Author Topic: Working with cycles in meditation  (Read 134 times)

Crispy0405

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Working with cycles in meditation
« on: October 10, 2017, 07:12:27 AM »
Over the course of my meditation practice I experience pronounced cycles or ebbs and flows. This has been a feature of my practice for several years now and doesn't seem to be lessening - if anything it is intensifying. The pattern is
Meditation goes well. Concentrated and experience vigour
Energy, motivation and concentration increase to a peak
Over the course of one or two days practice seems to fall apart. Poor concentration. Feelings of dullness and lethargy with meditation and lack of motivation. This can bleed over to time off the cushion
After weeks or even months meditation starts to become pleasurable again and the cycle starts again
Sometimes the low point isn't too bad but sometimes it is so dominating that I can't recognize it for what it is. I've cleared my shrine away before now. The Buddha goes away and it's only after some days I remember what is probably going on.
Does anyone have any advice about the best way to work with these kind of cycles. Is it a well documented phenomena or documented at all? I would find references to established texts or teachers on this subject particularly helpful.

raushan

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Re: Working with cycles in meditation
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2017, 01:57:02 PM »
Hi Crispy,

I had asked a similar question in this forum. You can read some answers from there. https://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php?topic=2974.msg30393#msg30393

Apart from that my experience is that the cycle comes because unknowingly we are still caught in the unwholsome mind habit pattern. We react to those states mentally.

During the bad time I would suggest try to be very aware of what is happening. How you are reacting to these situations. Break the pattern of habit if you have during those times.

For example, When I used to get very anxious or depressed my habit pattern was to distract myself with phone or internet, eating more. This is at physical level so more clearly visible. I started to break these patterns. Tried to stay with these feelings.

At the mental level we try to run away from those states. Lots of mental reaction happens. Sometimes I am able to see sometimes not. I think sometimes best is to just accept the situation. It won't be possible to be aware of those all the time.

Also, it may be helpful that you apply the mindfulness practice in day to day life. Even when you're off the cushion.


Also, experiment with other techniques if one isn't working for you.

Thanks
Raushan
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 01:58:52 PM by raushan »

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Working with cycles in meditation
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2017, 07:35:22 PM »
Raushan has hit it on the head.

One thing that becomes more and more apparent to me, are the mental hooks and barbs the human mind has. Alongside the constant stream of thoughts is a constant stream of emotion that can sink it's hooks into us. Almost at the flick of a switch, we can become apprehensive, nervous, fearful, depressed etc. These are learned responses from years or decades of life experience and thought. Letting go of them isn't something we should expect to occur instantly.

raushan

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Re: Working with cycles in meditation
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 04:10:09 PM »
Hi Dharmic Tui,

I had great help reading your earlier answers. I could relate to those with my situations.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Working with cycles in meditation
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2017, 11:22:11 PM »
Hi Raushan,

I came to the forum to start a similar thread as Crispy and your words were a reminder of the way forward, so favour returned :)

Central I think is continued development of present moment awareness. By observing the present moment there is little space for thoughts and feelings of dullness, fear or sadness to take root.