Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 6/18/23 5:55 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Aeon . 6/18/23 7:25 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 6/18/23 8:10 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Martin 6/18/23 11:01 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Aeon . 6/18/23 5:09 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 6/18/23 5:17 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Niklas - 6/19/23 1:48 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 6/19/23 3:44 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Bahiya Baby 6/19/23 7:21 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/19/23 10:04 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 6/22/23 11:20 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 6/23/23 12:56 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Bahiya Baby 6/23/23 1:07 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 6/23/23 1:06 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Aeon . 6/23/23 1:22 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Bahiya Baby 6/23/23 3:15 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 6/25/23 5:51 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Aeon . 6/25/23 11:51 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 6/26/23 2:33 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Bahiya Baby 6/26/23 3:47 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Aeon . 6/26/23 1:48 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Aeon . 6/26/23 1:48 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Bahiya Baby 6/26/23 2:21 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Aeon . 6/26/23 2:45 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 6/27/23 3:38 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Aeon . 6/28/23 3:33 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Aeon . 6/28/23 3:39 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Aeon . 6/28/23 3:40 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 7/3/23 10:14 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 7/3/23 10:20 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Conal 7/3/23 10:55 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Aeon . 7/3/23 11:41 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 8/9/23 7:01 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Conal 8/11/23 11:24 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Martin 8/12/23 9:57 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 8/11/23 1:46 PM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 8/13/23 2:05 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Tony Norris 9/15/23 8:00 AM
RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now) Papa Che Dusko 9/16/23 3:40 AM
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Tony Norris, modified 1 Year ago at 6/18/23 5:55 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/18/23 5:55 AM

Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
I'll start a few hours before my meditation session.  Was around 7:30pm.  Was a long afternoon with the kids, my girlfriend had a migraine.  I was eating standing up in the kitchen.  I needed a breather & walked off still chewing some chicken.

I'd not brought my phone.  95% of the time I go out on my own I bring it & headphones & listen to music or a podcast.

I was exhausted & overwhelmed.  The baby been really fussy & the 4-yo was going stir-crazy but my partner didn't want me to bring them to the park because she was convincd they were gonna goto sleep any minute.  Three hours later they still were not asleep, got in a little quarrel with her & stepped out for a bit.

I walked up the hill from our house a little & leaned against a garage & put up a foot on it.  Somehow it made me think of the early 1900's, before phones & televsion & air conditioning when people used to sit back & look at things.  I felt like I should be flipping  & catching a coin or something.

I tried to calm my nervous system, I tried to take in everything around me, tracking the birds as they flitted around, a plane overhead, cars as they passed.  A girl walked past across the street, maybe sixteen, I institnictively looked away as I suddenly snapped out of my state a little & became self-conscious.  I didn't want to appear creepy.  It's funny meditation seems to glorify being full of attention but out of society everyone is walking round in their own little safe world, you're not supposed to look at others (except babies, they don't mind they just stare back).  Suddenly I became paranoid, I'm a foreigner, what if she tells someone there's a strange man just standing there watching the neighborhood.  No I wasn't high or anything, I suppose high-emotion & stress combined with the intense effort to down-regulate my stress puts me in a bit of an altered state.

A man rode by on his bicycle, with some music playing, made me think of a cross between the Beatles & regaee.  "I can't just keep standing here looking at everything, it's not normal" I thought & forced myself to walk a bit.  After a few steps I heard someone calling "Hey mate".  It seemed like it was for me but again I was in a bit of a paranoid state so I ignored it until he called again with my name this time.  I looked back & it was some father from the playground who I'd chatted with the other day while my daughter & step-daughter (not married but for lack of a better term) ran around with his kids.  I tried to recenter myself & chatted for a bit, I asked about his divorce & how things were, didn't sound pretty.  Supposed love turning into acrimoniousness, sounds familiar.

