Author Topic: What is the point  (Read 5296 times)

JMatlack

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What is the point
« on: October 02, 2014, 12:40:03 AM »
After about 20 to 25 minutes of meditation focusing on the breath and the bodily sensation I always reach a point where boredom, doubt, and simply wondering what is the point up to now?  I mean I want to be able to sit for at least an hour but this  get put in my head.  Any suggestions on how to deal with it?  :'(

Also, does anyone have any advice on how to begin to see thoughts objectively? I can investigate emotions, bodily sensations and breath but thoughts are still too difficult.
"THE ALL (god) is MIND; the universe is mental" written in The Kybalion

yossarian

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 01:35:23 AM »
What does boredom feel like?   ;)


JMatlack

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2014, 02:39:17 AM »
It makes me feel like there is no point doing it. That there is no objective or accomplishment in it. It feels like wanting to get up and do something else instead. I don't know. It is unpleasant lol.
"THE ALL (god) is MIND; the universe is mental" written in The Kybalion

Goofaholix

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2014, 02:40:52 AM »
I think you are starting to get to the point.

If you do anything for a period of time, doesn't matter how pleasant it is or how motivated you are to do it the mind will eventually decide, it wants something different or it wants something more.

This is craving, this is dukkha, you didn't choose this so it's not you.

The next step is to just observe this objectively, don't give into the impulse, eventually you'll see you don't have to let it contro,you.

yossarian

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2014, 04:27:43 AM »
What Goof said. Just observe it...

This boredom is actually very useful in terms of your meditation. Work with it.

Here's a Goenka quote from "The Art of Living" that may help: "Why sensation? First because it is by sensations that we experience reality directly. Unless something comes into contact with the five physical senses or the mind, it does not exist for us. These are the gates through which we encounter the world, the bases for all experience. And whenever anything comes into contact with the six sensory bases, a sensation occurs. The Buddha described the process as follows: "If someone takes two sticks and rubs one against the other, then from the friction heat is generated, a spark is produced. In the same way, as the result of a contact to be experienced as pleasant, a pleasant sensation arises. As the result of a contact to be experienced as unpleasant, an unpleasant sensation arises. As the result of a contact to be experienced as neutral, a neutral sensation arises."

The contact of an object with mind or body produces a spark of sensation. Thus sensation is the link through which we experience the world with all its phenomena, physical and mental. In order to develop experiential wisdom, we must become aware of what we actually experience; that is, we must develop awareness of sensations."

http://www.alexox.com/sangha/goenka.html


You may not yet able to experience the physical aspects of boredom, they are elusive and subtle. If this is the case, I suggest you continue to just relax and work with anapana until you can pick up on the more subtle sensations of the breath, then move to your body OR you may want to consider switching to the shamatha style taught on the home page.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 04:35:14 AM by yossarian »

Crispy0405

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2014, 09:35:31 AM »
I struggle with the same issue Jmatlack has,
Recently I have journaling and practicing metta,also looking at the meditation object with a fresh approach. Thank you for all advice by the way

Matthew

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2014, 08:30:26 PM »
After about 20 to 25 minutes of meditation focusing on the breath and the bodily sensation I always reach a point where boredom, doubt, and simply wondering what is the point up to now?  I mean I want to be able to sit for at least an hour but this  get put in my head.  Any suggestions on how to deal with it?  :'(

Also, does anyone have any advice on how to begin to see thoughts objectively? I can investigate emotions, bodily sensations and breath but thoughts are still too difficult.

Boredom is ego's way of trying to trick you back into "the game". If you are struggling to get beyond this and see thoughts objectively then it's working!

I think Goofaholix nailed it:

I think you are starting to get to the point.

If you do anything for a period of time, doesn't matter how pleasant it is or how motivated you are to do it the mind will eventually decide, it wants something different or it wants something more.

This is craving, this is dukkha, you didn't choose this so it's not you.

The next step is to just observe this objectively, don't give into the impulse, eventually you'll see you don't have to let it contro,you.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

JMatlack

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2014, 04:14:50 AM »
Thank you for the responses and the support.  I will do my best to continue on the path and observe as best I can!
"THE ALL (god) is MIND; the universe is mental" written in The Kybalion

gasteria

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2014, 12:29:12 AM »
I have even bigger problem. I am falling asleep while meditating. I cannot watch myself falling asleep like in the case of observing the thoughts drifting away. I eventually wake up after few minutes, stay alert for few minutes and then fall asleep again. I know that this my mind trying to avoid being alert and aware. I really don't know what to do about it. I probably stay asleep half of one hour meditation. At the time of my meditation I am usually not really sleepy until I start meditating.

