Author Topic: Meditation journal  (Read 24507 times)

alpha_wolf

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • not decided
Meditation journal
« on: September 28, 2014, 08:44:44 PM »
Starting a new public journal. Will post my thoughts. Appreciate any comments.

9/22/2014
was extremely tired. I was going in between sleep and focus. I realized at multiple points how I was very sleepy. I was so sleepy I couldnt even keep track of the intervals, and it seemed like it was way too long compared to what it actually was. I was sitting on the chair with a straight back, which was good. However periodically my back would curve down slightly, probalby not that good.

9/23/2014
Mind is very distracted. Was sitting straight for a long time. However towards the end, I collapsed.

9/24/2014
A lot of the thoughts initially was about how my day is going. I thought about why I am like this. Why I am so distracted. I have to accept the fact that I have ADHD and start taking coaching seriously. I don't think I can do it by myself. I guess I am a bit of a person who believes that I can overcome everything by myself. It turns out it's not true.

9/25/2014
Very sleepy

9/26/2014
Meditation was not good. I was drifting off to multiple locations 1) bobby 2) Elena 3) other things. My posture was going bad, and I was drifting off to sleep multiple times. I dont know how to change my brain.

9/27/2014
Meditation wa better than yesterday. I had a bit of problem with sitting up straight. I did have moments when I was thinking about my breathe. But I was going off that moment. I was not staying with the breath for a long time.

Middleway

  • Moderator
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2014, 11:21:09 PM »
How long did you sit in each session? What time of the day do you usually sit?
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 12:41:32 AM by Middleway »
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2014, 06:29:30 AM »
The more you relax your mind more you move away from systematic self related thoughts to random thoughts (sleep though).
It's a progress....
It takes time to shine awareness on this state and be aware of the body even at the start of these thoughts.
Stop thinking you are feeling sleep. Since you experienced these thoughts only before sleep your mind associates it's with sleep... It's more than that.

alpha_wolf

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • not decided
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2014, 07:39:38 AM »
9/28/2014

relatively good meditaiton. Back was straight. At multiple points, I was able to realize that my mind was wandering and bring it back to the breath. But it kept wandering. Thoughts that were going through my mind were things like the busy schedule tomorrow, how I havent really planned my day, how I havent really done what I was supposed to be doing.

9/29/2014
relatively good meditation. I was focused. A lot of my thoughts about meeting today and yesterday and processing my thoughts. How my meditation practice really hasnt been improving.

9/30/2014
forgot to write journal

10/1/2014
forgot to enter journal entry

10/2/2014
forgot to enter journal entry

10/3/2014
forgot to enter journal entry

alpha_wolf

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • not decided
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2014, 07:51:09 AM »
Hii Middleway,

I have been practicing 20 minutes a day for over a year now. However my meditation practice hasnt improved much, I think. Which is why I thought I would start journaling. I was initially meditation before going to bed, but I recently started doing it when I get up in the morning.

Hii siddharth,

Quote
The more you relax your mind more you move away from systematic self related thoughts to random thoughts (sleep though).
How do you conciously relax your mind? I just try to focus on the breath as long as possible, not sure whether it relaxes the mind.

My meditation is usually like this: I suddenly catch myself thinking random thoughts and bring myself to my breath, and then after a few minutes of trying to keep the focus on my breath, it unconciously drifts away. Then I catch it again after another 5 minutes of random thoughts, and bring it back to the breath. I can keep it there for a few minutes, before it flies away again. This cycle keeps on repeating.

alpha_wolf

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • not decided
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2014, 11:28:58 PM »
10/4/2014
forgot to write journal

10/5/2014
meditation was oki

10/6/2014
Not a very good week for meditation. I was very distracted. Also the meditation affected me.

10/7/2014
Sort of ok. Was more aware than most days. Had a streak when I was aware of my thoughts for 3 mins or so. But after that I started thinking of a lot of different things.

10/8/2014
Meditation was better than yesterday. I was able to focus on my breathe and observe things/thoughts going on in my head. There was a break in which I was randomly thinking thoughts, after the chime I was able to hold it for a while but it flow away again. After this it was the end of the session.  The main challenge I see here is actually keeping my mind on the breath, and kit letting it drift.

