what's your hindrance?

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

what's your hindrance?

1.Sensual desire (kāmacchanda)
9
22%
2.Anger or ill-will (byāpāda, vyāpāda)
9
22%
3.Sloth-torpor or boredom (thīna-middha)
14
34%
4.Restlessness-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca)
8
20%
5.Doubt (vicikicchā)
1
2%
 
Total votes : 41

what's your hindrance?

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:27 am

the five hindrances (Pali: pañca nīvaraṇāni)[1] are negative mental states that impede success with meditation (jhāna / bhāvanā) and lead away from enlightenment (nibbāna). These states are:

1.Sensual desire (kāmacchanda): Craving for pleasure to the senses.
2.Anger or ill-will (byāpāda, vyāpāda): Feelings of malice directed toward others.
3.Sloth-torpor or boredom (thīna-middha): Half-hearted action with little or no concentration.
4.Restlessness-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca): The inability to calm the mind.
5.Doubt (vicikicchā): Lack of conviction or trust.


while we are all affected by the five hindrances, is there one you struggle with the most? how do you deal with it?
share tips and experiences here, maybe we could help each other along.

metta
jc :heart:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: what's your hindrance?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:42 am

Greetings,

jcsuperstar wrote:while we are all affected by the five hindrances, is there one you struggle with the most?

Sleepiness (so, sloth-and-torpor)

jcsuperstar wrote:how do you deal with it?

Wake up and think, "Ooh... I must have fallen asleep"

jcsuperstar wrote:share tips and experiences here, maybe we could help each other along.

Beautiful. :heart:

:meditate:

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: what's your hindrance?

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:17 pm

i voted Restlessness-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca) though it could be Doubt (vicikicchā): Lack of conviction or trust. although from what I've read vicikicchā means doubt in the method, practice or teacher which isn't my problem, it's doubt in myself and worry that I'm not practicing right. it can be overwhelming sometimes and even lead to Anger or ill-will (byāpāda, vyāpāda) which can build up into wanting to just end the meditation. i struggle with this beating myself up thing though off the cushion as well so as you can see i haven't figured out any way to overcome it. although when byāpāda, vyāpāda arise i can pretty much just breathe that away so that really isnt too much of a problem.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: what's your hindrance?

Postby Reductor » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:25 pm

I voted restlessness. For me its restlessness from to much zeal or energy. I have to balance it off with calm and it can be quite a prickly little pain in the bottom.
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: what's your hindrance?

Postby Kenshou » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:14 pm

Restlesness here, too. Just gotta sit down and focus, it mellows out soon enough.
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Re: what's your hindrance?

Postby Viscid » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:56 pm

All of them.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: what's your hindrance?

Postby IanAnd » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:17 pm

I've got to second Retro's answer. :zzz: It used to be tiredness or sleepiness. And I don't mind saying that it can be a real bitch to overcome. I mean, you do the whole bit that is recommended in the discourses, splash water on the face, jump up and down, and the whole nine yards, and you're still just tired or sleepy.

So, how did I overcome this for good?

I kept reading the suttas, looking for another answer other than what was being obviously presented. Most of you probably aren't going to like this, because it almost sounds so obvious that we almost always overlook it. At first glance, you might say, "Well, sure. If I could do that, I probably wouldn't need to meditate. I'd have it made." And it does work! At least it worked for me. And I've never looked back since.

I've mentioned this before, but it's probably worth mentioning again. I was reading the MahaSatipatthana Sutta (DN 22) and came across these lines: "Here a monk, having gone into the forest, or to the root of a tree or to an empty place, sits down cross-legged, holding his body erect, having established mindfulness before him. Mindfully he breaths in, mindfully he breaths out."

We've all read this before, haven't we? So, what's so mind-blowing about this passage. I mean, it seems pretty straightforward and boring, doesn't it? What could possibly be here that could revolutionize our practice that we haven't already done?

Well, I'll tell you.

It was the last five words of the first sentence that finally caught my eye. I got to thinking. "You know, I really don't do this, do I. I mean, I usually get up in the morning, go through a quick morning routine, and then, because I don't have any extra time to waste, I sit down and begin trying to meditate so I can get on with the rest of my day. Very rarely do I take the time to establish mindfulness before I meditate."

So, I began to make sure I was awake in the morning before I began my sit (as often before, I would just start attempting to meditate whether I was fully awake or not, whether I was being mindful or not). Well, when I began to establish mindfulness before meditating, that changed the whole ballgame for me. Suddenly, each meditation really meant something, and I was experiencing better and better meditation sessions. The mind was calming down more quickly, becoming still, and I was more alert and awake and able to contemplate better. My alertness increased big time, and my meditations became deeper and more profound with insight.

Many times, in order to make sure I was fully awake, I would take extra time to just sit and read for a while before meditating. Usually something that I knew would stimulate and enhance the meditation. Something that I could keep in mind as a kind of guidepost to what I wanted to be able to accomplish and use during contemplation. More times than not, it helped to set the tone for the whole meditation session by infusing the mind with a pathway to follow once the meditation began.

Suffice to say, I have never had any problems with sloth and torpor since then.

Here's another little trick you can use. At night, before nodding off to sleep, give yourself a brief post-slumber suggestion. It doesn't need to be anything fancy. Something like this will do: "I will sleep restfully, and awaken refreshed, alert and focused." I usually say it three times to myself before going to sleep. And 99 times out of a hundred, it works! I wake up refreshed and ready to go in the morning, with no morning grogginess or mental dullness. It's called making a mental resolution. And the mind will obey once you begin regaining control of it.

