Observing

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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Christopher
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Observing

Postby Christopher » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:01 pm

I used to meditate a lot, but stopped for any number of reasons/excuses, but I've lately gone back to it. Must have been a gap of about 3 years - too long.

I've noticed that sometimes, when I remember to just watch/observe, that when I am anxious (for example), it's like I am watching the emotion. I feel detached, and it's difficult to put into words. I can feel the fear/anxiety, but it isn't making me fear, or be anxious. It only lasts a second or two, but there's definitely a detachment of sorts going on.

What is this, and will these small moments expand eventually? I am careful not to crave here, but it would be nice to have my experiences somehow 'approved' for want of a better term.

Thank you

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Ben
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Re: Observing

Postby Ben » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:17 pm

That sounds good, Christopher.
If I were you, I would attempt to drill down and investigate the phenomenology of the emotion.
Emotion being a sankhara, it can be subject to satipatthana meditation:
kaya - physical processes - observe the changing physical processes taking place like changes to the intensity and frequency of respiration or heart rate.
vedana - sensation - observe the changing sensations manifesting at that time.
citta - mental state - observe the general mind state and its flux
dhamma - mental contents - observe the rise and fall of mental contents at the time.
Keep in mind that observation can only take place if one remains equanimous regarding everything that is experienced.

Try doing these meditations separately and in time proficiency in one will lead to proficiency in the others.
wishing you all the best,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com

Bakmoon
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Re: Observing

Postby Bakmoon » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:43 pm

Christopher wrote:I used to meditate a lot, but stopped for any number of reasons/excuses, but I've lately gone back to it. Must have been a gap of about 3 years - too long.

I've noticed that sometimes, when I remember to just watch/observe, that when I am anxious (for example), it's like I am watching the emotion. I feel detached, and it's difficult to put into words. I can feel the fear/anxiety, but it isn't making me fear, or be anxious. It only lasts a second or two, but there's definitely a detachment of sorts going on.

What is this, and will these small moments expand eventually? I am careful not to crave here, but it would be nice to have my experiences somehow 'approved' for want of a better term.

Thank you


It sounds to me like you are practicing correctly. You are able to clearly see your emotions for what they are. I would just call it an example of mindfulness. What method of meditation do you use, by the way? Do you follow a specific tradition?
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Christopher
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Re: Observing

Postby Christopher » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:59 pm

Thanks all for the advice

I practice just sitting, and focusing on the breath, or anything that arises. I try to to judge it or react to whatever it is, and see it for what it is. After a while, I either go back to the breath, or just sit there open to whatever arises. I am starting to realise though, that I can do this any time any place any where - it's just remembering to be mindful, that's the tricky part for me

I 'think' it is Theravada but it's been so long now I forget.

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daverupa
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Re: Observing

Postby daverupa » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:22 pm

Christopher wrote:Thanks all for the advice

I practice just sitting, and focusing on the breath, or anything that arises. I try to to judge it or react to whatever it is, and see it for what it is. After a while, I either go back to the breath, or just sit there open to whatever arises. I am starting to realise though, that I can do this any time any place any where - it's just remembering to be mindful, that's the tricky part for me

I 'think' it is Theravada but it's been so long now I forget.


You'll want to add in some right effort; specifically, discover the causes of wholesome and unwholesome states which arise, and strive ardently to reduce and eliminate the unwholesome ones while generating and developing wholesome counterparts.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Christopher
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Re: Observing

Postby Christopher » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:00 am

The Eight fold noble path will aid in that?

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daverupa
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Re: Observing

Postby daverupa » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:36 am

Christopher wrote:The Eight fold noble path will aid in that?


One of those eight folds is itself the "right effort" fold.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Christopher
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Re: Observing

Postby Christopher » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:17 pm

Ok thank you

Any reason I'm not getting email notifications? I've checked my settings and they are all correct

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Ben
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Re: Observing

Postby Ben » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:17 pm

Christopher wrote:Ok thank you

Any reason I'm not getting email notifications? I've checked my settings and they are all correct


No one gets email notifications. That module is not working and has never worked.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com

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Christopher
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Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Observing

Postby Christopher » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:07 am

Ok, thanks


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