We spoke for five minutes or so & I carried on up the hill.  I was reminded of a time on LSD at a festival in Panama.  I was half sitting/half lying on a beach trying to feel my experience but everytime people walked passed me I felt contracted & like my body/psyche was instinctively trying to adapt to them, my mental exploration sucked back inside me like tears you keep from flowing, like Adam & Eve realizing they were naked.  Anyway, it reminded me of that in that I often find it easier to be present when I'm alone.  Not to say I'm anti-social, I quite like people around, I just enjoy groups & being on the perifere, not to say being anonymous in a big city like NY (where I lived for many years).  I like quiet intimacy without pressure, being around others who are calm & comfortable within themselves.  Patrice O'Neil (comedian, RIP) summed it up well when he said "men want to be alone but not by ourselves".

That's my fantasy of how my life should be with my kids, in a little village with other families with kids who I've known for years.  Kids running around w each other, coming up to you when they need food, solace, support.  In reality neither my lady nor I have any proper friends & it's most hyper kids running around wanting us to be their parents & their playmates.  It is what it is, I do my best.

I disgress.  I walked for a bit, pet a sweet old cat who looked about 103 in human years, came back & the kids were asleep.  All praise Layla.  I went upstairs we spoke a bit, smoothed things out as best as we were both capable of at the time.  I went downstairs, ate way too much chocolate & a giant bowl of cereal, played Dominion (a deck building game I haven't played in person in over a decade) for an hour or two, finished a Stephen King book (the Long Walk, his 1st, mofo began it at age 19, defenitely a genuis), watched some YouTube and procrastinated until about 12:45am @ which point I'm like "Fuck, well I promised myself & my meditation friends I'd do this thing".

So I did some stretching while I watched YouTube (some video about how/why the American right has been so much more successful @ marketing itself to the working class), pulled out my yoga mat & sat for 15minutes.  It wasn't great, wasn't bad, I watched my breath & my mind spin around ("why didn't you do this earlier in the day", "you're never gonna get your eating right", "it's late you're gonna be tired tomorrow like every day but worse" and other thoughts about myself, my lady, my daughter in America, random internet people, my mother, society in general, the week ahead, death, the usual).

So yeah, I did it.  When I get money someday I'll get tracking equipment.  Would be cool to monitor my heart rate, blood pressure, etc and see how I can affect it.  I did biofeedback in the early 2000's but found it boring & not really life-changing.  I got some heart-rate-variability device back in 2012 but I was at a time in my life where I was barely staying afloat & didn't stick with it.  Plus it didn't work very well.

But in the meantime gonna stick with it.  Gonna try not to proscrastinate til the last possible minute today.  Be nice if Buddha comes to me & metaphorically pats me on the back to give me strength but in the meantime I'm going to carry on forward & try & come back to my breath over & over (maybe do some body-scanning altho how anyone can feel much in their left-shin or right earlobe I have no idea, my stomach pain dominates everything else altho after long enough sitting my knees & back start to hurt as well).

Thanks for listening.  More of a diary than a meditation journal I suppose.  Actually, I have one question before I go.  If I'm supposed to let go of thoughts as I meditate how am I supposed to remember my experience.  It seems attempting to label & catagorize an experience while in the experience for later recall or sharing is thought/being lost in mind rather than present in experience.  

Any thoughts I'm game.

Cheers,
Tony
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/18/23 7:25 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/18/23 7:25 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 212 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
 As far as I know, loitering is not illegal in the UK, or even frowned upon. Heck, the french call it being a "flaneur", and romanticize it somewhat.

What are you looking to achieve through your meditation practice?
Have you decided on any particular practice yet?
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Tony Norris, modified 1 Year ago at 6/18/23 8:10 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/18/23 8:10 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
Thanks Aeon. I heard that expression recently, forgot where.

My goal is cessation of suffering.

I suppose I'm doing do nothing meditation because I'm just trying to focus on my breathe and detach from mental processes.

