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How to "push throw" a hard meditation sitting ?

Posted: Thu May 22, 2014 8:07 am
by purple planet
In the moment of truth - when your doing a hard formal sitting meditation - how do you push throw the hard part - and i mean this is after you had overcome some hard pain - some hard boredom - some hard itching - hard doubt ect ... and even very hard - and things get very very hard - but you know you can overcome them but still ... why do it ? why go throw that kind of hardship ?

When the meditation gets very hard and you cant use equanimity no more - and you used your energy ... how do you get more energy ?

Re: How to "push throw" a hard meditation sitting ?

Posted: Thu May 22, 2014 8:37 am
by TheNoBSBuddhist
Jeesh. I'm sorry, I apologise if I seem blunt, but - Meditation ISN'T that hard.

You make it hard by releasing and succumbing to your 'Monkey Mind'.
You already have an aversion to it, so no amount of doing it will make you feel better, or make it easier for you....

I have never found it this difficult.

But I admit, I Meditate several times a day, for around 5 minutes, rather than force, oblige or compel myself to 'sit' for a longer period of time.
I also practise Walking Meditation, Washing-Up Meditation, Ironing Meditation, Vacuuming Meditation and 'Cleaning the Bathroom' Meditation. :sage:

In other words, if sitting is not your bag, I think it's time you tried another way.

:namaste:

Re: How to "push throw" a hard meditation sitting ?

Posted: Thu May 22, 2014 8:43 am
by Spiny Norman
purple planet wrote: When the meditation gets very hard and you cant use equanimity no more - and you used your energy ... how do you get more energy ?
Sometimes taking a short break can be helpful.
The break can be mental ( completely relaxing in the moment ) or physical ( a bit of walking meditation for example ).

Re: How to "push throw" a hard meditation sitting ?

Posted: Thu May 22, 2014 8:59 am
by Sokehi
My advice would be to shorten your sits. To endlessly encounter a state like this where joy is fully absent won't help you being motivated to meditate at all. I humbled my daily meditation practice down to 20 minutes. Occassionally on Uposatha or Versakh recently I do more, but 20 minutes is something I can manage every day and every single time without struggling. So I'm trying to hardwiring myself - so to speak - to enjoy meditation to be better prepared for possible future throwbacks in motivation, faith and such things.

Ajahn Jayasaro once said somewhere that it's good to enjoy the breath, that would be my final advice. Enjoy it! Enjoy to sit! If it's all struggle every day I guess you are trying to hard, being to hard with yourself. :anjali:

Re: How to "push throw" a hard meditation sitting ?

Posted: Thu May 22, 2014 11:31 am
by m0rl0ck
You could try this:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah

Re: How to "push throw" a hard meditation sitting ?

Posted: Thu May 22, 2014 12:41 pm
by seeker242
purple planet wrote:In the moment of truth - when your doing a hard formal sitting meditation - how do you push throw the hard part - and i mean this is after you had overcome some hard pain - some hard boredom - some hard itching - hard doubt ect ... and even very hard - and things get very very hard - but you know you can overcome them but still ... why do it ? why go throw that kind of hardship ?

When the meditation gets very hard and you cant use equanimity no more - and you used your energy ... how do you get more energy ?
Just return to the breathing in and out, the same as when any other distraction arises. Your energy gets used up when your attention is directed inappropriately. It returns, by itself, when your attention is no longer being directed inappropriately. "This is very hard" is an impermanent state, created only by you own mind, generally speaking. The key is to stop supporting it. The only support it has is your own attention. When you stop supporting it, AKA you redirect your attention appropriately, it disappears by itself.
"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen? There is non-stillness of awareness. To foster inappropriate attention to that: This is the food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen.

"And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen? There is the stilling of awareness. To foster appropriate attention to that: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen.

SN 46.51
Ahara Sutta: Food
Stop feeding it by redirecting your attention back to the breathing, which causes "stillness of awareness".
"There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore.[1] Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

"[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' [3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.'[2] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

MN 118
Anapanasati Sutta: Mindfulness of Breathing
The breath is a wonderful object to bring about "stilling of awareness".

Personally, I would not suggest you push yourself "to the brink" every day with normal everyday sitting practice. Like Sokehi said, doing that can be discouraging. But if you are doing a retreat, that is what retreats are for. To engage in much more intensive practice.

Why do it? To strengthen your practice. To make it strong and unshakable, in the face of any obstacle. If boredom and itches are hard to deal with, how hard is it going to be to deal with sickness, old age and death, when they start appearing? Compared to death, boredom hits like a feather. Death on the other hand, will hit you like 50 tons of bricks. Why do it? To strengthen your practice. To make it strong and unshakable, in the face of any obstacle.

That is how I do it anyway. :anjali:

Re: How to "push throw" a hard meditation sitting ?

Posted: Thu May 22, 2014 2:26 pm
by Sokehi
seeker242 wrote:Compared to death, boredom hits like a feather. Death on the other hand, will hit you like 50 tons of bricks. Why do it? To strengthen your practice. To make it strong and unshakable, in the face of any obstacle
Wonderful, dear Seeker! That's a powerful contemplation that will surely stay with me forever ... the feather and the bricks. Thank you!!! :anjali:

Re: How to "push throw" a hard meditation sitting ?

Posted: Thu May 22, 2014 9:56 pm
by seeker242
Sokehi wrote:
seeker242 wrote:Compared to death, boredom hits like a feather. Death on the other hand, will hit you like 50 tons of bricks. Why do it? To strengthen your practice. To make it strong and unshakable, in the face of any obstacle
Wonderful, dear Seeker! That's a powerful contemplation that will surely stay with me forever ... the feather and the bricks. Thank you!!! :anjali:
You're welcome! Thank you! :clap: