Anapanasati Experimentation

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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budo
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Anapanasati Experimentation

Post by budo » Wed May 15, 2019 9:40 pm

I encourage you guys to experiment with two things and report your findings in this thread

1) Sutta translations

2) Single objectness areas

Take for example this translation and commentary by Woodward
Here beggars, a beggar having gotten himself off to the forest,or to the root of some tree,or to some empty hut,and having taken up his seat there sitting down,setting the body upright,legs bent-across-lapwise[5], recollecting he attends to the face,[6] just so he recollects inspiration,just so he recollects expiration.
Parimukhaμ satiμ upaÂÂhapetv¤. Whatever the translators of this phrase finally agree on, this means in practice that the meditator is to make sure (remember,recollect, mind, be mindful) that the various muscles associated with (pari —around) the organs of the face (mukham) (especially around the eyes, at thecorners of the nose and mouth, and the set of the teeth) are as free from tension as possible.Woodward translates: "setting mindfulness in front of him" and interprets according to the hindu-yoga tradition "Between the eyebrows, where the Hindus place the brow-cakram."
and Vimuttimagga:
To the yogin who attends to the incoming breath with mind that is cleansed of the nine lesser defilements the image arises with a pleasant feeling similar to that which is produced in the action of spinning cotton or silk cotton. Also, it is likened to the pleasant feeling produced by a breeze. Thus in breathing in and out, air touches the nose or the lip and causes the setting-up of air perception mindfulness. This does not depend on colour or form. This is called the image. If the yogin develops the image [sign] and increases it at the nose-tip, between the eyebrows, on the forehead or establishes it in several places, he feels as if his head were filled with air. Through increasing in this way his whole body is charged with bliss. This is called perfection.
This is also found in the cambodian kammanatha manual as one of the "breath points".

So I tried focusing between the eyebrows and my breath, and I noticed that passaddhi (tranquility) set in much faster, and I will continue to experiment with and report back and I remember doing this several years ago and getting interesting results.

Try it out!

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Anapanasati Experimentation

Post by Pseudobabble » Thu May 16, 2019 8:21 am

I will try this tonight.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Anapanasati Experimentation

Post by Pseudobabble » Thu May 16, 2019 8:22 am

budo wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:40 pm
So I tried focusing between the eyebrows and my breath, and I noticed that passaddhi (tranquility) set in much faster, and I will continue to experiment with and report back and I remember doing this several years ago and getting interesting results.

Try it out!
Could you expand a little on what you mean by the underlined part?
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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mikenz66
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Re: Anapanasati Experimentation

Post by mikenz66 » Thu May 16, 2019 8:34 am

Interesting suggestion!

I actually often feel some pressure in the forehead when I'm getting somewhat concentrated, so perhaps that's related to this idea. There are various concentration signs(nimittas )mentioned in the suttas (and of course in the commentaries) viewtopic.php?t=15578 and I guess this is one way that it can play out. A Sri Lankan monk one of my local groups sat with for a while suggested starting with the touch of the breath on the nostrils, and letting the feeling spread out around the face.

:heart:
Mike

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budo
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Re: Anapanasati Experimentation

Post by budo » Thu May 16, 2019 8:40 am

Pseudobabble wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:22 am
budo wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:40 pm
So I tried focusing between the eyebrows and my breath, and I noticed that passaddhi (tranquility) set in much faster, and I will continue to experiment with and report back and I remember doing this several years ago and getting interesting results.

Try it out!
Could you expand a little on what you mean by the underlined part?
Sure, theres two interpretations I tried.

One is actually putting your attention on the physical area between your eyebrows.

The other is putting your attention at the center of your vision from a first person perspective, like medium-small circular radius. Also not close to your face because your eyes will cross and will cause tension because you're looking at the tip of your nose, but medium-far into the distance like where the wall would be, and of course close your eyes, but when doing this I find my eyes naturally open to half way by themselves just like in statues of the Buddha.

Also the second interpretation aligns with several vedic and hindu interpretations.

It's also this second interpretation that gave me a strong orb nimitta a few years ago that led to many hallucinations like seeing beings and such.

Try both!

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Re: Anapanasati Experimentation

Post by budo » Thu May 16, 2019 8:49 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:34 am
Interesting suggestion!

I actually often feel some pressure in the forehead when I'm getting somewhat concentrated, so perhaps that's related to this idea. There are various concentration signs(nimittas )mentioned in the suttas (and of course in the commentaries) viewtopic.php?t=15578 and I guess this is one way that it can play out. A Sri Lankan monk one of my local groups sat with for a while suggested starting with the touch of the breath on the nostrils, and letting the feeling spread out around the face.

