staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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johnny
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Post by johnny » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:34 pm

marc108 wrote:
johnny wrote: immediately start having thoughts that are basically the beginnings of dreams
how are you handling those thoughts?
i see them as sloth and torpor, note that, and go back too my breath. the thoughts are so much the stuff of sleep that they immediately disappear when i "wake up". to be clear i'm not totally asleep, just going in that direction and there is a huge difference between that state and wakeful meditation. so much that a couple of times i have snapped out of it and then immediately went into access, and then jhana because my mind took too the stark contrast between sleepiness and the potential for great concentration in wakefulness.
Last edited by johnny on Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

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johnny
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Post by johnny » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:36 pm

James the Giant wrote:
johnny wrote: i've heard all the standard stuff and tried it all, NOTHING WORKS.
so, any crazy ideas?
I once drank 3 cups of coffee before I sat. It was... interesting. I meditated, but it was NOT conducive to jhana! More like a raging torrent of mental activity and physical restlessness. Good fodder for observing and being with agitation.
Who was it who recommended meditating at the top of a ladder, to prevent sleepiness?
A lot of the monks in Ajahn Mun's biography meditated right at the edge of tall cliffs to keep them sharp. Some still fell asleep, as is told in the book, and fell and died.

But seriously, you can't cultivate jhana if you haven't conquered the hindrance of Sloth and Torpor. It's one of the famous Five Hindrances, as you know.

I don't have any other good suggestions.
Good luck!
lol! i considered this! no joke! coffee and other caffeine drinks do the same too me. but tea does not, it has theanine which stops that restlessness and agitation. so you get focused and calm alertness, perfect for meditation.

okay so how do i conquer it? clearly it's a fairly persistent problem considering monks are falling off cliffs trying too over come it.
The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

dharmagoat
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Post by dharmagoat » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:59 pm

James the Giant wrote:A lot of the monks in Ajahn Mun's biography meditated right at the edge of tall cliffs to keep them sharp. Some still fell asleep, as is told in the book, and fell and died.
Great idea, I can see how this would work. A wise monk would tie a rope around his waist.

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marc108
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Post by marc108 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:29 pm

this talk by Shaila Catherine has a lot of useful, non-standard information:
http://imsb.org/media/2001-07-05_Shaila ... ssness.mp3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

as well as these 2 talks by Joseph Goldstein:
http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/?search=sloth" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Post by LonesomeYogurt » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:42 pm

If you find yourself lunging forward, meditate directly in front of a wall.

Otherwise, Bodom is right that sometimes sleep is just the right choice. Give yourself some time to wake up afterwards before trying too. Walking meditation beforehand helps a lot of people. Being outside in a quiet place or in a cold place does wonders too.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.

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johnny
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Post by johnny » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:04 pm

marc108 wrote:this talk by Shaila Catherine has a lot of useful, non-standard information:
http://imsb.org/media/2001-07-05_Shaila ... ssness.mp3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

as well as these 2 talks by Joseph Goldstein:
http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/?search=sloth" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
first link is corrupted, just shows up as a broken link image. second one is talks that are well over an hour. could you summarize?
The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

dharmagoat
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Location: Gone Bush

Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Post by dharmagoat » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:06 pm

At the moment there is a howling wind that is flapping the tarpaulin covering the caravan where I sit. Although very unsettling, it has served to keep me particularly awake during the previous two meditation sessions.

Another thing about drowsiness is that it tends to come on at certain times of the day. For me the most difficult time is early afternoon, and one solution is to avoid this time and cluster my sittings in the mornings and evenings when I am most alert.

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johnny
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Post by johnny » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:17 pm

dharmagoat wrote:At the moment there is a howling wind that is flapping the tarpaulin covering the caravan where I sit. Although very unsettling, it has served to keep me particularly awake during the previous two meditation sessions.

Another thing about drowsiness is that it tends to come on at certain times of the day. For me the most difficult time is early afternoon, and one solution is to avoid this time and cluster my sittings in the mornings and evenings when I am most alert.
new zeland! that explains the dharma goat thing lol! i just noticed that's where you live. i love goats and sheep, they are hilarious animals. my parents raised goats when i was young.

anyway, i sat in the forest with good results a few times. kind of a fine line between good concentration and utter distraction because i know that even though i do want too meditate, i don't actually want wasps and ticks crawling up my pants lol! i'm kind of liking this meditating on a cliff idea. still peaceful and no distraction, but a good motivation for staying awake! i just need too find a good cliff...
The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

