Meditation bottleneck

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

Meditation bottleneck

Postby mick » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:29 am

Hi everybody!

I have reached a bottleneck in my meditation practice and would appreciate it if I got a few pointers on how to proceed.

I practice breathing meditation, specifically the technique taught by Ajahn Brahm. According to his book I am at stages 4 ( Full sustained attention on the breath) and 5 ( Full sustained attention on the beautiful breath.) The problem I am having is when the breath disappears I am not sure how to proceed.

1. Does the breath really disappear or does it appear to disappear? This question is a distraction in my (reasonably) clear mind in meditation.

2. What exactly does my subject of meditation become at this stage? In the book it says to focus on the “beautiful” but I am not sure how to conceptualise this.

The stage of meditation I am at is very pleasant and sometimes quite blissful, but I a definitely at a loss on how to proceed.

I would welcome any feedback on the matter.

With metta
With Metta
和平与自由
mick
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:44 pm
Location: Dongguan, China

Re: Meditation bottleneck

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:46 am

The breath doesn't disappear, otherwise you'd be dead. What is probably happening is the breath has gotten more subtle but the mind is not yet subtle enough to continue be aware of it, so just continue to be aware at the place where you lost track of the breath and continue to watch.

I'm not sure if this is what Ajahn Brahm meant but I'd say awarenesss of the beautiful is awareness of that sense of being very present and very aware. If that's not what he meant then it's still a good thing to give importance to.
"Whenever we feel that we are definitely right, so much so that we refuse to open up to anything or anybody else, right there we are wrong. It becomes wrong view. When suffering arises, where does it arise from? The cause is wrong view, the fruit of that being suffering. If it was right view it wouldn't cause suffering." - Ajahn Chah
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
User avatar
Goofaholix
 
Posts: 1710
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Meditation bottleneck

Postby Kenshou » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:04 am

I'm not a huge fan of his meditation method, but I'm familiar with it, and as I understand it what he means is that once attention is sustained on the breath, leading to the "beautiful breath", eventually the (perception of) the breathing fades but there is still a retention of the perception of pleasantness gotten through the previous steps. So just keep that as the object in whatever way suits you. It sounds to me like you might have that down, and all that would need to be done is sustain that until, according to him, apparently his "nimitta" appears (if you're lucky) and then can be utilized in reaching the first jhana.
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Meditation bottleneck

Postby mick » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:37 pm

Thank you very muchfor your help :smile:
With Metta
和平与自由
mick
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:44 pm
Location: Dongguan, China

Re: Meditation bottleneck

Postby Brizzy » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:55 am

Kenshou wrote:I'm not a huge fan of his meditation method, but I'm familiar with it, and as I understand it what he means is that once attention is sustained on the breath, leading to the "beautiful breath", eventually the (perception of) the breathing fades but there is still a retention of the perception of pleasantness gotten through the previous steps. So just keep that as the object in whatever way suits you. It sounds to me like you might have that down, and all that would need to be done is sustain that until, according to him, apparently his "nimitta" appears (if you're lucky) and then can be utilized in reaching the first jhana.



Hi Mick

I'm not a fan either, unless your in fourth jhana the breath is still there, it has just become a little bit harder to discern.

Don't lose contact with the body (the whole body) this is where the jhana is experienced (through the mind of course)- if you aim for a beautiful nimitta, then you might get one - but is this what you want? The Buddha teaches jhana/sati of the body not satihallucination or satiimagination.

:smile:
Brizzy
 

Re: Meditation bottleneck

Postby PeterB » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:48 am

Seek out a hands- on teacher.
Carry on.
PeterB
 
Posts: 3904
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Meditation bottleneck

Postby Rui Sousa » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:18 pm

Step away for a while, then start from the beginning.
With Metta
User avatar
Rui Sousa
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:01 pm
Location: Sintra, Portugal


Return to Theravada Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 5 guests