Bothersome insects during meditation

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

Postby Upasaka Sumana » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:29 am

I meditate under a tree on a cliff above the sea. During meditation tiny insects crawl on my limbs, neck and head, which is very irritating. Should I bear them with patience and equanimity and not move, or should I wave them away?
Do not think lightly of evil, saying, "It will not come to me." A drop at a time is the water pot filled. Likewise, the fool, gathering it little by little, fills himself with evil.
Do not think lightly of good, saying, "It will not come to me." A drop at a time is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.

—Gotama Buddha, Dhammapada 121-122

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jcsuperstar
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Re: Bothersome insects during meditation

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:46 am

use the feeling of them as an aid to mindfulness of body! :heart:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Upasaka Sumana
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Re: Bothersome insects during meditation

Postby Upasaka Sumana » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:49 am

jcsuperstar wrote:use the feeling of them as an aid to mindfulness of body! :heart:


But am I not supposed to be watching the breath? Can I do both mindfulness of the body and mindfulness of the breath at the same time? :heart:
Do not think lightly of evil, saying, "It will not come to me." A drop at a time is the water pot filled. Likewise, the fool, gathering it little by little, fills himself with evil.
Do not think lightly of good, saying, "It will not come to me." A drop at a time is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.

—Gotama Buddha, Dhammapada 121-122

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jcsuperstar
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Re: Bothersome insects during meditation

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:56 am

if you cant keep with the breath because of the bugs i'd say forget the breath and use the body.
also you might be interested in ajaan Lee he taught of many different ways of using the breath, and breath energies, feeling the breath throughout the whole body, feeling the breath come in through the skull and out through the feet. i've found it really helpful in looking at the breath in different ways.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

Moggalana
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Re: Bothersome insects during meditation

Postby Moggalana » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:04 am

Stefan wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote:use the feeling of them as an aid to mindfulness of body! :heart:


But am I not supposed to be watching the breath? Can I do both mindfulness of the body and mindfulness of the breath at the same time? :heart:


It all depends on what you are practicing. You are following Ajahn Brahm's instructions, right? In this case, you should try to let go of everything that bothers you, so that only the feeling/perception of breathing remains. If you try to get rid of them, they will just come back. Just let go and try not the get irritated by them, or meditate under a mosquito net, or change your place for meditation, or change your technique and use them as an aid to mindfulness of body, as jcsuperstar suggeted.

http://www.do-not-zzz.com/index2.html ;)
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

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jcsuperstar
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Re: Bothersome insects during meditation

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:09 am

meditate under a mosquito net

probably the most used way to combat this problem in the Thai tradition :jumping:

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สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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salmon
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Re: Bothersome insects during meditation

Postby salmon » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:12 am

Find a different spot.
~ swimming upstream is tough work! ~

PeterB
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Re: Bothersome insects during meditation

Postby PeterB » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:14 am

salmon wrote:Find a different spot.

At least during the time of year for those particular insects. Insects always have a season. Its usually fairly short.
I dont think we need to actually add any more distractions to those which arise anyway. :smile:

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salmon
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Re: Bothersome insects during meditation

Postby salmon » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:22 am

PeterB wrote:
salmon wrote:Find a different spot.

At least during the time of year for those particular insects. Insects always have a season. Its usually fairly short.
I dont think we need to actually add any more distractions to those which arise anyway. :smile:


Yes, only for the season. We have mozzies all year round!! But they normally appear at dawn and dusk. So instead of insisting that we sit in a spot where the mozzies always visit at that time, we move to another. Saves us the accidental killings when our mindfulness drops, too! :tongue:
~ swimming upstream is tough work! ~

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Ben
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Re: Bothersome insects during meditation

Postby Ben » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:56 am

Hi Stefan,

Stefan wrote:I meditate under a tree on a cliff above the sea. During meditation tiny insects crawl on my limbs, neck and head, which is very irritating. Should I bear them with patience and equanimity and not move, or should I wave them away?


I think you would do well to sit in a quiet darkened room away from a multitude of distractions from sitting outside.
kind regards

Ben
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Annapurna
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Re: Bothersome insects during meditation

Postby Annapurna » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:28 pm

Insects have a season, and also a reason why they climb on someone.

Perhaps you are disturbing them, in their territory?

Then sitting elsewhere would be better.

Or you use a mild natural repellent on your skin, many insects don't like lavender.

What type of tree is it that you sit under?

Perhaps it's a tree those insects usually live in or of?

Perhaps all this should show you you better change the location.... :shrug:

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Goedert
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Re: Bothersome insects during meditation

Postby Goedert » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:07 am

Stefan wrote:I meditate under a tree on a cliff above the sea. During meditation tiny insects crawl on my limbs, neck and head, which is very irritating. Should I bear them with patience and equanimity and not move, or should I wave them away?


You should practice metta and wish them well.


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