Doomguy93 wrote:So I've been trying to improve my meditation for the past few weeks, I've seen improvements but I just wanted some input on what I've been experiencing. When I first sit down to meditate my mind is generally distracted, after 10 to 15 minutes (sometimes 5 minutes on a good day) I can quiet the mind down and only focus on the breathing for the most part but sometimes I still notice thoughts is it normal to take that long to quiet the mind down?
With mindfulness outside of meditation, is it the simply awareness of the body/mind/perceptions those perceptions/mind objects pass, and awareness of the body? The reason why I ask this is because the general explanation is pretty simplistic, yet so hard to actually achieve sometimes.
Doomguy93 wrote: but sometimes I still notice thoughts is it normal to take that long to quiet the mind down?
With mindfulness outside of meditation, is it the simply awareness of the body/mind/perceptions those perceptions/mind objects pass, and awareness of the body?
Qing Tian wrote:In my personal experience I have found that the advice to 'focus on the breath' is somewhat misleading - more a wrong choice of words. Focus implies concentration, and concentration implies control. In anapanasati it is sufficient to simply observe the ebb and flow of the breath, neither focussing nor controlling it. This can be something of a slippery concept as the mind just loves to latch onto things and play with them! And so, once again in my experience, most people have a bit of trouble at the beginning because their intention to relax the mind and focus on the breathing leads to a forced breathing pattern that actually increases tension. In letting go of the 'focus' part and merely observing, the breath becomes softer and more natural, with natural and subtle rhythms (it's not a metronome!). As the practice deepens one can become aware of the the simplicity of observation and often the first glimmer of the mind set free. Of course, as soon as this is noted the mind latches onto it and refocuses and we have to start all over again
It takes time and patience to move from a state of expectation to a state of simple acceptance.
TL:DR take home message: do not control the breath during anapanasati
Disclaimer: the above is based on my own experience. Your experiences may vary.
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