Share meditation tips here

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Coyote
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Re: Share meditation tips here

Post by Coyote » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:10 am

One perception that has helped me in meditation practice, but also generally when applying Buddhist teaching, is that our seemingly immutable tenancies will and do pass if we wait patiently. They are not something that is mine or myself, and they come and go of their own accord. Seeing this for myself, and understanding that it is not inevitable to get caught up in them has been a valuable insight. "It will pass" can be a useful mantra/noting tool.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

binocular
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Re: Share meditation tips here

Post by binocular » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:45 pm

alan wrote:How have you integrated sitting into your life, and overcome difficulties? Any advice for becoming more motivated? This is the place to share.
I'm operating on the basis that motivation is key. Please no comments about just sitting without a goal--That's like an unhealthy person who goes to the gym and just observes. Bare attention of the weights won't help. You need to lift them!
I used to sit a lot. Then the competitive spirit took over (ie. I ended up sitting longer and longer, exerting myself more and more) - and then things just broke down, and I became completely unable to sit at all. It's hard to describe. "Meditation burnout" may be a good term.

It has taken me several years to even just begin to get comfortable with the idea of small steps and graduality. Apparently, in my first bout of meditation, I skipped over that, and doing so backfired terribly.
So now, I am basically learning to walk. Although, it's more like learning to crawl at this point.
Listening to some Dhamma talks, reading a bit, journaling, constructive problem solving, introducing new habits/contents into my life. I've actually looked up some books on parenting, and I am now trying to parent myself. Learning different didactic styles - when to be firm, when to be nice, when to reward, when to distract, and so on, without being attached to a particular didactic style. Checking my basic assumptions about things such as planning, schedules, motivation, trying to understand fears and aversions related to them.
Trying to just do things - just wash the dishes, just work in the garden, and each times trying to push myself a bit, making an effort to work with more precision and faster (yes, the idea of the able archer who can shoot arrows with precision and in rapid succession can be applied to ironing shirts or pulling weeds). A little focus on the breath here and there, until it becomes too uncofmortable to do so. Becoming comfortable with having a private matter. Becoming comfortable with holding my ground in regard to other people.
Coming to the point of being comfortable with not calling myself a Buddhist nor being eager to be considered one has helped a lot.

Coyote wrote:One perception that has helped me in meditation practice, but also generally when applying Buddhist teaching, is that our seemingly immutable tenancies will and do pass if we wait patiently. They are not something that is mine or myself, and they come and go of their own accord. Seeing this for myself, and understanding that it is not inevitable to get caught up in them has been a valuable insight. "It will pass" can be a useful mantra/noting tool.
Except that sometimes, some things take just too long to pass on their own. So one has to take a more proactive approach.
If your own problems are of the kind that they go away on their own within a foreseeable time if you just let them - more power to you, I guess.
Mine are not.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

Coyote
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Re: Share meditation tips here

Post by Coyote » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:01 pm

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Binocular. I myself have experienced that it is necessary to learn to walk (or crawl) before running, so as to avoid backfiring.
binocular wrote: Except that sometimes, some things take just too long to pass on their own. So one has to take a more proactive approach.
If your own problems are of the kind that they go away on their own within a foreseeable time if you just let them - more power to you, I guess.
Mine are not.
Of course. I was talking about those tenancies that come up in meditation then go away fairly quickly - towards ill-will, lust, sense-desire, boredom ect. Just seeing for yourself their transitory nature can be quite inspiring.
With those issues that may be with us for our entire life metta to yourself and acceptance is the advice I have read from those teachers who I greatly respect. Laying the foundation for or actually implementing a more proactive approach is of course an important part of the path. But burnout and frustration can follow if we have not accepted the fact that we may be stuck for many years or even lifetimes with certain tenancies. IMO.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

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tiltbillings
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Re: Share meditation tips here

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:45 pm

alan wrote:Going to the gym and watching the weights--even with mindfulness--will not make you stronger. You have to pick up the damn things yourself. For me, "Bare attention" was a waste of time. I'm taking a more active approach now.
Given your "watching the weights" comment it is obvious you do not understand what bare attention is as a practice.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

alan
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Re: Share meditation tips here

Post by alan » Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:25 pm

Passive observance was not thought in the suttas, and has not worked for me. Pretty sure I understand it--it's been tried and rejected.

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Zenainder
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Re: Share meditation tips here

Post by Zenainder » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:02 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
alan wrote:Going to the gym and watching the weights--even with mindfulness--will not make you stronger. You have to pick up the damn things yourself. For me, "Bare attention" was a waste of time. I'm taking a more active approach now.
Given your "watching the weights" comment it is obvious you do not understand what bare attention is as a practice.
Splitting hairs here. :lol: He means I will not grow in strength at the gym by watching the weights. In the case for meditation, how does one inspire oneself to "grow in mindfulness (stronger mindfullness)", so that if he were at the gym how could he be mindful of those weights he's watching? ;-) *sarcasm disclaimer*

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Zenainder
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Re: Share meditation tips here

Post by Zenainder » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:24 pm

To answer the question:

Speaking from my relative state this is what inspires me:
1. Liberation.
a. It's freeing being simply aware, as opposed to constantly engaged and entangled.
b. It's freeing to see the temporal nature of existence.
c. The emptiness of a still mind is equanimous.
d. It's refreshing to sit, do nothing, and expect nothing. Only be present.

