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What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?

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What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/8/18 9:20 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? alguidar 7/9/18 9:50 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Kim Katami 7/9/18 12:12 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Ward Law 7/9/18 10:01 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Nicolas G. 7/9/18 10:16 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/9/18 12:58 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? curious 7/9/18 1:08 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Lars 7/9/18 4:42 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? curious 7/9/18 10:10 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? JP 7/10/18 10:21 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? curious 7/11/18 1:45 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Jim Smith 7/9/18 2:37 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? shargrol 7/15/18 7:44 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Darby 7/9/18 5:17 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/9/18 7:12 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Nick O 7/9/18 7:49 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/9/18 8:07 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Nick O 7/9/18 8:58 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Thich Nhat Han Solo 7/9/18 11:26 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/10/18 12:54 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? JohnM 7/9/18 11:41 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/10/18 12:56 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Simon T. 7/10/18 10:23 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? alguidar 7/11/18 5:44 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/14/18 11:47 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Noah D 7/15/18 2:05 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/15/18 8:36 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Chris Marti 7/15/18 8:42 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/15/18 8:52 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Chris Marti 7/15/18 11:08 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/15/18 11:29 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Chris Marti 7/15/18 11:54 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/15/18 12:32 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Chris Marti 7/15/18 12:52 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/15/18 12:54 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Chris Marti 7/15/18 1:11 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/15/18 1:18 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Chris Marti 7/15/18 2:13 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/15/18 2:34 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Chris Marti 7/15/18 2:39 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/15/18 2:42 PM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Crusty S Lobster 7/16/18 4:49 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Richard Zen 7/16/18 8:27 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? Noah D 7/16/18 11:09 AM
RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation? I Dream of Jnani 7/16/18 11:18 AM
I'm currently working on The Illuminated Mind. Good book! It's inspired me to investigate how to deal with thoughts in meditation. I'm also working on a Rob Burbea project based on his audio files. That's a big project!

As I get deeper into these topics I've been thinking about a different way of doing research, and instead of just focusing on one book review at a time for every installment of Psych Reviews, it would be nice to look at topics that meditators are struggling with. This will mean that the videos and blog posts will be more like review papers, hopefully with more engaging writing, so there will be multiple book recommendations and sources with each installment. 

So, what is your biggest struggle right now with meditation that you would like to see examined?

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 9:50 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Excelent thread Richard.

My biggest struggle is: AM I DOING IT RIGHT?


I do Shikantaza, 2 sits, 1 hour each.



Description for 1 hour sit.

1) Sit, take a few breaths, rest on "spaciousness."
2) attention goes to toughts for like 5 secs.
3) effortlessly attention comes back to "spaciousness" for maybe 30 secs. 
4) attention freely moves to sounds, itches or thoughts for a few secs.
5) attention comes back to spaciousness.

Other usefull info:
I experience an awareness prior to attention.
Like attention moving is just another happening as sounds, itches or thoughts.

Overall mindset towards practice:
Just sit, don´t control attention, stay alert/sharp, don´t try and stop thoughts, surrender to what is.




Input/advice is wellcomed.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 10:01 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Dullness.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 10:16 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Distracting sensations in the forehead and nose

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 12:12 PM as a reply to alguidar.
alguidar:
Excelent thread Richard.

My biggest struggle is: AM I DOING IT RIGHT?


I do Shikantaza, 2 sits, 1 hour each.

...

Input/advice is wellcomed.

That's a pretty common concern. These two workshops might be of help.

