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 Discussions on AYP Deep Meditation and Samyama
 How relaxed to be during pranayama/meditation?
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tantor

United Kingdom
14 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2017 :  02:14:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
I've been meditating in various styles for > 10 years. When I very first began I saw some stuff through my third eye, but since then, almost nothing. I wonder if maybe I'm trying too hard.

I've reread the lesson on sambhavi, and Yogani says to ignore the eyes - just use them for physical pressure, and place the attention on the spine while going up and down in pranayama. How intensely focussed should I be while doing this? Is vague tactile awareness of my spine enough, or should I try to intently feel the passage from the perineum to eyebrows at every point as I move through my spine?

How about in meditation? I feel like I get an inner expansion when I tune into silence, but I still don't see anything. Perhaps I need to just relax so much that I lose contact with my physical body, but I find this very hard to do. Is this the right way to go though? I suspect I've had too much tension over all these years, and now as I'm starting to relax I feel like things are getting deeper.

There was one time when I did see something. I had done quite a lot of pranayama (an hour or so of the micro cosmic orbit) and then I intently focussed on my navel. I felt dissociated from my physical body and it felt like a worm wriggled out of my perineum and rose part way up my spine. Since this happened I kept trying to do get into the same state again, but again I think I've been too tense or haven't done enough pranayama before doing it. I remember I was intently focussed on my navel that time. I kind of stumbled into this without really knowing what it was that allowed me to go deeper that time.

I guess I'm trying to find the balance between just relaxing, vs intently concentrating while somehow remaining relaxed. Also, I find if I relax too much while sitting up my body starts to crumple or my head drops onto my chest. But sitting on a meditation bench with a perfectly straight spine is what my body wants while doing pranayama, so moving to a bed with back support disturbs my practice. I also get the urge to move sometimes while meditating, and to adopt sambhavi mudra. I guess I should try to relax through the urge to do either?

Any pointers would be appreciated.

Thanks

Edited by - tantor on Aug 09 2017 03:53:15 AM

BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1089 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2017 :  05:59:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Tantor

Welcome back.

Being relaxed during sitting practices is good. Expecting certain outcomes or chasing particular states/scenery is a hindrance to progress.

I have one question after reading your post:
quote:
Originally posted by tantor
When I very first began I saw some stuff through my third eye, but since then, almost nothing. [...] I feel like I get an inner expansion when I tune into silence, but I still don't see anything.
Why do you need to see anything?

Edited by - BlueRaincoat on Aug 09 2017 06:02:15 AM
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tantor

United Kingdom
14 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2017 :  08:08:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks! I've still been practicing but away for a while :-)

You're right, I shouldn't need to see anything. But I guess using it as a sign of progress could be instructive, especially if it points to, for example, a lack of relaxation. Then again, obviously striving for some state is likely to be a hindrance, as you say.

TBH I've been thinking about this since I posted it. I got into meditation primarily through chi kung and I think that I've never really fully separated pranayama/chi kung from meditation. As I wrote, while I meditate I sometimes have an urge to apply a mudra or bandha or move a little, and I think that that may be interfering with my ability to experience deeper states. I'm going to work on relaxing through any urges to move by just focussing on the mantra.

Does that sound like I'm on the right lines?

Edited by - tantor on Aug 09 2017 08:09:48 AM
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1089 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2017 :  08:53:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by tantor
You're right, I shouldn't need to see anything. But I guess using it as a sign of progress could be instructive

It is not a reliable sign of progress. Some people make tremendous progress with hardly any scenery along the way. How you feel in your daily life is the best indicator. Do you notice more silence coming up over months and years of practice?

For dealing with distractions during sitting practices, check out Lesson 15, especially paragraph 4 of Yogani's answer. Remnants of previous practices interfering with your meditation are a form of distraction. They will disappear if you stick to one method for long enough.

If you are serious about giving AYP a good go and you can find some time for reading, I would recommend going through the AYP lessons thoroughly again. I think I read the Easy Lessons book about 6 times.

Of course you can always ask questions here.

Enjoy your practice and godspeed
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sunyata

USA
1236 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2017 :  09:02:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by tantor


I also get the urge to move sometimes while meditating, and to adopt sambhavi mudra. I guess I should try to relax through the urge to do either?

Any pointers would be appreciated.

Thanks



Hi Tantor,

Good advice from BlueRaincoat. Yes, it's okay to move if there is an urge, if not you'll be meditating on that urge. Of course, we don't move constantly.

quote:
But sitting on a meditation bench with a perfectly straight spine is what my body wants while doing pranayama, so moving to a bed with back support disturbs my practice.