If you struggle with your practice the greatest tool is curiosity. I also recommend emptying yourself of concepts and goals --- saves one from frustration. Simply sit and be mindful. Nibanna is emptiness / obliteration, it's essentially "nothing", so having no concepts or goals when I sit has only assisted my practice. "You can't find the beat until you lose yourself in it" as they say.

Hope that helps!

Metta,

Zen

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tiltbillings
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Re: Share meditation tips here

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:39 pm

Zenainder wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
alan wrote:Going to the gym and watching the weights--even with mindfulness--will not make you stronger. You have to pick up the damn things yourself. For me, "Bare attention" was a waste of time. I'm taking a more active approach now.
Given your "watching the weights" comment it is obvious you do not understand what bare attention is as a practice.
Splitting hairs here. :lol: He means I will not grow in strength at the gym by watching the weights. In the case for meditation, how does one inspire oneself to "grow in mindfulness (stronger mindfullness)", so that if he were at the gym how could he be mindful of those weights he's watching? ;-) *sarcasm disclaimer*
He could mean all that, or he could be simply attacking the idea of bare attention as being a useless meditation practice.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Zenainder
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Re: Share meditation tips here

Post by Zenainder » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:54 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Zenainder wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Given your "watching the weights" comment it is obvious you do not understand what bare attention is as a practice.
Splitting hairs here. :lol: He means I will not grow in strength at the gym by watching the weights. In the case for meditation, how does one inspire oneself to "grow in mindfulness (stronger mindfullness)", so that if he were at the gym how could he be mindful of those weights he's watching? ;-) *sarcasm disclaimer*
He could mean all that, or he could be simply attacking the idea of bare attention as being a useless meditation practice.
Maybe. I prefer to assume the best I suppose. :woohoo:

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tiltbillings
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Re: Share meditation tips here

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:14 pm

Zenainder wrote:
Maybe. I prefer to assume the best I suppose.
One would hope that Alan would not gratuitously attack and so egregiously misrepresent the practice of bare attention by equating it to sitting a gymnasium and merely watching the weights. I am sure he would not do so.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

inpractice
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Re: Share meditation tips here

Post by inpractice » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:08 pm

Sit, concentrate on my breath, and persistently doing it without giving time limit. Before I start meditating, I already prepare myself and everything else so there is no disturbance while meditating. If there is any disturbance, try not to be upset, or meditate another time

SarathW
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Re: Share meditation tips here

Post by SarathW » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:23 am

§ 97. Fire. Monks, on occasions when the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to develop serenity as a factor for Awakening, concentration as a factor for Awakening, equanimity as a factor for Awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is hard to raise up by those mental qualities. Just as if a man, wanting to make a small fire blaze up, were to place wet grass in it, wet cow dung, & wet sticks; were to give it a spray of water and smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would make the small fire blaze up?

No, lord.

In the same way, when the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to develop serenity as a factor for Awakening, concentration as a factor for Awakening, equanimity as a factor for Awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is hard to raise up by those mental qualities.

Now, on occasions when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to develop analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening, persistence as a factor for Awakening, rapture as a factor for Awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is easy to raise up by those mental qualities. Just as if a man, wanting to make a small fire blaze up, were to place dry grass in it, dry cow dung, & dry sticks; were to blow on it with his mouth and not smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would make the small fire blaze up?

Yes, lord.

In the same way, when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to develop analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening, persistence as a factor for Awakening, rapture as a factor for Awakening...

Now, on occasions when the mind is restless, that is the wrong time to develop analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening, persistence as a factor for Awakening, rapture as a factor for Awakening. Why is that? The restless mind is hard to calm down with those mental qualities. Just as if a man, wanting to put out a large fire, were to place dry grass in it, dry cow dung, & dry sticks; were to blow on it with his mouth and not smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would put it out?

No, lord.

In the same way, when the mind is restless, that is the wrong time to develop analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening, persistence as a factor for Awakening, rapture as a factor for Awakening...

Now, on occasions when the mind is restless, that is the right time to develop serenity as a factor for Awakening, concentration as a factor for Awakening, equanimity as a factor for Awakening. Why is that? The restless mind is easy to calm down with those mental qualities. Just as if a man, wanting to put out a large fire, were to place wet grass in it, wet cow dung, & wet sticks; were to give it a spray of water and smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would put it out?

Yes, lord.

In the same way, when the mind is restless, that is the right time to develop serenity as a factor for Awakening, concentration as a factor for Awakening, equanimity as a factor for Awakening. Why is that? The restless mind is easy to calm down with those mental qualities.

As for mindfulness, I tell you, that is beneficial everywhere.

— SN 46.53
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... part2.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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