Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
lotus flower
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by lotus flower » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:15 am

Pinetree wrote:
i just try to keep the concentration when i focus on the meditation object.
How do you do that, how does that work for you ?
I just focus on the meditation object, don't force. It is a silly question that how does it works. As i wrote, my samadhi is short.
We found the teaching of the Buddha. Be grateful for it... We can meditate... Be grateful for it... We know that this universe is the samsara. Be grateful for it... We have THE CHANCE TO ATTAIN NIBBANA. Be grateful for it... :buddha1: :buddha2:

lotus flower
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by lotus flower » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:19 am

acinteyyo wrote:
lotus flower wrote:Force? Too much effort? i just try to keep the concentration when i focus on the meditation object. It doesn't means i force samadhi...
Okay, but the question is why you do it. I mean, ask yourself honestly what is your main motivation each time when you sit down to meditate or start walking. If you sit down to meditate, thinking "now I sit down and concentrate til I reach samadhi" but you neglect all the other necessary conditions, I'm quite sure it won't work that way.
I don't neglect the other nessecary conditions. And i don't sit with such thoughts which you wrote. I sit and walking with thoughts once i will attain nibbana and if it doesn't happens in this life, then i will gain much insights and i will grow on the Path in lifetimes.
We found the teaching of the Buddha. Be grateful for it... We can meditate... Be grateful for it... We know that this universe is the samsara. Be grateful for it... We have THE CHANCE TO ATTAIN NIBBANA. Be grateful for it... :buddha1: :buddha2:

Pinetree
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by Pinetree » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:13 pm

I just focus on the meditation object, don't force. It is a silly question that how does it works.
Yes, I understand that you set your mind on the meditation object, but I mean what does it happen, how do things progress afterwards ?

- does the mind like the meditation object , or maybe the mind would prefer to do something else or focus on something else ?

- and if the mind goes away from the meditation object, how does the mind feel about going away ?

- and if the mind later returns to the object, how does the mind feel about having to return to the object ?

lotus flower
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by lotus flower » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:28 pm

Pinetree wrote:
I just focus on the meditation object, don't force. It is a silly question that how does it works.
Yes, I understand that you set your mind on the meditation object, but I mean what does it happen, how do things progress afterwards ?

- does the mind like the meditation object , or maybe the mind would prefer to do something else or focus on something else ?

- and if the mind goes away from the meditation object, how does the mind feel about going away ?

- and if the mind later returns to the object, how does the mind feel about having to return to the object ?
Why are you questioning? The mind and the meditation object becomes one when i experience samadhi. when i have thoughts about sensul pleasure object i feel desire. Or when i get angry thoughts i feel anger. But when the mind thinking about not angry and not greedy things i don't feel anything, it is boring. When the mind wandering i notice "wandering" and i give the mind it back to the meditation object. When the mind return to the meditation object i feel joy and calm.
Last edited by lotus flower on Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
We found the teaching of the Buddha. Be grateful for it... We can meditate... Be grateful for it... We know that this universe is the samsara. Be grateful for it... We have THE CHANCE TO ATTAIN NIBBANA. Be grateful for it... :buddha1: :buddha2:

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acinteyyo
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by acinteyyo » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:37 pm

lotus flower wrote: I don't neglect the other nessecary conditions. And i don't sit with such thoughts which you wrote. I sit and walking with thoughts once i will attain nibbana and if it doesn't happens in this life, then i will gain much insights and i will grow on the Path in lifetimes.
Maybe you misunderstood what I've meant. I meant what is the motivation that makes you sit down and practice?
Not what you think while you are sitting or walking.
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

lotus flower
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by lotus flower » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:50 pm

acinteyyo wrote:
lotus flower wrote: I don't neglect the other nessecary conditions. And i don't sit with such thoughts which you wrote. I sit and walking with thoughts once i will attain nibbana and if it doesn't happens in this life, then i will gain much insights and i will grow on the Path in lifetimes.
Maybe you misunderstood what I've meant. I meant what is the motivation that makes you sit down and practice?
Not what you think while you are sitting or walking.
I didn't misunderstood. I already answered. Nibbana.
We found the teaching of the Buddha. Be grateful for it... We can meditate... Be grateful for it... We know that this universe is the samsara. Be grateful for it... We have THE CHANCE TO ATTAIN NIBBANA. Be grateful for it... :buddha1: :buddha2:

