Author Topic: Cannot meditate after my mom died 10 days ago. Keep trying, or take a break?  (Read 225 times)

Ja192827

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I lost my mom unexpectedly 10 days ago.  I have been practicing meditation for more than a year now for 20-60 min/day, did a 10 day retreat, and I have not found my mind to have slowed down much since I started.  Now that this happened with my mom, I am finding it virtually impossible to meditate.  Would it be best to continue to go through the motions and sit, or just take a break for a week or two?  I hate to lose my momentum and anything I built up this past year if I take a break.   I should add that I don't feel worse after meditating, but not any better either.

Dharmic Tui

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Condolences for the loss of your mother.

It's an emotional time so this could make sitting difficult for the time being. I don't feel you'd lose any momentum taking a break for the next week or two while things play themselves out.

Vivek

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Sad to hear about your loss. My condolences. Maybe it is best not to force yourself to meditate. Rather allow yourself to let go of the grief and pain as best as you can. Just be with the feelings unconditionally, and allow them to rise and pass away on their own.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Ja192827

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I will follow both of your suggestions, thank you.  Do you think mindfulness of my body sensations like walking, breathing, etc when I am doing my everyday things will help?

BeHereNow

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I am so sorry for your loss.

See how it feels to be mindful of body sensations during daily activities, and if it feels nourishing, do it.

The most important thing is to develop self-compassion and loving-kindness during this time.  See what feels nourishing, kind and healing for you.

The book "Self-Compassion" by Kristin Neff is great, as is Pema Chodron's "When Things Fall Apart."

Much metta,
Paula
"You are the Sky.  Everything else is just the weather." - Pema Chodron

Ja192827

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I have been constantly kicking myself for not being a better son, so these books are exacrly what I was looking for. I plan to order them.

Can I ask you of what benefit being mindful of bodily sensations is?

Thanks so much for your condolences and revommendations.

Laurent

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I have been constantly kicking myself for not being a better son, so these books are exacrly what I was looking for. I plan to order them.

Can I ask you of what benefit being mindful of bodily sensations is?

Thanks so much for your condolences and revommendations.

Hello Ja

Observing sensations aims being aware of it. Being aware of sensations aims to understand yourself at a deeper level, revealing some subconscious mechanisms. Then you are able to choose to withdraw from some habits which you see they are factors of suffering.
You can also simply observe body (postures, movements, activities) without insisting especially on sensations, at first. Observe what is more obvious to you. The important is to keep aware of inner truth, at various degrees, in the present time.

Sincere condelances for your loss.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 03:51:01 PM by Laurent »

Ja192827

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Could you tell me a bit more about what sensations you recommend observing?  Are we talking about just feelings, or the feeling of my foot as they hit the floor, feeling pressure points where I sit, etc? Thank you.

Laurent

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Could you tell me a bit more about what sensations you recommend observing?  Are we talking about just feelings, or the feeling of my foot as they hit the floor, feeling pressure points where I sit, etc? Thank you.

Yes, the feeling of the foot or pressure points where you sit, in other words physical sensations, are objects to observe. But only if you really feel it naturally. You can rather observe posture of the body, position of a legs, arms , neck, head and so on... or respiration to start. Feelings (emotions) should also be observed but it is more difficult at the beginning.

In meditation you observe absolutely anything which is a part of your immediate experience but it is difficult to observe objectively (with detachment) things with which you identify most. So, you begin with what is more obvious and what is more objective at your eyes. Generally, we develop  meditation using respiration because it is obvious and has links with physic and psychism. But global body is also a good meditation object to start.

Also, it is essential to practice systematically and regularly, during sessions where you don't make anything else (i.e meditation) because it is a progressive training of presence of mind.

Instructions are quite simple but it takes time and practice to apprehend them properly.
You can take a look to this page : https://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php?page=2 or in the satipatthana sutta

 :)


« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 01:47:51 PM by Laurent »

Ja192827

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thanks to your and Matthew's explanation, I understand it more fully now.  Thanks a lot.