Author Topic: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented  (Read 885 times)

NewPathForward

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How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« on: June 05, 2020, 07:15:02 PM »
Hello.  I am in a place with my practice where I sit between 30 - 40m, two or three times a day.  While I am happy with this, I want to explore longer sits, as I feel time spent in meditation can be exponentially more insightful after the 30 - 40 minute mark.

Although I want to try and sit longer, I often find myself developing ambition toward meditation, and I don't think that's a healthy mindset for me.  I want to maintain my focus on intention rather than goals. 

The obvious solution to meditating longer is to actually do it, but I quickly find myself in a place where I am "Pushing through it" instead of exploring awareness, or whatever the actual practice is at the time. 

Is there anybody that can provide suggestion or their own experience when first experimenting with hour-long (or longer) sits?  Retreat is not an option until this Fall due to COVID-19. 

stillpointdancer

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2020, 12:58:04 PM »
I used to do a 'double sit' at the Buddhist centre, totalling 80 minutes, which was just about the right length for me for a long session. The key for me was a ten minute break in the middle to get up and stretch the legs and go to the toilet. Just time to make a coffee or cup of tea (which I would do at home, but not at the centre) but not long enough to fully 'recover' from the first meditation. I would also break it up into two meditations, one a mindfulness of breathing and the other a metta bhavana, usually in that order.
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Dhamma

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2020, 06:14:28 PM »
Dear Charlie,

I don't have much to say, but this: You may be meditating too much???

You might want to read some Zen Buddhist teachings about the pitfalls of being goal-oriented. The Zen are known for this.
As you know, a goal brings us out of the present, and it also manifests as an attachment.

As others have said about themselves on here, I am mostly ignorant (much, much learning to do on my part).

Please take care. :)
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NewPathForward

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2020, 06:39:18 PM »
Dear Charlie,

I don't have much to say, but this: You may be meditating too much???

You might want to read some Zen Buddhist teachings about the pitfalls of being goal-oriented. The Zen are known for this.
As you know, a goal brings us out of the present, and it also manifests as an attachment.

As others have said about themselves on here, I am mostly ignorant (much, much learning to do on my part).

Please take care. :)

You think so?  I saw on this forum that I was generally recommended to do about an hour a day, and I have been exploring this, with my total daily sit-time usually end I’m up around 90 minutes.  I notice when I don’t hit the hour mark I am noticeably less aware of myself (And self-critical).  I simply wish to pursue my intention of developing equanimity. 

As you know, I do become goal oriented, but I still think exploring longer sits may rest in the spirit of exploration rather than ambition.  How can you tell the difference?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 06:44:03 PM by NewPathForward »

NewPathForward

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2020, 06:42:20 PM »
I used to do a 'double sit' at the Buddhist centre, totalling 80 minutes, which was just about the right length for me for a long session. The key for me was a ten minute break in the middle to get up and stretch the legs and go to the toilet. Just time to make a coffee or cup of tea (which I would do at home, but not at the centre) but not long enough to fully 'recover' from the first meditation. I would also break it up into two meditations, one a mindfulness of breathing and the other a metta bhavana, usually in that order.

I see.  Part of the reason I wish to explore longer sits is my intention to retreat this fall, and also sheer curiosity as to what it is like to meditate for, say, 60 - 90 minutes straight (My longest sit, excluding laying-down body scans, has been 45 minutes).  Keep in mind I have only been practicing since March, so everything is still pretty novel to me and I am exploring what works best.

Is it normal to jump from a 60-90 minute daily practice straight into a 10 hour retreat?  Maybe it is, but that sounds like it could be a bit shocking to me. 
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 06:46:31 PM by NewPathForward »

Matthew

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2020, 03:44:29 AM »
Charlie,

Sit for an hour per sit. Just do it, up your time. Being aware of goal seeking, setting that thinking aside, then returning to the breath is the practice. Just get on with it. You're thinking too much.

