Author Topic: Taking a break  (Read 2138 times)

Dharmic Tui

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Taking a break
« on: January 26, 2014, 08:15:47 AM »
Greetings all,

Just wondering how many of you experience greater progress after coming back to practice after a break. I spent 2 weeks travelling with my family and conditions weren't conducive to sittings. I've noticed since coming home and getting back into it that I've managed to enter deeper states which are considerably less impacted by attachment to thoughts. I've had this sort of progress happen before after short breaks, and now I can't help but think there's somewhat of a pattern of developments and plateaus. Maybe a fresh mind allows for a fresh perspective, or something.

How about the rest of you, do you find short breaks coincide with shifts in the nature of your sittings?

redalert

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Re: Taking a break
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 02:32:21 PM »

Just wondering how many of you experience greater progress after coming back to practice after a break.
I try not to judge my sittings in a progressive way, its more like I'm less burdened now than say 2 yrs. ago.


I spent 2 weeks travelling with my family and conditions weren't conducive to sittings.
Yes, travelling can be challenging, our schedules get shaken up, it is a good opportunity to develop strong determination. Nowadays its not so much am I going to be able to meditate formally(seated) for 2 hrs a day, but when and how can I work this time into my daily schedule. There are days when my sittings are interrupted (kids needing immediate assistance), but I do my best to not miss a sitting.


I've noticed since coming home and getting back into it that I've managed to enter deeper states which are considerably less impacted by attachment to thoughts. I've had this sort of progress happen before after short breaks, and now I can't help but think there's somewhat of a pattern of developments and plateaus. Maybe a fresh mind allows for a fresh perspective, or something.

I can't help but feel that you have some attachment to these deeper states, they are no more important than the state you are in right now. These deeper states are eventually necessary to experience, to see that they also are nothing but misery, it's just how we perceive them.

Without continuity of your practice the effects of these states began to wear off, and you began to experience a more gross reality(family vacation, think Chevy Chase and Wally World :D ) than somewhat used to, this is akin to imprisonment, when your practice resumed it was akin to liberation, freedom from this imprisonment. You are just currently experiencing a subtler less binding reality. Do not get attached to this, as this to will change.

Work to develop continuity of your practice, to be fully aware of each moment as it presents itself. Satipatthana- the establishing of awareness/Vipassana.


How about the rest of you, do you find short breaks coincide with shifts in the nature of your sittings?
Changing posture is necessary, we are not meant to work as stones. ;)

Good to see you survived, welcome back. :)

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Taking a break
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 05:33:33 PM »
I try not to judge my sittings in a progressive way, its more like I'm less burdened now than say 2 yrs. ago.
That'd still be "progress", you're just defining it differently. Surely once you put aside the wordplay and redefining you would agree there are shifts (or dare I say "improvements") in the skills and tools one brings to their practice and path. The redalert today surely must bring more to the mat that the fresh eyed redalert who attempted his first sitting however many years ago. Maybe not? For me I definitely have instances where it's like I've flicked a switch in how I approach things, almost like picking up a new swing in a golf game or something.
I can't help but feel that you have some attachment to these deeper states, they are no more important than the state you are in right now.
That was indeed a hindrance for me several years ago, wanting my sittings to be something or take me to a place of permanence. Now though I just let my sittings and my life be what it is, I don't expect nor desire anything from it.

What I have been finding as of late (and now that I'm putting it out there, no doubt it'll go tits up the next time I hit the mat) is a less broken heightened sense of present moment awareness, far less inclined to sidetrack myself with thought.

Matthew

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Re: Taking a break
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 06:08:11 PM »
I try not to judge my sittings in a progressive way, its more like I'm less burdened now than say 2 yrs. ago.

That'd still be "progress", you're just defining it differently. Surely once you put aside the wordplay .....

Less implies progress. Simple.

"... put aside the wordplay ... " :D :D :D scrabble is his favourite game don't forget :D :D :D
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

redalert

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Re: Taking a break
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2014, 07:25:50 PM »
That'd still be "progress", you're just defining it differently.
Sorry, that was confusing. What I meant was not to judge level of awareness(planes/states) from sit to sit(short periods of time), this will change. Overall one may notice that they are behaving differently, becoming less reactive. I would define this as progress, walking the path.

 
The redalert today surely must bring more to the mat that the fresh eyed redalert who attempted his first sitting however many years ago.
Well I would say he is bringing less to the mat, but there are still storms that arise.

  For me I definitely have instances where it's like I've flicked a switch in how I approach things, almost like picking up a new swing in a golf game or something.
I can relate to this in how I scan the body, this is evolving within my practice, moving from breath to sensations, letting go of worry/fear. Experiencing those subtler realms more often, they lose their mystic qualities and I find them arising with greater frequency. In this sense I can see them as a tool(new club in the bag).

What I have been finding as of late (and now that I'm putting it out there, no doubt it'll go tits up the next time I hit the mat) is a less broken heightened sense of present moment awareness, far less inclined to sidetrack myself with thought.
When I have been questioned by teachers about my concentration, all that seems of concern to them is that I notice the changing nature, not the level. They certainly do not discourage absorption, but do not give it much importance, just the changing nature.

Pacific Flow

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Re: Taking a break
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2014, 01:23:10 AM »
Greetings all,

Just wondering how many of you experience greater progress after coming back to practice after a break. I spent 2 weeks travelling with my family and conditions weren't conducive to sittings. I've noticed since coming home and getting back into it that I've managed to enter deeper states which are considerably less impacted by attachment to thoughts. I've had this sort of progress happen before after short breaks, and now I can't help but think there's somewhat of a pattern of developments and plateaus. Maybe a fresh mind allows for a fresh perspective, or something.

How about the rest of you, do you find short breaks coincide with shifts in the nature of your sittings?

I also had that kind of experience.
Just last week i suddenly had serious trouble during my daily sittings.
I just felt unbearably itchy (no i did not neglect physical hygiene :p) and restless on the cushion. I was either nonstop hopping onto thought trains or basically falling asleep.
It made me stop sitting for 3 or 4 days, during which i tried to keep up mindfulness of sensations and breath during everyday situations.
After those days of not sitting i came back to the cushion. And boom shakalaka suddenly samadhi was very strong, i could relax, observe and go seemingly really deep. The sittings almost seemed as intense as those during a retreat.
Even though i do have to say Redalert's point that maybe it's just a relativity effect of the contrast between the calm of sitting again after having focused more on the outside realm in the days before does make a lot of sense too, i still think once a while it can be helpful to stay away from the cushion for a few days.
I have to admit though, i have no sophisticated explanation for this.

 

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