I did various chants and counted breaths but I find counting breaths distracting and I don't see how anyone could get into any kind of deep state focused on numbers. Also when I obsess about my breath too much it brings up a lot of anger and irritation 
Martin, modified 1 Year ago at 6/18/23 11:01 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/18/23 11:01 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 905 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
You are a good writer. 

As for your question, it's not a big deal if you forget the specifics of what goes on in sits. Some people review their sits at the end, once the sit is over, and even take detailed notes but the stuff that is being learned in a sit is not conceptual and cannot be put into words. If it could be put into words, then we could all just read a book, easy-peasy. Sometimes I remember the content of a sit, often I don't. I do find it useful to decide pretty well exactly what I am going to do in the sit, in advance, and then stick to that. So, for example, if my plan is to watch the breath and, at the end of the sit, I remember that I did watch the breath the whole time, or that I got bored of watching the breath after five minutes, or that focus was taken away by pain, or whatever, I would make note of that. 
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/18/23 5:09 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/18/23 5:09 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 212 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
Have you sampled various types of meditation (metta, samatha, Mahasi-noting, anapanasati etc) and chosen do-nothing for a specific reason?

Maybe it would be more fun for you and easier to stick to, if you tried a variety and found one that really jive with you.
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Tony Norris, modified 1 Year ago at 6/18/23 5:17 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/18/23 5:17 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
Thanks Martin.  And yes, good advice, I'll try to mostly remember whether I completed my intended task or not.

Tonight's session was good I'd say.  My breath was very shallow which annoys me but I tried to just accept it.  I alternated between eyes open & eyes shut.  I was in my bedroom which doubles as the kids playroom.  I noticed all the books & toys & it made me think how symbolicly minded humans are.  I didn't hold onto that thought but it did pass thru.

Maybe my biggest challenge at this beginning stage is just accepting what is, if my breath is shallower than I'd like, so be it, observe it, if my mind wanders observe & accept that.

It's hard to accept only being able to sit for 15 minutes (and even then being antsy & bored).  In January I went from 30min to 31 to 32 up to 35 in mid-Feb before falling off completely (meditating only sporaticlly between late Feb & just now).  My rationale is better to start small and get a feeling of confidence, try & keep the intensity of concentration high rather than increasing the time.

​​​​​​​Thanks for listening.
Niklas -, modified 1 Year ago at 6/19/23 1:48 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/19/23 1:48 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 33 Join Date: 6/7/23 Recent Posts
Hi. I also recently started sitting once again. The feelings of frustration your describe sound very familiar. Just try to stick with what ever amount of time is possible for you, try to avoid the procrastination; these are things that I tell myself over and over again. There is no good, no bad, managing to sit is good enough.
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Tony Norris, modified 1 Year ago at 6/19/23 3:44 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/19/23 3:42 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
Yeah just gonna stick w it and keep it simple for now.

Was listening to a Daniel Ingram interview on bike ride to gym and it's somehow soothing but I have no idea what he's talking about, 1st path, 3rd path, this jhana or that.

It's cool to now how many subtle layers there are. Rn just gonna try to be more present and not miss days.

Maybe after 1 month I will bump up from 15 min to 20 or add a 2nd 20 min session.

​​​​​​​And maybe after 3 or 4 months I will start thinking about the goenka retreat center near me.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Year ago at 6/19/23 7:21 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/19/23 7:21 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 555 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Definitely stick with it ! For now that's probably the most important thing. 

You might pick up some of the lingo through osmosis after a few podcasts. Reading MCTB (for free here) can get you all the nerdy details and some practice instruction.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 6/19/23 10:04 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/19/23 10:04 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 7134 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Awesome writing! 

Yeah, keep it simple! No need to complicate it. Just take a break and be present without keeping yourself busy. 
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Tony Norris, modified 1 Year ago at 6/22/23 11:20 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/22/23 11:20 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
First entry in a few days but I have meditated daily.  Last night was 15 minutes, the night before only about 5 minutes, I'd misplaced my phone so I did it without a timer.

