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Wrestling with agitation, I came across this quote. The challenge is, getting yourself to sit down:

“No matter how agitated you are, sit your butt on the ground and practice meditation. It’s the direct path to overcoming agitation.”

~Phakchok Rinpoche



  • “No matter how agitated you are, sit your butt on the ground and watch the agitation as if it is nothing personal. It’s the direct path to overcoming agitation.”

    My apology for borrowing most of the words.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I always find baths and showers a great antidote to agitation. Something about water covering the body bringing the skin to rest, and then drying as a quiet re-energisation.

    Then maybe "sit your butt on the ground" afterwards?

  • Must be time for a bubble bath as this thread is four years old ...
    Cleanliness is next to ... maybe a shower ...

    Insides clean? Foam is Empty. Emptiness is Foam. o:)

  • mosquitomosquito Explorer

    I find "overcoming agitation" (actively) almost impossible.

    And I consider meditating to overcome agitation very active in this regard. Or sitting to "outmatch" agitation. The mind is clever enough to know what's going on. So the more I try, the stronger agitation gets. The approach or even the attitude is too coercive (at least in my case).

    That's because the mind seems to live on its own, and when suppressed - finds its way out, somehow.

    I found out (of course because I've read it somewhere) that the only thing I can do to "fight agitation" is to give up the fight. Letting the mind do what it likes to do, letting it play with ideas, thoughts, dreams, just as it likes to play. (But observing it.)

    And it's true - admitting that I can't control the (agitated) mind - this brings some calm immediately, and even more calm with time. After all, the mind doesn't like to play that much, so it decides to rest.

    (I only wonder sometimes: who observes the mind, who tries to "outsmart it", who lets it do what it wants, and who benefits of its calmness. Is it the mind itself, but its "higher instance"? Or, what is it? I'm sure you know what I mean here, but can you give me some hint?)


  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited April 2017

    I'm not sure that 'giving up' or trying to outmatch agitation is the way to go. That often leads to an unbinding and a period of wildness, or a very high energy controlled state. The agitated mind usually has a focus, some pattern that sustains it.

    If you can find in your mental space a symbol for disciplined, slow, thoughtful action, then that is a pattern that you can use to calm the agitated mind. In the past I've used the imaginary sorting of grains of rice into good and bad... picking up each grain from a pile, mindfully examining it in the imagination, and depositing it carefully with the passed or failed. Of course it is a metaphor for the steady application of attention and scrutiny.

    In the end attempting to still agitation with a mind based activity is bound to only be partly successful. Mind and body are linked, if you feel agitation in the one it is likely to seep over into the other, and I think a combined experience like a swim or a shower will offer a better outcome.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Focusing on matching, or overcoming something in meditation is almost always most likely to cause more problems. Meditation (in my experience and opinion) isn't meant to be a battle ground. There is a big difference between sitting down to conquer something and sitting down to let it go, the latter being entirely possible. The key to calming agitation is calming your nervous system which is easily achievable via breathing practice and you can do it within meditation or otherwise. I use it often. Our average respiration rate is 12 or so breaths a minute. If you slow it to 4, within a few minutes it'll calm your nervous system and your agitation. Breath in for a count of four (slowly), hold for 4, breath out for 4, hold for 4 again. Taking 16 seconds to complete a full breath means you can only do 4 of them in a minute. Works wonders. But still takes practice and an understanding of letting go versus clinging to an idea of ridding yourself of something you are averse to. Letting go isn't the same as forcing something away.

  • @mosquito said:
    I find "overcoming agitation" (actively) almost impossible.

    When you meditate, don't meditate.
    In other words sit but don't interfere with sitting easily or hardly, or slackly or willfully or ...

    Just sit for the 'fun'/hell of it ... <3

  • Yes, @karasti, forcing something away doesn't work at all. Because in the pushing away you are still connected to the thing, the state, the feeling, the whatever, through the pushing and forcing. Trying forcefully to detach is just another form of attachment.

  • mosquitomosquito Explorer

    Yes, exactly, that's what I was trying to say too: ) Less - overcoming & purposefulness, more - relax & acknowledge what anyway is...: )

    Thanks for the link @lobster .

    Metta - to all of you!

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