Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

I haven't been meditating as often as I should be

Hello!

I'm a new Buddhist teen. I haven't been meditating as often as I should be, and it's usually because of procrastination and laziness. :( I enjoy meditation and the effect it has on my day, but I'm having trouble getting myself to stick with it. Any help?

Also, is my meditation okay? I sit with one foot in front of the other in front of me, loosely cross-legged, on a pillow. Before I formally start I stretch and clean my room to get in the right headspace, then I sit and concentrate on my breathing. I am only able to stay focused for about 15 minutes. How do I improve?

Thanks to anyone who responds. Peace be with you :)

Comments

  • Lonely_TravellerLonely_Traveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    Hello @zenyatta sounds like your doing fine to me. Try extending your meditation by a couple of minutes or so every week to make progress.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Part of the problem is that if it always becomes a "should" then it turns it into a chore :) I try to turn it around into a "I get to meditate!" rather than I should, or I have to.
    I agree with Lonely above, just add a couple minutes and allow yourself to adjust to that and increase it as that comfort comes.

    zenyatta
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    I am only able to stay focused for about 15 minutes. How do I improve?

    With patience and ongoing practice .....

  • zenyattazenyatta Florida New

    @karasti said:
    Part of the problem is that if it always becomes a "should" then it turns it into a chore :) I try to turn it around into a "I get to meditate!" rather than I should, or I have to.

    I didn't think it could be that easy :p Thank you!

  • Hi B)

    Your posture is fine. It is the burmese pose, I mostly use it myself. Click here for my meditation tips.

    Try walking meditation and or 'mindful room clearing' as part of your routine. Download https://www.insighttimer.com or similar and become inspired.

    Live Long and Prosper.

    zenyatta
  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    @zenyatta said:
    Hello!

    I'm a new Buddhist teen. I haven't been meditating as often as I should be, and it's usually because of procrastination and laziness. :( I enjoy meditation and the effect it has on my day, but I'm having trouble getting myself to stick with it. Any help? . . . Before I formally start I stretch and clean my room to get in the right headspace, then I sit and concentrate on my breathing. I am only able to stay focused for about 15 minutes. How do I improve?

    If 15 minutes isn't the right amount of time, what is? And how do you know 15 min isn't? Maybe the improvements you seek aren't quantitative.

    lobsterDhammaDragonKeromezenyatta
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Loop Veteran
    edited December 2016

    Neuroscience research has demonstrated that meditating 15 minutes a day for a month can completely rewire the function and structure of your brain and immune system, @zenyatta.

    Don't think posture, don't think place, don't think motivation.
    Just do it any moment, any time.
    And don't use verbs such as "should."
    Just do it.

    Until it grows into you, you could begin with 10 minutes and program your timer to chime in announcing the first 5 minutes.
    That way, you'll feel more relaxed knowing how much time you have left.
    It's as simple as sometimes being in your computer, close your eyes and strike a pause, sitting there and doing some rounds of deep breathing.

    Keromelobsterzenyatta
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I meditate maybe 30 to 40 times a week. For how long? It vaires. Sometimes 2 minutes, sometimes ten, sometimes seconds. I have sat for anything up to 15 minutes sometimes, but it's all grist to the mill.
    Quality trumps quantity any time....

    What I'm trying to say - as @karasti has pointed out - that 'should' isn't something you need to load yourself and your shoulders with. ('should' is in _should_er'. Make whatever you want out of that little word-game, there's plenty there to play with!)

    Enjoy what you do, do what you enjoy. Consider walking meditation, standing meditation, meditation while you wait for a bus, meditation while you wash up... TNH has many books focused on different Meditation methods.... (The thread I linked gives you this, and other abbreviations commonly used on forum...)

  • Stretching and cleaning your room to get the right headspace is a wonderful insight. For the rest let it develop naturally.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    Hello @zenyatta, 15 minutes daily in one sitting is already quite a bit. There are various techniques which you can try - some people just focus on in-breath and out-breath, others count breaths to ten and then start again, others do techniques like thought labelling to help with quieting the mind.

    But as @DhammaDragon said you are already doing enough to change the structure of your brain if you stick with it, which is a key point of meditation where you gain a lot of the benefits like additional stress resistance. Over time it will gradually extend.

