Jack wrote:Thanks to everyone for their responses.
I had looked at Ingram's web site. I wanted to get an answer from people like yourselves who probably aren't Ingram devotees. I am skeptical about Ingram even though sos far I have found him to be in line with the suttas.
I had the impression the Goenka technique skips around the body and doesn't stay in one place very long. That is why I used the breath in my original post. When I do vipassana and open myself to whatever comes up, my mind skips around. The pain in my neck has my attention this moment. A thought about what I should do the rest of the day comes up the next moment. This is somewhat similar to my understanding of Goenka. This is different than keeping my attention on the breath and seeing, for example, one in-breath break up.
Several mentioned not getting caught up in pleasurable or interesting mind states. I have been on longer retreats and am well aware of the potential problem. However. I see this case differently differently. Trying to see the 3 Marks, anicca especially, is the end goal of vipassana and should be encouraged.
Those that experienced a strobe like feeling (Good analogy. Ingram uses vibration. Same thing.), did it come up unbidden as a result of your meditation or were you looking for it? Ingram suggests several techniques to invite this experience. Here is one: >In one of these exercises, I sit quietly in a quiet place, close my eyes,put one hand on each knee, and concentrate just on my two index fingers. Basic dharma theory tells me that it is definitely not possible to perceive both fingers simultaneously, so with this knowledge I try to see in each instant which one of the two finger’s physical sensations are
being perceived. Once the mind has speeded up a bit and yet become more stable, I try to perceive the arising and passing of each of these sensations. I may do this for half an hour or an hour, just staying with the sensations in my two fingers and perceiving when each sensation is and isn’t there.
Here is another quote. This one about trying to see anicca in everyday life not just during a retreat.: >For five years of my practice I was basically a One Technique Freak,and that technique was noticing how sensations flicker. I would do it as often as I could, i.e. basically whenever I didn’t have to be doing something that required concentration on the specifics of my life. I would be riding an elevator, just trying to see when I could feel each foot, or lying down to sleep and noticing how many times I could experience the sensations of my breath in each second.<
In a busy modern life of today is difficult to cultivate dry insight techniques. The mind habit of skipping things can also occur when one makes vipassana alone, espacialy in the beginning.
Imagine the center of New York city or any great city. Many people moving to one place to another. This is the mind, I just could see the 3 marks of existence when I saw the occultation of them.
The skipping movement occult the dukkha. The velocity of this skipping occult the impermanence. And then we start to see things as solid, so the anatta is occult.
To break this movement we have to practice samatha to the minium level of access concentration (uppacarasamadhi) so the vipassana can start. Remember S.S.P (Sila, Samadhi, Panna).
See the quote from Gopaka Moggallana, it can help your practice:
"It wasn't the case, brahman, that the Blessed One praised mental absorption of every sort, nor did he criticize mental absorption of every sort. And what sort of mental absorption did he not praise? There is the case where a certain person dwells with his awareness overcome by sensual passion, seized with sensual passion. He does not discern the escape, as it actually is present, from sensual passion once it has arisen. Making that sensual passion the focal point, he absorbs himself with it, besorbs, resorbs, & supersorbs himself with it.
"He dwells with his awareness overcome by ill will...
"He dwells with his awareness overcome by sloth & drowsiness...
"He dwells with his awareness overcome by restlessness & anxiety...
"He dwells with his awareness overcome by uncertainty, seized with uncertainty. He does not discern the escape, as it actually is present, from uncertainty once it has arisen. Making that uncertainty the focal point, he absorbs himself with it, besorbs, resorbs, & supersorbs himself with it. This is the sort of mental absorption that the Blessed One did not praise.
"And what sort of mental absorption did he praise? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is the sort of mental absorption that the Blessed One praised.
EDIT: The vibrational expriences is nothing but an expirience. We have to try to don't cling in to it. When that expiriences start getting common or when we are equanimous to them, so in the meditation we start see it origin and see it cesation.
There is a case of a friend of my that during the practice he start feeling this vibrations and he cling to it, the whole body of him stated twisting like a hurricane or like he is being possed by something, but he was in full control of it. So we can see the power of the mind, it works very subtle and when we start feeling this 'subtles' weird expiriences can happen but nothing that can't be explained.