It's been a crazy last couple of days.  We were living with my girlfriend's father but they got into a loud argument with much shouting (and a bottle of my supplements used as a projectile weapon thrown down some stairs) between my partner & her dad and later that day we moved out (ourselves, the 4yo & 1yo) into her mother's house about 15 minutes a way (and far more rural).

I won't get into all the details as this isn't supposed to be a diary but it's been a bid adjustment.  I've become somewhat of a middleman which I strongly dislike & everyone is on edge (there was another argument this morning).

I've become very withdrawn & my head is spinning out about how I get myself into these dramatic situations where I'm disempowered & dealing w other people's family trauma.

Been slowly working thru a few meditation books & trying to stay present & within my body, noticing how I can disconnect totally from the moment, how much rage I have at my decisions, my body (for being achy, having indigestion, "I'm trying to nourish you m*****f***** why can't you accept it instead of giving me pain all the time") and seeing how distractable & prone to irritation & craving I am.  It's hard to imagine myself at peace, enjoying/trusting other people.  I love my little baby (13 months) but it's hard to sink into the moment & really enjoy her.  When she smiles big I feel like my smile back is forced & fake & that makes me sad.  I can feel it when she falls & gets hurt or is irriatble or bored or ill but it's hard to take in her joy as I feel pretty blocked off from that within myself.

Anyway, I'm still on the meditation routine, four or five days in a row now & I'll do it again tonight.

It's beautiful here.  I'm glad the summer solstace has past & the days will slowly start getting shorter as dawn before 4am is a bit annoying.

Cheers.
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Tony Norris, modified 1 Year ago at 6/23/23 12:56 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/23/23 12:52 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
My birthday today.  Got a little high off some THC coconut oil & had an emotional conversation with my girlfriend.  Basically I'm hestiant about marriage & she's annoyed by it, probably happens one hundred thousand times a day somewhere. Last night did 20min meditation instead of 15, my posture was good, it felt almost like a treat instead of a chore. Was thinking today about human drama & how having a go at each other is a pasttime the world over.  I'm tried on the frame that meditation is kind of like having a go @ yourself, like standing up to "yourself" in a way like you would a bully, to see what this person is really made of.  It could be seen as a measure of self-respect, like many people have the time to read about celebraties, athletes or their favorite YouTuber but not try to deeply understand their own selves??  I should be able to do better than that (altho 98% of my life I haven't).

Re : "self", I know (intellectually) that the self is a fiction but fiction is powerful, it even makes the world go round you could say (the world of human affairs/samsaric world anyway).

​​​​​​​Anyway, I'm looking forward to meditating again tonight.  I'm trying to make this like an evening wank for a teenage boy, something to look forward to all day.
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Tony Norris, modified 1 Year ago at 6/23/23 1:06 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/23/23 1:06 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
Another story I'm trying on today is :
     Maybe I just wasn't ready before, maybe I thought ego & pleasure, status, self-efficacy could possibly make me peremantly more at peace.  I feel that less & less now, making peace with myself & in some way the world is the only way.  Only way out is thru which always sounded corny af to me I'm getting it a little or at least trying to tell myself I get it a litte.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Year ago at 6/23/23 1:07 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/23/23 1:07 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 555 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
"Re : "self", I know (intellectually) that the self is a fiction but fiction is powerful"

Hell yeah man !

"Last night did 20min meditation instead of 15, my posture was good, it felt almost like a treat instead of a chore."

Keep it up. There will be good days and bad. 

Drama is kind of how the ego hooks us in. We suffer, but it makes us want more. 
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/23/23 1:22 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/23/23 1:22 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 212 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
You had me laughing out loud at "evening wank" xD

And I want to point out: You ARE doing better than the 98%, right now. Keep up the good work.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Year ago at 6/23/23 3:15 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/23/23 3:15 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 555 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Keep up the good wank !
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Tony Norris, modified 1 Year ago at 6/25/23 5:51 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/25/23 5:51 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
Did 20min again last night, was pretty boring, I was fidgety and couldn't concentrate, the newbie excitement had faded & I was trying to convince myself this was an exciting adventure & not some sort of mental tooth-brushing with supposed benefits & maybe superpowers someday.

