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Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

This nagging sensation that I am doing meditation, "wrong"

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I am not sure how else to phrase this, this feeling that I am doing my practice of meditation "wrong", as if there is always something more to do, or to be doing.

I feel as if it stems from knowing, or reading far too much, and having many many many concepts, thoughts, schema, feeling, and such the like flowing aimlessly in my head informing my awareness that what it is doing must be "wrong"

the impermanence of this subject makes it hard for me to exactly speak the right words of description, yet the title does the best, most simple, job of a confusing and widely varied phenomena.

Thank you!

RE: This nagging sensation that I am doing meditation, "wrong"
Answer
6/12/13 12:17 AM as a reply to sohil shrenik nanavati.
Hey, I used to be a bit confused about how i should be practicing. now I'm still confused, but more with how i should be adapting my practice to the moment, particularly in deep retreat, but also that's not that big a deal, you just keep at it.

So you have talked about knowing stuff and your confusion about your practice, but no specific info?

Shall i teach you the whole of the dhamma, mind you which i don't know that much about!
Sorry, a bit of playful heckling…
Okay, the whole of the Dharma here we go… no still joking.

Here are some books, these titles are really helpful for practicing meditation correctly.

'A Path With a Heart,' by Jack Kornfield A really good approach to understanding insight practice.

'In this very Life', by Sayadaw U Pandita. The traditional seminal text, of which is seems to me that MTCB was actually based on.

'Living buddhist Masters' by Jack Kornfield, i love this one because it shows the variables of approaches to the path. There are 10 or 11 different teachers giving their version of the dharma, it more malleable, than a lot of people think.

Kind Regards Neem.

RE: This nagging sensation that I am doing meditation, "wrong"
Answer
6/12/13 12:45 AM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
more specifically, despite mindfulness based on an object, (nothing sensations, choicless awareness, breath), whether insight, concentration, metta or anything....this nagging sense of doing the practice "wrong" is perveilant.

This comes even when the hindrance of doubt is brought to awareness.

what is this wrongness?

Part of me thinks I must find a teacher

How does one know he is meditating properly? Ones field of awareness is truly infinite and impermanent...



edit: Ive always been a fan of the 2 mindfulness in plain english books, along with daniels book and countless other shramnic tradition documents.

RE: This nagging sensation that I am doing meditation, "wrong"
Answer
6/12/13 6:05 AM as a reply to sohil shrenik nanavati.
Could you describe what you do in your practice? How is a typical meditation session for you? What happens?

RE: This nagging sensation that I am doing meditation, "wrong"
Answer
6/12/13 6:32 AM as a reply to sohil shrenik nanavati.
Firstly, before anyone meditates, he must ensure he is psychologically mature. Complete that task first. If you don''t do this, you're asking for trouble.

How do I know you're not psychologically mature?

It's a calculated guess. It seems like everyone who comes to the dho comes here to escape some aspect of pain his life. He thinks he will find answers to such problems through meditation....and he never does. NEVER! zzzzzzz emoticon

So let me save you some time. Find yourself a good shrink, work through your issues, then if you're still interested (you won't be, because life is fun when you're psychologically mature), just do self-enquiry practice - it's so simple. Forget all the complicated stuff that people go on with here. The ones who do that might be well advanced in meditation, or they might be pretenders who just enjoy a good intellectual debate. Whichever it is, it won't be of any help to you.

RE: This nagging sensation that I am doing meditation, "wrong"
Answer
6/12/13 10:13 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C, I wish you would stop bullshitting newcomers.

sohil, finding a teacher is a good idea. Evaluating Your Practice.

Also,

Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo:
In practicing meditation, if you direct your mind along the right path, you’ll see results in the immediate present. At the same time, if you lead yourself astray, you’ll reap harm in the immediate present as well.

Ajaan Thanissaro:
Uncertainty is fed by inappropriate attention to topics that are abstract and conjectural, and starved by appropriate attention to skillful and unskillful qualities in the mind. In other words, instead of focusing on issues that can't be resolved by observing the present, you focus on an issue that can: which mental qualities result in harm for the mind, and which ones don't

RE: This nagging sensation that I am doing meditation, "wrong"
Answer
6/12/13 11:20 AM as a reply to sohil shrenik nanavati.
sohil, not more than a few months have gone by during my practice since i started a few years ago where i haven't felt some degree of "doing it wrong," don't worry about it.

this nagging sense of doing the practice "wrong" is perveilant.

This comes even when the hindrance of doubt is brought to awareness.


Good, bring it to awareness, but also be dispassionate towards it, your apparent attitude that it should melt away the moment you turn awareness to it is likely a factor in its sticking around. Think of it like an annoying person trying to provoke you, if you reward their behavior with making them think they are important by reacting to them and trying to make them go away, they are just going to be inspired to keep provoking. So just label "doubt" rest attention on the bodily feeling of "wrongness" and be totally ok with that feeling sticking around as long as it likes. This has been what I have found successful in dealing with doubt.

