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Stymied in meditation

nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

For a while, I’ve been following Ajahn Brahm’s meditation technique that he outlines here: . Essentially the idea is to relax the mind without forcing the mind to stillness. This is a mistake I had been making for quite a while, and the result is a sense of peace I’ve not gotten from meditation before.

But in spite of trying to let go, some frustration remains. It takes around 30 minutes for my mind to settle down some. At that point, I can sometimes try focusing on my breath or metta, and that usually works out well. What’s a bit frustrating is the really long time it takes for my mind to settle. And also, after it settles, boredom sometimes kicks in, making it harder to focus.

Any thoughts or suggestions? I’ve kind of plateaued with this, and am not quite sure where to go from here.

KeromelobsterShoshin

Comments

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    edited January 9

    Just keep going.
    Eventually, the boredom will become boring.
    Do what you can to stop expecting meditation to make things better. "Improvements" have a way of collapsing after inspection.
    If spiritual effort were nothing more than an exercise in feel-good, we could all just take a pill.
    No one else has got the magic wand. The wand is all yours and, yes, it's a pain in the ass. So to speak.
    Best wishes.

    lobsterpegembara
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Give it more time. It's very common for it to take a long time for our busy minds to relax. But like anything else, with time, your mind will get re-trained and the time it takes will become less. How long? Who knows, depends on the person. It probably took close to a year or so for me. Guided meditations made it harder, so if you use those you might reduce them. They are lovely in their own way, but they also engage the mind you are trying to calm. For me, anyways.

    Boredom is just the result of your mind wanting to get the thought conveyor going. When you are busy, you think a lot without even knowing it, making decision every fraction of a second. When you are meditating, not so much. Boredom is just your mind wanting to get to work. But it can wait. Boredom is wanting to be somewhere other than you are. The freedom to be in the present is exactly realizing this, I think. Boredom is a choice. It's the sense most people in the western world deal with that you have to be busy, productive, accomplishing something every second of the day. But there is little more productive for us than meditation. I often compare training the mind to housebreaking a puppy, but some days, it's more like riding a bull in a rodeo.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited January 9

    Great video. It is a good realisation, that it’s about letting go, not about forcing the mind to stillness. I found it to be true in many other cases, Thich Nhat Hanh sometimes calls it “undoing the knots of the mind”, relaxed insight that is focused on a kind of gentle massage and letting go of burdens which can be a great transformative force sometimes.

    However, the Buddha once compared the state of effective meditation to the tension in the wires of a musical instrument. Too tight, and the music sounds false, too loose, and the notes fall flat. So maybe that is advice to take to heart, to be loose and letting go, but not too loose.

    It does get easier with more practice. When I first started meditating ten minutes was an effort, now I can do an hour and a half before I start running into hindrances of impatience or boredom. But thirty minutes is not unusual to quieten the mind, it often takes me that long.

    Building a routine helps. I find now that even just internally saying “meditate” will start me quieting down and moving towards meditation.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman Veteran
    edited January 9

    @nakazcid said:
    Any thoughts or suggestions? I’ve kind of plateaued with this, and am not quite sure where to go from here.

    A useful short-cut I've discovered is being able to connect fairly quickly with the inner stillness beneath the movement of the mind and senses - I've found that it's always there, but often obscured. Something you could try is repeating a word like "stillness" or "peace" or whatever - it's a bit like using phrases for the metta meditation, eg "May I well, may I be happy".
    It's like reconnecting with samatha ( tranquillity ), rather than trying to develop it from scratch each time you sit.

    silver
  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    @karasti said:
    Boredom is a choice. It's the sense most people in the western world deal with that you have to be busy, productive, accomplishing something every second of the day.

    Great point about boredom. I often feel as if I have to accomplish something, whether it being checking off a quest in a video game or completing X minutes of meditation.

    @Kerome I think part of my problem is that I’m “wound too tight.” Not as badly as I used to be, but thoughts are always racing through my head and I’m usually kind of tense and fidgety. So I think I need to focus on loosening my mind. That’s probably why Ajahn Brahm’s talk had such a strong effect on my practice.

    @genkaku So you don’t think I should try switching up my practice? Just power through the boredom?

    @SpinyNorman Funny thing is I’ve never found mantras particularly effective - for myself, anyway. I’ll try to see if I can ‘trigger’ stillness next time I sit.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @nakazcid said:
    Just power through the boredom?