Intention, Attention and Awareness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADwZLjtT2QY&t=35s
Just Sitting 2.0: https://youtu.be/472OJ_U1F70?t=121

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 12:58 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
That's good. A lot of books cover this.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 1:08 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
One of my challenges at the moment is the advice on realizing the witness and the still point.  Some big names recommend this (Culadasa, Kenneth Folk).  But I don't want to do it because it seems to me like it is clinging to a duality, and that there is really no witness (which I think might be Daniel's view).  There seems to be me to be only a clearing house, a market, an empty space.  Or, to steal wholesale from William Butler Yeats ;

Because to him who ponders well
My rhymes more than their rhyming tell 
Of things discovered in the deep, 
Where only body's laid asleep. 
For the elemental creatures go 
About my table to and fro, 
That hurry from unmeasured mind 
To rant and rage in flood and wind; 
Yet he who treads in measured ways 
May surely barter gaze for gaze. 
Man ever journeys on with them 
After the red-rose-bordered hem. 
Ah, faeries, dancing under the moon,
A Druid land!  A Druid tune!

Rather than a witness, or a still point, my view is that the mind is just a tabletop, or a forest grove, that hosts a vareity of fleeting visitors.

So I guess my problem is knowing when to follow advice, and when to disregard it !

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 2:37 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:

So, what is your biggest struggle right now with meditation that you would like to see examined?

Buckwheat hulls or kapok? 

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 4:42 PM as a reply to curious.
curious:
Rather than a witness, or a still point, my view is that the mind is just a tabletop, or a forest grove, that hosts a vareity of fleeting visitors.


Even the host/visitor analogy is dualistic. The sense of space/location is itself just a sensation, so the "fleeting visitors" and the space they appear to occur within are not actually seperate.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 5:17 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
My biggest struggles right now are mainly two: annoying hip or back discomfort during a long sit (I need to find a better meditation cushion, as I really don't like meditating in a chair...idk, I just don't feel grounded  in a chair). Also, jumping on a thought train and riding along for too long before I realize it. I'm in the middle of a move, so finding that's worse right now.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 7:12 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
For all the people annoyed by pain and discomfort, this video I did months ago should have some ideas:


http://psychreviews.org/meditation-chronic-pain/
Meditation and Chronic Pain

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 7:49 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
My current struggle is trying to get an hour of meditation in where I'm not asleep on the cushion after a 10 hour shift working in the hot sun (I start work too early for a morning sesh). Thought I had dullness beat untill arrived the summer heat. 

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 8:07 PM as a reply to Nick O.
Nick O:
My current struggle is trying to get an hour of meditation in where I'm not asleep on the cushion after a 10 hour shift working in the hot sun (I start work too early for a morning sesh). Thought I had dullness beat untill arrived the summer heat. 
I personally think that if people are working that much and under such circumstances, then sleep is better than meditation. You want to get as much sleep as you need. For a lot of people, prioritizing good sleep makes a huge difference, often better than meditation.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 8:58 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard, 

I definitely prioritize getting my zzz's (battling some minor semi-frequent insomnia) but there's still time after work, before my appropriate bedtime to sit and lately these sits are just for sinking and nodding off (even with eyes open). I find it truly remarkable that experienced meditators are able sit without dullness even in states of exhaustion. Perhaps they've never been solar installers! 

I've considered altering my sleep schedule back a couple hours but it would make me totally incompatible with friends and familty on my days off.  I've also considered switching jobs, which for many reasons I'm not interested in doing at this time. The only answer is to keep practicing and await that cooler weather. 

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 10:10 PM as a reply to Lars.
Lars:

Even the host/visitor analogy is dualistic. The sense of space/location is itself just a sensation, so the "fleeting visitors" and the space they appear to occur within are not actually seperate.

Thank you Lars.  That's really helpful.  I'm been stuck in a little rut there, I guess.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 11:26 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
  1. My biggest problem in trying to establish the 4 foundations of mindfulness is habitually identifying with thought.
 
It's very hard to observe a thought arise, exist & pass away without becoming identified. (Although I am watching ‘myself’ become identified as much as possible)
 
  1. Also I notice that I can note when the thought has already happened but, find it very difficult to see the beginning of the thought.
 
(FYI I practice Goenka/U Ba Khin based technique but - including mindfulness of all 6 senses rather just sensation. I practice 2-3 hours per day)

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/9/18 11:41 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
"Attainment" vs. "living the walk." Trusting that at some point these will merge.

