What to do - when i have no power to meditate

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What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby purple planet » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:22 pm

I have decided i want to make a strong effort to meditate a lot during the day - whenever i have spare time - allmost like a home retreat

When i go to meditate and i am overwhelmed by a defilement - and i just CANT CONTINUE to meditate and be equanimity with it and even "sticking through" :

i was wandering what is best thing to do next (notice i dont look for a solution like "lower the meditation time") ? something like : go to sleep maybe until i have power to meditate ? go for a walk until i have power to meditate ?
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby daverupa » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:13 pm

Do unremitting satipatthana. Let seated meditation simply be a particular way of doing satipatthana, the way walking is another way, eating still another way, and going to sleep yet another.

We can call seated meditation anapanasati and note that it facilitates jhana, which is why it seems special, but it's all using satipatthana as the foundation, so focus there.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:04 pm

There are several things that you can do to brighten the mind:
  1. Go for a walk (but not where you might meet distracting sights and sounds)
  2. Take a shower and do some chores such as washing clothes or house-work
  3. Recite some suttas that you have learnt by heart
  4. Listen to a Dhamma talk
  5. Gaze at the sky (especially useful if it's night and there's a bright moon to look at).
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby waterchan » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:54 pm

Switch it up! Do some walking meditation, it can be refreshing and your mind is too dull for sitting meditation. It seems that a lot of people look down on walking meditation, viewing it as a lesser form of meditation. The Buddha did a lot of walking meditation.
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:15 pm

I have always liked this little passage from Ajahn Sucitto's book Kalyana:

We may feel that meditation is something that we can't do. However, that thought is not a skilful thought to sustain. Meditation entails first removing mental activities from what is unskilful; this gives the openness and energy to focus and sustain the mind on a meditation object. So, let's get to know what Right Thought feels like. "Every good action, or every good thought I bear in mind will go along the right Path." This feels like a skilful thought to sustain: it leads to an interested joyfulness, then a sense of ease and fulfillment. "My act of peeling a carrot with a caring heart will help me to meditate" "My action of forgiving someone or being grand-hearted, will give me calm and ease." This direct good-heartedness is the means that gives us the strength, the persistence and confidence to stay with the Path as it unfolds.
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby Babadhari » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:29 pm

i would like to ask a question regarding the Mahasi method .
is the constant noting in sitting meditation mentally tiring in comparison to other methods of vipassana?
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Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby purple planet » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:57 pm

all comments are great - ok my comments -

i do walking meditation - my sitting meditation is very easy - almost non-existing (at this time sometimes its the opposite it seems one time the walking is hard and sometimes its the sitting) but the walking is the problem now its not mentally tiring - its just when defilement come its hard to continue "tiredness" "worry" "doubt" ect ...

Gaze at the sky (especially useful if it's night and there's a bright moon to look at).


thats the first time i hear about this its very interesting i wonder how it works

Sam Vara that is my MAIN thing im trying to figure out - to be sure that each mindfulness moment is useful - but im still not convinced of it - after all the reading of the importance of continues awerness

I will give it another shot trying to keep mindfulness during regular actions after meditation - although after this failed attempts - i usually am feeling very un-motivated
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby Babadhari » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:12 pm

hi purpleplanet

do you relax yourself before meditation, walking or sitting? try some stretches, have a shower, listen to a dhamma talk, release the pressure and perhaps mindfulness will arise easily.
good luck and stay strong
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby waterchan » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:12 pm

kitztack wrote:i would like to ask a question regarding the Mahasi method .
is the constant noting in sitting meditation mentally tiring in comparison to other methods of vipassana?


If you find it tiring then you might be needlessly attaching words to the feelings that arise while noting. Just stay with the feeling for what it is, rather than attaching a label to it such as "pain" or "cold" or "sitting".

You're supposed to note, not mentally verbalize the feelings by literally twice attaching a word like "anger, anger" in your mind, although that might be helpful for beginning meditators. When I read the English translation of the Mahasi method, I thought "My god, people are going to take this too literally." Some features of the Burmese vernacular seem to have been directly carried over. When Burmese people express a sustained sensation or action, it's common to say the feeling twice.

Say you were sitting in a car on a 35 degrees (Celsius) day and complaining about the heat. An English speaker might comment, "He's complaining that it's hot." In Burmese, one would literally say, "He's complaining that it's hot, it's hot," which implies that the heat is persistent and still quite relevant.

Similarly, the point of Mahasi Sayadaw telling you to note feelings in pairs such as "anger, anger" or "pain, pain" is to sustain mindfulness on the feeling and stay with it, instead of running from it or getting distracted.

