Questions from a beginner

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Questions from a beginner

Postby StayFocused » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:01 am

I have been meditating for 3 months now, focusing on my breathing I usually meditate for about 30-60minutes depending on my mood sometimes I just get too anxious towards the 40min mark.

I can handle my mind wandering well by acknowledging my thoughts but I sometimes have a problem with intrusive thoughts that dont distract my ability to focus but just come and go by themselves not leaving me time to acknowledge them, is this okay? Will this go away?

Also can someone recomend a 2nd type of passive meditation such as body scanning, I am not after something spiritual but something that can benefit me cognitively.

Another problem I have is I cant help but slouch once I reach a relaxed state, I usually meditate lying down or in a chair, I know this is not ideal but even when I meditate in a normal sitting position my back arches and my chin drops as I drift off, if I try to stay very focused and alert I get anxious after a few minutes, this makes me wonder what is the correct way to meditate, to stay very focused on the breath or to focus lightly and relax?
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Re: Questions from a beginner

Postby justsit » Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:39 am

I posted this link in another thread earlier today, but you may find it useful as well.

There's a teaching about staying not too tight, not too loose. Try to maintain correct posture, even if it means shorter meditation periods. Frequent, short meditations are better than one long poor quality session.

And Rinpoche always says, Relax!
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Re: Questions from a beginner

Postby lobster » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:38 am

StayFocused wrote:y
Also can someone recomend a 2nd type of passive meditation such as body scanning, I am not after something spiritual but something that can benefit me cognitively.


Based on your posture, try yoga nidra
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoga-nidra
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Re: Questions from a beginner

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:40 am

It might be helpful for you to find someone to talk to about meditation. From what you have written I can't see any real problems but it might be good to be able to talk it over with someone in 'real space' (as distinct from 'cyberspace').

Don't be anxious about the period of time you sit for, or anything else. If you are anxious the important thing is to stay forucessed on the anxiety itself, to be aware of it without trying to justify it or judge it. 'Seeing things as they are' is an important part of the path. Everything has a story to tell if you know how to look at it.

If you experience discomfort, try and stay with that. Learning to put up with a bit of discomfort is another part of the path. The reason it is good to sit in the customary position is because it isn't too comfortable. It can seem really uncomfortable to begin with but a lot of that is in the mind. Like everything else, make the discomfort the subject of meditation.

I have written some brief instructions on meditation posture here. I hope you find them useful.

It is a discipline which takes patience and persistence, but if you can stay with it, it is well worthwhile.

' :namaste:
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: Questions from a beginner

Postby Simon E. » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:41 am

StayFocused wrote:I have been meditating for 3 months now, focusing on my breathing I usually meditate for about 30-60minutes depending on my mood sometimes I just get too anxious towards the 40min mark.

I can handle my mind wandering well by acknowledging my thoughts but I sometimes have a problem with intrusive thoughts that dont distract my ability to focus but just come and go by themselves not leaving me time to acknowledge them, is this okay? Will this go away?

Also can someone recomend a 2nd type of passive meditation such as body scanning, I am not after something spiritual but something that can benefit me cognitively.

Another problem I have is I cant help but slouch once I reach a relaxed state, I usually meditate lying down or in a chair, I know this is not ideal but even when I meditate in a normal sitting position my back arches and my chin drops as I drift off, if I try to stay very focused and alert I get anxious after a few minutes, this makes me wonder what is the correct way to meditate, to stay very focused on the breath or to focus lightly and relax?

Many find the kind of body scanning taught in Vipassana/Vipashnya useful. It should not be done without instruction however.
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Re: Questions from a beginner

Postby In the bone yard » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:49 pm

I guess the OP is gone since he has only one post! :smile:

One thing I see with those who really try to practice is attention to sitting but not much attention to the merit aspect.
Refraining from the 10 harmful acts is a basic beginning and will improve sitting practice.

The way society approaches the human spirit...it seems the theist is more merit based and the non-theist, more wisdom based.
It seems advantageous if society would stop looking at religious forms as segregation.

There's not much to be gained if we leave one out in favor of the other.
Both merit and wisdom are equally important.
I think many buddhist would learn a lot from the theists and vise versa.
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