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Meditation Struggles

Azalea2010-07-04 12:56:12 +0000 #1
I conclude my yoga practice with meditation.

I use both Buddhist and Yogic(?) methods; breath concentration, Tratak, focal points, etc.

My mind tends to wander. I have heard that patience and practice are the only solution to this.

What are your thoughts?
BrianClt2010-07-04 13:00:56 +0000 #2

In my opinion, what you've heard is accurate.

It sounds like you're experimenting with a number of approaches, and I think that's good as well. When I first started I tried literally dozens of approaches and techniques before finding one that suited me. Something else that helped me quite a bit was committing to a sitting time and making it non-negotiable. I sit for at least an hour every day. In the beginning, understanding that I was going to sit regardless of outcome for 60 minutes allowed me block some of the paths my mind had a tendency to wander down, i.e., 'nothing's happening,' 'how long has it been,' 'just give up,' etc.

Also, my meditation tends to be a little more yang in that the approach is less about 'trying' and 'doing' and more about 'settling' and 'surrendering.' I don't engage in meditation as much as I release tension and expectation in order to become aware of meditation.

Do you remember 'Magic Eye' images? Geometric designs that produced an almost 3-Dimenshional image? Well, I had a similar experience with those types of images years ago. I looked, no I searched those images every chance I could get, frustrated that I couldn't 'do' it, squinting my eyes in different ways, crossing them, stepping closer, moving further wasn't until I let go of the expectation of seeing the image, that the image finally appeared. First out of the corner of my eye, and eventually as I looked directly at the image.

Even after seeing my first Magic Eye image, it took a bit of practice to be able to see them at will....or more accurately, gain the ability to relax my perception at will which inturn allowed the images to appear.

It's always a little strange to discuss meditation. I think the experiences tend to be so personal that often the best you can hope for is a sort of vague familiarity with the descriptions offered. And, of course, at worst, it ends up sounding like hooey.

Keep trying, relax, release and surrender.


Azalea2010-07-04 13:12:39 +0000 #3
Thank you very much for your thorough and helpful reply. I can relate to the picture analogy. Your ideas on settling instead of trying seem much more effective. I plan on meditating this evening.

Chandra2010-07-04 13:53:32 +0000 #4
Dear Azalea,

Are you practicing meditation under the guidance of an experienced teacher? The yoga sutras provide many valuable insights and guidance regarding meditation practice. The mind's tendency is to wander, and to become distracted. It is important to consider the object of focus so that is calming to the mind, rather than disruptive.

I would recommend that less is more. The boredom and agitation which arise are a normal part of the cleansing process of meditation and are to be treated with the same dispassion with which one observes the contents of the mind, rising to the surface and dissipating after some time.

I would recommend that you have a look at Desikachar's book The Heart of Yoga, which gives much practical advise regarding building one's own yoga practice, as well as the methods, goals and stumbling blocks in a meditation practice. His style of teaching provides an easy introduction to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.


Azalea2010-07-04 14:20:47 +0000 #5
Chandra, Thank you very much for your reply!

I'll look those books up on Amazon...
Man of Tao2010-07-04 13:27:33 +0000 #6
From a Taoist (different) perspective, I would say give up trying to empty your mind of all thoughts, complete emptiness is attained as the highest goal and final attainment in classic taoist meditation. Some argue that its impossible to achieve since abstaining from thought is thought itself. For a beginner simply focus on your breath.

Other tips:

Do not eat prior to meditation

Yang energy is at its highest point between 11 pm and 1 am

Direct sunlight should be avoided

Plants in the room are good for thier oxygen
Mahalingam2010-07-04 15:42:40 +0000 #7
Namaskar Yogis!

This be my first post here.

So, who here has had success with the third Pada?
qha2010-07-04 14:14:51 +0000 #8
Hi folks. Have any of you found that certain more than othersareas even within a particular space yeild better results for meditation?. In terms of not drifting, I remember being curious about meditation during childhood but I was too restless and impatient during meditation. Years later I am at it trying to be more steady along with yoga and find that I need to learn to get passed being ansy nearing 10 mins. There was a time that I used to meditate and had some very strange and interesting experiences to the point I had to journal them. I like the idea of focusing on breath.. especially Ujjaji (spelling?) style. I used to have a better "third eye" focus or somewhere that you should look upward between the eyes/brows rather than straight forward but as I relax my eyes seem to just drift down and I start towards sleep if I don't catch myself.
Google5132010-07-04 16:42:42 +0000 #9
Hey Ya'all i dont like to admit it but i have trouble meditating at times

even though i am a teacher i find myself looking at some of my students at times especially the male students they are usally very fit and have nice abs and buttocks, but that besides the point u must learn to focus i do to i will never b perfect but i will try my best to make the best of my meditational skills and stop looking at my students in the wrong ways PEACE LOVE AND SEX

Thank You,

Fellow Flexmaster
Questor2010-07-04 17:10:38 +0000 #10
I’ve always had a problem with just emptying my mind. I like to focus on something, such as the inhalation and exhalation of breath. That’s a favourite.

Other things you could try are sounds or mantras, om is nice; colours; focus on a scene/picture; a moving meditation. Heck even washing the dishes can lead one to a meditative state.

The idea is to not fight with the elimination of your thoughts, but to simply allow that they exist and let them slide into the background as background “noise” if you will. This allows your mind to…expand. Wonderful.
Atmo Deepak2010-07-04 16:54:01 +0000 #11
Dear Azalea:

I think that before embarking ourselves in meditation we should start by building mental stamina and concentration.

It is similar to training ourselves for running a 10K race, first we should start by walking, then jogging and eventually running for short distances and the, when properly trained, longer ones.

When you meditate is not distance what is involved but time and you are training both the body to be still and the mind to be focus.

I respectfuly suggest that you start by doing concentration drills in short spans of time. For example start the first day by counting down from 10 to 1 with each exalation, if your mind wanders of go back to 10. The second day try starting from 15 and so on.

Eventually, after some days you will be able to count from 100 to 1 without your mind wandering off... then you will be ready to start meditating.

While doing so treat yourself with tender loving care and patience and JOY! We forget to be happy. By the way if at some point in time you feel like crying, go ahead, open the faucets and then... laugh about it...

When you have achievable goals eventhough they are for short spans of time you start building up your conficence and saying goodby to your frustration.

To me meditation is a training to be aware for what is going on, in and around me, for the rest of the day.

I hope this helps you.

Atmo Deepak



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