Meditation Discussion Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Meditation, Practice And The Path => Topic started by: Thomas D on September 13, 2016, 08:45:17 AM

Title: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Thomas D on September 13, 2016, 08:45:17 AM
Do we westerners need more rules? Aren't we self conscious enough?

At some point you will realize that you are thinking. Volition creates thought which creates volition. Right? How do you still your mind? You know when it is still? Do you need instructions?

Why would you need complex (some would say simple) meditation instructions? Perhaps if you are not very self conscious and maybe a bit lazy natured? Not living your life in your head. Like a beach going happy brazilian?

I could be very wrong. So please chime in.

I'm suggesting reading material written by clever beings like the Buddha, forgetting it. Then setting a timer, sitting still and closing eyes.
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Middleway on September 14, 2016, 02:56:45 AM
We have accumulated decades of "knowledge" that sunk deep into our subconscious mind. This is what causes trouble for us when we sit still and close our eyes. This is what causes our mind to churn continuously. How do we get rid of all this garbage (knowledge) and return to innocence? Because there in lies our salvation and there in lies our still mind we yearn for. We have to watch our mind incessantly. Watch its fears, insecurities and all the rest of it. When we watch, we see the futility of the so-called knowledge. Then mind lets it go on its own accord. It quiets down on its own accord. It becomes still. This is the only way that could lead to sustainable stillness of mind. Everything else is temporary. So, we should have patience...lots of it. It is a long lonely path but filled with aloneness more so than lonely. It has been fun ride so far and I look forward to what lies ahead.
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Matthew on September 16, 2016, 05:05:43 AM
What Middleway said /\  :) Liberating the subconscious from years of habit.
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: stillpointdancer on September 16, 2016, 11:11:32 AM
We have accumulated decades of "knowledge" that sunk deep into our subconscious mind. This is what causes trouble for us when we sit still and close our eyes. This is what causes our mind to churn continuously. How do we get rid of all this garbage (knowledge) and return to innocence? Because there in lies our salvation and there in lies our still mind we yearn for. We have to watch our mind incessantly. Watch its fears, insecurities and all the rest of it. When we watch, we see the futility of the so-called knowledge. Then mind lets it go on its own accord. It quiets down on its own accord. It becomes still. This is the only way that could lead to sustainable stillness of mind. Everything else is temporary. So, we should have patience...lots of it. It is a long lonely path but filled with aloneness more so than lonely. It has been fun ride so far and I look forward to what lies ahead.

Great post. For me the Satipatthana Sutta shows one way of dealing with the accumulated knowledge. Find one with a decent commentary and you can start letting go of all the stuff holding you back from making progress along the path.
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Middleway on September 17, 2016, 03:02:37 AM
What Middleway said /\  :) Liberating the subconscious from years of habit.

Yes, certain habits, but also pleasant and unpleasant memories/impressions we store in our mind. For example, I see a kid who looks likes the bully who harassed me in high school. At the  sight of this kid, my mind quickly pulled decades old image, compared and pulled it to the fore (of my mind). Then those old unpleasant memories come rushing into the mind. Now, I begin to get angry all over again. Now, why does this happen? Why does my mind recollect those old memories (I called knowledge) and rehash them? Those memories are absolutely useless to me now. Another example. I saw a mango tree with large fruits hanging by the branches. What I first saw was a thing. My mind quickly compared it my knowledge database, and classified it as a tree. Then, it compared again with my database stored in my mind, and classified it as mango tree. Then, it went onto recall how I used to climb up the tree and pluck those mangoes (my neighbors tree when they are not around). Then another memory comes rushing in on how I used to cut them to small strips and sprinkle salt on them and eat. My mouth is filling with water right now as I type recalling the taste. Why does my mind have to remember these unpleasant and pleasant memories? What is the point at all? Well, we need this for survival. We encounter bad stuff poisonous snakes (knowledge), we run the other way. So, it is good. But what is the point in all other garbage? Both good and bad? It is useless. So, I train my mind and remind it every time it recalls this garbage from the past. Slowly, these thoughts and memories loose their grip on me and I do not recall them as often and if they pop up every now and then, my mindfulness immediately notices and discards them as "past garbage" so that there is no prolonged thought train or feelings associated with it.

