Mahasi sitting meditation question - abdomen location

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
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purplepenguin1234
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Mahasi sitting meditation question - abdomen location

Post by purplepenguin1234 »

Hi everyone,

I am trying to start a meditation practice based on the Mahasi method. I read the general instructions, and for sitting meditation (and also as an anchor during other activities), the meditator is advised to focus their attention on the abdomen, on the rising and falling sensations there.

However, the instructions don't seem to specify exactly which part of the abdomen one should focus on. If I just bring my attention to the general area of the abdomen, the strongest rising and falling sensations seem to be in the upper abdominal area, near the chest.

I've seen in some places people mention the area several inches below the navel as a special energy center or whatever (Hara in Japanese I think). If I try, I can detect the sensations of rising and falling there as well, but not as naturally as in the upper abdominal area.

So my question is, how important is the exact location? Should I just go with the place that seems the most natural (upper abdomen near the chest)? Or the area below the navel? Or it doesn't matter?

I feel like part of the meditation should be dealing with stuff like this and not giving it much important, but unfortunately, my personality is such that stuff like this often drives me crazy.

Thank you, appreciate your time!
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Virgo
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Re: Mahasi sitting meditation question - abdomen location

Post by Virgo »

purplepenguin1234 wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 6:52 pm
So my question is, how important is the exact location?
You shouldn't look for a specific location beyond generally being aware of the whole abdomen and simply paying attention to the sensations of rising and falling. You are not meant to look for rising and falling - that would be analysing. You become aware of your whole abdomen and then you simply limit your awareness to any sensation connected with it rising as you breath in and falling as you breath out.

So you should not be analysing and looking for sensations. You should simply be mindful and aware of that space and limit your attention to "rising" and "falling." Beyond that any other sensation that occurs should be noted.

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Virgo
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Re: Mahasi sitting meditation question - abdomen location

Post by Virgo »

The best place to ask about this is here: https://www.dhammawheel.com/viewforum.p ... f2f1994946

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purplepenguin1234
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Re: Mahasi sitting meditation question - abdomen location

Post by purplepenguin1234 »

Ok, thank you for your response!
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Mahasi sitting meditation question - abdomen location

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

The Mahasi technique is not concerned with anatomy that I remember, just focus on the sensation of the rise and fall.
Don’t you see what’s wrong with the world today? Oh Everybody wants somebody to be their own piece of clay.

-Marvin Gaye
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