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Practice Mindfulness of Body

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I'm trying to being present with the help of body sensations.

As I'm a beginner . I place my hand over my chest to feel that I'm live and presence. This is to ensure that I do not "think" that I'm being present but as a fact I'm .

After few minutes , I do feel tightness of my heart , breathing rhythm. Then starts to feel energy flow (tingling) inside my legs and Torso .This is like being my attention expanded beyond the chest . When thoughts come I bring my attention back to chest .

Of course I feel a calm state but it is again a temporary state . The moment I release my attention to include whole environment again it keeps going to what ever it "wishes" to be with .

Could anyone help me with the next step that could help me to keep my attention where I wish it to be ? to ensure I would not identify with unnecessary feelings , emotions etc.

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I'm trying to being present with the help of body sensations.

When you are with a sense input you are always in the present moment. The way to be in the present moment or bring your attention to the present moment is to look at sensations. So you are doing the right thing here.

As I'm a beginner . I place my hand over my chest to feel that I'm live and presence. This is to ensure that I do not "think" that I'm being present but as a fact I'm .

This might involve thinking or perceptions which can be building verbal fabrications (chattering mind). If possible avoid this.

After few minutes , I do feel tightness of my heart , breathing rhythm. Then starts to feel energy flow (tingling) inside my legs and Torso .This is like being my attention expanded beyond the chest . When thoughts come I bring my attention back to chest .

In our body there a lot of sensations we are not aware of. In doing meditation you have to reach Sabbakayapatisamvedi stage. This is where your attention spreads through out your body and you are aware of everything in your body. At a higher stage, bodily processors like breathing, arising and pass of all sensations. (Samudaya-dhammanupassi .. Vayadhammanupassi .. Samudaya-vaya-dhammanupassi)

So keep spreading your attention and be mindful to the subtlest of:

  • sensation in your body
  • other bodily function like breathing
    • and if possible (all this coming through contact with the sense doors thus tied to sensations)
      • heartbeat
      • perspiration process
      • excretion and urination (Uccara passavakamme)
      • etc.

Of course I feel a calm state but it is again a temporary state . The moment I release my attention to include whole environment again it keeps going to what ever it "wishes" to be with .

You have to reach where your bodily fabrications are calmed (Passambhayam kayasamkharam). At this stage you feel calm and your breath becomes shorter.

As with all senses this arises and passes with rapid succession. You have to keep looking at even that calm feeling until you see this.

The calm sensations can be:

  • pleasant, blissful - Patrice equanimity towards it and try to eliminate all fabrication of craving and clinging towards pleasant sensations.
  • painful - Patrice equanimity towards it and try to eliminate all fabrication of aversion
  • neutral - Patrice equanimity towards it and try to eliminate all fabrication of ignorance, i.e., even in this stage you see arising and passing, contacts creates sensation which you cling and crave, your perception creates a response to what you recognise, etc. As sensations are subtle you can try investigating these at a more subtler level.

Sensation are the mind conditioner. Buy using sensation to eliminate fabrication creation you calm your metal fabrication.

Also this sensation can be used to calm your metal chattering. Generally your mind wonders away then there is an overwhelming sensation coming from a sense door. If the sensation are generally pleasant or neutral your mind does not stray from your meditation object.

Could anyone help me with the next step that could help me to keep my attention where I wish it to be ?

To keep you attention where it needs to be you can do the following:

  • realise your mind wonders away to from your anchor object
  • experience the sensation this object creates
  • due to thought proliferation and perceptional reaction this creates sensation in your body. Generally it dominates around the head. See if you can see these sensations in your body.
  • at advance stages when you notice the sensations they just dispensary
  • if not just stay with them for a few seconds and come back to your chosen object
  • when doing this smiling also might help, look at the sensations off the libs touching also. Smiling releases the tension in the facial mussels.

By looking at the sensation, in advance stages your are effectively dissolving the fabrication they have created. Since fabrications giving grosser sensation are dissolves your are left with more pleasantness and this helps with concentration as mentioned before.

Also this can be used to eradicate mental defilements as mentioned above.

... to ensure I would not identify with unnecessary feelings , emotions etc.

What you have to see is:

  • Feeling and sensation as just feeling and sensations
  • Also scrutinise the feeling and sensation, dividing and dissecting until you come to more and more subtler sensations

The above goes for body, feeling / sensations, mind and Dhamma.

