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Confusion on how to meditate

misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a HinduIndia Veteran
edited April 22 in Meditation

With nearly 8 years studying and trying to meditate in an on and off mode with gaps of missing few days/weeks of no sitting meditation, I have learnt a little about the theoretical techniques of how to meditate like anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing), zazen (just sit and do nothing, not even trying to observe anything), Mahamudra meditation (just relax and do nothing like allowing the muddy water to settle the mud by itself - seems to me like similar to zazen), awareness meditation (which Mingyur Rinpoche teaches in some youtube videos where the basic idea is to just be aware with one sense organ like ear and mind together and just be aware of its sense object like sound) - if my theoretical understanding of any of these meditation techniques is incorrect, then please correct it. Thanks.
Then there is metta meditation, meditation on death, tonglen meditation.
Now when I try to sit in meditation, my mind seems to be confused as to which meditation should I do - like for example, when I sit then should I try to observe my breathing at my nose or should I observe my stomach rising and falling?
I want to sit in zazen as there is nothing to do in it - but then there is no feedback loop in it to tell me if during the time I was sitting in zazen, whether I was doing zazen correctly or not or if I just passed my time idly. The problem which I feel in doing anapanasati is that since my natural breathing pattern is very irregular, so there are lot of long gaps in between breaths and since I lack concentration and focus, during these gaps, my mind wanders and gets entangled in my thoughts.
So I am thinking of restarting to start doing meditation from start, but I am confused on what is the best way to meditate with a goal of liberation. Any ideas please. Thanks.

Comments

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited April 22

    Hmm ...Do you know what monkey mind is @misecmisc1 ?

    misecmisc1
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Meditating on the mantra “Buddho” can be helpful to calm the mind. Give it a go!

    Shoshin
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited April 22

    Who is confused? Is it your mind or you?

    The voice that says "this is insufficient feedback loop" or "this thought is too entangled"...

    What is that voice? Is it also confusion or is it 'correct'?

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited April 22

    If meditation is done with the goal of liberation, then how does awareness meditation (just aware of sound, form etc as Mingyur Rinpoche teaches) or zazen (Dogen's shikantaza) help achieve or realize it? Any ideas please. Thanks.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    How is meditation part of the path to liberation?

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    If your mind wandering during meditation is the main thing you notice, I would start again with samatha meditation, the calming of the mind by concentrating on the breath in the nostrils, maybe with mentally noting “breathing in... breathing out”.

    One thing that I’ve found very beneficial is to keep track of a kind of overview of my mind state while meditating, so that I can track “silent mind” distinct from “distracted mind” or other states of mind. If you just note that once while in the depths of your meditation you can start to track whether your meditation was good or not.

    BunksAlexmisecmisc1Shoshin
  • 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

    The more you think about knowing HOW to meditate, the less you will learn.

    The more you think about HOW to meditate, the less you will do it.

    Theory will only advance your meditation by one small step.

    Actually just sitting, letting go, and meditating, is where True Practice lies.

    You have asked countless questions about Meditating.

    8 years. And here we are again...

    KundopersonShoshinRowan1980
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    It’s interesting, the attempt to meditate is often an attempt to still the mind’s ability to worry or generate anxious thoughts. This can be done through focussing loose attention on an object with sufficient concentration, meaning that there is no attention left to settle on stray strands of thought which had been left for future attention. Then eventually the mind directs itself towards the object, and anxious or worrisome thoughts are stilled.

    Sometimes meditation can also lead to self-hypnosis, in which case one should try to be more aware and concentrated, or in the avoidance of troublesome mind states, in which case one should relax more. There is a sutra in which the Buddha compares ones ideal mind state when meditating to a lute, where if the strings are too loose or too tight the music is not pleasing.

    Certainly it’s difficult to increase the concentration of one’s awareness - one is either fully aware or one is not. If one is perceiving matters peripherally or fleetingly then it can be beneficial to bring matters to the full focus of one’s awareness. It’s hard to say what parts of meditation are strictly beneficial, but I imagine even the self-hypnosis like practices carry some benefits.