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marc108
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Post by marc108 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:26 pm

johnny wrote:
marc108 wrote:this talk by Shaila Catherine has a lot of useful, non-standard information:
http://imsb.org/media/2001-07-05_Shaila ... ssness.mp3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

as well as these 2 talks by Joseph Goldstein:
http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/?search=sloth" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
first link is corrupted, just shows up as a broken link image. second one is talks that are well over an hour. could you summarize?
right click, save as the first link. i just double checked it, and it works for me. if not, it's the last talk here: http://imsb.org/teachings/audio.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

no I cant summarize. they are worth taking the time to listen to if you're having serious problems with sloth or torpor... the talk by Shaila Catherine is especially useful, very direct and concise.
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

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johnny
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Post by johnny » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:39 pm

marc108 wrote:
johnny wrote:
marc108 wrote:this talk by Shaila Catherine has a lot of useful, non-standard information:
http://imsb.org/media/2001-07-05_Shaila ... ssness.mp3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

as well as these 2 talks by Joseph Goldstein:
http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/?search=sloth" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
first link is corrupted, just shows up as a broken link image. second one is talks that are well over an hour. could you summarize?
right click, save as the first link. i just double checked it, and it works for me. if not, it's the last talk here: http://imsb.org/teachings/audio.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

no I cant summarize. they are worth taking the time to listen to if you're having serious problems with sloth or torpor... the talk by Shaila Catherine is especially useful, very direct and concise.

argh. alright, you are right i will listen too them. i just like text over audio... thank you very much!
The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

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James the Giant
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Post by James the Giant » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:27 pm

I found that my sleepiness was just a phase. It attacked me for about 2 months, and I just battled through it using every method suggested, as you are trying. I mostly failed, and drowsed or nodded the whole two months. (I never tried the cliff though!)
But then, after about 2 months it lifted and went away.
It wasn't really anything I had done to make it go away, it just left by itself.
So you may find you are the same, persist, it may change.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11

dharmagoat
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Post by dharmagoat » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:34 pm

johnny wrote:new zeland! that explains the dharma goat thing lol! i just noticed that's where you live. i love goats and sheep, they are hilarious animals. my parents raised goats when i was young.
I like both goats and sheep too, they have a lot of personality.

In this part of New Zealand the sheep are confined to paddocks, whereas the goats are wild and wander freely in the forest. The goats put up with less nonsense.

If counting sheep puts one to sleep, maybe counting goats will have the opposite effect?

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johnny
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Post by johnny » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:42 pm

dharmagoat wrote:
johnny wrote:new zeland! that explains the dharma goat thing lol! i just noticed that's where you live. i love goats and sheep, they are hilarious animals. my parents raised goats when i was young.
I like both goats and sheep too, they have a lot of personality.

In this part of New Zealand the sheep are confined to paddocks, whereas the goats are wild and wander freely in the forest. The goats put up with less nonsense.

If counting sheep puts one to sleep, maybe counting goats will have the opposite effect?
lol, goats put up with no nonsense. that is awesome. you made my day.
The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

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johnny
Posts: 151
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Post by johnny » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:43 pm

James the Giant wrote:I found that my sleepiness was just a phase. It attacked me for about 2 months, and I just battled through it using every method suggested, as you are trying. I mostly failed, and drowsed or nodded the whole two months. (I never tried the cliff though!)
But then, after about 2 months it lifted and went away.
It wasn't really anything I had done to make it go away, it just left by itself.
So you may find you are the same, persist, it may change.
which method that i'm doing? and my problem has been going on for three or four years now.
The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

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johnny
Posts: 151
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Re: staying awake during meditation, non standard ideas welcome.

Post by johnny » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:54 pm

bodom wrote:If nothing is working and you have exhausted all methods and you are still nodding then just go take a nap. Listen to your body. The more you fight the more tired you will be.

:anjali:
well sir, i slept until ten a.m. and then tried too go too sleep at 9 p.m. and fell asleep for about an hour and a half and then was wide awake since my body was not tired. just wanted a nap. so i remembered our discussion and meditated. no sloth and torpor at all. i hit that sleep wall i was theorizing about. i got near too but not quite into jhana. in fact the wall was so insurmountable that i even laid down too go too sleep and couldn't at all, and that NEVER happens too me. so i kept meditating. a couple of times i got distracted but in the end i meditated while laying in bed for over an hour! so i think you were quite right, i need more sleep lol! and i always get eight or so, so i guess my body just likes a lot of rest!
The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only the electronic clocks but the wind-up kind too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again.
There was nothing I could do about it. As an Earthling I had to believe whatever clocks said -and calendars.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

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