    Try a boring meditation. Try and be bored. What does it feel like, where in the body? Give the mind the task of being bored ... and it will get bored and go elsewhere ... 😎

    Tee hee.

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

    I like your idea, @lobster. I was trying to formulate a response to @nakazcid.

    I was thinking to treat it like a koan and/or existential question: "Why am I bored?"
    Do a little free association with it, like MY mind would go okay, why am I bored? A: Because I'm sittin' here on my a$$ doin' nothing. Well, that's what I'm supposed to be doing. Why? and so on.
    :grin:
    Maybe it will help you settle in quicker - who knows.

    lobster
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 9

    Sometimes when my meditation is dull/boring I spend more time reading and shorten meditation sessions. Hopefully the reading inspires me.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    It is important to have a base ... and a deepening ...

    Some while ago someone suggested a minute meditation - pah, puny :p
    but try a minute of relaxed and boring concentration/meditation on the 'j' on your keyboard

    breathe and bore in ...

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    If anyone here ever was a aol chat Buddhist denizen one of the leaders ghanabhuti used to explain the technique of 'one breath' meditation.

    lobsterBunks
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @lobster said:

    @nakazcid said:
    Just power through the boredom?

    Try a boring meditation. Try and be bored. What does it feel like, where in the body? Give the mind the task of being bored ... and it will get bored and go elsewhere ... 😎

    Tee hee.

    Often times my problem is that it doesn't bore me but takes me to the point of thoughtless visualization. Which is still going elsewhere rather than sitting here because the mind is not still.

    Instead of dutifully addressing it directly, I often just switch the meditative style and it goes fine but it's something that seems like I'll never be able to fully master.

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

    At some point all of us have to decide to do just one thing. Just one. No fidgeting ... just do one thing.

    DavidShoshinlobster
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited January 10

    @nakazcid said:

    But in spite of trying to let go, some frustration remains. It takes around 30 minutes for my mind to settle down some. At that point, I can sometimes try focusing on my breath or metta, and that usually works out well. What’s a bit frustrating is the really long time it takes for my mind to settle. And also, after it settles, boredom sometimes kicks in, making it harder to focus.

    Try focusing on your frustration, boredom or restlessness. Turn them into objects of your attention until they pass away.

    Bearing in mind that whatever arises ceases.

    You are trying to experience the truth that all conditioned phenomena are unsatisfactory and their stilling is bliss.

    To win complete release from suffering, we must attain release not only from personal experiential suffering but also from the unsatisfactoriness intrinsic to all conditioned existence. This aspect of suffering is called sankhara-dukkha.
    https://www.lionsroar.com/it-all-depends/

    lobster
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman Veteran
    edited January 10

    @pegembara said:
    You are trying to experience the truth that all conditioned phenomena are unsatisfactory and their stilling is bliss.

    What exactly do you mean by "all conditioned phenomena", and what exactly do you mean by their "stilling"?

    I think "conditioned phenomena" is just the stuff we experience, isn't it?

  • @nakazcid said:> @SpinyNorman Funny thing is I’ve never found mantras particularly effective - for myself, anyway. I’ll try to see if I can ‘trigger’ stillness next time I sit.

    There are probably different ways of doing this, but for me the important point is recognising that the stillness is always there.

    lobster
  • @SpinyNorman said:

    @pegembara said:
    You are trying to experience the truth that all conditioned phenomena are unsatisfactory and their stilling is bliss.

    What exactly do you mean by "all conditioned phenomena", and what exactly do you mean by their "stilling"?

    I think "conditioned phenomena" is just the stuff we experience, isn't it?

    In the case of meditation, it is all the things that one experience. Stilling means stuff no longer arise ie. there is less and less disturbance. Like no more ripples on the surface of the water.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    What’s a bit frustrating is the really long time it takes for my mind to settle. And also, after it settles, boredom sometimes kicks in, making it harder to focus.

    Any thoughts or suggestions? I’ve kind of plateaued with this, and am not quite sure where to go from here.

    I find this works well. Sit for longer until the boredom becomes completely and totally unbearable, and then keep sitting after that. Easy to focus, hard to focus, doesn't matter, just keep sitting and returning to the object over and over. The point isn't to keep focus anyway, the point is to return the focus, after you inevitably lose it, which you will =)

    One of the great benefits of a retreat is you are not allowed to just get up when you get bored and because you are not allowed to get up, you have the opportunity to keep sitting long enough to watch the boredom disappear, sometimes almost instantly. If something so strong can just up and disappear just like that, that shows you how insubstantial it really is. The more times you can witness it's insubstantiality, the weaker it becomes. Not true just for boredom but for pretty much everything.