I am meditating according to Vipassana which requires looking for feeling of sensation throughout the body.

Does anybody have similar problem?

Matthew

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2014, 07:56:00 AM »
gasteria,

Falling asleep can be due to a few issues. Firstly do you regularly get enough sleep? What time do you go to sleep? You may not feel sleepy when you start meditating but if you are sleep deprived (as the majority of people are) then your body and mind will grasp at the chance to sleep! I have an old book "Practical Yoga" published by Harvey Day in 1967, he says this, writing of the need to learn to fully relax:

Quote
When your body is completely limp, lie like that for 10 minutes and the odds are that you'll feel drowsy and fall asleep. Which may be just what you need.

The other (contradictory) but possible cause is that you are too relaxed in your meditation. This is frankly less likely. The remedy is to adjust posture to ensure the pelvis and back is supported, such that you don't end up shallow breathing which can make you drowsy. Also opening the eyes and raising them to the horizon when sitting.

Lastly do you drink enough water daily? Even if you sleep enough if you are dehydrated the quality of sleep well be poor.

Kindly,

Matthew

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

J0rrit

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2014, 08:24:10 AM »
I think what you need is more piti in your meditation. Piti, or rapture, prevent both boredom and becoming sleepy/drowsy. Boredom is a manifestation of sensual desire, and sleepy/drowsy is sloth and torpor. Rapture is for both Hindrances an effective antidote. See here:

'You can smile as you continue to notice the body, giving it warm, loving, reassuring signals. Appreciate any piti (pleasure, tingling, energy) that may already be present. If it’s there, give it your gentle attention. Don’t try to make anything happen, simply relax, and observe whatever happens.
As you notice the breathing all over the body, imagine that you are inhaling energy and light from the earth. Imagine this energy and light flowing upward, filling the whole body. On the out-breath, imagine this same energy flowing downward through your body as your muscles relax. Let this downward-moving energy sweep tensions down and out of the body, into the earth. If there are areas of tension or pain, let the breath flow through and around them.
From time to time notice how the energy changes the sensations in specific parts of the body, but keep coming back to a whole body awareness. If a sense of body-wide piti is becoming established, let go of any visualization and simply experience the energy and pleasure that is arising in the body.

In the last email I recommended paying attention to the whole body as you breathe, noticing the subtle effects that the breathing has on sensations all over the body. You can notice effects in parts of the body, such as your hands and feet, that you might not normally think of as being involved in “mindfulness of breathing.” To take this “whole body breathing” approach a bit deeper, you can pay more detailed attention to the relaxation that takes place on the out-breath, and the energizing effects that accompany the in-breath.

You can do this right now. Pay attention to the whole body, and notice what happens when you breathe out. Most obviously you can feel the ribcage, diaphragm, and belly letting go. You can feel the shoulders dropping. But you may also notice a sense of relaxation in the arms, hands, legs, and feet. You may even sense something like a wave of relaxation running down the whole body as you exhale. By paying attention to this wave of relaxation, you encourage it to go deeper. Notice also what happens in the mind. You may feel a sense of calmness accompanying the out-breath, and that fewer thoughts arise during this phase of the breathing. Perhaps you’ll notice a welcome sense of relief coming from the relative lack of thinking.

After you’ve paid attention to the qualities of the out-breathing in this way for a few minutes, turn your attention to what happens when you breathe in. Notice that the movements tend to be in an upward direction, and that they tend to expand outward. Notice also how refreshing and energizing it is to inhale; it can feel as if a wave of energy is rising through the body as you breathe in. Notice how this wave of energy affects the feet, the legs, the hips, the trunk, the hands, arms, and head. And paying attention now to the mind, there can be a sense of your awareness brightening and becoming more alert as you inhale. Once again, paying attention to the physical and mental qualities of the inhalation can help intensify those effects.

These qualities — of relaxation on the out-breath and energy on the in-breath — are aspects of piti, the next jhana factor to be cultivated after calmness. Piti is primarily physical, and arises when the body is both relaxed and energized. It can manifest in various ways, which I’ll discuss in the next email, but it often manifests as a pleasurable sense of tingling.
First, though, a gentle reminder that piti is something that we allow to arise. Piti happens. It's not something that we "make happen." Piti arises from letting go, and trying to force it to happen actually stops it from manifesting.

