Hindrance

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

Hindrance

Postby bodom » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:22 pm

In the early morning whether meditating or not i, i always feel the need to cough or clear my throat. I think this is a holdover from my old smoking days. Now i do meditate early in the morning and always struggle with the feeling of needing to cough and to clear my throat. My question is whether i should just be mindful of the intention to cough and be mindful of the whole process of coughing and swallowing, or just watch the urge to cough and swallow arise and pass without acting on them? Im pretty good about being able to sit through moderate pain and discomfort without moving and just wathing it all pass but it just seems to be this one area im struggling with right now. Thank you.

:namaste:
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: Hindrance

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:35 pm

Hi Bodom,

I suggest that you have a good coughing and throat-clearing session beforehand, perhaps followed by a swig of water, and then restrain yourself during the sitting. As the bhikkhus of old restrained themselves:


"Again, venerable sir, being a head-anointed noble king, I am able to have executed those who should be executed, to fine those who should be fined, to exile those who should be exiled. Yet when I am sitting in council, they break in and interrupt me. Though I say: ‘Gentlemen, do not break in and interrupt me when I am sitting in council; wait till the end of my speech,’ still they break in and interrupt me. But here I see bhikkhus while the Blessed One is teaching the Dhamma to an assembly of several hundred followers and then there is not even the sound of a disciple of the Blessed One coughing or clearing his throat. Once the Blessed One was teaching the Dhamma to an assembly of several hundred followers and there a disciple of his cleared his throat. Thereupon one of his companions in the holy life nudged him with his knee to indicate: ‘Be quiet, venerable sir, make no noise; the Blessed One, the Teacher, is teaching us the Dhamma.’ I thought: ‘It is wonderful, it is marvellous how an assembly can be so well disciplined without force or weapon!’ Indeed, I do not see any other assembly elsewhere so well disciplined. This too, venerable sir, is why I infer according to Dhamma about the Blessed One: ‘The Blessed One is fully enlightened, the Dhamma is well proclaimed by the Blessed One, the Sangha of the Blessed One’s disciples is practising the good way.’"
(Dhammacetiya Sutta, MN. 89)

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Hindrance

Postby bodom » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:40 pm

Thank you Bhante! :bow: :bow: :bow: I will follow your advice.

:namaste:
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: Hindrance

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:04 am

Hi BBB
I have a neti pot (nasal irrigation) I use from time to time, as the whole area is connected maybe something along this lines may be a long term solution as It clears any gunk in the Sinuses which may be causing irritation and a need to cough :shrug:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Hindrance

Postby bodom » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:49 pm

Manapa wrote:Hi BBB
I have a neti pot (nasal irrigation) I use from time to time, as the whole area is connected maybe something along this lines may be a long term solution as It clears any gunk in the Sinuses which may be causing irritation and a need to cough :shrug:


Thanks for the recommendation. I have seen them at the store and always wondered if they work.

:namaste:
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: Hindrance

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:21 pm

i started (tonight) drinking ginger tea, a friend of my mother's doctor told her to drink it for sinus and breathing problems, no idea how it'll go yet...
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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Re: Hindrance

Postby bodom » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:27 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:i started (tonight) drinking ginger tea, a friend of my mother's doctor told her to drink it for sinus and breathing problems, no idea how it'll go yet...


Never heard of it. Let me know how it works for ya.

:namaste:
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: Hindrance

Postby bodom » Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:24 pm

Bhante Dhammanando i have followed your advice and restrained myself from coughing and throat clearing while sitting. It is really amazing to watch these impulses come up and pass away. From this my past few sittings have gone very well with increased concentration due to the restraint. I have one further question. I tend to produce a lote of saliva which causes me to want to swallow. Should i apply the same restraint to swallowing as i do to coughing and throat clearing? The swallowing is not as course as the coughing and doesnt seem to disturb my concentration if i mindfully observe it. Still i would like to know what you recommend. Im sorry for the repeated questions but i am one who needs to be told exactly what to do so that i know i am on the right path. Thank you. :bow: :bow: :bow:

:namaste:
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: Hindrance

Postby Dhammanando » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:30 pm

Hi Bodom,

bodom_bad_boy wrote:Should i apply the same restraint to swallowing as i do to coughing and throat clearing?


No, you should just swallow it, unless you want to drown or have the saliva dribbling down your chin. :?

Dogen's advice to keep the tongue against the palate, with the tip of the tongue resting against the back of the top teeth, will both reduce the quantity of saliva and make the swallowing of it fairly effortless.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Hindrance

Postby bodom » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:48 pm

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Bodom,

bodom_bad_boy wrote:No, you should just swallow it, unless you want to drown or have the saliva dribbling down your chin. :?


Haha. If you wouldnt have told me otherwise i probobly wouldve let it get to that point. Thank you Bhante.

:namaste:
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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