    As for frustration, this is often caused by the wrong idea that you are supposed to be keeping some kind of focus. The problem with this idea is that this is impossible. You can't keep the focus. Even advanced practitioners don't keep focus. However, that does not mean that focus does not occur, it's just that it stays on it's own and does not need to be kept.

    By holding this keeping idea, you are preemptively setting yourself up for failure and when that failure inevitably comes, then frustration arises. Frustration with meditation is entirely self created. The frustration free way to do meditation is to view meditation not as an act of keeping focus, but just an act of returning focus that has been lost. There is a huge difference! Practicing this way produces no frustration, even when it's hard to focus or regardless of how long it takes to get it, etc. Practicing this way, you can have an absolutely horrible time focusing, yet experience absolutely no frustration because of that.

    JeffreyShoshin
  • techietechie India Veteran

    @seeker242 said:

    What’s a bit frustrating is the really long time it takes for my mind to settle. And also, after it settles, boredom sometimes kicks in, making it harder to focus.

    Any thoughts or suggestions? I’ve kind of plateaued with this, and am not quite sure where to go from here.

    I find this works well. Sit for longer until the boredom becomes completely and totally unbearable, and then keep sitting after that. Easy to focus, hard to focus, doesn't matter, just keep sitting and returning to the object over and over. The point isn't to keep focus anyway, the point is to return the focus, after you inevitably lose it, which you will =)

    One of the great benefits of a retreat is you are not allowed to just get up when you get bored and because you are not allowed to get up, you have the opportunity to keep sitting long enough to watch the boredom disappear, sometimes almost instantly. If something so strong can just up and disappear just like that, that shows you how insubstantial it really is. The more times you can witness it's insubstantiality, the weaker it becomes. Not true just for boredom but for pretty much everything.

    As for frustration, this is often caused by the wrong idea that you are supposed to be keeping some kind of focus. The problem with this idea is that this is impossible. You can't keep the focus. Even advanced practitioners don't keep focus. However, that does not mean that focus does not occur, it's just that it stays on it's own and does not need to be kept.

    By holding this keeping idea, you are preemptively setting yourself up for failure and when that failure inevitably comes, then frustration arises. Frustration with meditation is entirely self created. The frustration free way to do meditation is to view meditation not as an act of keeping focus, but just an act of returning focus that has been lost. There is a huge difference! Practicing this way produces no frustration, even when it's hard to focus or regardless of how long it takes to get it, etc. Practicing this way, you can have an absolutely horrible time focusing, yet experience absolutely no frustration because of that.

    See bolded. Wouldn't it lead to frustration for most people? It's like failing over and over at a certain task?

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    @genkaku said:
    At some point all of us have to decide to do just one thing. Just one. No fidgeting ... just do one thing.

    @genkaku Is your real name Jack Palance?

    I'm about to try sitting again. I'm going to try and deal with the boredom, but I'm not going to try to power my way through with sheer will. I've found that while that may work in the short term, it almost always fails over the long haul. Instead I'm going to try to accept and examine the boredom and see where that leads.

    lobster
  • @pegembara said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @pegembara said:
    You are trying to experience the truth that all conditioned phenomena are unsatisfactory and their stilling is bliss.

    What exactly do you mean by "all conditioned phenomena", and what exactly do you mean by their "stilling"?

    I think "conditioned phenomena" is just the stuff we experience, isn't it?

    In the case of meditation, it is all the things that one experience. Stilling means stuff no longer arise ie. there is less and less disturbance. Like no more ripples on the surface of the water.

    Oh, I see. That's just samatha, isn't it?

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited January 11

    @techie said:

    @seeker242 said:
    Easy to focus, hard to focus, doesn't matter, just keep sitting and returning to the object over and over. The point isn't to keep focus anyway, the point is to return the focus, after you inevitably lose it, which you will =)

    See bolded. Wouldn't it lead to frustration for most people? It's like failing over and over at a certain task?

    If one thinks that losing focus = failure, then yes. But, the problem with that is losing focus isn't a failure. Things appearing is inevitable. That's just the reality of the mind functioning. Attaching to, or rejecting things that appear, that is the failure as that is what perpetuates suffering, causes stress, frustration, etc. Things appearing is not a failure but an opportunity to gain insight into their true nature. My teacher says "Every time you return, you gain a little bit of wisdom". A blank mind is not the point of Buddhist meditation. Wisdom is the point of Buddhist meditation.

