Author Topic: I can no longer induce the same deep state of mind during meditation!  (Read 5711 times)

John Bruzi

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Well, I can, but it takes more time and more effort and still doesn't come as strong as it use to before.

To me, the rushing heart and the spinning (almost movement) in the head was a sign of deep meditation and the surfacing of deep, normally suppressed, states of mind that overwhelmed me during my interactions with the outside world. I welcomed the fact that, though such states are disturbing, they are finally surfacing and I therefore might be able to process them and "accept" them psychologically.

For the past 3 days, however, I have hardly had any feeling of movement in the head during meditation and have barley felt my heart rush the moment I "seize" the deep state of mind after about 10 minutes of breath control.

I want to go deep again. Any suggestions?

Quardamon

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    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: I can no longer induce the same deep state of mind during meditation!
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2014, 06:34:38 PM »
I can no longer induce the same deep state of mind during meditation. Well, I can, but it takes more time and more effort and still doesn't come as strong as it use to before.
Congratulations!

Meditation does not need to have the effect of psychological insight. It can have that, yes. And it can be more physical, like you describe, and still have a strong psychological effect.
If you come from the psychotherapy about accepting emotions and processes, this might be so different that  you do not recognise the process. It can be, that the process is now more subtle - so you do not see it as long as you look for the spectacular.
The process can become so subtle, that you only see that something has changed three weeks later.

You are looking for peace. It is not wrong to allow peace and quiet to be there when it is there in your process. You will find, that allowing that also has an effect. And yes, you might come into wild waters again - or you might not, for another three days.

By the way, the fact that you are asking something again - does that mean that you felt helped by the reactions you got earlier?

From a practical point of view: I don not know what you mean with "breath control", but it is generally felt, that meditation is more effective if you sit longer. So you could put your timer on 12 minutes in stead of 10 - and in a month on 15 minutes. But it can be a tricky ride, so I would say stick to the 10 minutes for the next month, and share a bit more, for instance by answering the questions people ask.

P.S. I am glad to see you back.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: I can no longer induce the same deep state of mind during meditation!
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 07:03:15 PM »

I want to go deep again. Any suggestions?
The first step is to stop wanting it. If you manage pleasant or peaceful states you may want to repeat them, but chasing the makes them get further away like a Donkey pulling a cart lured by a carrot on a string.

Your practice is going to change over time, you will obtain new experiences and sensations which are heightened by their newness, you will get used to them and might fall victim to wanting to chase that first high.

As Quardamon suggests try extending the sittings, and just relax with things as they are, even if they feel stressful. Might also be good to incorporate listening or reading some dharma teachings into your daily activities.

Mpgkona

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Re: I can no longer induce the same deep state of mind during meditation!
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2014, 08:19:36 PM »
In my experience the more you crave a sensation or feeling or state of mind you will not achieve it. After a while of looking for these sensations, and when they don't come, you will think you're doing something wrong. Any meditation is good meditation. Don't put labels on what you experience. Be equanimous to everything you experience.
When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.

John Bruzi

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  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
Re: I can no longer induce the same deep state of mind during meditation!
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2014, 11:14:43 AM »
Thanks for the welcome Quardamon.


Quote
By the way, the fact that you are asking something again - does that mean that you felt helped by the reactions you got earlier?

Well, I wouldn't say I was helped by them, but they only came when I really started to relax, so they where a sign that I had finally achieved deep meditation.

So that now when I don't get them anymore, I feel that my meditation isn't going deep enough even though I am almost doubling the time of my daily sessions. I usually do 20 to 25 minutes. Now I am doing like 35 to 40 and still not achieving the "fight-or-flight" reaction (the rushing heart and the movement in the head) I use to get.

However from the rest of your post and other posts I understand that it is wrong to "expect" anything particular during meditation, and that one should only observe, so to speak. Well, the "fight-or-flight" reaction was the thing I got when I "observed". I will come back to pure observation and see what happens.

Thanks all!
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 11:17:58 AM by John Bruzi »

Re: I can no longer induce the same deep state of mind during meditation!
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 12:43:51 PM »
I want to go deep again. Any suggestions?

