Hi there, Vardali,
Vardali wrote:But still, I have thoughts - they flashing up briefly, nothing I need to follow, but obviously I notice them. They are easy enough to let go but they are like inner comments on my sitting feelings - "this feels so and so", "there are my toes", "long breath - deep breath" etc. etc. And lately, I get these repeated thought flashes of "this is boring" or "I am bored".
To me this sounds like a really good thing, a sign that you're doing something right. In my opinion, if we go into sitting practice with the expectation that things are just going to get better, that thoughts never will arise, that it's going to be engaging and interesting all the time, then we're not being realistic. The reality is that things change all the time. Great that you had some period of stable, easy sitting, but now that's over with and you're getting to some meat. Boredom, that's rich stuff. Be happy it's coming up. Sit with it for as long as it manifests. It's going to be ... boring! Really boring. Wow. You get to work on that now, so good for you.
And if it shifts to aversion, wow. Now you've really got some good stuff coming up. You're definitely doing something right. And guess what? It won't last forever. A day will come when you'll get bliss again, and you'll be all happy that you're "back in the groove." But guess what? That won't last forever, either.
Work with what you get. Don't have expectations. That's key, in my view.
Vardali wrote:Just that - I can put it behind me and not reflect on it during the meditation
Don't put it anywhere. Just allow it to be there, perhaps subtly in the background. Don't try to shove it around.
Vardali wrote:... I would like to find a way to minimize this risk.
Be a risk-taker!
Ben's right, make sure you're following your instructions correctly. And if you are, then be kind to yourself. What you're describing is, in my view, a common experience, and yeah, folks get discouraged. That's all part of of the process, right up to and including the discouragement part. To me it sounds like you're doing great.