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So, I've done 51 days meditation in a row...

ToshTosh Veteran
edited November 2015 in Meditation

So, I've been a good boy and have meditated 51 days in a row, culminating into nearly 7 hours a week (I've tried to do an hour a day).

And nothing has changed that I can perceive. I'm just as restless, irritable and discontented as I usually am.

I will continue, simply because I know there's a lot of scientific studies that provide evidence that meditation has a wealth of positive benefits, but right now it feels like I'm just sat on my arse wasting my time.

Reassure me, someone, quick.

Thanks.

dantepwBarahZendoLord84mmoTreeLuvr87LincDaltheJigsaw
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Comments

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    There was a study I read just the other day showing changes in the brain starting with the very first time someone meditated.
    Are you sure the changes aren't taking place and you just haven't been able to make use of them yet? I'd bet your brain has changed, but something is blocking you from making use of those changes in your life.

    Adding in yoga might help. For me, doing yoga before I meditate gets both my mind and body more ready and I am able to settle my mind faster. They work very well together.

    lobsterrohit
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    If you don't see any change, maybe you're looking in the wrong place.
    Maybe we will see something you don't.

    Matthieu Ricard claims he's just the same as he always was. But actually, he's been labelled the happiest man in the world.

    he didn't start life that way. (Mind you, he's been doing this for 40 YEARS.....)

    VastmindKundoBuddhadragon
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Hey @Tosh - I admire your efforts, I really do...but I think this could come under the heading of 'expectations'...For me (and I'm not a great meditator), meditation and mindfulness practice help if I lay that aside (expectations). Which amazes me. Makes me smile, too.

    karastiTreeLuvr87
  • Despite having meditated myself for quite some time I don't really know what to tell you. For me at times meditation is no different from waiting for the dentist. But then at other times I do think it has helped me. Do you have anyone who is a teacher of meditation that you could ask questions? Maybe someone in your area (or even online) could answer your questions.

  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited November 2015

    Maybe its good for you to take a step back and start on zero.
    Make a list of questions and answer them, and see what happens?

    Why do you meditate?
    Are there other teqniques wich can be better suited for you? For example walking meditation? Mantra meditation?
    What results do you want from your meditation?
    What happens after you go of the cushion, are you still mindfull?
    Are there a lot of craving/expectations, you dont accept things as they are?

    (and many more)

    Maybe some of your answers will suprise you?

    Vastmind
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    What kind of meditation are you doing Tosh?

  • Its better than doing some other things for 51 days. :)

    ToshKundo
  • And nothing has changed that I can perceive. I'm just as restless, irritable and discontented as I usually am.

    Tee Hee.
    But not when you meditate? Or not yet?

    Being restless, irritable, discontented allows for my real practice.
    I feel that doing yoga, tai chi or running which you do is calming?

    I love the idea of reward based meditation. You could try a tantric practice for 51 further days and get rich
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jambhala

    Send me 10% - thank you. o:)

  • rohitrohit Maharrashtra Veteran

    You might need to do practice in right manner as monk said in another thread.

  • I'm just as restless, irritable and discontented as I usually am.

    Looks like you have to continue to sit until you are no longer as restless, irritable and discontented. Sometimes you have to deliberately seek things that irritate and learn to sit with them until they stop irritating you.

    That is the practice of vipassana as opposed to samatha.

    Vastmind
  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing great lakes Veteran

    @Tosh said:
    I will continue, simply because I know there's a lot of scientific studies that provide evidence that meditation has a wealth of positive benefits, but right now it feels like I'm just sat on my arse wasting my time.

    Reassure me, someone, quick.

    Keep it going keep it going keep it going!!! :chuffed: :chuffed: :chuffed:

  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing great lakes Veteran

    so worth it so worth it so worth it

    lobster
  • @sova said:

    Keep it going keep it going keep it going!!! :chuffed: :chuffed: :chuffed:

    I will, I'm about to do an hour now.

    And thanks everyone for your helpful comments; it is of course my expectations. I expect bells, whistles and enlightenment.

  • Meditation has never been a solution for anything in my life. However, it has helped me to pinpoint what the real problems are/were.

    Step two is action.

