Asana and attention

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Asana and attention

Postby Faust » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:43 pm

While practicing asana, where should my attention be directed to? Should I actvlly focus on body sensation until it vanishes or focus on something else until I forget about the body?
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Re: Asana and attention

Postby gerry456 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:48 pm

How would you feel about making a note how many times you float off into reverie. Maybe try and diminish such phenomena. Ultimately, that's all asana is for. There may be health benefits also from asana.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: Asana and attention

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:44 pm

Faust wrote:While practicing asana, where should my attention be directed to? Should I actvlly focus on body sensation until it vanishes or focus on something else until I forget about the body?

No particular rule, especially because you could be in Asano for any of dozens of different reasons.
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Re: Asana and attention

Postby Faust » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:52 am

Jim,

to be more specific, in this case I am thinking about asana as a single practice with the goal of mastering a posture. Simply siting and holding myself in that position as long as possible.

Since while doing this practice a lot of body sensations will rise, should I try to focus on something else or should I witness those sensations as they rise?
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Re: Asana and attention

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:45 am

Faust wrote:to be more specific, in this case I am thinking about asana as a single practice with the goal of mastering a posture. Simply siting and holding myself in that position as long as possible.

Since while doing this practice a lot of body sensations will rise, should I try to focus on something else or should I witness those sensations as they rise?

Again, no single rule (different people develop different tactics, and these change). Personally, I'm not sure how you can separate it from some sort of concentration exercise, because the essential nature of the practice is one of attention, focus, concentration - it isn't relaxed, it's physically "braced" (to use Crowley's balanced term). I would say concentrated. It seems to me that the mind itself must be concentrated, at least having something you are attentively thinking about.

Sensations that come and go will certainly be noticed. If you abstract yourself from them too much, then you lose concentration ("wander off"). On the other hand, they don't deserve close attention. On the other other hand, one tactic that I've used at times in the "pure drill" phase (and still occasionally) is to temporarily put attention entirely on them, as an act of Dharana, which usually causes them to vanish. That's one example of it being art.

I commonly would give myself something to concentrate on, such as the crown chakra or (most often) my breath, and tend to keep the attention there without cutting myself off from sensation.
Love is the law, love under will.
Yours in L.V.X.,
Jim Eshelman
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"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch!" - CCXX 3:42
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Re: Asana and attention

Postby gerry456 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:02 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:No particular rule, especially because you could be in Asano for any of dozens of different reasons.


Asano Jim, is that near Mexico? :D
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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