1st attempt - Dhamma Wheel

1st attempt

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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1st attempt

Postby delf7 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:52 pm

hello all, as you may know, i am new to all of this, but have jumped into the deep end - reading and studying as much as i can, but have been reluctant to attempt meditation untill i have more understanding. last evening i tried meditation for the first time but think i may have "jumped the gun".
one of the books i am reading is "mindfulness in plain english" by bhante gunaratna. i got to a point in the book where i thought i'd just go ahead give it a try. i must say, i think it went well and i'm sure, in time, i will do just fine, but i kept having one particular problem. just as i would get to the point where my mind was starting to become clear my eyes would involuntarily jerk open, like that feeling you get when you are really tired, maybe driving late at night, and your head jerks and your eyes pop wide open, like your body is screaming "WAKE UP!". you know what i'm talking about? your body just "jerks" itself to attention? that just kept happening over & over. just as soon as i'd get to where i wanted to be - BOOM- eyes wide open!!! start over, relax BAM - same thing. i finally gave up for that session.
well, i thought maybe i was actually falling asleep, but i know that wasn't the case. i was fully "awake", as i was experiencing my breathing and was aware of thoughts and signs coming and going. is it just because i am new to the practice and my body was freaking out because it is not used to being awake AND relaxed?
maybe i should wait untill i have finished the book before i attempt again? any advice?
much thanx.
Last edited by delf7 on Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1st attempt

Postby acinteyyo » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:07 pm


great! I don't see any problem. Don't let yourself get distracted by things like that... keep focused on your meditation object. If you got distracted just start anew. You will become accustomed and gain knowledge about what happens during meditation. It is by doing that insight wisdom is cultivated not through thinking.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Re: 1st attempt

Postby bodom » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:35 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

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Re: 1st attempt

Postby manas » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:19 am

Hi delf,
I've been practising breathing meditation, on and off, for about 20 years. When I first began, I was lucky if I could be aware from one breath to the next. Things are much better now, but remember the time frame...20 years...please be very patient with yourself.

Cultivate awareness in daily life. This trains the mind so that when you do come to the sitting, the mind is already in the habit to be aware of where it is, and what it is supposed to be doing. Cultivate sati always. Obviously the intensity will vary, otherwise we would tire ourselves out. But make a beginning, an intention, to 'check in' periodically during the entire course of a day, to 'come back' to awareness of 'where is the mind right now?'. This advice stems from my own previous struggles. I used to be pretty heedless for most of the day, then when it came time to sit in meditation, I would make this really big effort to be mindful. I don't recommend this. It is far more productive, and actually easier, to cultivate sati at a low to moderate level throughout the entire day, so that when sitting time comes, the habit is already there, and the mind will naturally incline to awareness without so much 'willpower' being needed.

I'm not sure if this will help with the problem you mentioned, but I just felt like giving this helpful tip. It did not come cheaply!

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Re: 1st attempt

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:06 am

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Re: 1st attempt

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:41 am

Since you use that book as your guide, you may need to read this as well (same author): ... _Jhana.pdf

That article clear some mistakes, which are normally thought to be correct.

This website may also be useful for you (same author):
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

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