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Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:07 am
Hi, I am feeling a bit down as my meditation has been poor recently. I've been mediating for about 2 years. Unfortunately I have no access to a teacher.
I was making some good progress, sitting for upto an hour a session, 1-2 times per day. Now when I meditate mindfulness is very weak, I am experiencing huge boredom with the urge to check the meditation timer with sesssions down to 20-25 minutes. Also I'm having some pains in my legs and back which weren't there before.
I am practising breathing meditation following the Anapanasati method. Any advice would be appreciated as I'm not feeling much benefit, but I am keeping going. I am also booked to do a 2 and 5 day retreat in Amaravati in October time, so I'm hoping I will also get some good advice there.
Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:02 am
This probably won't be hepful, or it will be known to you already, but something I find really useful when I get bored is to remember that I really have nothing better to do. Maybe you could ask yourself what it is that you'd rather do instead of boring meditation, and you will probably remember that all other activities are so pointless that simply sitting there is the most beneficial and useful thing you can do actually.
Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:57 am
Three little points here.
1) Lostitude's advice is, I think, excellent. It has worked for me on many occasions, and I see my understanding of this as a type of minor personal breakthrough.
2) Remember that getting the mind concentrated is only one part of the path. Try focussing on some of the other aspects of the path as an alternative to, and a support for, the meditation.
3) When you get to Amaravati, make sure you explain your problem to the monk teaching the retreat (or any of the monks). I'm sure they will have something helpful to contribute.
Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:34 pm
Nice advices above. Also i would try to do few waking meditation (you could walk very very slowly at home to begin with). If you manage to obtain a bit of awareness there, then you can hope to have this awareness become natural when you walk. This way, sitting does benefit to walking, then to real like. This is where practice starts to merge with life... (well at least this is one way!)
Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:37 pm
Thankyou all for your kind contributions.
Lostitude, I took your advice and it helped me a lot. I decided to read Thanisaro's "Into The Stream" on Access to Insight and this gave me some good motivation which I was also lacking in, this evening I sat for just under an hour with no pain, I paid particulate attention when boredom arose and I countered it with my motivation to work towards Sotapanna and that there is nothing more beneficial I could be doing. Of course the hindrances won in the end, but a great improvement.
Sam Vara, I am practising Moral Discipline, manage to keep the 5 precepts and follow the Uposatha, I have been feeling some aversion quite recently which will have affected the mediation, and I will be doing some Metta tomorrow to try and counter it.
Pyluyten, I have not done walking meditation yet but I am very interested. To be honest I was going to wait until I get to Amaravti, but may start earlier as I'm sure it will benefit the practise.
Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:36 am
Practice doesn't develop in a straight line. It's more like a wavy curve of ups and downs. You were on an upswing and now you're on a downswing. It's normal. You just need to adjust and tweak things to get back into your groove. The problem is when people hit these bumps in the road and just decide to give up.