"Don't just do something, sit there."   (view our quote database)


All posts tagged “practice”

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Question for February 17, 2013: Not Meditating
Medivate — 5 years ago — in Question of the Week
What's a reason you give for not meditating? Do you have a compelling response?

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Shakuhachi — 4 years ago — permalink
Sometimes I am too sleepy or somthing on TV I would rather watch.
If I put meditation off to do somehting else I may or may not get back too it.
I have many possible distractions, pets & family.
Then if I have a very good meditation followed by not so good I get depressed and discouraged.
Sometimes I am just too impatient to sit there.

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emmacat — 4 years ago — permalink
By the lack of replies to this post, I'm guessing I'm not the only one who found this question uncomfortable to ponder. The first thing that comes up is, rather predictably, I don't have enough time to sit as much as I would want to. But that's an excuse, not a reason. I used to have conversations in my head to justify not meditating, lately I don't even try. When I lie to myself, it kind of defeats the purpose of having a practice in the first place. The truth is, sometimes Idon't have the courage to connect with what's going on in my mind and heart. There are days when Im going through something painful I just can't sit before I go to work because I need to be functioning. I've been meditating for almost a year and I still have bouts of escapism. The thing with meditation is that it leaves me with no place to hide and sometimes I don't have the strength to stay with my feelings. 

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
Yeah, I definitely sometimes put off meditation because what's going on in my mind is uncomfortable, even though actually doing it would help hugely.
A more common problem for me is just that even when it's wonderful, meditation isn't necessarily fun. They're two different things, it seems; and fun things seem to be a lot more habit-forming...

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emmacat — 4 years ago — permalink
Hmmm... that's an interesting distinction. I can relate to that, when I have a pleasant meditation session I think: 'I wanna do it more' but I end up sticking to my planned times or even skipping it altogether the very next day. I think its because I can't really count on the next session being as good, but I know I'm going to like the next episode of my favorite show. 

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Question for February 24, 2013: Eyes Open or Closed
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, are your eyes open or closed? Why?

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Shakuhachi — 4 years ago — permalink
Closed, though sometimes I will briefly open them just a little.

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terrormortus — 4 years ago — permalink
Personally I keep them closed. Without all the visual information coming in it helps me to focus on my breathing. 

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Question for April 7, 2013: Consistent Practice
Medivate — 4 years ago — in Question of the Week
What makes it difficult for you to meditate regularly?

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fredclaymeyer — 4 years ago — permalink
Well, busyness. And, more than that, I think a general sense of busyness that I carry around throughout the day?
There's also this feeling that I've trained myself to see meditation as something I "have" to do--even though when I actually sit down to do it it's one of the most pleasurable parts of my day.
Pretty weird...

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Question for April 13, 2014: Progress
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
What signs have you seen of "progress" in your meditation practice? Do you think it's good to look for them?

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
There are so many ways to count progress! On one hand, I feel sometimes like I've even worse than I ever was — more quick to shift focus to novel and interesting phenomena, more prone to seek them out, more likely to float away into some diffuse state of inattention — but I suspect more than a little that this is simply a result of being better at observing it. That behaviors that escaped my attention in the past are coming into focus.
In my daily life — which for me definitely should be scored here — I regularly notice times when I'm pretty sure a past version of me would be quite anxious or angry when I find myself largely unmoved. It's been a while since I found myself suddenly worked up in one state or another, and much more common that I see that I could get worked up in a situation and choose not to.
For me, it's obviously a good idea to look for encouraging signs that result from meditation. Knowing and understanding the benefits of this (or any) behavior is to me one of the best motivations to keep doing it. In noticing the changes in my daily life that I'm pretty sure are related to working with mindfulness in meditation, I'm much more sure and committed to keeping up the practice. 
The one caveat I would make about looking for progress though, is that you must be careful when doing it not to expect too much too soon. It took me many months of sitting regularly before I felt confident of any change having happened. It seems hard to have much awareness of ourselves over time. It seems like a hard thing for us to track, our memories are so malleable, and our memories of mental phenomenon seem like they may be especially so.
I recalling hear an exchange attributed to the (current) Dalai Lama. Someone asked when they would notice changes as a result of regular meditation. He said to "check in" in five years. Then they might notice something. Sustaining the practice if you're not able to be patient with the possibility for changes seems to me it would be very hard. Understanding meditation's slow effectiveness seems essential to having the faith and confidence to keep going and making a point of doing the practice.

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Question for August 24, 2014: Religious Component
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
For you, does meditation practice have a religious component? Why? How?

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widjajanti — 3 years ago — permalink
I don't know. I just feel "I want to do it", not "I must do it".

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Formlessness — 3 years ago — permalink
"Religious" is a difficult word. I would say that meditation has given me insight into the nature of reality, because it has given me insight into the mind which I use to experience and live in reality. All our experiences are interpreted by our mind conceptually. We make connections and distinctions using conceptual structures, which are conditioned by language, behaviour patterns, brain wiring etc. So we see a car, rather than a collection of shapes and colours. Even shapes and colours are concepts; we never see "red" but shades which more or less approximate red. With different conceptual structures, we would experience the world differently. With no conceptual structures, we would experience nothing at all. Through meditation, you can change or even shut off your conceptual mind temporarily. Without a conceptual grounding, reality is "empty", which doesn't mean that reality doesn't exist. It means that no conceptual interpretation is what reality is, though some interpretations are more useful than others.