10/9/2014
forgot to write meditation journal

10/10/2014
forgot to write meditation journal

10/11/2014
forgot to write meditation journal

10/12/2014
forgot to write meditation journal

10/13/2014
Meditation was ok. I just kept reminding myself to focus on my breath, and come back to the breath multiple time. In the last 5 minutes I did better. The first 10 min, were useless.

alpha_wolf

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • not decided
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2014, 07:16:16 AM »
10/14/2014
Meditation was ok. Was repeatedly ok trying to bring it back. However my mind just wouldn't remain there. Maybe for a min or so, and then it would vanish.

10/15/2014
Meditation was sort of good. I had periods where I was focusing on the breath. It was good for a while, but I don't think it went too well. I should have been focussing on the breath more.

10/16/2014
Meditation was ok. The first 10 minutes went away just like that. Then I realized that it was happening. But I couldn't stop myself. Most of my thoughts were about ruminating about things that I did yesterday, also something's I have to do today. Towards the end I started to just watch for breath and whether it was drifting or not.

10/17/2014
Meditation was better than yesterday        . I focused on the breath, but was also trying to focus on finding the point when the thoughts suddenly appear.  I had a straight back for most of the time. However, I did slip out of it a bit. It seems when I slip out of it, I usual become lax as well in observing my thoughts.

10/18/2014
Meditation was very good actually. I was focused for way longer than normal. Usually I get distracted with thoughts. I was focused and returning back to the breath pretty often. I think

10/19/2014
It was ok. I had a better meditation a few days ago, where I was able to focus on the breath and not get lost. The main reason todays was not as good, is because I had a lot of stuff about to happen.

TL;DR

I have to just give up everything I have been thinking of, and focus on the breath. No expectations of improving or not. I have also found that if I watch for the point, when the mind deviates from focusing on the breath it helps.

alpha_wolf

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • not decided
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2014, 06:20:12 PM »
Talked to Siddharth, and he suggested a couple of things to work on. I also added a new thing I will be working on, i.e. working on focusing on all the sensation arising out of breathing, rather than focusing on the tip of the nose.

1. Things to do:
   a. Observe your breath overall and the sensations, rather than just at the tip of the nose
   b. Don’t get angry or stressed when you notice a thought. It will only make it worse
        c. Observe all thoughts. the difference between thoughts and thought trails will become very apparent.

Marc

  • Member
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2014, 08:48:22 PM »
Aren't you overintellectualizing everything? I dont know but it seems that writing a meditation diary is counterproductive.

alpha_wolf

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • not decided
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2014, 06:51:55 AM »
Hii Marc,

I got the idea of keeping a journal from multiple sources. We have multiple meditation classes at our university. I personally dont take these courses, some of my friends do. All of these courses have requirements of keeping a journal, to track your progress, and think about whats going wrong. It also helps debug things. It seems to me that you shouldnt be focusing on improving your meditation practice during the meditation practice, because that causes more harm than good. But should be thinking and analyzing it after or before the practice.

I also do this in all areas of my life, and it has been immensely helpful.

10/20/2014
Almost fell asleep. I did this at the end of the night, which is not a good idea. Tried keeping a straight back, but I would sometimes fall over. It was relatively ok, definitely better than when I want trying to improve my posture.

10/21/2014
meditation was good. I came back to the breath multiple times. But I would drift off unconciously to something else. Most of it was ruminating about stuff I have done and havent done.

10/22/2014
Meditation was good, but not great. The last 8 minutes were good I think. I could sense when I had thoughts and return back to my breathing. I just have to keep doing that watch for thoughts and bring it back to the breath over and over again.

10/23/2014
Had a really intense period of focus when I stopped judging or trying to prevent myself to improve my meditation. I guess this was a thought I didn't notice before. I also did a full body apana, which lead to very focused concentration. Towards the end though, I started getting

10/24/2014
Meditation was very calming. I focused on my breath as a whole initially and got into a pretty deep state where I could see the random thoughts originate and stop them immediately. Then I decided to go and focus on my breath at the nose again. For some reason it didn't work out well. I think when I am focusing on the entire feeling of breath, my mind tends to be preoccupied with feeling the breath, so it doesn't get distracted that much. I had two periods, I think where I got lost in my train of thought. I slouched once. I got a bit more distracted and was just waiting for the bell to go off. I didn't catch that thought and I was a bit more distracted towards the end. Overall, I had maybe 10 minutes of deep meditation, the rest was light meditation.

10/25/2014
Ok meditation. Not as good as yesterday. Wasn't putting in the effort to bring my mind back to the breath. I knew what I was supposed to be doing, but couldn't implement.

