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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Changed view
« Last post by Dhamma on Today at 06:44:41 PM »
Dear friend,

May I offer a bit of advice? One of the things that I have learned from Zen Buddhists is that being too "goal-oriented" can be a hindrance in our practice. Don't get too caught up with the length of your meditation session - that's what I am trying to tel you. I know how hard it is to not think in terms of a goal. I struggle myself with this so much. This is why we should practice walking meditation as it can teach to be more in the moment with no goal in the moment; we don't step so much forward, but more downwards into the present moment - slowly but surely.

Also, remember that when you go to any retreat or go to be with monks/teachers, make sure that they are all on the up-and-up and all legitimate. Do make sure that they are part of strong Buddhist lineage as well; otherwise, you could find yourself in bad situations. 

Sorry if I came off as a a bit "preachy", but I felt compelled to tell you these things.

Take good care,
Dhamma

Yes, thank you for the reminder.  I did take your previous advice of practicing walking meditation, and yes it is more difficult than I would have imagined!  I followed instructions as they often practice in Theravadan Buddhism, with the 15ish foot path, “Stepping left/right” “Standing” “Turning” “Stopping” “Thinking” etc etc.  I have not been practicing it so much in the last week due to rain and more sitting, but I believe it did help a bit, yes.

The center I’m hoping to retreat at seems to be regarded very highly in my area, the Jesup, Georgia (USA) center (Dhamma patāpa center).  It is in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin, who I have not done much research on.  There are many positive things about this place online from primary sources, no major scares to my knowledge. 

I want to incorporate Zazen into my practice, but I find it easy to spread myself too thin with several different practices and am focusing on keeping on a single path.  I currently practice Anapana on it’s own, full body Shamatha in which I focus solely on the relaxation and positive sensations, Metta Bhavana every 2 or 3 days, and Vipassanā in which I allow my negative sensations to simply exist and analyze them by experiencing them in their whole whilst watching my thinking and body sensations, along with positive emotions.

Walking meditation in the Theravada school, but no so much over the last week as I said.  Last week I was very heavy with Shamatha as I was having difficulty meeting my stresses with equanimity, and last few days a lot more Vipassanā as I’ve found more equanimity and feel it is safe to explore further.


All is good then! I was just checking out for you, as we should for all our brothers and sisters on the Path. There is so much online information out there that it's so easy to get caught in a bad situation, even when you're thinking you are really doing the right thing.  Someone I knew on another forum brought to attention lately the cult-like characteristics of a few "Eastern" religious leaders, none of which I was aware. We all have to be careful.

Theravadan walking meditation seems to be a little different compared to Zen walking meditation, but their both wonderful.  I just thought that walking meditation in a general sense might help you to feel more grounded, more in the moment.

All the best, friend. :)

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Hey everyone. 

I had this experience when I first picked up my practice, on my third week.  It occurred during my Anapana practice.  I started with a tense mind, which I then found equanimity toward in the sit.  My shoulders and legs were killing me, but throughout the sit I identified the pains as simple sensation, and saw clearly the separation between mind and pain.  Pain was still there but did not bother me at all past that point.  I found deep relaxation, in body and mind.

Then my eyes seemed to shut closed with a lot of pressure, and this was involuntary.  My eyes were already closed beforehand, but now they were being shut very hard.  I felt some kind of energy (For lack of a better less ambiguous word) "firing" within my body, it felt like something incredible was about to happen, and I became absorbed and attached to it, at which point it died down as I lost awareness of breath. 

A month later, it happened again, but this time my practice had developed a bit to the point where I was able to let it happen without interference a bit more, and I felt waves of bliss fire through my body from head to toe.  It was incredible.  My heart started pounding very quickly and it once again left me as I grasped onto it too much and probably tensed up.  Then it happened again the morning after.  My eyes were closed but it felt like I could see a hint of light, more than the moments before the experience occurred.

I am curious as to whether this is something I can work with or just let be and get on with my practice?  I have let go of expecting it to happen because that only hinders my progress.
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Changed view
« Last post by NewPathForward on Today at 03:37:38 AM »
Dear friend,

May I offer a bit of advice? One of the things that I have learned from Zen Buddhists is that being too "goal-oriented" can be a hindrance in our practice. Don't get too caught up with the length of your meditation session - that's what I am trying to tel you. I know how hard it is to not think in terms of a goal. I struggle myself with this so much. This is why we should practice walking meditation as it can teach to be more in the moment with no goal in the moment; we don't step so much forward, but more downwards into the present moment - slowly but surely.

Also, remember that when you go to any retreat or go to be with monks/teachers, make sure that they are all on the up-and-up and all legitimate. Do make sure that they are part of strong Buddhist lineage as well; otherwise, you could find yourself in bad situations. 

Sorry if I came off as a a bit "preachy", but I felt compelled to tell you these things.

Take good care,
Dhamma

Yes, thank you for the reminder.  I did take your previous advice of practicing walking meditation, and yes it is more difficult than I would have imagined!  I followed instructions as they often practice in Theravadan Buddhism, with the 15ish foot path, “Stepping left/right” “Standing” “Turning” “Stopping” “Thinking” etc etc.  I have not been practicing it so much in the last week due to rain and more sitting, but I believe it did help a bit, yes.

The center I’m hoping to retreat at seems to be regarded very highly in my area, the Jesup, Georgia (USA) center (Dhamma patāpa center).  It is in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin, who I have not done much research on.  There are many positive things about this place online from primary sources, no major scares to my knowledge. 

