What should meditation feel like?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Animamia
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What should meditation feel like?

Postby Animamia » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:19 pm

Hello everyone

I've very new to Buddhism, I apologise for perhaps using the wrong wording in my post. I was just looking for some input regarding my meditation. I have been practising for a week now and can never get past the feeling of discomfort above all else. However, this evening it was different and I'm just wondering if it's progress or not.

I started out very uncomfortable as usual. Within five minutes I'd developed the most irritating itch on my back and my foot was hurting and had pins and needles. However, I told myself to let it go and tried to concentrate on breathing. A few minutes later I'd begun to feel almost numb. The itch and the pain I could no longer feel, or didn't notice. I felt very light and sort of detached from my body if this makes sense? But this time I couldn't concentrate on anything other than the feeling of floating and the feel of my skin. It felt like my mind was completely separate from my body. I feel embarrassed for writing this, but I wasn't sure if 1) This is how it it supposed to be, 2) I was actually drifting to sleep as I am rather tired, or 3) My very shallow breathing that I didn't notice until afterwards was actually making me dizzy and numb.

Once again, thank you for any advice :)

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mikenz66
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Re: What should meditation feel like?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:31 pm

Hi Animamia,

All kinds of odd feelings can arise when one starts to meditate (or continues). For anyone to usefully comment you will need to explain what approach to meditation you are taking. Are you following some book, recording, web page, etc?

:anjali:
Mike

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bodom
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Re: What should meditation feel like?

Postby bodom » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:36 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

Animamia
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Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:11 pm

Re: What should meditation feel like?

Postby Animamia » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:36 pm

No not really. I have read lots, watched videos, listened to MP3's. All I'm trying to do at the minute is keep my focus on the breath and not the discomfort. Once I can achieve this I was planning on learning more. I tend to overwhelm myself with information sometimes and then worry where to start, so I thought I should start simply and build on it as I go. :)

Animamia
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Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:11 pm

Re: What should meditation feel like?

Postby Animamia » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:41 pm


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Ben
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Re: What should meditation feel like?

Postby Ben » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:50 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Animamia
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Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:11 pm

Re: What should meditation feel like?

Postby Animamia » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:55 pm

Okay Ben, I am obviously over-thinking as usual. I will keep trying. Thank you :)

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Goofaholix
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Re: What should meditation feel like?

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:04 am


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Ben
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Location: kanamaluka

Re: What should meditation feel like?

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:07 am

No worries Animamia!
We all tend to overthink from time to time.

With the breath you may also wish to be more precise with what you are doing.

What I do with the breath is to observe the sensation of "touch" the breath makes in the area under the nostrils during the in-breath and out-breath and maintain continuous awareness of the touch of the breath for longer and longer periods. This is the samatha variation of anapana and leads to deeper levels of concentration and absorption known as the jhanas.

Another approach to the breath involves observing the rise and fall of the abdomen. It is an approach favoured by the students of Mahasi Sayadaw and is the Vipassana variation of anapana which leads to penetrative insight into the nature of mind and matter.

It may also be beneficial to take instruction from a teacher or attend a residential retreat at some point.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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retrofuturist
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: What should meditation feel like?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:26 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

chownah
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Re: What should meditation feel like?

Postby chownah » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:21 am

Animamia ,
When meditating using the breath as the object or focus the meditation should feel like the breath....the idea is to be sensitive to the breath and of course this means being sensitive to the feelings that one has of the breath.

Surprisingly being sensitive to a thing as simple as the breath can be more challenging and more multifaceted than one might expect.

chownah

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contemplans
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Re: What should meditation feel like?

Postby contemplans » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:39 am

The feelings are an accurate description. Stay with the body. As your breath calms, breathe with the body, like you were one big breath sponge. Spread that energy throughout the body. Spreading this energy can help you stay awake also, and as your breath become more refined, i.e., the ins and outs harder to discern, it will help you stay with the breath. You know you're drifting when you find you're off your object. If you find yourself slipping off, just get back on it. You should be breathing in such a way that you are very awake and alert. Not tense, but just full of breath energy and awake and alert. A very sharp silent alertness.


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