The main hindrance which crops up for me time and again is dullness and drowsiness in meditation.
I'm a full time worker in a very intense job, helping people in crisis and managing emergency situations.
Much of my time is spent either at work, traveling to and from work, recovering from work, and getting my preparation done for work. In addition to this I run a household on my own, and support my parents (who live nearby) and my elderly neighbours who are in the late stages of their lives. I carry out voluntary work too. I love all of this and am grateful for the opportunity to serve.
However, it often means that when I come to meditate, within 20 or 30 minutes I'm totally knackered and starting to nod off. It's been like this for years now. I've tried caffeine, which wigs me out. I've tried altering my meditation schedule, but I still seem to be tired all the time. I've tried sleeping more at night and simply getting more rest, but I don't have that luxury of time very often. I'm in my early 30s and am caught in a fast paced environment of technology and heavy adrenal demands.
I guess I need to accept that this is just how life is for me at the moment. My question is, is is really possible to make any genuine progress in meditation when more often than not, it's just 20-30 minutes a day, normally ending in a snooze? I don't feel like I've developed much ability to concentrate the mind in Samadhi.
I've booked a short weekend retreat for in a few weeks time but I just wonder whether any good (in terms of concentration) which comes from that may be lost when I get straight back into my regular life. I could really do with some practical tips if anyone has them.
Whaddya reckon? How do you deal with drowsiness or heavy lifestyle demands as a layperson?
Death sweeps away those who spend their lives gathering flowers
- Dhammapada 47
The only true freedom is freedom from the heart's desires;
And the only true happiness this way lies...
- Matt Johnson, The The