Theres no incorrect method to meditate, due to the fact that all “mistakes” only serve to exacerbate our suffering, and for that reason increase our earnestness to come back to try meditation once again. Life is really great at putting in fail-safes against our own ineptness.
“If your mind is empty, it is constantly all set for anything, it is open to whatever. In the novices mind there are numerous possibilities, however in the professionals mind there are couple of.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
I constantly state that anxiety was my very first spiritual teacher and it started teaching me at an extremely young age.
Something moved within me, and I felt the “controller” launch its grasp on me. There was absolutely nothing to control. There was simply life moving, and life was just meant to be lived as it comes.
I spent a great deal of time spinning my wheels searching for the ideal formula to peaceful my mind I thought if I concentrated hard enough, if I concentrated on the breath the right method, if I limited external sounds and interruptions … then my mind would peaceful down and I would find fact. The mind was the one continuously looking for the ideal formula, the best course, the ideal insight.
Lost within my own mental battles, I attempted to fulfill his troubles through my regular need to manage life. Anyone who has ever had an enjoyed one experiencing dependency knows that were never ever in control of the situation. I foolishly pushed forward and selfishly tried to manage Marks experience.
Unfortunately Mark lost his fight against dependency in 2017. Ive come to see that Mark was my spiritual master the whole time, teaching me about compassion, how to like unconditionally, and how to let go of the need to control life.
Ive been formally “sitting” for about 4 years, and although I feel great about my practice now, Ive made my fair share of “mistakes” along the way.
I spent a great offer of time and effort trying to manage my experience in order to limit my suffering. Ive now come to see that the impression of control is the root of stress and anxiety, as our tensions are exacerbated by our failure to accept “not understanding” what will happen in life.
This was simply among the lots of mistakes Ive made. Putting excessive emphasis on how long I beinged in meditation, attempting to recreate euphoric sensations, trying to determine if I was informed or not, all added to perpetuating my monkey mind.
I can keep in mind the day Mark was diagnosed with schizophrenia. My inner controller had an “I cant do this any longer” moment and lastly concerned the stark realization that there was no other way for me to control his situation.
A lot of people come to meditation through our suffering. Almost everybody who has actually concerned stroll the spiritual course can spin a tale of sadness, aggravation, and frequently destruction. Through our life struggles and problems, we become conditioned into regular patterns of mind that seem to offer us no escape, and often rely on meditation to find relief.
It took me nearly 2 years to finally understand that no matter what the mind chose, if the method originated from the mind, it would in fact prevent me from unwinding into the silence beyond the mind.
If youve started meditation and stopped, stopped and began, let years pass, began again and stopped, youre in excellent business. Everyone gets annoyed and quits a couple of times before establishing an excellent practice. In actuality, one need to stop “trying” to meditate prior to one in fact starts to awaken to what meditation is all about.
One of the biggest mistakes I made was attempting to use meditation as a way to an end. I wished to feel better and thought if I sat “well” enough then I would find peace. I at first failed to understand that this mind that was trying so difficult to discover remedy for suffering was the exact same mind that had actually created my suffering.
So lets enter into a bit more information on these errors we desire to avoid …
Mark opened the entrance to meditation for me by teaching my how to let go. He opened my heart to accepting what is, as it is and taught me how to begin shedding my minds old habitual patterns of conditioning.
In my early forties life handed me a scenario that would eventually subdue my capability to control life. Over a seven-year period, my boy Mark struggled mightily, suffered deeply, and battled gallantly to try to fend off dependency and psychological disease.
1. Attempting to quiet the mind.
As I discussed earlier, the number one factor we sit in meditation is we desperately wish to silence the inane chatter within our mind. Our monkey mind is quite relentless. Its like the Terminator: “It cant be haggled with. It cant be reasoned with. It doesnt feel pity, or regret, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, till you are …” spiritually awakened.
Why shouldnt we try to quiet the mind?
In order to prevent this problem, we must “not do anything.” Just sit and observe whatever reoccurs. Client, passive, non-reactive observation is your superpower. Whatever thoughts occur, let them come. Whatever ideas go, let them go.
The very best way to address this is to ask: Who is trying to silence the mind? Take your time and examine this. What you will find is that your mind is attempting to quiet the mind. How could that which is the root cause of the issue also be the source of the solution? It cant. It wont listen to our desire to be released. Its just interested in furthering its continuity and increasing its own significance.
Our mind desiring to quiet our mind develops additional inner conflict. This inner dispute offers more fuel to the mind, therefore our attempt to meditate and quiet the mind has just resulted in more battles and frustration.