  • 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

    @misecmisc1 is a technical IT analyst.
    The problem lies within the mechanics of his brain.

    If a computer program develops a glitch or suffers some kind of malfunction, every step of the process to eliminate the glitch or fix the malfunction is linear, practical and logical. It can only be one of xy situations. The skill is in locating precisely along the program where the glitch occured, and isolate it, fix it, and re-boot the system.

    Sorted.

    His brain is perfectly suited to analysing, recognising, processing and solving the problems associated with running a computer system program.

    His brain is sadly, not in the slightest bit capable of switching off, powering down and turning off and on again.

    His Mind can't be 're-booted' because @misecmisc1 seems to need a logical, sequential, A + B = Y + Z X 2d - 5e concrete, black-and-white, no ifs or buts program to follow.

    Meditation isn't like that, @misecmisc1.
    In meditation, you have to hurl the Manual out of the window, and just sit watching the screensaver.

    And that's it.

    KeromepersonKundo
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @federica said:
    @misecmisc1 is a technical IT analyst.
    The problem lies within the mechanics of his brain.

    I used to be a technical IT analyst for a while. It’s true that it makes Buddhist meditation harder, because you kind of acquire a habit of processing and analysis which takes over everything. It’s difficult to stop taking ‘bites’ out of things to analyse.

    But that’s just with respect to sitting meditation. If that doesn’t work for him, I’d even suggest trying some of Osho’s active meditations, such as the Dynamic, which have a cathartic approach to stilling the mind rather than a hypnotic one.

    Alex
  • 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

    @Kerome said:

    @federica said:
    @misecmisc1 is a technical IT analyst.
    The problem lies within the mechanics of his brain.

    I used to be a technical IT analyst for a while. It’s true that it makes Buddhist meditation harder, because you kind of acquire a habit of processing and analysis which takes over everything. It’s difficult to stop taking ‘bites’ out of things to analyse.

    But that’s just with respect to sitting meditation. If that doesn’t work for him, I’d even suggest trying some of Osho’s active meditations, such as the Dynamic, which have a cathartic approach to stilling the mind rather than a hypnotic one.

    Not a bad idea, but if previous experience is anything to go by, that will just give him one more process to think about, analyse and question, rather than just accept and practice head-on....

    Kundo
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @misecmisc1

    Have you gained any experiential understanding of the Dharma in the last 8 years ?

    Have you found any improvements in your quality of life from Dharma practice ?

    In other words ...What if anything has changed in a noticeable way...for better or worse ?

    person
  • 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 April 23

    @misecmisc1 said:
    With nearly 8 years studying and trying to meditate in an on and off mode with gaps of missing few days/weeks of no sitting meditation, I have learnt a little about the theoretical techniques of how to meditate like anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing), zazen (just sit and do nothing, not even trying to observe anything), Mahamudra meditation (just relax and do nothing like allowing the muddy water to settle the mud by itself - seems to me like similar to zazen), awareness meditation (which Mingyur Rinpoche teaches in some youtube videos where the basic idea is to just be aware with one sense organ like ear and mind together and just be aware of its sense object like sound) - if my theoretical understanding of any of these meditation techniques is incorrect, then please correct it. Thanks.

    And there it is.
    All theory, no Practice.
    So much to do, so little time. All work and no play makes Jack a Dull Boy...

    Then there is metta meditation, meditation on death, tonglen meditation.

    Now when I try to sit in meditation, my mind seems to be confused as to which meditation should I do -

    No shit Sherlock! The big problem is, that in trying to absorb all the theoretical lessons on all of these different Meditation Schools - you have crammed yourself so full of theoretical information, you've created the Gordian Knot of Practice.

    It's rather like a lesson I was taught, when I worked in a Printing Company.

    You do not approach a customer with the question "Which colour do you want your letterheads printed?"
    Jeesh, you've just given them a choice of... let's see... only 10 million different colours we can see...!

    You DO approach the customer with the question, "Would you like your print run in blue or maroon?"