Although I think it could be a good idea to have a formal teacher if you want one, I also think that the thought of finding the "perfect teacher" is something that shouldn't be fed too much. Not that there is anything wrong with having a teacher at all, just that there is probably something wrong with believing in external solutions as they will sidetrack you from letting go in the moment and being ok with conditions as they are.

RE: This nagging sensation that I am doing meditation, "wrong"
Answer
6/12/13 7:57 PM as a reply to fivebells ..
f you're interested in my approach, psychological maturity basically means self-acceptance. Read the WARNING on the home page. Carl Jung was a little bit smarter than old lady fivebells.

If you don't want to go to a psychologist, you can do it yourself. Simply pay attention to all aspects of yourself and "become" them. Become your body and your emotions. By becoming them, by fusing with them, you automatically accept them.

There's a guy who came up with "haietmoba" - you might have heard of him. Despite all the intellectualizing that goes on here, the approach basically amounts to self-acceptance.

haietmoba is a long-winded way of asking -

"How am I really feeling right now?"
"What are my authentic feelings right now?"

Once identified, now attempt to become the feeling. Fuse your self with the feeling. It will fall away as it's integrated.

Suffering arises out of resisting or denying what is happening now. The most resisted and denied aspects of ourselves are our feelings. Accept them this way. Also accept the body and personality by fusing with them. Your self then becomes integrated, ie. healthy.

RE: This nagging sensation that I am doing meditation, "wrong"
Answer
6/12/13 8:20 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
just do self-enquiry practice - it's so simple. Forget all the complicated stuff that people go on with here.


I like this point very much.

At some level, meditation is a hobby and so sometimes there are minutia that seem just bizarre, yet I enjoy those chats now (i find them practical, too); it's probably like some people talking about very specific golf greens and specific terrain of certain holes.

But starting out, I needed simple instructions for well more than a year and to stay with basic feelings and thoughts, stay with investigating what am I asserting.

Best wishes,
Katy

RE: This nagging sensation that I am doing meditation, "wrong"
Answer
6/14/13 10:27 PM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Hi there, Sohil

You have received a lot of good advice here. This can be difficult to negotiate. Jack Kornfield & Ken Wilber both talk about how the development of spiritual practice, i.e. meditative states doesn't actually fix all your psychological & life problems. In the book, 'After the Ecstasy the Laundry', there are the accounts of many teachers experiences of meditation and some off the problems or limitations. But one off the important themes is that attainment is not this process that will perfect you in an idealised manner, but will merely shift how you 'react' to your perspectives and those of others. So in-conclusion the enlightened person or the stream enterer still has much or can learn much, about the dharma, kind speech, ethics; views on the roles of women in buddhism etc.

But in contrast to the point, that meditative states don't fix life problems, when your mind is clear of reaction, it can be easier to change.

Next teachers are great, but I propose to you, which one is correct? This is the dilemma. Fortunately in this day and age we have a lot more neo-buddhist, who can negotiate different approaches to meditation, from inclusive perspectives.
In contrast to that, my time with teachers, such as sayadaw u pandita jr & sayadaw dr sunanda, along with study and lots of practice and discussions with my friends, have all taught me and helped me to understand how it is best for me to practice. While learning these things I have also learner to listen to good advice or at least remember it for later, for when I'm finally able to realise I was wrong, and my teacher was right with regards to my practice! So teachers are really good but in the end you have to do it your self, because even if you have total faith in them and do exactly what they tell you, there will usually come a time when you will still have to work it out yourself. This is usually most of the time for most people.

Some of the more important advice is to just keep investigating the four objects of mindfulness in daily activity, but also keep meditating and investigating. Doubt is an actual state, notice that it is there, notice how it changes, and notice that it does actually past, too, before it may return.

I'll throw a guess out based on 'my own experience': when you really want it, you try everything to trick it into happening, and when the trick doesn't work, you wonder whether it can be done or whether your able to do it. Stop tricking yourself, just mediate, you don't make this stuff happen, you make mindfulness investigation and concentration happen, by remaining attentive to the changing objects, then the practice develops. All those time you think you made something happened, were more of a push with concentration, until some calm, blissful or interesting affect occurred, making you feel like you had achieved something, stop that! Well I hope you like that last bit of advice that I gave, as it is also vey good advice to myself.

Kind Regards Neem

p.s. i reread and fixed up some errors.

RE: This nagging sensation that I am doing meditation, "wrong"
Answer
6/12/13 11:34 PM as a reply to sohil shrenik nanavati.
Haha, yes, I agree with what everyone above said. This was a funny thread to read. I guess I recognized myself a lot.

Doubt can be tricky to let go of. It seems so convincing at times. I think CCC have a point in that we can make it too complicated. I would also suggest that it's very individual and different meditation techniques suit different people. Find what works for you.

RE: This nagging sensation that I am doing meditation, "wrong"
Answer
6/13/13 5:40 PM as a reply to Bjorn Hjelte.
I'd like to thank everyone who replied so very much as all your insights and thoughts have been very helpful, my practice will be much helped as well as my day to day observance. Thank you all kindly, with metta.

sohil nanavati