10/26/2014
Good meditation. Back was straight, but I was distracted a bit. I was focused enough, that I didnt notice the bells. I dont know whether its a good thing or not, that I dont notice the bells. I have improved a lot since I stopped trying to force myself to improve and just focus on the breath.

10/27/2014
Chaotic in the beginning. Then I calmed down and had a very deep meditative state. I think this is happening mainly because I am no longer trying to improve. Just observe thoughts.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2014, 05:41:24 PM »
Quote
... calmed down and had a very deep meditative state. I think this is happening mainly because I am no longer trying to improve. Just observe thoughts.

That will be a big help.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

alpha_wolf

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • not decided
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2014, 06:16:22 PM »
10/28/2014
It started out pretty well. I would say I was focused for a good 10 mins or so. But I don't know exactly but somewhere along the line, I started getting anxious of how long this meditation is going to last. Feeling like this is a torture. Somehow my mind slipped out

10/29/2014
Good meditation, but forgot to write it up

10/30/2014
Good meditation, but forgot to journal

10/31/2014
Forgot to journal

11/1/2014
Forgot to journal

11/2/2014
Forgot to journal

alpha_wolf

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • not decided
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2014, 10:30:49 PM »
Question: During meditation are you noticing the breath and the thoughts simulatenously? Or are you focusing mainly on the breath, and the thoughts are something that you notice as a secondary thing?

Tobin

  • Member
  • Seeking Truth
    • Samatha & Vipassana
    • Curious
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2014, 11:01:10 PM »
Question: During meditation are you noticing the breath and the thoughts simulatenously? Or are you focusing mainly on the breath, and the thoughts are something that you notice as a secondary thing?

I think it's baby steps. Learn to focus on one object and the rest will slowly come naturally. I read somewhere that the goal is to have 5-10% of your attention on the breath and the rest on open awareness. For me, it is certainly harder to remain with open awareness than it is to remain with a single focus like the breath. The breath is your anchor.
Regards,
Tobin

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2014, 05:34:05 PM »
Personally, I always keep about 50% of attention/awareness on the body/breath, about 25% on thoughts and 25% on whatever else arises into awareness (sounds etc). I feel the anchoring of awareness in body/breath is the foundation that allows more open awareness without losing focus.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

alpha_wolf

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • not decided
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2014, 03:38:22 AM »
First of thank you Matthew and Tobin. I have started focusing primarily on breath and then somewhat on the thoughts. For some reason, I found that when I whole focused on thought, I was less distracted, because I was aware of the thoughts rising, and was able to stop those thoughts from becoming thought trails.

Now that I have started focusing mainly on breath, I tend to be a bit more distracted.

11/3/2014
meditation went fine. I didnt have thoughts of improving my meditation. I had a lot of thoughts. Initially I had a habit of sleeping, but I recognized it as a thought, and was able to continue the meditation. I had a few instances of pretty deep meditation. When the period ended, I was in a really deep relaxed state, which was interesting.

11/4/2014
Meditation was good for the first 5-10 minutes. Then a alarm started going off on my cell phone. I decided to let it ring and continue the meditation. However I was in a public place, so I stopped it when someone came in. Once I stopped it, I was able to go into a deep meditative state. However towards the end the same thoughts about when the meditation is going to end started cropping up. As a result the meditation towards the end was not as good.

11/5/2014
I didn't enter the deep state as I did in previous meditations. I was somewhat trying to figure out whether I should focus on my breath or thoughts. I was repeatedly getting distracted and went on thought trails, but was able to bring it back within 1/2 mins. I guess I should call that progress. Going to focus only on breath from now on.

11/6/2014
So many thoughts going through my mind. I tried getting away from focussing on thoughts. And only on breath. I can hold my attention on my breath maybe for 5 breaths or so, after that it goes away. For some reason, when I was focusing on my thoughts, it was a bit easier to have a focused meditation for a longer time. The thoughts that were happening were mainly related to what's going on in my life right now.

11/7/2014
First 5 minutes were not as good. I came in from a highly charged meeting. After the first bell I calmed down. Started noticing the breath. I stayed with the breath quite long every time. But mind would deviate at certain points and I would bring it back. At the end I was very calm and collected. Most of my thoughts were about past events that had happened in the near past.