    Limit their options. Reduce their scope. Give them a choice they can comfortably handle.

    like for example, when I sit then should I try to observe my breathing at my nose or should I observe my stomach rising and falling?

    Which would you prefer?
    Select one, and do this for 10 meditation sessions.
    Then do the other for another 10.

    I want to sit in zazen as there is nothing to do in it - but then there is no feedback loop in it to tell me if during the time I was sitting in zazen, whether I was doing zazen correctly or not or if I just passed my time idly.

    Who cares? Just do it, without wanting to see the result. A Result is not the point of Meditation. Practice, is the point of Meditation.
    The result develops in time.
    It's not an "If I do this, that will happen" situation.
    It's a "Let's wait and see what happens..." situation.

    (Don't look for a 'feedback loop' where there isn't one. That's like opening up the computer's hard drive and fully expecting to see a little ancient, wizened Chinese fella with a wooden bead calculator...)

    The problem which I feel in doing anapanasati is that since my natural breathing pattern is very irregular, so there are lot of long gaps in between breaths and since I lack concentration and focus, during these gaps, my mind wanders and gets entangled in my thoughts.

    Then don't do it.

    So I am thinking of restarting to start doing meditation from start, but I am confused on what is the best way to meditate with a goal of liberation. Any ideas please. Thanks.

    I told you.
    You can't switch it off then switch it on again. It's not something you can re-boot.

    Don't meditate with any goal of any kind.

    Chuck the manual out of the window, and just sit and watch a rose growing.

    lobstermisecmisc1
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Thanks.

    You are
    welcome ??

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited May 3

    A query on meditation - what is happening is that these days, when I am doing sitting zazen meditation, then the instructions say to keep the eyes open and keep the view at 45 degrees. I have tried keeping eyes closed and open in different sittings earlier and I find that keeping eyes closed leads to more thoughts coming and getting entangled in those thoughts. So I try to keep the eyes open. Now the problem which I am facing is - after I sit on the cushion, then when I take few deep breaths cautiously to relax my body and I find that when my stomach area feels relaxed then my body feels relaxed too, but then my eyes start to close a little bit gradually making my vision blurred leading me to feel like drowsy, so then after that as per Dogen's zazen shikantaza instructions, I try to just do nothing - means no trying to observe the breath, no trying to observe the body sensations, no trying to observe anything, rather try to just sit and do nothing. Now the problem is I am not sure that since my eyes are getting closed, so whether I am fully aware or half aware half sleepy - I know that I am not sleeping, but when my vision gets completely hazy, more thoughts are coming in my mind and my mind is getting entangled in those thoughts very quickly.
    Any suggestions please. Thanks.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    It’s very difficult to meditate by “sitting and just doing nothing”, I’ve in the past found it useful when confronted with many thoughts to label them as “just a thought” and then to return the attention to some sort of anchor like the posture or the breath.

    If you can keep labelling the thoughts and keep removing the attention, then in the end the thoughts will slow down and eventually you’ll be able to drop the anchor. Then you end up with a well rounded general attention, and your eyes will probably close by themselves.

    I find open eyes to be helpful at the start of meditation, but when you go deep the eyes tend to close and the focus of your attention moves within.

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran
    edited May 3

    If you have a qualified teacher in your city, in any of the 3 traditions (Zen, Theravadan, Vajrayana), take lessons from them and meditate as they instruct you.

    If you do not have access to a teacher, then Theravadan is the tradition that is suitable for the solitary practitioner. Zen says you get nowhere without a teacher, and Vajrayana says you can go crazy if you practice without a teacher.

