Lost focus...

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Lost focus...

Postby Myotai » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:21 pm

So hard at the moment to find the breath....where's it gone??

Used to be the anchor, now its hard to even find and if I do its of little use in terms of a focus as its having a numbing effect.

Anyone else had that?

:namaste:
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Re: Lost focus...

Postby Weakfocus » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:54 pm

Myotai wrote:So hard at the moment to find the breath....where's it gone??

Used to be the anchor, now its hard to even find and if I do its of little use in terms of a focus as its having a numbing effect.

Anyone else had that?

:namaste:


Yes. Sometimes you just get this wooly / brain-fog type of feel inspite of how much effort you make to observe the breath closely. Instead of feeling sharp and attentive you feel dull. Do not let it dissuade you.

Keep making diligent effort, eventually you begin to get back the sensation of air touching the area around nostrils and the mind becomes sharp again.

If you cannot feel the touch of respiration, stay aware of the act of respiration. When the breath comes in, note it as incoming and so on. Also make an effort to observe the pauses between the incoming and outgoing breath. See if they are the same length etc. Keep the mind focused on the act of respiration and eventually you will get back sharpness. For me some sittings are just dull, but after a couple days the mind becomes sharp again.

Also, posture seems to be very important as I am beginning to understand. Keep the back very straight, even if it feels a bit uncomfortable first few days. I find that even slacking my back by few milimeters dramatically alters how sharply I can observe the breath, although this might be a personal artifact. To get the best out of my sittings I have to sit with the back held very straight and tight, even if it hurts. As soon as I relax the back my 'catch' on breath weakens almost instantly.

I do not know what goes in the depth of mind and body that causes this brain-fog phenomenon, but it is temporary and goes away as long as you keep making sincere efforts to observe the breath.
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Re: Lost focus...

Postby fivebells » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:56 pm

Sounds like you have developed breath meditation to the point where you can use it to settle your mind down, which is a wonderful asset. When it starts to get dull, look for where the stress in the present moment is, and try to understand its causes and conditions.
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Re: Lost focus...

Postby daverupa » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:26 am

SN 46.53 wrote:...In the same way, monks, on any occasion the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to develop calm as a factor for awakening, concentration as a factor for awakening, equanimity as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is hard to raise up by those mental qualities.

"Now, on any occasion when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to develop analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening, persistence as a factor for awakening, rapture as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is easy to raise up by those mental qualities....


How does this sound?
    "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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Re: Lost focus...

Postby Myotai » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:20 am

daverupa wrote:
SN 46.53 wrote:...In the same way, monks, on any occasion the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to develop calm as a factor for awakening, concentration as a factor for awakening, equanimity as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is hard to raise up by those mental qualities.

"Now, on any occasion when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to develop analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening, persistence as a factor for awakening, rapture as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is easy to raise up by those mental qualities....


How does this sound?


Sounds like someone knew what they were talking about :buddha1:
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Re: Lost focus...

Postby reflection » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:07 pm

The breath may be hard to find for different reasons, but the main one seems to be a lack of sharpness/mindfulness. If you then search for the breath and hold it forcefully (not mindfully) the mind will indeed dull down, because it requires energy. I find it best in such moments just to sit and wait. Let whatever is in the present moment come into awareness, mainly other feelings in the body and sounds. This resting will give the mind more energy fueling the mindfulness, which then will have an easier job finding the breath. In fact, often the breath comes by itself, you'll be surprised.

Or so it happens to me.

:anjali:
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Re: Lost focus...

Postby Myotai » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:27 pm

reflection wrote:The breath may be hard to find for different reasons, but the main one seems to be a lack of sharpness/mindfulness. If you then search for the breath and hold it forcefully (not mindfully) the mind will indeed dull down, because it requires energy. I find it best in such moments just to sit and wait. Let whatever is in the present moment come into awareness, mainly other feelings in the body and sounds. This resting will give the mind more energy fueling the mindfulness, which then will have an easier job finding the breath. In fact, often the breath comes by itself, you'll be surprised.

Or so it happens to me.

:anjali:


Thanks for this. I have actually found this to be true...
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Re: Lost focus...

Postby daverupa » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:32 pm

Myotai wrote:
reflection wrote:The breath may be hard to find for different reasons, but the main one seems to be a lack of sharpness/mindfulness. If you then search for the breath and hold it forcefully (not mindfully) the mind will indeed dull down, because it requires energy. I find it best in such moments just to sit and wait. Let whatever is in the present moment come into awareness, mainly other feelings in the body and sounds. This resting will give the mind more energy fueling the mindfulness, which then will have an easier job finding the breath. In fact, often the breath comes by itself, you'll be surprised.

Or so it happens to me.

:anjali:


Thanks for this. I have actually found this to be true...


Perhaps that counts as an example of undirected meditation?
    "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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