The pragmatic scene has envigorated me with the hair-on-fire intensity of "getting it done," but I've blown up my life too many times in the quest for quick attainment to do that again.

Getting the practice to permeate all moments of my life and at the same time reorient to carve out retreat time is my biggest struggle.

I do see the results of my sustained effort, and feel confident things are moving in the right direction.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/10/18 12:54 AM as a reply to Thich Nhat Han Solo.
Thich Nhat Han Solo:
  1. My biggest problem in trying to establish the 4 foundations of mindfulness is habitually identifying with thought.
 
It's very hard to observe a thought arise, exist & pass away without becoming identified. (Although I am watching ‘myself’ become identified as much as possible)
 
  1. Also I notice that I can note when the thought has already happened but, find it very difficult to see the beginning of the thought.
 
(FYI I practice Goenka/U Ba Khin based technique but - including mindfulness of all 6 senses rather just sensation. I practice 2-3 hours per day)
Yeah I think that The Mind Illuminated is helping me with that problem. It's the "landing strip" Thanissaro talks about. There is a lot of pleasure in thought, especially planning things to do, then it becomes a habitual "landing strip" our thinking. The purpose of meditation is to create a habit so that the mind bends back to the breath after thoughts naturally subside. The breath becomes a landing strip, so we don't have to be aversive to thinking because the brain let's go on its own from all the practice. To benefit from meditation, the brain has to fabricate a preference for a peaceful mind state. You are trying to preserve it and only let emotions in that are practical, useful, and human.

The really painful, unproductive, or even suicidal thoughts, are to be let go of, and the brain after thousands of letting go's, starts to bend towards the breath as a habit. This way we don't have to fight the thinking, because we need thinking to operate properly. Right Effort makes sense. You want skillful thoughts and to weed out the unskillful ones. Gradually the shame, worry about the future or feeling sorry for oneself, starts to let go on its own faster and faster.

Thoughts are very difficult. When you try to preserve a peaceful mind state, it's easier to notice the forgettings that occur and to come back to the present moment, or to interrupt the early stirrings of another forgetting about to begin. When you are not prizing the mind state by monitoring the quality of the mental state, then the mind doesn't know what it's fighting for with the meditation.

Learn to enjoy and prize the peaceful mind. I'm also returning a little to Daniel's instructions on Actualism, but it's more like a savouring where you take simple pleasures in breathing and being in the body, and noticing beauty and looking forward to pleasures and gratitude that is in front of you and under your control. It feels healthy. Though he says, "try the practice all day for 2 years and see what happens." That shows how much practice there has to be, to change the brain. LOTS!

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/10/18 12:56 AM as a reply to JohnM.
JohnM:
"Attainment" vs. "living the walk." Trusting that at some point these will merge.

The pragmatic scene has envigorated me with the hair-on-fire intensity of "getting it done," but I've blown up my life too many times in the quest for quick attainment to do that again.

Getting the practice to permeate all moments of my life and at the same time reorient to carve out retreat time is my biggest struggle.

I do see the results of my sustained effort, and feel confident things are moving in the right direction.
I think pleasure, joy and gratitude have to be a part of the practice or else it feels dour, and like a doomed mission. "Getting it done" can hide a lot of resistance and self-measurement.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/10/18 10:21 AM as a reply to curious.
One of my challenges at the moment is the advice on realizing the witness and the still point.  Some big names recommend this (Culadasa, Kenneth Folk).  But I don't want to do it because it seems to me like it is clinging to a duality, and that there is really no witness (which I think might be Daniel's view).