    Theravadan meditation is Vipassana/Mindfulness meditation. You can find instructions through any website, but the best book I have ever encountered is "Mindfulness in Plain English" by Bhante Gunaratana. The first few chapters are an excellent outline of what Buddhism is .. and what it is NOT. And the rest of the book are instructions for meditation, covering not just the techniques but also the solutions for problems that arise.
    It is about as close as you can come to having an actual teacher.
    Amazon sells it, and you can by used copies even cheaper there. Gunaratana's organization gives the books away for free, and asks that you pass it on for free when you are done with it .. which is how it arrived in my hands, and how it left my hands too.

    misecmisc1Rowan1980
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited May 3

    https://www.google.com/search?q=mindfulness+in+plain+english+pdf&oq=mindfulness+i&aqs=chrome.3.69i57j0l3.10934j0j4&client=ms-android-micromax&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

    When nearly 8 years back, I started studying Buddha's teachings, then I think the first book as a pdf file, which I read was the book What Buddha taught by Bhante Rahula as a pdf file. Then if I remember correctly, the above book's pdf file I also read, but since it was nearly 7 years back, so my understanding would not have been at the level to understand this book thoroughly, so thanks for recommending this book I will try to read it again.

    As far as direct teacher is concerned, I do not have access to a meditation teacher directly. Sarnath is at diametrically opposite to the place where my house is at Varanasi. Moreover I have visited Sarnath few times in the last one year I think, even went to the Japanese temple there, but it does not seem to belong to Dogen's Soto Zen.

    My theoretical understanding says: somehow Mahayana teachings make more sense to me than Therevada teachings as it makes more sense to me that instead of a path from Samsara to Nirvana, rather Samara and Nirvana both are the making of mind, so no path from Samsara to Nirvana, rather Nirvana is available right here and now - but this is my theoretical understanding only. Practically Nirvana seems to be just out of scope for me currently not only in my this remaining life but may be my many future human lives because of no concentration in my meditation currently.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited May 3

    Did someone tell you the purpose of zazen meditation was to stop thoughts from coming?

  • 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

    You know what, @misecmisc1 ..? Seriously?

    I'd give up. Honestly, in your place, I really would.

    Stop meditating, stop trying to meditate, stop failing to meditate, stop being frustrated in your efforts to meditate.
    Give up.
    Quit.
    Abandon any intention of meditating.

    Then you might - just might - move on a step or two.

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    Try chanting or reciting a sutra at the beginning of your meditation. I use the Heart Sutra most often, and find it can quiet the mind and get it running along a more appropriate path, without all the distracting background noise.

    Chant once, then sit quietly. If the noise continues, repeat the recitation - do this as many times as necessary. The chanting can also help to keep you from nodding off.

    misecmisc1Shoshin
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited May 3

    I will tell you that from my perspective on meditation there is no such thing as bad meditation. The only way there is bad meditation is if that is what you are convinced of and then that is what is concluded for the time being.

    That doesn't mean that you don't have experiences or experiments or that you don't struggle with things at times.

    And that doesn't mean that you cannot take instruction (from someone) and try to follow it as best as you can. Which then it might seem there is bad meditation if you don't follow the instructions... So I guess it can seem like that...

    misecmisc1person
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran

    @federica said:
    You know what, @misecmisc1 ..? Seriously?

    I'd give up. Honestly, in your place, I really would.

    Stop meditating, stop trying to meditate, stop failing to meditate, stop being frustrated in your efforts to meditate.
    Give up.
    Quit.
    Abandon any intention of meditating.

    Then you might - just might - move on a step or two.

    What can I say - when 8 years back, after reading the commentary of Srimad Bhagwad Geeta and getting the message from it that the ultimate goal of human life is Self-realization and then my spiritual journey started and then I think a thought came to my mind that dhyan-yog or meditation would be the way to attain Self-realization, since then this idea of meditation has not left me, even this idea of meditation lead me to search what Buddha taught and so after that I came into contact with Buddhism nearly 8 years back.

    Even though (since I started doing sitting meditation 8 years back after my spiritual journey started) I have not been able to meditate with any focused awareness in the last 8 years, but still the idea of doing sitting meditation is not leaving me currently. Maybe I am a crazy person who is attached to the idea of doing sitting meditation and maybe also its reason can be that something inside me says that doing sitting meditation is the only way for me to achieve my goal.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    Let me echo @Jeffrey, there is no bad meditation. Frankly, most of my meditations I'm just lost in thought and fidgeting. Whenever I find myself caught up in thought or slouching I notice it and return to my breath, the feeling of gravity on my body and any sensations that may be arising, over and over again. By many metrics I think I qualify as a bad meditator, but I keep at it and even if the practice itself is pretty messy the results on my life are real and important. So I must be doing something right?

