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During concentration the main thing I can feel during the first half hour or so is the feeling of the stomach/ top part of the intestine area or feelings inside the belly. There's really nothing else for me to feel, especially when mediating topless so that the skin's interaction with fabric doesn't give a sense of rising and falling. Although I'm aware painful sensations can be expected, this uncomfortable feeling does feel like the wrong type of discomfort but is my only point of focus. It seems like something I shouldn't be focusing on, or maybe I am over extending when breathing, but I don't think so. That being said, my practice has eventually led to pleasant sensations and having a tension to wave-like movement when breathing.

Anyone have any guidance or suggestions?

NB my posture is quite straight.

Thanks!

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When practicing vipassana, you simply just witness whatever sensations that are happening moment to moment. If a mental reaction arises as you focus on the belly, like a thought, an opinion or a feeling then simply note it and go back to the belly. If you can't feel anything then note whatever reality is in your attention at that moment and if it seems like nothing then it's ok to note "nothing". Maybe you would be waiting for the breath to arise, if so you could note "waiting". You know, even if you get confused in your practice you can note "confused".

Truth itself is not dangerous but our reactions to truth can be dangerous. If you feel a bodily sensation isn't right then you might note in your head "doubt", "fear or whatever seems appropriate. Of course call a doctor if by "not right" you mean you might have something physically wrong.

Getting a good teacher is one of the most fundamentally beneficial things a meditator can do. If you have one be sure and ask them about any outside advice you get.🙂

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    This is great advice. I might only add that you can try relaxing your posture a bit to allow for relaxed breathing, or try putting your hands on your abdomen until you become familiar with the movement. As you relax over time, the breath should naturally move to the abdomen making it an ideal object of focus. In the mean time, be aware that the task of the first noble truth is to understand suffering fully, which means confronting unpleasantness is a part of the practice. – yuttadhammo Jan 28 at 23:28
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Thanks for the advice, I'm aware of the noting process and do note it as ',uncomfortable' or 'sharp'. It just seems that lying down or sitting, as soon as I put attention to the belly area I am more aware of an internal sensation which leads to discomfort and gurgling noises/ feelings.but as a result, is easy to concentrate on. It is not something I'd see the doctor about but I am concerned that too much attention to one spot could cause some sort of energy blockage/pooling/ or stress internally. I have my first vipassana course in a couple of weeks, but have read numerous books and watched numerous videos on the process. That's why I'm aware unpleasant sensations may arise, I just feel like my concentration is causing them to arise because its more internal.

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OP: Although I'm away pain sensations can be expected, this uncomfortable feeling does feel like the wrong type of discomfort but is my only point of focus. It seems like something I shouldn't be focussing on, or maybe I am over extending when breathing, but I don't think so. That being said, my practice has eventually led to pleasant sensations and having a tension to wave like movement when breathing.

Judging the type of sensation can lead to negative latent tendencies:

(1) the latent tendency to lust reinforced by being attached to pleasant feelings;

(2) the latent tendency to aversion reinforced by rejecting painful feelings;

(3) the latent tendency to ignorance reinforced by ignoring neutral feelings.

Pahāna Sutta

Whatever feeling on feels one should:

If he feels a pleasant feeling,

  • he understands that it is impermanent;
  • he understands that it is not to be clung to;
  • he understands that there is no delight in it.

If he feels a painful feeling,

  • he understands that it is impermanent;
  • he understands that it is not to be clung to;
  • he understands that there is no delight in it.

If he feels a neutral feeling,

  • he understands that it is impermanent;
  • he understands that it is not to be clung to;
  • he understands that there is no delight in it.

If he feels a pleasant feeling, he feels it in a detached manner.

If he feels a painful feeling, he feels it in a detached manner.

If he feels a neutral feeling, he feels it in a detached manner.

Dhātu Vibhaṅga Sutta

OP: During concentration the main thing I can feel ...

Since you seem to be practising concentration meditation, one should:

  • know your mind has wandered off
  • know the sensation or stimuli experienced while being equanimous without any aversion to the unpleasant or attachment to the pleasant
  • know the sensation or stimuli experienced is impermanent
  • bring back your focus to the object of meditation (initial application - vitakka)
  • after bringing it back try to sustain the focus with the object of meditation (sustained application - vicāra)
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