Author Topic: Lack of will and energy to act  (Read 4265 times)

Masauwu

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    • chipping away
Lack of will and energy to act
« on: March 23, 2011, 12:17:51 AM »
It feels strange trying to describe this problem, maybe out of fear that it`s an imaginary problem; real or not, i could use some guidance.

I had been struggling with depression and trying to find some meaning to my life for years, looking into different spiritual paths and trying to find the one that can lead me to the real thing behind this veil that people called reality but somehow felt fake; maybe that`s what one fellow once talked about by using the words "the truth shall set you free".

And then about one year and a half ago i found out about Vipassana meditation, and it felt right and it made sense. After a bit of practice with Shamatha meditation i could see solid benefits, some of the dark clouds in my mind clearing up, being able to observe my thoughts and not reacting on events that would trigger my anger in the past. And then i slowly sank back to my old self...

To be honest, i am not the best meditator material to begin with - procrastination is my middle name and lazyness probably follows closely. But this should be different, not some chore or work that has to be done. On a rational level, i consider Shamatha+Vipassana the best thing that i could ever possibly do with my life, but the part of me that thinks that doesn`t seem to be in charge. I should feel a sense of urge and motivation to at least do a daily sitting meditation instead of just putting it off for some "near" future that never comes. It probably sounds a bit like insanity having several conflicting egos inside myself acting blindly on autopilot.

What am i missing here? Thank you for any suggestions.
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

Jeeprs

  • Guest
Re: Lack of will and energy to act
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2011, 01:23:12 AM »
I don't think you're missing anything. My first post here was very similar. It seems like a real struggle to find the motivation to sit in meditation, but I, for one, was making it much more of a struggle than it actually is (and am still not completely regular, but since joining this community have been making a much more consistent effort.)

It is interesting you say that 'this should be different'. Should according to who? Perhaps the conflict you feel is because part of you wants to change, and another part wants to stay exactly the same, and that part is winning the argument. This is not insanity, in the least. The insane honestly believe that those conflicting parts are different people, or voices from the sky, or something. I am sure what you're experiencing is quite normal. Part of you knows that the change that can come through meditation is highly worthwhile, but ego has a vested interest in staying as it is. We all go through this, it is a fact of life.

So maybe there is no mystery here really, but maybe no magic bullet, either. Now is the opportunity to practice. If you keep procrastinating, then you will loose the opportunity. So seize the day!

Vivek

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    • Advaita & U Ba Khin's tradition
Re: Lack of will and energy to act
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2011, 08:42:47 AM »
Quote
What am i missing here?
You are not missing anything. The question implies you want to gain something you are looking for; you may not be conscious of what it is. My suggestion is to let go of all that.. and sit. Keep on letting go, and continue sitting. Let your sitting go on whether you feel your meditation is good or bad. It may take time to be finally still, be patient.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

rideforever

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Re: Lack of will and energy to act
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2011, 08:49:58 AM »
The bit that is missing is Sila.  Vipassana as a practice consists of 3 parts : Sila + Shamatha + Vipassana.  (Ok, this is according to Goenka)

It's all very well doing the breathing (shamatha) and body scan (vipassana) occasionally ... but why are you doing it (sila) ?

If you consider your life and your procrastination, go into it.  Go deeply into it and see what is occurring.  Let your knowledge of your avoidance of life give you motivation.

Awareness is all.  When you are in meditation, when you are out, when you are in procrastination.  Awareness, is the first and last freedom, the only choice ... at any time just turn your attention on your self. 

What am I doing ?  What am I feeling ?  What am I thinking ?  And let your findings become Sila, your motivation.

Be full of love for yourself, your a precious Bodhisattva.

« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 09:08:52 AM by rideforever »

Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: Lack of will and energy to act
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2011, 10:59:49 AM »
Hello Masauwu,

Maybe Rideforever said it in wiser words, but still I will give my reaction:
If I would see that laziness was such an important thing in my life, I would at some good moment invite the laziness and put it before me. That may not be meditation, but I would still do it. Set the laziness before me as if it was a domestic animal. I would keep it there with concentration. See what it is like, see what it has to say. Maybe there is a wickedness behind it. Maybe a fear. If it is a fear, it may be a very interesting fear. Like a fear to be powerful, or a fear to feel good. Well, just see what is.
And when I have seen enough, I would let it go. Retreat from it. Do something else. Scrub the bathroom, as Stephan once told.
At an other time, when I would feel strong I would sit down (or stand) again, and again put the laziness before me and look at it.

Of course, this exercise starts with an act of will and ends with a act of will, and one might use a strong concentration. So it is not shamatha. I find myself doing this sometimes spontaneously during sitting meditation.
If you look at the laziness, do not allow yourself to become lazy. Do not let the laziness seep into you. If that happens, stop the exercise. And an other time when you do it, give more attention to how you relate to the laziness. How you can keep it out for the duration of the exercise. After the exercise, you do not need to keep pushing it away. It was just an exercise.
If you do this, keep us informed.

Be well,

Quardamon

ivana

  • Guest
Re: Lack of will and energy to act
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2011, 07:37:01 PM »
HI Masauwu
I like your post. There it seems for me very clear.
I had been struggling with depression and trying to find some meaning to my life for years, looking into different spiritual paths and trying to find the one that can lead me to the real thing behind this veil that people called reality but somehow felt fake; maybe that`s what one fellow once talked about by using the words "the truth shall set you free".
Looking for meaning of life is perfect, my reply is to live. To live for ourself and others and there is ambiguity.