    It sounds as if you are having some success in applying a meditation practice. I think at this point it is important for you to try to let go of all the worrying about technicalities and theories and try to drop into the bodily experience of meditation.

    misecmisc1JeffreyKeromeRowan1980
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said

    after reading the commentary of Srimad Bhagwad Geeta and getting the message from it that the ultimate goal of human life is Self-realization and then my spiritual journey started ...

    I doubt that this has any bearing on your difficulty, but I am curious about your conception of self-realization. As a Buddhist, I think the term self-realization would mean seeing clearly that there is no self to be realized. As a Hindu, would your idea of this goal be the same, or something different?

  • 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

    @misecmisc1 stop thinking about what you think you know.
    Forget everything you have read; ignore every book, every video, every teaching.

    Visualise you are on a deserted, warm beach, facing a vast, blue, calm ocean.

    Now, visualise taking ALL that knowledge out of your head, in one big blue-grey block, and putting it into a box, next to you. Close the lid, turn the key and throw the key into the ocean.

    Now: Just sit.

    Sit. Close your eyes, and breathe.
    That's it.

    Try that.

    (Comment also posted in this thread.)

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:
    Maybe I am a crazy person who is attached to the idea of doing sitting meditation and maybe also its reason can be that something inside me says that doing sitting meditation is the only way for me to achieve my goal.

    It could be that @federica is right and your goal is getting in the way of your meditation. Perhaps you should abandon any thoughts of self-realisation and just meditate for the sake of meditating, a restful relaxation in awareness and an acceptance that whatever comes will come.

    That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t learn how to meditate effectively. It seems that for you the prime difficulty is quieting the mind, and that means that you may have to accept that Dogen’s ‘just sitting’ meditation is not right for you, without an anchor for your attention.

    misecmisc1personlobsterBunks
  • AngusAngus Vietnam New

    Go and do a 10 day silent retreat . Preferably with a real teacher not a tape recording . You need to do this to get the ball rolling . Its very difficult to learn to meditate from youtube . Though you can get the technique , you need the set and setting to have any chance . Its not easy to start with but it does become easier with practice . Good luck .

    misecmisc1BunksShoshin
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited May 14

    While browsing youtube today, I came across the below video URL in the suggested videos list, then I watched it and I found it insightful, so thought of sharing with you all the below video URL:

  • 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

    Yeah, great, @misecmisc1 . If only you would stop talking, and start doing... it's all very well posting all these wonderful, inspirational and motivational videos, but what are you actually DOING??

    KundoVastmind
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:
    A query on meditation - what is happening is that these days, when I am doing sitting zazen meditation, then the instructions say to keep the eyes open and keep the view at 45 degrees. I have tried keeping eyes closed and open in different sittings earlier and I find that keeping eyes closed leads to more thoughts coming and getting entangled in those thoughts. So I try to keep the eyes open. Now the problem which I am facing is - after I sit on the cushion, then when I take few deep breaths cautiously to relax my body and I find that when my stomach area feels relaxed then my body feels relaxed too, but then my eyes start to close a little bit gradually making my vision blurred leading me to feel like drowsy, so then after that as per Dogen's zazen shikantaza instructions, I try to just do nothing - means no trying to observe the breath, no trying to observe the body sensations, no trying to observe anything, rather try to just sit and do nothing. Now the problem is I am not sure that since my eyes are getting closed, so whether I am fully aware or half aware half sleepy - I know that I am not sleeping, but when my vision gets completely hazy, more thoughts are coming in my mind and my mind is getting entangled in those thoughts very quickly.
    Any suggestions please. Thanks.