    I changed destructieve patterns. Got a job I like, worked on my relationship and my family life. Counseling for my ADHD.

    I'm a nicer person now, often.
    More content and grateful too.

    NamadaToshlobster
  • @iamthezenmaster said:
    Step two is action.

    Yes, an ethical life and practising compassion. I'm lucky in this area, I'm in A.A. and we have a 'program of action' which is heavily biased towards helping other alkies.

    BunksMorningstar
  • I once did chi kong every day for a year. It did not seem to have an effect on my mental state. Two days I missed the practice. On those days I had arguments over nothing with people at work.

    Keeping a diary gave me insight into the subtle but discernible effect of this 'meditation movement'.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qigong

    51 days is good. 51 weeks is better [oh I iz harsh!]

    The effects will kick in.

    Tosh
  • @Tosh said:
    So, I've been a good boy and have meditated 51 days in a row, culminating into nearly 7 hours a week (I've tried to do an hour a day).

    And nothing has changed that I can perceive. I'm just as restless, irritable and discontented as I usually am.

    What is your meditation? Not everything will bring positive results. I know people who meditated regularly for decades, without effects.

  • @Barah said:
    What is your meditation? Not everything will bring positive results. I know people who meditated regularly for decades, without effects.

    Just boring old breathing meditation, mostly. When I get really bored with it, I stop breathing for a while, till breathing becomes a little more interesting.

    During my meditation I'll also meditate on sounds, or my body, using the breath as an anchor.

    When things calm down, I try to rest in awareness.

  • @lobster said:

    And nothing has changed that I can perceive. I'm just as restless, irritable and discontented as I usually am.

    Tee Hee.
    But not when you meditate? Or not yet?

    I'm talking about off the meditation mat, though I can certainly be anxious (etc) while meditating too. Then I'll explore the anxiety and just feel it.

  • @Namada said:
    Maybe its good for you to take a step back and start on zero.
    Make a list of questions and answer them, and see what happens?

    Why do you meditate?

    Why? I think it's because I want to feel peaceful; not especially while meditating, but when I'm not meditating too.

    I'm feeling fairly peaceful right now, though there's always some background anxiety (I think).

    Maybe it's because I'm a recovered alcoholic; I know when I used to drink (and the booze was working for me), I could feel such an amazing sense of ease and comfort.

    I think I'm looking for similar, but through spiritual practises.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @Tosh said:
    I've been a good boy and have meditated 51 days in a row

    FWIW, less than 2 months is really a very short time period.

    lobstermmoLinc
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Tosh said:

    @seeker242 said:

    @Tosh said:
    I've been a good boy and have meditated 51 days in a row

    FWIW, less than 2 months is really a very short time period.

    I'm impatient. O.o

    Patience is a virtue!

    ToshVastmindmmo
  • @Tosh said:
    Just boring old breathing meditation, mostly. When I get really bored with it, I stop breathing for a while, till breathing becomes a little more interesting.

    That sounds boring indeed.
    What exactly do you expect from this meditation, and why do you think that's the way to go?

  • @Barah said:

    @Tosh said:
    Just boring old breathing meditation, mostly. When I get really bored with it, I stop breathing for a while, till breathing becomes a little more interesting.

    That sounds boring indeed.
    What exactly do you expect from this meditation, and why do you think that's the way to go?

    I've heard somewhere that it was good enough for the Buddha!

    I've got a few Lamrim texts and done some of that too.

    What would you recommend?

  • @Tosh said:
    it is of course my expectations. I expect bells, whistles and enlightenment.

    :3 Yes

    Ironically your meditation is

    • disciplined :+1:
    • uncomplicated :+1:
    • boring :+1: lucky you, when bells and whistles arrive is when things get complicated ...

    However trying something for twenty minutes of the hour is fine and may offer you some palpable results.

    eg.

    • Lamrim you have mentioned.
    • Some of the guided meditations on the insight app you use or from youtube
    • Mantrayana
    • Visualisation - my favourite is elemental
    • Walking meditation

    A teacher online or in a sangha may be appropriate

    Vastmind
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @Tosh meditation will not stop ones neuroses, one just becomes more aware of them as they arise and depart , and what one does with this new found awareness is up to the aggregates, or should I say up to the awareness of the aggregates in motion :)

    This new found "Awareness" won't happen over night but it will happen......So you're doing the 'right' thing by soldiering on with meditation practice...

