With metta and much appreciation, thank you all for your replies.
I think I understand what you are saying, mettafuture. This is why I sit on a chair to meditate, though every so often I still try sitting on the floor/a cushion in one of the cross-legged positions. It comes down to I can either spend a lot of time generating and observing back pain without ever achieving deep concentration, or I can sit on a chair and do some real meditation.
Exactly. Just because sitting in the lotus position is the most popular position, and the position the Buddha himself used, doesn't mean it's the only
way one can sit.
Kenshou wrote:I don't know if it's too tied up in the breath for you, but I've found that simple mindfulness of the body is a very useful exercise. Simply being aware of the sense of space which you occupy and keeping your mindfulness there as you would with the breath. I tend to practice this in tandem with anapanasati, since they go well together, but mindfulness of the body has the advantage of being easily done in basically any circumstance, not confined to sitting meditation. In any case it does train your mindfulness and focus, which is what really matters.
I've done mindfulness of body. It's very relaxing, and it works well for easing tensions I didn't realize I had.
Goofaholix wrote:It depends on where you are at, and right now doing something else is probably the best thing for you as long as you are clear about why you are doing it.
For the last couple of weeks I've been focusing on just metta meditation, 4 elements meditation, and noting the 5 hindrances as they arise during these meditations. I truly feel I've made some progress, and practice has been a lot
My plan is to just stick with these meditations for the time being, and, when I finally have some vacation time, I'd like to go see a teacher and receive personal instruction on how to meditate on the kasinas.
I would have thought looking through your issues and facing up to your difficulties is what insight meditation is all about, but sometimes one needs to build strength of mind before doing that, sometime in the future you might find you naturally want to investigate this and you might find you gain a lot of insight as a result.
There's a difference between mental difficulties and physical difficulties though.
All the best,
Thank you, Geoff!
It's still a little breathy
, but I could give it another try.
Dan74 wrote:I am not sure if it bears mentioning, but it's really good practice to work on the Brahmaviharas - sila, rather than putting samadhi first. We, westerners, sometimes rush into meditation without some preparatory work. Basically if my life is a mess, sitting on the cushion is only going to reflect that, I found.
Yes! As lay followers, I think we probably should have learned some of the recollections and the Brahmaviharas first before Anapanasati. But, unfortunately, recollecting the qualities of devas and equanimity are hard to "sell" to a Western audience. Ugh...
Personally, I love recollecting the qualities of the Buddha and the devas. It's very soothing. But it's too bad there aren't many English language instructions on how to do this. I received instructions, but I could use a refresher. I'll worry about that later, though.