All posts tagged “first”
▼davidbhayes — 4 years ago — permalinkObviously "tried" can be a bit of a fuzzy thing. But one "attempt" really caught in my mind.
I'd put together a little stack of somewhat firm pillow to sit on, and I got comfortable. And I sat there. Breath in, breath out. "Huh, I wonder what that thing over there is? …" Return. Breath in, breath out. Gone. … I managed to stay with this cycle for I'd guess five minutes, though I wasn't making any effort to track time or get to some benchmark, and then I thought "I suck at this and it's no fun." And I got up and I left.
That basic story had probably played out at least five different times in slightly different forms for the previous five years. On my own, without any guideline or social pressure, I just kind of "bounced off" meditation because it's kind of hard and frustrating. I'd do it with a group, or a friend, or alone, once and then forget the whole idea. (Most of my life I've been the kind of person who does things that they're naturally good at and runs from almost all other activities. I've gotten better at it, but that's the logic I'm describing here.)
Anyway, this time I'd recognized the cycle and really had some resolve that I'd come back. I left the stack of pillows in the disused corner of a room, and I earnestly intended to try this for at least three times before I'd give up. And so I came back. And it was still really hard and frustrating for me — the disappointment that I couldn't do this "simple" thing of staying with my breathing got to me — but I'd heard enough about the good of meditation, and I'd listened to enough dharma talks that I wasn't under the false illusion that I was the only one this activity could be difficult for.
So I came back the next day. And it was a bit easier, but I still didn't manage five minutes. And then I forgot, and came back the day after. And after a while on intending to do it regularly I hit a consistent five minutes every day. And I thought "Ten minutes would be an eternity, but I should try." And I've pretty much been going like that ever since.
▼hanjini — 3 years ago — permalinkI went to a class on vipassana because I was in a lot of emotional pain following my divorce. I remember I was eager for the talk to end so we could begin the actual breathing. I remember being in complete shock to discover that beyond any emotional grief I was feeling, my entire back was an experience of sharp pain as if knives were stabbing all over it. It was a relevation of how disconnected I was from my body and how my thinking was not exactly accurate about what was going on.
▼gustavo.picado — 3 years ago — permalinkI tried to sit on the floor without anything under my feet, and felt too much pain on the side bones of my feet that I coudn't even focus. I started to sweat and realized it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I just came up with a way to sit confortably (still on the floor) and that was it, haha.
The second time I tried is the one that can be called my first time meditating, and I managed to focus a little bit on my breathing, but I found really hard to stop my monkey-mind. It was challenging, instructive, but not very succesful.
▼capemaggie — 3 years ago — permalink
i'm no expert, but i think your session was "successful". the presence of monkey mind does not determine successful vs. unsuccessful; i'm not even certain success and meditation are words that go together. as soon as we are judging our experience and our performance, we are leaving the non-judgmental mind that is part of meditation.
i've been meditating off and on for years and i still have incredible monkey mind. every time i notice i've gone off with my thoughts and bring myself back to my breath (compassionately), i'm being mindful.
i'm glad you mentioned "success" in your post. it reminds me of the "how did it feel" rating here on Medivate. i don't use that anymore. reading Pema Chodron and many others has led me to the realization that how a sitting "feels" is probably no indication of how much i might have gained from it. those sittings where i'm feeling anxious, upset, whatever - don't feel good but they may teach me so much about how i deal with different emotions. anyway, i think judging "how it felt" is probably irrelevant at best and misleading or even harmful at worst. once again, non-judgmentalism.
▼gustavo.picado — 3 years ago — permalinkHi, thank you for repplying my post. I wasn't expecting that! haha
I am very new to meditation, and I (can't remember where) read about this non-judgmentalism... Until this moment I was always relating how much "focus on the present moment" I was able to get on the meditation session to "how good was it" or to the how it felt rating. But reading your comment made me realize that judging a practice of (amongst other things) non-judging the things around and inside you is extremely contradictory.
Well, i agree with you and I am going to take your advice and try to stop judging my meditation-related things.
And about the monkey mind, isn't one of the "goals" of meditation just observing the thoughts without applying any judgement to it (wasn't a rethorical question, I am a newbie after all haha)? If this is true, perhaps we can say that the monkey mind is a important factor to a "succesful" meditation (succesful always in quotes now!), I would say...
And sorry if I had any grammar mistakes... English is not my native language and I'm actually a little rusty on it. So, feel free to correct me any time :p