I don't have the practice experience to back this up, but I think that another way to conceive of Witness practice is as a way of wearing out a duality rather than clinging to it.  It's not that the Witness is an amazing state that you're trying to stay with -- it's that if you keep experiencing The Witness as a duality regularly and clearly, you'll naturally start to let go of it and to recognize off-cushion when the sensations that imply it are arising.  It seems like there are a couple different approaches here -- you can try to work on intending towards letting go and moving towards less fabricated states, or you can intend towards experiencing the unsatisfactoriness of duality until it wears out.  The latter approach reminds me a bit of Daniel's practice leading up to 4th  path when he tried to experience as many fruitions through the suffering door as he could -- to basically distill suffering down and experience the core of it until that core was clearly seen.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/10/18 10:23 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
I have no clue what I'm doing. 

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/11/18 5:44 AM as a reply to Simon T..
Simon T.:
I have no clue what I'm doing. 


 so much real life... emoticon

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/11/18 1:45 PM as a reply to JP.
JP:

I don't have the practice experience to back this up, but I think that another way to conceive of Witness practice is as a way of wearing out a duality rather than clinging to it.  It's not that the Witness is an amazing state that you're trying to stay with -- it's that if you keep experiencing The Witness as a duality regularly and clearly, you'll naturally start to let go of it and to recognize off-cushion when the sensations that imply it are arising.  It seems like there are a couple different approaches here -- you can try to work on intending towards letting go and moving towards less fabricated states, or you can intend towards experiencing the unsatisfactoriness of duality until it wears out.  The latter approach reminds me a bit of Daniel's practice leading up to 4th  path when he tried to experience as many fruitions through the suffering door as he could -- to basically distill suffering down and experience the core of it until that core was clearly seen.
Thanks JP.  Really interesting and helpful.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/14/18 11:47 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 2:05 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
How to go beyond the individual consciousness (attentional system/fight-or-flight) while operating in the admittedly centerless-nondual, yet existent, material world.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 7:44 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
Richard Zen:

So, what is your biggest struggle right now with meditation that you would like to see examined?

Buckwheat hulls or kapok? 

Definitely buckwheat hulls in summer and kapok in winter emoticon emoticon

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 8:36 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah D:
How to go beyond the individual consciousness (attentional system/fight-or-flight) while operating in the admittedly centerless-nondual, yet existent, material world.

The Culadasa practice helps. The peripheral awareness practice added to concentration relieves a lot of concentration stress. The need to have some thoughts, somewhat controlled, but not too controlled allows for more spontaneous Jhana.

The rest of being in the existent material world requires practice to reduce mental stress, because learning new material has elements of stress and tiredness. Until a skill is a habit, there will be some mental stress. We also can't avoid physical pain. All we are dealing with is the anguish of resisting what we can't control. We have to control what we can control, but let go of this control that wants to control what is not controllable. 

This doesn't mean we give up on life. We have to get our needs met, but when a lot of your psychological needs are satisfied with concentration and mindfulness, then those external ones aren't as needed. Then the rest of life is up to you.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 8:42 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
The question is a deep, advanced practice question that assumes a duality. Are there two different worlds? Or is there just one with attributes that make it sometimes seem like two? Where does the appearance of one world, or of two, come from? I think it deserves a discussion from that perspective as opposed to a psychological perspective.

emoticon

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 8:52 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
It's hard, because the psychological perspective is important to help us get our needs met and when you balance your mind out that way (yes in a dualistic way) you can protect yourself from predators like narcissists and psychopaths, which is REALLY important if you want to avoid exploitation on this planet. They would love to chew on a Buddhist.

On the other hand you have to get the intellectual understanding that you see in Nagarjuna where even the arising and passing away of objects is too solid for ultimate reality. The big bang doesn't pause because we go into memory. It's still vibrating at a sub-atomic level and pushing forward with our choices and intentions.

In a dualistic sense, Buddhism can help reduce repression (so can psychoanalysis and cognitive therapy) and our choices start expanding so the cause and effect can go in more directions.

The best way to look at a dualistic form of self is the ability to direct intentions, but those intentions have pros and cons to compare, and then gets motivated based on that. What we learn and compare is out of our hands because we are thrown into the world and culture and knowledge that the culture has.