If we can only forget, set the timer, sit still and close our eyes. Then who needs the Buddha or his teachings?
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: stillpointdancer on September 17, 2016, 11:28:53 AM
What Middleway said /\  :) Liberating the subconscious from years of habit.


If we can only forget, set the timer, sit still and close our eyes. Then who needs the Buddha or his teachings?

I do! The Heart Sutra says something similar, but only in the context of the last things you need to let go of before enlightenment. Maybe in the sense of letting go of the raft after crossing the stream. I frequently do what you say, but always with the confidence that memory of the Buddha's teachings bring.
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Laurent on September 17, 2016, 12:02:38 PM

If we can only forget, set the timer, sit still and close our eyes. Then who needs the Buddha or his teachings?

99% of the population...
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Thomas D on September 17, 2016, 03:31:49 PM
Forgetting in the sense of the narrator in our heads incessantly reminding us of the Buddha and the dhamma. If the knowledge has sparked something in us it is probably deep, no?
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Middleway on September 18, 2016, 01:44:47 AM
If the knowledge has sparked something in us it is probably deep, no?

Sorry, I do not follow what you are getting at. Please can you elaborate?

Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Thomas D on September 19, 2016, 08:50:10 AM
By forgetting, I mean forgetting the instructions. When I read buddhist material, something connects in me that doesn't connect when I read fiction for example. This can't be forgotten I believe.

I have a feeling that I know. I can see that my perception is contaminated. I have not succeeded yet in using any instruction to reach a meditative state, yet it has happened on a couple of occasions spontaneously without me trying to achieve something.

If I set a timer, sit still and close my eyes my mind will drift, then I become aware. I feel my breath, myself. Then I might drift again, then I might struggle, become aware of myself struggling, let myself struggle and become calm, then drift and so on.

As I have mentioned before I have a somewhat extreme, highly strung personality. Any instruction will be taken quite literally no matter how soft and gentle I try to be. My personality loves instructions. Problem is I end up creating so much tension in my self, that I have a slight mental break down after some while. My mind has become quite still at times and I feel very present, but on a subtle level the tension is building, no matter how soft I intend to be.

I am not certain, but I have a strong urge to just sit, let whatever happens, happen. Stop trying to force my mind to contour to the shape of my super egos idea of a present mind.

Focusing on the breath sounds uncorrupted, but many of us have earlier discussed that "breath" is just an illusion of the mind. This illusion is accepted for the time being, knowing that it will change as our mind steadies on the illusion. Sounds easy, but both the mind and the object are corrupted. I don't know if the ego has its own intelligence, but it seems to want to do anything in order to stop me from seeing things as they really are. I can bypass this by not following any instructions, by just sitting still with my eyes closed. If I feel confused, then I let myself be confused. If I start to doubt, then I let myself doubt. If I become alert, I know.

Anyway, I'll test this for a while. I might end up like a mindless idiot, but I will be free of artificially created tension, perhaps easy going ;)

Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: stillpointdancer on September 19, 2016, 10:49:08 AM
Actually, Thomas D, the 'just sitting' meditation you describe can be very powerful. I think everyone should try it some time as part of their meditation experience. Works best for me in the garden, but it's something you can do anywhere.
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Laurent on September 19, 2016, 01:44:49 PM
There is a paradox in the dhamma, because the dhamma teaches to not conceptualize, and as it is a teaching, it uses concepts.
When a person deeply understands dhamma, she or he may not really need it anymore, as you described.
But the path (magga) is a personal and progressive experience, with constant adjustements and assessments, so, though what you say is not wrong, it could be not factual for anyone. So for people who are not able to deeply understand the 8th fold, samma samadhi, it is very important to develop the seven other folds.
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Middleway on September 20, 2016, 02:28:10 AM
By forgetting, I mean forgetting the instructions. When I read buddhist material, something connects in me that doesn't connect when I read fiction for example. This can't be forgotten I believe.

