Dharma Wheel

A Buddhist discussion forum on Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism
It is currently Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:06 pm

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Forum rules


Please click here to view the forum rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Moving in a rut
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:43 pm
Posts: 65
Location: India
I try to meditate. Thoughts 'ambush' me, catch myself, sigh, return to breath. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It feels like I am going in circles. Does this even have any benefit? I am not sure what I must do for a breakthrough.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Moving in a rut
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:15 am
Posts: 227
Music wrote:
I try to meditate. Thoughts 'ambush' me, catch myself, sigh, return to breath. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It feels like I am going in circles. Does this even have any benefit? I am not sure what I must do for a breakthrough.


If you do it every day it does have a benefit. In my humble opinion there is not such thing as "try to meditate". When we start we have to much expectations and we don't even know what a calm state is so why think "now im meditating" "now im not"?. Just go back to the breath and enjoy it, the fact that you can see that you are distracted its already a good thing!. We all feel frustrated at first, but the hardest thing is not to stay focus but to manage our expectations. Enjoy it, dont expect nothing!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Moving in a rut
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:13 pm 
Offline
Global Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Posts: 3037
Location: Olympia WA
It definitely has a benefit...like anything else we get better at it by practicing. Eventually you can have some measure of control of thoughts as they arise, get quicker at knowing when you are getting involved with them, and also be able to 'adjust' concentration levels in a way that makes it easier to avoid involvement with them. If it's hard with the breath you can try using a visual object too. Personally I find that the busier my mind is the more I need the external object.

_________________
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits


Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Moving in a rut
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:18 pm 
Online
Former staff member
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Posts: 10290
Location: Greece
Music wrote:
I try to meditate. Thoughts 'ambush' me, catch myself, sigh, return to breath. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It feels like I am going in circles. Does this even have any benefit? I am not sure what I must do for a breakthrough.
More circles, you will find that the circles will slowly get bigger and bigger.
:namaste:

_________________
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Moving in a rut
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:29 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:29 am
Posts: 148
Our Minds are highly programmable. Like in outer space, without much influence of gravity, whichever direction you "push" an object floating over there, it will continue on that new path, and if you push it towards another direction, it will take the new direction and continue on its way. Likewise, in our usual life, our mind is used to enjoying the objects of senses, we are always in internal dialogue, we interested in new things (latest TV episode of your serial, news, family matters, parties, gossip etc). But if you put effort and train your mind to observe the breath silent, as time passes on, with your perseverance, your mind will "get used to" observing the breath. Now you will actually have to put effort to again partake in mundane social matters and life. For example, that mundane state of mind is the "ground state" which the mind automatically assumes when you are not holding the monkey mind by observation, but if you practice anapana for a prolonged time, the observation of breath, will become the new "ground state" to which the mind will automatically revert if you are not especially making it indulge back in the normal world.

I personally think that Mahayana means not allowing the mind to develop any such "ground state" at all, not even the Jhanas.

That is my personal opinion and I appreciate if I am corrected by more knowledgeable members.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Moving in a rut
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:54 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am
Posts: 993
Rakshasa wrote:
I personally think that Mahayana means not allowing the mind to develop any such "ground state" at all, not even the Jhanas.

That is my personal opinion and I appreciate if I am corrected by more knowledgeable members.


You're right - but doesn't than mean that we are then free to watch whatever show we like, and sit in whatever state arises, and not cling at all?

_________________
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Moving in a rut
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:02 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am
Posts: 993
Regarding the O.P. - it reminds me of something I read way back by... I think it was Alan Wallace, about how we chase our own tail until we become exhausted and then just give up, at which point insight arrives. I will search for it and link you when I find it.

_________________
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Moving in a rut
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:05 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:30 am
Posts: 1355
Quote:
If you feel obscured, bow down before sacred objects and walk around them, make offerings and give alms, apologize for misdeeds, and so forth with deep-felt sincerity. Make yearning prayers that samadhi may arise within you. Then continue the practice.

-Clarifying the Natural State pg. 22
So the Four Powers basically, with aspiration prayers. Maybe 35 Buddha practice?

_________________
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Moving in a rut
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:54 pm 
Offline
Former staff member
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 am
Posts: 2995
Location: British Columbia
Music wrote:
I try to meditate. Thoughts 'ambush' me, catch myself, sigh, return to breath. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It feels like I am going in circles. Does this even have any benefit? I am not sure what I must do for a breakthrough.


Are the basics in place?

Regular practice, twenty minutes once or twice a day
Sila - no murdering people,
no bonking the neighbour's wife
no stealing
no lying
no drugs

In my experience, you need to be doing pretty well in all five to move forward.

_________________
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Moving in a rut
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:33 pm
Posts: 407
Music wrote:
I try to meditate. Thoughts 'ambush' me, catch myself, sigh, return to breath. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It feels like I am going in circles. Does this even have any benefit? I am not sure what I must do for a breakthrough.


How wonderful that you catch yourself each time you are distracted. It is the catching aspect of the practice that is the essence of mindfulness. Each time you catch yourself is a break-through. Keep on keeping on.

_________________
All things are unworthy of clinging to (sabbe dhammā nâla abhinivesāyā). --Buddha
If there is clinging, you do not have the view. --Drakpa Gyaltsen


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Moving in a rut
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:25 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 6:54 am
Posts: 825
Location: Virginia, USA
Quote:
I try to meditate. Thoughts 'ambush' me, catch myself, sigh, return to breath. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It feels like I am going in circles. Does this even have any benefit? I am not sure what I must do for a breakthrough.


Getting frustrated happens when you expect alot from meditation, the best bet is to focus on relaxing and just let your thoughts do whatever they want, keep returning to the breath but when a thought comes up try welcoming it in like a good friend. Hope that helps. :)

_________________
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Moving in a rut
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:02 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:50 pm
Posts: 466
Music wrote:
I try to meditate. Thoughts 'ambush' me, catch myself, sigh, return to breath. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It feels like I am going in circles. Does this even have any benefit? I am not sure what I must do for a breakthrough.


For quite a while I thought of myself as the world's worst meditator so I sympathise Music. While we might think we have less ability than others, it really does come down sticking with it on a daily basis. I also found reading lots of books helped as it builds a faith in the Buddha's teachings and therefore the method we are trying to apply.

Metta
Punya

_________________
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Moving in a rut
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:47 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am
Posts: 993
Sorry, I can't find that reference, too many years have gone by.

Personally I found focusing on the breathing to be really hard at first, and like Music here I had no idea what was supposed to happen. It wasn't until I started doing guided visualization meditations that it really clicked for me. I think I just found easier to have something more to focus on with clear instructions along the way.

_________________
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Moving in a rut
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:50 pm
Posts: 371
Music wrote:
I try to meditate. Thoughts 'ambush' me, catch myself, sigh, return to breath. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It feels like I am going in circles. Does this even have any benefit? I am not sure what I must do for a breakthrough.


As Greg wrote "more circles", maybe a residential meditation retreat could help. Also as Catmoon suggested starting with observation of 5 precepts is excellent advice. :smile:


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 13 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group