    Remember Perfect Practice Make Perfect Practice

    lobster
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    As Pema Chodron says, you have spent your lifetime up to now (and countless lifetimes, if you accept the concept of rebirth) creating and augmenting your current habits of being. Don't expect to turn it around quickly. In fact, it easily takes 3-8 years of practice before you start to change.
    Why even START working on it? Because if you start now and keep it up, you will be happier 10+ years from now.
    Otherwise ... not likely.

    As my teacher (a senior monk from Namgyal monastery in northern India) keeps reminding us ... "little bit by little bit".
    The whole thing about Buddhism is not so much a matter of getting somewhere, as it is of just learning how to BE.

  • @FoibleFull said: In fact, it easily takes 3-8 years of practice before you start to change.

    I think it took the Buddha six years to get Enlightened; I'm in my 7th year of practise!!! O.o

    Though to be fair, my starting point was probably a lot lower than the Buddha's was and my alcoholic nature wants it now!!!

    I'll report back with more whining when I reach 100 days of meditation, or Enlightenment (whichever is the soonest).

    Thanks for all your comments.

    lobsterBunksKundo
  • BarahBarah Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @Tosh said:
    I've heard somewhere that it was good enough for the Buddha!

    No, it wasn't =)

    What would you recommend?

    I recommend you to think deep about your expectations. People like to jump into meditation A, or B, and do it for years without asking themselves a question, why do I do that?

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @Tosh said:

    I'll report back with more whining when I reach 100 days of meditation, or Enlightenment (whichever is the soonest).

    ;)
    No whining and you may get a medal ...

    http://www.emmaseppala.com/10-science-based-reasons-start-meditating-today-infographic

    silver
  • ZendoLord84ZendoLord84 Veteran
    edited November 2015

    @Tosh said:

    @iamthezenmaster said:
    Step two is action.

    Yes, an ethical life and practising compassion. I'm lucky in this area, I'm in A.A. and we have a 'program of action' which is heavily biased towards helping other alkies.

    Try working through this book. It sure helped me.

    I disliked meditation and it was a constant struggle untill I stopped resisting.

    http://coastalcarolinaarea.org/literature/books/swg.pdf

    Tosh
  • howhow Veteran

    @Tosh
    No Reassurances here.

    In Soto Zen, few things are as useless as trying to measure or accomplish something while meditating
    and
    the counting & carrying of past meditative efforts is of even less value as they really
    only represent more of what one was unable to let go off in the first place.

    But...I do wish you well on your path..

    ToshlobsterBunks
  • @iamthezenmaster said:

    Try working through this book. It sure helped me.

    I disliked meditation and it was a constant struggle untill I stopped resisting.

    http://coastalcarolinaarea.org/literature/books/swg.pdf

    Thanks for the link: I'll have a look at that.

    Ta

    ZendoLord84
  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited November 2015

    Are you on the right path Tosh? Yes I think so, you are a hard working man..With meditation our faults are totatly naked, and cant hide between a glass of wine or vodka.

    we didnt know we had so many faults....so maybe its just how it is, we are irritated, frustraited, happy, and its coming and going. Up and then down, so peace where is it?

    Peace we can find with our understanding, that things change all the time, time pass so fast.

    robotTosh
  • Whatever you encounter, be it happiness or sorrow, good or bad.
    Simply recognise it as your own true nature!

    In the expanse in which self-knowing awareness arises spontaneously, free of all grasping, rest and relax, without contrivance or fabrication.

    Whatever thoughts arise, recognizing their essence, allow them all to be liberated as the display of your own intrinsic nature.

    Without the slightest trace of anything to cultivate or focus upon in meditation, don’t allow yourself to drift even for a single instant into ordinary confusion.

    Instead, remain aware and undistracted during all activities, and train to recognize all sights and sounds and sensory experience as the play of illusion. In so doing, you will gain experience for the bardo state.

    Even if we were to meet in person, I would have no greater instruction to give you than this. So take it to heart, all the time, and in any situation.