The quality of receptivity is important here. In our meditation we need to learn to use as little effort as we can get away with. When the mind is unruly, we may have to apply quite a lot of effort. But as the mind calms and settles down we need to work in a more gentle way. There should be more noticing than doing. When we are doing something, we should be aware of the effect our actions are having.
A nice metaphor for this principle is catching a falling feather on a fan. We do need to make effort, but it has to be a subtle and gentle effort. Move too fast, and we blow away the very feather that we're trying to catch. But if we make no effort, then we're not going to catch anything.
It's best just to set up the conditions that allow piti to manifest. So here are three suggestions to help you do that.

1. Gently — very gently — tense muscle groups, such as the shoulders, hips, and legs, in turn, and then let go of that tension, enjoying the pleasant sense of release as the muscles relax. If you release the tension during the out-breath, the natural phase of relaxation that takes place when we exhale will allow the relaxation to go deeper.

2. Cultivate lovingkindness toward and appreciation for the body. I've talked elsewhere of the practices of “loving gaze,” and of saying “thank you” to individual parts of the body. Think of what it's like when someone you know gives you an expressionless gaze. You probably feel tense, right? Next, compare that to when someone smiles at you in an obviously friendly way. You feel more relaxed and at ease. Now, your body responds in similar ways to your own inner gaze, depending on the emotional qualities that gaze expresses. So let yourself smile as you bring awareness into the body. It likes being loved and appreciated, and will respond by relaxing if you regard it in a kindly, loving way. This relaxation can lead to pleasurable sensations of piti. It's almost as if the body is saying "thank you" for the kindness you're showing it.

3. Take your awareness into your hands, which ideally should be touching, and resting, supported in the "dhyana mudra." (If you're interested, that would be "jhana mudda" in Pali.) This expression just means the "hand-gesture of meditation," and it's illustrated below.
The right hand rests on the left, with the tips of the thumbs lightly touching. Let the hands be loose, with the fingers lightly spread so that there is a space between each one. Notice the contact between the hands, and let that be the focal point of your awareness. At the same time, be aware of your breathing, and be open to any rhythmic changes in the sensations in your hands, and especially in the fingers, that accompany the flow of the breathing. You may notice, as the hands begin to relax, certain pleasurable sensations arising there. These may take the form of warmth, or tingling, or a flow of energy. If these sensations arise, notice and enjoy them — without trying to do anything to intensify them. If you can, notice the area just outside those sensations, and see what happens.
You could apply all three of these approaches in one sit, if you want, but you can also use just one or two if you prefer. They can be used whether your mind is calm or busy, but in terms of cultivating jhana they'll be more effective if you've already worked on calming the mind.'

gasteria

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2014, 08:14:50 PM »
Thank you so much J0rrit that you took time and effort to give me such an extensive response. I printed it out to go back to it whenever I need it. I hope it will help me.

Mind is such a trickster. It is not easy to tame it but I am going to do it especially having so much support and encouragement.

J0rrit

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2014, 10:08:01 PM »
Well, I just copied/pasted it, so you're welcome! Good luck !

gasteria

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2014, 08:33:04 PM »
I bought a book "Beyond the Breath: Extraordinary Mindfulness Through Whole-Body Vipassana Meditation.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1582900434/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I think I found the link to this book on this forum. This book that has been written mostly for people with western upbringing is the most comprehensive and scientific explanation of Vipassana. It answered all my questions and beyond. It includes all precepts of Vipassana not just meditation but also morality. It compares Vipassana to other forms of meditation that the author experienced first hand for 17 years. Vipassana in his opinion is the most effective method to obtain serenity. Fantastic book. I am encouraged more than ever to continue on this path.

Tobin

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2014, 10:11:08 PM »
I bought a book "Beyond the Breath: Extraordinary Mindfulness Through Whole-Body Vipassana Meditation.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1582900434/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I think I found the link to this book on this forum. This book that has been written mostly for people with western upbringing is the most comprehensive and scientific explanation of Vipassana. It answered all my questions and beyond. It includes all precepts of Vipassana not just meditation but also morality. It compares Vipassana to other forms of meditation that the author experienced first hand for 17 years. Vipassana in his opinion is the most effective method to obtain serenity. Fantastic book. I am encouraged more than ever to continue on this path.

Thank you Gasteria! It looks like a fantastic book. I'll have to pick this one up next payday. :)
Regards,
Tobin

sariputra

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2014, 02:14:52 PM »
It makes me feel like there is no point doing it. That there is no objective or accomplishment in it. It feels like wanting to get up and do something else instead. I don't know. It is unpleasant lol.

yes, I get this also....it is annoying and unpleasant.

