waryoffolly wrote:I'm not sure what you mean by vipassansa here. It seems like the only difference between this and samatha for you is just where you put your focus. Could you please elaborate on what you consider to be the difference?
* I'm not interested in starting a debate on the difference, but rather understanding what you think so that it will be easier to answer your question*
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Wolf,
Can you tell us a little more about your approach. Are you following the instructions on a particular web site or book?
That you are noticing all kinds of changes when you "watch" the abdominal motion would generally be considered a good thing, since you are becoming aware of how things change.
If there is pain or discomfort, keep the knowing mind on that part of the body where the sensation arises. Make a mental note of the specific sensation as it occurs, such as painful, aching, pressing, piercing, tired, giddy. It must be stressed that the mental note must not be forced nor delayed but made in a calm and natural manner. The pain may eventually cease or increase. Do not be alarmed if it increases. Firmly continue the contemplation. If you do so, you will find that the pain will almost always cease. But if, after a time, the pain has increased and becomes unbearable, you must ignore the pain and continue with the contemplation of rising and falling.
As you progress in mindfulness you may experience sensations of intense pain: stifling or choking sensations, such as pain from the slash of a knife, the thrust of a sharp-pointed instrument, unpleasant sensations of being pricked by sharp needles, or of small insects crawling over the body. You might experience sensations of itching, biting, intense cold. As soon as you discontinue the contemplation you may also feel that these painful sensations cease. When you resume contemplation you will have them again as soon as you gain in mindfulness. These painful sensations are not to be considered as something wrong. They are not manifestations of disease but are common factors always present in the body and are usually obscured when the mind is normally occupied with more conspicuous objects. When the mental faculties become keener you are more aware of these sensations. With the continued development of contemplation the time will come when you can overcome them and they will cease altogether. If you continue contemplation, firm in purpose, you will not come to any harm. Should you lose courage, become irresolute in contemplation and discontinue for some time, you may encounter these unpleasant sensations again and again as your contemplation proceeds. If you continue with determination you will most likely overcome these painful sensations and may never again experience them in the course of contemplation.
Should you intend to sway the body, then knowingly note intending. While in the act of swaying, swaying. When contemplating you may occasionally discover the body swaying back and forth. Do not be alarmed; neither be pleased nor wish to continue to sway. The swaying will cease if you keep the knowing mind on the action of swaying and continue to note swaying until the action ceases. If swaying increases in spite of your making a mental note of it, then lean against a wall or post or lie down for a while. Thereafter proceed with contemplation. Follow the same procedure if you find yourself shaking or trembling. When contemplation is developed you may sometimes feel a thrill or chill pass through the back or the entire body. This is a symptom of the feeling of intense interest, enthusiasm or rapture. It occurs naturally in the course of good contemplation. When your mind is fixed in contemplation you may be startled at the slightest sound. This takes place because you feel the effect of sensory impression more intensely while in a state of concentration.
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I am not blaming anyone for not knowing the correct terminology, but I should explain to avoid confusion.
Mindfulness of breathing is watching the breath come and go at the nostrils, which is the first section in the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (Kāyānupassanā ānāpānapabbaṃ).
Contemplation of the abdominal movements, as in the Mahāsi method, is contemplation of the element of motion (vāyo dhātu), which is found in the section on paying attention to the four elements (Kāyānupassanā dhātumanasikārapabbaṃ), which is the fifth section in the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta on mindfulness of the body (kāyānupassanā satipaṭṭhāna).
Insight (vipassanā) is what arises if one practices mindfulness and discerns the mental and physical phenomena as they really are. Strictly speaking, no one can practise vipassanā meditation. They can only practice mindfulness meditation (satipaṭṭhāna bhāvanā) with the intention of gaining insight. If they do gain insight, then we could call it vipassanā meditation, but if they only ever develop tranquillity, then it is just tranquillity meditation (samatha bhāvanā).
When people talk about doing vipassanā meditation, they just mean that they are trying to gain insight, which can arise at any time if one is mindful and concentrated on the present moment.
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