Author Topic: Vipassana Meditation Help  (Read 7521 times)

bodhisatwa

  • Guest
Vipassana Meditation Help
« on: September 02, 2010, 04:44:31 AM »
Hello All,


I am Vipassana meditator and start practicing 3 years ago.I practice Goenka Method of Meditation .I feel very strong hot vibrating sensation in my face while practicing meditation and other times as well .Especially in mouth,tightness in jaw,forehead and if i practice meditation sometimes i found myself increasing my anger .What i feel is these sensation itself make me blow up in anger.I multiply my anger with these senssation .The sensation occurs very fast and a huge anger thoughts comes on my mind.


I really need help.What i feel if i am restless then it's no way i can meditate.

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: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2010, 07:43:07 AM »
Hello Bodhisatwa,

Welcome to the forums. If you are prepared to try an experiment you could meditate the way the Buddha taught it instead of using Goenka's method.

Sit upright and relaxed, aware and awake but not clinging to concentration. Breathe in aware of the whole body - no scanning, no focussing on your nose - just aware of whole body. As you breathe in calm and relax whole body. Breathe out aware of whole body and calming/relaxing whole body. When thought arises just let it go - let it wash past your mind like the waves rolling up on a beach then back into the seas - be aware of thought but do not identify or attach - let it go.

Aware of whole body and relaxing whole body. On inbreath and outbreath. This is a big change from what you do now if you follow Goenka's method - this is a more simple, powerful and profound method.

It is also important to keep mindfulness when you are off the cushion and start to gain insight into the things that trigger anger in every day life that you "let happen". These often build into the kind of intense anger you describe. If your boss at work is a complete idiot and speaks down to you then be aware of this and the feelings it brings when it happens - don't push them down inside of you like most people do (but also do not "become" such anger or negativity) - just be aware and educate yourself about the reality of now at all times.

If there is something specific in your life that angers you or where you are being oppressed by some other then deal with it in a graceful way - this way you start to build resilience without losing into guilt, another emotion that when buried often emerges consciously as bursts of anger.

Be happy and don't worry. There are many meditation techniques and as Goenka teaches it is good to stick to one - but even he would agree not if that one is failing to lead to deep mental change in your life.

Use the method the Buddha taught and you will find more happiness in life.

Warm regards,

In the Dhamma,

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

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2010, 07:46:38 AM »
First of all welcome aboard friend :)

I have not much experience in meditation so take my words with a grain of salt please.

I am not sure whether focusing on the nose can accumulate energy on the face and bring such sensations. You could try and drop the anapana at the nose and simply keep beeing mindful of your whole body breathing sensations.

I also deal with anger aftet my meditation. This only tells us who we realy are at this time. Full of anger because of the fear we grow deep inside (what reason doesnt matter)
To be able to deal with emotions as anger or worry or any other distraction you must remind yourself to calm your body with every in and out breath while observing the anger with the side of your conciousness, so not directly.
I say not to supress it or reject it just do not give it your whole conciousness.
Give most of your mindfulness to your whole body breathing being mindful of all sensations. So if you feel jaws locking, with each breath relax the jaws some more until they are totaly relaxed.
Return to guarding your body from stress by mindfully observing all that is happening without concentrating on anything in particular.
Try to see your anger as something new to be mindful of. Now it is not your breath, now is your anger.

You could consider doing a talking therapy and still meditating.

I am sure others will chime in with more interedting solutions.

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2010, 07:57:01 AM »
P.s. I didnt notice TIB already gave you a great and very simple easy to do advice. This does work for me. Yes i still have anger but kind of i dont take it so seriously any more (detaching). I agree screw the concentration. It will come via mindfulness any way. Screw the enlightenment as well, it will too come via mindfulness of all that is. Try what Matthew suggested for a few month and see for yourself.
Keep us posted please

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: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2010, 08:29:31 AM »
Morning Dew I think we posted at the same time :D

...
I am not sure whether focusing on the nose can accumulate energy on the face and bring such sensations....

Yes it can - Anapana at the nose ignores the body and it is in the body these emotions accumulate.

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

rideforever

  • Guest
Re: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2010, 09:50:35 PM »
I have some suggestions :

- try, at a time when you are not angry, to access this difficult place - can you remember the feelings / thoughts / sensations ... try to work on these out of the situation -> do you get any pictures in your mind of events / memories that can clarify what is going on

- second suggestion : okay you get angry.  get up get a pillow and start whacking the shit out of your bed screaming "you friking bitch, you friking bitch, ..."  - or whatever words come to your mind ... these are my words for my mother who ruined my life ....

