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 Discussions on AYP Deep Meditation and Samyama
 Shutting off the senses
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Etherfish

USA
3615 Posts

Posted - Nov 05 2005 :  4:57:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit Etherfish's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
I understand that shutting off the senses is an essential step for deep meditation. I can stop my thoughts, but I haven't had any success at stopping the senses yet. Does anyone have any techniques, suggestions, or stories?

Thanks,
Etherfish

Jim and His Karma

2110 Posts

Posted - Nov 06 2005 :  01:53:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Why would you want to shut off your senses?
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Etherfish

USA
3615 Posts

Posted - Nov 06 2005 :  12:34:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit Etherfish's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Because it is an essential step to pratyahara. you turn off
external senses and all the prana goes to the spine and
turns on inner senses ("inner sensuality.") Also it is a
step in incredible concentration. When mastered nothing
can distract you.

Etherfish
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yogani

USA
5182 Posts

Posted - Nov 06 2005 :  1:22:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Etherfish:

How about cultivating inner silence naturally in deep meditation and samyama, awakening prana (ecstatic conductivity) in the spine and nervous system with spinal breathing, mudras, bandhas, etc., and then let the senses fall where they may?

With all of that, the senses are naturally drawn inward to ever-increasing levels of ecstatic bliss in stillness, which is what pratyahara is experientially. It is effect in this case. Very easy and enjoyable effect -- with zero extended concentration involved.

It is attraction toward something (adding) rather than pushing away from something (subtracting)...

The guru is in you.
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david_obsidian

USA
2602 Posts

Posted - Nov 06 2005 :  4:09:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Etherfish

Because it is an essential step to pratyahara. you turn off
external senses and all the prana goes to the spine and
turns on inner senses ("inner sensuality.") Also it is a
step in incredible concentration. When mastered nothing
can distract you.

Etherfish



Etherfish,

what exactly 'pratyahara' means is controversial. Some schools of thought maintain that pratyahara represents shutting off the senses, or withdrawal from the senses, others maintain that that is an over-simplification and not at all quite correct. I've seen debates about this before on the internet, though I have none to offer you right now.

I tend to agree with the schools that say that pratyahara is not actually the withdrawal of the mind from the senses. In fact, in some ways, it's almost exactly the opposite.

Let me take a quick stab at what it actually is.

Pratyahara is embracing the Beloved in your own form, body, and senses. It is not actually a withdrawal from the senses per se, but rather a cessation, withdrawal, from all activity of search for what is not with you, and in you now, already. It is embracing the Beloved in your very Self.

Take careful note of the fact that Yogani's Samyama list has 'Inner sensuality' appearing where 'Pratyahara' usually appears. I have not asked Yogani if he intends 'Inner Sensuality' to be a translation of Pratyahara -- but in any case 'Inner Sensuality' is a better translation of what I believe Pratyahara to mean than 'Withdrawal from the senses'.

-D



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yogani

USA
5182 Posts

Posted - Nov 06 2005 :  5:51:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi again:

Other ways of looking at it from the AYP perspective are:

1. We do not deny the senses. We expand them to divine experience, so we are naturally drawn to endlessly more refined inner enjoyment.

2. We do not deny sexuality. We expand it inward to higher expression in the nervous system where levels of divine enjoyment far exceed the carnal.

3. We do not try and stop the mind. We lure it inward to its own endless bliss of inner stillness.

So, you see, we are following the same principle of attraction in all the AYP practices. In this way all of our external experiences are eventually purged with outpouring joy and love.

If we are lost in the revery of Mozart, will we hear the cricket chirping outside our window? For us, the cricket will be playing Mozart too!

The guru is in you.

