Have you thought about giving yourself some direction before you sit down to meditate? In other words, during this meditation, "I'm going to focus on accomplishing this or that." The "this or that" may be increasing your concentration; it may be endeavoring to stay with your meditation object without losing sight of it, or without unnoticed losing sight of it. In other words, have a "game plan" to challenge yourself with before your begin your sit. Have a goal that relates to some ability that you want to develop and cultivate.
This helps to begin establishing mindfulness before
you sit to meditate. It is important to establish mindfulness first, then everything else during your sit will have a tendency to go more smoothly, and you will be able to actually begin accomplishing some things that you have set as goals to achieve rather than just fighting a tendency to nod off or space out.
Zimesky wrote:My meditation has lately been proceeding like this lately:
...About 20 minutes In I start to lose focus.
My mind seems to get caught up in a cycle of Sloth/Torpor/Lethargy, I'm honestly not sure which one.
My mind almost seems to wander away from the breath without me even noticing.
These are all indicators of a lack of sati
(mindfulness). You might find some interesting suggestions for overcoming these hindrances in this thread
. Look at / read the first six posts for some suggestions for increasing mindfulness.
Zimesky wrote:I'll get stuck up in a waking-lucid dream play, or start seeing vivid images. The last one I had when I was sitting, and my mind was creating the imagery of the room I was in as if I had my eyes open (not assuming this is in anyway the divine eye, or whatever, fyi...). Anyways, this goes on for a time and then seemingly all by itself, my awareness or mindfulness becomes briefly very acute, and alert. This is often times accompanied with comfortable tingling sensations. I try to be indifferent to it, and focus on my breath. Not long after this happens though, I'll drift back into a phase where I have great difficulty concentrating.
Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated.
If you get to the point where you are experiencing the pleasant tingling sensations, endeavor to explore that pleasant state more. What you will inevitably find, in time, is that this can lead the mind into an absorption state where concentration becomes centered around that pleasant sensation. Regular practice in being able to reach and maintain absorption states can help you to increase your level of concentration. Once you are able to settle into a concentrated state of mind on a regular basis (over several sittings), then you are ready to begin exploring insight meditation objects.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV