Don't like to meditate

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Digity
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Don't like to meditate

Postby Digity » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:41 am

I really struggle with meditation. I don't want to do it. I usually schedule it for 15 minutes after I wake up, but I've been so off and on for so long. I'm just frustrated by my lack of commitment. Often times after I wake up I just distract myself with my iPhone or whatever...almost like I'm trying to avoid having to meditate. I hate this attitude, but I don't know what to do to bring myself to want to do it. I've had stretches in the past where I liked it, but those eventually pass. What advice do you have? I often feel like it's not really doing anything for me. I know you're not suppose to bring that sort of attitude to your meditation, but I just find it hard not to. Any advice is appreciated.

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Ben
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby Ben » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:50 am

Just do it.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

plwk
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby plwk » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:57 am

Spot on Ben. I think there was once I spotted an Ajahn Chah quote...
If you like to meditate, then meditate. If you don't like to meditate, then meditate.

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Ben
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby Ben » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:21 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Dan74
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby Dan74 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:33 am

Some people are way too restless most of the time to settle on a cushion, I think. Sometimes going for a jog first may help, or settling down with a hot cuppa. For others walking meditation feels more natural. I recall a fellow on the Zen Forum who was big on standing meditation since torpor is not a huge obstacle there!

So while I generally agree with the "just do it" attitude because it cuts through the bullshit web of excuses, sometimes one is not able (or ready) to make that cut.
_/|\_

Digity
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby Digity » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:56 am

I'm very restless to begin with. I absolutely hate my general agitated feeling I have, but I'm someone whose had his share of anxiety problems in his life. I sometimes don't feel cut out for meditation...and there I go with excuses again! :P

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mikenz66
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:58 am


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mikenz66
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:59 am


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Goofaholix
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:05 am

Have you ever done an intensive meditation retreat of a week or two? that's the way to establish a habit and become convinced of it's benefits.

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Kamran
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby Kamran » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:21 am

1/2 hour or so of strenuous exercize prior meditating works great for me.

walking meditation is not enough to get rid of the restless energy in my case
"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

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DAWN
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby DAWN » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:32 am

Try to observe your mind.

When you want to get up, just take a not of it :
Hmm, my body want to get up. What will heppens with it if i still here? / Hmm, he want to get up again. And if i still sit again?
Hmm, i feel pain. What will heppens after?
Hmm, i want to do somethink. What will heppens if i will do nothink?
...

Like a scientific. Study, study, study... Observe, observe, observe...
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...

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pilgrim
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby pilgrim » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:13 am

Just about a month ago I met Ven Yogavacara Rahula when we were both in Ladakh. At a talk he gave, he addressed this same problem that many of us have, the difficulty of establishing a regular sitting period. He proposed an alternative practice which I think he called "One Minute Meditation", if I am not mistaken.

Instead of sitting for say, an hour every day, break it up into many One Minute Meditations, where we stop whatever we are doing and practise awareness of our mental states for about a minute. This can be done say every hour or so. He said that in long periods of meditation, significant chunks of time is taken up just to calm the mind down and awareness is actually practiced for a fraction of the allotted period. Furthermore, awareness is not consistent for the whole day. But in the One Minute Meditations that he recommends, it is very useful to bring awareness back into the whole of our daily life. He is not suggesting that the One Minute Meditations replace the usual practice but he suggests it as an alternative for those who find difficulty doing so. This is especially applicable to lay-people where intense concentration is not a priority.

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DAWN
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby DAWN » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:20 am

Very good advice !
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...

Mawkish1983
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:28 am

I remember reading/hearing something along the lines that trying to force yourself to meditate could be deleterious to your practice. I'm sorry, I cannot think who wrote/said it but it struck a chord with me. Whilst meditation is an essential practice, laity can find it useful to simply try to be mindful in all their daily activities, develop sila through adherence of the precepts and earn merit through development of the Brahma Viharas. Whoever it was that gave that advice suggested that meditation would then be easier in the future because the foundations of practice will have been well established. I with I could post a reference.

In my own experience, I took a one-month break from meditation when I realised I was doing it 'to be a Buddhist'. I worked on ethics and 'being pleasant' for a month, then went back to cussion work. It helped me break/reduce a sense of pride that had been blocking my meditation progress.

JackV
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby JackV » Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:00 am

Here where a thousand
captains swore grand conquest
Tall grasses their monument.

Maarten
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby Maarten » Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:33 am

I think this can be dangerous. If you have a constant aversion towards meditation you run the risk of eventually giving it up completely.
If I were you I would put my priorities on developing some pleasure in my meditation. Maybe try a different technique?
For me it is easy to get some enjoyment out of metta meditation, and I am not a very skilled meditator! Ajahn Brahm often advises in his guided meditations to cultivate pleasure, or to look for that pleasurable element in the meditation. http://www.youtube.com/user/DhammalokaMeditation

Good luck and metta! ;)

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Hanzze
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby Hanzze » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:17 pm

Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:52 pm

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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bodom
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby bodom » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:45 pm

Try sitting along with some guided meditations. I find this extremely helpful for those days when I don't feel like sitting. Also if possible try finding a local meditation group to sit with. It doesn't even necessarily have to be a Theravadan insight meditation group, it could be zen, tibetan etc. just someplace you can sit in silence with others for a period of time.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

pegembara
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Re: Don't like to meditate

Postby pegembara » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:34 am

Then don't "meditate".

Just be constantly aware of your thoughts, words and deeds. Everything in your life is there to help you, to teach you, and not seen as some kind of an obstruction to meditation. You can even watch your mind coming up with excuses not to meditate. That itself is also "meditation" but I prefer to use the word mental training or bhavana.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.


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