Meditation is hard...

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
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anjali
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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby anjali » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:59 am

All things are unworthy of clinging to (sabbe dhammā nâla abhinivesāyā). --Shakyamuni Buddha
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain. --Gendun Rinpoche

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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby Grigoris » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:58 pm

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby Jeff » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:59 pm


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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:24 pm

On the candle thing, personally a visual focal point is the easiest object for me, I don't think it matters what you choose, as long as you can focus on it one-pointed and not reflect on it, so make it something that doesn't swell your emotions etc. I think in at least some traditions that using an "outer object" visually is considered a bit easier than the breath. Don't try too hard, just pick an object, set it front of you, gaze at it for a while until you can feel your mind starting to drift and involve with thoughts, and keep pulling it back to the object when it does. Personally, if it were me I wouldn't bother with anything involving visualization if the concentration isn't in place..I have no idea if that is the standard approach, just my (limited) experience.

No idea about the merit or lack thereof with the animal and all that..if I were in your shoes i'd just keep trying to meditate personally, but without any great hope of advancement, just put in the time, do your best, and try to let go of looking for results all the time.. persistence pays off some times, and is a good thing of and within itself IMO. The way i'm coming to see it, the times that meditation "fails", the times where it brings up nasty stuff..all of that is part of the process.

Then again I don't know squat, and am just going off personal experience, so take with a bag of salt. Would be best if you could get even a small bit of time with a teacher or spiritual friend, even one or two sessions with a good teacher can help with confusion like this I think.
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Sara H
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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby Sara H » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:28 pm

I just gotta say,..

Every time I see the title of this post, "Meditation is hard..."

It makes me laugh. :twothumbsup:

Lol

Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy

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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby 5heaps » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:22 am


Matticus
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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby Matticus » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:44 pm

Does anyone have any advice on how to correct a dreamy meditation state? It's really hard for me to describe accurately, other than It's like I'm in a waking dream. Much like actual dreams It's difficult to actually control whats going on. It's really difficult to bring my mind back to being mindfull on the current meditation. Like dragging a boat through thick muddy water. Sometimes it happens only a few minutes into meditation, usually further/ later in the session though. Does this mean I've actually fallen asleep, or is something else going on? Any advice on this subject would be incedibly appreciated!

I also just want to say how thankfull I am for all the advice already given here!

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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:52 pm

"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby Matticus » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:10 am

I'll most definitely give these a try sir, thanks for the input. On a sort of side note, I heard that meditating outside around 4:30 in the morning is really helpufll. Supposedly trees switch back over to producing massive amounts of fresh air during this time and it's very beneficial for meditation. Any personal experiences?

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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby 5heaps » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:22 pm

there are the 9 stages of meditation, 10 if you include stage 0
at stage 0 the person suffers from "lethargy" which is a heavy feeling in the mind that prevents you from decisively distinguishing the object.
stage 1 starts when lethargy is overcome and there is a clear and decisive intention to find and stay on the object, and then actually managing to do that, even briefly.
stage 2 is when, through doing this repeatedly, you can then decisively distinguish and intend to stay on the object, succeed in moving to the object with conviction, and then actually stay there for some extended duration of time (say, 20-30 full seconds)

general over stimulation of the senses and in particular extended computer use produce lethargy...you have to get used to just sitting quietly and doing things that promote the mind being light and fresh

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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:30 pm


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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby DGA » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:11 am


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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby Matticus » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:39 pm


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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:05 pm


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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:21 pm

"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby 5heaps » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:58 pm


philji
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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby philji » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:53 pm

My teacher gave us a series of 1 month meditations
1 visual object
2 breath
3 mantra
4 international visualisation of object focused on in month 1 etc.
And others which are more detailed.
But a 1 month focus...maybe 10 mins aday is quite doable I find... You can change the object of focus.

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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby Ramon1920 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:03 pm

Matticus, visualizations have to be cultivated over long periods of time before they become clear and stable. If you are distracted all the time by the 5 hindrances then your visualization might not develop at all. I'm not speaking from experience here, just repeating what I've read in reliable texts.

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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby Matticus » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:39 pm

Torpor and Lethargy are definitely a large hindrance in my practice atm. It's really annoying. I mostly try to improve my Anapana practice at the moment, and it gets vary hard to stay focused on the breath. The Lethargy kind of comes and goes in waves too, it'll settle away and I'll be able to focus, and then I'll slowly drift off again into a sludgy haze. Sometimes without even realizing it.

Also, the prospect of finding a good teacher is an issue I wrestle with as well. I'm reading "Autobiography Of a Yogi" atm, and while not exactly Buddhist in nature, it's a story about the Guru-Disciple relationship. I do indeed yearn to meet a teacher that's well accomplished in cultivation work and wisdom. Finding a highly attained teacher like Shri Yukteswar, or Master Nan Hai Jin doesn't seem to be that likely in the middle of Nebraska, and I don't have much money to travel to India or Asia. I'm also terrified of the "New Age" crowd. Running around with crystals and droaning on about auras isn't really my bag. There are so many people out there willing to claim they Spiritual accomplishment and are will teach you, not having a CLUE about what they're talking about.

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Re: Meditation is hard...

Postby anjali » Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:10 am

All things are unworthy of clinging to (sabbe dhammā nâla abhinivesāyā). --Shakyamuni Buddha
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain. --Gendun Rinpoche


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