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The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge - Page 16 - Dhamma Wheel

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.
Reductor
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:23 am

Today has been a day of merry-making, as it is my daughter's sixth birthday. :woohoo: I love that kid so, so much!

All the activity did have a slight cost, however, because I fell asleep on the couch again. But when I awoke, as I seem to when my day's meditation is undone, I sat for an hour. It went well, with a healthy measure of calm and relinquishment. After about 40 minutes I stretched my legs, which always go to sleep, and returned to my seat.

I spent the next 15 or so minutes with the 32 parts. Other than anapanasati, the 32 parts are my favourite focus for contemplation. Of course, when taken as focus, they in fact lead straight back to the body and mind. They are simply well suited to my strong tendency toward lust, is all.

It is possible to yammer a long time about meditation, I am beginning to realize. So, I'll say goodnight now.

Good night.

:heart: <--- This is for everyone.

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Guy
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Guy » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:53 pm

Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

Reductor
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Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:45 pm

Thank you Guy, I appreciate the encouraging words.

About sleeping on the couch, there are different kinds of sleep: some where the intent is to be oblivious, another where the intent is to become wakeful. Last night I felt very tired, again, so I set a timer on my phone for twenty minutes, and laid on the couch. My intent was just to rest enough that I would be able to get up feeling a little bit refreshed. I remained vaguely aware of the room around me. Then my timer went off and I got up to do my meditation.

The meditation had a recurrent restlessness to it that I couldn't shake. The one improvement was that I didn't look at the timer as I did my walking part. It seemed mostly unimportant how much of the session had elapsed, which is an improvement and among the last hurdles for this meditation challenge.

Anyway, have a good day everyone.

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Guy
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Guy » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:40 am

Hi Reductor,

It would seem that you are on to something with the different types of sleep. I think we can all agree that sleep which leaves you feeling more groggy after you wake up than when you fell asleep could be regarded as "bad" (or, at least, "unsatisfying") sleep. In fact, such sleep, in the long-term, if it is made a habit, leads to insomina, depression, anxiety, and all other symptoms of poor health and some people end up in a really bad state. The other kind of sleep, which leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to start the day (which is admittedly the harder of the two types of sleep to come by) we can all agree is "good" sleep.

So, having established those basic terms, how do we get more good sleep and less bad sleep? What are the causes and conditions which lead to bad sleep and what are the causes and conditions which lead to good sleep?

This is a very important point for any serious practicing Buddhist because the quality of our sleep will have a direct impact on the quality of our meditation. This is why Ajahn Brahm encourages retreatants, on 9-day retreats, to rest as much as they want/need on the first 3 days - Why? Because he recognizes that most people, because of work and family life, find "good" sleep hard to come by. So, naturally, when the body has been removed from those external distractions, it shuts down and goes towards sleep because it is in a state of deprivation already and recognizes the new external environment (the retreat centre) to be much more conducive to "good" sleep. This is important!

Having a good sleep is (a preliminary part of) The Middle Way, never make the mistake of believing that it is self-indulgent!!!

We do, indeed, have a hierarchy of needs. In order to meditate effectively and reap good results, we must address our lower needs first - One of the most important (and most neglected, in our modern world) is good sleep - I feel that we need to get back to basics - Moderation in sleep means getting enough of the "good" sleep and avoiding the "bad" sleep in-so-far as that is in your control (i.e. don't have a big meal before you go to bed or you will feel tired in the morning and if you meditate first thing in the morning then it becomes obvious why the Buddha recommended moderation in eating and eating at the right time, etc.).

I know that I need to spend more time focusing on getting basic things like my sleeping and my eating habits sorted before I can even attempt to meditate properly (i.e. Gradual Path of Training).

Thanks for the reminder!

Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

Yana
Posts: 397
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:45 am

Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Yana » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:36 pm

hi everyone...

am so annoyed!...for 4 days in a row have been meditating twice a day...i know it seems like nothing to most people here BUT omg..That took Every ounce of effort!From the time i last posted i have failed to meditate twice a day always ending up meditating once a day..then Finally i adapted to twice a day..failed a few more days..skipped days...then the Only time i managed 4 days in a row...i managed to screw that up too..Today I Failed not Once but Twice grr!!!sigh...i blame bad time management skills.Was suppose to wake up and mediate decided to slack off a bit then had to go for a picnic all day.

