• B Arnold replied to the topic Orienting myself in practice in the forum Meditation 5 days ago

    Hey Josh,

    Regarding mind settling, all I can tell you is based on experience from my own practice – but I have tended to assume consistent and diligent practice were the most important factors. Over a period of time, your average baseline that you start with might change as a result of applying yourself to the practice diligently.

    What frame of…[Read more]

  • Hey Josh,

    Regarding timeline for “settling period”, I think it can certainly vary for individuals, but nonetheless it’s not unusual to experience several different stages in the course of a sit. Though I will say candidly that not having greater sensory clarity for the first 20+ minutes of your practice suggests to me that it might be of use to…[Read more]

  • Hey Josh,

    I understand where you are – I too came to TMI from years of experience with other kinds of meditation practice, and I was initially bewildered by the wide array of concepts and terms, unable to really pinpoint where I should be practicing. Be patient and diligent, and you will eventually find greater clarity.

    To better help you, I’d…[Read more]

  • In addition to those already mentioned (except the hiccups – that’s new to me but it has me curious now), I also feel that I notice more about the world around me, or more specifically, I feel somehow more positively impacted by the world around me in subtle ways that I can’t quite put my finger on.

    I will, for example, drive down a road and…[Read more]

  • Hey Prashant,

    > I am assuming the individual concurrent mental processes refers to awareness. Is it same as awareness of the states of mind. What objects does this awareness include? Can it be considered as a sensory field as it includes many items?

    I think you are correct but I would place more emphasis on your description of “field” than…[Read more]

  • Prashant,

    If I may interject – I get the sense from your wording that you are imagining that attention should be able to turn introspectively and look at the mind as a singular “thing” that “has a state” – but these are just concepts that we build to make sense of our experience, *after the fact of having “looked”*. In a sense, I think of this as…[Read more]

  • Hey Adam,

    Thanks for the response. I experimented with the witness practice a little bit but I’m not entirely sure I am grasping it. I’m not terribly confident I’m finding the still point.

    I have a very vivid and clear sense of various objects arising and passing in awareness, and occasionally I’ll consider – “what here is not changing?”. And…[Read more]

  • Thank you Judith – thanks makes a lot of sense.

  • Oh, one last thought: Judith, I have also experienced very sudden bursts of crying in my sits for the past month or two.

    The first time it occurred it was completely by surprise, I had no emotional build-up or forewarning at all. At other times, it has felt like an energetic sensation that moves up the abdomen, and by the time it reaches my head…[Read more]

  • Thank you Judith & Matthew for your thoughtful replies.

    I am familiar with Leigh Brasington’s book, “Right Concentration”. In fact, I *think* I’ve had some success with the first two jhanas – at least, they seem accessible. I will continue to work with these practices – it hadn’t occurred to me that they might in fact help calm piti. There is a…[Read more]

  • I have been having a problem for a while now of very agitating sensations – trembling, jerking, quaking, shuddering, along with painful muscle contractions. It all occasionally -and perhaps more frequently now – gives way to a smoother quality that includes a more expansive feeling of happiness and serenity, but this may also be accompanied by…[Read more]

  • B Arnold changed their profile picture 8 months, 3 weeks ago

  • KIm,

    Are you sure you are still at stage 4? Do you still experience gross distractions/dullness ( though I realize the distractions question may be hard to answer, since the piti related phenomena can be so distracting!) Can you discern long breaths from short breaths?

    Best,

    Bobby (not a teacher)

  • How stable is the light nimitta? Have you experimented with the luminous jhana exercises in stage 8?

  • …and I would just add, Charles: before I went into this state where auditory sounds were absent – I very explicitly set the conscious intention to enter the first whole body jhana. Explicit in that I internally verbalized the intention several times – each time on the inhale, then returned to breath sensations on the exhale. It’s always seemed…[Read more]

  • Hey Charles!

    > In order to access and keep the whole body jhanas going does one have to maintain the focus on breathing with the whole body instead of placing attention back on the breath at the nose?

    Yes, that is my understanding. The jhana is accessed by widening the field of attention (and sustaining it) on breath sensations in the whole…[Read more]

  • Hey Charles,

    In my opinion, body sensations and sounds can still be in peripheral awareness while successfully maintaining exclusive focus. The key is that subtle distractions do not occur, because you have developed sufficient introspective awareness, and can refresh the intention to contact and sustain attention on the breath when needed.

    I…[Read more]

  • Hey Charles,

    I don’t think it is necessarily faintness per se – but rather a less conceptualized experience of the breath, which can manifest perceptually in a variety of different ways.

    I have experienced the loss of the in/out breath concepts you described, but it wasn’t because the breath was so subtle that the inhale/exhale couldn’t be…[Read more]

  • Have you ever read a book while listening to music? Your attentional focus is the words on the page, but you can still hear the music in peripheral awareness. You are conscious of it in the background, but it is not the focus of attention.

  • B Arnold replied to the topic Ears always ringing in the forum Meditation 1 year, 9 months ago

    Good to hear, no pun intended. And also incentive to keep practicing 😉

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