- often when i am feeling things i just open my mouth and let stuff come out, grunting "arghhhhhh", screaming, crying whateveer ... allooooooooooowwwww

Lokuttara

  • Member
  • Trekking the hills of dhamma
    • Vipassanamurti
    • Love cycling into the blue skies and enjoying the first touches of Spring!
Re: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2010, 06:45:59 PM »
Aware of whole body and relaxing whole body. On inbreath and outbreath. This is a big change from what you do now if you follow Goenka's method - this is a more simple, powerful and profound method.

This is certainly not a big change from what I experienced while learning meditation from Goenka. In fact, it's probably the same :) I guess some people take the instructions too literally and maybe haven't read around, or educated themselves, in what meditation is. Thus end up mechanically following instructions, caught in the mind, and not relaxing. Before I did Goenka, I read books and considered myself a student of Krishnamurti, Chopra, Dhiravamsa, Kornfield. And I also maintained K's fact that "there is no teacher", but one is one's own teacher. Goenka himself says, "After these 10-days, you are your own master". So on courses I would continue with awareness of thoughts, not "pushing them down", and also walking meditation at breaks, and continuous self inquiry and awareness of sensations.

So IMHO there is nothing wrong with the Goenka courses, but I think one needs to read around and understand what meditation is before taking one. You are your own master, so do not rely on any teacher/instructions because there *is* no teacher :) There never was, there never will be. It appears that students are rigidly following instructions, trying too hard, and not relaxing into it. With a little bit of understanding, Goenka courses are fantastic environments for self-enquiry and deep, serious meditation and serious work. And you meet some really cool people there too, and the ATs are often very enlightened individuals from what I have experienced :)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 06:48:13 PM by Lokuttara »
"One may be surrounded by great beauty, by mountains and fields and rivers, but unless one is alive to it all one might just as well be dead." Krishnamurti

kidnovice

  • Member
    • Theravada: with nuts and bolts from Goenka-ji, and fine tuning from Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Re: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2010, 07:44:00 PM »
Well put, Lokuttara. I really couldn't have said it better myself! :) The problem often isn't what we're doing, but how we're doing it.

Metta,
KN
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Vivek

  • Moderator
  • Staff
    • Advaita & U Ba Khin's tradition
Re: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2010, 04:36:02 AM »
That's a great post, Lokuttara. You've made your point absolutely clear. :)
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2010, 07:04:22 AM »
VIVA La Goenka! Viva La Goenka! VIVAAAAAAA !!!

;)

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: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2010, 01:42:22 PM »
Aware of whole body and relaxing whole body. On inbreath and outbreath. This is a big change from what you do now if you follow Goenka's method - this is a more simple, powerful and profound method.

This is certainly not a big change from what I experienced while learning meditation from Goenka. In fact, it's probably the same :) ....

Lokuttara,

Not going to get into a your right/I'm wrong debate as we've done that crap to death, however, factually I do not feel the above can be supported.

I propose relaxed yet mindful whole body breathing from the start. Simple. It takes me five minutes to teach this method, no videos needed, with good results.

In Goenka retreats there are i) three days of intensive Anapana focussing around the nose followed by ii) 6 days of methodical "Vipassana" body scanning and iii) one half day of Metta Bhavana practice.

I can not see how you can support the statement that "This is certainly not a big change from what I experienced while learning meditation from Goenka" - unless you did not follow the instructions at the Vipassana retreat at all?

Perhaps you could clarify your meaning for me as I'm truly a little confused.

Warmly,

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 01:44:35 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Lokuttara

  • Member
  • Trekking the hills of dhamma
    • Vipassanamurti
    • Love cycling into the blue skies and enjoying the first touches of Spring!
Re: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2010, 02:01:39 PM »

I propose relaxed whole body breathing from the start. Simple.

In Goenka retreats there is three days of intensive Anapana focussing around the nose followed by 6 days of methodical "Vipassana" body scanning and one half day of Metta Bhavana practice.

I can not see how you can support the statement that "This is certainly not a big change from what I experienced while learning meditation from Goenka" - unless you did not follow the instructions at the Vipassana retreat?

Perhaps you could clarify your meaning for me as I'm truly a little confused.

I understand your question, but the answer is not straightforward black and white.