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acinteyyo
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by acinteyyo » Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:40 pm

lotus flower wrote:I didn't misunderstood. I already answered. Nibbana.
Yes, of course. I think that's the main motivation for many. However a clear idea of what one is actually going to do at each and every step when practicing meditation is crucial for an adequate development to be expected.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

Pinetree
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by Pinetree » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:16 am

Why are you questioning?
Because when the mind is wandering, understanding what drives the mind away from the meditation object at that specific time can be helpful.
When the mind wandering i don't feel anything.
Hmm, so when the mind goes away to another object than the meditation object, you have no feelings about that new object where the mind has moved to ?

That is different for me personally.

Usually there is some force, some impulse, some "pulling" the mind in that new direction, and that "pulling" is usually related to a feeling.

Many times when my mind goes to a thought or image or maybe a person I know, I can see there is an impulse, a desire that drives the mind in that direction.

And I find helpful to contemplate that impulse, desire and to relax about it, try to let go a little of that impulse, desire. Or to create some perspective, some distance, some detachment towards that impulse, desire.

Actually, trying to relax the body, making sure I have a comfortable position is often helpful when I find the mind wandering a lot.

For example, I find myself sometimes debating or arguing with people (in my mind). And the impulse is related to being right about something, or giving a good answer to a subject of discussion. Or other times I'm thinking what I will do or where will I go after the meditation and thoughts will arise depends on having a liking or disliking for that thing.
Last edited by Pinetree on Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lotus flower
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by lotus flower » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:59 pm

Pinetree: Sure when i have thoughts about sensual pleasure object i feel desire. Or when i get angry thoughts i feel anger. But when the mind thinking about not angry and not greedy things i don't feel anything, it is boring.
We found the teaching of the Buddha. Be grateful for it... We can meditate... Be grateful for it... We know that this universe is the samsara. Be grateful for it... We have THE CHANCE TO ATTAIN NIBBANA. Be grateful for it... :buddha1: :buddha2:

dxm_dxm
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by dxm_dxm » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:59 pm

I see things which can not be real. For example coloured rings in the air. Or something like this. I simply know it is not real because coloured rings are not real, these are not in our world. I never saw alien. But if i would see one i couldn't know is this real or not. Or if i would see a bird in the window i couldn't know is this real or not. Sometimes i hear a maan's voice who say hello. I simply know these things can not be real, i know these things are only in my mind because there is no man in the house. And no coloured ring.
Thanks for letting me know, I expected it would be something like this but I never knew for sure :D Sounds very similar to OCD obsessive evil thoughts. I hope they can be kept under control. In OCD there is not a big problem because the person realizes it is an obsessive thought and never acts on it. It's good it is the same in at you.
I didn't misunderstood. I already answered. Nibbana.
When laying down and starting to meditate, to motivate himself a person might think of the reason he is doing this, his aim. Some might say "I want to do this because I want to attaint Nirvana", or "because I want to help others" or "because inevitably I will suffer in the future and I want to stop suffering"

I do not know what the best motivation should be when sitting down and I would like to hear more people say something about this, maybe even a sutta. Personally, I have noticed that saying "I want to do this because I want to increase my abillity to concentrate" is quite good but I do not know witch one of the motivations is the most powerfull. What is the most recomanded here ?

All I know is that in working activities, like achieving your work at your job or your training at a sport, your goal should be just a little bit over what is probably to be achieved. Not smaller, not equal, not way bigger, just a little big bigger that what is very realisticaly going to happen. So this would be usetfull when setting the time you want to spend in meditating like if you know you usually do 15 minutes you don't put the clock at 10 minutes to ring, not at 15, not at 60 minutes. You put it at 20 minutes, just a little bit more than what is realistically possible. But in regards to motivation I would really like to hear too whitch is the most recomanded one.