    Longchenpa

    Toshlobster
  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited November 2015

    ^^Okay, @Jeffrey, thanks; I've printed that out and I'll read and follow the instructions.

    Ta

  • LincLinc Community Instigator Detroit Moderator

    Brains are very good at reestablishing equilibrium (read: being privileged jerks). What seemed an impossible aspiration a year ago may seem trivial today. And so we look at our accomplishments and shrug, and only see where we've made no progress.

    Maybe you don't feel different, but there's no way your willpower isn't a little bit stronger now. :chuffed: And it'll be a little bit stronger tomorrow. And you won't get to measure it until it really matters.

    silverKundo
  • @Linc said:
    And so we look at our accomplishments and shrug, and only see where we've made no progress.

    Tee hee :)

    I dream of 'no progress'.
    Meditation 'Notch and shrug' ... good plan ...

    ... and now to rescue the princess ...

    LincZendoLord84
  • LincLinc Community Instigator Detroit Moderator

    I'm more of a Buddhuigi, myself.

    Kundo
  • that is one awesome Mario statue

    Linc
  • Reassure me, someone, quick.

    Oh ... I think like with AA, it is your reassurance of us that is required.

    I iz wikid o:)

  • JosephbraveheartJosephbraveheart Ann Arbor, Michigan USA New

    Stop having expectations, just breath

    Bunks
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Hello @Josephbraveheart, and welcome. Not all expectations are unskilful. Some are positively beneficial.

  • @Tosh said:
    And nothing has changed that I can perceive. I'm just as restless, irritable and discontented as I usually am.
    I will continue, simply because I know there's a lot of scientific studies that provide evidence that meditation has a wealth of positive benefits, but right now it feels like I'm just sat on my arse wasting my time.

    In meditation you're not restless, irritable or discontented.
    As soon as these feelings arise, meditate each and every time - it doesn't need to be long, just a note eventually, but it should be consistently every time they arise.

    Jeffreylobster
  • @how said:
    @Tosh
    No Reassurances here.

    In Soto Zen, few things are as useless as trying to measure or accomplish something while meditating
    and
    the counting & carrying of past meditative efforts is of even less value as they really
    only represent more of what one was unable to let go off in the first place.

    But...I do wish you well on your path..

    I do like what @how says BUT it really goes so against our conventional reality. Nobody in their right mind does something so disciplined, frickin' hard - assuming it is, effortless and pointless - assuming it is ... as sitting ...

    However what kind of head case runs somewhere they are not trying to get to [hill runner @Tosh - kindly replies to the usual cructacean dead drop] ...

    Let me put it another way. Who on earth buys into using camera equipment, when they have a smart phone [photographer @Tosh does not deem that worthy of a reply].

    Meditation is a 'reply without question'.

    I sits because I sits.

    Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @lobster said:

    Meditation is a 'reply without question'.

    The crustacean has done it again ...nicely put @lob :)

  • @Tosh Hmmm looks like your sitar is not producing any sound. I think your strings are too loose.

    Bored? Maybe you should be asking yourself why you need excitement?

    It's an interesting question to meditate on, and also a challenge. Challenges can be exciting if you choose to take them on.

    Have you tried vipassana mediation? Sounds like you've got the breathing meditation down if your doing it for an hour everyday. I think you may find it interesting and insightful.

    rohit
  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    Meditating on the breath never did work very well for me. It required too much will (or force), which can be counterproductive. From Dharma talks I've listened to, and my own experience, forcing the mind to 'focus' can cause it to rebel and block progress. See here for Ajahn Brahm's explanation:

    Two types of meditation worked best for me: metta bhavana (which I credit with kicking my depression) and what Ajahn Brahm terms 'relaxing the mind'. Remember, striving and expectations will work against you.

    lobster
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    I find breathing meditation extremely grounding, and it's my anchor when my mind drifts off the present moment.
    It also helps me keep my cool when people around me try my patience or lose theirs.

    Drop all expectations, @Tosh, and maybe reduce your sessions to a length that does not feel like you are striving.
    Maybe half an hour will leave you enough refreshed and relaxed, while the prospect of meditating one hour already predisposes you badly...

    lobsterrohit
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