Ultimately you have to:

  • Keep equanimity (do not cling or crave) to any sensation
  • Be aware of the arising and passing of the sensation

Also pay attention to sensations as this is proxy to experiencing anything regarding your mind matter process and the other foundations of mindfulness. Even if you take the elements, we you one of our senses doors to sense it hence the primary characteristics and secondary characteristics based on a particular sense door like colour.

Based on: Mahā Sati’patthāna Sutta, Sal-āyatana Vibhanga Sutta, Pahāna Sutta, Saṅkhitta Dhamma Sutta

  • I do not understand below line: "neutral - Patrice equanimity towards it and try to eliminate all fabrication of ignorance". I thought neutral is thing i was looking for, can you please explain – Rishi Jan 11 '17 at 10:14
  • This is found in the Pahāna Sutta in detail. Also a lot of my answers on this site Pahana and Pahāna have more details. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Jan 11 '17 at 13:17
  • @Ritesh updated with the references. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Jan 13 '17 at 9:34
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This essay on A Guided Meditation by Thanissaro Bhikku can help you.

I include a quote here:

If your mind wanders off, gently bring it right back. If it wanders off ten times, a hundred times, bring it back ten times, a hundred times. Don't give in. This quality is called ardency. In other words, as soon as you realize that the mind has slipped away, you bring it right back. You don't spend time aimlessly sniffing at the flowers, looking at the sky, or listening to the birds. You've got work to do: work in learning how to breathe comfortably, how to let the mind settle down in a good space here in the present moment.

When the breath starts feeling comfortable, you can start exploring it in other areas of the body. If you simply stay with the comfortable breath in a narrow range, you'll tend to doze off. So consciously expand your awareness. A good place to focus first is right around the navel. Locate that part of the body in your awareness: where is it right now? Then notice: how does it feel there as you breathe in? How does it feel when you breathe out? Watch it for a couple of breaths, and notice if there's any sense of tension or tightness in that part of the body, either with the in-breath or with the out-breath. Is it tensing up as you breathe in? Are you holding onto the tension as you breathe out? Are you putting too much force on the out-breath? If you catch yourself doing any of these things, just relax. Think of that tension dissolving away in the sensation of the in-breath, the sensation of the out-breath. If you want, you can think of the breath energy coming into the body right there at the navel, working through any tension or tightness that you might feel there ...

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One thing you might not realize about being present is that it means standing in the river as the water goes by... meaning you can't cling to any one phenomenon or even type of phenomenon. You have to let it go by.

So when you say,

Of course I feel a calm state but it is again a temporary state.

We say, of course it is a temporary state... they all are. You have to let them go by.

The moment I release my attention to include whole environment again it keeps going to what ever it "wishes" to be with .

This is the nature of the present moment. Not reacting with desire, aversion, or delusion is the only goal.

Could anyone help me with the next step that could help me to keep my attention where I wish it to be? to ensure I would not identify with unnecessary feelings , emotions etc.

This is an self-defeating... you are asking how to control and get what you want to ensure that you don't give rise to the identification. They are opposite goals and you have to choose one; trying to control and get what you want, or letting go of identification.

The Buddha taught four foundations of mindfulness, one of which was on the body. I would suggest you study them all, and learn to incorporate them all into your meditation. Then it doesn't matter where your mind goes, you can meditate and stay present in the middle of the river of experience. Here's a good theoretical background on the four foundations:

Way of Mindfulness

If you would like a practical guide on implementing them all, here is a booklet I wrote, available in many different languages:

How to Meditate: A Beginner's Guide to Peace

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My personal opinion, Being on Present is the hardest part of Buddhism. When your take meditation first time, the hardest thing is controlling your mind. Your mind are running like a wind.I think there are many techniques of meditation.I use breath in and breath out technique.First you choose the suitable place for meditation (calm and silent place, not cold not hot). After that you can sit as you like then close your eyes.Then you breath normally means not too fast not too slow.And you concentrate breath in and breath out, don't feel anything. After a few minutes, your mind will calm.Your feeling only know breath in and breath out and you feel very calm in your mind. I could not explain using words about that feeling. You can do as much as you can before your mind is running out of your control.

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