Meditations that Rouse Energy

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

Meditations that Rouse Energy

Postby Ravana » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:58 am

I've taken metta as my main practice for some time now and one thing I noted is that with metta, I do not get the energetic feeling I get by doing Anapanasati. While the effect of metta gives a calm, soothing feeling, I also feel very lazy, even too lazy to meditate. Is this usual when developing metta?

What would be good ways of combating this? What meditations are good for making one feel energetic?

I looked up The Five Mental Hindrances and Their Conquest and for relieving sloth and torpor (thina-middha) it suggests the following meditations, among others:

  • Buddhanussat
  • Marananussati
  • Mudita
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Re: Meditations that Rouse Energy

Postby Ben » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:31 am

Hi all

With sloth and torpor its important to continue to practice your main meditation object, otherwise you will strengthen the internal conditioning of associating meditation with sleepiness and it will lead to your downfall. You need to make an adhitthana (decision characterised by strong determination) and dig deep.
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Re: Meditations that Rouse Energy

Postby Jechbi » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:32 am

I think Bhikkhu Pesala recommended walking meditation as a way to get things going if you feel tired.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Meditations that Rouse Energy

Postby Ravana » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:34 am

Ben wrote:Hi all

With sloth and torpor its important to continue to practice your main meditation object, otherwise you will strengthen the internal conditioning of associating meditation with sleepiness and it will lead to your downfall. You need to make an adhitthana (decision characterised by strong determination) and dig deep.
Metta

Ben

I think you have a point, but then what about this advice from the Buddha?

Meghiya Sutta wrote:He should develop [contemplation of] the unattractive so as to abandon lust. He should develop good will so as to abandon ill will. He should develop mindfulness of in-and-out breathing so as to cut off distractive thinking. He should develop the perception of inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.' For a monk perceiving inconstancy, the perception of not-self is made firm. One perceiving not-self attains the uprooting of the conceit, 'I am' — Unbinding in the here and now."
Meghiya Sutta
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Re: Meditations that Rouse Energy

Postby SeerObserver » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:25 am

Ravana wrote:
Ben wrote:Hi all

With sloth and torpor its important to continue to practice your main meditation object, otherwise you will strengthen the internal conditioning of associating meditation with sleepiness and it will lead to your downfall. You need to make an adhitthana (decision characterised by strong determination) and dig deep.
Metta

Ben

But then what about this advice from the Buddha?

Meghiya Sutta wrote:He should develop [contemplation of] the unattractive so as to abandon lust. He should develop good will so as to abandon ill will. He should develop mindfulness of in-and-out breathing so as to cut off distractive thinking. He should develop the perception of inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.' For a monk perceiving inconstancy, the perception of not-self is made firm. One perceiving not-self attains the uprooting of the conceit, 'I am' — Unbinding in the here and now."
Meghiya Sutta

The quote you have provided is in accord with Ben's tip. In the quote, there are four examples that follow one template.
    ~ You are to develop X, the thing itself, or a contemplation/perception of X. And this is in order to uproot a hindrance.
So as he was saying, focus on your meditation object (I suggest energy in this instance), and you will uproot sloth/torpor.
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Re: Meditations that Rouse Energy

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:50 am

why not alter the way you do Metta there is a section with a few different types here
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Meditations that Rouse Energy

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:04 pm

AN 7.58
Capala Sutta
Nodding
Translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu PTS: A iv 85

Once the Blessed One was living among the Bhaggas in the Deer Park at Bhesakala Grove, near Crocodile Haunt. At that time Ven. Maha Moggallana1 sat nodding near the village of Kallavalaputta, in Magadha. The Blessed One, with his purified divine eye, surpassing the human, saw Ven. Maha Moggallana as he sat nodding near the village of Kallavalaputta, in Magadha. As soon as he saw this — just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm — he disappeared from among the Bhaggas in the Deer Park at Bhesakala Grove, near Crocodile Haunt, and re-appeared near the village of Kallavalaputta, in Magadha, right in front of Ven. Maha Moggallana. There he sat down on a prepared seat. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to Ven. Maha Moggallana, "Are you nodding, Moggallana? Are you nodding?"

