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torn between two different techniques, need some advice from experienced meditators

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by austin417, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. austin417

    austin417 New Member

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    so i recently attended a ten goenka retreat. before the retreat i had been practicing shinzen young's "do nothing" technique. this technique is very simple, basically just anytime you get the intention to control your attention, you drop it. and you keep doing that till you reach a state of silence, stillness, etc. now the technique i was taught at the goenka retreat is very different, you basically scan your body for sensations and observe the sensations equanimously. now the thing i dont get about the goenka technique is the whole scanning thing. most meditations are either about focusing on one thing, and allowing your attention to become absorbed in that, or simply letting go and allowing your awareness to become still, i recently watched a video of shinzen young describing why both concentrative one pointedness techniques and techniques involving more of a "flood light" type of awareness are basically getting you to same place in two different ways. now then theres goenka's technique, which is to systematically move through the body. this is what im having trouble with, the constant moving and controlling of my attention seems to be throwing me off. i thought meditation was to be about allowing your attention to become still, not to be moving it around all the time. for example, ill start feeling sensations on my head, and i start getting deeper, my mind becomes still, alert, focused, but then suddenly im supposed to move it down to my shoulders, arms, abdomen etc, and i feel like all this shifting of my attention around the body is really keeping me from stilling and focusing my awareness. i dont understand how constantly shifting the attention from one object to another is very effective? i practice two hours a day, maybe i could do an hour of each technique? any advice?
     
  2. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    Hi Austin417 and welcome to the community :)

    Here's a piece about "technique surfing" that may be helpful to you:-

    "Each of us is unique, and what works well for me might be totally useless to you. Generically speaking, there are three types of meditation techniques. There are techniques that take your awareness outwards, techniques that take your awareness inwards, and techniques that do a little of both. People with exceptionally busy minds tend to do better with techniques that take awareness outwards since their minds naturally head that direction anyway. People with more contemplative natures tend to do better with techniques that take you inwards. The combination techniques are a “maybe” for just about anyone, but are usually best used when a person has some experience with meditation under their belt.

    The mantra technique as taught by Michael at Project Meditation is an excellent example of an outward technique. Since the vast majority of people have somewhat active minds, this mantra technique is a good bet for most of us. Even mantra techniques have some differences. Some require rigid concentration while others are more relaxed, such as Michael’s technique. There are some that use chanting which is helpful for a person whose mind is hyperactive. The exact technique that will be right for you is something you have to discover for yourself.

    There is no universal way to pinpoint which technique is best for you with 100% accuracy. You may need to try out several until you find the one that really resonates with you. One way is to do a bit of research on a variety of techniques. Usually you will find one or more of them seem to “draw” you to them. Pick one of those techniques as your starting point.

    What you should avoid doing is “technique surfing”. Don’t try one for a few days and then switch to another. Decide which one you want to try first and stick with it for at least a few months. Give it a chance to start working. How will you know if it’s working? You’ll begin to experience some of those long term changes mentioned earlier.

    There are two things you cannot afford to do. Don’t switch back and forth between techniques. That’s like getting several dozen different books, reading only the first page of each chapter in every book, then wondering why the material you’ve just read doesn’t seem to form a consistent whole...

    to read more, please click on the link below:-

    http://www.project-meditation.org/c...x/2357-principles-meditation-entrainment.html

    Hope this helps and wish you much peace and joy :) :) :)
     
  3. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    Was recently about to do a Goenka retreat, until ive read several very weird reviews. Besides that, i dont want to be forced to do a specific technique other then my own, and watch videos every evening of a specific person. Id prefer a real teacher, if necessary anyway.

    Heres a review from someone with a lot of experience in meditation:

    The Experience of Jhana at a Goenka Retreat

    Besides that, just go with whatever feels right for you. This body scanning is a very strong technique and can do a lot, but for me its not meditation.
     
  4. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Hi,

    You have been caught in the seeking trap, by searching out an alternate experience with meditation you have inadvertently set up a conflict with your spiritual ego.

    This can be a really disempowering space to be in, as it puts you in a place where you are completely out of control of how you feel about meditation on a day to day basis.

    You mentioned that Shinzen Young's "do nothing" technique was working and you were getting results, why change?

    Simply let go of the one that is causing the conflict....

    Peace :)
     

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