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Question for March 15, 2015: First Time
Medivate — 3 years ago — in Question of the Week
Do you remember the very first time you tried meditation? What was it like?

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hanjini — 3 years ago — permalink
I 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.

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gustavo.picado — 3 years ago — permalink
I 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.

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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. 

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gustavo.picado — 3 years ago — permalink
Hi, 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
See ya!