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What am I doing wrong? - Dhamma Wheel

What am I doing wrong?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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Beautiful Breath
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What am I doing wrong?

Postby Beautiful Breath » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:04 pm

Hi everyone,

All I seem to do in my practice now is doze! I know this happens but all following the breath seems to do is make me feel drowsey to the point that I keep 'waking up' several times in each session. Starting to think I might just as well stay in bed :broke:

Also when I am concious, I seem to go through a dialogue that shifts from questioning my practice per se to ruminating on the benefits of other techniques. then, when I return to the breath I fall asleep (albeit for a matter onb a minute).

Any advice welcomed!

BB...

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:22 pm

Always precede sitting meditation with at least ten minutes of walking practice.

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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reflection
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby reflection » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:34 pm

Over the years, while all other hindrances I can usually evade quite well -at least their grosser forms-, the hindrance of sleepiness/dullness is one I still have some troubles with as well. Because it's almost the direct opposite of mindfulness, it's hard to investigate it thoroughly. But I've learned about it quite a bit and this is only possible if you don't cut off your meditation even if you are sleepy.

It's not really that you are doing something wrong. This hindrance will be there until you are fully enlightened, that's the way it is. And even enlightened ones need sleep.

I've found out several reasons for it to occur:
#1 is the easiest, you are simply tired. Especially outside of a retreat setting, the mind is so active all of the time, it'll be sleepy and when it gets the chance, it'll go to sleep. This I found best to just sit out, just be tired, nod away a bit. Amazingly after such a meditation the mind can still be very peaceful, because you've made peace with it.

#2 is boredom with the breath. You don't find it interesting. If you can recognize this early on, you can evade the dullness just by seeing it. Other ways may be to change the attention to another body part, notice other sensations of breathing, change the breathing a bit etc. Everything to make it just a bit different.


That's my advice, but here is some advice that's probably better: :tongue:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB3cUVxfYBA

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Beautiful Breath
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby Beautiful Breath » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:54 pm

...thanks for your replies. I guess it reminds me of a statement by a Tibetan Practitioner when I told him how I was practicing, he said "A stone can sit and not think".

I think the implication was that any practices that dull the mind (in his opinion like breath work or silent witnessing) are useless. He would err more on the active analytical methods in his tradition - each to their own I guess!

BB...

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kirk5a
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:41 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Kim OHara
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:28 am


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manas
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby manas » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:46 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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m0rl0ck
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Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:29 am

The only thing that ever worked for me with that difficulty was making sure i was getting enough calories, good nutrition and plenty of sleep.

For instance if you eat sugar and sit down to practice you will fall asleep when you have the sugar crash, or if you are hungry you will probably fall asleep.

I used to sometimes take a nap before sitting when i was having this difficulty.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig


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