I went from nothing to two to four hours a day when I first started. The ego resisted and fought, tried to tell me there were better things to do, but that's how ego is: a slippery bastard. It doesn't take long to overcome obstacles when you just do it. Once I had it down to sit for an hour or two, with sometimes walking meditation breaks to ease the body, I then sat one day retreats with eight or ten hours of sitting. Then a 28 day retreat with fourteen hours a day of sitting (with walking meditation breaks every two or four hours). That is an experience that truly polishes the mirror.

Don't make a goal, don't over think - just do it, and when thinking about a goal, treat it like any other imposter: be mindful that thought has arisen, bring mindfulness back to bodily sensations created by the breathing process, and get ready to dance the whole dance over and over until your ego gives up the game. You are not sitting too much. Your intuition about longer sessions being beneficial is correct. Go with it.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
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Matthew

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2020, 04:22:50 AM »
PS.

In the post linked below are different length meditation timers. Each is a zip file containing an mp3 file. Each timer starts with three gongs and ends with three gongs. Download the 60 minutes one, unzip it onto your phone.

When you start your practice, put the phone on airplane mode so you won't have interruptions, seat yourself comfortably, take a few breaths to settle yourself, then start the timer, and place your phone screen down so you can't see the screen.

As the first gongs ring, get into your practice. You will want to look at the phone. You will wonder how long you've been sitting. You will get fidgety about it. This is all natural. It's the ego fighting you to avoid being seen. Treat all these imposters the same! As soon as you become mindful of these thoughts - because they are all thoughts - put them to one side, and return mindfulness to the sensations of the body created by the breathing process. Calm the body with each in breath and each out breath. Each time thought intrudes treat the imposter the same!

After one hour the three ending gongs will ring. It won't take you long to get into the groove.

https://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php?topic=812.msg6775#msg6775
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Dhamma

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2020, 08:23:26 PM »
Dear Charlie,

I don't have much to say, but this: You may be meditating too much???

You might want to read some Zen Buddhist teachings about the pitfalls of being goal-oriented. The Zen are known for this.
As you know, a goal brings us out of the present, and it also manifests as an attachment.

As others have said about themselves on here, I am mostly ignorant (much, much learning to do on my part).

Please take care. :)

You think so?  I saw on this forum that I was generally recommended to do about an hour a day, and I have been exploring this, with my total daily sit-time usually end I’m up around 90 minutes.  I notice when I don’t hit the hour mark I am noticeably less aware of myself (And self-critical).  I simply wish to pursue my intention of developing equanimity. 

As you know, I do become goal oriented, but I still think exploring longer sits may rest in the spirit of exploration rather than ambition.  How can you tell the difference?


Dear Charlie,

You need to do what you think is best. But, it's the quality of your meditation session, rather the quantity of time spent sitting. If you sit too much, it might not always been helpful in the beginning stages of meditation.  I think a person can meditate too much, as it might become an attachment for over-relaxation.

Yes, attachment to want to sit and to aversion to sitting are both hindrances.

I am doing Shikantaza right now (non-directive meditation), so that's a bit different than the straight vipassana that you are doing. You don't sit as much in zazen as some do in vipassana. Both are beautiful styles of Buddhist meditation. Maybe I'm thinking too zen right now and now Theravadan vipassana!  Sorry...(this is a vipassana forum, right?). And, maybe, I am talking too much.

Find balance, friend.

I'm so sorry if I have confused you, or if I possibly gave you wrong advice. Again, I'm no expert - just passing on what I've learn from others and by experience.

I wish you the best on your Path.

Later, friend.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2020, 08:25:08 PM by Dhamma »
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Matthew

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2020, 12:33:22 AM »
Dhamma,

In encouraging Charlie to follow his intuition and sit for longer I was not criticising your comments my friend. Immersion in practice is a powerful tool - sitting for less than an hour is not optimal, yet as you say, you are on a different path at this moment.

Warn regards,

Matthew
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Dhamma

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2020, 02:24:02 AM »
Dhamma,

In encouraging Charlie to follow his intuition and sit for longer I was not criticising your comments my friend. Immersion in practice is a powerful tool - sitting for less than an hour is not optimal, yet as you say, you are on a different path at this moment.

