Meditating after work (drowsiness issues)

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Meditating after work (drowsiness issues)

Postby Digity » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:00 am

I want to start adding more meditation sessions to my day. I would like to do some meditation after I get home from work and settle in a bit. This would be around 7:00 pm. However, when I usually try to meditate around that time I feel very drowsy and most of my meditation session is me half nodding off. When I meditate in the morning then I'm obviously fine. I'm wondering what to do about this. Should I just keep doing it until I learn to stay up? Should I rest on the bed for about 20 minutes before starting? Should I just do all my meditation in the morning? What are your thoughts? My plan was to continue doing breath meditation in the morning and then metta meditation after work.
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Re: Meditating after work (drowsiness issues)

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:05 am

Do walking meditation.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Meditating after work (drowsiness issues)

Postby Digity » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:12 am

I was doing walking meditation, but I kind of stopped. The thing is, I've benefited greatly from doing breath meditation, but I've seen very little benefit or development through my walking meditation. I kind of gave up on it. I don't know if this was a good idea or not, but I feel like I get a lot more out of my sitting sessions than I do from my walking meditation. That's why I'd like to focus primarily on sitting, but that's not to say I won't eventually return back to doing walking meditation. However, I still don't feel like I "get" walking meditation...when I do sitting meditation I feel like I "get" it.
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Re: Meditating after work (drowsiness issues)

Postby Sanjay PS » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:40 am

Digity wrote:I want to start adding more meditation sessions to my day. I would like to do some meditation after I get home from work and settle in a bit. This would be around 7:00 pm. However, when I usually try to meditate around that time I feel very drowsy and most of my meditation session is me half nodding off. When I meditate in the morning then I'm obviously fine. I'm wondering what to do about this. Should I just keep doing it until I learn to stay up? Should I rest on the bed for about 20 minutes before starting? Should I just do all my meditation in the morning? What are your thoughts? My plan was to continue doing breath meditation in the morning and then metta meditation after work.



Hello,

If your work is very strenuous leaving you physically and mentally drained , then the resultant drowsiness can be combated by freshening up and taking a nap and then meditating , ending the sitting with metta bhavana.

If not the case , its best to be just alert when when the half nod arises , immediately making the sitting posture straight and being vigilant the moment this happens , going back to anapana sati for sometime helps during such periods . The condition of such unwarranted drowsiness will sooner or later pass away, and you will find drowsiness and sleep no longer being a taxing hindrance . Also , having food just before the sitting will give rise to drowsiness . Kindly give a break of about 40 minutes to an hour after any meal , unless of course the meal itself is very light and refreshing .

Walking meditation is also excellent , after this, when the mind has been sufficiently awakened , one can go back to the place where sitting meditation is done daily , and continue on , ending with metta bhavana .

Ending with metta bhavana after every sitting promotes wholesomeness , making ones mind very calm, collected and contended, and its good to then go to sleep in the night with the wakefulness of the nature of this kind of a mind ,along with the corresponding sensations that arise and pass.

We just have to persist . Best wishes.

sanjay
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Re: Meditating after work (drowsiness issues)

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:06 am

Have a cold shower. That should make you a bit more alert.
Or - you could just deal with the hindrance of sloth and torpor.
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Re: Meditating after work (drowsiness issues)

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:53 am

tiltbillings wrote:Do walking meditation.

Works for me at that time of day!

:namaste:
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Re: Meditating after work (drowsiness issues)

Postby daverupa » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:00 pm

Kim OHara wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Do walking meditation.

Works for me at that time of day!

:namaste:
Kim


I want to point up the fact that walking/standing/sitting/laying meditation(s), wherein one cleanses the mind of obstructive states in each of these four postures, can become a daily habit instead of relegated to a circumscribed "meditation time" - such time slots are great for anapanasati, but I want to remind us all that 'daily postural practice' is the backbone of seated meditation.

MN 4 wrote:What if I, in whatever state I'm in when fear & terror come to me, were to subdue that fear & terror in that very state?' So when fear & terror came to me while I was walking back & forth, I would not stand or sit or lie down. I would keep walking back & forth until I had subdued that fear & terror. When fear & terror came to me while I was standing, I would not walk or sit or lie down. I would keep standing until I had subdued that fear & terror. When fear & terror came to me while I was sitting, I would not lie down or stand up or walk. I would keep sitting until I had subdued that fear & terror. When fear & terror came to me while I was lying down, I would not sit up or stand or walk. I would keep lying down until I had subdued that fear & terror.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Meditating after work (drowsiness issues)

Postby Digity » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:19 am

I'm struggling with walking meditation and have somewhat given up on it. Can someone recommend any good books, articles or talks to help me with my walking meditation.

