Metta and "Third Eye"

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Metta and "Third Eye"

Postby Nibbida » Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:52 pm

The most common place I've heard of people experiencing a sense of warmth during metta is in the center of the chest. Has anyone heard of a person experiencing it in the center of the forehead? A person I know told me she started experiencing this.

Thanks.
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Re: Metta and "Third Eye"

Postby PeterB » Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:57 pm

I think most Theravada teachers would advise your friend to ignore any physical signs Nibbida and return to generating metta .
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Re: Metta and "Third Eye"

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:09 pm

Greetings Peter,

PeterB wrote:I think most Theravada teachers would advise your friend to ignore any physical signs Nibbida and return to generating metta .

Is this true of the area around the heart too, though? I don't have examples to bring to hand, but often when I read or listen to metta instructions there's specific instruction to cultivate the aforementioned feeling in the chest. (Never heard anything specific regarding the 'third eye' area though).

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Metta and "Third Eye"

Postby bodom » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:04 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Peter,

PeterB wrote:I think most Theravada teachers would advise your friend to ignore any physical signs Nibbida and return to generating metta .

Is this true of the area around the heart too, though? I don't have examples to bring to hand, but often when I read or listen to metta instructions there's specific instruction to cultivate the aforementioned feeling in the chest. (Never heard anything specific regarding the 'third eye' area though).

Metta,
Retro. :)


Ajahn Brahm in Mindfulness Bliss and Beyond and Bhante Gunaratana in Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English both instruct that when this warmth is felt you are to drop the inner speech and focus on the sensation and use it to generate jhana.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Metta and "Third Eye"

Postby pt1 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:06 am

Nibbida wrote:The most common place I've heard of people experiencing a sense of warmth during metta is in the center of the chest. Has anyone heard of a person experiencing it in the center of the forehead? A person I know told me she started experiencing this.

I was wondering about this, too. I sometimes get it in the chest, sometimes forehead, and sometimes on top of the head. (If it's the same thing your're asking about of course.) I figured this is some sort of piti that accompanies metta, rather than actual metta which I guess should be equivalent to non-hate as a mental factor (as in the sutta expression of non-greed, non-hate and non-delusion being the opposites of greed, hate and delusion). In fact, these physical locations make it suspiciously equivalent to chakras and all that Hindu stuff, which I guess is okay since metta meditation is not exclusively Buddhist (or so I've heard). And then if we get into abhidhamma, it all gets even more interesting, e.g. aside from metta and piti, there would definitely be some production of rupa by the citta (i.e. the produced warmth, or winds), etc. A disconcerting aspect is that piti as a mental factor can be both kusala and akusala, so I'm wondering how could I make sure that the warmth I'm experiencing is not produced by akusala citta, i.e. that what I'm experiencing is really metta and not some sort of subtle attachment (greed) to the pleasant feeling of that warmth in the chest or wherever else it appears...

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Re: Metta and "Third Eye"

Postby PeterB » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:50 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Peter,

PeterB wrote:I think most Theravada teachers would advise your friend to ignore any physical signs Nibbida and return to generating metta .

Is this true of the area around the heart too, though? I don't have examples to bring to hand, but often when I read or listen to metta instructions there's specific instruction to cultivate the aforementioned feeling in the chest. (Never heard anything specific regarding the 'third eye' area though).

Metta,
Retro. :)

I dont think anyone would deny that it happens Retro. I have experienced similar things. I think though that we dont make it a focus. For inverse reasons to those outlined by Bodom..because ( deep breath ) I have great doubts about householders attempting to cultivate Jhanas in this age.
And I am not persueded by Bhikkhus living in jungle clearings who says its ok for householders....
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Re: Metta and "Third Eye"

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:01 am

PeterB wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Peter,

PeterB wrote:I think most Theravada teachers would advise your friend to ignore any physical signs Nibbida and return to generating metta .

Is this true of the area around the heart too, though? I don't have examples to bring to hand, but often when I read or listen to metta instructions there's specific instruction to cultivate the aforementioned feeling in the chest. (Never heard anything specific regarding the 'third eye' area though).

Metta,
Retro. :)

I dont think anyone would deny that it happens Retro. I have experienced similar things. I think though that we dont make it a focus. For inverse reasons to those outlined by Bodom..because ( deep breath ) I have great doubts about householders attempting to cultivate Jhanas in this age.
And I am not persueded by Bhikkhus living in jungle clearings who says its ok for householders....

thats interesting.. is it because you dont think they can or that they should?
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Re: Metta and "Third Eye"

Postby Zom » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:54 am

I always notice how different sensations from different emotions appear in the chest, right in the center. Very interesting to notice that :reading:
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Re: Metta and "Third Eye"

Postby Hoo » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:59 am

:oops: One of those cases where my silence would have been the better contribution. Or did someone really ask me for my personal views and invite me to head off topic?

Hoo, master of delayed mindfulness - the art of catching things somewhat later than they happened
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Re: Metta and "Third Eye"

Postby upekha » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:53 pm

I myself have been practicing the metta meditation, and yes, at the beginning,I felt a warm feeling in the chest, and then it moved up to the head. I came across this sutta, where Bhante Vimalaramsi explains what happens, when one does the metta meditation. Have a look at http://www.dhammasukha.org/Study/Talks/ ... 302-TS.htm
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Re: Metta and "Third Eye"

Postby bodom » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:40 pm

PeterB wrote:I have great doubts about householders attempting to cultivate Jhanas in this age. And I am not persueded by Bhikkhus living in jungle clearings who says its ok for householders....


Why in the world would it not be ok or even possible? Why have such "great" doubts and why the need to be persuaded?

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Metta and "Third Eye"

Postby Nibbida » Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:51 pm

Thank you all. It's interesting to hear that some people have experienced it in areas of the head. It has also occurred to me that this resembles the chakras used in kundalini yoga and Tibetan tantra. I don't study that, but it seems reasonable to suggest that the chakra regions might be areas where certain sensations tend to occur in humans, especially with meditative practices.

Many teachers I have read or studied with have said that one can make the feeling of warmth in the chest the object of focus when it becomes strong enough. It is also my understanding that one can use this to eventually enter jhana when the focus becomes stable enough.
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Re: Metta and "Third Eye"

Postby vitellius » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:47 am

Nibbida wrote:The most common place I've heard of people experiencing a sense of warmth during metta is in the center of the chest. Has anyone heard of a person experiencing it in the center of the forehead? A person I know told me she started experiencing this.


Hello Nibbida,
I believe it may be felt anywhere in the body, up to filling the whole body with feelings of loving kindness.
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Re: Metta and "Third Eye"

Postby Rui Sousa » Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:50 pm

I believe there are two aspects in this post.

1 - Physical feelings during Metta.

2 - Parts of the body where a specific type of sensation is felt.

In my experience of Metta meditation the origin of the warmth feeling associated with this type of meditation is usually the centre of the chest. With a deepening of concentration the feeling expands and takes over the whole body.

When meditating, Metta or otherwise, feelings of tingling, energy or "electricity" in the body are sensed in many different parts, but in my case tend to focus on the back of my head, on my forehead, on the chest or in the base of my spine.

If when trying to develop Metta I have a stronger feeling in my forehead, I tend to consider it a distraction for the type of meditation I propose to do. If I am doing some vipassana exercise I focus on that feeling and try to investigate it.
With Metta
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