    The main thing in sustaining the practice to see is how you feel after meditating. If it refreshes and cleanses you, that's great. If you start getting feelings of dissatisfaction then maybe it's time to stretch your wings a bit and try an alternate form of meditation.

    DhammaDragon
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    Make a promise, keep a promise.

    And if you don't keep a promise, take responsibility for that action.

    Investigate the encouragement, "Go out and sin some more."

    zenyatta
  • If you want to do what you're doing now, only more, make it part of a routine. Wake up 10 or 15 minutes earlier, and meditate before breakfast. Or do it when you get home from school. Or right before you go to bed. Whichever works best for you. But pick one and stick with it. If you do it every day for two or three weeks, it will become part of your routine.

    As far as the duration goes, I don't think 15 minutes is bad at all. As long as you are doing some quality meditation during those 15 minutes. If you want to go longer, add a minute every week. No need to sit there for 2 hours at a time at this point in your practice though.

    I read a book once called "8 Minute Meditation" (https://www.amazon.com/Minute-Meditation-Expanded-Quiet-Change/dp/0399173420/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480941901&sr=8-1&keywords=8+minute+meditation). It's title screamed of an "8 Minute Abs" type system, which never works, but the book was a gift and I read it anyway. It actually was good, and showed how you don't need to sit for an hour straight to get good practice. Consistently meditating for 8 minutes a day is better than sporadically meditating for 30 minutes a day.

    I hope that helps.

    zenyatta
  • Tara1978Tara1978 UK Veteran

    I second @federica walking meditation is a great thing to do, especially if you, like me, have trouble sitting for longer than 15 mins and have a busy day ahead. Walking soothes my soul and there is always beauty and peace in nature, even in the city. Chanting mantra at bedtime is also useful i find. Blessings to you.

    DhammaDragon
  • @Tara1978 I admire anyone who can get into walking meditation. I find it such a struggle to move that slowly. I'm a quick moving animal and the slow-motion bit frazzles me. It feels so contrived.

    Does walking meditation have to be at the bionic wo/man speed?
    Suupppeeeerrrrr-sssssllllloooooowwwwww

    Kerome
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited December 2016

    No, just mindful; as with any form of meditation, observing and perceiving without mental running commentary. Not "I am putting one foot in front of the other", but just putting one foot in front of the other, aware of all the associated and necessary mechanical propulsion, without labelling it, or noting it and thinking it.

    Simple!

    Tara1978DhammaDragon
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I am typically a fast mover, too. But I focus on the sensory input during walking meditation. I do it barefoot and focus on how every inch of my body feels during the motions. I also focus on gratitude for being able to do so relatively easily. Walking is one of those simple things we so easily take for granted until something happens to disrupt it. I had a bad knee injury a few years ago and learned quickly how much we take for granted something so simple as to be able to get in and out of the bathtub. So I use walking meditation as a way to practice gratitude for what my body does for me.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    That said we might want to note for @zenyatta that walking meditation is usually considered to be a bit more advanced than sitting. So don't feel you have to rush it, lol.

    federicazenyatta
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Loop Veteran

    Walking meditation can be what one brings to it.
    I love long morning walks in the country and make them as meditative as I can.
    I love to hug trees, touch plants and flowers and in summer indulge in some barefoot walking.
    I don't care for strictly following any rules: I make it a point to make it all about present-moment awareness and deep breathing rather than concentrating on the speed of the pace.

    lobsterzenyatta
  • Hi zenyatta,

    As someone new here I am not sure where my comments will come in the scale of replies above, which all reflect very accommodating and acceptable views in IMHO.

    In meditation, Time meditating is not necessarily the Essence you should focus on - rather I would suggest you look at the quality of the emotional and intellectual experience of your consciousness, without trying to put it into words. Language does reality a minor injustice, in not being able to describe every sensory experience you may have in a single moment simultaneously.

    During meditation so much can happen on various levels that, like, for want of a better example, you burp, and in that burping, everything that was making you feel bloated and fat in your gut suddenly disappears, and you feel happy! QED, All life's complaints (gas bloat) for that moment answered, and you giggle inwardly at yourself - I said it can happen on various levels...

    So my point, if I have one, is how do you personally approach meditation and what are you expecting from it; that I think is where most people are let down by meditation with a bump.