I have a feeling that I know. I can see that my perception is contaminated. I have not succeeded yet in using any instruction to reach a meditative state, yet it has happened on a couple of occasions spontaneously without me trying to achieve something.

If I set a timer, sit still and close my eyes my mind will drift, then I become aware. I feel my breath, myself. Then I might drift again, then I might struggle, become aware of myself struggling, let myself struggle and become calm, then drift and so on.

As I have mentioned before I have a somewhat extreme, highly strung personality. Any instruction will be taken quite literally no matter how soft and gentle I try to be. My personality loves instructions. Problem is I end up creating so much tension in my self, that I have a slight mental break down after some while. My mind has become quite still at times and I feel very present, but on a subtle level the tension is building, no matter how soft I intend to be.

I am not certain, but I have a strong urge to just sit, let whatever happens, happen. Stop trying to force my mind to contour to the shape of my super egos idea of a present mind.

Focusing on the breath sounds uncorrupted, but many of us have earlier discussed that "breath" is just an illusion of the mind. This illusion is accepted for the time being, knowing that it will change as our mind steadies on the illusion. Sounds easy, but both the mind and the object are corrupted. I don't know if the ego has its own intelligence, but it seems to want to do anything in order to stop me from seeing things as they really are. I can bypass this by not following any instructions, by just sitting still with my eyes closed. If I feel confused, then I let myself be confused. If I start to doubt, then I let myself doubt. If I become alert, I know.

Anyway, I'll test this for a while. I might end up like a mindless idiot, but I will be free of artificially created tension, perhaps easy going ;)

When I first began my practice, I was eager to find an enlightened person and wanted to meet him/her. I thought it would help accelerate my practice by inspiration, faith etc. I met such a person and it turned out to be totally opposite to my expectations. It got me thinking that if I get enlightened, then what? can I ride into the sunset and live happily ever after? I still very likely have to go to work, earn a living, and live my life. Physical pain and aging would not go away. Maybe I will better handle my psychological suffering. At that point in my practice, I felt that enlightenment is overrated. I used it for a caption beside my forum handle for a while.

Attaining some sort of meditative state is very similar I think. If I experience this so called meditative state, then what? I am sure there will be something else to achieve after that and something else after that. I do see similarities to accumulating wealth and more wealth scenario.

Your expectation is causing the tension to arise in you. You have correctly diagnosed the problem. You also figured out the solution i.e to let go. This is great! I think it is very good progress. Can you find contentment in arriving precisely at this point? If you can, just simply observe and stay with it.

I don't quite follow what you mean by saying breath is an illusion of mind. I cannot see how it is an illusion. Mind maybe corrupted but object is object. It cannot be corrupted. Now a days, I think that we are simply incapable of seeing things as they really are. Our six senses only see what they see (figuratively speaking).

Warm regards,

Middleway
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Laurent on September 20, 2016, 10:22:56 AM
Meditative absorption is an inner experience that changes the person from the inside. So, even though the world will not change, your perception of it will change and your views will change.

Metta.
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Thomas D on September 20, 2016, 10:49:54 AM
What I'm saying is that it is your perception of "breath" that you are paying attention to. The mind paying attention and the perception of "breath" are one. Therefore as long as you sense the two as separate, they are both corrupted. I'm not saying that breathing doesn't exist, but our perception is an illusion.

Anyway, this is my theoretical understanding.
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Middleway on September 20, 2016, 02:06:53 PM
What I'm saying is that it is your perception of "breath" that you are paying attention to. The mind paying attention and the perception of "breath" are one. Therefore as long as you sense the two as separate, they are both corrupted. I'm not saying that breathing doesn't exist, but our perception is an illusion.

Anyway, this is my theoretical understanding.

Perception is a function of mind. As things change, our perception changes. Less cluttered or less conditioned the mind is, our perception is much closer to what is. So corrupt mind leads to corrupted perception. Also,  even an enlightened person may need a pair of glasses to see the world clearly. He visual sense of perception is a function of his eyes. In that sense, we can never know exactly what is. Everything we perceive is through our senses which are not reliable.