Good job yana ..good job...now i have to go back all the way to 5 minutes.!!grr..

Hope everyone else's doing fine. :group:
Life is preparing for Death

Reductor
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:34 am

No, I haven't fallen off the cart!

I just haven't had time to write a decent post.

Last night was a most vexing night indeed. I couldn't string together enough mindfulness to count the breath to ten. Just total muddle mind.

Tonight wasn't so bad, but still there was a lot of preoccupation with various concerns from the day to day of my life. I tried counting each part of breathing, then only the outs while feeling the ins. I tried mindfulness of the posture, mindfulness of calm, and bent my attention toward a perception of light (the lamp light shining through my eyelids). I'm sure I tried other things in an effort to keep my mind from becoming consumed with its preoccupations.

Oh well. The trouble is that my daily life has issues which cannot be resolved unless I first give up craving. And therein lies the rub: how does one give up craving unless the mind is brought to a basic level of clarity first? And how to attain that clarity when these cravings persists? Eieieie! :lol:

Or perhaps: :tantrum:

Now, about sleep. It would be easier to get if there weren't so many light bulbs and beeping thingies in the world. I kid you not. The ability to turn of a frickin light so that I can read a book, or fool around on the internet, is a huge part of the problem. Doubly so for those that work away the day time hours while retaining the desire to spend time in leisure pursuits? Do them in the evening and at night, of course. Just tonight I could hear my neighbour in the adjoining apartment turn on a movie at midnight. Then banging around very loudly in the kitchen. Did he just return home then? Was this his time to unwind? Yet I know I am still awake, as are a few of my neighbours down the hall (who sometime have kids yelling and crying at 1 am). Can't any of us prioritize sleep?

Although sleep is a very, very basic need, a essential need, its lack is easily justified because sleep is a state of doing nothing, and so seems expendable. Yet, doing nothing is just what we really need.

:shrug:

Here I am, talking of sleep at 1:24am! Kind of a buffoon I am. Haha. Sigh. Just a hamster on a wheel, I think.

I really like that bit about Ajahn Brahm and the freedom to sleep at the beginning of retreat. I can imagine how good the sleep would be then, when there are no distractions from it. I can almost feel the relief!

:heart:

Reductor
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:38 am


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Ben
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:12 am

Yana,
We fall down then get up again, fall and get back up and continue.
Just keep at it, and you'll be fine.
with metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Ben
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:19 am

Hi thereductor,
Be easy on yourself. I know from my own experience that one of the worst things about lack of sleep is the anxiety of not getting sleep. The internal beating oneself up over it. In the short-term, invest in some ear plugs. In the medium term - and if its a possibility - move to somewhere a bit more peaceful.
All the best,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Reductor
Posts: 1381
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:56 am


Reductor
Posts: 1381
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:19 am

Whew! This was the 31st day since I began this challenge, which was supposed to be only 30 days in length. I missed a one due to fear, so added a day.

In total I logged 27 hours and 10 minutes of meditation during this time. This is not the 30 hours I was aiming for, but I've really been struggling with some personal issues this last week, which has made it hard. Luckily I did have a pretty easy time in the first 3 weeks or so.

From here I think I'll reduce the session to 40 minutes, and try to get it in between 11pm and 12am. I'll allow an additional twenty minutes for light dhamma reading, which I hope will help.

The real place I need to focus is in the day to day issues of my life; obviously I need to exercise more restraint in the way I conduct my mind.

I'd tell more, but I'm far to private a person for that. So the curious among you shall just have to speculate. :lol:

Take care, and good night.

:heart:

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Ben
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Ben » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:50 am

Congratulations on your awesome effort, thereductor.
Its not an easy task to cultivate virtue, samadhi and panna when the whole world is moving in the other direction.
Its quite an achievement. I encourage you to continue with your challenge and to maintain your meditative practice for another thirty days.
May the Dhamma be your anchora salutis (anchor of salvation) in this time of personal difficulty.
with metta,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Reductor
Posts: 1381
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Reductor » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:11 pm


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Alobha
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The 30-Day Meditation Challenge

Postby Alobha » Mon May 07, 2012 6:58 pm

Hello everybody,

As Ajahn Chah once said: "You're blind and deaf without meditation. Dhamma isn't easily seen. You must meditate to see what you've never seen. Were you born a teacher? No. You must study first. A lemon is sour only when you have tasted it."

