I've begun sitting my mind seems much busier with thoughts.
Can meditation have the opposite effect than our goal
we sit still, we experience—perhaps for the
first time—the real state of our mind. Most
of us are shocked at how busy our minds are. Such
a welter of discursive thoughts, a vortex.. You may
be amazed b this and wonder if meditation is actually
bad for you.
The simplicity of meditation unmasks how much gobbledygook
is going on all the time. Meditation texts have many
images for what we discover: a waterfall of thoughts,
babbling brook, violent cascade… The first
thing we often discover is how unbelievanbly discursive,
how fickle we are.
are the benefits of long-term retreat? A
want to sit, at least I think I do. What I've read
and heard in this course makes so much sense. But I
find myself avoiding and sometimes even dreading sitting. A While
making friends with yourself sounds sounds quite nice,
warm and fuzzy, when it comes down to it there’s
a huge amount of ambivelance and avoidance. It’s
a challenge to work with our mind, If there was a part
of our body that was as undisciplined as our mind,
we’d be in a hospital, we’d be at the doctor’s
office or the gym. We try to rest our mind, it won’t
rest. When you try to find it it hides. When we want
to go to sleep it wakes up, When we want to be awake
it goes to sleep.
I feel like I'm really taming my mind in meditation.
Sometimes I experience what I'd call bliss states.
Then the next day my mind is out of control and I feel
like I'm getting nowhere.
it feels worse than just getting nowhere. How about
taking a break if it's really bad?
meditation really a place to be looking at painful
emotions? That doesn't sound like peaceful abiding
I see calm and peace in my life outside of meditation?
really look forward to my meditiaton time. But then
when the time comes I have trouble sitting down and
you stay you want to go, when you go you
want to stay. When your situation is like
that, the best pace for you is the meditation
it areally alright if I can only sit ten minutes a
A Setting your goals and holding to them is most important.
Ten to fifteen minutes a day, even a few times a week, is a lot better
than nothing. Better not to be unrealistically ambitious.
The secret is that the difference between zero and
ten minutes is a quantum leap bigger than between
ten minutes and ten hours… Why is that? If
we can’t ever sit — if we can’t
ever do it — it’s because we’re
be driven by and following after our thoughts as
if they’re all real. And if we can stop for
ten minutes and get some perspective on our minds
and step outside the momentum our thoughts and emotions,
that’s a big deal.
We've emphasized over and over again in this course
the importance of taking the posture, of ecpressing
the intention, "I'm going to practice for ten
minutes." Of course if you can do ten minutes
you might be able to do a bit longer. The important
thing is to commit and try.
does my peacefulness help the rest of the world?
A Iif we can extend lovingkindness, compassion and clarity
to ourselves it inevitably spills out to the rest of our world. And If
we’re driven by pain, anxiety, neuroses, conflict internally it
inevitably spills out into the world. If the world is run by mean-spirited,
angry, scared people, it’s going to be a scary, mean aggressive
world. If the world run by people who are kind and confident and clear
and willing to take a chance, it can be a very different world. tbd
of the antidotes is effort and this course has encouraged
effort and determination. Sometimes I feel I am being
lazy. But other times — maybe as my own antdote
to my laziness — I feel I'm trying too hard. A When
we begin meditation practice, you may experience the
obstacle of trying too hard.
We think meditation practice is something special or different, that
we’ve got to twist or shape force ourself into something we’re
not. The entire point of meditation is to tune ourselves in to the innate
wakefulness that’s already there.
Because that’s the point of
meditation practice, because it’s that’s
direction we’re going in, one of the most important
instructions is to relax. Relax. This is not an invitation
In conventional life there’s
often a dichotomy between work and play, between
exertion and relaxation. And often exertion has a
of connotation of pain or obligation, and rest a
connotation of floping and relief and we go back
and forth between the two
Buddhism is known as the middle way
between extremes, and sitting meditation practice
exemplifies this. There’s a sense of relaxation
but it’s relaxation with a sense of precision,
presence, developing a gentle affection and interest
in our experience moment to moment.
it important to find a group to meditate with?
A Many people find a balance is most productive. Most
of us find it’s hard to establish a practice on our own. Some
people have strong individual discipline. Many find the practice slips
away and that a group's support and schedule help.
Group practice is supportive, but you
don’t want to be dependent on a group either.
So a balance is ideal. In a group when you experience
a time when you really can’t stand it any more,
you don’t leave because no one else is leaving.
At home you’d be out of there –lured
by the refrigerator, the telephone, out the front
door, whatever it is. But solitary practice is also
important, because you have to mix it with your life.
Setting up a space at home that’s
supportive helps maintain your practice. This doesn’t
have to be a separate meditation room, but create
a place where your immediiate visual field is not
too cluttered and distracting sounds and objects.