Message Boards Message Boards

Insight and Wisdom

Perception of Time

Toggle
Perception of Time
Answer
8/9/20 7:12 PM
First time poster here. 


For the past couple of weeks, I've noticed that my perception of time has changed from what I would consider "normal." The days, hours, and minutes pass at an excruciatingly slow pace. I also experienced this a couple of months ago as well.


I think that this is path related as it seems to coincide with Equanimity, but it could be that I've become more aware of my thoughts. Presently, off-the-cushion I have been feeling a kind of "tug-of-war" between my thoughts and awareness/presence in the Tolle sense.
I appreciate your feedback and wisdom.


Thank you for taking the time to read this!

RE: Perception of Time
Answer
8/9/20 8:18 PM as a reply to Kelly Gordon Weeks.
Hi Kelly, welcome to DhO. 

It's difficult to make any judgements based on the information given, though it could be related to the Mind & Body stage. It'd be helpful to hear further about what's been going on in your practice recently.  

RE: Perception of Time
Answer
8/9/20 8:45 PM as a reply to Zachary.
Thanks and gladly.

I've been meditating each day for one hour for almost a year using The Mind Iluminated, although my practice has strayed in the past month. I mainly focus on samatha and vipassana and my focus seems to have a natural shift between the two about every five days. Last week I practiced mainly single-pointed samatha and my vipassana was weak even when attempting to focus on sensations.

Three days ago I noticed a shift from single pointed samatha to vipassana. My attention/awareness has become opaque. It feels like I'm staring through a fog. Most thoughts are vague with some imagery. It feels like my mind is about to let go but but it can't quite trust itself to do so. I'll also have a few surging energy currents that come up intermittently. They used to occur much more frequently in my practice but have since become lesson common.

The perception of time being slowed down is a bit of mental torture. Maybe I'm just bored? haha

RE: Perception of Time
Answer
8/10/20 10:37 AM as a reply to Kelly Gordon Weeks.
Time viewed from spacious, quiet open awareness can seem "timeless", and, in my experience, spending more time in that "place" means that it arises spontaneously more often. Not sure if this is what you mean?

When things feel slowed down, see what it is like to let go of your feelings or conceptual characterizations about the experience, and just allow your mind to drop its resistance to what is happening. If you are able to do this, can you notice a quality of stillness, or silence to the moment, even in the midst of a noisy place, like traffic or some other chaotic setting? 

In my opinion this STILLNESS and "awareness/presence" is actually what is "normal". Bringing the mind home to this deeper "normal" is a great practice.

A further thought about time: When the mind is quiet, notice how the past and future are always simply thoughts that happen now.

RE: Perception of Time
Answer
8/10/20 11:57 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Thank you for your response. I'll try letting go of feelings and characterizations when I'm experiencing timelessness. Perhaps my mind is just doing it's normal programming and I'm more aware of it. I've reached a point that unless I'm involved in "doing something" I'm aware of every thought. This is quite a change for me since it's only been about a year since I started my practice. Prior to this I was completely unconscious.

It makes sense that awareness would create the feeling of time passing slowly. I'll see if I can settle into this stillness without trying to judge it. 


I'll report back later! Thank you!

RE: Perception of Time
Answer
8/10/20 12:33 PM as a reply to Kelly Gordon Weeks.
Kelly Gordon Weeks:
Thank you for your response. I'll try letting go of feelings and characterizations when I'm experiencing timelessness. Perhaps my mind is just doing it's normal programming and I'm more aware of it. I've reached a point that unless I'm involved in "doing something" I'm aware of every thought. This is quite a change for me since it's only been about a year since I started my practice. Prior to this I was completely unconscious.

It makes sense that awareness would create the feeling of time passing slowly. I'll see if I can settle into this stillness without trying to judge it. 


I'll report back later! Thank you!

Kelly,

Some great progress in there. The mind really wants to characterize experience. The feeling of being bored, for example, can only happen when the thinking mind is engaged. 

Being aware of your thoughts is great. Have a look at who or what is aware of your thoughts. If you are watching your thoughts, who's are they?

Best of luck!

RE: Perception of Time
Answer
8/10/20 12:44 PM as a reply to Kelly Gordon Weeks.
Kelly Gordon Weeks:
First time poster here. 


For the past couple of weeks, I've noticed that my perception of time has changed from what I would consider "normal." The days, hours, and minutes pass at an excruciatingly slow pace. I also experienced this a couple of months ago as well.


I think that this is path related as it seems to coincide with Equanimity, but it could be that I've become more aware of my thoughts. Presently, off-the-cushion I have been feeling a kind of "tug-of-war" between my thoughts and awareness/presence in the Tolle sense.
I appreciate your feedback and wisdom.


Thank you for taking the time to read this!


aloha kelly,

   I sit for 45 mintes a day, and just setting a particular time for the duration of the sit can focus the mind on "how long" this time is and when it will end and allow us to return to activity. That this time elapsing is painful for you indicates that you are paying too much attention to "time" in its measured sense of minutes and hours. Time attended to in this way passes slowly, tick, tick, tick. Boring, yes. "Excruciating" - imagine how slowly time would go if you were literally crucifed, hanging on a cross, waiting to die of dehydration in a few days, instead of just waiting for a boring meditation period to end in a few minutes.

   The thought of time passing is just another thought. You are feeding it energy, and so it hangs around, bothering you. What I do when this thought arises - which it does often, not every session but sometimes a number of times in one session - it should be put aside, or alllowed to run its course and then dropped. This can be like, "don't think of an elephant," but with practice - what else do you have to do? - you can move on to less excruciating intrusive thoughts and deal with them. If you don't think of time passing you won't be bored. So don't think of tie passing; that is what meditation is for, finding that timeless place of peace and love.

   This becomes routine and after a while and pretty much automatic. Thoughts of time passing slowly and excruciating boredom are the ego asserting its desire to take central stage and complain. Treat eliminating these thoughts as a kind of trash removal. Much of my sit involves identifying and removing extraneous thoughts, and returning to silence.

   If your problem is mostly in the last fifteen minutes of your hour sit you might try cutting back to forty-five minutes. Or stop for a day or two and realize how much you miss it.

   You should enjoy sitting, generally. It isn't a painful exercise, it is restful and restorative. Don't work too hard at it. Stick with it and stay focused on emptiness.

   Good luck with your practice.

terry

RE: Perception of Time
Answer
8/10/20 1:05 PM as a reply to terry.
Much of my sit involves identifying and removing extraneous thoughts, and returning to silence.

So you're engaging your mind to stop your mind from engaging?

emoticon