:heart:
Mike
If it's a pleasant tension/pressure, like an itch you want to scratch then put more attention on that spot between your eyebrows

If it's an unpleasant tension like a headache, then stop and adjust so that it goes away. Unpleasant tension is usually caused by crossing eyes / looking at nose.

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Re: Anapanasati Experimentation

Post by mikenz66 » Thu May 16, 2019 9:43 am

No, it's not unpleasant, and it also occurs when paying attention to abdominal motion (which is my usual practice), so it's not a side-effect of trying to "observe" the nose and crossing the eyes.

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Mike

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budo
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Re: Anapanasati Experimentation

Post by budo » Thu May 16, 2019 9:45 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 9:43 am
No, it's not unpleasant, and it also occurs when paying attention to abdominal motion (which is my usual practice), so it's not a side-effect of trying to "observe" the nose and crossing the eyes.

:heart:
Mike
Have you tried moving your attention to it when it arises and focusing on it, ie making it the object of your meditation for at least an hour without moving your attention away.

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Re: Anapanasati Experimentation

Post by budo » Thu May 16, 2019 10:19 am

Here is an interesting sutta on not taking the hint (nimitta)
Mendicants, suppose a foolish, incompetent, unskillful cook was to serve a ruler or their minister with an excessive variety of curries: superbly sour, bitter, pungent, and sweet; hot and mild, and salty and bland.

But that cook didn’t take their master’s hint: ‘Today my master preferred this sauce, or he reached for it, or he took a lot of it, or he praised it. Today my master preferred the sour or bitter or pungent or sweet or hot or mild or salty sauce. Or he preferred the bland sauce, or he reached for the bland one, or he took a lot of it, or he praised it.’

That foolish, incompetent, unskillful cook doesn’t get presented with clothes, wages, or bonuses. Why is that? Because they don’t take their master’s hint. In the same way, a foolish, incompetent, unskillful mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. As they meditate observing an aspect of the body, their mind doesn’t enter immersion, and their corruptions aren’t given up. But they don’t take the hint. They meditate observing an aspect of feelings … mind … principles—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. As they meditate observing an aspect of principles, the mind doesn’t enter immersion, and the corruptions aren’t given up. But they don’t take the hint.

That foolish, incompetent, unskillful mendicant doesn’t get blissful meditations in this very life, nor do they get mindfulness and situational awareness. Why is that? Because they don’t take their mind’s hint.

Suppose an astute, competent, skillful cook was to serve a ruler or their minister with an excessive variety of curries: superbly sour, bitter, pungent, and sweet; hot and mild, and salty and bland.

And that cook took their master’s hint: ‘Today my master preferred this sauce, or he reached for it, or he took a lot of it, or he praised it. Today my master preferred the sour or bitter or pungent or sweet or hot or mild or salty sauce. Or he preferred the bland sauce, or he reached for the bland one, or he took a lot of it, or he praised it.’

That astute, competent, skillful cook gets presented with clothes, wages, and bonuses. Why is that? Because they take their master’s hint. In the same way, an astute, competent, skillful mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. As they meditate observing an aspect of the body, their mind enters immersion, and their corruptions are given up. They take the hint. They meditate observing an aspect of feelings … mind … principles—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. As they meditate observing an aspect of principles, their mind enters immersion, and their corruptions are given up. They take the hint.

That astute, competent, skillful mendicant gets blissful meditations in this very life, and they get mindfulness and situational awareness. Why is that? Because they take their mind’s hint.”
-sn 47.8


So I meditated again focusing on first person circular radius, breath in nose, and between eye brows, and passadhi (tranquility) set in very quickly.

Visual nimitta arose very quickly but was not stable. Unfortunately my cellphone rang and snapped me out of it after 45 minutes.

So I'm going to try it again later, maybe focus on nostril triangle area and first person radius until the nimitta stabilizes, once it stabilizes I will let go of the triangle area, except for between the eye brows.

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budo
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Re: Anapanasati Experimentation

Post by budo » Thu May 16, 2019 10:45 am

Just did this quickly in mspaint to show what I mean by triangle area

Image

edit: and first person radius

Image

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Re: Anapanasati Experimentation

Post by Pseudobabble » Thu May 16, 2019 1:58 pm

budo wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 10:19 am
So I meditated again focusing on first person circular radius, breath in nose, and between eye brows, and passadhi (tranquility) set in very quickly.

Visual nimitta arose very quickly but was not stable. Unfortunately my cellphone rang and snapped me out of it after 45 minutes.