"Yes, lord."

"Well then, Moggallana, whatever perception you have in mind when drowsiness descends on you, don't attend to that perception, don't pursue it. It's possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

"But if by doing this you don't shake off your drowsiness, then recall to your awareness the Dhamma as you have heard & memorized it, re-examine it & ponder it over in your mind. It's possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

"But if by doing this you don't shake off your drowsiness, then repeat aloud in detail the Dhamma as you have heard & memorized it. It's possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

"But if by doing this you don't shake off your drowsiness, then pull both your earlobes and rub your limbs with your hands. It's possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

"But if by doing this you don't shake off your drowsiness, then get up from your seat and, after washing your eyes out with water, look around in all directions and upward to the major stars & constellations. It's possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

"But if by doing this you don't shake off your drowsiness, then attend to the perception of light, resolve on the perception of daytime, [dwelling] by night as by day, and by day as by night. By means of an awareness thus open & unhampered, develop a brightened mind. It's possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

"But if by doing this you don't shake off your drowsiness, then — percipient of what lies in front & behind — set a distance to meditate walking back & forth, your senses inwardly immersed, your mind not straying outwards. It's possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

"But if by doing this you don't shake off your drowsiness, then — reclining on your right side — take up the lion's posture, one foot placed on top of the other, mindful, alert, with your mind set on getting up. As soon as you wake up, get up quickly, with the thought, 'I won't stay indulging in the pleasure of lying down, the pleasure of reclining, the pleasure of drowsiness.' That is how you should train yourself.

"Furthermore, Moggallana, should you train yourself: 'I will not visit families with my pride2 lifted high.' That is how you should train yourself. Among families there are many jobs that have to be done, so that people don't pay attention to a visiting monk. If a monk visits them with his trunk lifted high, the thought will occur to him, 'Now who, I wonder, has caused a split between me and this family? The people seem to have no liking for me.' Getting nothing, he becomes abashed. Abashed, he becomes restless. Restless, he becomes unrestrained. Unrestrained, his mind is far from concentration.

"Furthermore, Moggallana, should you train yourself: 'I will speak no confrontational speech.' That is how you should train yourself. When there is confrontational speech, a lot of discussion can be expected. When there is a lot of discussion, there is restlessness. One who is restless becomes unrestrained. Unrestrained, his mind is far from concentration.

"It's not the case, Moggallana, that I praise association of every sort. But it's not the case that I dispraise association of every sort. I don't praise association with householders and renunciates. But as for dwelling places that are free from noise, free from sound, their atmosphere devoid of people, appropriately secluded for resting undisturbed by human beings: I praise association with dwelling places of this sort."

When this was said, Ven. Moggallana said to the Blessed One: "Briefly, lord, in what respect is a monk released through the ending of craving, utterly complete, utterly free from bonds, a follower of the utterly holy life, utterly consummate: foremost among human & heavenly beings?"

"There is the case, Moggallana, where a monk has heard, 'All phenomena are unworthy of attachment.' Having heard that all phenomena are unworthy of attachment, he fully knows all things. Fully knowing all things, he fully comprehends all things. Fully comprehending all things, then whatever feeling he experiences — pleasure, pain, neither pleasure nor pain — he remains focused on inconstancy, focused on dispassion, focused on cessation, focused on relinquishing with regard to that feeling. As he remains focused on inconstancy, focused on dispassion, focused on cessation, focused on relinquishing with regard to that feeling, he is unsustained by3 anything in the world. Unsustained, he is not agitated. Unagitated, he is unbound right within. He discerns: 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'

"It is in this respect, Moggallana, that a monk, in brief, is released through the ending of craving, utterly complete, utterly free from bonds, a follower of the utterly holy life, utterly consummate: foremost among human & heavenly beings."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes

1. Prior to his Awakening.

2. Lit., "my trunk" (i.e., an elephant's trunk).

3. I.e., does not cling to.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Revised: Tuesday 2007-08-14
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Meditations that Rouse Energy

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:29 pm

Greetings rowyourboat,

Excellent... you saved me from going and looking for that sutta. :thumbsup:

(Just be careful not to pull your earlobes too hard... it can hurt!)

