Sam: I was controlling my breathing, not practicing doubting meditation
—- Sharing on the 2-day retreat (2R6), 2014/10/04 to 2014/ 10/05
I did not have profound doubt in this 2-day retreat, but I found I have some small physical movements which I was not aware before.
I found that I hunched after a couple of sitting sessions. Hunchback would cause uncomfortable feelings in spine and chest, so I always correct my posture whether intentionally or unintentionally while sitting sessions. But this time, the teacher did not allow us to correct our postures, so I paid more attention to my waist to avoid hunchback. I found that the hunch is not a short and single movement but a process of slow movements. So I let myself experience the process of becoming hunch step by step and then the strengthen-up. I also found that if I was capable of being aware of the “beginning” of this spine movement, I could easily to adjust my spine to its correct position. It is just like our “wandering thoughts”. Every time when I found my wandering thoughts, I had already involved and played in the drama for a long while. If I could be aware of my wandering thought right at the first moment, I would not develop the following wandering thoughts.
I suffered from a migraine in the first day, and that also caused a deep pain around my eye sockets in the first day. Usually in sitting, I feel my body united as one without any physical burden. It was until that session, I found I would close my eyelids and push my eyeballs intensively, and this movement was like a sign to preparing into a more concentrated state. But in the first day once I pushed my eyeballs with my eyelids, I felt my migraine symptom became worse because of my migraine. So every time when I was unintentionally performing this small eyelid movement, I had to remind myself to relax my eyeballs, and it was just a fake movement.
During the session break in the second morning, the teacher asked me about my practice. While I was thinking about how to describe it, the teacher told my situation precisely. I had nothing to say but “Thanks” then went back to my sitting. The teacher told me that I was controlling my breathing, not practicing doubting meditation. ” I did not quite understand right at the moment but when I returned to my meditation, I realized it. Every time when I woke up from my drowsiness or wandering thoughts, and tried to “get back on the horse” to continue my practice, I would take a deep and big breath. It was like taking three deep breaths to reduce the stress before standing on stage to make a presentation, taught by my school teacher when I was a pupil. I focused on my breathing, and asked “what is no self?” when each time I took a breath. In this way, I could focus on my breathing and not following my wandering thoughts. But I was not practicing the method of doubting meditation, instead, breathing meditation. I was chanting “what is no self”, like counting breaths, repeating the slogan, or chanting the phrase.
I used to care about the doubt, wandering thoughts and physical pain, all these major condition, but not aware of these small body-and-mind movements. I think this was because I was not that mindful or clear about myself. These findings are what I gained from the two days. **** check for more Students’ Sharing ****