My understanding of the phrase "to see things as they really are" means that things are impermanent, lack inherent existence, and are unsatisfactory.
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: saris on September 20, 2016, 03:25:27 PM
     " Perception is what conditions all of our thoughts, words, and deeds. As the sutta above shows, we have the opportunity to be “fully set free in this very life,” but are unable to do this, as a result of our not seeing clearly. If we were able to recognize that a particular way of perception would lead to a decline in skillful states or in well-being, then we would happily relinquish it as in our best interests.
      Or, as we cultivate mindfulness and a steadiness of heart and observe that this particular mode of perception leads the mind to steady states of well-being, we would naturally want to protect and nurture that perception as it increases our happiness.

      If we could be more attentive to perceptions that penetrate the nature of our bodies and minds and of the world around us, our relationship to everything would be radically different. Our fascination with the world would easily be replaced with a sense of world-weariness, disenchantment, or disgust (nibbidæ). In practice, this ‘disgust’ is an inner quality that loosens the hold of our habitual patterns of perception and conception. It is not the emotional upheaval of finding something abhorrent, repugnant or offensive. Instead, it is closer to the roots of the word itself – “losing one’s taste for,” or “not delighting in its flavour,” leaving the heart cool, settled and clear. This sense of disenchantment can be fostered by focusing on the drawbacks of our normal involvement in the world of sensual passions, but it can also be fostered by focusing on the positive aspects of the peace offered by Nibbæna:

   From the Island .....
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Thomas D on September 20, 2016, 03:29:17 PM
Perception is a function of mind. As things change, our perception changes. Less cluttered or less conditioned the mind is, our perception is much closer to what is. So corrupt mind leads to corrupted perception. Also,  even an enlightened person may need a pair of glasses to see the world clearly. He visual sense of perception is a function of his eyes. In that sense, we can never know exactly what is. Everything we perceive is through our senses which are not reliable.


My understanding of the phrase "to see things as they really are" means that things are impermanent, lack inherent existence, and are unsatisfactory.

I think we more or less agree. I have once experienced "seeing things as they really are" and it had nothing to do with the three characteristics. My ego capitulated for a month after heavy emotional inner torment. Suddenly there was nothing to defend. I stopped twisting reality, started truly listening to what people were saying to me. I changed completely. My friends told me I had found myself. Lasted for a month, I started grasping for reasons and ways to hold on to the experience. Soon my egostructure was back on line, distorting all things to feed itself.
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Middleway on September 20, 2016, 06:28:34 PM
     " Perception is what conditions all of our thoughts, words, and deeds. As the sutta above shows, we have the opportunity to be “fully set free in this very life,” but are unable to do this, as a result of our not seeing clearly. If we were able to recognize that a particular way of perception would lead to a decline in skillful states or in well-being, then we would happily relinquish it as in our best interests.
      Or, as we cultivate mindfulness and a steadiness of heart and observe that this particular mode of perception leads the mind to steady states of well-being, we would naturally want to protect and nurture that perception as it increases our happiness.

      If we could be more attentive to perceptions that penetrate the nature of our bodies and minds and of the world around us, our relationship to everything would be radically different. Our fascination with the world would easily be replaced with a sense of world-weariness, disenchantment, or disgust (nibbidæ). In practice, this ‘disgust’ is an inner quality that loosens the hold of our habitual patterns of perception and conception. It is not the emotional upheaval of finding something abhorrent, repugnant or offensive. Instead, it is closer to the roots of the word itself – “losing one’s taste for,” or “not delighting in its flavour,” leaving the heart cool, settled and clear. This sense of disenchantment can be fostered by focusing on the drawbacks of our normal involvement in the world of sensual passions, but it can also be fostered by focusing on the positive aspects of the peace offered by Nibbæna:

   From the Island .....

Welcome to the forum Saris.
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Middleway on September 20, 2016, 06:32:29 PM

I think we more or less agree.

I don't think so. We are miles apart.
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Thomas D on September 20, 2016, 08:41:17 PM

I think we more or less agree.

I don't think so. We are miles apart.

Please explain miles apart. What do you think I believe vs what you see or believe? What I was trying to tell you is that there are different levels of seeing things as they are. That my experience was a temporary bypass of the old ego structure. Nothing more, nothing less.