    Apart from sitting and getting the occasional burp, yawn or itch, do you think the world is going to dissolve away and the most esoteric secrets be revealed - don't let that idea be ruined by me though! There is something esoteric in meditation... I can't tell you what it is though... The Meditative state is difficult to get across in words, but one day, probably when you are least expecting it, it becomes an experience that you will realise. But realise that as soon as you grasp onto that state you won't be meditating any more unless you know and understand that you are grasping at something. Sorry - it's too hard to describe, and you just have to Sit... Walk... Run... Hug... Sing... Dance... Shake that body... Whatever meditation you decide works for you.

    I like your name. I googled it - do you play overwatch?

    'Zenyatta calls upon orbs of harmony and discord to heal his teammates and weaken his opponents, all while pursuing a transcendent state of immunity to damage.'

    I am interested in gaming as an immersive sub-field for the modern generation. The problem with the modern gaming view is that it invites a readily acceptable idea of a visual reiteration - 'like a camera capturing it's output on a screen' view of the world, and then you find that you don't know where you are at all. That is why hinduism and buddhism have guardians of the 8/9/10 directions depending on where you are going.

    Sorry, just got lost in my personal immersive thought-field... Back to reality... Post!

    lobsterDhammaDragonzenyatta
  • zenyattazenyatta Florida New

    @satcittananda said:
    Hi zenyatta,

    As someone new here I am not sure where my comments will come in the scale of replies above, which all reflect very accommodating and acceptable views in IMHO.

    In meditation, Time meditating is not necessarily the Essence you should focus on - rather I would suggest you look at the quality of the emotional and intellectual experience of your consciousness, without trying to put it into words. Language does reality a minor injustice, in not being able to describe every sensory experience you may have in a single moment simultaneously.

    During meditation so much can happen on various levels that, like, for want of a better example, you burp, and in that burping, everything that was making you feel bloated and fat in your gut suddenly disappears, and you feel happy! QED, All life's complaints (gas bloat) for that moment answered, and you giggle inwardly at yourself - I said it can happen on various levels...

    So my point, if I have one, is how do you personally approach meditation and what are you expecting from it; that I think is where most people are let down by meditation with a bump.

    Apart from sitting and getting the occasional burp, yawn or itch, do you think the world is going to dissolve away and the most esoteric secrets be revealed - don't let that idea be ruined by me though! There is something esoteric in meditation... I can't tell you what it is though... The Meditative state is difficult to get across in words, but one day, probably when you are least expecting it, it becomes an experience that you will realise. But realise that as soon as you grasp onto that state you won't be meditating any more unless you know and understand that you are grasping at something. Sorry - it's too hard to describe, and you just have to Sit... Walk... Run... Hug... Sing... Dance... Shake that body... Whatever meditation you decide works for you.

    I like your name. I googled it - do you play overwatch?

    'Zenyatta calls upon orbs of harmony and discord to heal his teammates and weaken his opponents, all while pursuing a transcendent state of immunity to damage.'

    I am interested in gaming as an immersive sub-field for the modern generation. The problem with the modern gaming view is that it invites a readily acceptable idea of a visual reiteration - 'like a camera capturing it's output on a screen' view of the world, and then you find that you don't know where you are at all. That is why hinduism and buddhism have guardians of the 8/9/10 directions depending on where you are going.

    Sorry, just got lost in my personal immersive thought-field... Back to reality... Post!

    >

    I do play Overwatch! I'm a big fan of it, especially because of Zenyatta. I love your burp metaphor, very true and not something I was expecting :p

    As for your view on games - I agree. While sometimes it's nice to get lost in another world, in my opinion it's better to live the life you're given to the fullest.

    Thanks for your reply! It really made me think (and smile).

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited December 2016

    @Tiddlywinds said:
    Does walking meditation have to be at the bionic wo/man speed?
    Suupppeeeerrrrr-sssssllllloooooowwwwww

    I have always formally been taught it that way. Very effective, Especially for the agitated mind. The best yoga is practiced slowly as is one of the most advanced martial arts -Tai Chi Chuan.

    Lonely_Traveller
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited December 2016

    I rather liked @satcittananda reply.

    It is a riff/contemplation/exploration on a theme. I liked it mostly because @zenyatta heard it. That is important. If we do not listen, we can not learn. If we can not join someones wavelength we are just indulging in being dharma/spiritual 'wise monkeys'.

    Lonely_Travellerzenyattasatcittananda
Sign In or Register to comment.