Body awareness/scanning

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

Post by Ryan95227 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:07 am

Is this step all that important? I find really hard to concentrate when i scan my body or somehow try to fill my body with breath sensations from skull to fingers, toes, and spines. Why is this step important and why do so many teachers emphasize this step? I'm not really sure on this method. Im currently reading thanissaro bhikkh's with each and every breath and keeping the breath in mind.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Body awareness/scanning

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:15 am

Greetings Ryan,
Ryan95227 wrote:Is this step all that important?
Important to what, exactly? You might need to give some extra context on what you're doing and why...

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

Ryan95227
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Re: Body awareness/scanning

Post by Ryan95227 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:45 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Ryan,
Ryan95227 wrote:Is this step all that important?
Important to what, exactly? You might need to give some extra context on what you're doing and why...

Metta,
Retro. :)
important in meditation/concentration?

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Kumara
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Re: Body awareness/scanning

Post by Kumara » Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:52 am

Ryan95227 wrote:Is this step all that important? I find really hard to concentrate when i scan my body or somehow try to fill my body with breath sensations from skull to fingers, toes, and spines. Why is this step important and why do so many teachers emphasize this step? I'm not really sure on this method. Im currently reading thanissaro bhikkh's with each and every breath and keeping the breath in mind.
In the practice, we need to remember the purpose of it all, and the factors necessary for that. Techniques, methods, etc are not to be clung to. If it doesn't work for you, drop it.

Anyway, why try to concentrate? The instruction is just to be aware. right?
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jnak
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Re: Body awareness/scanning

Post by jnak » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:57 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:Is this step all that important? I find really hard to concentrate when i scan my body or somehow try to fill my body with breath sensations from skull to fingers, toes, and spines. Why is this step important and why do so many teachers emphasize this step? I'm not really sure on this method. Im currently reading thanissaro bhikkh's with each and every breath and keeping the breath in mind.
Since you're using his instructions, might I suggest that you contact Thanissaro Bhikkhu with your question? On nearly any topic, you will find a diversity of opinions in an internet forum. Check the back of the title page of your book for contact information.

For my part, I wonder if you aren't misinterpreting his instruction? It has been a while since I have read the book, but just scanned through the basic instructions. The only thing I see that you might try to fill the body with is awareness. As to why this might be important, read step 4 in MN118.

EDIT: Make that step 3. Fumble fingers!
Last edited by jnak on Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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soapy3
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Re: Body awareness/scanning

Post by soapy3 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:49 pm

Ryan95227 wrote: Why is this step important and why do so many teachers emphasize this step?
Not all of them do, that is Thanisarro Bhikkhu's thing.

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mikenz66
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Re: Body awareness/scanning

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:38 pm

That's true. I don't recall any other Buddhist teachers suggesting that. (His instructions on breath manipulation are also a minority approach.) However, everyone has their own "tricks" for inducing samadhi, and if you are following Ven Thanissaro's instructions, they may well be a helpful part of the overall package.

There are guided meditations from Ven Thanissaro out there. In the absence of personal instruction, those can often be more helpful than reading instructions.
See, for example: http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/guid ... tions.html.

:anjali:
Mike

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