I want to incorporate Zazen into my practice, but I find it easy to spread myself too thin with several different practices and am focusing on keeping on a single path.  I currently practice Anapana on it’s own, full body Shamatha in which I focus solely on the relaxation and positive sensations, Metta Bhavana every 2 or 3 days, and Vipassanā in which I allow my negative sensations to simply exist and analyze them by experiencing them in their whole whilst watching my thinking and body sensations, along with positive emotions.

Walking meditation in the Theravada school, but no so much over the last week as I said.  Last week I was very heavy with Shamatha as I was having difficulty meeting my stresses with equanimity, and last few days a lot more Vipassanā as I’ve found more equanimity and feel it is safe to explore further.
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Thoughts during Meditation
« Last post by Dhamma on Today at 03:19:13 AM »
@ Middleway:

Your last post was phenomenal: pure wisdom!  We all need to be applying this knowledge.

(Not trying to brag you up, though we are all to stay humble LOL).


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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Changed view
« Last post by Dhamma on Today at 03:12:42 AM »
Interesting.  I have some trouble sitting longer than 35 - 40m. If I am laying down doing a body scan guided meditation it is longer.  Often, around 10m I get much deeper and relaxed. Around 20m some pain / restlessness arises, and around 30m I often find deeper acceptance / removal from this “monkey mind”, or I see more clearly that I am NOT these thoughts, emotions and sensations, but by that time my goal of 30-35m is done and I’m ready to get up.

When did you find yourself sitting for much longer?  I am hoping to do a Goenka 10 day this fall, my first.  Should I prepare by exploring longer sits in the mean time?


Dear friend,

May I offer a bit of advice? One of the things that I have learned from Zen Buddhists is that being too "goal-oriented" can be a hindrance in our practice. Don't get too caught up with the length of your meditation session - that's what I am trying to tel you. I know how hard it is to not think in terms of a goal. I struggle myself with this so much. This is why we should practice walking meditation as it can teach to be more in the moment with no goal in the moment; we don't step so much forward, but more downwards into the present moment - slowly but surely.

Also, remember that when you go to any retreat or go to be with monks/teachers, make sure that they are all on the up-and-up and all legitimate. Do make sure that they are part of strong Buddhist lineage as well; otherwise, you could find yourself in bad situations. 

Sorry if I came off as a a bit "preachy", but I felt compelled to tell you these things.

Take good care,
Dhamma
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@ Thanisaro85

I really appreciated your post, and I humbly accept your compliment and kindness.

Dear friend, your posts have been amazingly helpful and inspiring for me -- I really mean that. I believe that you express yourself beautifully, giving Theravadan advice. You know the teachings quite well for a lay person. I know a little about all schools of Buddhism, but am an expert in none, except I understand Theravada meditation styles quite well (or I think I do, lol).

I think you just gave me a bit wisdom in your last post: I need to start staying away from "all things political".  Why put myself through the terrible emotions and anger when I don't need to? It's not as if I am going to change society by reading and watching politics. Yes, I need to be aware of political situations, but that's as far as I need to go. I just want away from it.

The Buddha said we get highly delusional when we are angry. Boy, isn't that the truth! And the anger only increases samsara.

I really want to do a Buddhist retreat with meditation and silence, but it's not possible right now. There goes my "wanting" LOL.

Peace and enlightenment to you.
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I tried a non-directive meditation today (from what a read about Shikantaza): it was interesting in that fact that there wasn't that expectation of going back to the breath, or the rising or falling of the belly.  With, non-directive meditation, I felt more "in the moment with no expectation", and perhaps a bit more relaxed. It was as if was really just being (sort of like I get when I do walking meditation). Now, mind you, that was just my first time, so...

Both meditation techniques have their advantages. Directive meditation techniques make you more aware your mind and how your mind works, or so it seems.  It also emphasizes the impermanence of all phenomena as your thoughts and feelings constantly come and go; also, it makes you see the lack of self in your thoughts and feelings.

Dzogchen, from what I read, is more involved than Shikantaza, and needs to be taught be a teacher. So, I won't be trying that Tibetan meditation style.

I just thought I'd share how my first non-directive meditation session went.

Love and peace to all you. :)
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Changed view
« Last post by NewPathForward on May 28, 2020, 06:38:09 PM »
I think it's normal to see progress not day by day but on a larger time stace: from what i know, Meditation is not a straight forward process. We just investigate the truth patiently, and then get the big result over some time.
If it can be useful, i used to make 30/45 mins sit, but i have found that longer sits, as said by Culadasa, are far more effective. In particular, you can see the difference when you pass 45 minutes: meditation becomes more profund and teach you more things after this time.

Interesting.  I have some trouble sitting longer than 35 - 40m. If I am laying down doing a body scan guided meditation it is longer.  Often, around 10m I get much deeper and relaxed. Around 20m some pain / restlessness arises, and around 30m I often find deeper acceptance / removal from this “monkey mind”, or I see more clearly that I am NOT these thoughts, emotions and sensations, but by that time my goal of 30-35m is done and I’m ready to get up.

When did you find yourself sitting for much longer?  I am hoping to do a Goenka 10 day this fall, my first.  Should I prepare by exploring longer sits in the mean time?
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Welcome to the forum Nicolas.
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Changed view
« Last post by Vipassana_it on May 28, 2020, 10:15:37 AM »
I think it's normal to see progress not day by day but on a larger time stace: from what i know, Meditation is not a straight forward process. We just investigate the truth patiently, and then get the big result over some time.
If it can be useful, i used to make 30/45 mins sit, but i have found that longer sits, as said by Culadasa, are far more effective. In particular, you can see the difference when you pass 45 minutes: meditation becomes more profund and teach you more things after this time.
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