    @misecmisc1

    From what i gather, Buddhist meditation eventually leads to the experience of non-self (well at least glimpses of non-self experience )...However this is where things can become uncomfortable for some.....Losing that strong sense of self that one is so accustomed to can be a traumatic experience...This fear of losing one's sense of self can hinder one progress...It would seem the more one is 'attached' the more difficult it becomes to let go

    It's a paradox of sorts ...On the one hand there's a desire from the self to experience the empty nature of self and on the other hand the strong sense of self as no desire to see itself dissolved/dismissed...

    Fear is often overlooked and comes in many forms ....including the fear of losing one's pride & joy AKA the self when meditating...The experience can take one right out of their conditioned comfort zone ...the sense of self makes up all kinds of excuses, it's good at that...it's had many years experience..... ;) ;)

    A number of fears contribute to procrastination, including but not limited to: Fear that you'll fail or do badly. ... Fear of the uncomfortable. It's easy to do things we're comfortable with, but doing new things is uncomfortable so we put them off.

    Fosdicklobstermisecmisc1
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited May 16

    While doing my walking meditation, I can feel the physical sensations in my feet and also their rising and putting on the floor. Is there something else in walking meditation which I am missing, as walking meditation seems easier to me than sitting meditation - thoughts arise in my walking meditation too, but I easily change my walking speed and then I try to feel the physical sensations in my feet? In my sitting meditation, it is more difficult for me to watch the thoughts, rather I easily get entangled in my thoughts in my sitting meditation. So why walking meditation seems easier to me than sitting meditation? Am I missing something in my walking meditation? Any ideas, please suggest. Thanks.

    person
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:
    While doing my walking meditation, I can feel the physical sensations in my feet and also their rising and putting on the floor. Is there something else in walking meditation which I am missing, as walking meditation seems easier to me than sitting meditation - thoughts arise in my walking meditation too, but I easily change my walking speed and then I try to feel the physical sensations in my feet? In my sitting meditation, it is more difficult for me to watch the thoughts, rather I easily get entangled in my thoughts in my sitting meditation. So why walking meditation seems easier to me than sitting meditation? Am I missing something in my walking meditation? Any ideas, please suggest. Thanks.

    I often find walking meditation easier to still my thoughts than sitting as there's more happening in the body i.e. you can follow the breath or follow the physical sensation of the movement.

    In fact, I've heard teachers suggest you do walking meditation before any sitting meditation practice to get the mind settled (and because walking is good for you....)

    Jeffrey
  • 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

    Walking Meditation requires our full attention. In fact it's essential, if not vital.
    All we can focus on, is our movement.
    This becomes even more apparent if we choose to practise walking meditation in a busy, urban environment, such as a main road, or high street.
    We have to pay attention not only to every single aspect of our physical movement, from head to toe, including how we are breathing, but also the practical aspects, such as avoiding knocking into passers-by, or walking in front of a bus.

    If for example, you find a need to go to a local store and buy something, like a loaf of bread and other essentials, you can practise paying attention to every aspect of your outing, including your interaction with others, and your reactions to them.

    To begin with, you don't have to do this continuously.
    Choose a period of say, 5 minutes during which you will be entirely focused on your Meditation.

    Don't add a narrative, such as "Now I am walking, now I am crossing the road, now I am looking a the traffic, now I am opening the shop door..."

    Just walk, cross the road, look at the traffic and open the shop door, without actually thinking the fact that you are doing them. Simply observe yourself carrying out the actions you are performing. See what you see, hear what you hear, smell what you smell, feel what you feel, without labelling it.
    Be conscious of you bodily movement, your posture, your stance, your breathing.
    But calm the mind. Do. Don't think.

    It can be extremely arduous to do this, which is why I say give yourself a time limit, to begin with. As you accomplish the task more, you can lengthen the time.

    JeffreyBunks
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited May 16

    Remember that sitting and walking meditation the purpose is not to make thoughts disappear. You do return to the present upon noticing wandering in thought. But that's not same thing as trying to make thoughts disappear.

    That is interesting that walking feels easier. Does that mean it is a little more enjoyable? I wonder if the movement is easier to physically enjoy?

