Yesterday I was practicing Vipassana, In starting I observed everything as neutral, then everything was positive, then after 30 minutes, my left leg started hurting badly, i observed it as just negative for 5-7 minutes, then i was thinking am i observing this pain, or am i bearing it ?, whats the difference ?
then i gave up.

I could not move my left toe every single time, after Vipassana, i sit in Sukhasan.

Kindly help and suggest me for betterment.

  • When you start thinking you should note that, if you have doubt about the practise you should note doubt, if curious to what correct practise is you should not that aswell as "curious"
    – user8527
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 2:52

2 Answers 2


then i was thinking am i observing this pain,

Thinking as such is creates verbal fabrications. The objective is reduce fabrications. You should look as the sensations arising and passing without creating any craving and aversion. There can be no verbalisation, intellectualisation (thinking and pondering), visualisation, etc.

or am i bearing it

You should just passively observe and not suppress it by diverting your attention to more pleasant thoughts. If this is what you mean by bearing it then, yes, you are bearing it.

If you want you can try breathing meditation if the pain is unbearable in your body. This is fine. You should always limit are diverted to either Ānāpānasati or Satipaṭṭhāna and between them. You should always be calm.

Also use the pain as a tool to reduce latent tendency (see: Anusaya by Piya Tan) of aversion by not rejecting or being averse for the painful feeling.

the latent tendency to aversion reinforced by rejecting painful feelings

Pahāna Sutta

This also does not mean you should stay with the painful sensations only as you will miss the more subtle sensation but they need to be also felt.

I could not move my left toe every single time

This happens but perhaps as a beginner you could try using a small chair or cushion if this might help.

  • whats fabrication ? I was trying to look at sensation, but it is pain, Does it pratically means you are asking me to overlook pain, or if i can focus on breath and remove my focus from leg ?
    – Ritesh.mlk
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 9:09
  • I added a link. It is called Saṅkhāra Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 9:12
  • Okay i get it, just one Query. Focus should be to remain calm in response to pain, or should i move mind to breath or something else, till the negative moment goes away
    – Ritesh.mlk
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 9:16
  • Added more information on removing focus also. Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 9:16

Some modern schools of meditation observe physical pain however I have not read about this kind of practise in the Pali scriptures. The Pali scriptures recommend the practise of Anapanasati & jhana (pleasant abiding), where vipassana occurs as a natural result.

Impermanence & not-self happens with everything, including the in & out breathing. The more calm & clear the mind is, the more it can observe impermanence & not-self, which is vipassana ('clear seeing of reality').

I advise sitting posture should always be comfortable, with a naturally erect spine. If a person cannot sit crossed-legged on a floor with comfort then kneel or sit on a stool.

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