Need Help to calm my mind

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

Need Help to calm my mind

Postby MikeF » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:05 am

Hello,
I just left early from a 3-day Vipassana sitting. I sat for 2 days, and given that it has been 3 years since my initial 10-day sit, I was doing quite well, except that my mind was distracted by an upcoming move to another city, and I also had in my mind that I wanted to celebrate my birthday with my friends on saturday night (my birthday being on sunday, the end of the course). I convinced myself that 3 days wasn't enough anyway and that it wasn't doing much for me (which is a complete fabrication). Essentially, I let my desire to play take over and I left. With 1 more day to go. Once on the road I realized my mistake, and now I feel completely depressed and angry at myself for not finishing the course (a common theme in my life is getting distracted by fun, to a point where it's out of balance). I don't know what to turn to, so I thought i would see if anybody here has any advise or direction for any literature, videos, etc. to help calm myself down.
Many thanks,
Mike
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Re: Need Help to calm my mind

Postby Ben » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:48 am

Hi Mike

Just relax and let go.
If its really upsetting you then perhaps returning to anapanasati (samatha form) to observe the touch of the breath for longer and longer periods. The increase in concentration will also help to develop some calm. Then return to your vipassana practice.
Keep in mind, that for many people intense vipassana practice causes all sorts of uncomfortable phenomena to arise. What you've gone through is nothing out of the ordinary. Just don't beat yourself up about it. Learn from it and move on.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Need Help to calm my mind

Postby Dan74 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:12 am

MikeF wrote:Hello,
I just left early from a 3-day Vipassana sitting. I sat for 2 days, and given that it has been 3 years since my initial 10-day sit, I was doing quite well, except that my mind was distracted by an upcoming move to another city, and I also had in my mind that I wanted to celebrate my birthday with my friends on saturday night (my birthday being on sunday, the end of the course). I convinced myself that 3 days wasn't enough anyway and that it wasn't doing much for me (which is a complete fabrication). Essentially, I let my desire to play take over and I left. With 1 more day to go. Once on the road I realized my mistake, and now I feel completely depressed and angry at myself for not finishing the course (a common theme in my life is getting distracted by fun, to a point where it's out of balance). I don't know what to turn to, so I thought i would see if anybody here has any advise or direction for any literature, videos, etc. to help calm myself down.
Many thanks,
Mike


Ben's advice is sound.

I'd just add that the problem you mention is universal - we are all distracted from practice by fun, by wants of some sort or another, that's why we are here. To figure out this wanting, this neediness is a big part of practice, I think.

Good luck!
_/|\_
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Re: Need Help to calm my mind

Postby Digity » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:03 pm

Look at the upside....you did two out of the three days. That still counts for something. Next time just try and show more resolve.
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Re: Need Help to calm my mind

Postby pegembara » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:39 pm

Meditation is more likely to succeed if the mind is quiet and clam. This usually means living a live relatively free from distractions. The mind is then less engaged in the sensory world.

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Now at that time a large number of monks, after the meal, on returning from their alms round, had gathered at the meeting hall and were engaged in many kinds of bestial topics of conversation: conversation about kings, robbers, & ministers of state; armies, alarms, & battles; food & drink; clothing, furniture, garlands, & scents; relatives; vehicles; villages, towns, cities, the countryside; women & heroes; the gossip of the street & the well; tales of the dead; tales of diversity, the creation of the world & of the sea; talk of whether things exist or not.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: Need Help to calm my mind

Postby Kamran » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:46 pm

I would not get hung up on reaching some goal, but rather see it as a great opportunity to learn.

I think the goal should be to increase your mindfulness over time...just watch, learn, and let go.

You may want to explore Joseph Goldstien's talks, as he mentions many issues he's had during his many years of practice.

http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/talk/6162/
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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Re: Need Help to calm my mind

Postby MikeF » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:52 am

Thank you all for your advice.
It is much appreciated.

Mike
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