body scan body awareness?

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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jcsuperstar
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body scan body awareness?

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:35 am

do you do a body scan type meditation?

i see guided meditations on body sweeping and body scans etc, i haven't listened to any yet, but just what are these?

what benefit do you derive from these?

metta
jc
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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Ben
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Re: body scan body awareness?

Postby Ben » Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:54 am

Hi JC
Yes, I have been doing 'body scan' as you put it for many years.
The object of the practice that I do is to observe the anicca characteristic of vedana (sensation).
I'm happy to discuss more later but right now I'm trying to organise dinner for my family!
metta

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tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

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Re: body scan body awareness?

Postby PeterB » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:59 am

In my experience a very useful practice jcsuperstar. I have reservations about even describing a meditation practice online, not to speak of its fruits. I think there is too high a possibility for misunderstanding. Why not pop along to the nearest centre where it is taught ?

:anjali:

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Re: body scan body awareness?

Postby catmoon » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:21 pm

Spending a few minutes on a body sweep at the outset establishes physical relaxation which tends (tends, mind you) to lead to a relaxed state of mind. A periodic check during meditation does not require full attention and will often pick up grinding teeth, straining eyes, rising shoulders and so on. An initial sweep and periodic brief checks have become fully integrated into my practice. I thought everybody did it, at least up to the point of absorption.

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Re: body scan body awareness?

Postby meindzai » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:31 pm

I find this is good for finding out where there's all this tension in the body that I wasn't aware of, which ends up disappating on it's own as soon as I bring mindful awareness to it. Kind of like what happens with thoughts. Seems to in turn soften the breath.

-M

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Re: body scan body awareness?

Postby catmoon » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:42 pm

meindzai wrote:I find this is good for finding out where there's all this tension in the body that I wasn't aware of, which ends up disappating on it's own as soon as I bring mindful awareness to it. Kind of like what happens with thoughts. Seems to in turn soften the breath.

-M


I'd even go so far as to say, relaxation means muscles are not straining, not burning energy, which lowers oxygen requirements and leads to fineness of the breath.

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Kim OHara
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Re: body scan body awareness?

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:02 pm

meindzai wrote:I find this is good for finding out where there's all this tension in the body that I wasn't aware of, which ends up disappating on it's own as soon as I bring mindful awareness to it. ...

Yes. Body scan is often used as an introductory meditation in this way - either as a meditation by itself for beginners or as the first part of a session for slightly more advanced students.
:namaste:
Kim

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Re: body scan body awareness?

Postby AdvaitaJ » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:42 am

jcsuperstar,

I've often used a variation of a body scan while in the car. Instead of sensing your body, try to really sense the places where your clothing and jewelry touch your body. I was amazed at how we "tune out" those sensations once I actually focused on it. And, as others have noted, it was a good prelude to detecting tension, etc.

Regards: AdvaitaJ
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We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
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jcsuperstar
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Re: body scan body awareness?

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:43 am

when i'm sitting, i tend to be aware if i slouch or foot falls asleep or jaw is tight, i was never taught it as any formal meditation though.

and to AdvaitaJ, i do something similar but i'll note hardness, cold, etc where hands are on the wheel or but is on the seat, wind hits legs that sort of thing, try to see it for what it is, sound as sound not song or voice etc. hearing as hearing that sort of thing.
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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: body scan body awareness?

Postby PeterB » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:38 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
meindzai wrote:I find this is good for finding out where there's all this tension in the body that I wasn't aware of, which ends up disappating on it's own as soon as I bring mindful awareness to it. ...

Yes. Body scan is often used as an introductory meditation in this way - either as a meditation by itself for beginners or as the first part of a session for slightly more advanced students.
:namaste:
Kim

There are various levels of this practice. It can be a very useful informal practice when in the car, living room, on the loo etc. It can also form the basis , in a more precise and detailed form, of a retreat or more prolonged session. In the case of the latter I would urge the seeking of instruction.

Cross reference the " Difficult Experience At A Goenka Retreat " thread.


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