It's perfectly okay to sit on the bench if that's the comfortable position for you. Here is a lesson on using props and getting the same effect as sitting in Siddhasana.

Lesson 75 - Siddhasana - Living in a Fountain of Ecstasy
http://www.aypsite.org/75.html

quote:
I guess I'm trying to find the balance between just relaxing, vs intently concentrating while somehow remaining relaxed. Also, I find if I relax too much while sitting up my body starts to crumple or my head drops onto my chest.


You are correct. During practices we want to be alert but not rigid and at the same time we do not want to fall asleep. Although, sometimes falling asleep is a sign of purification and can happen during the beginning year of meditation.

We do not cling to the mantra so that's what "intently concentration is". It's an effortless process of easily favoring the mantra/practice over scenery(vision, sounds, thoughts and so on).

Hope this helps.


Sunyata
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tantor

United Kingdom
14 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2017 :  1:09:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the responses.

quote:
It is not a reliable sign of progress. Some people make tremendous progress with hardly any scenery along the way. How you feel in your daily life is the best indicator. Do you notice more silence coming up over months and years of practice?


I realised on a retreat a few weeks ago how to really experience silence by not treating my thoughts any different to external sounds. It makes them easier to ignore and I feel stronger energy coming up naturally.

I've been rereading the forum post lessons and I think I missed a few things last time. Before, my mind would go quieter and quieter and I'd just not want to repeat the mantra and spoil it. That was different to what I've been experiencing recently though. I've been reading a few posts that say to keep going back to the mantra anyway - before I let it go quieter and quieter until it stopped, so I'll try this new way.
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1089 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2017 :  4:09:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by tantor
I realised on a retreat a few weeks ago how to really experience silence by not treating my thoughts any different to external sounds.


Ah, yes, you found that out. That is surely progress and it's not only theoretical, something inside has changed for you to come to that understanding. "... and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower..." etc.

quote:
Originally posted by tantor
I've been reading a few posts that say to keep going back to the mantra anyway - before I let it go quieter and quieter until it stopped, so I'll try this new way.

Great. One of the benefits of sticking to one system of practice - you find out the ins and outs of the technique. There is a wealth of knowledge in AYP and, as you see, quite a few people willing to help on this forum. You only need to reach out for it.

Edited by - BlueRaincoat on Aug 09 2017 4:11:49 PM
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Dogboy

USA
1289 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2017 :  10:32:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Ah, yes, you found that out. That is surely progress and it's not only theoretical, something inside has changed for you to come to that understanding. "... and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower..." etc.


Good advice here from Blue; try surrendering the driving to the Divine, all you have to do is witness while easily favoring the mantra. If you have a thought of whether you are straining or over concentrating, inquire "how should surrender feel" and most likely you know in the next moment, and then pick up the mantra.

The beauty of AYP is in its simplicity. Welcome to the forum!
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tantor

United Kingdom
14 Posts

Posted - Aug 10 2017 :  02:22:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
If you have a thought of whether you are straining or over concentrating, inquire "how should surrender feel" and most likely you know in the next moment, and then pick up the mantra.


I like that.

Thanks again everyone!
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colours

Sweden
74 Posts

Posted - Aug 10 2017 :  3:04:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Blue: Just wanted to say, I also enjoy reading Yoganis books and lessons. I have read through all the main lessons on the website, and read all the books in the Enlightenment series. :) I might read the book on meditation again sometime soon... Also, maybe read the tantra lessons on the website also... We'll see. I am mostly interested in meditation, then Yoga, after that Tantra... ;)

tantor: just keep practicing and follow the easy procedure of each lesson, I think you will find the most natural way in this if you do... It is an inner process :)

Edited by - colours on Aug 10 2017 5:40:18 PM
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1089 Posts

Posted - Aug 11 2017 :  04:54:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Colours

Have you tried to re-read any of the materials? I noticed that if I returned to the same lessons after making some progress, say 6 months down the line, it was almost like reading a new book.

Which confirms a line from one of my favourite films. When the student says "This lesson has not value", the master replies "One is taught in accordance to one's fitness to learn"
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colours

Sweden
74 Posts

Posted - Aug 11 2017 :  09:47:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello!

I can imagine. I will read the book on meditation again, for sure, and part of the material I am reading again from time to time to repeat, so to speak.

I am not practicing alot of yoga right now, only meditation now and then. This seems to fit my state and situation at the moment.

But even if you are not practicing alot for some reason, I think reading Yoganis books and lessons has value... :)

And I would like to practice more again some day! :)
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