Warn regards,

Matthew

Dear Matthew,

I never saw it as a criticism. ;)

I, personally, never did more than 30 minutes of Vipassana meditation in one sitting - it just didn't work out for me like that (neck cramp issues, among other things). I firmly believe that any time spent meditating properly is quite beneficial, although maybe not optimal, as you say. 
I just wanted Charlie to understand that if something is too burdensome, or "too attractive", that it can create strong feelings of attachment or aversion; and, so, as he is somewhat of a beginner, I suggested that maybe he tones it down a bit. But, now, in hindsight, I don't believe I was giving right advice, so I apologize to him for my ignorance and for my big ego wanting to blabber on.

I understand very well the various vipassana meditation methods, as understood in the Theravada tradition; in fact, it has brought me innumerable benefits as to understanding the true nature reality such as impermanence and no-self over the past two years. But, I have, for the moment, decided to go on a Zen-like path of doing non-directive Shikantaza meditation.

Sorry, if I am talking too much...

I love this forum very, very much. I have learned so, so much on here, and the members have been nothing but kind and gentle. It has invaluable information for Buddhists of all levels of meditation.


Peace and enlightenment to you all!
« Last Edit: June 08, 2020, 02:28:47 AM by Dhamma »
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dharma bum

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2020, 02:48:05 PM »
I forget where I read this - if you feel like 45 minutes is your absolute limit, sit for an extra 10 minutes. It struck me as good advice. Some degree of discomfort, physical or mental, is beneficial.
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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2020, 03:09:21 PM »
I never saw it as a criticism. ;)

Glad to hear it.

I, personally, never did more than 30 minutes of Vipassana meditation in one sitting - it just didn't work out for me like that (neck cramp issues, among other things).

That's a shame. The polishing of the mirror takes time.

I firmly believe that any time spent meditating properly is quite beneficial, although maybe not optimal, as you say.

True - even a moment is of benefit. Every moment is optimal.

 
I just wanted Charlie to understand that if something is too burdensome, or "too attractive", that it can create strong feelings of attachment or aversion; and, so, as he is somewhat of a beginner, I suggested that maybe he tones it down a bit. But, now, in hindsight, I don't believe I was giving right advice, so I apologize to him for my ignorance and for my big ego wanting to blabber on.

Indeed attachments and aversions can form easily, yet dealing with them on the cushion is a most efficacious method. It does take time and commitment to the work of mindfulness practice, both on and off the cushion.

I understand very well the various vipassana meditation methods, as understood in the Theravada tradition; in fact, it has brought me innumerable benefits as to understanding the true nature reality such as impermanence and no-self over the past two years. But, I have, for the moment, decided to go on a Zen-like path of doing non-directive Shikantaza meditation.

Any mindfulness practice used wisely will bear fruit. I look forward to hearing over time how this practice develops for you.

Sorry, if I am talking too much...

You aren't  :)

I love this forum very, very much. I have learned so, so much on here, and the members have been nothing but kind and gentle. It has invaluable information for Buddhists of all levels of meditation.

It is good to hear that we are doing something right. I was quite "wet behind the ears" when starting this community, and as you'll know if you have read back through old threads, at times that showed: in unskilful means, and less than wholesome speech.

We all live and learn, however, and some of the early choices about the way this place might best function have proven to be good ones. The body of "invaluable information" you describe has been built as a collective effort on those early foundations.

Peace and enlightenment to you all!

And to you Dhamma. Keep treading this path and it will serve you well.

M
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Matthew

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2020, 03:13:01 PM »
I forget where I read this - if you feel like 45 minutes is your absolute limit, sit for an extra 10 minutes. It struck me as good advice. Some degree of discomfort, physical or mental, is beneficial.

Most limits are mental confections. Most sessions will involve suffering: the ego is sitting exposed.

The only exceptions are not to cause physical or mental harm to oneself through being overzealous and too forceful.
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NewPathForward

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2020, 03:24:36 AM »
Most limits are mental confections. Most sessions will involve suffering: the ego is sitting exposed.

The only exceptions are not to cause physical or mental harm to oneself through being overzealous and too forceful.