I find strange it that you say that enlightenment is overrated. What else is there?
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Middleway on September 21, 2016, 04:09:35 AM

I think we more or less agree.

I don't think so. We are miles apart.

Please explain miles apart. What do you think I believe vs what you see or believe? What I was trying to tell you is that there are different levels of seeing things as they are. That my experience was a temporary bypass of the old ego structure. Nothing more, nothing less.

I find strange it that you say that enlightenment is overrated. What else is there?
Okay, I will start with this post and work my way backwards.

From the post above you say "What I was trying to tell you is that there are different levels of seeing things as they are".

This statement does not make sense to me. You can say there are different levels of seeing, but cannot say different levels of seeing as they are. Using the vision example as before, let's say "having 20/20 vision" is seeing things as they are. Then there are other levels of seeing such as blurry, more blurry and blind (non-seeing). These other levels of seeing are not seeing things clearly or as they are. So, there cannot be different levels of seeing as they are. I am going one step further and saying it is impossible to see things as they are since our senses are not reliable.

What I'm saying is that it is your perception of "breath" that you are paying attention to. The mind paying attention and the perception of "breath" are one. Therefore as long as you sense the two as separate, they are both corrupted. I'm not saying that breathing doesn't exist, but our perception is an illusion.

Anyway, this is my theoretical understanding.
The mind paying attention is "I" and the perception of breath is experienced by "I". When there is no "I", then there is no experience to be had. There is only breathing. As long as there is "I", there is separation of mind paying attention and perception of breathing. "I" or the mind paying attention is the illusion.

By forgetting, I mean forgetting the instructions. When I read buddhist material, something connects in me that doesn't connect when I read fiction for example. This can't be forgotten I believe.

I have a feeling that I know. I can see that my perception is contaminated. I have not succeeded yet in using any instruction to reach a meditative state, yet it has happened on a couple of occasions spontaneously without me trying to achieve something.

If I set a timer, sit still and close my eyes my mind will drift, then I become aware. I feel my breath, myself. Then I might drift again, then I might struggle, become aware of myself struggling, let myself struggle and become calm, then drift and so on.

As I have mentioned before I have a somewhat extreme, highly strung personality. Any instruction will be taken quite literally no matter how soft and gentle I try to be. My personality loves instructions. Problem is I end up creating so much tension in my self, that I have a slight mental break down after some while. My mind has become quite still at times and I feel very present, but on a subtle level the tension is building, no matter how soft I intend to be.

I am not certain, but I have a strong urge to just sit, let whatever happens, happen. Stop trying to force my mind to contour to the shape of my super egos idea of a present mind.

Focusing on the breath sounds uncorrupted, but many of us have earlier discussed that "breath" is just an illusion of the mind. This illusion is accepted for the time being, knowing that it will change as our mind steadies on the illusion. Sounds easy, but both the mind and the object are corrupted. I don't know if the ego has its own intelligence, but it seems to want to do anything in order to stop me from seeing things as they really are. I can bypass this by not following any instructions, by just sitting still with my eyes closed. If I feel confused, then I let myself be confused. If I start to doubt, then I let myself doubt. If I become alert, I know.

Anyway, I'll test this for a while. I might end up like a mindless idiot, but I will be free of artificially created tension, perhaps easy going ;)



You say you tried different methods to reach this meditative state but couldn't. As I said earlier, you have correctly diagnosed the problem that tension is arising because of the expectation or craving to reach this meditative state you have previously experienced. So, your ego mind devised yet another method:

You call it (I am paraphrasing) "forget the instructions method" and I called "letting go" method. There is a difference in forgetting the instructions versus letting go. Letting go is being perfectly content with what is at that moment. You cannot let go and yet "try and test it for a while" in order to achieve the meditative state. Expectation of achieving something is diametrically opposite of letting go.

I find strange it that you say that enlightenment is overrated. What else is there?

Yes there is. Life. Enlightenment is not possible without life. A piece of rock cannot be enlightened. Why not we try to live life without expectations? it is easier said than done!

