Difficulty with Connecting

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Ana 1 year, 8 months ago.

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  • #2252

    Shinkai
    Member

    Hello Everyone!

    I was hoping to get some suggestions for the practice of connecting. I feel like most of the time I’m around stage 3, verging on 4, yet I rarely make use of the practice of connecting suggested during stage 3 (though I know Culadasa does say that it may not be useful at first), and stick to just following, which I enjoy very much, and which I feel like I’m increasingly learning to balance with stronger introspective awareness. Checking in is also going great, and labelling is good too! Anyway, my issue with connecting is that it feels like I have to disengage my attention with the raw sensations of the breath, hold a mental snapshot in mind of, for example, the duration of my in-breath, and then compare it with the next in-breath, out-breath, or what have you. This feels like a distraction from the actual sensations themselves, and for some reason it feels like it requires a degree of mental effort, like trying to hold multiple digits in mind whilst doing a calculation (although less difficult!), that doesn’t feel quite right.
    Another difficulty I have with it is that there are a lot of variables; I could compare the in and out breaths, in-breath with the next in-breath, pauses between in and out to the pauses between out and in, and so on and so on. I think with all the options my mind gets a little agitated with deciding what to compare next.
    Is it that I’m trying to be a little too precise in comparing the lengths of each breath, and I should simply try to let a general sense of the comparisons emerge from paying a little more intentional attention to the duration of the parts of breathing?

    Any advice or suggestions are very welcome! 🙂

    Many thanks,
    Ollie

    #2254

    JavaJeff
    Member

    I am interested in answers to this as well. It reminds me of checking in, in that you have to briefly take attention away from the present (body sensations) and direct it to the past (memory of how well you were paying attention just prior to checking in). I don’t remember exactly where in the book – somewhere in the first 4 stages, for sure – but Culadasa does mention that this is fine to do.

    You might get a faster response, BTW from the TMI Reddit group: https://www.reddit.com/r/TheMindIlluminated/

    #2255

    Ana
    Member

    Hello Ollie,

    I have followed the You Tube Guided Meditation Culadasa, California Retreat #2, Part 6 (45min) and it has helped me a lot, just following his instructions peacefully…and I’ve come to understand and sense even more what he explains in the book about this “game” of comparisons .
    The other thing that helps me a lot when in I am in similar troubles (many times) is to re-read the section or sections of the book where Culadasa explains the subject in question. I think that monumental book needs many readings ro catch so much wisdom in it. Perhaps we forget that the purpose of comparing the breaths is just to keep actively engaged in order to prevent mind distractions . I imagine, then, that perhaps it is just about trying to focus very deeply on the different sensations and very lightly observe -sense the differences but with out getting involved with thinking, just easily noticeable differences and I suppose not looking for in establishing any precision in the differences at all, otherwise thinking takes the lead.
    I hope these ideas can help you.
    All the best,
    Ana

    #2256

    Shinkai
    Member

    Hi Ana,

    thank you very much for the video you suggested! It sounds like it will be very helpful! Thank you as well for your other words of wisdom, I think you really hit the nail on the head 🙂 I’m going to try to incorporate connecting a little bit more into my practice with the attitude you describe ^_^

    Warm wishes,

    Ollie

    #2258

    Ana
    Member

    I am so glad to hear that.Thanks for telling me. Anything more you need just tell me I hope I can help you
    Warm regards, Ana

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