    However, that doesn't mean that the mind never becomes still. It does. It just means that you can't make it become still. And trying to make it still, is itself, preventing stillness. You just have to "get out of the way" and allow it to become still. The idea or attitude that things should not be appearing is the opposite of "getting out of the way". Fretting over non-stillness prevents stillness. Fretting over the fact that some disturbances appeared, or how good or bad one's focus is, is the opposite of stillness. Stillness happens when you let go of disturbances. The idea that disturbances should not be happening is the opposite of letting them go.

    paulysolobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @nakazcid said:
    @Kerome I think part of my problem is that I’m “wound too tight.” Not as badly as I used to be, but thoughts are always racing through my head and I’m usually kind of tense and fidgety. So I think I need to focus on loosening my mind. That’s probably why Ajahn Brahm’s talk had such a strong effect on my practice.

    I just wanted to add the sutra reference for the text I was referring to. It’s here:

    Sona Suttra
    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an06/an06.055.than.html

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    Everyone thanks for all the great advice. Last night I sat for much longer than usual. For some reason, perhaps because I was on edge about facing boredom, it took an hour for my mind to settle. The boredom did surface, though not as badly as it sometimes is. I sat through it without any drama, though I didn't come away from it feeling as peaceful and relaxed as I usually do. I think I may have set a personal record for longest sitting, though. Probably shouldn't be keeping score... >:)

    There I go being a Bad Buddhist again. Sigh.

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

    Doesn't being "bored" imply, by definition, the longing for something more "interesting" or "peaceful" or "compassionate" or some other add-on feel-good sensation?

    And yet there was the old Zennie Ta Hui (1089–1163) observing approximately at one point, "I have always taken a great vow that I would rather suffer the fires of hell for all eternity than to portray Zen as a human emotion."

    As the millennials might say, "No worries:" Just because I'm stupid doesn't mean I have to be stupid about it.

  • One pointed concentration, for example on the dot of a j or i is one of the first formal techniques I used. It is a mind settling or concentration exercise. Many forms, spot on the floor, chakras, points of breath awareness etc. There are even some weirdos meditating on dead bodies ... O.o

    It is simultaneously a focus and a relaxed awareness.

    Bored? OK continue. Unsettled? OK continue.
    It is a discipline but not a tightening to the point of breaking the groove ...

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    To me boredom means "lack of stimulation." When I was a teenager and young adult, it was A Fate Worse Than Death (TM.) That POV has diminished, but I still find it an unpleasant sensation that I feel an aversion to.

    So I guess I'll "tighten up" my practice and use a bit more (but not too much) discipline.

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

    @nakazcid said:
    To me boredom means "lack of stimulation." When I was a teenager and young adult, it was A Fate Worse Than Death (TM.) That POV has diminished, but I still find it an unpleasant sensation that I feel an aversion to.

    So I guess I'll "tighten up" my practice and use a bit more (but not too much) discipline.

    Well, now that you've said that, it sure seems like you're living in a state of emotions and/or mind, that was the fashion back then - in other words - living in the past. Like a fashion that was sort of a 'truism' that stuck as if it were a fact of life. To me, boredom is a lie we tell ourselves for various reasons. Discipline wouldn't even be necessary if you could pull yourself out of that time warp.

  • @nakazcid said:
    To me boredom means "lack of stimulation." When I was a teenager and young adult, it was A Fate Worse Than Death (TM.) That POV has diminished, but I still find it an unpleasant sensation that I feel an aversion to.

    Ah.
    Firstly I feel you have the maturity to understand that boredom is interesting or at least can be explored ...

    So I guess I'll "tighten up" my practice and use a bit more (but not too much) discipline.

    I feel that is the more mature approach.
    However ... there is another way. Examples are:

    • Walking meditation
    • Focus on an internally created or external mandala. In Tantra initiates commonly focus on an image of their guru/lama/teacher or a personification of a Buddha quality (yidam). In Shingon exploration or focus on letters keeps the mind occupied.
    • Posture based meditation, as in Qi-ong, or maintaining a yoga posture for at least a minute

    Keeping the mind or mind/body occupied is a simple example of 'tricking' the mind into settling.

