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An object other than the breath for insight? - Dhamma Wheel

An object other than the breath for insight?

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
Awarewolf
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An object other than the breath for insight?

Postby Awarewolf » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:44 am

I've been trying to practice vipassana with my breath focused at the nostrils, and I've had some success with this. But the winter stuffs my nose up from time to time, and I can't stick with the abdomen. Can vipassana meditation still bring great success if the object is not a touch point within the breath?

I understand there are 40 suggested objects, but I like the idea of using sense doors. I followed along with one of Joseph Goldstein's 40 min guided meditations for insight, and after recommending a few deep breaths he said to become aware of sounds, loud and subtle. He later got into the breathe as well, kinda mentioning to focus on both. Most importantly for me, he mentioned if focusing on the breath becomes difficult, just go back to the sounds, the beginning point. I kept my awareness on sounds for most of this sit, and a bit on the breath but I came out of the meditation feeling calm. I think I made some progress.

From this experience, does it make sense that I could make comparable progress in insight meditation using my hearing instead of the breath? Keep in mind music has always come naturally to me, maybe I'm just more attuned to using this "ear-consciousness." Or maybe I'm giving up too easily on the breath?

I also understand that after stabilizing awareness on the sound (whenever that happens :tongue: ) I could expand awareness to include the breath at the nostrils.

Any suggestions would be great, and also if anyone knows any sort of manual for sound meditation that would be lovely too!

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Śūnyatā
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Re: An object other than the breath for insight?

Postby Śūnyatā » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:55 am

Live in joy, In love, Even among those who hate. Live in joy, In health, Even among the afflicted. Live in joy, In peace, Even among the troubled. Look within. Be still. — Dhammapada

Being a human being is not an end in itself. It’s only a transition. It can never be a perfect state in itself. It’s merely a convention. — Luang Por Sumedho

Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing. — Euripides

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Ben
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Re: An object other than the breath for insight?

Postby Ben » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:23 am

Greeting Awarewolf,
My insight exercise is vedananupassana (awareness of sensation).
I recommend it, and happy to discuss further with you if you are interested.
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]..

ohnofabrications
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Re: An object other than the breath for insight?

Postby ohnofabrications » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:36 am

awareness of sound and sight is more common to tibetan traditions. it is equally as effective as awareness of sensations in the body except that the body has the advantage of being slightly more constant, neutral and stable, and also tensions experienced in the body can give one insight into one's thoughts. however the main idea, i.e. developing a certain kind of awareness that doesn't create present karma can be developed in reference to any sensations.

Awarewolf
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Re: An object other than the breath for insight?

Postby Awarewolf » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:45 am

Sunyata, I might actually have the ability to do this. Before buddhism I was looking a lot into Out of Body experiences, and although never achieving it yet, you hear an extremely strong vibrational sound within yourself moments before leaving the body, and I can actually hear this sound quite often coming from myself now. It's not super high pitch like that article explains though, it's kind of a medium/deep vibration tone. Is this the same thing?

And thanks Ben, I will look into this method as I've not heard of it. If you have any manuals or reads on it I'd be very interested in reading those. Which sensation do you focus on?

Edit: Ben I searched vedananupassana, and it came up as Contemplation of feelings, not of sensations.. can you clarify?

Awarewolf
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Re: An object other than the breath for insight?

Postby Awarewolf » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:56 am

Also Sunyata, I'm reading a bit about Nada Yoga. This sounds very interesting! I very much enjoy one idea I just read on meditation on the SOUND of the breath... this might be my key in linking this practice to anapanasati if I ever need to get very serious into this instead of sound. I may be a bit ahead of myself but I am definitely excited, I think sounds are for me. I'm mostly worried if the progress that can be made will be beneficial to the same caliber as a more common object.

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Mr Man
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Re: An object other than the breath for insight?

Postby Mr Man » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:56 am

If you are used to focusing on the breath at the nostrils. You can also just focus on that area. You can also develop a more "conceptual breath" while focusing at that area. You can have a feeling of breathing in and out which is not associated with a physical sensation sometimes this feeling can be linked with a sound or a sense of knowing.

There is also the sound of silence that Ajahn Sumedho talks about. In my opinion this can be a really great practice, as once you get the feel for it, it's almost something you can tap into (anytime). It really shifts perspective. You could have a look at this http://forestsanghapublications.org/vie ... 78&ref=deb. Some may say that it is not a "traditional" Theravada practice.

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Ben
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Re: An object other than the breath for insight?

Postby Ben » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:31 am

“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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cooran
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Re: An object other than the breath for insight?

Postby cooran » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:34 am

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Śūnyatā
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:15 pm
Location: Śūnyatā

Re: An object other than the breath for insight?

Postby Śūnyatā » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:18 pm

Live in joy, In love, Even among those who hate. Live in joy, In health, Even among the afflicted. Live in joy, In peace, Even among the troubled. Look within. Be still. — Dhammapada

Being a human being is not an end in itself. It’s only a transition. It can never be a perfect state in itself. It’s merely a convention. — Luang Por Sumedho

Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing. — Euripides

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Śūnyatā
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:15 pm
Location: Śūnyatā

Re: An object other than the breath for insight?

Postby Śūnyatā » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:55 pm

Live in joy, In love, Even among those who hate. Live in joy, In health, Even among the afflicted. Live in joy, In peace, Even among the troubled. Look within. Be still. — Dhammapada

Being a human being is not an end in itself. It’s only a transition. It can never be a perfect state in itself. It’s merely a convention. — Luang Por Sumedho

Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing. — Euripides

Awarewolf
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:11 am

Re: An object other than the breath for insight?

Postby Awarewolf » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:16 pm

Thanks so much for the podcast link, any more sources on nada yoga and the like would be appreciated!

anando
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Re: An object other than the breath for insight?

Postby anando » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:10 pm

Hello,
Watching the breathing is only the irst step, if you do the four pillars of insight or the 8fold path. When you loose your thoughts inbetween, just take up your breathing again, so you can have the concentration you need.

anando

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Spiny Norman
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Re: An object other than the breath for insight?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:53 pm

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama


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