Ánanda, if the person without the use of his eyes who sees only darkness were suddenly to regain his sight and see all kinds of forms, and you say it is his eyes which see, then when a person in a dark room who sees only darkness suddenly sees all kinds of forms because a lamp is lit, you should say it is the lamp which sees.
 "If the lamp did the seeing, it would be endowed with sight. But then we would not call it a lamp anymore. Besides, if the lamp were to do the seeing, what would that have to do with you?
 "Therefore you should know that while the lamp can reveal forms, the eyes, not the lamp, do the seeing.  And while the eyes can reveal forms, the seeing-nature comes from the mind, not the eyes."
« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 02:31:37 PM by sariputra »

Thatguyx52

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2014, 07:30:39 PM »
that's happened to me too during meditation. I guess you just gotta keep on going or concentrate more 8)

Matthew

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2014, 08:16:06 PM »
The accomplishments or fruits of meditation are so different to those we have been programmde to accept as real and valuable: a peaceful mind, a concentrated mind, a peaceful life, lack of inner and outer conflict. They are not things you can point to and say "I did that"! They are things that change the very fabric of your being, the inner workings of your mind, and in ways that are strongly contradictory to the achievement based mindset which is the norm.

So don't be surprised when your ego tells you you're wasting your time ... it's just trying to get in the way of the change meditation, morality and kindness bring to life!
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Crispy0405

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2014, 02:32:29 AM »
I have a question about control

I know that trying to control things in meditation is not the right approach  I have also noticed trying not to control things is another forum of trying to control

Any tips on finding a balance between the 2

betty

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2014, 05:34:22 AM »
I know that trying to control things in meditation is not the right approach  I have also noticed trying not to control things is another forum of trying to control.  Any tips on finding a balance between the 2

One of the most helpful things I've heard on this topic is something Shinzen Young said on one of his audio programmes.  He said that equanimity is non-interference with the natural unfolding.  I think that's the essence of what you are grappling with - it's not about control or not control, it's about getting out of the way of the natural unfolding.  Easier said than done of course, but it's guided my practice since I heard it.

Alex

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2014, 03:22:33 PM »
Any tips on finding a balance between the 2

Maybe trying to “do” something to find a balance between the two is just another way of trying to control the process?

Maybe you should not try to do anything and just be aware of both tendencies as they arise: notice when you’re trying to control en notice when you’re trying not to control?

Alex

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2014, 08:52:58 PM »
I was thinking that effort or control is off course necessary when the mind wanders.

I don't know if that's the balance that you need: you don't try to control in order to get to some preconceived idea of what should happen in meditation, but you do exert willpower to keep the mind on the breath or the present moment?

Crispy0405

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2014, 07:49:37 AM »
Thanks Betty and Alex for your answers

I practise as instructed on the home page if thoughts arise in the mind I either watch the mind until the thoughts fall away if the thoughts keep coming up I will gently bring the Mind back to the bodily sensations

Just A Simple Guy

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Re: What is the point
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2014, 01:35:23 PM »
After about 20 to 25 minutes of meditation focusing on the breath and the bodily sensation I always reach a point where boredom, doubt, and simply wondering what is the point up to now?  I mean I want to be able to sit for at least an hour but this  get put in my head.  Any suggestions on how to deal with it?  :'(

To put in my own words what others have already said, this is where the rubber meets the road. It's where awareness is exercised and cultivated. Much like working muscles against resistance, pushing past a certain amount of fatigue is required to realize a benefit.

How I deal with it is the same as how I deal with any other 'distraction' that arises at the beginning or middle of a sitting. Note it and gently guide awareness back to the intent of the sitting.

For me the point of it all has become tangible. Awareness seems to have been moved closer and closer to the present moment. For instance little things that would have annoyed or stressed me in the past like traffic and rude drivers, difficult co-workers, tight and seemingly ridiculous deadlines at work don't have as much sway over my emotions. I can observe those first negative thoughts arise that in the past would have led to a torrent of negative thinking, and instead of indulging them I simply note them, smile and move past them. Not always immediately but more and more frequently and closer and closer to the proximate event.


Quote
Also, does anyone have any advice on how to begin to see thoughts objectively? I can investigate emotions, bodily sensations and breath but thoughts are still too difficult.

Not sure about this, but perhaps others more experienced will provide feedback. I'm thinking what I stated above about being aware of thoughts arising that can trigger emotional reactions, noting them and moving on speaks to being able to see thoughts objectively. In my opinion this is the biggest benefit I experience that I can directly relate to the practice.
“Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own.” ~ Bruce Lee

 

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