effect from not continuing meditation session

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

effect from not continuing meditation session

Postby unspoken » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:35 pm

Greetings,

I was once a very consistent daily-meditator, however the effort does not sustain long enough as I gave up meditation. These past few weeks I am once again repicking up dhammas and continue my meditation sessions. However I found that when I meditate. The following day will be blessful and well concentrated. But the day I did not meditate will have effect on me as such like depress, lost of motivation, sense of lost of direction, non concentrating. Would like to know why that meditation has such big impact on a person when a person does not have the continuous effort to maintain it daily.

Thank you for reading and proving me answers.
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Re: effect from not continuing meditation session

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:18 am

unspoken wrote:Greetings,

I was once a very consistent daily-meditator, however the effort does not sustain long enough as I gave up meditation. These past few weeks I am once again repicking up dhammas and continue my meditation sessions. However I found that when I meditate. The following day will be blessful and well concentrated. But the day I did not meditate will have effect on me as such like depress, lost of motivation, sense of lost of direction, non concentrating. Would like to know why that meditation has such big impact on a person when a person does not have the continuous effort to maintain it daily.

Thank you for reading and proving me answers.


You might find it helpful to meditate every day.
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Waitress: Well, there's spam, egg, sausage and spam. That's not got MUCH spam in it.
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Re: effect from not continuing meditation session

Postby meindzai » Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:43 pm

unspoken wrote:Greetings,

I was once a very consistent daily-meditator, however the effort does not sustain long enough as I gave up meditation. These past few weeks I am once again repicking up dhammas and continue my meditation sessions. However I found that when I meditate. The following day will be blessful and well concentrated. But the day I did not meditate will have effect on me as such like depress, lost of motivation, sense of lost of direction, non concentrating. Would like to know why that meditation has such big impact on a person when a person does not have the continuous effort to maintain it daily.

Thank you for reading and proving me answers.


I understand. You want to "connect the dots" between the times you are meditating so your peace of mind is sustained between those times. The obvious answer is to meditate more frequently. But I think that keeping your peace of mind sustained is a constant effort. It's not something that will just happen on it's own. I'm currently Reading "With Each and Every Breath" by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, and I'm really finding these passages helpful, where he talks about maintaining your awareness outside of meditation. These are my selections, though there's a lot more in the PDF which I Will link to:

"You may find that you can’t keep clear watch on the in-and-out breath when
you’re deeply involved in a complicated task, but you can maintain a general sense
of the quality of the breath energy in the body.
This is an area where lessons you’ve learned from sitting meditation can be of
help. Two skills in particular are helpful here.
1. Try to notice where the trigger points are in your breath energy field: the
points that tend to tense up or tighten most quickly, leading to patterns of tension
spreading into other parts of the body. Typical points are at the throat; around the
heart; at the solar plexus, right in front of the stomach; or the backs of your hands
or the tops of your feet.
Once you’ve identified a point of this sort, use that as the spot where you center
your attention throughout the day. Make sure above all that the spot stays open
and relaxed. If you do sense that it’s tightened up, stop whatever else you’re doing
for a moment and breathe through it. In other words, send good breath energy
into that area and allow it to relax as soon as you can. That will help disperse the
power of the tension before it takes over other parts of your body and mind.
In the beginning, you may find yourself wandering away from your spot more
than you’re staying with it. As with the sitting meditation, you have to be patient
but firm with yourself. Each time you realize that you’ve lost your spot, come right
back to it and release any tension that’s developed in the meantime. You might
find it useful to set reminders for yourself: for instance, that you’ll make a special
effort to be in your spot each time you cross a road or come to a red light. Over
time, you can set your goals higher and aim at longer stretches of time where
you’re centered and relaxed.
You’ll be fighting some old subconscious defensive habits as you do this, so it
may take time to master this skill. But if you persist in keeping your spot relaxed,
you’ll find that you carry less tension throughout the day. You’ll be less burdened
with the sense that you’ve got something you need to get out of your system. At
the same time, you’ll gain more enjoyment out of trying to maintain your center
because you feel more stable and at ease. This helps to keep you with it. If you find
yourself in a situation where you’re simply sitting with nothing much to do—as in
a meeting or a doctor’s waiting room—you can bliss out on the feeling of ease in
your center, and no one else will have to know..."



"2. The second useful breath-skill as you go through the day is to fill your body
with breath and awareness when you’re in a difficult situation, and especially when
you’re confronted with a difficult person. Think of the breath as a protective
shield, so that the other person’s energy doesn’t penetrate yours. At the same time,
visualize that person’s words and actions as going past you, and not as coming
straight at you. This helps you feel less threatened, and enables you to think more
clearly about how to respond in an appropriate way. And because you’re creating a
force field of good solid energy, you might have a calming and stabilizing effect on
the people and the situation around you..."


"II : YOUR ACTIVITIES
You’ll quickly discover that the things disturbing your meditation in daily life
don’t all come from outside. Your own activities—what you do, say, and think—
can also throw you off-balance. This is why the principle of restraint is an essential
part of the practice: You make a point of refraining from doing things and
directing your attention in ways that will undo the work of your meditation.
It’s important not to think of restraint as confinement, restricting the range of
your activities. Actually, it’s a door to freedom—freedom from the damage you do
to yourself and the people around you. Although some of the traditional forms of
restraint may seem confining at first, remember that only the unskillful members
of the committee are feeling hemmed in. The skillful ones who have been trampled
underfoot are actually being given some space and freedom to develop and grow.
At the same time, the practice of restraint doesn’t mean restricting the range of
your awareness. All too often, when we think of doing something or looking at
something, we focus simply on what we like or dislike. Restraint forces you to
look at why you like or dislike things, and at what happens as a result when you
follow your likes and dislikes. In this way, you broaden your perspective and gain
insight into areas of the mind that otherwise would stay hidden behind the scenes.
Restraint is thus a way of developing discernment."


Well, there's a whole lot more. But these are the ones I keep coming back to. The whole book is here: http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... 131019.pdf

And this is in part three "Meditation in Daily Life."

As another note, I've accepted that there are times when I can meditate a lot, times when I can meditate a little, and times where I just don't get to it. I've stopped beating myself up about it. When I am not meditating, I focus on developing the paramis. I can post more on that if you are interested. But basically these are qualities of character you can develop in your day to day life. For me, they are a kind of living meditation, but they also strengthen the meditation itself.

-Dave K
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