    Also another thing. Meditation is not something you do to prove something to yourself. What you need is enough self-confidence in yourself, in your genuineness, your own judgment, worth, and right to be there. Any method that helps you get to that point is helping to establish basic confidence that you need to follow the path to Awakening.

    Given the 3rd paragraph (above) I wonder if a therapist would help? Not one that just criticize your (I'm guessing) non-traditional outlook on family but rather one that helps you have confidence and 'get you to the point' described in 3rd paragraph.

    Edit: I added paragraphs 3 and 4.

    Note: this advice is also in light of other threads by the OP and not based on just this OP.

    federicaShoshinmisecmisc1person
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    That is interesting that walking feels easier. Does that mean it is a little more enjoyable? I wonder if the movement is easier to physically enjoy?

    I can not say if walking feels enjoyable to me, but I can say that it seems more mechanical to me in the sense that I can direct my brain to focus on the physical aspects when I do walking meditation. I can tell how walking happens as far as my feet are concerned and how my body seems to be moving when I walk and that is all about my walking meditation. So the question arises in my mind that am I missing something in my walking meditation? Moreover it feels like a redundant choir activity due to the times I have done it, so nothing feels new or interesting in my walking meditation. It is quicker to notice when I get entangled in my thoughts during walking meditation than in my sitting meditation, since in my walking meditation, instead of feeling the physical sensations in my feet, I few times slightly quickly notice that I am lost in my thoughts, though many times it takes a lot of time for me to notice that I am lost in my thoughts. So only observing physical sensations in feet during walking meditation, then where does observing mind comes in walking meditation? Any ideas please suggest. Thanks.

    person
  • 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

    Who cares? Why ask so many questions..?

    It gets you nowhere except more tangled up in so much theory, so much thinking, that you're defeating the whole object.

    As @Bunks said elsewhere, just do it.
    Read the comments here, and then get up, put one foot in front of the other, and walk, dammit.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Thich Nhat Hanh on mindful walking...

    misecmisc1federica
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    So the question arises in my mind that am I missing something in my walking meditation?

    Is that like a logical thought "hmm is something missing". Or is it monkey mind "I want something better or different?"

    Moreover it feels like a redundant choir activity due to the times I have done it, so nothing feels new or interesting in my walking meditation.

    Related to above. Is boredom mean that something is 'wrong' with your meditation? Or more monkey mind? Trungpa talked about 'hot boredom' (which is uncomfortable hence 'hot') and 'cool boredom'. Cool boredom comes after hot boredom is exhausted which can take a long time.

    All meditators get lost in thought. Don't take it as a sign of failure.

    misecmisc1Rowan1980
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    We all start at different places and have different dispositions and inclinations. Much of actual meditation practice beyond the theory involves experimentation to discover what is more effective for you specifically and what you need more at any time. Maybe something in the walking meditation helps your focus and awareness.

    But as @Jeffrey says the objective isn't to make thoughts disappear it is simply to return to your focus when you notice yourself distracted again and again. Over time the grip of thoughts loosen and we become more present and aware.

    Jeffreymisecmisc1
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:

    I can not say if walking feels enjoyable to me, but I can say that it seems more mechanical to me in the sense that I can direct my brain to focus on the physical aspects when I do walking meditation. I can tell how walking happens as far as my feet are concerned and how my body seems to be moving when I walk and that is all about my walking meditation. So the question arises in my mind that am I missing something in my walking meditation? Moreover it feels like a redundant choir activity due to the times I have done it, so nothing feels new or interesting in my walking meditation. It is quicker to notice when I get entangled in my thoughts during walking meditation than in my sitting meditation, since in my walking meditation, instead of feeling the physical sensations in my feet, I few times slightly quickly notice that I am lost in my thoughts, though many times it takes a lot of time for me to notice that I am lost in my thoughts. So only observing physical sensations in feet during walking meditation, then where does observing mind comes in walking meditation? Any ideas please suggest. Thanks.

    @misecmisc1
    When first starting out on the mediation journey there is more often than not too much "YOU/I" involvement when going through the motions of meditation...

