I wanted to ask for your advice regarding a blockade I've recently been experiencing in my meditation:
My current approach for the breathing meditation is to sense the breath at the tip of the nose until it steadies, which usually takes a few minutes. When that has happened, awareness eventually "locks" into place, providing firm concentration and an easy and enjoyable flow. That is the most enjoyable period of the session. It is after I've been there for perhaps 10 minutes that the trouble begins: either I begin to crave the blissful sensation (piti), which I used to feel quite often but no longer feel very frequently (almost certainly because of the craving) or, if I happen to experience bliss, I lose concentration since I get severely distracted by the bliss and can no longer concentrate on the breath at the nosetip. Either way, there is a struggle either to attain bliss or to maintain concentration if there is bliss. It is always one of these two outcomes and in almost every case the end result is a sense of disappointment about the session. My questions are:
1) Does anybody have suggestions on how to get rid of the craving for bliss? I know that it is an impediment to meditation, but am finding it hard to get rid of it, and
2) When bliss arises, should one try to maintain awareness on the tip of the nose, or should awareness be shifted elsewhere, such as to the sensation of bliss or to the body?
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)