reply to post by VeritasAequitas
First OP my apologies if this seems like a thread jack it is not meant to be one, this reply is a warning that certain practices can be dangerous.
VeritasAequitas, please be careful with using an inner voice or the mind as a sphere of reference when meditating, it is the hardest and most
dangerous path alone.... because it can lead into the path of madness and delusion easier than it leads to enlightenment... it can actually spit the
personality instead of unite it away from duality. The current duality can become a personification, doing what you are suggesting, that practice
often manifests into multiple personalities and schizophrenia. The mental sphere in my opinion is not one to use without a very knowledgeable teacher
of that path, it is a very fast and short path but outside of a monastery very dangerous as a lay person, because it is very strongly rooted in self
delusion, and without a competent teacher that has been down that path you can get lost in the darkness without much hope for return.
There are two solid safe spheres I will suggest for liberation for anyone seeking liberation on their own.
First is breath, this is the safest of all but can be slow. Noting the breaths quality as mental states arise and pass before it, when anger manifests
itself how does your breath react? Do you hold it, does it become quick, etc. eventually, when anger arises you will become mindful of the change in
breath that arises along with it, to release that anger one has to simply change the breath back to it's natural calm abiding one. All mental states
are this way, fear, love... etc. that's why this path can be longer there are so many mental states that can be experienced. Complete control of
mental states comes as a gift, from watching the breath as a meditation sphere, if you direct breath to operate the same as when it experiences joy,
you will experience joy. But also comes the knowledge that these states are empty and reactionary and what created bondage in the first place, which
gives rise to dispassion for these states making the possibility of enlightenment very ripe. But many can get deluded, side tracked or enamored with
that control, grasp onto it and it just becomes another form of attachment that keeps one from liberation.
The next is sensation of the body, simply sitting. You note the most prominent sensation in your body and place your attention on it, it will not be
hard to keep the mind there unless a more pronounced sensation arises. It's ok to let it go and drift to the new sensation, eventually sitting you
will notice the urge to move or move before you even realize you have, the goal is do not move and focus on the most pronounced sensation, you can
stay on the first sensation if you wish, but going to the strongest walks a quicker path, even if the first sensation is a minor discomfort like an
itch, you will realize it is 99% of the time a hair, it will feel as your worst enemy in the world... As though it is trying to bore into your skin,
or stab you repeatedly like a needle, it will burn it can tickle it will do anything to make you move... whatever you do don't, instead sit through
it. The path of the breath opens the door using dispassion, this one opens the door using impermanence. The seemingly unbearable torture if you endure
it will go away, if you sit long enough, your entire body starts to ache and hurt so strongly that it washes out the small pain, if you stop at the
large pain but sat through the small pain it is known as a small death, it aids to understanding the gate of impermanence just the same but a longer
route. If you choose to sit through the larger pain it will become the full body exact location of pain indistinguishable. You'll know when it arises
it demands your full consciousness no matter how much you'd rather focus on anything else or get up to relieve it. It is known as either large death
or dying on the cushion, it my feel as though you knees are going to separate your hips are going to dislodge from the joints your back exploding at
every vertebrae, a general feeling of your whole body on fire and about to shake itself apart. This will pass and when it does it will transform into
the exact opposite to one of bliss. It is good to note, that this will firmly root that all things are impermanent, and the pain endured so great that
even heat or cold nor even pain will bother you as a gift of this sphere of focus. Of course it is also a gift that can come with it's own set of
attachments, you will gain deep compassion for others but the cost is empathy. You will see clearly that they like yourself create and sustain all
their own and the worlds problems by seeking comfort from minor discomforts, non-attachment will arise making attainment very ripe.
I hope this aids to seeing some of the danger that can exist on a chosen path