So I sat for a little over an hour, and it was surely a fresh breath from what was beginning to feel like a stale and habit-based practice.  My question now is how could one judge whether they are being too forceful?  It went much smoother than I expected, but towards the end my concentration fell off into quite a bit of monkey mind, and it felt as if I was forcing attention back to the abdominal sensations of breath more so than letting it rest there.

This was also in conjunction with pretty moderate shoulder pain, but it didn’t bother me so much as I just observed it continually for what it was, the experience itself.  I actually think it helped a bit (the physical pain).  After getting up and walking about the pain subsided quite quickly and was only limited to the sit, but I hope putting up with it as I adjust to longer sits doesn’t cause any actual long-term damage.

I thought I had set my Bell to 45m by accident, and I thought I heard it go off and decided to open my eyes, but upon looking at the timer immediately I realized I had actually set it for the full hour (it didn’t actually go off) and I was 47 minutes in, so I reset it for 15m, set it down, and finished.  So there was a short interruption of about ten seconds, but I think it was actually beneficial as it felt as if I had let my mind lose the concentration and had to bring it back immediately.

Thanks.

dharma bum

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2020, 03:14:15 PM »
When I sit, usually, I feel the urge to look at a watch at 25 minutes, then at 45 minutes and then it is a constant battle.

I see it as my body-mind's internal clock and over the course of time it becomes like a habit, like I wake up in the morning and feel a desire for a cup of tea. The mind follows the pattern every time. Then if there is a break, the mind-body reacts and it can be sometimes overwhelming.

Some years ago I started to run and for a long time I would run for 3 miles and no more. I thought it was my limit, but really there is no limit. One day, I ran 10 miles just like that.

Sometimes you can do something different and fool the mind. For instance, I can fool my mind by drinking hot water instead of tea.

I still struggle with going to bed on time although I know in the morning and resolve to go to bed early. When night-time comes, I forget and old habits kick in. But what helps is a disruption of the routine by going for a walk in the night before bed-time.
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Dhamma

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2020, 02:01:27 AM »
@ Matthew: Thank you for you most inspiring of words.  Much love and kindness I offer you.

We shall see where Shikantaza meditation takes me.  It's a new journey for sure.  You have nothing to fall back - you sit and "just be." You have to trust yourself that there is nothing but you and your mind (neither of which exist inherently). Can I transcend the"I" in just learning *to be*?  Easy? Yeah, right!  All meditations are difficult; it's a like a brick wall everywhere I go in the Buddhist world. LOL. Enlightenment is heavy duty work. A lot of people think that meditation is about feeling blissful. That couldn't be further from the truth, at least not in a Buddhist sense.

One more thing: I find self-acceptance so, so difficult...almost impossible. >:(   The Zen talk a lot about self-acceptance.  Why cannot I just accept myself? I suppose I have am far from understanding the idea of no-self - at least in a profound sense.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 02:03:10 AM by Dhamma »
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NewPathForward

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2020, 04:26:53 AM »
@ Matthew: Thank you for you most inspiring of words.  Much love and kindness I offer you.

We shall see where Shikantaza meditation takes me.  It's a new journey for sure.  You have nothing to fall back - you sit and "just be." You have to trust yourself that there is nothing but you and your mind (neither of which exist inherently). Can I transcend the"I" in just learning *to be*?  Easy? Yeah, right!  All meditations are difficult; it's a like a brick wall everywhere I go in the Buddhist world. LOL. Enlightenment is heavy duty work. A lot of people think that meditation is about feeling blissful. That couldn't be further from the truth, at least not in a Buddhist sense.

One more thing: I find self-acceptance so, so difficult...almost impossible. >:(   The Zen talk a lot about self-acceptance.  Why cannot I just accept myself? I suppose I have am far from understanding the idea of no-self - at least in a profound sense.

For me, part of accepting myself rests in accepting the fact that I have self-image problems, slightly lower self esteem (Sometimes very low), and all these other defects.

Metta Bhavana helps me find the human in everyone, and in doing so helps me take a step towards accepting the humanity within myself :)

I honestly believe that I can change my negative defects of character simply by continuing to build mindfulness of them and not trying to change them in any other way, save actively making a decision not to hurt others when I find myself in a situation where I am gossiping, about to steal, or any other direct action that stems from ignorance and defilement.  If it is regarding me and myself, such as mentally beating myself up for not doing something, I simply recognize it in the moment and let it be there.