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Etherfish

USA
3615 Posts

Posted - Nov 06 2005 :  6:34:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit Etherfish's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the great answers to my question.
That's exactly in line with how I stop my thoughts. I don't "try" to stop them as that doesn't work. i just concentrate on nothing.
I wanted to stop my senses because my neighbors are particularly bothersome with noise that penetrates even my earplugs. I can kinda meditate with muffled basketball and racecar engines, but not as well. I have found that if I schedule my whole life around it, and get up really early or meditate in the middle of the night I'm fine. Just my second one in the afternoon that is hard. But it's worth it to go to the trouble.
OK, I won't deny my laziness then, but try to turn it inward. . am I getting the hang of it? damn, can't I have it on a silver platter?
Guess I have all the tools here that I need afterall. I'll just keep on going.
Thanks,
Etherfish
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david_obsidian

USA
2602 Posts

Posted - Nov 07 2005 :  09:40:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Etherfish

I wanted to stop my senses because my neighbors are particularly bothersome with noise that penetrates even my earplugs.


FYI, on a practical level, when you have really bothersome noise, I find the following 1-2 is great-- the combination of a 'white noise machine' or equivalent (waterfall sounds etc) up close to you and loudish, along with good earplugs. There is not much that can get through that.

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Etherfish

USA
3615 Posts

Posted - Nov 13 2005 :  5:51:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit Etherfish's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Great idea; thanks.
I did some "research" on ebay.
It seems CD's can produce a better white noise than machines.
Also you could use headphones and control the volume. Actually white noise is a little shrill for some people. Pink noise is somewhat better as it has the highs attenuated. I want to check out what one guy has for sale, "vanilla noise", which is white noise attenuated to the curve that is natural for human hearing. In other words, you should be able to hear all frequencies equally. There is a debate over whether digital or analog is better also. It probably doesn't matter.
Also earplugs. There is another topic discussing the comfort next to this one. But there is also the "NRR" or noise reduction rating. The highest I have found is 33dB. Since decibel ratings are on a logarhythmic (exponential) scale which is the way our hearing works, every change of 3 decibels is a doubling. So 33dB is double the protection of 30dB.
Thanks for getting me started on this!
Etherfish
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Frank-in-SanDiego

