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Starting to nod off during meditation - Dhamma Wheel

Starting to nod off during meditation

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Snufkin
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Location: United Kingdom

Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby Snufkin » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:22 pm

Had this problem for a little while, it doesn't happen every time I meditate, but it's started to be more frequent. I'll be following my breath, and then next minute I feel like I'm almost being nudged backwards and I realise I had stopped following my breath and started to nod off to sleep. This happens even when I'm not very tired. I try to renew my focus on breathing and continue, but it often happens again. It seems to have only started to happen when I increased my meditation time to 30 minutes.

Nothing in MIPE seems to really address the issue properly. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thank you.

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bodom
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Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby bodom » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:50 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

Snufkin
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 11:53 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby Snufkin » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:04 pm

Thanks for your reply, I did read that part, but I didn't find it to be very helpful, I've tried investigating it but it's over before I even realise it's happening, and the breathing technique works for a bit but then I seem to relapse.

I'll continue trying these techniques, as I don't have a lot of space to perform walking meditation, especially without disturbing others.

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bodom
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Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby bodom » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:12 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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LonesomeYogurt
Posts: 900
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Location: America

Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:36 pm

Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


Snufkin
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Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 11:53 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby Snufkin » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:40 pm

I do tend to meditate around 11am - 1pm. So I can't see any reason for actually being worn out.
How would I go about body scanning? Thank you.

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daverupa
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Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby daverupa » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:09 pm


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tiltbillings
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Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:12 pm


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marc108
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Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby marc108 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:49 pm

It's normal to start to get a little drowsy as the mind becomes still, relaxing into the first half an hour or so of meditation is very similar to the process of going to sleep. Bhante G's suggestion, as posted above, to hold the breath works well for me. You can just stand up and continue practice as well. Keeping the lights on is usefull. I find that if I begin to practice Satipatthana on the drowsy state, concentrate on it and deconstruct it, it will usually lift as long as I'm not severely physically tired. When you're trying with intensity to catch and understand that hindrance, energy is aroused into investigation and you become very interested, which generally lifts the drowsiness. Directions for body scanning can be found in Ajahn Sucittos meditation manual in the hinderances section, under lethargy:
http://forestsanghapublications.org/vie ... 12&ref=vec
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

befriend
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Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby befriend » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:28 pm

put your hands over your head.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

Snufkin
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Location: United Kingdom

Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby Snufkin » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:03 pm


Nyana
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Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby Nyana » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:14 pm


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daverupa
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Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby daverupa » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:26 am


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Ben
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Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:30 am

Greetings Snufkin,

The vast majority of experienced meditation practitioners are not only familiar, but intimately familiar with the hindrances and their own battles to overcome them. They are hindrances because they are difficult, but not impossible to overcome. And in one respect, they are an indication of some progress.

I hope the following publication will be of interest, if not help, to you.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el026.html
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

monkey_brain
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Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby monkey_brain » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:22 am

Just a hopeful note from my own (still immature) practice. Sleepiness/drowsiness was the most common issue in the first 4-6 months of my sitting practice. Now, 18 months into it, it is an extremely uncommon guest. Nor did I really do or change anything that might have been a "solution" to it. It just gradually went away on its own. Since then, there have been other "problems" that came for awhile, and then took themselves off. Not to play down any of the good advice already given, but also I think sometimes problems just take care of themselves if you give them some time.

Wishing you the best,
Paul J.

Nyana
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Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby Nyana » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:15 am


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mikenz66
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Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:25 am


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daverupa
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Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby daverupa » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:52 am


Nyana
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Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby Nyana » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:36 pm


FrancesB
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Re: Starting to nod off during meditation

Postby FrancesB » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:44 pm

I am just reading a book of Ani Tenzin Palmo's talks. She suggests several things: eyes open, be in a cool environment, avoid heavy meals before meditation, placing a small dish of cold water on top of your head and finally she tells about a friend who meditated sitting on the edge of a deep well and never had drowsiness problems!
Those last two are completely new to me, and I suspect that I would then become distracted rather than drowsy!


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