    Perhaps "Dualism is the issue here where one feels the need to be in control of the experience ...in other words one falls into the mind trap of " I want my cake and eat it too" way of thinking... "I" want to experience my "self" whilst experiencing the experience itself ...This is just "Dualism" trying to be not two...so to speak

    Alan Watts sums up what happens nicely

    There was a young man who said though, it seems I know that I know...What I would like to see is the "I" that knows "me" when I know that I know that I know !

    Ponder this...

    Awareness is fundamentally non- conceptual before thinking splits experience into subject and object...It is empty and so can contain everything...It is boundless...And amazingly....It is intrinsically knowing

    @misecmisc1 because the act of meditation itself ( the act of familarisation ) is so simple, the mind more often than not ( due to its long history of using logic to solve all life's mysteries) finds this simplicity hard to grasp...

    "When the intellect ventures into where it does not belong, it becomes lost in it's own confusion !"

    If one drops the desire to meditate in order to become enlightened and just go about one's daily life displaying acts of kindness, and not expecting anything in return... after a while the mind will familiarise itself with theses acts and they will start to become the norm... and if later on in life one feels the urge to sit down and meditate... things may ( if one is not desiring to do so) fall into play...

    May you soon come to experimentally understand that meditation and a self meditating are one and not separate entities AKA not two....

    Fosdickmisecmisc1
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran
    edited May 18

    @misecmisc1, I get a sense that you may be using meditation as a way of clinging to and fortifying the sense of self, rather than as a way of letting go of the self to see what lies beyond. If so, that would be - to borrow a simile from the Buddha - the wrong way to catch a snake, and a sure way to get bitten. It's worth considering.

    ShoshinRowan1980
  • Rowan1980Rowan1980 Keeper of the Zoo Asheville, NC Veteran

    @federica said:
    Who cares? Why ask so many questions..?

    It gets you nowhere except more tangled up in so much theory, so much thinking, that you're defeating the whole object.

    As @Bunks said elsewhere, just do it.
    Read the comments here, and then get up, put one foot in front of the other, and walk, dammit.

    This. I am a chronic overthinker. I am compelled to know the underlying mechanisms of virtually anything that captures my attention. Life is too damn fascinating to not understand how stuff works. I read a ton, constantly look things up so I can better understand a reference in a conversation that I am not familiar with, etc. This makes me useful where trivia is involved.

    Unfortunately, the flip side involves overanalyzing to the point that I have mentally paralyzed myself and can’t move forward. One would think that I would know when a matter is relatively simple, but my brain is a stubborn jerk and doesn’t allow for simple answers. (Sorry, Occam.) It sounds like you’re at least in the adjacent-if not the same-boat. The kicker is, it’s absolutely exhausting. So much energy is spent trying to create a complex answer to a situation that doesn’t require one. Sometimes, you need to just sit and be with your mind without getting hung up on the thoughts themselves. That sh*t ain’t easy. It takes time and patience with both yourself and the situation where you’re trying to not get sucked into the mental processes themselves. That said, though, being able to just sit and exist and not have to figure everything out while you’re sitting is pretty sweet. Consider it well-deserved rest and self-care.

    misecmisc1ShoshinJeffrey
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Ignorance is bliss...

    ShoshinRowan1980Kundo
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    Understanding comes from attention. So this is why an effort is made to pay attention to your experience.

    If you're caught up in thoughts about various things you might have understandings come and go about what you are thinking of. But you won't have attention on that thoughts are merely thoughts so you won't have attention on what is there in a sense rather you will be caught up in thoughts.

  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Illinois Explorer
    edited August 30

    In contemplation I try to revel,
    Though in truth I am sworn to the devil.
    Where others delve deep, I only sit
    In idleness enthralled, willing only to quit.
    Yet still I sit! And try and endeavor
    In whatever way to grow and be better.

    • me (at least, I don't know of anyone else who wrote this...)

    For me, I try to concentrate on what's real to me in the moment. And more often than not, that's the pain in my head. I try to think, visualize the pain in my mind, without making any moral judgements, I let it be.

    "Fiat"!

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