I have been following Goenka tradition of vipassana for a few months now(one 10 day retreat and 5 months of daily practice). We are instructed to keep our attention below the nostrils and observe the flow of breath (i.e., just know that you are inhaling or exhaling). My problem with the instructions is that I can feel the sensations under my nostrils, but I don’t understand what that sensation means i.e., if it is inhalation or exhalation. For the longest time, in an attempt to figure/know what the sensation corresponded to, I think I was controlling my breath, which proved to be counterproductive as I was having trouble breathing normally. Even extending to normal day-to-day affairs. I tried using harder breaths, longer breaths, but I never could go beyond understanding that there is sensation under my nostrils.
I understand that it is for building shamata, and the knowing of if the sensation corresponds to inhalation or exhalation doesn’t matter that much. But I am assuming there is a reason the instruction is a certain way. Am I doing something wrong. Any help is appreciated.
I read that the Mahasi tradition emphasises keeping the attention on the rising and falling of the belly, but I don’t think I am ready to mix traditions yet. Does anyone know what might be happening here or have any suggestions on what can be done to help better my practice.