Pannapetar wrote:I can relate to that. I think boredom arises as a consequence of craving for entertainment, intellectualising, or occupying the mind in any other way, especially as a result of the idea that "there are better things to do" than meditation. It may be worthwhile to set time apart for meditation, perhaps moving to a quiet location away from distractions. In the beginning, I often went to a nearby park for meditation. Now I am setting time apart in the early morning or in the evening when there is nothing else to do. The thing with achieving concentration... it just takes time. I have used the counting method with some success, but simple counting is too easy; it leaves too much room for the mind to wander. So I counted 0.5 on breathing in, 1 on breathing out, 1.5 on breathing in, 2 on breathing out, up to 5, then repeat up to 6, 7, 8, 9 until 10, then restart the sequence. While counting in this way I found myself visualising the numbers as shapes, as well as thinking "breathing-in" and "breathing-out" and simultaneously watching the (physical) breath. Occasionally, even a thread of independent thought sprang up and took its course in parallel. Obviously, the mind can parallel-process, and I even got better at it while using the counting technique. The parallel-processing can become tiring, however, and this leads to wanting to abandon meditation. I tackled this by dropping the counting after a while and just watching the breath, which is more peaceful and relaxing. Then I visualise my mind as a slab of white marble, clean and pristine. When thoughts come up, I perceive the thoughts as garbage falling on the white slab and I just gently wipe them away, like a cook wipes the countertop after chopping vegetables. This worked quite well for me, much better than the counting. I am not sure if this is an accepted Buddhist method, since I came up with it myself after much trial and error. Using this method I can get into a quiet state petty fast, even after a busy day with nagging customers and crying kids.
Many years ago I also found that watching the breathing was too simple so I modified it to suit my needs. I needed something to keep my mind completely concentrated.
It went as follows...
1. Watch in and out breath, name each breath (inhalation + exhalation) as 1, 2, 3 etc - up to 10 and call the group 1 (1 sub-unit)
2. Repeat above and call this group '2' (2 sub-units)
3. Repeat above and name this group '3' (3 sub-units)
etc to 10 sub-units (10 x 10 breaths) 10 sub units then = 1 unit
Repeat above until 2 units are completed
Repeat above until 3 units are completed
etc up to 10 units - then finish
10 breaths = 1 sub unit, 10 sub units (100 breaths) = 1 unit, 10 units (10 times 100 breaths) = 1,000 breaths
Breath rate (on average) is between 6 to 10 seconds per breath. Shorter breaths are usually at the beginning of the sequence, longer ones towards the end.
Say at an average of 8 seconds for each breath the total time = 8,000 seconds or just over 2 hours for a whole session (one can modify lengh of practice for time available).
Practicing (or torturing yourself) this way ensures complete focus on the breath, if one gets lost in the count one MUST start again from the beginning, regardless of where you are in the sequence. It is not recommended to pursue practice in this way for too long, just until one gains complete focus - or goes completely mad.
Also, I found the best time to meditate was night time (less noise) a group of us would start around 9:00 pm and practice through the night, one hour and thirty minutes on with 30 minute breaks until around 6:00 am. We only did this on Friday nights, so we could 'recuperate' on the weekends.