I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

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Saengnapha
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Re: I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:02 am

BlueLotus wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:00 am
Trying to meditate. The mind simply does not stay on the breath for a simple 5 seconds. I have been doing this for months. What is wrong with me?

Vipassana has to be done after achieving some level of samadhi, right? I guess they recommend at least the first jhana before u do vipassana. I am nowhere near that.

Is this just me or is there anyone else who finds it practically impossible to quieten the mind? I cannot leave the life I live now. I have dependents. I can't ditch them and go to a monastery to meditate all day.

Any tips that can help me? Yes, I have tried counting. I have tried metta. I have tried walking. I have tried focusing on discursive thoughts. I have tried coffee. Nothing works.
I think you should take a step back and re-acquaint yourself with some basic Buddhist teachings as to why you are doing any of this to begin with. Vipassana is worthless without the necessary foundation that supports it. You will have very limited success if you push yourself like you seem to be doing.

It also seems like you don't have a teacher, or someone that can instruct you and talk things over with. This is very important. It is much easier to relate to another face to face than on a board like this. Do you have anyone you can share your difficulties with?

justindesilva
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Re: I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

Post by justindesilva » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:25 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:00 am
Trying to meditate. The mind simply does not stay on the breath for a simple 5 seconds. I have been doing this for months. What is wrong with me?

Vipassana has to be done after achieving some level of samadhi, right? I guess they recommend at least the first jhana before u do vipassana. I am nowhere near that.

Is this just me or is there anyone else who finds it practically impossible to quieten the mind? I cannot leave the life I live now. I have dependents. I can't ditch them and go to a monastery to meditate all day.

Any tips that can help me? Yes, I have tried counting. I have tried metta. I have tried walking. I have tried focusing on discursive thoughts. I have tried coffee. Nothing works.
Having gone through the answers of this forum , it is my feeling that your question needs personal guidance with alternate guidance in your presence. Good luck.
Try some experienced teacher.

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Zom
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Re: I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

Post by Zom » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:35 pm

Like?
If you have problems with meditation that means that preliminary stages of the path are not developed.

Caodemarte
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Re: I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

Post by Caodemarte » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:41 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:51 am
Caodemarte wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:00 am
Best advice I have heard is that if if more than 1 second makes you tense try 1 second. Come back to it. Repeat. Observe without comment your mind as it becomes distracted or agitated or focused on breathing or other meditation object.
I've been doing that for months. One might think I would have improved a tad bit by now but nooooo. Hence the frustration. :(
Your problems are shared and pretty common so for some common advice that most of us have received at one time or another: You have said you are trying to quiet your mind and achieve some “improved” state. If you keep trying to forcibly quiet and control the mind you will just stir it up. Just observe it for a second. Observe your frustration if that is what you are feeling. Don’t describe it; just note it and experience it. You can try to control and “improve” later after the meditation period if that is what you want to do. But please do try to visit a real teacher of meditation in person who can give you face to face advice.

JohnK
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Re: I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

Post by JohnK » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:13 pm

Just something else to add to all the advice: the breath is not for everyone and for all times.
You could try to attend to bodily sensations: weight of butt on cushion/chair, feeling of hands, feelings in face, feet, etc., etc. (if you search for "body scan" I'm sure you will find examples of guided, systematic ways to do this if you want). I sometimes find guided meditation in general to be helpful -- not just left to one's own (sometimes confused) devices.
Another possibility is to attend to sounds, although depending on where you are, there may be extended periods of apparent no sound -- unless you can find the internal sound (kind of a "white noise" that seems to be in the head or right at the ear drum) -- in fact, there is a chapter on this "sound of silence" in The Breakthrough that I linked to yesterday (made popular as a meditation object by Ajahn Sumedho) -- also very google-able to learn more.

Another thing that might help is to consider that you are developing through repetition the "muscle" of returning to experience. First, you recognize that you have become lost in thought; second, you direct your attention back to present experience. There is no working of the muscle of "recognize/return" unless you first become lost. So getting lost is your friend. No aversion. Just repetitions.

As others here have suggested here, the suttas say that acts of generosity and virtue prepare the mind for meditation; and working with a teacher would likely be helpful. Good luck. Lots of encouragement here.
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

pegembara
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Re: I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

Post by pegembara » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:52 am

Try something less difficult like listening to sounds of nature, music or whatever. Anything that temporarily takes one out of one's thoughts. Do that until the mind gets used to the relaxed state just like the young Buddha used to do under a tree while his father was working in the field.
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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L.N.
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Re: I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

Post by L.N. » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:15 am

BlueLotus wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:00 am
Trying to meditate. The mind simply does not stay on the breath for a simple 5 seconds. I have been doing this for months. What is wrong with me?
Nothing.
BlueLotus wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:00 am
... Is this just me or is there anyone else who finds it practically impossible to quieten the mind? I cannot leave the life I live now. I have dependents. I can't ditch them and go to a monastery to meditate all day.

Any tips that can help me? Yes, I have tried counting. I have tried metta. I have tried walking. I have tried focusing on discursive thoughts. I have tried coffee. Nothing works.
This sounds just about right. You are doing it exactly right, as far as I can tell from this post.

