entirely dependent on your stock of sankharas and the effort you put in.

After my first course, I would not feel any subtle sensation at all for months. I am not sure though that you are not getting any gross sensation. Say if you sit for one hour continously, don't your knees hurt? Isn't that a gross sensation?

Infact the tingling sensation on every part of the body that you describe is an advanced goal that will take proper time and training to achieve.

Also remember, as the discourses make it clear so many times, that you should NOT make this a game of sensations. Thus it does not mean that if you're geting subtle pleasant sensations your practice is going well and if you are getting gross sensations only your practice is not going well. Infact, use every oppurtunity as a tool for removing ignorance, aversion and craving.

Case 1: You get a pleasant subtle sensation.
 
You should realize that a wonderful oppurtunity has arisen to eradicate your craving for pleasant sensations. You must not start enjoying the sensation but just observe its impermanent nature. Sooner or later it will pass away. Once it does, wouldn't you become miserable? So remain equanimous to it.

Case 2: You get heavy gross sensations.

You should realize that a wonderful oppurtunity has arisen to eradicate your aversion towards unpleasant sensations. Had this sensation never come, how would you have recieved an oppurunity to come out of aversion? Thus this sensation is such a blessing! Remain equanimous and observe for how long it stays. Whether you like it or not, it will pass away with time. Then wasn't your aversion towards that sensation worthless?

Case 3: You get no sensations at all.

You should realize that a wonderful oppurtunity has arisen to increase your concentration and one pointedness of the mind. This means your mind is wandering and is not focussed on the object of meditation. The mind has been wandering wantonly all throughout this life. Thus, its a great oppurtunity to correct this bad habit of the mind.


I do also want to point out that in the beginnig practice anapana for longer sessions before you start vipassana. Instead of 10 mins give it say 40 mins. You can even limit your practice to only anapana for the first few months. Once you know that you have established a certain level of calm in the mind, then you can start practising vipassana along with anapana and metta.

Please feel free to post any queries you have any number of times on this forum, and listen to the discourses very carefully for I think they are self explanatory. Don't get caught up too much in the more 'extravagant' aspects of meditation such as past memories or visualizations. And do keep a regular practice for that is the most important part and without which you will not see any real benefits. Ultimately the goal of meditation is to become happier, not to fly in the air.

Best Wishes,
Crystal Palace
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

meditime

  • Guest
Re: i think i'm doing something wrong
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2010, 01:53:29 PM »
thanks a lot crystal .... good advice

meditime

 

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