So I'm going to try it again later, maybe focus on nostril triangle area and first person radius until the nimitta stabilizes, once it stabilizes I will let go of the triangle area, except for between the eye brows.
Some questions:

- Could you describe the visual nimitta you get?
- Is the 'first person radius' a point in space in front of you?
- Where do you place your attention? On the first person radius (assuming it is a point), or on the sensation of the breath in the nose area?
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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budo
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Re: Anapanasati Experimentation

Post by budo » Thu May 16, 2019 2:12 pm

Pseudobabble wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 1:58 pm
budo wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 10:19 am
So I meditated again focusing on first person circular radius, breath in nose, and between eye brows, and passadhi (tranquility) set in very quickly.

Visual nimitta arose very quickly but was not stable. Unfortunately my cellphone rang and snapped me out of it after 45 minutes.

So I'm going to try it again later, maybe focus on nostril triangle area and first person radius until the nimitta stabilizes, once it stabilizes I will let go of the triangle area, except for between the eye brows.
Some questions:

- Could you describe the visual nimitta you get?
- Is the 'first person radius' a point in space in front of you?
- Where do you place your attention? On the first person radius (assuming it is a point), or on the sensation of the breath in the nose area?
1. The visual nimitta for me has 2 parts, the background and the foreground. The background starts off black, over time it gets brighter and brighter. I once had it that it was so bright it felt like I was going to go blind, but of course it's not my eyes seeing this

The foreground can be smoke or a tunnel in the beginning, then it starts forming into a ball and gets more and more concentrated. If I can make it to the 2 hour mark without any distractions (I live in a noisy college area which I am leaving soon), then it will form into a very bright small condensed orb that will even stay with my eyes opened in my eyebrow area.

Sometimes the background gets brighter than the foreground which looks like static electricity, usually happens around access concentration. Sometimes the orb gets so bright it turns purple, kind of scary at first.

2. Yes, and as I said, not too close to my face otherwise eyes will start producing tension from tightness.

3. This requires.experimentation, but usually I start with nostrils, and check the body from time to time. When the body is tranquilized and piti is starting to rise from the feet/hands, then I start moving my attention to the top of the triangle, the point between eyebrows. I always make sure my secondary or primary attention is on the radius. This needs more ironing out to make it more consistent.

Also the tranquillity and piti rise like a wave of water, slowly encapsulating my legs, hands, belly, etc. By the one hour mark it starts covering my face, nose, eyes.. And when it passes my head that is when I have really bright background nimitta.

This doesn't always happen btw, if my digestion is poor I won't even get to tranquility. If it's too noisy (punk kids doing motorcycle tricks outside and screaming) I'll have too many hindrances and won't be able to settle on a single object.

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Re: Anapanasati Experimentation

Post by Pseudobabble » Thu May 16, 2019 7:50 pm

All this talk of nimittas reminded me of my first experiences of meditation, and inspired me to make a kasina again. Now I am reminded of how effective they are. Thanks budo! Ill report on my experiences in a day or two
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Sam Vara
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Re: Anapanasati Experimentation

Post by Sam Vara » Thu May 16, 2019 8:24 pm

I was taught a form of meditation where - after preliminaries like counting, and following the breath - one focuses attention on the touch of the breath at the nostrils. Standard stuff, but then, if the concentration at the nostrils is steady, one moves the attention to the forehead and "images" the breath flowing through the skin there. The point is a little above where you indicate, but it does tend to give quite a strong and consistent experience of visual nimitta.

It's my standard practice, but of course concentration is not always strong enough to reach that final stage.

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budo
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Re: Anapanasati Experimentation

Post by budo » Thu May 16, 2019 9:12 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:24 pm
I was taught a form of meditation where - after preliminaries like counting, and following the breath - one focuses attention on the touch of the breath at the nostrils. Standard stuff, but then, if the concentration at the nostrils is steady, one moves the attention to the forehead and "images" the breath flowing through the skin there. The point is a little above where you indicate, but it does tend to give quite a strong and consistent experience of visual nimitta.

It's my standard practice, but of course concentration is not always strong enough to reach that final stage.
I don't do any imagining/visualization, I couldn't stop the visual nimitta even if I tried, it's just a byproduct of concentration and tranquility.

All I do is simply observe the breath in the triangle, while keeping my mindfulness (aka remembering to return to) the kasina/radius in the front like I'm on a ride and looking forward into the distance somewhat.

If I get sucked into thoughts/dreams, then I'm no longer "looking forward" but in another world until I become mindful again and return my attention to looking forward (with eyes closed).

Getting sucked / lost in thoughts and dreams is just a byproduct of the hindrances, if the hindrances are overcome that will stop happening. Once you stop getting pulled into thoughts and dreams then that's when concentration really takes off and one enters jhana.

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