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Meditation Support
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6/7/11 3:19 PM
I've been sitting for a little over a year. Most of my practice consists of Anapanasati (30 minute daily sitting) and a 15 minute metta sitting three or 4 times/week or a bout the last 6 months. I'm years away from being able to go on retreat (family stuff), so this is likely to be my practice for the next several years. I've looked for a teacher to help guide my practice with no luck here in Buffalo. Is this a place where I could find support. Alot of the discussions in this thread seem years beyond where I'm at.

Thanks

RE: Meditation Support
Answer
6/6/11 7:40 AM as a reply to BBC Cashdollar.
hi!

yes you can find plenty of support here if you are interested in exploring practice & making real experiential progress over philosophizing and intellectualizing. this forum is quite active, so responses usually come fast. if you post about what you're going through and where you're at, the discussions will revolve around that. if and when you don't feel comfortable sharing stuff publicly, you can always communicate with forum members via private messaging (using the "messages" page).
good luck with your practice!

jill

RE: Meditation Support
Answer
6/6/11 10:26 PM as a reply to Jill Morana.
Thanks for the kind welcome. I'm not sure what I'm looking for, exactly. I don't feel stuck, or that I'm flying ahead. I'm interpreting the teachings as I've read them or heard them on a podcasted dharma talk.

1. Sitting. I've been sitting since April 2010. Began with Anapanasati, 20 minutes. Counting breaths 1 - 10, then noting in and out. After reading Daniel's book I experimented with noting practice for 30 minute sittings for several months, always coming back to the breath. It was a little too intense. Tried that for about 2 months, before deciding I needed to strengthen my concentration. Since then I've been doing Anapanasati, focusing on the in out breath at the gateway. I visualize breathing in an out of the nostrils. I have moments every several weeks of momentary stillness, where everything gets very still for several seconds and sometimes the visual field seems to "dissolve", like snow on a tv. My eyes are closed, when it happen it's very stimulating and pleasant. The longest it's lasted is for up to a couple of minutes (which feels very long), and it's finally broken, my recognizing the stillness. Other times I can go for days or weeks, where I have to be very careful not to have my sitting interrupted, sometimes by sleepiness, other times by restlessness. When I can, I bring myself back and refocus.

2.Metta. When I first heard about Metta practice, I dismissed it as new age silliness last summer, but I came to the conclusion that I needed self metta to move my practice forward. To make sure that I was able to do my best meditating. I read quite a bit on Metta, and didn't find a practice that seemed to fit until I read a book by Sharon Salzberg and adapted a for line chant, may I live with free from danger, may I have mental happiness, may I have mental happiness, may i live with the ease of well being for 15 minutes, 3-4 times a day, when I can. It seems to make a difference bit by bit.

3. Dhamma. I either read excerpts from the Pali Canon or listen to dhamma talks by Bhikkhu Bodhi, Bhuddist Geeks, or Dharma Seed. Probably everyday to and from work.

4. I do the best I can to follow the eight fold path. Right speech is the toughest nut for me to crack.

So that's where I think I'm at.

Thanks,

RE: Meditation Support
Answer
6/8/11 2:58 AM as a reply to BBC Cashdollar.
hi bbc..
welcome! you sound focused and mature and seem to have an innate feel for what is right in practice so congratulations. i have been meditating for a few years longer than you and can, in view of my own struggles, encourage you to take a long view and work hard when you can. everything you mention is familiar to me and it seems you are doing fine. in the abscence of a flesh and blood teacher to hold my hand i find this forum and its participants the perfect mix of honesty and down-to-earth advice. so again welcome and much success!

RE: Meditation Support
Answer
10/24/11 7:04 PM as a reply to BBC Cashdollar.
Try www.BuffaloDharma.org. It lists sitting groups in the WNY area. Or you can contact me at rumbalo@verizon.net. I wouldn't denigrate your own practice so much. You don't need THAT much practice to go on retreat. Besides, there are shorter retreats you can attend. Anyways, good luck and namaste.