Author Topic: Introduction and Request for Information!  (Read 1612 times)

theraputty

  • Guest
Introduction and Request for Information!
« on: April 26, 2010, 01:03:15 AM »
Hello, I have been doing very basic meditation about 6 or 7 times a year
for about 5 years.  I've usually done guided meditation with tones, but
just recently started doing it completely by myself.

My hope is that someone can explain what it is exactly that I'm doing.


What I do:
Sit cross legged with my back against the wall.
I then take a few breathes and just move about to get comfortable.
When my body is comfortable I then do this special kind of breath
that I normally don't do. I breath is such a way that I feel kind of
wavelettes of energy shooting from my thyroid down my abdomen and to my
stomach.
The more breaths I do like this the deeper down I'll go in
my meditation.

After I'm down I'll go to my "happy place" and just do a normal routine
that was suggested by my first guided meditation tape: feel the
frequency of your body, take a bath in a warm healing pool, relax in a
safe sitting area, and finally move on to a place where I can strengthen
my abilities and create/utilize tools that are important to me.

Then I think I want to wake up and it takes about 2-3 minutes of
trying to breath deeper and wake the body up before I open my eyes and
can move my limbs again.


*I've bolded the bits that I would like a bit of explanation on what
exactly is going on. Recap: What are these breaths and what are they
doing? Why does it take so long to come out of my happy place? Sometimes
I feel as though I might get stuck.


unprevadedrapture

  • Guest
Re: Introduction and Request for Information!
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 01:31:57 AM »
Quote
guided meditation with tones
binaural beats?
when's the last time you used psychoactives?

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: Introduction and Request for Information!
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 01:47:50 AM »
theraputty,

Welcome to the forums. It's 1.46am here ... I will answer your question in detail tomorrow with a clear mind.

Warmly,

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

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: Introduction and Request for Information!
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 11:42:21 PM »
I haven't forgotten you. Have had a very occupied day. Will respond in full probably tomorrow afternoon as I a travelling at the moment.

Apologies,

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

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: Introduction and Request for Information!
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2010, 07:20:51 AM »
(1) You are hypnotising yourself. that is why it takes you so long to wake up.

(2) Sit cross legged but rather than with your back against the wall put some cushions under your bum so you can support yourself on a good tripod: bum and two knees. This will help keep you awake.

(3) Read this (it does not all apply to your case but the key points do) - and use the method of practice described so you are waking up to reality instead of tuning out from it:

.....

Wherever your focus, though particularly at the nostrils, my answer will be the same and the same as advice I have often repeated. I think you may be trying too hard to concentrate without having first established a calm base of Shamatha meditation practice. Meditation begins as relaxing into your bodymind and reconnecting body and mind through total awareness of breath.

Awareness occurs throughout the body and mind through the distributed nervous system, though is of course centred in the brain - as the final organ of cognition of all perceptions.

There is a particular issue with Anapana at the nose. By focussing one's attention on the nose one is primarily using the 5th Cranial nerve, the Trigeminal nerve, as the  conduit of sensation to the brain. This means that most of the meditative activity is taking place entirely in your head because the Trigeminal nerve directly enters the brain stem and does not pass through the spinal cord.

The Buddha did not teach to focus breathing on the nose. For westerners who are often "head heavy" in their general way of living - and to some extent disembodied because of our cultural preference and conditioning towards rationality - this can be a particular and significant problem.

The Buddha taught:

Quote from: www.accesstoinsight.org
"There is the case where an aspirant -- having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building -- sits down cross-legged, holding the body erect and setting her (4) awareness before her. Always aware, one breathes in; aware one breathes out aware.

"Breathing in long, one discerns that one is breathing in long; or breathing out long, one discerns that one is breathing out long. Or breathing in short, one discerns that one is breathing in short; or breathing out short, one discerns that one is breathing out short. One trains himself to breathe in sensitive to the entire body and to breathe out sensitive to the entire body. One trains herself to breathe in calming the entire body and to breathe out calming the entire body.
"

So according to the Buddha the focus of meditation is the entire breathing experience and body, not the nostrils. And the prime first goals are awareness or sensitivity to the entire body and relaxation or calming.

This is important because when one is meditating in this way, as opposed to nostril-focussed Anapana, one is using/activating many other nerves and neurological systems - particularly the Vagus, or 10th Cranial nerve, "The Wanderer" - so called because it wanders down the neck, into the chest and abdomen and controls and senses the larynx, other parts of the speech and hearing apparatus and senses the visceral muscles of the chest, trunk and abdomen including the diaphragm and the organs including your heart (though control of the diaphragm is principally by the Phrenic nerve and the heart by the Cardiac nerve, you also want these fully activated).

The Vagus nerve amongst other things is responsible for:

Quote from: Yale School Of Medicine
Provides visceral sensory information from the larynx, esophagus, trachea, and abdominal and thoracic viscera, as well as the stretch receptors of the aortic arch and chemoreceptors of the aortic bodies .

 
Thus by focussing on the entire breathing process in the body one is activating many more nerves - particularly the Vagus, a very important nerve to have properly activated, and is actively reconnecting body (through the Vagus and other nerves) and mind (through awareness).

Anapana (focussing on the nostrils or area between lips and nostrils) or any other kind of breath meditation can be too forced, too aimed at achieving concentration and still mind. Anapana at the nostrils can heighten this imbalance due to the fact that most westerners live in their heads to a large degree.

Still mind can be quickly achieved by Anapana or any other over-forced breath meditation - but it becomes a form of self hypnosis and I believe this is what you are experiencing and describing.


.....


1) If you are focussing on the nostrils, then stop doing so for the reasons I have outlined, namely: (i) It is not what the Buddha taught and (ii) it is physiologically more likely to lead to self-hypnosis.

2) Develop awareness of your whole body breathing. Relax more during your meditation and feel the breath entering your lungs, feel the abdomen stretching out to accommodate this.  "train (yourself) to breathe in sensitive to the entire body and to breathe out sensitive to the entire body. Train (yourself) to breathe in calming the entire body and to breathe out calming the entire body." Let thoughts, feelings and emotions arise, be aware of them but do not engage of them. If you do then when you realise return to awareness of whole body breathing, noting the deviation from practice without self criticism.

My strong sense is that you are self-hypnotising and that proper calming, breathing Shamatha meditation, as described above, will overcome this obstacle.

Don't believe or disbelieve me. Try it for yourself for some time and see what difference in your experience occurs. It may take some time to get over the way you have been doing it until now if Anapana on the nose has been your practice.

Also do not be afraid to have the eyes open a little, looking gently at the floor 1 - 2 metres in front of you. The eyes should be relaxed - as in when sleeping - but not forcefully closed, when meditating.

Wamly,

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 07:24:37 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

 

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