Author Topic: restoring discipline  (Read 1916 times)

Neil123

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restoring discipline
« on: February 19, 2008, 02:04:53 AM »
i have just come off a really intense and distracting week which has broken up my practice. i will not go into the details too much, but it was my birthday weekend, i had many stressful events with relationships and school, i missed many meditation sessions simply because i did not find the time, both my sisters are moving away from the country and my family was together for the last time this weekend, and i have been left in a state of crisis and depression. my practice, which had been gaining momentum and bringing me great comfort over the past month, has deteriorated and i am having trouble concentrating in meditation sessions and regaining the level of deepness which i had been previously been achieving.

how have you all dealt with distractions that break up your practice. any advice? i would like to hear some of others experiences

i do trust that i will regain the momentum if i just stick at it. but i am feeling the negative effects of having a few shallow, short, and unfruitful attempts at meditation  as opposed to two very concentrated and deep sessions a day.


Stefan

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Re: restoring discipline
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2008, 10:04:03 AM »
Hei Neil,

first of all: I believe it's normal to break up with the practice every now and then. I don't know any meditator who sticked to it continuously (maybe there are some on this forum ... ). The important thing is not to think: "Omg I've lost it, it's gone, it won't come back ..." because these are thoughts of craving and will create new sankharas. If there's times where you can't go on with your meditation (and God knows I had and have plenty of these), then perhaps you shouldn't sit (for now). It could be a sign that it's the time to bring into your daily life what you learned during your sittings. Catastrophy happens? Stay equanimous. Catastrophy continues? Anicca, anicca, anicca. There's just so much to do? Be patient and do it. You're angry with someone? Metta, Metta, Metta. Someone's angry with you? Metta, Metta, Metta again.

There's a lot of ways of dealing with distractions. Aleister Crowley said: "If a barking dog disturbs your meditation, then shoot the dog." I on the other hand say: "If a barking dog disturbs your meditation, then stop your meditation and see whats wrong with the dog. Feed it. Take it for a walk. Talk to the dog. Or just sit and enjoy the barking." Which of these two options feels right for you?

i do trust that i will regain the momentum if i just stick at it. but i am feeling the negative effects of having a few shallow, short, and unfruitful attempts at meditation  as opposed to two very concentrated and deep sessions a day.

So you already found out what happens if you force yourself to the cushion!  :P You have to observe carefully: Where does Adhitthana stop, where does the Ego-Trip start? If you let the distraction happen and don't try to force yourself to meditation, then it will come back when the time is ripe, without any effort. You'll sit down and you'll find out that your meditation will be better than before.  :D You planted a seed. Now wait until it grows! But it won't grow if you dig it out every two hours to see wether it's germinating already.

Instead of regretting the loss (which it isn't) you could just watch your daily actions and try to find out how much the meditation changed your way of acting already. I treasure these changes a lot. They are real wether I sit or not.

Metta to you, Stefan
« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 10:06:10 AM by stefan »
anicca

Matthew

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Re: restoring discipline
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2008, 09:30:07 AM »
how have you all dealt with distractions that break up your practice. any advice? i would like to hear some of others experiences

Neil

Two things:

1: Do not give yourself a hard time. Shit happens - how you deal with it is what matters.

2: Start sitting again, do your best. Distracted meditation is still meditation. The distractions - like all phenomena - are but ghosts passing in the night.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Stefan

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Re: restoring discipline
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2008, 08:02:01 PM »
Start sitting again, do your best.

Yes, maybe I didn't make that clear enough. Don't miss the point where the resting period is over.

Metta!
anicca