Signs of wrong practice.

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
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nirmal
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Signs of wrong practice.

Postby nirmal » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:35 pm

Some signs that would indicate that there is wrong practice of meditation.

The selfish desire that others don't progress as fast as oneself.
The desire and longing for swift progress in meditation.
Laughing to oneself
Quick tempered, touchy and very sensitive.
Talking to oneself.
Crazy over gaining supernatural powers.
Tired and doing everything in a hurry including meditation.
Easily excited

Some people are easily excited by nature. Some could just be moody. I don't think having one sign alone is an indication of wrong practice.But prolonged signs are sure an indication of wrong practice.There could be many other signs of wrong practice.Kindly contribute and share.Thoughts welcomed?

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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

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nirmal
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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

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nirmal
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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

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nirmal
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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

Postby Tashi Nyima » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:48 am

One of my Teachers, when approached by some beginning meditators with excited reports of seeing lights and hearing sublime sounds, looked at them with profound compassion and said:

"Keep meditating. These things will go away."

Perhaps it is more helpful to focus on signs of proper post-meditation. Do you feel spontaneous compassion for others? Are you more tolerant? Are you more peaceful? Are you aware that all your perceptions are internal mental representations?

"Good meditation" is not a goal. It is merely a way.

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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

Postby Jnana » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:50 am


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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

Postby Adamantine » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:42 am

Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

Postby Tashi Nyima » Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:30 pm

Without getting overly technical, it is important to recognize that there is no direct perception in ordinary consciousness. Let us take the sound of a bell as an example. From a western scientific standpoint (which is not too different from the Buddhist understanding, putting aside for now the ultimate reality of the bell and the sound), when the clapper strikes the body of the bell, a vibration is generated. This vibration sets particles of air in motion, which in turn strike the cilia in the ear.

The subtle vibrations of the cilia are transmitted to the tympanic membrane, and then to the minuscule bones inside the ear. These vibrations then reach the auditory nerve. Now, the nerve does not have any other capacity than to 'fire' impulses of specific amplitude and frequency in particular sequences. This set of impulses reaches the brain, and the brain presents them to the mind. It is the mind that interprets the raw data of the nerve impulses, producing an internal mental event that we recognize as sound.

All sense perceptions are similar. Ultimately, all perceptions are mere internal mental events, whatever the sense organ that mediates them. From this brief and necessarily over-simplified account, we can easily deduce that the mental state of the perceiver has a significant and determinant influence on perceptions.

Agitation distorts perception. We've all had the experience, or have witnessed a similar occurrence in others, when we're frantically looking for something and cannot see it, even 'though it is in plain view. Perhaps it was a set of keys, or an important piece of paper, or our sunglasses.

We cannot see this object that is right in front of us, not because our sense organs (in this case, the eyes) are malfunctioning, but because our mind is agitated, distracted. The cause of the distraction can be an intense emotion, or the false belief (wrong view) that the object is elsewhere.

If we can regain our composure, the object becomes plainly visible.

Every one of our perceptions --how we "see" other sentient beings, objects, and ourselves-- is subject to this phenomenon: when the mind is agitated, we cannot perceive clearly.

What does this have to do with meditation? Everything!

Our minds are habitually agitated by attachment, aversion, and indifference. They are also grossly deluded by wrong views about ourselves and others. The combination of afflicted emotions and wrong views guarantees that our perceptions are --at best-- imprecise, and --at worst-- completely unreliable. Without peace and clarity, we cannot perceive correctly.

Shamatha (calm abiding) is the meditative approach to cultivate peace. Vipassanna (insight) is the meditative approach to cultivate clarity. Both are necessary.

Now, meditation is not undertaken for itself. It is not a goal. It is not even an 'experience' with intrinsic spiritual value. It is a means to remove the distortion caused by afflicted emotions and wrong views.

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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

Postby Dharma Atma » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:09 pm

Hi guys! I'd like to ask for an advise...
I've been practising shamatha about a year ago. The practice of mine was growing well and I perfectly felt it: I became more conscious, attentif in full sense of the word, calm; the progress started occuring in dreams, conscious dreams became more often guests in my sleep... The best of it was, I started to understand emptiness more and more deep, claire.
But after that some events had taken place in my life, so I had to stop practisine for a while.
Now I've decided to practise again, but I feel that my feeling of the shamatha process itself is somehow another. My concentration seems to be so weak that I can't even concentrate for 10 seconds...
Does anyone know how to "prepare" the mind for better concentration? Mine is so weak that I can't use shamatha to make it better. How's it possible to return the lost progress in practice?
Thank you d'avance :)

PS: Excuse me for my bad English. I live in Russia and use it very rarely (alas! last time it happened in August 2010).

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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

Postby meindzai » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:45 pm

When I read "wrong practice" for some reason this is the first image that popped into my head:
Image
"The Dharma is huge." - Rael

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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

Postby Tilopa » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:10 am

Spending too much time on internet forums!

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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

Postby ZenLem » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:16 pm


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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

Postby LastLegend » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:42 pm

Very good thread. Keep posting folks.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

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Dechen Norbu
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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:57 am

Hello there, Russian friend!

It's always a good idea to check diet, lifestyle and amount of sleep.
If you are eating too much, to little, incorrectly, if your life is too stressful or too lazy, too angry or too frivolous, and if you are sleeping too much or too little, try to fix these aspects. Lifestyle and sleep are usually the main reasons one's concentration goes down the drain (besides lack of practice). There's always the option of seeing a tibetan doctor or something. Usually they deal well with this sort of unbalances if that's the case.
That said, perhaps you should start again with very small sessions that you repeat as often as possible during the day, maybe preceded by some respiratory exercises when you can. Don't worry too much about the duration of the sessions. It's more important that for now you search "quality" over "quantity", without raising your expectations. Searching for quality doesn't mean getting anxious. All sessions are good sessions, even if the only progress is noticing how agitated/dull our mind is. The good news is that it can always be improved with persistence and good technique, so no worries.
Try to balance focus and relaxation, initially stressing relaxation a little more without becoming numb and keeping a good posture (while not getting overly concerned about this). When you start losing focus in the object of attention (breath, visualization or whatever it may be), give it a little jolt of clarity, sharpening attention without getting excited. It needs some experience to find balance, but unless something is going wrong anyone can do it. It's important you discover what's being the main obstacle to your practice. Agitation or torpor? Act accordingly to slowly overcome these hindrances.
Best advice is finding a good teacher, of course.

Good luck!

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Re: Signs of wrong practice.

Postby Pacific » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:20 am



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