    OM MANI PEME HUM (mantra is another common mind filler/occupier) to settle the easily bored mind ...

    silver
  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    So boredom struck back hard during this evening's sitting. It began after 45 minutes as an unpleasant, crawling sensation in my derriere. I've felt this many times before and felt myself tensing up. But instead of resisting it, I tried to relax into it. I didn't completely succeed, but I was still able to complete an hour's practice.

    Does anyone else here experience boredom as a physical sensation, or am I an anomaly?

  • 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

    That's not boredom, that's numbness due to poor circulation. Find another seating position. A chair is perfectly acceptable.

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    No @federica it's not poor circulation. I'm very familiar with this sensation, and it can strike whether I'm standing, sitting or lying down. It may have something to do with the fact that I was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder when I was a child.

  • 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

    in what way....?

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    Because it was that very same unpleasant sensation that caused me to not pay attention in class. If I didn't move, fidget or engage with something interesting it just got worse. It kind of reminds me of restless leg syndrome, in that moving makes the sensation go away temporarily. But unlike RLS, it can happen any time of the day, not just bedtime.

  • 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

    Oh goodness, yeah. I know all about RLS. I too got it at school, during the day but also at night. Cured that myself, fortunately! I now no longer suffer from it at all.

    As a matter of interest, when were you diagnosed with ADD? I ask, because the prevalence of diagnosis in the USA is much higher and, shall we say, more 'liberal' than in the whole of Europe.
    Apparently, many medics, doctors, psychologists and therapists are of the opinion that while the symptoms are very real, to use the terms ADD or ADHD is too general, and does the poor patient a gross disservice.
    Please understand from the get-go, I am not disbelieving you, or making light of your situation. The medical world is totally to blame here. Grouping countless thousands of young people under one term and throwing pretty much the same treatment at all of them, is totally unsuitable and irresponsible, IMHO....
    It's rather like the old term 'manic depression' (Now termed Bi-Polar). Too many people hurriedly diagnosed and treated, more often than not with completely the wrong meds...!

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran
    edited January 14

    Oh, wow, how did you cure yourself? Inquiring minds want to know...

    I was diagnosed I guess around 1980. At the time it was a very cutting edge diagnosis, but my mother refused to have me medicated. I've tried various medications since, but they all make me way too tense. But that horrible sensation has diminished with age. Meditation may have played a role in that.

  • 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
    edited January 14

    I drink at least 1.5 litres of fresh spring water/day. 2 x bottles of 750ml. I lace each one with 3 - 5 tablespoons of organic untreated ACV*, and add 1.5tsps bicarbonate of soda. They'll fizz, so put the lids back on securely, and gently invert the bottle once or twice. As the bubbles subside, gently and slightly open the bottle to release the gas build-up. It takes me the best part of the day to drink both bottles. I also have one by my bedside at night.
    The effect on cramps and RLS are astonishingly fast.

    I did a lot of research on ACV/Bicarb of soda for cramp in the legs, but it appears it took care of my RLS too.

    I would honestly see to getting yourself checked out by an expert and have an accurate and up-to-date diagnosis considered. Truly, I would.
    I have a relative who was diagnosed as Manic Depressive and was wrongly medicated for over 20 years. She finally found a psychologist/psychiatrist who put her through rigorous testing, questioning and examination, before completely altering her medication, dosage and intake. Even now, he adjusts her medications as things progress... She is under constant surveillance and analysis, medically-speaking. (Not that she's a danger or sectioned, that is. She leads a perfectly normal life, but she's far more hands-on and in control herself now. Before, it was in the lap of the Gods "ignorant" medics!)

    (* I make my own ACV at home, using organic apples and spring water, plus I also managed to grow an ACV SCOBY, which is a great help!)

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    Interesting. I will very occasionally get what we in the States call a "Charlie Horse" - a really, really bad leg cramp in the middle of the night. By ACV I assume you mean apple cider vinegar, and yes I've heard of that as a cure for cramps. Not for RLS anyway (or ADHD for that matter.) It's definitely worth trying. Gotta admit, though, that concoction sounds like it tastes pretty nasty.

    I wonder what the 'active ingedient' is that is so effective on cramps...?

  • 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

    Darned if I actually know. But it works.
    To be honest, I have 'mastered' adjusting the amounts of ACV to Bicarb of Soda until I get something very closely resembling a slightly acidic fizzy/sparkling soda water. If I get it wrong, you're right. It's not so good. But get it right, and it's really very refreshing.