Throughout my time at Vipassana retreats, I would regularly use "relaxed whole body breathing" as you have described and taught it. It is sometimes useful at the start of the course, before ana-pana, to relax the body and mind before attempting to maintain focus at the nose/abdomen. When one gets to the 4th day, Vipassana is taught. For old students, full body breathing is encouraged whenever it is possible right from the start (they call it sweeping). Newer students work part by part in order to awaken the mind and become aware of more and more subtle sensations. At first the mind is unable to feel sensations all over the body, so true full body breathing is not possible. But where it is possible, it is encouraged by teachers in my experience! It is also encouraged after spending some time doing full body breathing to go back to working part-by-part, in order to ensure all parts of the body, no matter how small, are being awakened to the truth of anicca. Without doing this, there may be blanck or dull areas, and the mind remains gross - not subtle - to all of the teeny sensations all over, inside and outside of the body (anicca!). so why not work part by part? Without this, again - true full body breathing is difficult or almost impossible for most humans who are very much caught up in their thoughts and memories, and have many dull, tense and blank parts on their bodies. Bhanga is a very helpful stepping stone in maintaining and learning to use full body breathing, and working part by part can help to reach that stage if "total dissolution".

Just being aware of anicca in gross sensations does not make the mind subtle. In order to make the mind subtle, one needs to look at all parts of the body, excluding nothing at all. If one moves from awareness of one gross sensation to another gross sensation, the mind remains gross. It is still helpful to be aware, but we are talking about *full body* awareness here, and full body breathing. And in order to do that, I personally think working part-by-part is a vital stepping stone.

Further on (Satipathanna 8-day course), awareness of mental contents is also taught. I find a little Mahasi Sayadaw style noting helps in this area, and has really boosted the awareness of mental contents as well as sensations (which is what you also teach). I think your real issue with these courses is that they don't teach all of this stuff (full body breathing and awareness of thoughts) to new students from the very beginning, and also the "boot camp" style of the courses. And it's a fair point to make, but I guess the step-by-step thing works for some of us, maybe not others.

When it comes to following instructions, yes, I think it's important and it helps a lot... to a certain point. But as I've said before, you are your own teacher. Find out the truth for yourself, using your own experiential wisdom. There is something that is beyond words, or instructions, and when that rears it's head, then instructions are merely guidelines.

At the end of the day...

Quote
I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organised; nor should any organisation be formed to lead or coerce people along any particular path. If you first understand that, then you will see how impossible it is to organise a belief. A belief is purely an individual matter, and you cannot and must not organise it. If you do, it becomes dead, crystallised; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be imposed on others." Krishnamurti
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 02:11:40 PM by Lokuttara »
"One may be surrounded by great beauty, by mountains and fields and rivers, but unless one is alive to it all one might just as well be dead." Krishnamurti

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: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2010, 02:11:34 PM »
....Throughout my time at Vipassana retreats, I would regularly use "relaxed whole body breathing" as you have described and taught it. It is sometimes useful at the start of the course, before ana-pana, to relax the body and mind before attempting to maintain focus at the nose/abdomen. When one gets to the 4th day, Vipassana is taught. For old students, full body breathing is encouraged whenever it is possible right from the start (they call it sweeping).......

This is exactly where the difference lays. There is no body scanning or "sweeping" in full body breathing awareness. There is a relaxed but awake attention to all bodily phenomena. Unless I am misunderstanding sweeping I stand by my statement that this is very different to anything taught at a Goenka course.

Warmly,

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

Lokuttara

  • Member
  • Trekking the hills of dhamma
    • Vipassanamurti
    • Love cycling into the blue skies and enjoying the first touches of Spring!
Re: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2010, 02:38:11 PM »
At a certain stage, I think it is the same thing.
"One may be surrounded by great beauty, by mountains and fields and rivers, but unless one is alive to it all one might just as well be dead." Krishnamurti

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: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2010, 03:04:00 PM »
At a certain stage, I think it is the same thing.

"All roads lead to Rome" ...

Would you agree that at the beginning it is utterly different?
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Lokuttara

  • Member
  • Trekking the hills of dhamma
    • Vipassanamurti
    • Love cycling into the blue skies and enjoying the first touches of Spring!
Re: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2010, 03:53:57 PM »
I am glad we are going deeper into this question.

When you are doing full body awareness, do you ever feel like your attention sweeps down through the body naturally, gently, in awareness? As opposed to feeling every single part of the body all of the time (which is what bhanga is described as)?