I might have digressed, but I thought it important to point this out.
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby kirk5a » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:03 am

If you practice being wakeful you will not need any additional motivation. That's the foundation of all the positive qualities right there.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby SarathW » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:16 am

Do not consider meditation is another chore of our life.
It is just a way of life.
When you have defilement, just be aware of it.
:shrug:
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby culaavuso » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:30 am

The Four Noble Truths by Ajahn Chah
Ajahn Chah wrote:Some people say that they have so much work to do they have no time to practice the Dhamma. ''What can we do?'' they ask. I ask them, ''Don't you breathe while you're working?'' ''Yes, of course we breathe!'' ''So how come you have time to breathe when you're so busy?'' They don't know what to answer. ''If you simply have sati while working you will have plenty of time to practice.''
Practicing meditation is just like breathing. While working we breathe, while sleeping we breathe, while sitting down we breathe... Why do we have time to breathe? Because we see the importance of the breath, we can always find time to breathe. In the same way, if we see the importance of meditation practice we will find the time to practice.


purple planet wrote:When i go to meditate and i am overwhelmed by a defilement - and i just CANT CONTINUE to meditate and be equanimity with it and even "sticking through"


It might still be possible to be mindful and aware of what desires are creating that feeling, how it feels, and what intentions are resulting from that feeling. Even if the process seems to have too much momentum it may be possible to observe the process and learn about what contributes to it and how it works.
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby SarathW » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:33 am

Perhaps this may some help as well:
Many Westerners first encounter the Buddha's teachings on meditation retreats, which typically begin with instructions in how to develop the skillful qualities of right mindfulness and right concentration. It is worth noting that, as important as these qualities are, the Buddha placed them towards the very end of his gradual course of training. The meaning is clear: to reap the most benefit from meditation practice, to bring to full maturity all the qualities needed for Awakening, the fundamental groundwork must not be overlooked. There is no short-cutting this process.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby alan » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:15 am

Identify the defilement.
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby pegembara » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:04 am

Have you tried to use body movements as a focal point instead of breathing which actually a more subtle body movement?

eg. Rhythmic Movements - mahasati

http://www.mahasati.org/manual--3.htm
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:23 am

purple planet wrote:I have decided i want to make a strong effort to meditate a lot during the day - whenever i have spare time - allmost like a home retreat

When i go to meditate and i am overwhelmed by a defilement - and i just CANT CONTINUE to meditate and be equanimity with it and even "sticking through" :

i was wandering what is best thing to do next (notice i dont look for a solution like "lower the meditation time") ? something like : go to sleep maybe until i have power to meditate ? go for a walk until i have power to meditate ?


I didn't read the whole thread, so I don't if anyone mentioned this. It's possible that the problem is that you are forcing yourself to do this, as if an external agent was forcing you to do something. No wonder you don't feel motivated. Therefore, each time you start meditating change your mindset to "I'm going to do this for my happiness. I'm going to do this with metta from myself towards myself _ not by self obligation."

EDIT: Remembering the other thread about your questions regarding jhana and vipassana, it's very likely that you have an aproach to practice of "I should do this. I shouldn't do that." Like a sort of moral obligation. That, in my experience, is not helpful at all. You do the practice because it's useful to your happiness and the end of your suffering. And it will end up being somewhat useful to other people's happiness and end of suffering too.

This "I should" makes no sense because it's an obligation. You don't need to force yourself to do the practice out of "I should". The practice, if done out of kindness to yourself, will be pleasant and it will lead to happiness. It's the same idea as in the other thread: there's nothing wrong with searching for your personal happiness for your own interest. After all that's what we all do _ wether we recognise it or not. Since you have a skillful way of doing it, do it for your enjoyment.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby Kasina » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:54 pm

This: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IFvablc6EI

Always, always, always helps me settle down for sitting meditation.

Metta, Josh.
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"This world completely lacks essence;
It trembles in all directions.
I longed to find myself a place
Unscathed — but I could not see it."


Sn 4.15 PTS: Sn 935-951 "Attadanda Sutta: Arming Oneself"

"You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go... This is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life..."

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Re: What to do - when i have no power to meditate

Postby Kasina » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:58 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
purple planet wrote:I have decided i want to make a strong effort to meditate a lot during the day - whenever i have spare time - allmost like a home retreat

When i go to meditate and i am overwhelmed by a defilement - and i just CANT CONTINUE to meditate and be equanimity with it and even "sticking through" :

i was wandering what is best thing to do next (notice i dont look for a solution like "lower the meditation time") ? something like : go to sleep maybe until i have power to meditate ? go for a walk until i have power to meditate ?


I didn't read the whole thread, so I don't if anyone mentioned this. It's possible that the problem is that you are forcing yourself to do this, as if an external agent was forcing you to do something. No wonder you don't feel motivated. Therefore, each time you start meditating change your mindset to "I'm going to do this for my happiness. I'm going to do this with metta from myself towards myself _ not by self obligation."

EDIT: Remembering the other thread about your questions regarding jhana and vipassana, it's very likely that you have an aproach to practice of "I should do this. I shouldn't do that." Like a sort of moral obligation. That, in my experience, is not helpful at all. You do the practice because it's useful to your happiness and the end of your suffering. And it will end up being somewhat useful to other people's happiness and end of suffering too.

This "I should" makes no sense because it's an obligation. You don't need to force yourself to do the practice out of "I should". The practice, if done out of kindness to yourself, will be pleasant and it will lead to happiness. It's the same idea as in the other thread: there's nothing wrong with searching for your personal happiness for your own interest. After all that's what we all do _ wether we recognise it or not. Since you have a skillful way of doing it, do it for your enjoyment.

:goodpost:
"This world completely lacks essence;
It trembles in all directions.
I longed to find myself a place
Unscathed — but I could not see it."


Sn 4.15 PTS: Sn 935-951 "Attadanda Sutta: Arming Oneself"

"You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go... This is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life..."

Wilbur Mercer in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
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