Zooming in too much

Front Page Forums Meditation Zooming in too much

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Filipe 4 years, 5 months ago.

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    I created this topic because i was highjacking Adrian’s one. My apologies.

    Well Blake, continuing on the matter of zooming in, there must be some irony on this, because just today, my nose was attracting my attention like a magnet, to the point where i didn’t even do the 4 step preparation. So i thought, this is going to be my best session ever. Nop, it was an emotional roller coaster the entire session. “Emotionally charged visions and memories”* it was! Was this caused by having a strong attention to the object without having a corresponding introspective awareness? I haven’t read stage 4 because it is above my default stage, but experiencing this stage swing, perhaps i should be more preparated for this.

    * – To use TMI’s description of stage 4 obstacles.

    I keep forgetting that TMI is different than pure anapanasati, where you focus entirely on the object with the goal of being absorved as much as possible to the point of obtaining jhana. In fact, in the study Leigh Brasigton did, the higher the jhana, the less aware of surroundings he was.


    Blake Barton

    Hi Filipe,

    It sounds you might have experienced Stage 4 meditation during your session, and the emotions and memories could have been some of the purification that often arises at that stage. A lack of introspective awareness would not have caused those things to arise, but if your attention was captured by those things then that might indicated a lack of introspective awareness.

    There are various ways to interpret the anapanasati sutta, but to me it indicates a considerable amount of awareness of things other than the sensations of breath.

    He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.'[2] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.’

    He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.’

    He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out sensitive to the mind.’

    In stage 6 one does work on developing exclusive attention, and in stages 7 and 8 there is a pacification of the senses. However, introspective awareness is still active and cultivated.

    I can understand your desire not to read ahead, but you might want to review the Overview of the Ten Stages chapter which might answer some of your questions and help to see the big picture of TMI.

    Best Wishes,
    Blake – DT Teacher



    Sorry for the late reply, but i haven’t received an email about your reply.

    On that stage 4 session, no way for me to stop the emotional stuff from dominating my attention. It was too strong. I actually wonder what to do with the stuff that arises. Are they “warnings” for me, to “fix” those matters or purification will take place automatically? Like, can it serve as catharsis, helping me to come to terms with it?

    Whenever emotional stuff comes up, is this always going to be a stage 4 session or can be a stage 1 session where intention has not been strongly implanted? Oh, i ask this because sometimes i start the session feeling emotional already. With no stopping power for it.

    It just hit me on the second half of a session these days, TMI is working down our 3 centers, mental, emotional and physical, is that right? I mean, the resistance starts with mental distractions, passes by emotional stuff on stage 4 and later, i have read about involuntary body movements and even sensorial stuff too.

    I have read the overview chapter, but nothing about this there.

    Thanks for you input Blake.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  Filipe.

    Blake Barton

    Hi Filipe,

    The forum is only set up to send emails when a new topic is added, but not for individual replies. You can subscribe within the forum to individual topics, and then you will receive emails.

    I recommend that you read stage 4 and the third interlude for more information on working with these purifications. In a nutshell, if emotions or thoughts are very strong and they keep pulling your attention then you want to switch and make these your meditation object.

    Please remember that not every emotion that comes up will be considered a purification, and emotions can arise at any stage of practice.

    Certainly in following TMI practice you are going to work with emotions, thoughts and the physical body. I don’t know that there was a deliberate intention within TMI to “work down these three centers”, but we are studying our entire experience and these are all part of that. This practice will transform our relationship to these experiences.

    Best Wishes,

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by  Blake Barton.


    Ok Blake, i will read those.

    Now i’m kind of surprised one can focus on emotions for meditation object. Doesn’t focusing on them, will make them too “center stage” for emotional equanimity?


    Darlene T

    Hi Filipe,

    In my mind, if the emotions are strong they already are centre stage. Pushing them away or holding them close and building into the emotionality are both problematic. However, as Blake says, if they keep pulling your attention they need acknowledgement at very least and at best be labelled for what they are.

    To do this, return to the sensations of your body and feel into the sensation of the emotion, perhaps in your chest or belly and say something like “release, relax, breathe”. If they don’t vanish try the following. Because the emotion is an intangible sensational event, inquire…”what emotion is this related to…fear or threat, happiness, anger, sadness…and allow your body and mind to tell you.

    Is this about relationship? Is the feeling related to things that happen between people such as “sad…I feel dismissed, abandoned, rejected, etc. Then ask, what deeper feeling does this bring about…such as “because I feel dismissed, I feel alone, loss of relationship, indadequate etc.

    Find labelling words that resonate and experience the feeling…and Breathe breathe breathe…soften your belly and the physiological contractions that come with strong emotions…don’t build into a story, just identify what is immediate.. Then return to your primary meditation object. This is the short answer lol. Hope it helps.

    Darlene Tataryn (TMI Teacher in Training)



    Ok,I didn’t pass the first milestone yet for good tough. But good to know in advance. Sometimes i have emotional stories on mh mind, but that one was a real past event.

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