Digity wrote:Some days I wake up in the morning and I can just tell I feel concentrated. I know when I sit down and meditate I'll be able to focus somewhat well on the breath without being overly distracted. Other days I wake up and I can just tell my mind is agitated and the meditation is going to be a painful process of me constantly trying to pull myself back to my breath the whole time I'm meditating. The interesting thing is that I can usually tell, even before sitting down to meditate, how the meditation will be. This isn't always the case. Sometimes I've gone to sit down thinking it's not going to go well, but I'll settle into the breath.
What do you make of all this? What about those days when you know the meditation is just going to be a pain. I know I shouldn't just skip those days, but they can be so demoralizing. I understand we need to take the highs and lows with a sense of equanimity, but deep down everytime we sit to meditate I'm sure we all want to fall into a sense of calm.
MN 10: Satipatthana Sutta wrote:"And how does a monk remain focused on the mind in & of itself? There is the case where a monk, when the mind has passion, discerns that the mind has passion. When the mind is without passion, he discerns that the mind is without passion. When the mind has aversion, he discerns that the mind has aversion. When the mind is without aversion, he discerns that the mind is without aversion. When the mind has delusion, he discerns that the mind has delusion. When the mind is without delusion, he discerns that the mind is without delusion.
"When the mind is constricted, he discerns that the mind is constricted. When the mind is scattered, he discerns that the mind is scattered. When the mind is enlarged, he discerns that the mind is enlarged. When the mind is not enlarged, he discerns that the mind is not enlarged. When the mind is surpassed, he discerns that the mind is surpassed. When the mind is unsurpassed, he discerns that the mind is unsurpassed. When the mind is concentrated, he discerns that the mind is concentrated. When the mind is not concentrated, he discerns that the mind is not concentrated. When the mind is released, he discerns that the mind is released. When the mind is not released, he discerns that the mind is not released.
Digity wrote:Maybe so, maybe bit by bit I'm eating away at them, but it seems like I'm not getting the dramatic shift I want.
Ajahn Chah wrote:The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice.
Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.
Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this-just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle.
Why not give it a try? Do you dare?
thanissaro bhikku wrote:Start where you are. Too many meditators get discouraged at the outset because their minds won't settle down. But just as you can't wait until you're big and strong before you start strength training, you can't wait until your concentration is strong before you start sitting. Only by exercising what little concentration you have will you make it solid and steady. So even though you feel scrawny when everyone around you seems big, or fat when everyone else seems fit, remember that you're not here to compete with them or with the perfect meditators you see in magazines. You're here to work on yourself. So establish that as your focus, and keep it strong.
Establish a regular routine. You're in this for the long haul. We all like the stories of sudden enlightenment, but even the most lightning-like insights have to be primed by a long, steady discipline of day-to-day practice. That's because the consistency of your discipline is what allows you to observe subtle changes, and being observant is what enables insight to see. So don't get taken in by promises of quick and easy shortcuts. Set aside a time to meditate every day and then stick to your schedule whether you feel like meditating or not. The mind grows by overcoming resistance to repetition, just like a muscle. Sometimes the best insights come on the days you least feel like meditating. Even when they don't, you're establishing a strength of discipline, patience, and resilience that will see you through the even greater difficulties of aging, illness, and death. That's why it's called practice.
Digity wrote:This is pretty much dukkha at work. How do you develop equanimity over all this. How do you handle this constant up and down in a health way? It just seems when you're having a bad day and feel agitated and unable to focus the weight of that is too strong and I can't show equanimity towards it.
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