Pinetree
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by Pinetree » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:33 pm

Not sure if you read this thread about about thinking as a hindrance to meditation, there are some interesting points:

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=25347" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

But especially the next video, which I found quite interesting, which says something close to:

- a cause for a wandering mind is that we have spoiled our mind, and it got used to do what it wants, it became undisciplined

And the proposed solution is training the mind through renunciation - which means from time to time giving up the pleasures we are offering ourselves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUGHY6_HIp0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
But when the mind thinking about not angry and not greedy things i don't feel anything, it is boring.
I remember a teacher saying that boredom is a type of anger. In my experience I would probably say frustration.

What you could try is doing metta before the meditation, with the meditation as an object for metta, maybe something like:

"May my meditation be peaceful, with ease and free of suffering".
(or concentration)

Not sure what is your object of meditation, if it's the breath, you could also say:
"May my breath be peaceful, relaxed"

dxm_dxm
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by dxm_dxm » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:41 pm

And the proposed solution is training the mind through renunciation - which means from time to time giving up the pleasures we are offering ourselves.
I should have heard this long time ago. Maybe I did but not pay too much attention. I can confirm that my refusal to give up too much of the pleasures is probably the main reason I am not able to keep a serious, every day meditation practice. I find it hard to do meditation when i could be indulging in pleasures however small. It's so simple to find an excuse or simply be ignorant. Thanks for posting this I'll try to pay more attention to lessening this tendency to indulge in pleasures. :anjali:

coreycook950
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by coreycook950 » Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:28 pm

Hello Friend,

I have schizophrenia, PTSD, Asperger's, and anxiety also.
If you're not getting disability or SSI you should apply with an attorney.

As for meditation: I do dry insight meditation and don't think absorptions are really necessary.
In fact I recall reading that Ajahn Chah once stated that absorbtions weren't really necessary.

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manas
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by manas » Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:27 am

Hi Lotus Flower,
I try to cultivate contentment, even a feeling of satisfaction, with simply knowing I'm on the Path and am making a daily effort. If you are following the five precepts wholeheartedly, and reading or listening to a Dhamma talk or sutta daily (or at least, regularly) - and reflecting on what you have read or heard - do you reaize how precious and rare it is, to even be doing that much? As compared with the entire human population, it's actually a pretty good place to be in. Appreciate the goodness that flows even just from that, learn to find a measure of gladness even just from that (I'm trying to atm). As for jhana, I think it can be harder for those of us with a lot of past trauma, or mental illness or depression, so please also cultivate metta for yourself daily, as well. Don't get down on yourself for 'not having attained jhana yet'. It's not a race, you know. It's more like cultivating a garden. It takes some cultivation before the seeds grow into plants, and the plants flower, then fruits come about. So for you (and persons like myself also), also cultivate the lovely quality of patience, and whatever measure of metta you can bring up for yourself as a being of integrity trying to honestly practice the Dhamma. Also, you might not have 'full' or 'deep' jhana as yet, but try to notice how you feel when there is even a measure of calm in the mind, tune it to that, and savour even that, and try to recall what mental / physical action you took to bring about that calm. That can give you a sense of achievement, even if it's not 'full' jhana as yet, any measure of mental calm is a good thing. Hope that helps. :anjali:
"With regard to internal factors, I don't envision any other single factor like appropriate attention as doing so much for a monk in training, who has not attained the goal but remains intent on the unsurpassed safety from bondage. A monk who attends appropriately abandons what is unskillful and develops what is skillful."
- from the Itivuttaka

SarathW
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by SarathW » Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:40 am

:goodpost: Manas
Observing five precepts and contemplating on Dhamma is a form of Vipassana Jhana.
The way I understand Vipassana Jhana is more fruitfull than the absorption Jhana.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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amtross
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Re: Sad i want to attain jhanas but i have mental illnesses. Anyone else who have mental illness and practice meditation

Post by amtross » Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:11 pm

If you haven't already, it may be helpful to look into types of diet and exercise that may ease some of your suffering. Specifically, make sure you're getting enough vitamin d (sun or supplement, best to test with bloodwork as some people have genetic polymorphisms that make it harder for them to absorb vitamin d) and magnesium (leafy greens).

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