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"Third Eye" Meditation style

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by Bryan555, May 21, 2011.

  1. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    I'm a new guy here, but a long-time meditator. Got involved in a discussion with another newbie yesterday, which led me to an interesting question: How "usual" -- or unusual -- is my style of meditation?

    I learned it a long time ago, as a member of the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF). It basically involves breath-consciousness, but also an inward visual concentration on the so-called "third eye". The point between, but just above, the eyes.

    It was hard at first, as are all meditations. Difficult to keep the attention focused "inward", as it had a tendency to float forward...so I'd be looking out at a spot a few inches in front. But, over time, it became automatic, and gentle, to bring the focus inward. And the so-called "third eye" began to wake up and "melt", so to speak. The feeling, in deep meditation, is that it throbs and feels more like a liquid than a solid. Not sure how else to describe it.

    Anyway, that's my mediation "home".

    None of my friends meditate. So I'm now here, among other meditators, more or less for the first time. And I read a lot here about mantra-based, and breath-based meditations. And not much else.

    It makes me curious: Don't others use an inward visual focus? Isn't that a normal part of meditation? I know that I'm not "doing it wrong", because I really cherish my experience. But I'm starting to wonder if I'm "doing it differently" than most of you.

    Anyway, I'd sure appreciate some feedback. I know a lot of members here have very wide experience with this subject. It would be very helpful for me to hear your opinions.

    PS--Yes, I have experimented with mantras a bit, mostly because TM made so much of it. But, in my case, a mantra just seems to "get in the way".
     
  2. M L K

    M L K Member

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    Good morning, Bryan. I don't use just one style of meditation. Sometimes I follow the felt-sense of my bodymind (and perhaps technically that is more self-therapy than meditation, a kind of applied meditative awareness), but often I do let my inner gaze rest on the third eye. It just feels very natural to me. Mantras are too distracting for me; watching the breath less so. But what helps me find Quiet is following ("tracking") the felt-sense, or simply resting at the brow. I haven't followed any particular instructions from the SRF, but I began to feel pulled to the brow center while doing subtle bodywork many years ago.

    Anyway, that's just me. So good to have you on the forum. :)Margaret
     
  3. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    Thanks, Margaret. Very interesting way to describe your system. Sounds very gentle, and I can see how I could incorporate some of that, too. I'll give it a try.

    By the way, I'm no particular advocate of the "third eye" as the body's spiritual centre. Obviously, some believe it be so. For me, it was just the way I first learned, and has become "home" to me.

    I'm quite agnostic as to whether it's the "seat of self-realization", etc. I asked the question only because I'm interested to know whether many members use it as a visual focus.
     
  4. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    Hi Bryan
    Your meditation seems to give you a very beneficial result.

    You might experiment with combining it with a breath awareness.

    Focus attention on the edge of the nostrils where the air pases in and out. Maintain awareness on this place even when the air is not moving. No need to follow the air as it goes in. Just attention to the tip of the nostrils. As if the tip of the nostrils were a video camera just viewing whatever passed by or the stillness of the scene with nothing passing by.

    Then bring down the sense of your third eye meditation to join the awareness at the nostrils. Hold the two together in awareness.

    I am interested to hear your experience.

    Michael
     
  5. Hazelkay

    Hazelkay Member

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    pondering on technique

    This thread had me thinking ( a dangerous occupation:eek:)

    Meditation techniques are useful things and come in a huge variety.

    Some are designed to give you a 'meditation experience': peace, a high, flashing lights, visions, illusions and so on.

    Some are designed to focus the mind and cut out stimuli that lead to wandering thoughts.

    Using a technique means there is some effort of will, some slight tension, some 'me' involved.

    Paradoxically, using a technique can also lead to a certain laziness - we slip into the technique and there is less awareness, not more.

    Flitting from one technique to another is self defeating, but a limited array can be helpful.

    In the end, though, it is only when technique is no longer necessary that the meditation state truly exists.

    More ponderings, please:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  6. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    Hazel, I don't know if you are a baseball fan, but every hitter has his own unique way of swatting the ball. Despite having the same "batting coach", players develop their own stance, swing, strategy. Some have tremendous discipline; others swing at everything.

    It's amazing. And I think it's an exact analogy to meditation: Even if we all learn the "same" meditation, it won't be the same at all. It simply cannot be.

    I don't equate technique with laziness. Seems to me that our "style" of meditation expresses who we are. But, just as hitters are always looking for tips and pointers to improve, so should we. I don't plan to fundamentally change my meditation. I really couldn't, at this point. But I sure am flexible enough to keep adjusting it.

    By the way, one HUGE similarity between meditation and baseball: Hitters just can't hit, if they are thinking about their technique. They work and work on it in practice. But when the game is on and the ball is going 95 mph, thinking is tantamount to failure. My coach had a four-word formula for success: "See ball. Hit ball".

    Not quite a mantra, perhaps. But definitely "zen"...and good advice for meditators.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2011
  7. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    I just can tell from my experience, changin breath to mantra. I was used to focus my attention on my breath, and when i changed it, it took a while to get used to it. After a while i found the mantra to be quite more effectful then the breathing. In the end i guess it doesnt matter how one clears his head from thoughts, as long as its working.
     
  8. Anglepen

    Anglepen Member

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    At the end of last year I devoted the last few months to a different technique than my usual Anapana based meditation.
    I let my mind become accepting of the feelings of my body, the little aches, pains, and tingles that we all feel especially if seated in a lotus type position.

    As each feeling became a concious thought I would avert my attention from the breath and allow this feeling become the centre of my mindfulness, not concentrating as such but just being aware of it and allowing it to 'be'

    I found it quite rewarding, I believe that this may be a technique advocated by Jack Kornfield, although I wasn't aware of this before, and its a method I may use more of in the future.

    I would like to ask if the members here see this as a Vipassana element? I originally took up Anapanasati meditation style as a prequel to venturing into deeper styles of Vipassana but found it rewarding enough to stick with it.

    I am aware this post is off topic from the original thread, and to steer it back I will say that although I have never actively used the third eye as my single point of concentration I have, as a byproduct of my Anapana, felt a warming sensation there, almost like 'shifting sands' in its feeling. Most odd but very nice too.

    I look forward to your thoughts.

    Namaste
    Kev
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2011

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