Had a few milliseconds here & there where I was able to appreciate the physical stillness even as my mind bobbed around this way & that.

Lot of drama in the household, am I living my authentic life or am I being weak & stringing my baby-momma along due to attachment to my child?  Or is the freedom of a single man a grass-is-always-greener style illusion?  Are my partner & I simply incompatible or if I get my mind right can I make it work?  Do I want to make it work & accept my current reality or run away & chase a different reality?  These questions don't go away.

Gonna walk six miles shortly in the hot sun & will listen to a couple videos about the 6r's, a concept Conal kindly introduced me to.

"We Recognize, Release, Relax, Re-smile, and Return again, perhaps going a little further each time."
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/25/23 11:51 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/25/23 11:50 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 212 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
Hey, it can be an exciting adventure most of the time!
That is pretty much what the TWIM people who made the 6R's teach: Have fun with your meditation practice.
Maybe you missed your groove last time, doesn't mean you can't learn to enjoy it next time. Evening-wank-mentality is worth cultivating.

If you like listening to your dharma, I can warmly recommend Guru Viking's channel on youtube. He also has interviews with Bhante Vimalaramsi who I believe coined the 6R's.

Keep at it and keep checking in with us.
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Tony Norris, modified 1 Year ago at 6/26/23 2:33 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/26/23 2:33 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
Thanks Aeon, I'll keep diving in to the meta-verse.  

I saw an Inrgam interview on Guru Viking's channel, I will check out more of his stuff.

Did my 20min again last night.  I'd listened to a talk about meta so I was kind of torn between doing "regular" breath meditation & meta and ended up as a kind of mish-mash.  I tried the "may I be peaceful, may I be happy" but just couldn't get into it like an affirmation you feel awkward saying so I just focused on my breath but mostly was caught in thoughts like usual.

I also found myself more shifty & itchy than usual.  

I put it off until late, almost midnight.  It'd be a difficult day beforehand, the kids were up late, whiny & loud, my lady & I had been quarelling.  I'd eaten quite a bit too much and later I played some blitz & then bullet (very, very fast) chess which I "know" not to do late @ night because it's very activating (gets my system revved).

A poor sleep hygiene night all in all & the kids were up early & as soon as I heard the 4yo's voice I was felt like "man I'm so done already".  Raising your own kid is tough, someone else's is harder (the 4yo from my lady's previous relationship), well maybe not some super well behaved Asian kid, I dunno.

We carry on.  I can't fool myself I'm looking forward to my meditation rn.  I'll dive more into this meta stuff, supposed it's the most pleasant & one thing I've learned from life is people tend to do stuff that's pleasant & avoid the annoying (I guess Buddha says we're supposed to detach from all that craving & aversion but in the meantime here I am).

Cheers to all beings.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Year ago at 6/26/23 3:47 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/26/23 3:47 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 555 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Forgiveness is a really useful touchstone if there's any resistance to Metta. Best to start with someone you like or yourself not necessarily someone you have difficulty with. Just see if you can recognize yourself or another as a flawed imperfect being and forgive that. If there's a little emotional shift you can take that as the object and just let it roll on. It'll naturally shift into something compassionate !
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/26/23 1:48 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/26/23 1:48 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 212 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
I couldn't hack Metta either in the beginning.

The trick that made it work for me, was only saying things with sincere intent, and then shifting my attention to investigating the feeling that generated.
Even if it's awkward at first, it's so worth learning. If you get good at Metta, you will pretty much have a remote control to generate whatever wholesome feeling you want, whenever you want. It's also conducive for on-the-fly type practice - that could be very useful for you if you can't retreat due to family.

