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All posts tagged “progress”

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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 October 26, 2014: Progress in Meditation
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you believe that one can meaningfully change their experience through and in meditation? How?

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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 September 25, 2016: Progress in Meditation
Medivate — 11 months ago — in Question of the Week
Do you believe that one can meaningful change their experience through and in meditation? How?

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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?