mentally tired

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befriend
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mentally tired

Post by befriend » Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:28 pm

how does ones deal with the tiredness from doing long periods of vipassana meditation? I meditated for a few hours today, im glad I stopped when I did because I am mentally exhausted right now, I cant even listen to the news on the radio. is it possible to do vipassana for a whole day? is it something you have to work up to to strengthen your mindfulness? should I be switching to general conventional mindfulness in between periods of vipassana?
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

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Goofaholix
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Re: mentally tired

Post by Goofaholix » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:30 am

This can often happen with Mahasi technique as the message people get is that the mind has to "go out" to each object as it arises and passes away, which is tiring. It is much less tiring if you let each object come to you, just arise and pass away within your fielsd of awareness. See more on this approach at http://ashintejaniya.org/

I'm not sure what you mean by conventional mindfulness and vipassana, I would have thought they were synonymous though techniques vary.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

befriend
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Re: mentally tired

Post by befriend » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:41 am

thank you very much. by conventional mindfulness I mean like noticing how the grain looks on a piece of wood and what color the wood is, or taking in the sunset etc. like regular people mindfulness or being aware of conventions as opposed to ultamite realities.
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

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Re: mentally tired

Post by Pinetree » Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:21 am

Drowsiness has been discussed in few topics, but I think your main problem is too much effort.

You're trying to do more than simply be aware of what's happening, which is what you should do.
This can often happen with Mahasi technique as the message people get is that the mind has to "go out" to each object as it arises and passes away, which is tiring. It is much less tiring if you let each object come to you, just arise and pass away within your fielsd of awareness.
I guess that's a way of putting it, don't chase for external objects.

The mind being aware of the object, in a sense is doing less, letting go instead of doing more. Once you start to want for the mind to notice this object or that object, or push away another object, that will certainly make you tired. And if that happens, you should note the wanting.

And certainly you should make note of being tired, when that happens.

In theory you can practice meditation the whole day, and it doesn't need to tire you. Now, walking meditation certainly gets my body tired, but that's another thing. On the other hand, if you're not used to it, or are trying to hard, that may not work out very well.

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Re: mentally tired

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:38 pm

I think the experiences you have when meditating can tire you out. Mahasi method of noting postures and points on the body itself is not going to make u tired to any significant extent. If experiences that come up are intense "worry, fear, planning, ruminating, anxiety, anger, lust etc" that will tire you out.

As for dealing with tiredness, there are not that many options. Its a good meditation object so sit thru it or fall asleep.

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Re: mentally tired

Post by davidbrainerd » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:56 am

I remember reading something in Mahasi Sayadaw's "Manual of Insight" where he talks about this (counter-intuitively in the first chapter on morality, which made it hard to find again). I don't have page numbers because I have it on Kindle not a physical book, but its in Chapter 1, then the section "How Different Types of People Are Suited to Different Trainings", and sub-section under there "The types of people suited to training in concentration". Here is the passage I'm referring to on google books preview.

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Re: mentally tired

Post by practitioner » Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:43 pm

Vipassana can be tiring so Buddha did jhana after having contemplated on dependent origination and then resorted to vipassana again to do the contemplation in reverse order.

When tired from vipassana, do jhana to develop samadhi.

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Re: mentally tired

Post by spacenick » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:26 pm

Gah it's such a shame that so many honest practitioners with a strong desire to put effort in the practice end up burning out. I see that more and more often. But this is because practice is approached is a way which is diametrically opposed to what the Buddha taught.

Do you think that by tiring yourself out more and more you'll get to a point some day where everything will 'explode' and you'll be free? Think about it.

It is very important to evaluate one's actions and see where they lead. If you practice a "technique" and you see that, after a while (without giving it up immediately, but you monitor the results) it leads to your harm and makes you decrease in wholesome states; then maybe what you're doing is not right.

The Dhamma is beautiful in the beginning, beautiful in the middle, beautiful in the end. It's not like you struggle immensely, going through exhaustion & pain and all that and boom, Bliss!

There will be enough difficulties and struggles (according to one's kamma), no need to keep creating more by practicing in a way where you still operate from the basic blindness (avijja) that there's really some thing out there to be attained by some "you" and that will set you free. As long as one practices from that angle, one cannot go beyond Time (or Death).

If you get back to the original texts (and not the commentaries), it is completely obvious: it is a path of non-doing, letting go, relinquishing. In other terms: creating kamma that leads to the end of kamma.