  • 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

    Calcium and potassium are both significant components of ACV, and it is these which it's thought, help to prevent or calm leg cramps.
    Tired muscles release lactic acid in the blood by making it more acidic; baking soda, as an antacid buffer, counteracts this increased acidity and therefore reduces muscle painfulness and improves contraction.

    Combine the two, and basically you have a double-whammy foolproof system to beat the bananas out of the problem.
    I also take a bath with Epsom/Bath salts which is an amazing way of relaxing last thing before bed time! once a week is usually good for me. With an added drop of lavender essential oil or two, man, I'm away!

  • @nakazcid said:
    Does anyone else here experience boredom as a physical sensation, or am I an anomaly?

    :)

    When talking of an arising/impediment for example: fear, boredom, excitement, anger, euphoria (yes really), agitation, frustration, sloth, emotive state, mind state, physical sensation ...
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/22140/thoughts-are-impediments

    ... Of course we prefer physical calm, at ease, sensations of physical well being. That may well be our initial goal/side effect of practicing sitting, standing, moving meditation ...

    It is often difficult to understand arisings, hence identifying their physical ramifications/accompanying body sensations and accepting/relaxing/letting go ... simpler to understand and do ...

    Eventually ...
    http://www.viewonbuddhism.org/delusion_introduction.html

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    @lobster said:

    @nakazcid said:

    ... Of course we prefer physical calm, at ease, sensations of physical well being. That may well be our initial goal/side effect of practicing sitting, standing, moving meditation

    What's interesting in my case is that I seem to naturally gravitate toward a state of stimulation and/or arousal as opposed to calmness and peace. I think there may be an element of hypervigilance at work; i.e., constantly scanning for threats. Serenity is a preferable state because it's less stressful, but I still feel a strong urge to be alert to outside stimuli. And there's the aversion to boredom too...

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited January 15

    Understood.

    We can polish/progress attain more refined states/understanding. Applying absolute zen/awakening to all beings, all our inner arisings, may be too pure and may be counter productive ...

    We take what we need and discard (kill the buddha) when unfolding further ... <3

  • @nakazcid said:> Does anyone else here experience boredom as a physical sensation, or am I an anomaly?

    I experience most feelings as a mix of "physical" and "mental".

    lobster
  • SnakeskinSnakeskin Texas, USA Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @nakazcid said:> Does anyone else here experience boredom as a physical sensation, or am I an anomaly?

    I experience most feelings as a mix of "physical" and "mental".

    DN 2:

    [One] understands thus: ‘This is my body, having material form, composed of the four primary elements, originating from father and mother, built up out of rice and gruel, impermanent, subject to rubbing and pressing, to dissolution and dispersion. And this is my consciousness, supported by it and bound up with it.’

    Same difference.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman Veteran
    edited January 16

    @genkaku said:
    Doesn't being "bored" imply, by definition, the longing for something more "interesting" or "peaceful" or "compassionate" or some other add-on feel-good sensation?

    Yes, I experience boredom as a sort of disatisfied restlessness. Though traditionally the antidote to restlessness is developing samatha, which suggests that the cause of restlessness is insufficient samatha ( calm or tranquillity ). So it's back to "how to develop samatha"?

    Alternatively you could forget about samatha and look at the boredom very closely, maybe some insight is possible?
    Alternatively just accept the boredom in the knowledge that it will pass, and realising that there are much worse things than being bored.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman Veteran
    edited January 16

    @Snakeskin said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @nakazcid said:> Does anyone else here experience boredom as a physical sensation, or am I an anomaly?

    I experience most feelings as a mix of "physical" and "mental".

    DN 2:

    [One] understands thus: ‘This is my body, having material form, composed of the four primary elements, originating from father and mother, built up out of rice and gruel, impermanent, subject to rubbing and pressing, to dissolution and dispersion. And this is my consciousness, supported by it and bound up with it.’

    Same difference.

    It's a tricky question. What about the distinction between physical pain and mental anguish in the Arrow Sutta?

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

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

    the distinction between physical pain and mental anguish

    I have a strong hunch that meditation will show this dichotomy to be bogus.

    lobster
  • @genkaku said:

    the distinction between physical pain and mental anguish

    I have a strong hunch that meditation will show this dichotomy to be bogus.

    So you can't tell the difference between a persistent bodily pain, and worrying about what it is due to? In the Arrow Sutta this is a pivotal distinction, and the basis for that Buddhist cliche: "Pain is inevitable, suffering isn't".

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