USA
363 Posts

Posted - Nov 13 2005 :  9:15:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frank-in-SanDiego's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hari Om
~~~~~~
quote:
Originally posted by yogani

Hi again:

Other ways of looking at it from the AYP perspective are:

1. We do not deny the senses. We expand them to divine experience, so we are naturally drawn to endlessly more refined inner enjoyment.

2. We do not deny sexuality. We expand it inward to higher expression in the nervous system where levels of divine enjoyment far exceed the carnal.

3. We do not try and stop the mind. We lure it inward to its own endless bliss of inner stillness.




Hello All,
Much can be said about this conversation...
Here is a few ideas on this "turning off the senses" [ not sure if it helps just another simple view]

The Upanishads say "withdraw, then withdraw from the withdrawal". Just keep it simple - rest [ in our case profund silence of meditation] and activity. This whole creation functions on this principle - rest/activity.

While meditatating - take it easy, and take it as it comes. No manipulation, just easy as ya go. [ boy is this rocket science eh?]

Last , the senses operate within the field of the senses - the 3 gunas. trying to control them is the subject matter of Yoga.
It is also at the core of 700 verses (sutras) of the Bhagavad Gita (Chapters 2 and 3 , so early-on in the teaching).
It boils down to a few instructions:
A> Yogasta kuru karmani - established in yoga ( union of SELF) perfrom action ( karma).
B> so how does one get established in this yoga - "Be without the 3 guna's" so says Krsna. If one is without the 3 guna's s/he is outside the play and display of Prakriti or the relative field.
The "senses are organized" ( niyamna,or introducting ~ law and order to the senses) - verse 41, chapt. 3. They [senses] then get under control.

THAT said , I have found that the senses cannot be beaten into submission. By giving the senses something more delightful and expanding to experience brings them under control - directing the attention inward. The senses are directed to more sublter levels of consciousness and more expansion and are led by the mind.
" The senses , they say,are subtle. More subtler then the senses is the mind; yet finer then the mind is the intellect; that is which behond the intellect is HE" its by contacting the "more then the most" the senses become subdued i.e. stilling the self by the SELF.


Just a thought based upon those that came before us.

Shanti
Frank in San Digeo








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david_obsidian

USA
2602 Posts

Posted - Nov 14 2005 :  09:32:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Etherfish

Great idea; thanks.
I did some "research" on ebay.
It seems CD's can produce a better white noise than machines.
Also you could use headphones and control the volume. Actually white noise is a little shrill for some people. Pink noise is somewhat better as it has the highs attenuated.


An earlier quote from Victor:
I am quite fond of my homedics sound machine. It not only can give a soft non musical background sound (rain, waterfall, ocean, crickets etc) but also has a timer. I set it as low as I can unless there is background noise and then turn it up as much as needed. you can set it to 15 minutes or a half hour or an hour or just "on"). I just set the time and turn it on and do my practice, when the sound stops I know that the time is up. I can usually tell a moment before the sounds stops as well, its uncanny. It is very subtle and so not distracting and you don't need to worry about timing. Has a wire and also batteries so it can be taken for travel.


CDs can produce a very good quality sound, probably better than most 'sound machines', although some of the best sound machines use sampled real sound, such as the homedics sound machine.

However, there is a drawback to the homedics machines I have seen -- they use a fairly small sound sequence and loop it. So if you are listening to rain, for example, you can hear the pattern repeat after a short while. This may put you off, if your mind 'locks in' to hearing the repetition, almost as if you are listening to music.

It puts me off, and for that reason, I use a Marsona sound machine and find it is perfectly adequate for my purposes. The Marsona machines synthesise their sounds, and randomize them so that they do not repeat.

The 'white noise' that I use is the 'Waterfall' sound on my white noise machine.

The perfect sound machine would use sampled real sound and a very long loop (several minutes). Maybe these will come in a few years because electronic memory is really cheap now.

-D
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gumpi

United Kingdom
546 Posts

Posted - Jul 28 2009 :  10:07:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit gumpi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
[i]

If we are lost in the revery of Mozart, will we hear the cricket chirping outside our window? For us, the cricket will be playing Mozart too!

The guru is in you.





Yogani,

The type of pratyahara you are speaking of here is similar to what Swami Vivekananda describes in his book on Raja Yoga. The basic idea is that say you are reading a book and there is a noise outside on the street, you tend not to hear the noise on the street because you are focused on the book.

I used to be able to understand this but i don't any more because i seem to be simultaneously aware of the book and every other noise. This started happening to me when i meditated: it has become harder and harder to block out external sounds.

Another thing that happens is that if there is a noise outside somewhere or inside the house somewhere, i get some type of electric shock through my head as if the sound has been amplified. This is intensely uncomfortable indeed.