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Question for September 7, 2014: Surprises of Retreat
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever completed a meditation retreat? If so, what part of that experience most surprised you?

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gordon — 3 years ago — permalink
What surprised me the most was the intensity of the feeling or impulse to share a joke and yet knowing I could not, because we are in silence, and finding that quite funny.

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
I think I'd probably really struggle with that silence aspect too. I'm generally a pretty quiet and reserved person, but I think a hard barrier of "always refrain from speaking" would be kind of jarring to me as well.

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Lullabyehaze — 3 years ago — permalink
On two or three occasions, I have done a 2.5-day personal meditation retreat. I reserved a small cabin at a nearby Buddhist retreat center and planned my own time. These are some of the best days that I have spent in terms of relaxation, figuring things out, dealing with crises and re-setting my habits. 
I would plan a tentative schedule for the time beforehand but be open to changes that might need to happen. My schedule includes the following:
Sitting meditation
Walking meditation
Yoga/stretching
Journaling
Coloring mandalas
Reading spiritual or meditative books
Walking/hiking
I think what surprised me was that I would go through a time of feeling bored and questioning why I would spend time and money to do this., after being so excited about it. This was on the first night, I think. By the end, the benefits were clear and I wished for another day!

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patricia1958 — 3 years ago — permalink
I participated in  a 3 month Tsongkhapa retreat recommended by my Gelugpa Teacher.
At the end of this month I will engage in the next segment of my Ganglognma retreat (Manjushri) for ten days. This retreat will last three years three months and an odd number of days, practicing for ten days every other month and collecting seven malas per session. The Ganglongma retreats are much less elaborate than the Tsongkhapa one that I did this past summer. But both are great for removing mental and spiritual obstacles. The thing that surprised me the most was that I was sad that it ended.

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Question for October 19, 2014: Eyes: Open or Closed?
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, are your eyes open or closed? Why?

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
I do both.
Especially when I'm feeling tired, I find it useful to have one more stop before I can accidentally be asleep. But I also find having the eyes open — sort of unfocused in the middle distance — has another aspect of being a little more energetic for me (and making it easier to touch into things like restlessness) than when my eyes are closed.
I do like the aspect of having your eyes closed where it's much easier to be still and peaceful. For me that my eyes can't quite so easily go seeking an interesting thing to rest upon (and then think about...) can be really helpful.

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chenthillrulz — 3 years ago — permalink
Looks like there is a bug. I was able to see the reply, only after following the user. Until before, I never followed anybody and so never knew u had replied :)
Yes, I also at times used get sleep in the past. I have observed that it usually happens when there the mind gets engrossed in thoughts, when a conversation goes on inside. 
I love playing badminton, motorbike ride, running after a good meditation session. Its just so wonderful to witness the activities and how our body performs everything automatically!! Esp. in badminton, get to play some new shots and would get surprised after playing it, would be super awesome!!

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gordon — 3 years ago — permalink
Closed. Because it is comfortable and seems to work.

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Yolanda — 3 years ago — permalink
In our tradition we meditate with our eyes open because what we are trying to cultivate is mindfulness and awareness.  So the meditation session is a way to train yourself in how to be in the world, centered and with an inner peace.

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chenthillrulz — 3 years ago — permalink
closed. Meditation is about dropping the intentions arising in the mind by just staying with 'what is' and allowing the awareness to flow. Doing this is easy when the eyes are closed.
Moreover the mind and body gets in to action mode and move outwards easily, when eyes are opened. Once the staying with 'what is' starts happening with closed eyes, it automatically starts manifesting when eyes are open and when start performing activities such as work, sports etc. Making every act a meditation. This is my observation.

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Question for January 25, 2015: Consistent Practice
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
What makes it difficult for you to meditate regularly?

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davidbhayes — 3 years ago — permalink
It's not something that necessary makes it difficult for me — I just keep going, because I'm quite committed — but I sometimes suffer from a "rote" — dry, just going through the motion, uninspired — period (days or weeks) of meditation. When those things come up, I find it useful to more intentionally seek out inspiring books, dharma talks, etc than I usually do. It doesn't always work, but it's the best way I've found to deal with it.

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Question for September 13, 2015: Progress
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
What signs have you seen of "progress" in your meditation practice? Do you think it's good to look for them?

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Question for November 29, 2015: Not Meditating
Medivate — 2 years ago — in Question of the Week
What's a reason you give for not meditating? Do you have a compelling response?

1

Question for August 7, 2016: Religious Component
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
For you, does meditation practice have a religious component? Why? How?

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Question for August 21, 2016: Surprises of Retreat
Medivate — 1 year ago — in Question of the Week
Have you ever completed a meditation retreat? If so, what part of that experience most surprised you?

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Question for November 13, 2016: Eyes Open or Closed
Medivate — 9 months ago — in Question of the Week
When meditating, are your eyes open or closed? Why?

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Synelg — 9 months ago — permalink
Usually closed, but if I feel sleepy, I will open my eyes for as long as it takes to get rid of the sleepiness or dullness.

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felixleif — 9 months ago — permalink
If nature is all that is in front of me, then I shall look and meditate on its completeness.

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Question for January 22, 2017: Consistent Practice
Medivate — 7 months ago — in Question of the Week
What makes it difficult for you to meditate regularly?

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Question for August 13, 2017: Progress
Medivate — 1 week ago — in Question of the Week
What signs have you seen of "progress" in your meditation practice? Do you think it's good to look for them?