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a vicious cycle - Dhamma Wheel

a vicious cycle

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
alan...
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a vicious cycle

Postby alan... » Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:53 pm

so i meditate a lot, am very mindful and study the dhamma. things become wonderful, i see through reality bit by bit and make great progress. then one of two things happen (or both, i'm really not sure):

1. i feel so good i slack off in practice and therefore go back to largely fluctuating emotions and what not. "i'm nearly accomplished in the dhamma! i don't even need to meditate or chant my sutta and be super mindful today!"

Image

2. i'm on some kind of cycle based on what chemicals my brain is producing. like i produce a ton of serotonin for three weeks then not near enough for two weeks and then a ton again and so on.

i'm thinking number one is more likely as my eating and sleeping habits vary greatly and the cycle is inconsistent. i tried tracking it but it doesn't follow a precise pattern. if it was related to brain chemicals then diet and sleeping habits would affect it directly. so i'm thinking it's just right effort slacking off. if i can do better on that step it should fix itself.

thoughts?

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Cittasanto
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Re: a vicious cycle

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:14 pm

it is not uncommon to become slack when practising. We have all done it, overestimated... then reality slaps us in the face.

There is a reason mindfulness of death is a protective meditation.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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daverupa
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Re: a vicious cycle

Postby daverupa » Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:22 pm

I practice in a daily fashion, such that this breath or that breath occurs in an environment of satisampajanna, or not. This fluctuates all the time, but such is bhavana. There are seated occasions where I approach satipatthana in a more thoroughly structured & composed manner, but overall the practice is one of fluctuations.

Wholesome states are to be trained in; they only start getting locked in at stream-entry, and even then unwholesome states yet comprise half of what right effort deals with.

:heart:

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Ben
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Re: a vicious cycle

Postby Ben » Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:14 pm

Greetings Alan,
Try to understand that what you are doing is swimming against the tide of samsara and your own internal conditionings and habituated responses. It takes time and it takes the right type of effort for your Dhamma practice to mature and be something that is sustainable.
Look at adjusting your lifestyle to make it more conducive to practice. It can be as simple as adjusting your schedule so you have some time in the early morning and evening to devote to practice every day.
Try and shed your expectations of what practice should be like. Sometimes its pleasant but a lot of the time one or more difficulties will arise. It could be sloth and torpor, boredom, pain, anxiety or whatever. Craving for bliss or this or that meditative state is actually worse than counter productive.
kind regards,

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]..

alan...
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: a vicious cycle

Postby alan... » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:37 am


alan...
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: a vicious cycle

Postby alan... » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:11 am


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Cittasanto
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Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
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Re: a vicious cycle

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:35 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

alan...
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: a vicious cycle

Postby alan... » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:46 am


User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: a vicious cycle

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:46 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

alan...
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: a vicious cycle

Postby alan... » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:59 am


User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
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Re: a vicious cycle

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:46 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

alan...
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: a vicious cycle

Postby alan... » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:45 pm



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