Self acceptance takes a long time in my experience (I have been working on it for years, being a drug/sex addict).  I can however take solace in the fact that I have the intention to make progress.  As long as I am making this daily effort in my walking life, as well as undertaking meditation styles that support my school of thought (Such as non-dual meditations for wisdom in emptiness), I can be confident that change will happen, and my wisdom will expand naturally, as it has no choice.

Peace and enlightenment my dear friend.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 04:30:51 AM by NewPathForward »

Matthew

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2020, 08:18:27 AM »
So I sat for a little over an hour, and it was surely a fresh breath from what was beginning to feel like a stale and habit-based practice. 


Good.

My question now is how could one judge whether they are being too forceful?  It went much smoother than I expected, but towards the end my concentration fell off into quite a bit of monkey mind, and it felt as if I was forcing attention back to the abdominal sensations of breath more so than letting it rest there.


I'd expect an hour to feel slightly uncomfortable towards the end the first few times. In discovering hour went much smoother than you expected I'd suggest clearly a better use of time than fretting about it. If concentration feels too loose, hard to maintain, it can help to bring one's gaze closer, to within a couple of feet in front of you on the floor. If too tight, raising it towards the horizon helps ease tension. What you've described above sounds really normal Charlie, not too forced, a blip in adjusting.

This was also in conjunction with pretty moderate shoulder pain, but it didn’t bother me so much as I just observed it continually for what it was, the experience itself.  I actually think it helped a bit (the physical pain).  After getting up and walking about the pain subsided quite quickly and was only limited to the sit, but I hope putting up with it as I adjust to longer sits doesn’t cause any actual long-term damage.


As you are mindful of body and breath you may discover areas that long held tendons have collected in. You can sometimes benefit from breathing into such areas, but being mindful of pain without focusing on suffering you are unlikely to cause harm. That's more an "in extremis" thing.

I thought I had set my Bell to 45m by accident, and I thought I heard it go off and decided to open my eyes, but upon looking at the timer immediately I realized I had actually set it for the full hour (it didn’t actually go off) and I was 47 minutes in, so I reset it for 15m, set it down, and finished.  So there was a short interruption of about ten seconds, but I think it was actually beneficial as it felt as if I had let my mind lose the concentration and had to bring it back immediately.

All good. Well done for trying the experiment - once you pass or accept the niggling issues it gets easier. At an hour, you're spending most of that time centred on practice. For a half hour sit you'll be lucky to spend 20 minutes properly engaged. It's a big step up.

Glad this was a positive move. 2 x 1 hour will help more than 3 x ½ hour.
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Emoint

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2020, 08:21:31 AM »
Hello new found path, we don't know eachother, but before I came to this site, my childhood was very messed up, i went to counselling when I was 25. I thought i was fixed, but there was still a nagging sense of distrust and self doubt,  still could not have a relationship etc etc. I was brought up by a bunch of narcissists, we were even adopted for a time by relatives who were narcissists. Now at the age of 55 and with my aunty dieing, the final narcissist, the old stuff came out, the underlying foundation to my dysfunctional behaviour. From where I come from the one thing that helped me ready myself for mindfulness and meditation is there is a thing called attachment style. I think if you went on youtube and looked up attachment styles, you get an idea about things that maybe causing the distrust of yourself. There are many different styles, but there is a web site where you can be assessed for what your style is. It helped me know my enemy or enemies to finding contentment with who i was. Now i'm sure there are many people who have a secure attachment style on this site, but there are also members who don't. Secure is the style where your care givers nurture you and you grow into an emotionally balanced person who can empathise with your own and in turn everyone elses emotional states. i don't know anything about you, but my attachment style idea may help to un ravel the blocks you have. Then meditation has less emotional obstacles to navigate through, this is all gentle suggestion, i don't mean to know anything. And perhaps you have already explored this avenue

Matthew

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Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2020, 08:47:31 AM »
We shall see where Shikantaza meditation takes me.  It's a new journey for sure.  You have nothing to fall back - you sit and "just be." You have to trust yourself that there is nothing but you and your mind (neither of which exist inherently). Can I transcend the"I" in just learning *to be*?  Easy? Yeah, right!  All meditations are difficult; it's a like a brick wall everywhere I go in the Buddhist world. LOL. Enlightenment is heavy duty work. A lot of people think that meditation is about feeling blissful. That couldn't be further from the truth, at least not in a Buddhist sense.