For the next 30 days, i will have 2 formal meditation sessions every day and i invite you to join the challenge. :buddha1:

I hereby hope not only that my public proclamation will motivate me to hang on, but i also wish others to join. I hope for your support and look forward for the opportunity, to support everyone who wants to do establish a steady practice, too. While practice is much more than sitting meditation, formal sittings serve as a good basis for pursuing the noble eightfold path.

With Metta,
Alobha

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black hole
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby black hole » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:04 am

Hello to everyone!
I am new and just introudced myself on the forum.
I have been practicing meditation every day, at least one hour and between two and three or four hours during the week end for years. I am not a Thervada practitioner (sorry :shrug: ) : I am a Niyingmapa but I like your forum. What I practice is like samatha (Shine) and Vipassana (Lakhtong)in addition to meditation-visualization specific to Tibetan Buddhism.
I'm so used to meditation that I can not even consider that I can stop one day. It's an hindrance it will be hard to get rid!
Then, think of me so I still have the strength and courage to get up early to meditate and make room in my life to fill it with emptiness!
Everything is naturally perfect just as it is

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d.sullivan
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby d.sullivan » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:40 pm

For various reasons (school being a big one), my practice has waned lately. It has bothered me a great deal, but I was so stressed with school I could never bring myself to meditate when there was homework to be done. I need to learn to re-organize my priorities, because in the long run I actually care about my practice more, but this is not always reflected in my actions.

In any case, it is the summer now and I want to get my practice back in order. I did this challenge a couple times in the past, and it worked very well. Since my experience has born this to be very skillful means, I'm back.

This week I wish to practice for half and hour each day. I would prefer this occur in the morning, but it is my first week back and I am going to be flexible. Next week perhaps I will require greater discipline.

Thank you, everyone here, for providing this space of encouragement. You are all my benefactors :thanks:
Every blade in the field,
Every leaf in the forest,
Lays down its life in its season,
As beautifully as it was taken up.

Thoreau.

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Ben
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Ben » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:42 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
d.sullivan
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:24 am

Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby d.sullivan » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:33 am

Every blade in the field,
Every leaf in the forest,
Lays down its life in its season,
As beautifully as it was taken up.

Thoreau.

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NoMoreSnoozeBar
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby NoMoreSnoozeBar » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:21 am

Hello All,

I wanted to post here as I still persevere through the challenge of setting the foundation of my practice. My present goal is to sit for at least 30 minutes per day. I have accomplished this some after several days at 15 minutes then worked up to 30. I still let life and tiredness keep my away from the cushion when I know that I need to be there. I think I will aim to wake up before I need to and sit while everyone else is still asleep. This seems to be the most ideal time for me given the busyness and fullness of my evenings around the house.

With no teacher or local meditation classes, I am trying to gather my resources as much as possible, and I am thrilled to have found this forum.

Be well!

~Chris
Metta,

~Chris

:anjali:

Hitting the snooze bar of life may seem easier, but practicing toward awakening is a much better idea.

:thumbsup:

Feathers
Posts: 260
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:14 pm

Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Feathers » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:58 am

Hi!
I'm just starting out, and so far have been very undisciplined. Today is the first day of my new routine:

Every morning:
walking meditation four lengths of my room (mostly just to wake up). This is about 20 paces in total!
5 mins calm awareness (the very first stage described by Ajahn Brahm in Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond
Metta: all four phrases for me, then a circuit of the first phrase for people I'm meeting today
+ more metta as needed/as it develops
Another two lengths of the room (mostly to get some feeling back in my legs)

The metta sounds selfish, but it's recommended in the guide I'm following to start exclusively with yourself at first (interestingly Ajahn Brahm recommends the opposite as he says most of us find doing metta for ourselves the most difficult).

This is a pathetically small amount, but if I stick to it for a week it will be more discipline and consistency than I've ever managed before. I'm trying to be realistic.

Good luck to everyone in their practice :smile:
Last edited by Feathers on Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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