A string of beads?

Front Page Forums Meditation A string of beads?

This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Blake Barton 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #2735

    Bernadette
    Member

    Is it true to say that stretching the perception of a single breath out to many differentiated sensations allows many small spaces to be created between those senations and that that then allows perception of peripheral awareness to occur interlaced with micromoments of attention and that consistent training in dovetailing the two is what bears fruit into true mindfulness?

    #2736

    Darlene T
    Member

    Hi Bernadette,

    Yes. I would certainly say so…This is truly conscious embodiment…

    You have expressed this beautifully. I would love to hear at some point how you would then weave mind moments into language within this explanation.

    Darlene
    (teacher in Training)

    #2737

    Blake Barton
    Keymaster

    Hi Bernadette,

    Are you deliberately lengthening the breath to “stretch the perception”? It is not really necessary, and you might causing your attention to alternate. Attention and awareness are pretty much parallel processes as far as we can distinguish. In the moments of consciousness model they are interlaced, but they are alternating very quickly. Think about how you can have your visual attention focused on an object while your peripheral vision is still aware of other things.

    Peripheral awareness is a naturally occurring automatic process, and we can just intend for it to happen and it will. Depending at which stage you are practicing you generally want to hold the intention to notice the breath sensations –with clarity– without zooming in so much that you lose awareness of other things in the background.

    Blake – DT Teacher

    #2739

    Peter
    Member

    Can you elaborate on the “zooming in”, specifically on introspective awareness sensations. When I focus on a particular body part, a subtle sensation will arise within that body part. It typically tick/tocks or pulses. Or sometimes I’ll sense vibrations (tingles, buzzes). Are these all somatic sensory experiences or do they also ultimately visually appear as vibrations as well.

    Is my inability to see finer or subtler sensations “zooming in”, due to lack of concentration power? How “micro” can we peer into these sensations? And is it done so just by staying on the meditation objection for an extended period of time. Or do we need to “actively” engage to “zoom in”.

    #2760

    Peter
    Member

    Just read this from Shizen…

    “Within the context of our work, differentiation means making finer and finer distinctions. Integration means
    finding deeper and deeper unity. Both are aspects of clarity. Although they may seem opposite they’re actually
    part of the same process. Subdividing gets you down to the vibrating pixels that are the universal substance of
    each sensory event. The whole sensorium integrates into an arabesque of energy: rich, fulfilling, empowering,
    and insubstantial. Against that uniform background, finer and finer distinctions can be detected which in turn
    break up into an even deeper unifying flow.”

    How do we go about subdividing or zooming into these finer distinctions? Is it just a byproduct of continued meditation? Is it a need to increase concentration? Or do we need to actively “do” something to get to these micro details. Goenka also mentioned this in his 10-day course. Roughly how many hours of meditation do we begin to notice this, these insights?

    #2761

    Ivan Ganza
    Member

    Hi Peter W,

    Is is very hard to put a number of hours of meditation required….;

    As for how do you do it; increased powers of attention and peripheral awareness would eventually take you to the place where you can perceive in that way.

    Building the skills outlined in the book should hopefully help in that 😉

    (Edited: The level of detail in the paragraph from Shizen is some pretty darn GOOD concentration…, depth of concentration is a factor)

    Cheers!
    -Ivan/
    (DT Teacher in Training)

    #2762

    Blake Barton
    Keymaster

    Hi Peter,

    I agree with Ivan. I have been on retreats with Shinzen, and he emphasizes letting time do its work. Think about how long it takes to master other skills like playing the piano. A beginner could try to play a difficult piece, but it would probably just be frustrating. It would be the same thing for meditation.

    Blake – DT Teacher

    #2763

    Blake Barton
    Keymaster

    Hi Peter,

    To answer your other question about “zooming in”. In the earlier stages, the more you zoom in the more likely you are to lose peripheral awareness. You want to find a level of noticing sensations with clarity where you still have peripheral awareness. Over time, as your power of consciousness improves, you will be able to notice more detailed and finer sensations without losing the awareness, but this takes time and practice.

    Your description of focusing on a body part sounds like what I would expect. When I notice the vibratory sensations I believe they are somatic experiences. That is not to say the mind might not also generate some visual experiences at the same time, but if we are focusing our attention on a body part we are primarily interested in tactile sensations.

    You just hold the intention to notice sensations with clarity, and you don’t need to put extra effort on top that. It will probably just make you tense.

    Blake – DT Teacher

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