11/8/2014
I could sense some amount of judgement about my meditation. The first 5 min, my mind was very distracted. Then I started calming down. However, I never really had the focus. Towards the end, I think I was being better at bring the focus back, I would stay there for 2-3 minutes and then my mind would fly away. Also since I wasnt focusing on my thoughts that much, it was difficult to cut off thoughts.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2014, 07:37:07 PM »
Perhaps when thought arises shifting focus more to that, whilst keeping an anchor in the breath, will allow you to watch the thought arise and fall without getting caught up in it. The other way is to continue maintaining focus on the breath, returning after noticing distraction but always with a relaxed and guilt free mind: this way mind will calm as concentration improves.

I don't want to throw too many possibilities at you, everyone has to find their own balance in this regard. My path has been relaxation; concentration; insight but the Buddha sometimes taught other combinations.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

alpha_wolf

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • not decided
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2014, 09:24:07 AM »
Hii Matthew,

thank you, I have been mainly doing just focusing on the breath for now. I will do this for a while. What I have been doing is sort of a variation on focusing on the breath. So After the exhalation, I start preparing my mind and thinking of how the inhalation will feel like. I repeat this with every breath. Ie. at the exhale I am completely concious of it. I use that conciousness to think and feel the inhalation. This conciousness creeps into the exhalation, and then I focus on the inhalation. I had a pretty deep meditation based on this, but I have to see how it works in the long term.

11/9/2014
First 5 minutes were poor. Then I settled down and had a continuous focus  for 5 min or so. Then my back started hurting and I relaxed a bit. Which is not a good idea I think. I have to remain with the pain. Shrug this period my brain was all scattered. But towards the end, I mind started getting more focused. It would get distracted but I was able to bring it back for 4-5 times. Then some thought came up which I was not conscious about and my mind got distracted again.

11/10/2014
Couldn't really focus. Mind was way too distracted. Maybe because I was hungry. Maybe because I just woke up from sleep.

11/11/2014
Very sleepy during the meditation. No idea how it went.

11/12/2014
Mind is a bit distracted. I would go off on thought trails and take a bit of time to come back. I will be following the path of noticing the thought and coming back to the breath calmly and without any guilt. Its a hard path, for sure especially for my particular mind.

11/13/2014
Good meditation session. I didn't do the meditation right after waking up. So I was not very sleepy. I think meditation in the afternoon probably works best for me. Had a few minutes of really intense meditation, with heightened overall sensations, but it vanished within a few mins. It was probably one of the few times I have entered that deep state. I tried getting into that deep state again, but maybe because I was trying to get into the deep state, instead of just focusing on the breath it didn't happen.

11/14/2014
My mind is way too distracted for meditation.  And also very sleepy. I had a few mins of deep meditation, but nothing like yesterday.

11/15/2014
Good overall meditation. I had a deep meditation by just focusing on one breath at a time. With each breath after the exhale, I would refocus my mind on the next inhalation. This method worked well. The first 10 mins were ok, then I had a deep focus or mindfulness for ~5 mins or so. I have a bell which rings at 5 min interval, however this bell actually broke the mindfulness and I never really went back to the same state. I was close to getting into state towards the end of the next 5 mins, but by then the meditation time limit was over.

alpha_wolf

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • not decided
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2014, 01:16:07 AM »
not a good week for meditation, I guess

11/16/2014
forgot to journal

11/17/2014
Very sleepy. Meditation wasn't good.

11/18/2014
Couldn't bring mind back to breathe. I was repeatedly trying to do so. I was a bit distracted because I was trying to repeat what I had done before, instead of just focusing on my breath. That was probably the main reason why I never got into a deep state.

11/19/2014
Good meditation overall. Had a deep meditation for 5 mins or so. Don't know how I got distracted from that. Yesterday, I was very focused to getting to a state I had in a previous meditation session. I felt that was preventing me from entering a deep state. Today, I decided to focus on my breath and breath only and forget about anything else. I think that is why it worked well. I think this is what I need to do.

11/20/2014
Very hungry. Mind very scattered.

11/21/2014
Not a good session. My mind is too distracted, with so many things going simultaneously.

11/22/2014
not a good meditation session. Was very sleepy.

Alex

  • Member
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2014, 03:26:59 PM »
11/21/2014
Not a good session. My mind is too distracted, with so many things going simultaneously.

