Feelings of futility...

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

Feelings of futility...

Postby Beautiful Breath » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:08 am

...has anyone else experienced this? I currently find that rather than being aware of my meditation object, I am just a man, sat on the floor awaiting some sort of sensation in order to qualify the fact that I could be back in bed getting a an hours extra sleep.

Seriously, very strong feelings and thoughts around "...what are you doing...what are you waiting for...whats is it that you want...what is it that you expect..." and when I answer that I am waiting, expecting and wantiing nothing I wonder what on earth I am doing sat there.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

BB...
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Re: Feelings of futility...

Postby Ben » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:24 am

This is not unusual, BB.
Its important to understand that thoughts are not I, not mine, not me.
They are conditioned dhammas that are, effervescent, impersonal and transitory. Unfortunately, the habit pattern is to identify with what's going on inside our heads.
Try and keep your focus steadfastly on the meditation object. Meditation occurs only in the present moment, so thoughts that focus on the past or future are just discursive thoughts which should be regarded as such.
If you are practicing samatha, keep your unbroken attention on the object for as long as possible at a time.
If you practice vipassana then just observe the anicca characteristic of the object.
wishing you all the very best,

Ben
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Re: Feelings of futility...

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:31 am

BB,

I have this ridiculous head cold for weeks now and between that and the demands of work I found myself formally sitting for 15 minutes a day at times. Sometimes, as I was draining my nose into tissue after tissue and/or trying to catch a breath between coughs, I would ask my self "What is the point?" But, for me at least, the point is maintaining my discipline and commitment to developing concentration in the long run. If nothing else, I am at least inclining the mind in that direction. In some ways the cold and work have forced me tto strip down my formal practice to wwhat is truly essential: I take refuge, recite the precepts, meditate for as long as I comfortably can and dedicate the merit. It's not fancy or inspiring necessarily but I can feel the difference when I don't. Also, during times like this I find it helps to spend extra time in study of the suttas or, if that's not your thing, reading Dhamma books by repsected bhikkus/bhikkunis. I wish you all the best and this too, like all conditioned things, shall cease. Be well! :hug:

Mettaya,

Mike
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Re: Feelings of futility...

Postby Beautiful Breath » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:03 pm

..thanks both. It also makes me question my practice too - ie. should I change my practice to something more inquisitive rather than just sitting here doing nothing :juggling:

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Re: Feelings of futility...

Postby DAWN » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:24 pm

Hellow Dear Breath,

That concern my advice, there is two advices :
- try to see your futility in your body, how do it express it self phisicaly. And after, if you catch it, study it, whant element it is, how do this feeling mouves, experiance with it. Dont interpret it like a futility, but like feeling that express itself by such and such way in such and such place, it react such and such on metta etc etc. Explore it, is your toy.

- if you suffer, watch at the very middle of you, at the the very middle of your mind, at the very middle of your heart. Do you feel any suffer now? No.. You dont suffer here...

I hope you will try our advices.
Often peoples forget it rapidly, but it's not good or bad, cause if they will dont putt advices in practice, so, after some time of serious practice, they will be able to advice them selfs.

Best wishes :namaste:
Sabbe dhamma anatta
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Re: Feelings of futility...

Postby daverupa » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:59 pm

Beautiful Breath wrote:..thanks both. It also makes me question my practice too - ie. should I change my practice to something more inquisitive rather than just sitting here doing nothing :juggling:

BB...


So, what sort of satipatthana are you doing?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Feelings of futility...

Postby befriend » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:18 pm

you have to have a philosophy behind or take the zen route and have no motive just being is enlightenment. in the grand scheme of things, i do not want to waste my precious human birth, i want to become a streamwinner,because then i would be free from suffering in this life or some future life. meditation makes an incredible amount of merit keeping you safe and more likely to be a moral person in this life and the next. i do know what you mean, in the moment your mind is like why the hell am i watching the movement of my belly? haha. but try to keep perspective. meditation and moral living will eventually lead you to a state of mind where there is no suffering.
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Re: Feelings of futility...

Postby Beautiful Breath » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:37 pm

daverupa wrote:
Beautiful Breath wrote:..thanks both. It also makes me question my practice too - ie. should I change my practice to something more inquisitive rather than just sitting here doing nothing :juggling:

BB...


So, what sort of satipatthana are you doing?



...I do a variation of Silent Illumination. No object as such...just a general awareness of the body sitting.
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Re: Feelings of futility...

Postby santa100 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:59 pm

Make sure not to associate any "I", "mine", or "myself" to the body, feeling, etc. See all mental and physical processes as just simply processes..
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Re: Feelings of futility...

Postby daverupa » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:25 pm

Beautiful Breath wrote:
daverupa wrote:
Beautiful Breath wrote:..thanks both. It also makes me question my practice too - ie. should I change my practice to something more inquisitive rather than just sitting here doing nothing :juggling:

BB...


So, what sort of satipatthana are you doing?


...I do a variation of Silent Illumination. No object as such...just a general awareness of the body sitting.


The "something more inquisitive", in terms of shikantaza, can be the questioning observation of vipashyana. It is quite easy to slip from Zen to Taoist methods, so remembering the paired nature of shamatha-vipashyana is indeed important.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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