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Meditations that Rouse Energy

Postby adeh » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:23 am

Brisk walking meditation is a good way to rouse up the energy....I do Mahasi styled walking meditation which is slow, but on my last retreat our intructor told me that if I wanted raise the energy I should speed up the pace a bit, so I did and it works........we have since used it for people in our meditation group who have problems with drowsiness when sitting, and it has removed the drowsiness.
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Re: Meditations that Rouse Energy

Postby pink_trike » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:05 am

Another way to relieve drowsiness during practice is to:

a. while seated, close your eyes

b. grasp your hands lightly behind your lower back, at the wrist

c. gently inhale slowly and fully through the nose, first filling the abdomen, then the lungs

d. calmly and slowly exhale fully, while gently/slowly bending forward from the waist, keeping the spine/neck erect but relaxed

e. lower until your forehead touches the floor (or as low as you can without feeling any strain).

f. Stay in that position with eyes closed and a quiet observant mind, breathing normally, for 30 to 60 seconds (unless you feel strain or discomfort)

g. gently and slowly arise back up, leading with the chin, keeping the spine relaxedly straight - to sitting position.

h. sit for a moment and be aware of the overall effect

i. resume normal practice.

This can also be done in a chair, supporting your upper body by placing your hands on your thighs as you lower and arise.

This 60 second practice is also great when feeling drowsy at work. :zzz:
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: Meditations that Rouse Energy

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:15 am

Greetings,

Rather than start a new topic, I thought I might append my question to this one...

To what extent is there overlap between thina-middha (sloth and torpor) and tiredness?

Also, if you're feeling mentally slow and a little spaced out, but not necessarily in need of a sleep, does that constitute thina-middha?

Are there different meditations to "rouse energy" depending on whether the feeling is sleepiness versus that for mental sluggishness?

:zzz: vs :|

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: Meditations that Rouse Energy

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:32 am

Hi Retro,

Apart from the approaches above (such as walking, or standing meditation) you can pay attention to the sleepiness. I.e. take it as the object. Also you can make your attention on your primary object (or the sleepiness) more intense.

If you use Mahasi-style "noting" this intensity can be achieved by noting faster. E.g. instead of noting:
"Sleeeepppyyyyy ..... Sleeeeppppyyyyy ....."
(which will just make it worse...) note:
"SLEEPY, SLEEPY, SLEEPY, SLEEPY, SLEEPY, SLEEPY, SLEEPY, SLEEPY, SLEEPY, SLEEPY, SLEEPY, ..."

If you can recognise it as laziness, note that. They are different...

Conversely, when there is restlessness, slower noting is helpful.

The noting is just a tool. No need to start that if you don't use it. The point is simply to bring strong attention to the objects, which you can do by paying alert attention.

Mike
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Re: Meditations that Rouse Energy

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:28 am

Ravana wrote:I've taken metta as my main practice for some time now and one thing I noted is that with metta, I do not get the energetic feeling I get by doing Anapanasati. While the effect of metta gives a calm, soothing feeling, I also feel very lazy, even too lazy to meditate.


Hi Ravana,

If there is some energizing quality which arises when you practice Anapanasati then maybe you can bring that quality into your Metta practice. Your object may be different but your breath is still there with you the whole time.

Metta

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Meditations that Rouse Energy

Postby catmoon » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:30 am

I read this thread through a few days ago. Tried to do it today again, but can't keep my eyes open. Neeeeed nap....


Gawd this is awful. :cry:


:zzz:


Sloth so bad u can't get through the instructions to fix it... maybe this thread should be all printed in dayglo colors, with every letter a different font and color. Or maybe we could make defeating torpor into a video game. Or .. orrr... aaaagh :zzz:
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