Need guidance...

Kevin Ki, modified 1 Month ago at 5/13/24 10:00 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/13/24 10:00 PM

Need guidance...

Posts: 3 Join Date: 5/13/24 Recent Posts
Been practicing mindfulness in daily activities. At one point I entered this "watching" state where I could clearly see thoughts come and go like fireworks in a vacuum, and the act of seeking/thinking that drives it; many times these were kickstarted by sounds and other sensory objects. Got some good insights into the impermanence of these things, and how one leads to another, and I don't own them. But no insight into dukkha though...

Ever since then, I've been pulling my hair out in trying to get back into that state again, because I find it a very useful state to investigate things. Now I'm frustrated. Any suggestions? Is it possible to stay in this state in a more permanent way?

I feel like I need to find a qualified meditation teacher for guidance so I can navigate better on this path to awakening. Suggestions? I'm in Wellington, New Zealand. If no teacher here, I'm happy to go online zoom etc to get some guidance, or go on a retreat somewhere in the world.

I've never attended a retreat or any group session before, or know anyone around me interested in this stuff, and my meditation so far over the years has been pretty ad hoc coupled with my interest in readings on Zen sutras and cognitive psychology. However, after this insight, I feel the need to practice meditation more, as there's this whole realm outside the cave of thought/thinking. 

I'm at a point of my life where I can spend a good year or two focusing on studying buddhism fulltime and not having to worry about things, so I want to use this opportunity to make real progress.

Really appreciate any advice you can give.
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 5/13/24 10:22 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/13/24 10:22 PM

RE: Need guidance...

Posts: 873 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Do you also have a sitting practice, or are you just doing mindfulness in daily activities?
Kevin Ki, modified 1 Month ago at 5/13/24 10:55 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/13/24 10:55 PM

RE: Need guidance...

Posts: 3 Join Date: 5/13/24 Recent Posts
Never done any formal sitting practice like zazen, or anything structured. Just mindfulness in various daily activities, though a lot of this activity does involve sitting in front of my desk (drawing, writing, reading, typing on the computer). I do often use various things to help with concentration including ideas from sutras, or physical sensations/objects while I'm sitting in front of my computer trying to investigate something.
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 5/13/24 11:22 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/13/24 11:22 PM

RE: Need guidance...

Posts: 873 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Formal sitting can have a big impact. There is good reason to believe that most people who get a lot out of these practices do so through a formal practice in which they are not doing anything else but meditating. You might want to explore a formal practice, or even more than one practice, before beginning to work with a teacher. That way, you will start with better questions. 
Adi Vader, modified 1 Month ago at 5/14/24 12:06 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/14/24 12:06 AM

RE: Need guidance...

Posts: 318 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
"I can spend a good year or two focusing on studying buddhism fulltime and not having to worry about things, so I want to use this opportunity to make real progress"

I think you have a fantastic opportunity and that you should make the best use of this time. A few thoughts come to mind by way of advice:

1. Take a lot of interest in practice and engage with theory only give direction to practice. Structure your program like a well designed  physics text book which would have a little bit of theory and a whole lot of drill problems in every chapter.

2. Plan your work and work your plan. the people who make the most progress are the people who are able to get really structured and methodical in  their practice. Some amount of intellectualization about meditation instructions and then for a period of time simply put down your head and work! Restricting intellectual analysis to predetermined periods like half an hour every sunday for example. This goes a long way towards making progress.

3. Concentration practice should be the bedrock or foundation of your entire practice. Try and maintain a relative weightage of 80:20 in terms of concentration:insight oriented practice. Eventually the two practices will converge.

​​​​​​​I can highly recommend Stephen Procter as a teacher. You can check him out on midlmeditation.com there is also a subreddit r/midlmeditation (I am one of the mods). Good luck. I wish you great success.
Kevin Ki, modified 1 Month ago at 5/15/24 6:43 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/15/24 6:43 AM

RE: Need guidance...

Posts: 3 Join Date: 5/13/24 Recent Posts
Thanks guys!

I'll check him out Adi, and thank you so much for your thoughts.

I'll search for some practical guide books online too and try out a few practices; see which I prefer.

Cheers!
thumbnail
Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 5/16/24 4:29 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/16/24 4:29 AM

RE: Need guidance...

Posts: 1750 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Kevin Ki
Been practicing mindfulness in daily activities. At one point I entered this "watching" state where I could clearly see thoughts come and go like fireworks in a vacuum, and the act of seeking/thinking that drives it; many times these were kickstarted by sounds and other sensory objects. Got some good insights into the impermanence of these things, and how one leads to another, and I don't own them. But no insight into dukkha though...

Ever since then, I've been pulling my hair out in trying to get back into that state again, because I find it a very useful state to investigate things. Now I'm frustrated. Any suggestions? Is it possible to stay in this state in a more permanent way?

I feel like I need to find a qualified meditation teacher for guidance so I can navigate better on this path to awakening. Suggestions? I'm in Wellington, New Zealand. If no teacher here, I'm happy to go online zoom etc to get some guidance, or go on a retreat somewhere in the world.

I've never attended a retreat or any group session before, or know anyone around me interested in this stuff, and my meditation so far over the years has been pretty ad hoc coupled with my interest in readings on Zen sutras and cognitive psychology. However, after this insight, I feel the need to practice meditation more, as there's this whole realm outside the cave of thought/thinking. 

I'm at a point of my life where I can spend a good year or two focusing on studying buddhism fulltime and not having to worry about things, so I want to use this opportunity to make real progress.

Really appreciate any advice you can give.


You don't say why you are practicing mindfulness.

Is it to have interesting experiences? And is that hey you want to repeat this one you had?

If not, remember why you are practicing mindfulness and don't let that experience distract you or become an obsession. Stick to your plan.

If you would say why you are practicing mindfulness you might get more better advice.
thumbnail
Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 5/16/24 5:36 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 5/16/24 5:30 AM

RE: Need guidance...

Posts: 1750 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Jim Smith

...
You don't say why you are practicing mindfulness.

Is it to have interesting experiences? And is that hey you want to repeat this one you had?

If not, remember why you are practicing mindfulness and don't let that experience distract you or become an obsession. Stick to your plan.

If you would say why you are practicing mindfulness you might get more better advice.



What you experience during any particular meditation session will be determined by many different factors that can fluctuate widely. For example, neurotransmitters, endorphins, stress hormones, blood sugar, amino acids (like tryptophan), how busy you are that day, your emotional state, how much mindfulness you have been doing recently, how much sleep you've been getting, etc etc.

Trying to reproduce any particular state is not something you can always do just by using a technique, sometimes it depends on factors that you have no way of measuring easily or knowing which ones and what levels would produce that state.

In my experience, the state you describe occurs after I eat a big meal that elevates my mood (lots of carbs and protein - like Thanksgiving turkey and bread stuffing, yams, and cranberry sauce), at some point that effect of an elevated mood starts to wear off and it is during that transition I see mental phenomena arising and fading very rapidly like you describe. But people are different so I can't say for sure if is exactly what you are experiencing or that you can reproduce it by trying to reproduce the conditions that I described.

Breadcrumb