Try it sometime. You might just surprise yourself.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: what's your hindrance?

Postby Wind » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:33 pm

1 3 and 5 for me. :weep:
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Re: what's your hindrance?

Postby bodom » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:34 pm

If im nodding its walking meditation for me.

: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: what's your hindrance?

Postby IanAnd » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:08 am

jcsuperstar wrote:i voted Restlessness-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca) . . . it's doubt in myself and worry that I'm not practicing right. it can be overwhelming sometimes and even lead to Anger or ill-will (byāpāda, vyāpāda) which can build up into wanting to just end the meditation.

It's not hard to see why both sloth and torpor and restlessness and worry garner the majority of the votes here. These are two of the most pernicious hindrances to meditation.

Before sloth and torpor took over first place for me, I used to have some trouble with restlessness and worry. This was mostly early on during the thirty years I've been meditating. Usually, it was something going on in my life that had the mind in a restless tizzy. This was even before I knew about and took up Buddhist meditation techniques, so I had to figure this one out for myself.

I suppose it may depend upon what triggers a person's restlessness or worry. So, what I have to suggest as an antidote may not work for everyone in every situation. But since there were definite causes happening in my life at the time, I just began to use the meditation session for contemplating whatever concerns I might be having. In other words, I used the subject of the restlessness or worry as a meditation object. It helped me begin to see some light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, regarding whatever it was that I was concerned about. So, in that sense, it worked to help overcome the haunting feelings that were overcoming me.

The reason I did this at the time was because usually, the only time I had to think about these things was during my meditation sessions. Those were very busy days, and I had little time to myself back then. I figured I might as well use the meditation time as a practical stress reliever, and though I wondered if I was getting anything accomplished with my meditation practice back then, it was worth it to relieve some of the stress.

So, if the kind of restlessness and worry you experience has something to do with a practical matter going on in your life at the time, use that as an object for meditation and contemplation. Ending the restlessness can help you move on to the more practical matters of meditation practice itself and what you ultimately want to accomplish with it, while serving as a kind of practice in itself.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: what's your hindrance?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:17 am

Greetings Ian,

Thanks for the advice! :thumbsup:

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: what's your hindrance?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:25 am

Sensual desire is an constant problem, but I don't think it's my biggest obstacle to meditation: bone-idle laziness is. It's strange, I can easily motivate myself to read the suttas, but 'can't be bothered' to meditate. I have to force myself to sit. I like to blame my obscure weekly routine, my high workload, my wife (!!), anything I can... but honestly I'm just lazy.

So, rather than sit, I try to keep mindful (particularly of my breathing as much as I can) throughout the day. I usually sit properly only on Uposatha days. I'd like to meditate everyday really. Hmph.
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Re: what's your hindrance?

Postby Monkey Mind » Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:41 pm

Sensual desire. I'd rather eat, drink, watch entertainments, read a good book, pleasure myself, etc. then meditate. Meditating twice a day comes from reminding myself that if I died right now...
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: what's your hindrance?

Postby bodom » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:02 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:bone-idle laziness..I have to force myself to sit...honestly I'm just lazy.


How ironic someone that describes themselves to be bone-idle lazy cant even sit still for an hour!! I would think that it would come naturally. :tongue:

: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: what's your hindrance?

Postby Reductor » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:05 pm

bodom wrote:
Mawkish1983 wrote:bone-idle laziness..I have to force myself to sit...honestly I'm just lazy.


How ironic someone that describes themselves to be bone-idle lazy cant even sit still for an hour!! I would think that it would come naturally. :tongue:

:anjali:


Bwahahaha!! I didn't think of that. Good catch. :rofl:
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: what's your hindrance?

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:25 pm

IanAnd wrote:Well, when I began to establish mindfulness before meditating, that changed the whole ballgame for me. Suddenly, each meditation really meant something, and I was experiencing better and better meditation sessions. The mind was calming down more quickly, becoming still, and I was more alert and awake and able to contemplate better. My alertness increased big time, and my meditations became deeper and more profound with insight.

Many times, in order to make sure I was fully awake, I would take extra time to just sit and read for a while before meditating. Usually something that I knew would stimulate and enhance the meditation. Something that I could keep in mind as a kind of guidepost to what I wanted to be able to accomplish and use during contemplation. More times than not, it helped to set the tone for the whole meditation session by infusing the mind with a pathway to follow once the meditation began.


Here's another little trick you can use. At night, before nodding off to sleep, give yourself a brief post-slumber suggestion. It doesn't need to be anything fancy. Something like this will do: "I will sleep restfully, and awaken refreshed, alert and focused."


Thank you :) Out of sheer mental laziness, i suppose, i forget things like this sometimes and need to be reminded.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: what's your hindrance?

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:00 pm

i like to listen to dhamma talks prior to meditation, i do it sitting in the meditation position and focusing on my breath, the dhamma talk is not my main focus but it seem i get more out of it and my mind calms down and is better suited to the meditation that comes after the talk
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: what's your hindrance?

Postby Reductor » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:19 pm

I sit in front of my shrine and contemplate the triple gem. I recall the Dhamma to mind by thinking of how I would explain it to this person or that in my life. I may read suttas.

Whatever works.
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: what's your hindrance?

Postby alan » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:09 am

My main hindrance is lust. Main underlying tendency is irritation. Per Analyo pages 224-226, I'm practicing sense restraint. It's actually kind of nice.
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Re: what's your hindrance?

Postby mettafuture » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:59 pm

I'll-will, and I counter it with metta meditation.
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