All in all, I think you are doing very well.
Keep building momentum of practice, keep checking in and making forum posts.
It will pay off!
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/26/23 1:48 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/26/23 1:48 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 212 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
@bahiyababy How do you define forgiveness in this context?
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Year ago at 6/26/23 2:21 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/26/23 2:21 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 555 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
Good question. 

So if I were trying to bring up metta and there was resistance, say I couldn't really get the love going. 

What I've learnt is to literally forgive yourself or another person. I would tend to do that by thinking of someone, someone that I like and recognizing that this person suffers and has done shitty things and things they're not proud of and I can relate to that and that process of forgiveness tends to crack the heart open and you can let that open out into an object of compassion.

Imagine me if you want. This random person online. Just imagine all of the dumb shit I have said to people. All the ways I've let pride, greed and ego ruin relationships or alienate me from others. Could you forgive me? Can you relate to those kinds of experiences? Could you forgive yourself for it?
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/26/23 2:45 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/26/23 2:45 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 212 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
@bahiyababy Thanks man, I never could grok forgiveness until now. I am a vengeful bastard by nature, and never thought forgiveness more than apathy.

I heard yesterday in the DY podcast that Bahiya was supposedly the best meditator in history, and I'm beginning to believe it.
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Tony Norris, modified 1 Year ago at 6/27/23 3:38 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/27/23 3:38 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
Thanks for the discussion guys.

Last night meditation was a bit more enjoyable.  I feel like I'm letting go of some of my dogma about what meditation is "supposed to" be.

It sounds like contemplation can be part of meditation.  I think instead of trying to cling to the focus on the breath I'm going to expand my awareness a bit.  I'm still not going to try to cling to thoughts but I'm going to let myself go into certain thoughts for a limited amount of time for a specific purpose.

I find it annoying just letting thoughts bubble, petty random seeming thoughts and then trying to let them go.  I'm sure this practice has it's benefits but for now I'm going to delve into what do I really want out of life and not take my answers at face value.  At so many times in my life I thought I knew what I wanted but how do we know what's story driven, culture driven, fantasty driven & what we deep down want?  What is it to want?  Buddha evidently said craving is the root of suffering but how do we meditate without craving?  Isn't the desire for the cessation of suffering the ultimately craving?

Maybe I'll ask myself these questions, then if they start spirlling, come back to them, then maybe rest in the breath, then go back to the questions, if I come across a strong feeling (peace, joy, rage, digust) maybe I'll try to sit in that for awhile.

I'm going to play around & see what works.  My mind is like a library with tens of millions of sayings, half-read books & articles, people's opinons, superficially understood ideas.  I used to have some envy for people who could take one practice or path or skill & go hard at it day after day after day with intense dedication & faith that they were doing the right thing.  Perhaps I still do, I'm not sure.  But I don't think I can be faithful in anything that doesn't feel self-generated, I don't think I can read a book or idea & be on board with it.  I think I need to feel something rather than learn something.

Once I feel it I can learn about it but until I feel something what am I even learning?

Off topic, I re-read The Long Walk by Stephen King which I found during my last move.  King started writing this book at age 19 (I'd imagine he wrote most of it then & edited it later), what a classic.  I want to find in myself some strength that I can run with like King ran with with his writing.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/28/23 3:33 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/28/23 3:33 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 212 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
What is it to want?  Buddha evidently said craving is the root of suffering but how do we meditate without craving?  Isn't the desire for the cessation of suffering the ultimately craving?


That's a good question, and I have been thinking about it too.
I think suffering/dukkha/craving is fundamentally felt tension in the body. Turns out Bhante Vimalaramsi figured the same thing when he sat in a cave way back.
This is why he heavily emphasized relaxing (especially the tension in your head that you experience as the mind/self).
- What happens in your meditation when you release and relax the tension in your head? It can make it feel easier if you relax with every in- and out-breath.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/28/23 3:39 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/28/23 3:39 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 212 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
Once I feel it I can learn about it but until I feel something what am I even learning?