Remove the craving from the process

ommanipadmehum

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Re: I can no longer induce the same deep state of mind during meditation!
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 03:31:10 AM »
I agree with the others that you have to be very careful and even watch your own sense of striving to achieve something while meditating.  There can be fear and odd sensations of many sorts that appear during meditation.  They all arise and they all pass away. 

It is taught not to expect anything out of each sitting.  Perhaps the only thing to expect is that each time will be different.  The moment you try to recreate something that happened before, you step down the wrong path of striving.  I have done this myself and it is an ongoing process of learning to let go of expectation and follow the instructions of your teacher vs making up your own "thing" which can lead you to incorrect practice.

Why are you practicing?  Who's style of teaching are you interested in?  Find their instructions and follow them exactly.
"A little bit of insight brings a little bit of calm, and a little bit of calm brings a little bit of insight."
 --Ayya Khema

Quardamon

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    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: I can no longer induce the same deep state of mind during meditation!
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2014, 09:01:29 AM »
Quote
By the way, the fact that you are asking something again - does that mean that you felt helped by the reactions you got earlier?
Well, I wouldn't say I was helped by them, but they only came when I really started to relax, so they where a sign that I had finally achieved deep meditation.
    . . .   
Well, the "fight-or-flight" reaction was the thing I got when I "observed".

;)   There is a misunderstanding between you and me. I meant the reactions to your from other members of the forum.
Obviously you thought I was asking about the reaction of your body-mind to meditation.

John Bruzi

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  • I don't seek happiness, I just seek control.
    • Mindfulness
Re: I can no longer induce the same deep state of mind during meditation!
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2014, 04:56:57 AM »
Quote
By the way, the fact that you are asking something again - does that mean that you felt helped by the reactions you got earlier?
Well, I wouldn't say I was helped by them, but they only came when I really started to relax, so they where a sign that I had finally achieved deep meditation.
    . . .   
Well, the "fight-or-flight" reaction was the thing I got when I "observed".

;)   There is a misunderstanding between you and me. I meant the reactions to your from other members of the forum.
Obviously you thought I was asking about the reaction of your body-mind to meditation.

Oh! I see.

Well, the response I got from members did help. The idea that meditation can and does awaken our repressed feelings and emotions was particularly encouraging. The reason for this is that, as I have outlined before, I am convinced that most of (if not all) my problems have their roots in a troublesome childhood that is now part of the subconscious region of my mind. I'd like to face that past and overcome it.

I understand that meditation is about more than just awakening a bad personal history, but I assume that to proceed, it needs to clear those problems before it moves on, right?

I agree with the others that you have to be very careful and even watch your own sense of striving to achieve something while meditating.  There can be fear and odd sensations of many sorts that appear during meditation.  They all arise and they all pass away. 

It is taught not to expect anything out of each sitting.  Perhaps the only thing to expect is that each time will be different.  The moment you try to recreate something that happened before, you step down the wrong path of striving.  I have done this myself and it is an ongoing process of learning to let go of expectation and follow the instructions of your teacher vs making up your own "thing" which can lead you to incorrect practice.

Why are you practicing?  Who's style of teaching are you interested in?  Find their instructions and follow them exactly.

Well, I don't exactly follow a teacher, because I was told that I don't need one and that meditation can be self-taught. I'm not sure which school of meditation my daily practice belongs to. This is how I do it: I sit down, relax my body and then start to breath in a uniform way to quite my mind and finally start focusing on the breath as it goes up and down. I think it's called mindfulness, right?

The reason why I meditate is pure desperation. Well, It is mostly that. However, I am quite a sentimental person and enjoy music, art, spirituality and that sort of stuff, so I thought that by perfecting this side of myself by practicing meditation, I could save the rest of myself from total psychological breakdown! Well, can I?

