Body scanning during meditation

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Ryan95227
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Body scanning during meditation

Post by Ryan95227 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:00 am

I'm fairly new to meditation ( been practicing for about 4 months). I've neglected any form of buddhism/meditation/etc thinking it was just outdated system of salvation just like christianity. But now i realized how close minded i was so i began to take buddhism more seriously. I first read the noble eightfold path by a monk(?) from accesstoinsight.org and a beginner's guide to each and every breath. These two books emphasized filling body with awareness and loosing up tensions/detecting sensations. So.. I incorporated body scanning throughout my meditation course. So i combine spreading good will+body scanning+focusing on sensation of breath. My deep concern is how the heck do i detect tensions/sensations in my body. I can't feel them. I can't feel any energy pervading my body other than a semi hard pressure in my head as meditation time approaches like 20 mins. How can i detect these sensations let alone tensions?



Now im basicaly just spreading good will and focusing on breath. I worry too much about body scanning and i lose focus on my breath. Can anyone give me some suggestions?

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Ben
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Re: Body scanning during meditation

Post by Ben » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:14 am

If you are unsure of what you are doing, then it might be best to take instruction from a guide/teacher or if you can - do a residential meditation course.
All sensations are felt and so can be observed. Whether one has the requisite concentration and mental sensitivity to be aware of them - that is another matter and may require a preparatory technique such as observation of the breath.
Wishing you all the best,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Ryan95227
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Re: Body scanning during meditation

Post by Ryan95227 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:17 am

Ben wrote:If you are unsure of what you are doing, then it might be best to take instruction from a guide/teacher or if you can - do a residential meditation course.
All sensations are felt and so can be observed. Whether one has the requisite concentration and mental sensitivity to be aware of them - that is another matter and may require a preparatory technique such as observation of the breath.
Wishing you all the best,

Ben
Do you think it will be of a good idea for me to head over to goenka 10 day retreat during summer?

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Ben
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Re: Body scanning during meditation

Post by Ben » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:42 am

Ryan95227 wrote:
Ben wrote:If you are unsure of what you are doing, then it might be best to take instruction from a guide/teacher or if you can - do a residential meditation course.
All sensations are felt and so can be observed. Whether one has the requisite concentration and mental sensitivity to be aware of them - that is another matter and may require a preparatory technique such as observation of the breath.
Wishing you all the best,

Ben
Do you think it will be of a good idea for me to head over to goenka 10 day retreat during summer?
It is the tradition in which I practice and have practiced since 1985.
For many people - the experience is good. It does provide one with a depth of experience and supervised practice. For some, however, the experience can be too intense. Generally, I don't recommend it for people who have a history of mental illness.
Certainly, give it a go. If you have the time and capacity - try out a few different meditation approaches. Something you could read before you go - something that I found inspiring, is 'The Quiet Mind' by John Coleman. John Coleman, like SN Goenka, became one of Sayagi U Ba Khin's foremost teachers.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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Kumara
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Re: Body scanning during meditation

Post by Kumara » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:28 am

Ryan95227 wrote:So i combine spreading good will+body scanning+focusing on sensation of breath. My deep concern is how the heck do i detect tensions/sensations in my body. I can't feel them. I can't feel any energy pervading my body other than a semi hard pressure in my head as meditation time approaches like 20 mins. How can i detect these sensations let alone tensions?
Sounds like you're trying hard to detect tensions. That itself causes the attention to contract, thus less pliant. I wonder if the pressure in the head is an effect of it. Better to not do that, or at least notice that you're doing it.

Why do you practice meditation?
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Ryan95227
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Re: Body scanning during meditation

Post by Ryan95227 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:38 pm

Kumara wrote:
Ryan95227 wrote:So i combine spreading good will+body scanning+focusing on sensation of breath. My deep concern is how the heck do i detect tensions/sensations in my body. I can't feel them. I can't feel any energy pervading my body other than a semi hard pressure in my head as meditation time approaches like 20 mins. How can i detect these sensations let alone tensions?
Sounds like you're trying hard to detect tensions. That itself causes the attention to contract, thus less pliant. I wonder if the pressure in the head is an effect of it. Better to not do that, or at least notice that you're doing it.

Why do you practice meditation?[/quote

well i was always interested in enlightenment since i was like 8. i also really dont like how im just here to suffer suffer and become a robot for a society. i know that this suffering is created by my mind. i want to free it and live like normally whether through enlightenment or whatever

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Re: Body scanning during meditation

Post by ancientbuddhism » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:49 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:I'm fairly new to meditation ( been practicing for about 4 months). I've neglected any form of buddhism/meditation/etc thinking it was just outdated system of salvation just like christianity. But now i realized how close minded i was so i began to take buddhism more seriously. I first read the noble eightfold path by a monk(?) from accesstoinsight.org and a beginner's guide to each and every breath. These two books emphasized filling body with awareness and loosing up tensions/detecting sensations. So.. I incorporated body scanning throughout my meditation course. So i combine spreading good will+body scanning+focusing on sensation of breath. My deep concern is how the heck do i detect tensions/sensations in my body. I can't feel them. I can't feel any energy pervading my body other than a semi hard pressure in my head as meditation time approaches like 20 mins. How can i detect these sensations let alone tensions?

Now im basicaly just spreading good will and focusing on breath. I worry too much about body scanning and i lose focus on my breath. Can anyone give me some suggestions?
“body scanning” is a modern contemplative method of Burmese Vipassanā for developing awareness of sensations as they are presently manifest. It is a useful tool for approaching classical satipaṭṭhāna practice, but once awareness of present sensations has developed sufficiently it is best to let this artificial device drop and allow awareness to develop according to the progression of satipaṭṭhāna as given in the suttas.

