The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

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

Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:34 pm

Guy wrote:
thereductor wrote:So yes, I did my hour. It is becoming easier and easier to do each day, in terms of habit and duration.


That's reassuring to know, too!!!

thereductor wrote:Last night was difficult in that I was burdened by certain defilements, while tonight was very good. It was smooth sailing, and I ended with a good bout of brahmavihara meditation.


Glad to hear your persistent effort is paying off!!! Meanwhile I am taking the lazy man's path to happiness - Mudita!!! :D


:heart: I do wish I could claim the accolades this morning, but cannot. Last night, after a rather intense and bitter argument with my wife, I couldn't bear to sit down and meditate. The thought of spending any more time, of being any closer, to those thoughts and feelings, made me run for the nearest distraction.

Tonight I will sit, of course. I resolve that from this day on I will sit even with the most frightful and awful experiences that come my way.

And whatever road you take, I hope that it is well paved and smooth.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:30 am

How many thoughts can be thought in an hour? A lot!

But I'm rather slow, so perhaps I averaged one every two or three seconds tonight. Hmmm :thinking: 1200? :rofl:

Not that many, I don't think. Perhaps I am even slower than I thought!

Anyway, I sat tonight. A lot of thoughts came up about family life - good, helpful thoughts, which made them hard to relinquish.

Peace to all.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:16 am

A pretty decent night. By relaxing my body and smoothing my breath, mindfully, I calmed a rather raucous obsession. Not bad. Heck, I went from being worked up all day, to being so relaxed I had to intentionally ramp up my energy. All in the course of 10 minutes or less, even.

Anyway, good night.

:heart:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:16 am

How many nights has it been? :thinking:

Excluding the 27th of March, it has been 10 days. Yay!

:heart:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:13 pm

Last night I sat for only 30 minutes. Then I woke up! It had been a long day, so I went to bed. :shrug:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby bodom » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:32 pm

thereductor wrote:Last night I sat for only 30 minutes...


Only? Thats more than ive been able to get in these past few days...these kids just dont want to nap at the same time...

Would this be considered a breach of the precepts?

:tongue:
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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. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:56 pm

bodom wrote:
thereductor wrote:Last night I sat for only 30 minutes...


Only? Thats more than ive been able to get in these past few days...these kids just dont want to nap at the same time...

Would this be considered a breach of the precepts?

:tongue:


I would have to research it!

Until then, I suggest my parents standby when I was kid! :twisted:
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Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby bodom » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:48 pm

Ha!

Well I spoke too soon. There both fast asleep and I was able to get a solid hour of meditation in. :woohoo:

:anjali:
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. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:29 pm

:twothumbsup:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:21 am

I've completed the night's meditation. I got in just a little metta reflection there at the end; perhaps I should make an hour of that on its own sometime!

I'm getting better at calming my mind and thereby gaining some relief, or mental room, from the days obsessions/cravings. This makes things easier, but of course a whole day spent practising relinquishment would lead to a more complete letting go than trying to relinquish for 10 or more minutes once a night.

But one step at a time.

Thanks for reading.

:heart:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:02 am

Tonight went well enough at the beginning and the end. The middle part could have been better. :tongue: I should be getting more sleep at night I suppose.

:thinking:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Ben » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:16 am

Hi thereductor,
Better...how?
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:35 am

Ben wrote:Hi thereductor,
Better...how?
kind regards,

Ben


In the beginning my mind calmed down easily, but didn't become drowsy. The various preoccupations with world "as a location", and the concerns of the world "as beings and their activities", faded away, and the sense of body and mind were clear and calm.

After a fairly short time of that, my mind began to scatter again - intentions that had formed during the day came to mind, and I had to return to counting my breath a lot. More interesting was that I could see places I've been lately, and which have been on my mind, and people, and at times see from their perspective (actually this happens fairly often). There was a temptation to interpret these things as some kind of iddhis, but that would be silly I think. I was very aware that all these things are closely linked to my rather intense and drawn out struggle with defilements during this last week (longer actually, but this last week has been intense for me).

Once that I had enough I got up and did walking meditation but still had trouble staying on task. Then I broke my steps into two parts: lift and swing, "Bud-", and placement "-dho". Back and forth across my apartment like that, and my mind finally calmed down. When my timer finally went off, I felt composed.

So, that's an outline of tonight. Hopefully not to much information.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Ben » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:47 am

Thanks.
Not too much info at all.
The reason I ask is that, particularly within my own tradition, I've noticed that some people place a lot of value on the affective "feel" of meditation and other artefacts such as distractedness, presence of lustful thoughts, drowsiness, painful and pleasurable sensations & etc as indicative of how "good" or "successful" their meditative experience is.
Personally, I think its a mistake.
A lot of the difficulties we experience in meditation (hindrances) manifest as a result of attempting to meditate. They are, to a small extent, indicative of some progress. However, if we end up indulging in our hindrances during meditation then it becomes a barrier.
Sometimes we're going to have meditation sessions that will feel great and others that will feel...ordinary. Just don't place to much value or attempt to interpret the session through the phenomenology that is rising and falling.
They're (meditation sessions) are all good!
I hope I made sense!
with metta,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby jcprice » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:44 am

Hi all,

very inspirational thread.

It was interesting to read the waxing and waning and waxing again of the practice. The disruptions of family life. Struggle with posture. Struggle with noise. Busy minds. etc.

It mirrors my own experience. :rofl:

I've been struggling this year to re-establish my own meditation practice after the birth of my second child.

Now it's just a matter of juggling meditation times between late nights settling the eldest child and the wife, and the youngest waking up early as I'm sitting down to meditate.

All that said, I've settled on my old practice of counting ("training wheels" as someone rather astutely pointed out above) and perhaps rolling into metta from there (especially in the evenings).

From past experience, it takes me about three months of daily practice to get to a good place with my meditation.

That said, I can feel the energy and enthusiasm coming up for each sit.

The real trick is to not drop the practice when the first disruption comes up (getting sick, travel, etc.).

Anyway, Metta to all with their own practice.

Jason
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:21 pm

Hey Ben.

Ben wrote:Thanks.
Not too much info at all.
The reason I ask is that, particularly within my own tradition, I've noticed that some people place a lot of value on the affective "feel" of meditation and other artefacts such as distractedness, presence of lustful thoughts, drowsiness, painful and pleasurable sensations & etc as indicative of how "good" or "successful" their meditative experience is.
Personally, I think its a mistake.


In the past I was very bad for assigning each meditation a rating of "good" or "bad" dependant upon my attachment or aversion to these affective feelings. It has been my intent to not take such an approach this time around. However, I continue to use the labels "good" and "bad" in terms what is, and is not, effective in making my mind mindful and steady for reflection.


A lot of the difficulties we experience in meditation (hindrances) manifest as a result of attempting to meditate. They are, to a small extent, indicative of some progress. However, if we end up indulging in our hindrances during meditation then it becomes a barrier.


There have been many times in the past when I had enjoyable meditations, and then fancied that I had turned a corner and could expect that all my future sessions would be like that. Obvious clinging, but I was taken in by it many times. Needless to say, that expectation only served to amplified the inevitable difficulties I would experienced in practice. These expectations of what meditation will be or should be ignored the complexity of how life and mind are conditioned. There is no flipping of a switch to make things happen, there is only conditioning to make things happen. And with such complex conditioning, there is uncertainty regarding what will happen. Keeping this complexity in mind helps me adjust my approach, and observe the outcome, with enough detachment that I don't become to upset with difficulties.(keeping this fact in mind is harder off the cushion, actually - which allows me to get into trouble in life generally :tongue: )

Sometimes we're going to have meditation sessions that will feel great and others that will feel...ordinary. Just don't place to much value or attempt to interpret the session through the phenomenology that is rising and falling.


Ordinary is (mostly) fine, now. I do not feel as obsessed with unique and wonderful experiences in my practice. Just cooling is my goal, and it is a long term one rather than a sense that I must be free RIGHT NOW! :tongue:

And over interpreting my meditation does not help me in that, so I have been avoiding every classification of my meditation experience except those in accordance with satipatthana.


They're (meditation sessions) are all good!
I hope I made sense!


You are absolutely right. In fact, this has been my credo since beginning this challenge: "meditation is good, however it unfolds". If it was not, then I would have quit already; this meditation stuff is hard work, after all. Haha.

Thanks for the feedback, Ben. It is always appreciated.
:hug:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:49 am

Greetings,

I meditated this morning from 3:00 - 3:45am. A feature of the session was the combination of sloth/torpor with an absence of 'distracting thoughts'. Seemingly, rather than cultivate any samatha or vipassana, I was simply open to whatever was experienced.

Then, on account of the lack of viriya, I felt tired, lay down and feel asleep dreaming about a mouse, who throughout the course of the dream evolved into a domesticated cat/rat-like creature.

:shrug:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:19 pm

I just got a new bench; my old handmade one was seriously impeding my progress with its uneven legs and rusty hinges haha. So hopefully I'll be up to my regular hour a day soon! Wish me luck haha.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:07 pm

My daughter wouldn't go to sleep when she was supposed to, so I ended up waiting longer than I had hoped. At some point I laid on the couch, and low and behold I fell asleep.

After I awoke at 12:41am, and after some deliberation, I decided on a half hour rather than an hour. It went well, and when my timer went off I was no longer struggling. I went to bed anyway, however.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:35 am

Sounds good, thereductor.
One of the difficulties of being a householder is learning to bend with the wind - merging our practice with our "mundane" responsibilities.
I think what is important is the continuity of effort (whether it be maintaining set periods during the day or maintaining a mindful attitude throughout the day).
Wishing you and your family restful evenings and opportunities for you to sit.
with Metta,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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