Warm regards,

Middleway
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Thomas D on September 21, 2016, 08:54:30 AM
You can want to understand me or you can want not. Be honest with yourself.

Have you ever experienced a sudden change of perception? That you suddenly see yourself in a clear way? It dawns on you how you twist things people say in order to stimulate yourself. You see that you are grasping for happiness, but realize that it is right here, right now in this life. You appreciate friends and family in a new way. This I mean is a level of seeing things as they really are. You say it is seeings things on a different level. Fine. I think I understand what you mean. But I don't think you have experienced a sudden lift in ignorance. Maybe you have experienced it gradually. Therefore it just seems that you are seeing things clearer.

Middleway, I am not very good at the vipassana language. You are very good. But, it all boils down to semantics. Words and sentences mean something different to you than to me. I'm sure you know this.

What I want you to understand about me is that I know very well that I am ignorant now. My earlier experience that happened 13 years ago that lasted for a month was a blessing and a curse. I know now that I am ignorant and I yearn for awakening. Have done so ever since. But I also have absolute faith in that happiness is right in front of my eyes if I could just let go. I have banged my head against the wall for a long time now, trying to find a way back to innocense. I'm constantly learning what doesn't work, but I often have to fail many times on the same path before I believe it is fruitless.

So the latest belief, not realization, because it's a gradual understanding, not a sudden insight, is that rules do not work well for me. You say "letting go". I haven't double checked, but  I don't think I said "letting go". I have not let go yet. Please understand that. This is why I said "forget the instructions". I am trying this at the moment. The only parameters for the meditation are 1. Set timer 2. Sit still. 3. Eyes closed. That's it.

You are saying that I can't let go and try at the same time. I am saying that I haven't let go, but I will try.

I agree with you that life can be beautiful and amazing. I am not feeling it at the moment, but I know it can be. Happiness and contentment and peace can be achieved before enlightenment. My paperbook understanding is that there is not much more to be achieved after enlightenment. Therefore  I do not agree that it is overrated. What is over? Life?
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: saris on September 21, 2016, 02:35:29 PM
     " Perception is what conditions all of our thoughts, words, and deeds. As the sutta above shows, we have the opportunity to be “fully set free in this very life,” but are unable to do this, as a result of our not seeing clearly. If we were able to recognize that a particular way of perception would lead to a decline in skillful states or in well-being, then we would happily relinquish it as in our best interests.
      Or, as we cultivate mindfulness and a steadiness of heart and observe that this particular mode of perception leads the mind to steady states of well-being, we would naturally want to protect and nurture that perception as it increases our happiness.

      If we could be more attentive to perceptions that penetrate the nature of our bodies and minds and of the world around us, our relationship to everything would be radically different. Our fascination with the world would easily be replaced with a sense of world-weariness, disenchantment, or disgust (nibbidæ). In practice, this ‘disgust’ is an inner quality that loosens the hold of our habitual patterns of perception and conception. It is not the emotional upheaval of finding something abhorrent, repugnant or offensive. Instead, it is closer to the roots of the word itself – “losing one’s taste for,” or “not delighting in its flavour,” leaving the heart cool, settled and clear. This sense of disenchantment can be fostered by focusing on the drawbacks of our normal involvement in the world of sensual passions, but it can also be fostered by focusing on the positive aspects of the peace offered by Nibbæna:

   From the Island .....

Welcome to the forum Saris.

thankyou middleway but was here already with different name sariputta (thought it a bit arrogant) so changed it .....

sorry if I got off topic......
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Middleway on September 22, 2016, 12:19:37 AM
You can want to understand me or you can want not. Be honest with yourself.

Have you ever experienced a sudden change of perception? That you suddenly see yourself in a clear way? It dawns on you how you twist things people say in order to stimulate yourself. You see that you are grasping for happiness, but realize that it is right here, right now in this life. You appreciate friends and family in a new way. This I mean is a level of seeing things as they really are. You say it is seeings things on a different level. Fine. I think I understand what you mean. But I don't think you have experienced a sudden lift in ignorance. Maybe you have experienced it gradually. Therefore it just seems that you are seeing things clearer.