It takes time and compassion to get through the shit and into more peaceful practice, more blissful practice. There are many layers of perceptions and other habits of mind to pierce.

One more thing: I find self-acceptance so, so difficult...almost impossible. >:(   The Zen talk a lot about self-acceptance.  Why cannot I just accept myself? I suppose I have am far from understanding the idea of no-self - at least in a profound sense.

Try with something smaller. Seeing things as solid is part of the problem here - see that you are not your habits, not your habits of talking to/about your self, not your habits of feeling, etc. Pick it apart, find one aspect, examine it, is it because your moral compass and behaviours aren't aligned? Change behaviour! Or is it just habits of thinking? Change habits of thinking!

So many of us internalise negative voices from childhood without realising. "You're bad; you can't do anything right" etc etc - such confections, such habits will crumble under the gaze of mindful awareness.

Also as Charlie suggests acceptance and awareness help combat these delusions:

For me, part of accepting myself rests in accepting the fact that I have self-image problems, slightly lower self esteem (Sometimes very low), and all these other defects.


Defective habits and unhelpful conditioning, I propose: in recognition that there's nothing inherently bad about you, just stuff you've learned and need to unlearn, stuff that isn't helpful to you. You are not your behaviours, nor are you you perceptions or thoughts. You are process, and undoing habitual process that is self harming, such as low self esteem, will move you on.

Metta Bhavana helps me find the human in everyone, and in doing so helps me take a step towards accepting the humanity within myself :)


Powerful practice. Compassion begins at home, just as charity does. Compassion for one's own being is the model we build upon in reality.

 
I honestly believe that I can change my negative defects of character simply by continuing to build mindfulness of them and not trying to change them in any other way,


Yes! Awareness/mindfulness cuts through so much. Not much effort needed when mindfulness brings awareness of things as they are. Then they change by being seen.

save actively making a decision not to hurt others when I find myself in a situation where I am gossiping, about to steal, or any other direct action that stems from ignorance and defilement.  If it is regarding me and myself, such as mentally beating myself up for not doing something, I simply recognize it in the moment and let it be there.


Very good, wise words, and this too:

I can however take solace in the fact that I have the intention to make progress.  As long as I am making this daily effort in my walking life, as well as undertaking meditation styles that support my school of thought (Such as non-dual meditations for wisdom in emptiness), I can be confident that change will happen, and my wisdom will expand naturally, as it has no choice.

"You can change yourself" - the most important teaching of the Buddha, according to Tulku Ringu. Your intention to make progress will bring changes. It is the first step, and most important.

The main agent of change is awareness and being mindful: things utterly able to be brought under anyone's control.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 09:51:54 AM by Matthew »
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Dhamma

  • Member
  • May we all fulfill our deepest wish for happiness
    • I take from all Buddhist schools + some yogic schools
Re: How to sit longer without becoming goal-oriented
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2020, 07:22:04 PM »
@ dear Matthew

Shikantaza meditation, thusfar, has been like having been thrown in the middle of the ocean: there is nobody and nothing at all -- it's just me and my mind. It's scary at times. I think it's not fair. Sometimes I think I am drowning and gasping for air, fighting hopelessly like on a plane that is going down; and other times I get so bored, I want to die, thinking "This is all there is?"  But, then, I have moments of extreme peace and contentment, although short-lived. We must to learn to just "be", and be at peace with all phenomena as they arise with no attachment.

This is a journey. I must trust myself and my practice.  There is nowhere to go -- there never was...I can really see this now. But I am not ready to accept this, as my mind is still very delusional.

Love and enlightenment to all!
« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 07:25:45 PM by Dhamma »
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