Perceptions are fascinating things: they have no solid ground. If you keep watching any sensation of the body, putting aside everything else, they grow, fill the mind, and you see more and more details. Not just in the case of the nostrils or the tip of the nose, but even heart-beating, or anything else. You can feel your body or any part of it heavily pulsating with every heartbeat, or you can feel the flowing of the blood in your brain. So we can't really say that this or that sensation is such and such. As with everything else, they are subject to change, subject to arising and falling away.Collective wrote:... I find it difficult trying to centre my awareness on the tip, or nostrils because the sensation is that subtle as to be almost non existent. ...
Of course if frustration arises because of the desire for a perception that is different from what you have, and the awareness shifts to the frustration, then the frustration will grow, instead of the calming meditation object. There is a tendency of identifying with such mental phenomena as "I", and if one identifies with them, one becomes oblivious to them. If one becomes oblivious to them, there can be no escape: they take control. The key is to keep in mind that everything is just a natural phenomenon that you can either cultivate, or put aside. If a perception is stressful, there is no reason to nurture it. In this way you can make peace with any conditions, and this peace and ease is the very essence of the "relaxation" that you would like to have.
As for or mindfulness of breathing, general awareness of breathing is excellent; just cultivate it thoroughly. You don't have to deliberately fixate on any nose or nostril sensation. You can even give the thing a spin, and instead of watching the breath, you can observe the mind whether it watches the breath or not. In any case, you are just observing a perception. In my view there is not so much difference between the "different" meditations; the dynamics is the same. With time you will eventually lose much of the initial experience of the meditation object (and of being ), when the normal, complex perception of "reality" starts to completely fall away.
But I'm just following my own thread of thinking in my usual intuitive way, with the hope that it gives some form of help. It is guaranteed that there are much more skillful meditators than me here, so hopefully you will have some more meaningful explanations. And of course the recommended talks are really good sources of information; you can get from them almost everything that you need for development. Though, one of the most important spiritual qualities is patience; time is needed for the dhamma to fully penetrate one's mind.
Again, apologies for the blabbing, and have a lovely day.