Will you be my Sangha?

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Will you be my Sangha?

Postby Weakfocus » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:15 pm

Hello

I attended my first Vipassana meditation course (as taught by Mr. S. N. Goenka) over a decade ago on recommendation of an acquaintance. It had a strong impact on me even though I could not focus my mind enough to feel finer sensations and do any Vipassana. After the first course I attended four more ten-day retreats. My last 10-day retreat was almost 6 years ago.

While in my heart I know that this is the right path for me, I have not made any progress towards liberation because I have not been able to find the inner strength to do daily meditation. Without walking the path, there can be no progress no matter how much I read and agree with the teaching.

Many times I have made a determination to meditate daily at home, yet I always fail and quit within a week. I have never been able to maintain focus with Anapanasati. When I cannot focus on breath for two seconds, the question of being able to feel sensations etc does not arise. This has always been a source of great frustration. During 10-day retreats, I could never manage to focus on breath for more than 2 seconds at a time. After my last retreat almost 6 years ago, I quit in depression feeling I was simply too coarse to progress on this path.


A thought occured to me a few days ago: what would be the biggest regret of my life if I were to die today? The answer came instantly: wasting my life by not striving harder and meditating more. I have been given a precious opportunity, and I have wasted a decade. I am not getting younger, death can come anytime. The thought is alarming.

So, this is why I am registering an account here at Dhammawheel. I have been reading the forum on and off for a few months. I want to put an end to this feeling of depression and frustration. I want to be able to meditate daily, that is the only way I will find happiness. And since I am so weak, I need a sangha with whom to meditate daily. There are no meditators nearby with whom I can meditate daily or once a week. You guys are all I have.

I hope you will accept me and tolerate me if I start a personal thread for daily meditation where I can 'post attendance' after each daily meditation. I am aware of The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge, would it be okay to start a new thread for my selfish purpose?

My plan is to start light, meditate 15 minutes at a time, twice a day. Make it a habit for a month or so before gradually increasing the meditation time.

Regards
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Re: Will you be my Sangha?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:41 pm

:thumbsup:

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!

:meditate:
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Re: Will you be my Sangha?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:04 pm

Hello. Welcome! :)

I had the exact same problem as you until I found the answer that works for me. I hope it works for you.

During routine tasks, such as walking to work, cleaning the house, washing dishes, taking a bath, etc. be continuously mindful of the activity you're doing. I focus on the movement of the body or the sensations resulting from it. This is easy to do because in your mind it won't be taking time away from anything. But this simple application of mindfulness will have the effect of reducing the hindrances, including lazyness. The other positive effect is that you'll become more aware of the hindrances and you'll get to their origins. In case of people, such as me, that have suffered depression, the hindrance of lazyness is stronger and has psychological causes. The good news is that they can be fixed. :)

Try to do this and take note of how much of what you (don't) do is influenced by this hindrance in particular. Then apply equanimity and you'll be on your way.

Metta :)
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Will you be my Sangha?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:25 pm

Welcome and I hope you find your way to happiness through the Dhamma!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: Will you be my Sangha?

Postby cooran » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:31 pm

Welcome to DhammaWheel! :group:

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Will you be my Sangha?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:47 pm

Greetings,

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel.

:buddha1:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Will you be my Sangha?

Postby Weakfocus » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:23 am

Thank you everyone for the kind welcome. I have started a daily meditation logging thread, hopefully other meditators will find it useful too.

Modus.Ponens wrote:During routine tasks, such as walking to work, cleaning the house, washing dishes, taking a bath, etc. be continuously mindful of the activity you're doing. I focus on the movement of the body or the sensations resulting from it. This is easy to do because in your mind it won't be taking time away from anything. But this simple application of mindfulness will have the effect of reducing the hindrances, including lazyness. The other positive effect is that you'll become more aware of the hindrances and you'll get to their origins. In case of people, such as me, that have suffered depression, the hindrance of lazyness is stronger and has psychological causes. The good news is that they can be fixed. :)

Try to do this and take note of how much of what you (don't) do is influenced by this hindrance in particular. Then apply equanimity and you'll be on your way.


Very good guidance. I feel I have narrowed down the practice of mindfullness to only sitting pactice, when in reality it can also be strengthened during many daily tasks. Not to mention walking meditation etc. This -combined with two regular daily sittings for Anapanasati- should help me get out of the rut. Thank you for sharing your experience.
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Re: Will you be my Sangha?

Postby Ben » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:48 am

Greetings weakfocus

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel.
I have been a student of SN Goenka since 1985. I have vivid memories of attempting to do the practice during a ten-day course for the first time then practicing at home - it is hard. It is also hard to get established with a regular meditation schedule and it took me some time.
If you haven't attended a ten-day course in six years it might be worthwhile thinking about attending another - if you have the time and volition. In the meantime, I am happy to discuss any issues you have.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Will you be my Sangha?

Postby Weakfocus » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:23 pm

Ben wrote:Greetings weakfocus

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel.
I have been a student of SN Goenka since 1985. I have vivid memories of attempting to do the practice during a ten-day course for the first time then practicing at home - it is hard. It is also hard to get established with a regular meditation schedule and it took me some time.
If you haven't attended a ten-day course in six years it might be worthwhile thinking about attending another - if you have the time and volition. In the meantime, I am happy to discuss any issues you have.
kind regards,

Ben


Thank you, Ben. With the sense of community here may be this time I will be able to do persist with my daily meditation.

I will attempt to meditate at home (twice daily) for some time before my next course. Lack of daily practice and the consequent weak focus has always been my weakness, so I want to make some efforts in that area before next course so that I get best possible benefit from the course when I eventually do go.

Regards
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Re: Will you be my Sangha?

Postby mal4mac » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:13 pm

Why not make "interrupting" thoughts, and consequent frustration, part of the meditation? Isn't meditation about being aware of everything, not just the breath?
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Re: Will you be my Sangha?

Postby Ben » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:16 pm

mal4mac wrote:Why not make "interrupting" thoughts, and consequent frustration, part of the meditation?

No, not necessarily.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

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