Noticing your mind is distracted. Noticing a lot of things are going on simultaneously. It seems your meditation is going much better than you think...

betty

  • Member
    • Combo of Adyashanti and Shinzen Youngs teachings
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2014, 06:48:47 PM »
I agree with Alex.  There is a tendency to judge things that are actually a sign of increasing awareness.  Distraction doesn't mean a bad meditation, it is just what is.  The fact that you are aware of it is a really good sign. :0)

alpha_wolf

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • not decided
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2014, 04:03:22 AM »
Thank you betty and Alex. Sometimes its really frustrating not knowing whether I am improving or not. I guess the goal of daily practice is to improve your focus. But then trying to improve your focus itself causes problems in improving. I am still trying to grapple with this duality. I dont usually judge my meditation when I am meditating, but tend to write down and judge how my meditation went, after the fact.

When I sit these days, I have a good posture, and just remind myself to focus on the whole feeling of breath, and let go of everything. Do you suggest I stop judging my meditation, even after the fact? Or maybe, I should just continue doing my daily sittings, and it will improve over time?

Also whats the best time to meditate? I originally did it at night. But I would feel sleepy. Now I do it first thing in the morning. That also makes me sleepy sometimes. I have a feeling the best time will probably be during the afternoon, assuming everything else remains constant.

alpha_wolf

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • not decided
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2014, 04:06:19 AM »
11/23/2014
Relatively good meditation. Had 5-10 minutes of pure bliss. Mind was also distracted with a lot of thoughts about planning events for the future and such. However frequently I would be able to bring it back to the breath and have good few minutes. The minutes seem to be going away pretty fast. Towards the end, I was expecting that there were 10 minutes more, when the bell rung. I am not sure whether this means I had a good meditation or a bad meditation. But awareness is definitely improving.

11/24/2014
Meditation was ok. Lots of thoughts going through my head. Was able to sometimes stop them. But maybe because I am trying to stop these thoughts, these are causing more problems with me not focussing.

11/25/2014
It was ok, I had 5-10 minutes of deep meditation. The rest of the time my mind was scattered but I was partially conscious of my thoughts.

11/26/2014
Mind was a bit scattered. Not sure why, maybe because I just woke up and wasn't able to give my full attention to the breath.

11/27/2014
Ok meditation. I was distracted by was coming back to my breath multiple times. I had a few minutes of very deep meditation probably for 1-2 minutes. Repeatedly was reminding myself to just focus on my breath, I think that worked.

11/28/2014
Meditation was ok, not very good.

11/29/2014
Ok meditation. It was better in the beginning, but towards the end, I just couldn't bring my mind back to my breath.

11/30/2014
Ok meditation. Feeling very sleepy during the meditation, as a result during the meditation, I waning able to focus on the breath and my mind would drift from the breath.

Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2014, 05:41:11 AM »
I think your mind very agitated.

Do this meditation:
Breathing in I calm my mind, breathing out I calm my mind.

If possible stop working on concentration for few weeks.

betty

  • Member
    • Combo of Adyashanti and Shinzen Youngs teachings
Re: Meditation journal
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2014, 07:48:38 AM »
Sometimes its really frustrating not knowing whether I am improving or not. I guess the goal of daily practice is to improve your focus. But then trying to improve your focus itself causes problems in improving. I am still trying to grapple with this duality. I dont usually judge my meditation when I am meditating, but tend to write down and judge how my meditation went, after the fact.

To be honest I don't really get what you mean by knowing whether you are "improving".  For me meditation is sitting with what is.  I don't really understand how you can have a "good" or a "bad" meditation, or "improve", because it is just a matter of being with what is.  I guess that's why I've never understood the purpose of a meditation journal, as when I have started one in the past, it made me so focused on the outcome that I felt it wasn't skilful for me.  I guess it all depends on what your intention is with meditating, and whether right now you feel that assessing how it's going is skilful or not - based on whether it's helping you to achieve whatever your intention with the meditation is.  Using my example, my intention is to develop equanimity and learn to allow what is.  Keeping a journal for me led to me judging rather than accepting what is, so I decided that for me at that time it wasn't a skilful practice.  You might come to a completely different conclusion for you, based on what your intention for your meditation is.

Also whats the best time to meditate? I originally did it at night. But I would feel sleepy. Now I do it first thing in the morning. That also makes me sleepy sometimes. I have a feeling the best time will probably be during the afternoon, assuming everything else remains constant.

It's a very individual thing.  Basically the best time is:
a) a time you can commit to and actually follow through on
b) the best time of day for you given the above that you can be relaxed and alert at the same time