I was re-reading some of the older posts on the forums and someone mentioned having too much prana "stuck" in the head. They were talking about clenching their jaw unconsciously. So when i first started getting panic attacks, i would grit my jaws because it seemed to take attention away from my head, which felt like it would literally explode. There seem to be areas or pathways where i feel like a pins and needles, burning irritation in the head - medulla area, generally along the back of the skull, branching off to both sides of the head and at the crown. The crown one sometimes has very strange sensations like sucking or pulling or closing or something. Spinal breathing doesn't help with this.

Back in 1999 when i first started getting panic attacks, i had an extremely bad one and i was given valium temporarily. As soon as i took the valium, after a few minutes i could feel these pathways retreat from the head back to my neck and they disappeared in a second like an air bubble popping.

So naturally i reasoned that my problem was anxiety. I have been on anti-depressants for anxiety ever since. But instead of these head "pains" going away, like they did in between panic attacks and after taking valium, they seem to be permanently here. And when i close my eyes i get a feeling or something that rises from the neck upwards into the head and again it feels like it will explode. So i cannot meditate any more.

I am wondering if this is actually prana somehow and how i might be able to make it go away. You see, reading Gopi Krishna's book about his kundalini awakening, it sounded to me like he was suffering from a panic attack. And as i mentioned in another recent post, shivers up the spine seems like kundalini - or is it? The way this "energy" moves seems to be half willed attention and half doing its own thing. So maybe i have too much prana stocked up in my head? I never thought of it as pranic energy before because it just feels very physical.
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Tibetan_Ice

Canada
758 Posts

Posted - Jul 28 2009 :  1:50:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi,
For another perspective, I found an actual technique for pratyahara by Mark Griffin. He says that there is a switch between the heart and the solar plexus, in the sushumna, that you can sort of flip off and shut off all of your senses. He gives specific instructions. Here is the link: http://www.hardlight.org/store/adva...4c6e7063dd2a

Yet another perspective is Adyashanti's Guided Meditation from March 2009. In Adya's meditation, he starts by focusing on the breath, then proceeds to the senses (touch, hearing, feeling). He embraces the senses, opens up to them and then embraces the silence that surrounds them. Then he focusses on the awareness in the silence and finally, tells you to let go of the small 'you' so to speak. All of this is performed effortlessly. During his meditation, instead of being shocked and disturbed by sounds (as I am in deep "I AM" meditation), external sounds have a pleasing effect as they seem to pass right through you. The topic is ID 102 in the store and is called "Retreat Guided Meditations March 29 - April 3, 2009

http://www.adyashanti.org/cafedharm...esc&stitle1=



TI
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Neesha

215 Posts

Posted - Aug 03 2009 :  01:47:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi to all,

I had and still have many experinces concerning cuuting off the senses.

I just can't remember exactly how it occurred.

Here's one...

I am exhausted and really need to go to bed.
I lie down comfortably on the floor in my bedroom.That's where I chose at that point in time.

My aunt and my Mom were babbling over my head.

Then there it was .........as if the radio volume lowered and they were completely turned off............I FLEW off the floor in fright thinking I was dead or something.........


It occurred many times after....most times I'm grateful.....to be immersed in utter silence.......is really beautifil............

Practice of Kriya Yoga....I think.....

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Christi

United Kingdom
3752 Posts

Posted - Aug 03 2009 :  03:46:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Neesha,

Welcome back.
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Neesha

215 Posts

Posted - Aug 10 2009 :  11:38:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Christi,

Thanks...I didn't really go anywhere.........I just have alot of WORK to do.....I'm on vacation now that's why I found the time.
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YogiCosmos

USA
28 Posts

Posted - Jul 24 2020 :  08:59:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Mark Griffin writes:

In quick review, with the idea of the pratyahara, all of the senses are like flowers.  Each sense matches up to one of the holes in the head, and each hole in the head is like a bloom of a flower. The stem goes down sushumna and they all anchor at the solar plexus.

Now the trick of sending off-switch: the off-switch is that place in the solar plexus where the solar plexus, the senses and the sushumna intermesh. So how do you throw that switch?

When the breath is neither rising nor failing, it’s in cessation. There’s a feeling to that. Match up with your attention, your will, what it feels like in the space between the breaths.

Match that up with the solar plexus and place your attention of emptiness, of neither descending or ascending, at that point of the solar plexus and let the breath itself switch the senses off. That emptiness will roll up the stems of the senses and they’ll simply switch everything off. They’ll operate, but they’ll send no signals to the brain. It is an expression of will.

As it stops, your mind will become transparent. If mind is in motion at all, there’s too much activity to see the fourth state. When it slows down and stops, its like clouds parting to reveal the rue sky. You’ll see the fourth state, and then you can see the Supra-conscious, the Blue Pearl... You’ll go into Samadhi.

Edited by - YogiCosmos on Jul 24 2020 10:33:51 AM
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