Direct awareness of sensations will release tensions naturally. But to combine methods in tandem or add concepts like ‘good will’ or expectations of expanding ‘energy’ is to carry to many things in the mind and will only result in confusion and disappointment.
I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

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Coyote
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Re: Body scanning during meditation

Post by Coyote » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:25 pm

If With Each and Every Breath is what you are referring to, it might not be correct to think that what Ven. Thanissaro is talking about in terms of breath energy necessarily translates into the Vipassanā "body scanning method", though I don't know much about the "body scanning method". Feeling breath energy starts with the felt sense of the body. You'll get a sense of what is being referred to through meditation and by checking out:

Method 2 from Keeping the Breath in Mind
These talks: Breath: A Vehicle for Liberation
Ven. Thanissaro's talks, especially the Basics
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Mkoll
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Re: Body scanning during meditation

Post by Mkoll » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:28 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:
Kumara wrote:
Ryan95227 wrote:So i combine spreading good will+body scanning+focusing on sensation of breath. My deep concern is how the heck do i detect tensions/sensations in my body. I can't feel them. I can't feel any energy pervading my body other than a semi hard pressure in my head as meditation time approaches like 20 mins. How can i detect these sensations let alone tensions?
Sounds like you're trying hard to detect tensions. That itself causes the attention to contract, thus less pliant. I wonder if the pressure in the head is an effect of it. Better to not do that, or at least notice that you're doing it.

Why do you practice meditation?[/quote

well i was always interested in enlightenment since i was like 8. i also really dont like how im just here to suffer suffer and become a robot for a society. i know that this suffering is created by my mind. i want to free it and live like normally whether through enlightenment or whatever
"Live like normally"? What does that mean?
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Kumara
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Freedom from Suffering [Re: Body scanning during meditation]

Post by Kumara » Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:09 am

Ryan95227 wrote:
Kumara wrote:Why do you practice meditation?
well i was always interested in enlightenment since i was like 8. i also really dont like how im just here to suffer suffer and become a robot for a society. i know that this suffering is created by my mind. i want to free it and live like normally whether through enlightenment or whatever
You must have been an unusual kid. :-) Suffering is a great motivator, isn't it?

To be free from suffering, we need to throughly understand suffering, esp what causes it. We need to understand that not just intellectually, but directly, as directly as knowing how overeating causes discomfort, and why we overeat anyway.

As ancientbuddhism suggested, techniques or methods are useful, but just for jump-starting. Once awareness is established, they have served their purpose and we should then pay attention on establishing mindfulness to understand suffering. This practice is not meant to be morbid, and should not be. Knowing suffering keeps us sober. It keeps us conscious of what's essential.

Suffering occurs all the time, even when you're not conscious of it. So, this practice is not meant to be done on the cushion only, but in whatever you're doing and whenever you can.
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Ryan95227
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Re: Body scanning during meditation

Post by Ryan95227 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:40 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:
Ryan95227 wrote:I'm fairly new to meditation ( been practicing for about 4 months). I've neglected any form of buddhism/meditation/etc thinking it was just outdated system of salvation just like christianity. But now i realized how close minded i was so i began to take buddhism more seriously. I first read the noble eightfold path by a monk(?) from accesstoinsight.org and a beginner's guide to each and every breath. These two books emphasized filling body with awareness and loosing up tensions/detecting sensations. So.. I incorporated body scanning throughout my meditation course. So i combine spreading good will+body scanning+focusing on sensation of breath. My deep concern is how the heck do i detect tensions/sensations in my body. I can't feel them. I can't feel any energy pervading my body other than a semi hard pressure in my head as meditation time approaches like 20 mins. How can i detect these sensations let alone tensions?

Now im basicaly just spreading good will and focusing on breath. I worry too much about body scanning and i lose focus on my breath. Can anyone give me some suggestions?
“body scanning” is a modern contemplative method of Burmese Vipassanā for developing awareness of sensations as they are presently manifest. It is a useful tool for approaching classical satipaṭṭhāna practice, but once awareness of present sensations has developed sufficiently it is best to let this artificial device drop and allow awareness to develop according to the progression of satipaṭṭhāna as given in the suttas.

Direct awareness of sensations will release tensions naturally. But to combine methods in tandem or add concepts like ‘good will’ or expectations of expanding ‘energy’ is to carry to many things in the mind and will only result in confusion and disappointment.
where can i find more info on this satipathana? I'm still fairly new to this whole buddhism.

Ryan95227
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Re: Body scanning during meditation

Post by Ryan95227 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:41 pm

well i was always interested in enlightenment since i was like 8. i also really dont like how im just here to suffer suffer and become a robot for a society. i know that this suffering is created by my mind. i want to free it and live like normally whether through enlightenment or whatever[/quote]
"Live like normally"? What does that mean?[/quote]

normally as in just live in this world without unnecessarily thinking about things that are artificial. I just want to live and enjoy the experience at all time wihtout my mind somehow being too destructive

SarathW
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Re: Body scanning during meditation

Post by SarathW » Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:13 pm

Joseph Goldstein's Satipatthana series:

http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/talk/6162/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Body scanning during meditation

Post by ancientbuddhism » Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:19 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:...normally as in just live in this world without unnecessarily thinking about things that are artificial...
Normality, by Luangpor Teean Juttasubho
I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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ancientbuddhism
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Re: Body scanning during meditation

Post by ancientbuddhism » Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:26 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:...where can i find more info on this satipathana? I'm still fairly new to this whole buddhism.
Satipaṭṭhāna: The Direct Path to Realization, by Anālayo

Mindfulness in Early Buddhism, by Tse-fu Kuan

Mindfulness of Breathing and Calm Insight Development

Ānāpānasati Sutta

Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta
I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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