daverupa wrote:Take a break from seeking to have the meditation be one way or another. This dissatisfaction has arisen; find the causes for that hindrance, yes?
Digity wrote:I don't fully understand what's going on, but I feel like I've been backsliding in my sitting meditation. Before I could at least have a few sittings where I got fully concentrated on my breath. However, now it never happens. It's been like this for weeks and weeks. I just can't bring myself to concentrate on the breath. I would think with practice I'd get better at this, but it seems like I just can't do it...I can stay with the breath, but I can't get fully absorbed in it. I'm trying to play with the breath and stuff to see if that would help. Sometimes I get glimpses of getting back to that concentration, but it doesn't last long. Anyone experience this before? Any advice? Should I take break from meditating? I'm guessing not.
Digity wrote:I can stay with the breath, but I can't get fully absorbed in it.
The same holds true if you focus on keeping the breath in mind. Whether the breath is heavy or refined, simply be aware of it as it normally is. Don't set up any expectations. Don't force the breath to be like this or that. Keep your awareness with the breath, because in meditating by taking the breath as your preoccupation, you're not after the breath. The breath is simply something for the mind to hold to so that you can reach the real thing, just as when you follow the tracks of an ox: You're not after the tracks of the ox. You follow its tracks because you want to reach the ox. Here you're keeping track of the breath so as to reach the real thing: awareness. If you were to start out just by holding on to awareness, you wouldn't get any results, just as you wouldn't be sure of finding the ox if you simply went around looking for it. But if you follow its tracks, you're going to find it for sure. Your meditation word has to keep moving in. This is called following the tracks of the ox step by step until you reach the ox, or what knows: namely the mind.
manas wrote:Hi Digity,
while I also agree with letting go of expectations in a meditation session, in favour of just doing the practice to the best of your ability (while still remaining sensitive to what works and what doesn't so you can remember that), I also think that if a significant obstacle has arisen, it is ok to seek some guidance from a wise and experienced meditation teacher, who knows the terrain, has probably been where you are right now, and might be able to guide you through. Some make themselves available to talk over the phone.
manas wrote:So I will not advise regarding meditation itself, because I really think that is best left to an expert, and I mean someone who has mastered the method you are engaged in. But I will remind you (remind because I'm sure you already know the following) that 1. all of the Noble Eightfold Path, every single factor, matters a lot and we can always work on improving the other factors, regardless of how our meditation practice is faring at present. We 'western, intellectual types' often tend to be too overly focussed on the samma sati / samma samadhi limbs of the Path (as compared to the other six limbs), in what I think is a slightly unbalanced way (please note - I include myself in that admonishment, and I apologise for generalising ). 2. Virtue. I heard more than one meditation teacher say that most problems come not from wrong technique on the cushion, but from what we do off the cushion. Increase and purify Virtue, that can help. 3. Be kind to yourself.
marc108 wrote:We all go through those periods. Could you say specifically what's happening and describe your practice a bit?