This is the work. This is the nature of the mind and body, constantly arising and fading phenomena. Like anything else, concentration takes practice and time. What you describe sounds to me like a perfectly good place to start, because you have become very sensitive to what is happening in your mind/body. Stay there. Bring your attention back to your meditation object again. And again. And again. Every time attention strays, bring it back again. Nothing wrong with this, or with you.

Others may have different valid points of view.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

justindesilva
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Re: I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

Post by justindesilva » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:52 am

justindesilva wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:25 pm
BlueLotus wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:00 am
Trying to meditate. The mind simply does not stay on the breath for a simple 5 seconds. I have been doing this for months. What is wrong with me?

Vipassana has to be done after achieving some level of samadhi, right? I guess they recommend at least the first jhana before u do vipassana. I am nowhere near that.

Is this just me or is there anyone else who finds it practically impossible to quieten the mind? I cannot leave the life I live now. I have dependents. I can't ditch them and go to a monastery to meditate all day.

Any tips that can help me? Yes, I have tried counting. I have tried metta. I have tried walking. I have tried focusing on discursive thoughts. I have tried coffee. Nothing works.
Having gone through the answers of this forum , it is my feeling that your question needs personal guidance with alternate guidance in your presence. Good luck.
Try some experienced teacher.
Further thinking about this , may I suggest that mind and thoughts are two different subjects.
It is good to note that a person such as Rabindranath Tagore a maestro in all arts in India , when in need of peace of mind watched the leaves floating on water and the birds flying in the air etc . It was watching nature and its beauty. He composed music after such intervals of watching nature.
One can try such natural effects followed by Rabindranath Tagore and even study their life style to learn.

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m0rl0ck
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Re: I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

Post by m0rl0ck » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:59 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:00 am
Trying to meditate. The mind simply does not stay on the breath for a simple 5 seconds. I have been doing this for months. What is wrong with me?

Vipassana has to be done after achieving some level of samadhi, right? I guess they recommend at least the first jhana before u do vipassana. I am nowhere near that.

Is this just me or is there anyone else who finds it practically impossible to quieten the mind? I cannot leave the life I live now. I have dependents. I can't ditch them and go to a monastery to meditate all day.

Any tips that can help me? Yes, I have tried counting. I have tried metta. I have tried walking. I have tried focusing on discursive thoughts. I have tried coffee. Nothing works.
Dont give up. Just accept the current condition of your mind and body the way it is and continue from there.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Pseudobabble
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Re: I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

Post by Pseudobabble » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:27 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:00 am
Trying to meditate. The mind simply does not stay on the breath for a simple 5 seconds. I have been doing this for months. What is wrong with me?

Vipassana has to be done after achieving some level of samadhi, right? I guess they recommend at least the first jhana before u do vipassana. I am nowhere near that.

Is this just me or is there anyone else who finds it practically impossible to quieten the mind? I cannot leave the life I live now. I have dependents. I can't ditch them and go to a monastery to meditate all day.

Any tips that can help me? Yes, I have tried counting. I have tried metta. I have tried walking. I have tried focusing on discursive thoughts. I have tried coffee. Nothing works.

What exactly are you doing when you meditate? Describe your experience and actions.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Pondera
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Re: I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

Post by Pondera » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:04 am

Try this. There's a location right behind your breathing diaphragm where tension builds up. Learn to let go of that tension.

If you accomplish this the ligaments surrounding your sacral chakra will loosen up. When that happens, you will be able to ignore discursive "monkey-mind" thoughts.

But if you want to crush them altogether do the following. Note the area in the mind that loosens up when the sacral ligaments loosen up. Then note the location in the heart where "soma" begins to flow.

Concentrate on that exact area of the heart and you will be able to stop discursive thoughts from happening before they even arise.

... then enjoy watching the breath :)

Dinsdale
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Re: I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:33 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:51 am
I've been doing that for months. One might think I would have improved a tad bit by now but nooooo. Hence the frustration. :(
You might need to adjust your method. Where are you currently noticing the breath? Are your eyes open or shut?

You could also consider trying a different meditation object. I sometimes do kasina practice, using a blue disc.

Do you have access to a meditation teacher, or to other meditators?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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BlueLotus
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Re: I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

Post by BlueLotus » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:09 pm

Appreciate your answers everyone. I have been travelling so could not answer.

I meditate with my eyes closed. I focus on the breath going in and out. Usually focus on the sensation of the breath hitting the nose, going into the lungs/stomach area and then leaving the body through the nose again. If I focus on a specific place, the stomach area seems to be easier as it expands and collapses. If I notice the nose, it starts to scratch after a while.

Lately when I do this, I have felt like my heart is filling up with strange feelings of love and light. And I keep seeing notice boards and book pages with text. Everything goes for a six after that. :thinking: :computerproblem:

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cappuccino
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Re: I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

Post by cappuccino » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:43 pm

Zen is about meditation, Theravada is about the teaching

Caodemarte
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Re: I'm trying to attain some inner peace here

Post by Caodemarte » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:01 am

m0rl0ck wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:59 pm

Dont give up. Just accept the current condition of your mind and body the way it is and continue from there.
Good advice. Remember that all the feelings or states you feel in meditation are temporary and are often meaningless. I would also suggest you open you eyes especially if you see things when they are closed. Above all the advice you get here you need to speak to an actual, qualified meditation teacher in person. There are many temples and lay groups scattered around.

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