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Obstacles to meditation

KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest?Europe Veteran

Lately I am coming across some strange obstacles to meditation when doing my usual 10-minute mindfulness of the breath sits. It's as if the skin on my forehead is peeling away, or the sensation of repetitive fleeting touches on my feet or other parts of the body. Different sensations which are quite rapid, almost like a kind of tinnitus, which make achieving peace in meditation quite hard sometimes.

What do you do in these kinds of instances? I've tried just powering through, dragging my mind away from these skin-sensations and back to the breath, and that does work, but it's not exactly peaceful and doesn't allow me to achieve true depth of meditation.

Comments

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    This too shall pass. I have weird things like that that happen on occasion, too. Some of them are quite disruptive. Just keep returning to the breath, eventually it will stop. When you work to train your brain, it sometimes throws you a curveball in an attempt to regain control. I had a time where I would see heads of demons that would arise, and at times they were quite frightening. It was kind of like those moments as you are falling asleep where you have a mini-dream and might jerk yourself awake. Same type of sensation but I wasn't sleeping. It did stop after a bit though and has not come back.

    upekkaAkasha
  • @Kerome. One of the awakenings that comes out of cultivation is we come to see that we are not as comfortable as we imagined. Not a bad place to find oneself.

    DhammaDragonlobster
  • Sit with it. You will realize soon enough that the mind likes to entertain itself, dress things up, and tries to make unnecessary things seem important. In other words an itch should be looked at carefully, and after doing so the mind can even forget that it was focusing on the itch. Or just scratch it and wait for the next thing to arise.

    upekkalobsterShoshinDhammaDragon
  • @Kerome said:
    .. dragging my mind away from these skin-sensations and back to the breath,
    that does work,
    but it's not exactly peaceful
    and doesn't allow me to achieve true depth of meditation.

    what exactly do you mean by true depth of meditation?

    lobster
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    I tend to dismiss all bothersome body signals as distraction tricks from the monkey-mind toolbox.

    If my body feels uncomfortable in any way, I keep going, because I know I'll feel blissful once I delve further into my meditation.
    I always do.

    When we are learning to meditate, one of the first things we ask if we should scratch the itch.
    With the pass of time, as the zen adagio goes, we learn to scratch first, then itch later.

    Akashaupekka
  • Keep returning to the breath.This cultivates a disinterest in distractions.

    If you are meditating to build concentration then you have to keep returning to the breath no matter what happens.Of course if you have physical pain it's best to change postures.(if your developing serenity).But in my own personal experience,as soon as meditative bliss or peace arises you won't feel a thing.Physical pain just drops away along with other obstacles.

    DhammaDragon
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited December 2016

    @upekka said:

    @Kerome said:
    .. dragging my mind away from these skin-sensations and back to the breath,
    that does work,
    but it's not exactly peaceful
    and doesn't allow me to achieve true depth of meditation.

    what exactly do you mean by true depth of meditation?

    Hard to categorise... in the first instance when things go quiet and the mind stops milling about. Although that is an interesting contrast with a light trance, which I wouldn't really call meditation because there usually is a slackening of attention.

  • @Kerome said:

    Hard to categorise... in the first instance when things go quiet and the mind stops milling about. Although that is an interesting contrast with a light trance, which I wouldn't really call meditation because there usually is a slackening of attention.

    >
    if your intention is not just get the calmness, but gain the wisdom, the distractions are the teachers
    for ex:
    during the meditation 'a pain' comes
    pay attention to it
    what does 'a pain' try to tell you?
    how do you know it is 'a pain' but not a sound or a smell?
    who told you that is 'a pain' but not anything else?
    or
    see how long 'a pain' can stay
    is it the same 'a pain' that continue in the same place?
    etc.

    happy investigating!

    ShoshinAkasha
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Obstacles to meditation

    The "self" ....It has a habit of getting in the way :)

    DhammaDragon
  • Mindfulness, focus, attention, concentration is a soft power.

    Distraction/arisings can be anything as people mention. If we 'power through', this is right concentration - softly back to the breath. The important thing is to focus on your attention point but also accept the distraction. Forcing the mind creates conflict. Relax the mind onto the breath, so the distraction has the 'power' but the breath has the preferred feeling. Gently concentrate but with attention.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Meditation/comments/1wwl6w/small_issue_about_hard_and_soft_concentration/

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited December 2016

    @Kerome said:>
    I've tried just powering through, dragging my mind away from these skin-sensations and back to the breath, and that does work, but it's not exactly peaceful and doesn't allow me to achieve true depth of meditation.

    It sounds like you are becoming more aware of bodily sensations, and straying into vipassana practice. Have you tried just staying with the skin sensations?

    lobster
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