At the beginning, yes it is different. I think that is a result of the step-by-step approach of Goenka, which I mentioned above. If the mind hasn't done much meditation in the past, then do you think full body breathing comes easy and naturally? You call it Shamatha / Samadi - so in effect, it should come easily to most students and should help with developing concentration. However, some practitioners would say that [at early stage] the larger the area of awareness, the more difficult it is for the mind to relax or leave thoughts behind - it wanders very easily.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 03:59:20 PM by Lokuttara »
"One may be surrounded by great beauty, by mountains and fields and rivers, but unless one is alive to it all one might just as well be dead." Krishnamurti

kidnovice

  • Member
    • Theravada: with nuts and bolts from Goenka-ji, and fine tuning from Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Re: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2010, 08:42:15 PM »
I just wanted to second everything Lokuttara said about Goenka retreats, and the instructions given by most all teachers I have observed. There is alot more nuance than we find in characterizations here. It is also worth mentioning that during his Satipathana Couse, Goenka explicitly describes the purpose of moving part-by-part (and sweeping) through the body is that it enables a thorough full-body awareness with each breath.

Quote
Would you agree that at the beginning it is utterly different?

Whether or not the beginning of the practice is "utterly" different depends on how much significance you want to place on the location in the body that the meditator locates his awareness when training himself. I think what matters much more is the intelligence/understanding/purpose (i.e., sati) that you bring to your practice.

And as Lokuttara observed:

Quote
When you are doing full body awareness, do you ever feel like your attention sweeps down through the body naturally, gently, in awareness?

The sweeping really becomes effortless (thus allowing the mind to remain relaxed and awake), and easily synced with the breath.

Metta,
KN
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

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: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2010, 09:10:04 PM »
I am glad we are going deeper into this question.

When you are doing full body awareness, do you ever feel like your attention sweeps down through the body naturally, gently, in awareness? As opposed to feeling every single part of the body all of the time (which is what bhanga is described as)?

My attention flows sometimes to places where there is pain yet usually I do not remain using the body as an object of meditation for much of my time on the cushion and so bodily phenomena are not so relevant to my practice.

At the beginning, yes it is different. I think that is a result of the step-by-step approach of Goenka, which I mentioned above. If the mind hasn't done much meditation in the past, then do you think full body breathing comes easy and naturally? You call it Shamatha / Samadi - so in effect, it should come easily to most students and should help with developing concentration. However, some practitioners would say that [at early stage] the larger the area of awareness, the more difficult it is for the mind to relax or leave thoughts behind - it wanders very easily.

Lokuttara

It is not through that that the mind calms. Using this method there is an equal balance between relaxing the body and awareness of body. The body does relax when you affix your attention (mindfulness or sati) on doing so. The body sends a signal to the brain that everything is OK through the Vagus nerve and the mind calms as a result. Then mindfulness of the whole body can be attained and a bliss arises in the mind. In time it stills to this point. The greatest factor in how long this takes is not the length of time on the cushion but the level of mindfulness maintained throughout the day in thought, word and deed.

Warmly,

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 09:32:07 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Vipassana Meditation Help
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2010, 09:13:24 PM »
This starts to look more and more like a football match yeeeeee
The way it looks to me the Goenka Team is leading LoL (keep it up Matthew) LoL
 
Quote
When you are doing full body awareness, do you ever feel like your attention sweeps down through the body naturally, gently, in awareness?

Actualy I do check on my facial muscles and shoulders as well as my back each time I catch my self being lost in thoughts and usualy I do find my lips pouting or shoulders raising or back slouching. I calmy correct these by relaxing and carry on with the practice of calm abaiding.
This I learned from Qigong.

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
4 Replies
5951 Views
Last post January 01, 2020, 12:38:17 PM
by stillpointdancer
1 Replies
2558 Views
Last post May 06, 2012, 08:29:44 PM
by Matthew
0 Replies
1636 Views
Last post November 03, 2013, 05:47:49 AM
by Johann (Hanzze)
2 Replies
2308 Views
Last post December 15, 2013, 11:45:04 AM
by siddharthgode
0 Replies
1264 Views
Last post July 21, 2015, 01:53:07 PM
by MediBoy101
0 Replies
1028 Views
Last post December 02, 2015, 02:07:15 PM
by Noah_Styles
7 Replies
3718 Views
Last post January 22, 2016, 02:25:41 PM
by Matthew