Middleway, I am not very good at the vipassana language. You are very good. But, it all boils down to semantics. Words and sentences mean something different to you than to me. I'm sure you know this.

What I want you to understand about me is that I know very well that I am ignorant now. My earlier experience that happened 13 years ago that lasted for a month was a blessing and a curse. I know now that I am ignorant and I yearn for awakening. Have done so ever since. But I also have absolute faith in that happiness is right in front of my eyes if I could just let go. I have banged my head against the wall for a long time now, trying to find a way back to innocense. I'm constantly learning what doesn't work, but I often have to fail many times on the same path before I believe it is fruitless.

So the latest belief, not realization, because it's a gradual understanding, not a sudden insight, is that rules do not work well for me. You say "letting go". I haven't double checked, but  I don't think I said "letting go". I have not let go yet. Please understand that. This is why I said "forget the instructions". I am trying this at the moment. The only parameters for the meditation are 1. Set timer 2. Sit still. 3. Eyes closed. That's it.

You are saying that I can't let go and try at the same time. I am saying that I haven't let go, but I will try.

I agree with you that life can be beautiful and amazing. I am not feeling it at the moment, but I know it can be. Happiness and contentment and peace can be achieved before enlightenment. My paperbook understanding is that there is not much more to be achieved after enlightenment. Therefore  I do not agree that it is overrated. What is over? Life?

Okay, I will have to leave it here for now. Hope things will work out for you. Good luck.

Warm regards,

Middleway
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Middleway on September 22, 2016, 12:23:00 AM
thankyou middleway but was here already with different name sariputta (thought it a bit arrogant) so changed it .....

sorry if I got off topic......

No worries at all. And yes, I see your point but it could be for inspiration too. I chose middleway as a reminder for myself.
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: Middleway on September 22, 2016, 12:29:52 PM
What Middleway said /\  :) Liberating the subconscious from years of habit.

Yes, certain habits, but also pleasant and unpleasant memories/impressions we store in our mind. For example, I see a kid who looks likes the bully who harassed me in high school. At the  sight of this kid, my mind quickly pulled decades old image, compared and pulled it to the fore (of my mind). Then those old unpleasant memories come rushing into the mind. Now, I begin to get angry all over again. Now, why does this happen? Why does my mind recollect those old memories (I called knowledge) and rehash them? Those memories are absolutely useless to me now. Another example. I saw a mango tree with large fruits hanging by the branches. What I first saw was a thing. My mind quickly compared it my knowledge database, and classified it as a tree. Then, it compared again with my database stored in my mind, and classified it as mango tree. Then, it went onto recall how I used to climb up the tree and pluck those mangoes (my neighbors tree when they are not around). Then another memory comes rushing in on how I used to cut them to small strips and sprinkle salt on them and eat. My mouth is filling with water right now as I type recalling the taste. Why does my mind have to remember these unpleasant and pleasant memories? What is the point at all? Well, we need this for survival. We encounter bad stuff poisonous snakes (knowledge), we run the other way. So, it is good. But what is the point in all other garbage? Both good and bad? It is useless. So, I train my mind and remind it every time it recalls this garbage from the past. Slowly, these thoughts and memories loose their grip on me and I do not recall them as often and if they pop up every now and then, my mindfulness immediately notices and discards them as "past garbage" so that there is no prolonged thought train or feelings associated with it.

If we can only forget, set the timer, sit still and close our eyes. Then who needs the Buddha or his teachings?

I now see your point Matthew. Yes, the knowledge/memories we store in our minds are not necessarily good or bad, it is our habit of grasping them, our tendency to hoard it and unable to let go is what we must tackle.

Thanks for this Matthew!

Kind regards,

Middleway
Title: Re: Set timer, sit still and close your eyes
Post by: TheJourney on September 24, 2016, 08:16:54 PM
Neuroscientist has explained that breathing meditation is a struggle with your left brain that is always trying to find excuse to get out of the boredom of breathing.

It takes time and patience to discipline the mind. It also helps if you practice one to two minutes often during the day.

Wandering thoughts arise because there is a lot of grasping in you.