Another reason why I chose to practice meditation is that I am so sick of myself that I am willing to "let go" of my ego sometimes (or so I feel), something which meditation focuses on. As I explained to Quardamon I have a bad childhood which today renders me incapable of carrying out the most basic responsibilities of my adult life. In short, I suffer from the following: Fear of confrontation (my heart races, my head spins and my hands and legs are somehow anesthetized the moment I'm in a confrontation with anyone), fear of rejection, feeling of abandonment...and so many other things that can make you quite eager to "let go".

I've always wondered how effective meditation is against a bad personal history!

Matthew

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Re: I can no longer induce the same deep state of mind during meditation!
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2014, 03:06:25 PM »
Hi John,

Quote
....
I am convinced that most of (if not all) my problems have their roots in a troublesome childhood that is now part of the subconscious region of my mind. I'd like to face that past and overcome it.
....

Meditation can certainly bring the troubles of your childhood back from the subconscious to the conscious mind - in my own experience this has been the case and when I started meditation "seriously" :D - well, holy cow I was not prepared for what I was going to learn. I now have memories of childhood incidents that took place as early as 8-9 months old.

It's important if this is part of your motivation to ensure your meditation is based in calm/relaxed bodymind established through awareness of breathing without control of breathing, so this bit of your post is somewhere a modification of your practice style might be beneficial:

Quote
This is how I do it: I sit down, relax my body and then start to breath in a uniform way to quite my mind and finally start focusing on the breath as it goes up and down. I think it's called mindfulness, right?

Awareness of breath in the body without control of the breath is the route to relaxation and undoing the habits of bodymind which result from negative childhood experiences. The expression "uniform way" implies you are controlling rather than being aware of breath.

Developing equanimity is also important. Equanimity is about acceptance and letting go of expectation. Some mistake it as a kind of stoic acceptance of whatever is, and there is some accuracy in that on certain levels, but this can end up being just another form of mental repression/suppression.

There may be times things come to awareness that you have not grieved over since childhood - some would say you have to accept and let go but simply jumping from repression to remembering to that can just form further habits of repression/suppression. Sometimes you may want to cry or scream. If so then do. Grieving is about healing and accepting bad things doesn't mean you can't let out the emotion ... actually the opposite ... letting out the emotion is essential to progressive healing ... if your suppressed stuff comes out and you don't honour it, grieve it and reprocess it .. well don't expect the mind to keep letting go of the stuff it is clinging to deep inside.

Quote
...
I thought that by perfecting this side of myself by practicing meditation, I could save the rest of myself from total psychological breakdown! Well, can I?
...

Taking the above sentence in reverse, Yes you can almost certainly save yourself from total psychological breakdown but not through "perfecting" one "side" of yourself: rather through opening yourself to awareness of what is, including bringing the suppressed stuff into the now, and not seeking perfection - but learning how to accept and let go through properly processing that which comes into your awareness.

Quote
I've always wondered how effective meditation is against a bad personal history!

It can be extremely effective.

Kindly.

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

ommanipadmehum

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Re: I can no longer induce the same deep state of mind during meditation!
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2014, 03:29:38 AM »
Sorry my questions were more melodramatic than I intended.  But I do think you (anybody) needs a teacher.  It is very difficult to learn from books and the benefit of "checking in" regularly with a teacher is invaluable and you will progress much faster.

"A little bit of insight brings a little bit of calm, and a little bit of calm brings a little bit of insight."
 --Ayya Khema

Dharmic Tui

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Re: I can no longer induce the same deep state of mind during meditation!
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2014, 05:03:41 PM »
I think a great deal of this is self evaluative. I've had no formal teacher so have had to find answerx to questions myself, although I notice progress is often made when the need for questions stops.

Quardamon

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    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: I can no longer induce the same deep state of mind during meditation!
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2014, 12:23:41 PM »
Hello John,

I am sorry not to give you more attention lately. A lot of my attention is drawn to brothers of mine and friends that I know physically. The funny thing is, that also there I see the theme of being-alive-in-a-hostile world. (I mean, like you were as a child.) For me, the point is that I get lost if I want to react: I want to say so much, that I do net get the time to sleep. I am going to take a nap now. I usually do in the afternoon.

Be well.

 

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