Waking up and Mediatating

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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Waking up and Mediatating

Postby Collective » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:18 am

Most of the time, I wake up feeling refreshed, and relaxed. It feels difficult to sit for 20 minutes and relax because I already am. I know feeling relaxed whilst meditating is only the part of it, but it seesm so unecessary.

Any tips, anyone feel this way? It's almost as if being asked to meditate for 20 minutes after you've just meditated for 20 minutes.

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Re: Waking up and Mediatating

Postby Ben » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:44 am

the object of Buddhist meditation is not to feel relaxed.
Maybe you need to look at your motivation. If it is relaxation you want, then perhaps you should do something that promotes that such as yoga or a massage or some new age meditations. On the other hand, having spent some money on a meditation kit, you should commit to the program for awhile and then assess its benefits.
kind regards

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Waking up and Mediatating

Postby Guy » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:07 pm

Hi Collective,

Being physically relaxed is definitely a good starting point in meditation but, like Ben has suggested, there is much more on offer than that. In my own meditation practice I usually start off by paying attention to the body and seeing what it needs - i.e. making sure my arms and legs are in a comfortable position, my back is neither too tense nor too lax, seeing if any parts of the body are tense or painful and just sending those parts some Metta. Once the body is taken care of I establish the mind in the present moment (through the same attitude I give to the body - i.e. paying attention and being kind) then I move on to the meditation object - usually Mindfulness of Breathing (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.118.than.html).

This is just one way you can meditate (and even the Anapanasati Sutta has thousands of different interpretations). I would argue that as long as you are developing the Seven Factors For Awakening (as described in the Anapanasati Sutta) then you are doing something right. If this is the case then stick with whatever method it is that works for you.

With Metta,

Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

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Re: Waking up and Mediatating

Postby Collective » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:30 pm

Thank you both for the advice :namaste:

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Re: Waking up and Mediatating

Postby baratgab » Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:39 pm

I'm not sure how do you define this "relaxed" state. If you define it with the inspiration, urge or craving to do something rather than sitting, than it is possible that what you have is actually the hindrance called "restlessness". Funny, but I think it's not so hard to mistake restlessness for positive states, because in our modern thinking good mood is generally associated with activity.

From a Buddhist, especially meditative, point of view, the urge to activity (and consequently, the difficulty with meditation) arise from the mental state of dissatisfaction: we feel the need to do things, to get things or to become something because we are not satisfied with how we feel, what we have or who we are. With other words: doing, getting or becoming is a way to the mind to escape from the current conditions. I guess this is pretty much logical even from a secular viewpoint, just people don't really think about things like this, because the paradigm of compulsory activity and sense-pleasures is completely accepted and dominant.

So, in the sphere of "meditation", there is probably a lot more experience in the direction of happiness — and, consequently, in the direction of insight, and in the direction of losing the process what we call "I". For example, if you read the Cula-dukkhakkhandha Sutta (The Lesser Mass of Suffering):

"'In that case, Niganthas, I will question you in return. Answer as you like. What do you think: Can King Seniya Bimbisara of Magadha — without moving his body, without uttering a word — dwell sensitive to unalloyed pleasure for seven days & nights?'

"'No, friend."

"'... for six days & nights... for five days & nights... for a day & a night?'

"'No, friend."

"'Now, I — without moving my body, without uttering a word — can dwell sensitive to unalloyed pleasure for a day and a night... for two days & nights... for three... four... five... six... seven days & nights. So what do you think: That being the case, who dwells in greater pleasure: King Seniya Bimbisara of Magadha or me?'

"'That being the case, venerable Gotama dwells in greater pleasure than King Seniya Bimbisara of Magadha.'"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

If you are interested, you can read about the hindrances, for example, on the following pages:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el026.html

"Just as in the great ocean there is but one taste — the taste of salt — so in this Doctrine and Discipline there is but one taste — the taste of freedom"

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