This means you are a tactile learner - which is great! You would be screwed if you had to learn mathematics with a tactile preference. Meditation is easy for you touchy-feely-folks.

I think you would really enjoy Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation (TWIM).
They emphasize having fun, enjoying your meditation. Using the feeling of loving-kindness as a meditation object (after relaxing the body and tranquilizing the mind by relaxing head tension), you gently investigate that delicious feeling. This makes concentration easy, because your focus naturally drifts toward pleasant things. Enhancing focus and investigating then increases the feeling, and you have an ingenious, virtuous cycle feedback loop, that naturally combines the seven factors of awakening.
I think what I'm trying to say is they take the evening-wank-mentality (EWM) to a whole new level of wholesomeness.

I know you like your do-nothing meditation, but you really owe it to yourself to give TWIM a proper try.
It's damn near designed for you and your life situation. It's even easily "portable" to your day to day life.
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 6/28/23 3:40 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/28/23 3:40 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 212 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
You're an audiobook kinda guy, right?

Audio Book: ‘The Path to Nibbana - A Complete Guide to TWIM Meditation’ (6 hrs. )


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlLJEmmoQME
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Tony Norris, modified 1 Year ago at 7/3/23 10:14 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/3/23 10:14 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
Thanks Aeon, I have begun it as well as signed up for a TWIM retreat as per the suggestion of Conal.  I appreciate all of your support
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Tony Norris, modified 1 Year ago at 7/3/23 10:20 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/3/23 10:20 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
I have meditated only twice I think in the last five days.

I see now why monks do exercise, martial arts or yoga, the life I've been leading especially over the past few weeks of staying up late on the computer, eating late at night, being sedentary (except for working out early in the day) makes sitting difficult.

And more interpersonal issues with the lady which I'm hoping won't intensify with further isolation as her mother is going to Italy & taking the car, reducing our mobility & amount of carers to help out with the small children.

But I will do what I can.  I did get a positive feeling so far from the audiobook Aeon linked altho I have almost a knee-jerk fear response to my own optimism sometimes...  but supposedly even the Buddha had to suffer lots of dissapointments on his "self"-help journey.
Conal, modified 1 Year ago at 7/3/23 10:55 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/3/23 10:55 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 78 Join Date: 6/3/17 Recent Posts
The forgiveness meditation is here:

https://www.dhammasukha.org/forgiveness-meditation
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Aeon , modified 1 Year ago at 7/3/23 11:41 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/3/23 11:41 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 212 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
You can say whatever you want about your doubts, but you can't say you don't take action on feedback and overall take this endeavor seriously.
Good job man, stay with it. Especially with signing up for retreat, that can really make a big difference, and build momentum like crazy.
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Tony Norris, modified 11 Months ago at 8/9/23 7:01 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 8/9/23 7:01 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
https://youtu.be/EWDX1pqQBDE

​​​​​​​Made a video about my attempt at an online meditation retreat (6min or so) if anyone has an opinions lmk
Conal, modified 11 Months ago at 8/11/23 11:24 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 8/11/23 11:24 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 78 Join Date: 6/3/17 Recent Posts
Hi Tony,

I'm sorry it didn't go well for you. Have you tried the forgiveness meditation? That's what they recommend if the metta doesn't go well:
https://www.dhammasukha.org/forgiveness-meditation
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Tony Norris, modified 11 Months ago at 8/11/23 1:46 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 8/11/23 1:46 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
Hey Conal. I should try that. I do appreciate the recommendation and I'm glad I did it.
Martin, modified 11 Months ago at 8/12/23 9:57 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 8/12/23 9:57 PM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 905 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I have a couple of thoughts. 

It's good that you gave it a try, saw that it didn't work for you, and formed some opinions. Now you have first-hand evidence of a few things that it is useful to know: you can't just decide to be filled with love and have that happen; mind states rarely last for 20 minutes (or even two minutes); and some of the things that well-respected teachers say are bullshit. Of course, you probably knew all this before, but it's good to get clear on things by actually running the experiment. 

