You say you've been meditating for over 25 years. I'm trying to picture who I'm speaking (writing) to in order to understand your particular situation better. You must be somewhere in your mid 40s to mid 50s in age, then. That is old enough for you to begin putting two and two together, and examining your direct experience with more wisdom (self-honesty) and reflection.
I like the suggestions that Nyana and acinteyyo have provided you. The latter having said:
"I would say it's just craving, grasping for pleasurable feelings,
desire. When we let go of gross forms
of pleasure like material possessions, wealth and so on our mind tends to grasp for more subtle forms of pleasurable feelings. Be mindful,
... Always remember finally we don't practice because this or that technique is beautiful or this or that tradition acts or speaks about something we like, we want to cut through defilements and understand suffering in order to get rid off it."Nyana:
I'd suggest simplifying things to their basic components as mental qualities, i.e. the mental qualities of calm (samatha) and insight (vipassanā).
All aspects of Buddhist samādhi are included within the development of samatha and the development of vipassanā....
The purpose of developing samatha is to abandon the hindrances and thereby compose the mind.
The purpose of developing vipassanā is to eliminate the fetters and thereby attain liberation from samsāra.Beautiful Breath:
So for example, I have been reading some Ajahn Cha today. Beautiful, so clear and inspiring. Reminds me with a warm feeling of the shrines and altars I saw I the small villages in Thailand. Looking forward to learning more of the chanting I do when visiting my local group. Then in a breath I find myself in Zen Land for no reason other than a brief thought about something I saw on a video about a Zen Monastery in the US. Then I am seduced again by the simplicity of Zen and its intimate relationship with nature...Nyana:
Sounds to me like thoughts and memories. Thoughts and memories can be thieves that rob us of sammāsamādhi.
Beautiful Breath wrote:Its not so much of a contradiction - on the contrary, I can see a parallel through all traditions - its the feeling compelled to immerse in one or the other that's the problem.
Perhaps you need to explore more deeply (through insight) this "feeling" compelling you to immerse in one or the other, as that
is the cause of the ambivalent position you find yourself in. Clear that up, and everything associated with it in your mind will automatically clear up. See?
Both practices have you aimed in the same direction. There is no difference, for all practical purposes. And yet, why you can't see that, and everyone here can is beyond us!
can set yourself free of this delusion! So, get to work.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV