Kenshou wrote:once you struggle through it on your own, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Thank you for your encouragment!
By changing the point of your focus doesn't mean that you have stopped practicing anapanasati, don't worry. But because the method has changed a little it will take time for your mind to become confident. Don't worry. (I said that twice, because, you know, 'DONT WORRY'
Thanks thereductor, that's always a good advice and although I know it it's always good to be reminded!
thereductor wrote:I haven't really tried the abdominal thing, but understand it is more from the mahasi tradition (?) If you are suffering tiredness because of your condition, then you might try a slight variation of breathing, where instead of trying to be tranquil, you work to be mentally active, so that you dispose of your tired mind state. Ajaan lee's method 2, linked in post above, does incorporate some mental activity. You want to explore the sensations of the breath to the greatest degree possible - and enjoy doing so. Don't worry at the outset of attaining stillness, because when you're tired, stillness is not your friend.
Yesterday I tried the method of breathing in actively(rather than with passive observance) through my throat and the sternum, and lo and behold! I was able to achieve a fair degree of concentration with only minor pressures in my head! I found that it was easiest for me to focus on the middle of the chest area. I'll keep training with this method and see where it leads me!
thereductor wrote:Just my two cents.
Even Two dhamma cents have incalculable value!!
To Dan: I also tried to imagine my crown area opening and the pressure "flowing out", but without much success. Maybe one needs to know in more detail this technique for it to be effective.
Ben wrote:My advice to you is to keep on going. I know it can be tough, but while you are meditating and the aches and pains manifest - continue to maintain your awareness on the point of your breath's contact for longer and longer periods. The old habit pattern of diverting your mind to the pain will try and override your ability to maintain focus on your breath, but just keep going. Having said that, don't turn it into an ascetic practice. Just extend yourself a little bit each session.
As for not feeling joy in your meditation, again my advice is to keep going. Joy (piti) is certainly a factor for jhana but its non-presence during meditation shouldn't be a reason to desist with your efforts. Joy will manifest increasingly as your hindrances become quiescent. So, persevere my friend!
Thank you Ben for your encouragement and advice! You are spot on in saying that the old habit patterns override my ability to focus. I'll keep on trying to achieve cittekaggata
I want to persevere, but since I'm close to finishing my degree sometimes I have way too much work and it diverts and dominates my mind so much I forget about eating and sleeping, so meditation practice in this situation becomes incredibly difficult! So there are times that I fail when I'm put to the test. However, the good news is that I also pass some
tests! With encouragement from all the noble people here I'm confident that there will be a day that I'll be firmly established in the path and never waiver from it again.
retrofuturist wrote:- Keep hydrated
- Get your eyes tested
- Avoid looking at screens too much (esp. computer screens)
- Try chiropractic, physiotherapy, myotherapy etc. to get your head, neck and shoulders in good alignment
- Physical exercise, even walking
- Be less mindful*
- Have an alcoholic drink or two* (red wine was recommended to me)
- Get a brain scan if it persists over time (mine came back fine, but it's good to rule it out)
This is a great list! But some things on this list I cannot do, like number 2 and number 4. My work is solely on my computer, that rules 4 out. Getting an eye tested by a Doctor here in France turned out to be exceptionally difficult. If you want an appointment with an Eye Doctor, u'll get one after many months, maybe 8-10 months or even a year. I actually do have an eye problem but can't get it checked because I'll leave France when I'm done with my degree(which is expected to be soon).
The points in asterisk are interesting, because I've had the same experience. But many times, for me it becomes hard NOT to experience the tactile sensations near the tip of the nose. I only occasionally take wine, I dont really like to have alcoholic beverages. Hot drinks like coffee or tea helps me a lot sometimes.
jcsuperstar wrote:learning meditation is kinda like play time, i've picked up tips and tricks from so many different teachers, you just find what works for you, which is just what any good teacher basis his/her meditation on, only sometimes they seem to think their way is the only way.
Thanks for sharing your techniques, jc, I'll try them out in conjunction with Ajahn Lee's method!
Thank you all again for your replies and suggestions!