Also, can you train yourself to overcome tiredness? If you're just physically tired isn't the natural response to start dozing off or can you counteract that?
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Re: Meditating after work (drowsiness issues)

Postby no mike » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:58 pm

I read this post as I have had similar frustrating issues with nodding off.

Not sure if you do this, but I want to share with you that I retrained myself to do meditation with eyes open. It has helped a lot.

:heart:
Last edited by no mike on Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Meditating after work (drowsiness issues)

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:46 pm

Digity wrote:I'm struggling with walking meditation and have somewhat given up on it. Can someone recommend any good books, articles or talks to help me with my walking meditation.

The Benefits of Walking Meditation

Most tiredness is stress related, and once the stress is relieved the need for sleep is reduced. Fresh air and drinking water may help. Most of us don't get nearly enough sunlight and rely too much on artificial light, which messes with the body clock.
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Re: Meditating after work (drowsiness issues)

Postby purple planet » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:50 pm

About walking mediation -

Just want to share something - i didnt have a single insight yet but i got some intersting meditation experiences and most of them and the more intersting ones came in the walking meditation -

I also wondered if its helpful cause i didnt "feel" concentrated - but did it anyway and when i had a bad meditation - lots of thoughts in the walking - i got some nice experience which i didnt get when sitting - and i didnt feel concentrated and peaceful at all - actually the opposite - and it happened on the beginning of that meditation session so i coulnt have built much concentration

so just add that to reduce doubt - logical reason were given here and are easy to find - like : *you train to be mindful during the day and walking is one of the 4 postures so its important to train in it
* its preparation for sitting - because it also developes concentration
*it helps stay awake in the sitting
* balances the restlesness and sloth and tropor ( reduces the second) - not sure about this but think its true
* its said its healthy - it might even help with back pain
*in the mahsi technique at least the walking should be same amount of time as the sitting - so the walking also enables you to meditate for double the time - even if its hard for you to do a very long sitting
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Re: Meditating after work (drowsiness issues)

Postby Sanjay PS » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:20 am

Hello ,

Found this narration in one of the Dhamma Wheel post , where in Lord Buddha advises to Venerable Maha Mogallana with regard to dealing with drowsiness.



How to overcome sleepiness

Once the Exalted One spoke to the Venerable Maha-Moggallana thus: "Are you drowsy, Moggallana? Are you drowsy, Moggallana?" — "Yes, venerable sir."

(1) "Well then, Moggallana, at whatever thought torpor has befallen you, to that thought you should not give attention, you should not dwell on it frequently. Then it is possible that, by so doing, torpor will disappear.

(2) "But if, by so doing, that torpor does not disappear, you should think and reflect within your mind about the Dhamma as you have heard and learned it, and you should mentally review it. Then it is possible that, by so doing, torpor will disappear.

(3) "But if, by so doing, that torpor does not disappear, you should learn by heart the Dhamma in its fullness, as you have heard and learned it. Then it is possible...

(4) "But if, by so doing, that torpor does not disappear, you should shake your ears, and rub your limbs with the palm of your hand. Then it is possible...

(5) "But if, by so doing, that torpor does not disappear, you should get up from your seat, and after washing your eyes with water, you should look around in all directions and look upwards to the stars in the sky. Then it is possible...

(6) "But if, by so doing, that torpor does not disappear, you should firmly establish the (inner) perception of light: as it is by day, so also by night; as it is by night, so also by day. Thus with a mind clear and unobstructed, you should develop a consciousness which is full of brightness. Then it is possible...

(7) "But if, by so doing, that torpor does not disappear, you should, conscious of that which is before and behind, walk up and down, with your senses turned inwards, with your mind not going outwards. Then it is possible...

(8) "But if, by so doing, that torpor does not disappear, you may lie down on your right side, taking up the lion's posture, covering foot with foot — mindful, clearly conscious, keeping in mind the thought of rising. Having awakened again, you should quickly rise, thinking: 'I won't indulge in the enjoyment of lying down and reclining, in the enjoyment of sleep!'

"Thus, Moggallana, you should train yourself!"

— AN 7:58
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Re: Meditating after work (drowsiness issues)

Postby Kamran » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:35 am

:goodpost:

I will try number 2 and 3 above next time i am drowsy. I think getting the mind working with conceptual meditations, or reciting suttas, which requires even more mental activity, may also be helpful.
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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