Everything is stated in negative terms. Right Intention: abandon harm, abandon ill-will, abandon sensuality. Not: actively promote peace, actively generate good-will, or actively see how little you can eat for the sake of renouncing. This is the same for all the factors. Even Right effort in actuality turns out to be working to uproot the cause for unskilful states; not actively looking to "get" (get stillness, get bliss, and so forth). And you actually get good ones by uprooting bad ones; and you maintain good ones by a similar process of watching over the mind and uprooting as soon as possible the arising of unskillful dhammas. The nuance makes a whole lot of difference in practice. Right concentration and the levels of jhanas happens as you drop things. You drop sensuality and you get first jhana. You drop thinking second jhana, and so forth. (It is obvious in the description of the jhanas themselves "withdrawn from" not "having attained")

(PS: not that active measures should not be taken when necessary. You might want to interrupt that bodily action of slapping your coworker in the face. This is not what I'm saying here. It's more that the general orientation of the path is a motion of letting go; not acquiring. You're peeling off an onion, not trying to add layers on top of it).

There is no vipassana versus "conventional mindfulness". There is body, sensations (vedana), perception, own-making (fabrications, sankharas) & consciousness. About one (or more) of these groups (which are just helpful ways of categorizing experience, but not to be taken as absolute realities), we hold the following view:
- this is my self
- my self has this
- my self is in this
- this is in my self

Because of taking up these stand points, we react to pleasure, we react to pain. Reacting (sankharaming) is rolling on the Wheel of Samsara.

Make things simpler. See that when you let go of things (which basically means you endure through them until they fade on their own accord), there is peace. There's nothing complicated here. Don't be too hard on yourself. It is difficult. But don't exhaust yourself doing a practice that you can see with your own eyes, makes you suffer.

As Westerners we are neurotic enough; the main motion we need to do here is most of the time to relax.

:anjali:
Last edited by spacenick on Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: mentally tired

Post by spacenick » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:42 pm

One thing I'd like to add is that there seems to be an elephant in the room about that kind of "hardcore" vipassana practice.

So it's really good that you come out and voice your difficulties. Not that many serious practitioner (as in, committed to put time into this path) will have the guts to say that they are struggling. So people either abandon altogether (reverting to sensuality, aka death), or develop super-egos and suffer from "maha avijja" (The Great Blindness)

It is beyond me why when we get drawn to Buddhism, we go to commentaries instead of the original stuff. You want to learn from Socrates, not Alexander the Great. From Gotama, not from Buddhagosa.

Don't get me wrong: this task requires heroic effort. But the Right Effort. The effort to keep the process of letting-go going, to abandon greed and interest for the world, to abandon the discouragement (oh well I'm just gonna watch TV), and so forth. The effort to endure the suffering inherent in us being in the world as living things. But with time & consistent practice (which doesn't mean you have to focus hard or note fast or any of that), you start to see for yourself the fruits of this practice. It is subtle.

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Re: mentally tired

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:43 am

Greetings Nick,
spacenick wrote:If you get back to the original texts (and not the commentaries), it is completely obvious: it is a path of non-doing, letting go, relinquishing. In other terms: creating kamma that leads to the end of kamma.
Well said.

If there is clear-seeing (vipassana) over how sankhata-dhammas arise, then we can relinquish those actions which give rise to sankhata-dhammas... and thus, not be tired by them.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: mentally tired

Post by acinteyyo » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:34 pm

befriend wrote:how does ones deal with the tiredness from doing long periods of vipassana meditation? I meditated for a few hours today, im glad I stopped when I did because I am mentally exhausted right now, I cant even listen to the news on the radio. is it possible to do vipassana for a whole day? is it something you have to work up to to strengthen your mindfulness? should I be switching to general conventional mindfulness in between periods of vipassana?
Hi befriend,

as far as I am taught, you gain "momentum" or "strength" by samatha practice. When the mind is "composed", "concentrated", "collected" or what you prefer to call it, to be able to practice vipassana you do that. When the mind looses it's ability to properly do the job you calm and strenghten the mind again with samatha and so on.

Getting too tired can mean put in too much effort. I'd suggest balancing samatha and vipassana practice so that you arrive at a more stable practice.

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.

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Re: mentally tired

Post by Maarten » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:40 pm

What works really well for me is to just let my attention do what it normally does, and then I am mindful of wherever it goes. Without aversion. Maybe even with a little metta mixed in. You're following the mind around. The mind only had one object at a time.

So basically you are aware of whatever object your attention naturally takes.
It's that simple, and it works very well!
It is both relaxing, and it leads to insights! :)

With Metta,

Maarten

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