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Focus on Sensations vs Absorption at Level 4


Q&A: What should I focus on during Level 4 development: The sensations of the breath or “becoming one” with the breath?

Master Culadasa advises on how to develop meditation skills for the practitioner at level 4.

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Student: [00:00:00] So how about the focus, the object, I guess it seems to me like when I, before I started studying with you, I had, was taking the focus, on sensations and nine found. Yeah. Every once in a while I would go into a deeper state of concentrate or meditation, or if it felt like an absorption to me, but not a job, but some sort where I would actually drop down off of that and I would be focused in the chest and I'd be like, that'd be the difference between observing the sensations and actually being the breath.

And so some of the things I've heard you say before is that, when you feel like you've gotten into a place, look at how you did it, so you can reproduce it on the other hand. I don't, the question is if I'm trying to re produce something, that's not if I don't have a training that's skills at the lower level yet, that's what I'm wondering.

It's like, where should I be? Would it be better for me to stay focused on the sensations and really work on what seems like observing sensations, warm, try to replicate this sensation of becoming one with the sensations or one with the.

Culadasa: I should say maybe we could put the question differently.

Is it better to stay with the sensations of the breath until you can enter into an absorption with them or. To see if you can replicate this other kinds of absorption that you stumbled across and you have experienced without re before it happened without really knowing that it was going to happen or without intending to.

First of all, we need to look at the state you entered into and determine what is relative value is. There is. You can't, if you and you CA you can enter into absorptions with sayings by accident, or, and you can learn to do it deliberately. If you enter into absorption with something, while there your mind still, while there's still a lot of other stuff going on in your mind some of that other stuff is going to boot you out of the absorption.

Right.

Yeah. And and in fact if you enter into an absorption with the sensations of the breath before you have before your mind is adequately trained, while you're in that absorption, almost any thought or emotion or whatever is gonna come along and grab hold of you because you're very vulnerable at that time.

The other and so you would look at that say, okay, this might be worth experiencing from time to time, but not necessarily primary focus and primary focus would be developing the skills so that I can do the same thing, but remain in that absorption and actually work with that absorption and do something productive with it.

So rather than saying either, or, either I only do it this way or only do it that way. My suggestion is you predominantly the work on developing the skills and the stability of mind, but not that you don't. That, not that you neglect totally this ability to enter into a short-term absorption that you've come across.

Go ahead and do that from time to time, just to refresh your memory to what it was about and allow your mind to it because your mind is the ultimately trainable thing in the universe. And so anything you do with it, it learns to do it again in the future. So if you practice entering into this absorption, you stumbled across, it's only going to make it easier to do in the future when you're capable of doing more with it.

The other thing though, to carefully evaluate about this absorption is that if we enter into a state of dullness Then it becomes very easy to account absorb, and this is not a good absorption. The same thing applies. If you enter into dull, absorptions the mind gets used to that and future, whenever you want to enter into a, or whenever you enter into a strong concentration, your mind is going to want to go to that nice company Dole more in place that it discovered, you look at it. And if that's what it is, if there's a lot of dullness in it, then you're better off staying away from it and not repeating it, and instead learning to Andrew and tin absorption, where you're just totally awakening.




Automated transcription

So so have a question about the the focus the object, I guess. Mh It seems to me... Like when I before I started studying with you I had was taking the focus, you know, and sensations my every everyone's while I would go into a deeper state of concentrate or meditation. Or felt like an absorption to me, but not a job but some sort where I would actually drop down off of that and I would be focused in the chest and I'd be like, there'd be the difference between observing the sensations and actually being kind the bread?

Mh. And so some of the things I've heard you say before is that, you know, when you feel like you've gotten into a place, look at how you did it, so you can reproduce it. Mh. On the other hand, I don't... You know, the question is if I'm trying to rep reproduce something that's not Like, if I don't have the training that skills at the lower level yes. So that's what I'm I'm wondering. It's like, where should I be would it be better for me to stay focused on the sensations and really work on what seems like observing sensations more try to replicate this sensation of becoming one with the sensations or one with the breath.

Well okay. Right. I should see. Well, maybe we could put the question differently. Is it better to stay with the sensations of the breath until you can enter into an absorption with them? Or to see if you can replicate this other kind of absorption that you sort of stumble the ras and you have experienced without before it happened without really knowing that it was going to happen or or without intending to Well, first of all, we need to we need to look at the state you enter into and determine what this relative value is.

There is... You can't... If you and you you you can enter into absorption with things. By accident or and you can learn to do it deliberately. If you enter into absorption with something while your mind still... The while is still a lot of other stuff going on. In your mind. Some of that other stuff is gonna boot you out of the absorption Right. Just... Okay. Yeah. And and so... And and in fact, if you enter into an absorption with the sensations of the breath, before you have before your mind is adequately trained, while you're in that absorption, almost any thought or emotion or whatever you come along and grab hold of it because you're you're very vulnerable at that time.

The other... And and so you would look at that say, okay. This might be worth experiencing from time to time, but not necessarily primary focus. A primary focus would be developing skills so that that I can do the same thing. But remain in that absorption and actually we're with that absorption and do some productive with it. So rather than saying either or, you know, even either, I only do it this way Only do it that way. My suggestion is you predominantly the work on developing the skills and the stability of mind, but not that you don't not the neglect totally this ability to enter into a short term absorption that you've come across.

Go ahead and do that from time to time. Just to refresh your memory to what it was irrelevant. Allow your mind to... Because you're you your mind is the ultimately train thing in the universe. And so anything you do with it, it it learns to do it again in the future. You know? So if you if you practice entering into this absorption you stumble with process. It's only gonna make it easier to do in the future when you're capable of getting more with it. The other thing though to carefully evaluate about this absorption is that, if we enter into a state of dull, Then it becomes very easy to become absorbed.

And this is not a good absorption. The same thing applies. If you enter into dull absorption, the mind gets used to that and in the future whenever you whenever you wanna enter into a absorption or whenever you enter into a strong concentration, your mind's gonna wanna go to that nice comfy dull more in place that it discovery. You know So if you look at it and and if that's what it is, if there's a lot of dull in it, then you're better off staying away kinda and not repeating it.

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