It might take a little time to settle into observer mode, once we realize its possible to observe the mind and sit from a point of neutral awareness, the minds reign of fear is coming near to an end.
2. Sitting too long too soon
Do one or two minutes for the very first week or more. Add a minute or two weekly after that and attempt to slowly work your way up to a minimum of twenty minutes each day.
We quit after five stopped and 5 to never sit in meditation ever again.
You dont get any awards for standing firm through severe conditions or hardship. Take your time.
I think a lot of us sit down in meditation picturing a change into a Zen Master on day one. Weve heard that an hour of meditation is an actually excellent meditation, so we decide to sit for an hour.
Were tossed around like a rag doll in this psychological octagon by our own mind. Our will is broken …
Dont do this to yourself. Start sluggish! Meditation is no different than lifting weights. If you try to do too much prematurely, you will just wind up injuring yourself.
3. Quitting prematurely
Weve worked our method up to twenty minutes a day. Weve sat for twenty minutes for 2 days now and we feel … nothing. Whatever feels the very same. The mind is still roaming. The monkey mind is still in charge, still kicking us around, and were getting frustrated.
There is no set timespan for the mind to calm down, but if you are patient you will begin to experience “spaces” of silence in the mind. These little gaps are a good indicator that the mind is getting exhausted of not getting a response out of us. So, be client. Relax. Take up the mindset that you will sit up until your last breath, and having no outcomes is not going to prevent you.
Dont give into the mind.
The mind is whispering that this is all a really big waste of time and youve fallen for it once again! He does not ever do anything …
Meditation resembles walking in fog. We do not discover much of anything going on, and after that we understand that we are soaking wet. Just observe those ideas as well if the mind begins to push us about sitting without seeing any results.
4. Attempting to recreate meditative phenomena
Anything that happens within the meditation is phenomena. Happiness, lights, colors, auras, sounds, images, dreams, out-of-body experiences, clairvoyance, getting messages, full-body orgasmic ecstasy, alien contact, angels, numbers, time travel, space travel … Its all simply phenomena and it has no genuine significance in the grand scheme of awakening.
A great rule to keep in mind is to permit and relax whatever concerns come and enable whatever goes to go. Nothing needs to be developed. Nothing needs to be gotten rid of. Simply unwind with what is.
This indicates that the mind has actually become fascinated with phenomena if you end up being captivated with phenomena. The point of meditation is to unwind into the awareness of life moving. Awareness of life moving consists of awareness of mind moving. If we “fall under” the role of mind trying to recreate our meditative experience, then weve more than likely fallen out of the neutral witness role.
The bliss! Give me some more of that happiness. Can never have adequate happiness! Anyone who has actually pertained to experience the sensation of euphoric bliss in meditation has absolutely tried to recreate it. If you state that you have not, youre lying.
5. Holding any expectations about your practice
As I touched on earlier, the number one factor we sit in meditation is we frantically desire to silence the inane chatter within our mind. What you will find is that your mind is trying to quiet the mind. There is no set time frame for the mind to settle down, however if you are patient you will begin to experience “gaps” of silence in the mind. When we sit in meditation without expectation, the minds inner dispute dissolves.
When we sit in meditation without expectation, the minds inner conflict liquifies. Theres no fuel included to the mind when we do not expect to get anything.
To summarize, even though we may make some or all of these 5 meditation errors, life will continue to use our suffering as a way to bring us back to our spiritual practice and back to meditation.
Simply sit. Be and unwind with what is.
Dont try to peaceful your mind. Do not attempt to recreate a satisfying meditation session.
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Again, who wants to feel better? Who is holding this expectation that meditation is the cure all that weve been waiting for? The mind! The mind has an interest in feeling much better, so once again, we are creating more inner dispute. The mind does not like the method life is moving, it desires to make life better. We are playing tug of war with ourselves …
About William Howells.
William Howells is a passionate writer and Spiritual advisor based in New Jersey who uses what he has found out through his own Spiritual Awakening to assist transform the lives of others. He is incredibly passionate about his pointings of the Heart and has a deep desire to help Spiritual Seekers Awaken to the Truth of this Existence. Follow his Twitter account https://twitter.com/TGinormous for daily quotes and motivation.
Any expectation of getting something out of meditation hold-ups getting anything from meditation. You will get something if you do not desire anything. That something is peace of mind.
I at first stopped working to understand that this mind that was attempting so tough to find relief from suffering was the very same mind that had actually produced my suffering.
Due to the fact that we desire to feel much better, its natural to start a meditative practice. Our mind is giving us trouble. Our relationships never ever work out. We are overworked, underpaid, and total balls of tension. We are grieving over loss. We are tired. We sometimes simply want to quit. Its all too much.