Bad meditating

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Bad meditating

Postby zamotcr » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:03 pm

Hello!

I always have problems keeping with my meditation. Sometimes I meditate every day in a week, then I drop it for months, and restart again, two days a week, etc.

I'm proposing me to start slowly, perhaps two days per week. I would like to know, how often is good to meditate at minimum. It's too low to meditate only two days or it is good to start?

My idea is to add days over time, when I'm more engaged with it.
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Re: Bad meditating

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:18 pm

If it's important to you you'll do it, if not you won't.

Ideally you should do it every day, often the best way is to get up half an hour before everyone else or half an hour before you need to to go to work.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Bad meditating

Postby culaavuso » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:29 pm

zamotcr wrote:I would like to know, how often is good to meditate at minimum. It's too low to meditate only two days or it is good to start?

My idea is to add days over time, when I'm more engaged with it.


Whatever you can sustain. Pushing yourself too hard can result in abandoning the practice, which is worse than a steady sustained practice. Over time, as you become more comfortable with the practice, it may feel natural to increase the frequency or duration.

AN 6.55
AN 6.55: Sona Sutta wrote:In the same way, Sona, over-aroused persistence leads to restlessness, overly slack persistence leads to laziness. Thus you should determine the right pitch for your persistence, attune the pitch of the [five] faculties [to that], and there pick up your theme.
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Re: Bad meditating

Postby Mkoll » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:01 pm

:goodpost:
Peace,
James
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Re: Bad meditating

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:20 pm

zamotcr wrote:Hello!

I always have problems keeping with my meditation. Sometimes I meditate every day in a week, then I drop it for months, and restart again, two days a week, etc.

I'm proposing me to start slowly, perhaps two days per week. I would like to know, how often is good to meditate at minimum. It's too low to meditate only two days or it is good to start?

My idea is to add days over time, when I'm more engaged with it.

Why don't you try to meditate while sat with nothing to do each day and build from there?
I would however recommend that you practice daily for 10 minutes and stick to it.

Regards
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Re: Bad meditating

Postby Sokehi » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:14 pm

I once heard or have seen a talk by ven. Ajahn Brahm about how to get motivated towards formal meditation practice and I found his advice quite helpful. So say you have been meditating for some time, 30 minutes or whatever, and when you finished notice conciously how you feel after meditating. Most probably you will feel a bit better, more at ease, calm and rested. Note this every time, what you feel like and the benefit it gave you. So to develop over time a more positive attitude toward your formal sitting and eventually you see it more as something enjoyable or even fun thing to do. If your attitude towards your practice is like "I have to meditate since I'm a meditator!" or "I haven't sat down for a couple of weeks I'm hopeless" this could counter that aversion towards your practice. :anjali:
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Re: Bad meditating

Postby andyebarnes67 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:30 pm

Whilst getting to grips with a more 'formal' practice routine is of course best, and the other suggestions here are good, I would suggest to supplement your practice during the day. Mindfulness cvan be cultivated at anytime. When you are brushing your teeth, do it mindfully. Observe brushing your teeth, when you are.... you get the idea.
I also find when I go to bed is a good time for a short period of practice. I often have difficulty in getting to sleep and this also helps me with this. simply observing my breath.
These aren't a replacement for more more formal sitting though. Ultimately, it does take effort to meditate and this is often not what we want to do, but we must do it in order to progress.
It is often when it is hardest that the greater benefits and insights can come.
As always there is a middle way to be found. No need t be fanatical, but also be careful not to fall into laziness. This is warned about in the Dhamma and is one of the main hinderances. :namaste:
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Re: Bad meditating

Postby Ananda26 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:30 pm

zamotcr wrote:Hello!

I always have problems keeping with my meditation. Sometimes I meditate every day in a week, then I drop it for months, and restart again, two days a week, etc.

I'm proposing me to start slowly, perhaps two days per week. I would like to know, how often is good to meditate at minimum. It's too low to meditate only two days or it is good to start?

My idea is to add days over time, when I'm more engaged with it.


I would recommend trying to meditate, at least, once a day. More sittings or longer sittings are better yet.
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Re: Bad meditating

Postby ES06 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:33 pm

As suggested keeping mindfulness could ease formal meditation. Chores like cooking and washing dishes are quite meditative themselves already to me...

Meditating while eating is also something I do. Chew food carefully, count 30 chews before swallowing it and concentrate taste of the food.

This makes eating quite spiritual experience.
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Re: Bad meditating

Postby Zom » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:35 pm

I once heard or have seen a talk by ven. Ajahn Brahm about how to get motivated towards formal meditation practice and I found his advice quite helpful. So say you have been meditating for some time, 30 minutes or whatever, and when you finished notice conciously how you feel after meditating. Most probably you will feel a bit better, more at ease, calm and rested. Note this every time, what you feel like and the benefit it gave you. So to develop over time a more positive attitude toward your formal sitting and eventually you see it more as something enjoyable or even fun thing to do. If your attitude towards your practice is like "I have to meditate since I'm a meditator!" or "I haven't sat down for a couple of weeks I'm hopeless" this could counter that aversion towards your practice.


The main idea is good, but in reality it won't go that smoothly, because meditation depends on the strength / weakness of your defilements / indriyas. So, at one day you may meditate for 1 hour and feel good, another day - for 5 minutes - and feel awful 8-)
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Re: Bad meditating

Postby Digity » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:08 am

When I first started meditating over a year ago I disliked it. It took over a year of practice but my attitude has shifted. Through that time I experienced many dry spells. Currently, things are going well, but a few weeks ago it was a mess. My point is that it's a bit of a rollercoaster. I suspect you stop meditating when things are heading downward and you feel nothing is happened. You just have to sit through that and keep developing your awareness. Even during these dry periods awareness is developing if you're doing the practice properly.

Good luck!
Samsara sucks.
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Re: Bad meditating

Postby purple planet » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:46 am

i was told that every moment counts - so even a second of meditation is better than nothing (not sure if its true i hope it is) - BUT its best to make the practice as continues as possible including being mindful of everyday actions - so every mindful moment counts - but if you want to advance faster you should do it continuously

one of the regular answers you will hear is that you should meditate once a day and that that is a good practice

one meditation teacher told me to set my mind to do 5 minutes meditation a day - if i feel close to the meditation time i want to increase it than i can increase the time of meditation - i can also add more than one meditation a day - but that my responsibility is to do the 5 minutes meditation each day

2 times a week sounds ok to me better than nothing :D
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Re: Bad meditating

Postby Crazy cloud » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:07 am

I practice mindfulness on the breath troughout the days, and whenever my heart picks up something interesting, and I have the opportunity to sit, stand, walk og lying down, I do the investigation, no matter where I am and with who. Sometimes the meditation last for å few seconds, and other times it can last for hours, or as long as its possible. I find this practice wortwhile and feels that its bringing me forward, because its developing the ability to shut down instantly, and reach a workable degree of "stillness" wherever i may be internal and external.

Guess I'm saying that I dont do "formal sittings", for now

Be well and happy :)
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Re: Bad meditating

Postby Ananda26 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:06 pm

zamotcr wrote:Hello!

I always have problems keeping with my meditation. Sometimes I meditate every day in a week, then I drop it for months, and restart again, two days a week, etc.

I'm proposing me to start slowly, perhaps two days per week. I would like to know, how often is good to meditate at minimum. It's too low to meditate only two days or it is good to start?

My idea is to add days over time, when I'm more engaged with it.


2 days are more than 1 day.

The more meditation, the better!

I recommend daily meditation if you can.

Sitting groups can be helpful in maintaining a regular meditation practice.
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