And then about one year and a half ago i found out about Vipassana meditation, and it felt right and it made sense. After a bit of practice with Shamatha meditation i could see solid benefits, some of the dark clouds in my mind clearing up, being able to observe my thoughts and not reacting on events that would trigger my anger in the past. And then i slowly sank back to my old self...
You know that meditation is helpful. A lot of people do not know it. You able to recognize that you "sank back to my old self".



be honest, i am not the best meditator material to begin with - procrastination is my middle name and lazyness probably follows closely. But this should be different, not some chore or work that has to be done. On a rational level, i consider Shamatha+Vipassana the best thing that i could ever possibly do with my life, but the part of me that thinks that doesn`t seem to be in charge. I should feel a sense of urge and motivation to at least do a daily sitting meditation instead of just putting it off for some "near" future that never comes. It probably sounds a bit like insanity having several conflicting egos inside myself acting blindly on autopilot.

What am i missing here? Thank you for any suggestions.
It is not insanity we have to all fight for what we really want with ourself. I ask my teacher at Goenka 10 days. He told me that breathing exercise is helpful and that we have different layers of mind.  I was at Christmas at Goenka 10 days and now in March at IMC 10days. One attitude is very strict and other is very kind. You have to go to meditation at Goenka but at IMC you are told if you are tired dont go to meditate. After I recognized that it does not matter attitude of teacher to students. If you do not decide to meditate by yourself you will not meditate. After Goenka you finish meditation because you are happy that you survived 10 days and after IMC you finish meditation because they did not push you.
I think you do not miss anything. You came here for help, we all have to do something by ourself. Nobody can meditate for us. But we can meditate together and I will post a suggestion in next post.
Take care
Ivana
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 08:12:15 PM by Ivana »

Masauwu

  • Member
    • chipping away
Re: Lack of will and energy to act
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2011, 12:22:10 AM »
Thanks everyone, your posts come from a fresh perspective for me and are good lessons. Also found some good insight on the Adhitthana topic.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 12:53:42 AM by Masauwu »
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

Masauwu

  • Member
    • chipping away
Re: Lack of will and energy to act
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2011, 01:54:08 PM »
Just thought i`d wrap this topic up, 9 days ago i finally started meditating, shortly after leaving behind some bad habits in my life like the copious amounts of alcohol and junk food i was using daily to hide myself from myself. After years of saying to myself "one last day of drunken haze and tomorrow i start my new life on THE path, the important thing is that i don`t ever give up", one day i realize that i`m going to die an old mindless fool that never gave up. Every of the thousands postponed "tomorrows" might as well be a sad string of thousands and thousands wasted rebirths, if one is to believe in such a thing.

I tried Sayādaw U Pandita`s method as described in his book In This Very Life for the first week, but starting yesterday i dropped noting and replaced observing the sensations in the abdomen with the whole body breathing as described in the Satipatthana Sutta and warmly reccomended by Matthew; the fact that i noticed an improvement makes me stay with this method. Also added a background light which helped, it seems the body was tempted to take a nap without me when sitting in darkness.

So that`s about it, mindful that i`m not out in the clear yet but very thankful that i have a great thing to work with. I guess we all know the answer is always "just do it", but when you are in a dark place there is an invisible barrier, maybe hidden by a blind spot in our understanding. I still can`t see it or understand it if i look back from the other side of it now, but hopefully one day that insight will come also.

Extra thumbs up for everyone here who is practicing, now that i see that it`s not easy stuff but more like swimming against a raging torrent. But all worth it.  ;)
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: Lack of will and energy to act
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2011, 01:55:15 AM »
Inspiring Masauwu!

I find the light important as well, just gets the setting right. When I started I tried noting as well, then quickly got the feeling that it was too much work!
Keep posting what you find each day, it may seem indulgent, but it really keeps the momentum going I found. We sound similar in that we both had a big lead up time before starting, so like me you probably have a lot of expectations. Don't be surprised if frustration comes up as a result, I know I've still alot of it to go! Actually noting helped me through the first wave of frustration, just trying to mentally describe the actual sensations without abstract words like 'frustration' & 'anger'. I would feel/think 'prickly, burning' 'tightness, buzzing' etc instead of the usual emotional descriptions. That's my little spiel done :D

love

andy
getting it done

Jeeprs

  • Guest
Re: Lack of will and energy to act
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2011, 02:15:22 AM »
Excellent post! Also, remember, in the life of practice, we fall down a lot. When it happens, the thing is to get back up again!

Morning Dew

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Re: Lack of will and energy to act
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2011, 12:15:41 PM »
Fair play to you Masauwu my friend. Just keep at it no matter how it feels just keep it daily.

A friend on the path,
Dusko

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Lack of will and energy to act
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2011, 12:46:00 PM »
Quote
when you are in a dark place there is an invisible barrier, maybe hidden by a blind spot in our understanding. I still can`t see it or understand it if i look back from the other side of it now, but hopefully one day that insight will come also.

One thing i became to realise is that there is no more in there as what takes place at any given time ... if i crave alcohol the is no dark place or it is better if i dont guilt trip stuff but what Is and that is that pure craving feeling one stays totaly with. Stay with it each time it comes up do not push it away. Always stay with what is no matter how hard it might feel. But do observe it through the awareness of calming breathing.

Good man :)

 

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