I'm not a fan of Bante V's take on the suttas, and I would be off-put if I heard a teacher making claims about levitation. The whole Dhamma Sukha organization is a bit too religion/magic-oriented for my taste but I have found that their technique can work. 

If you try the technique again, I would suggest leaning more heavily into the 6Rs. You get the image of your friend napping on your sofa, or whatever, and notice how the image feels nice, for maybe five seconds, or maybe just one, and then the mind wanders off, or it stops feeling nice, so you notice that, you release whatever the mind is caught up in, including the whole idea of trying to hold metta, then you do the big relax (relaxing the scalp and shoulders in particular) and completely reset, then you smile, then you call up the image again. You might repeat that 20 times in 20 minutes. So it's more like pushups than a plank. With practice, the cycles get longer (few reps in the same time). If you keep at it, and get it to work, you will have a fairly easy example of how the mind can, in fact, be trained and reconditioned so it functions differently than before the training (just like the body can).

I don't want to encourage you to go further with Dhamma Sukha, if it's not your cup of tea (again, it's not really mine) but I think what you said in other other thread about just meditating without necessarily trying to buy into or understand all the metaphysical mumbo-jumbo is right on the money. I had an experience once on a retreat where the teacher said something that I really thought was bullshit, so, in the next sit, my mind was busy dissing this guy and wondering how he even got to be a teacher and, ... boom, I had this massive opening. I mean my world was permanently changed in just a few minutes. It had nothing to do with what the teacher said (I still disagree with him on that point, by the way). It was just the practice I had done up to that point bearing fruit. My point is that teachers being wrong about stuff doesn't mean that the whole system doesn't work. Keep at it. Also, it's cumulative, and even crappy sits and retreats have their long-term impact. 
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Tony Norris, modified 11 Months ago at 8/13/23 2:05 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 8/13/23 2:05 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
Thanks Martin.  The relax step makes sense to me.  That's kind of my main goal outside enlightenment & realeasing craving is just to be able to relax a little (I don't think I come off to others as high-strung but I feel that way).

Also, the stay-perfectly-still they emphazized resonated with me & I'm gonna make more of an effort to do some streching beforehand and once I start to not shift position or scratch @ all.

Yesterday, I did a meditation yesterday in the horse's field near where I'm staying that felt very good.  I tried to have no intention whatsoever except to watch mind & stay still.  I set my timer for 30min but after 20 I felt like I'd reached the point of diminishing returns so I just got up without much judgement (I'm torn on self-forcing to meet a quota & letting myself finish when I'm done but I seem to be a highly resistent to authority individual, including to my own authority)
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Tony Norris, modified 10 Months ago at 9/15/23 8:00 AM
Created 10 Months ago at 9/15/23 8:00 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 6/9/23 Recent Posts
I've fallen off almost completely in the last couple of months.

Maybe I should go back to 10min a day.

Just don't know how to get a foothold emoticon

I feel lazy & intellectually I sense meditation is good for me but like a relationship w bad sex I just don't really feel much when I do it.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 10 Months ago at 9/16/23 3:40 AM
Created 10 Months ago at 9/16/23 3:40 AM

RE: Newb starting again (15min daily for now)

Posts: 2921 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Just like a cat. Sit down and purr gently. 
Breath in and out of the nose. Gently squeezing the air with the part in the nose that meets the throat, so the air is seeping in and out. This makes a sound. Calming sound. This makes a tactile sensation in the throat. In breathing is long and the out breathing is long, as the air is squeezed where nasal cavity meets the throat. 

close the eyes or open them just a little, like a cat. 
Keep doing it for 10 minutes. Give this technique a few months of daily practice and see how much you start liking it. Increase sitting time as you like. 
Important is to do it daily. 
I even did this style while on a toilet for 5 minutes emoticon 

Cat Meditation. Try it and give it some time to develop. 

Best wishes Tony! 

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