How to find a non-dual way to do all the dualistic stuff I mentioned above is something for me to learn further emoticon

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 11:08 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
It's hard, because the psychological perspective is important to help us get our needs met and when you balance your mind out that way (yes in a dualistic way) you can protect yourself from predators like narcissists and psychopaths, which is REALLY important if you want to avoid exploitation on this planet. They would love to chew on a Buddhist.

My personal experience has not been like that at all. My practice has made it much easier to identify, and deal with, all manner of human beings in different mental states and with different pathologies. BTW, this really has very little to do with dualism or non-dualism, but a simple compassionate recognition of where people are as they interact.

Again, I think Noah's question is about deep practice and deserves an answer from that perspective.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 11:29 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
It's hard, because the psychological perspective is important to help us get our needs met and when you balance your mind out that way (yes in a dualistic way) you can protect yourself from predators like narcissists and psychopaths, which is REALLY important if you want to avoid exploitation on this planet. They would love to chew on a Buddhist.

My personal experience has not been like that at all. My practice has made it much easier to identify, and deal with, all manner of human beings in different mental states and with different pathologies. BTW, this really has very little to do with dualism or non-dualism, but a simple compassionate recognition of where people are as they interact.

Again, I think Noah's question is about deep practice and deserves an answer from that perspective.

I would like to hear your perspective of deep practice in dealing with the fight or flight system. In my experience, knowing where people are with simple compassionate recognition only works if they don't look at you as competition. Though Rene Girard points out Christ's example as a way out. Though Plato made it clear that if we don't learn to deal with manipulators, they will run the governments that we rely on. There is definitely an area in Buddhism that needs to look at political movements and how a Buddhist example would look like, since anger and fight or flight needs an outlet.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 11:54 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
In my experience, knowing where people are with simple compassionate recognition only works if they don't look at you as competition.

I'll first answer your question with a question - why are you presuming that their perspective would have an effect on mine?

For me the key to dealing with fight or flight situations is knowing that my emotional and habitual reactions are just reactions - they are not "me" and they need not affect the actions I take - unless I let them. If I can see others just as they are, irrespective of my state of mind and their state of mind and the pathology that represents, I can better deal with the situation. On the other hand, if I assume that what others are doing has a direct and unalterable effect on me then I'm probably stuck and I won't see beyond that and gain a perspective that is less immediately reactive.


RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 12:32 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
In my experience, knowing where people are with simple compassionate recognition only works if they don't look at you as competition.

I'll first answer your question with a question - why are you presuming that their perspective would have an effect on mine?

For me the key to dealing with fight or flight situations is knowing that my emotional and habitual reactions are just reactions - they are not "me" and they need not affect the actions I take - unless I let them. If I can see others just as they are, irrespective of my state of mind and their state of mind and the pathology that represents, I can better deal with the situation. On the other hand, if I assume that what others are doing has a direct and unalterable effect on me then I'm probably stuck and I won't see beyond that and gain a perspective that is less immediately reactive.


Yeah that sounds more realistic. I do think that mindfulness is helpful when dealing with toxic people, but I do interviews with people suffering from narcissistic abuse and there's a point that mindfulness and seeing people where they are at is not good enough. They usually have C-PTSD and require more than meditation. Sometimes medication, though I do recommend meditation to not add to the problem, because excessive ruminating is another area that people get stuck in. Once the trauma has happened they'll need more meditation, grieving, and getting themselves away from toxic people, because it's hard to heal the brain when you're being retraumatized. Then they have to move on with projects that they can control to rebuild a sense of self again.

I definitely would recommend Buddhists to look at more non-competitive jobs that require lots of aggressive networking (including alcohol and office politics), this would be Right Livelihood. Then I would recommend that any marriage situations have a grounding in reality, that Buddhists don't want to keep up with the Joneses and do lots of conspicuous consumption. Once partners are aware of that, hopefully greedy types will find them boring and go the other way. 

Friendships should be pretty easy when involved with a good Sangha.

Being mindful of reactivity is good and accepting that it's there, because it will be there. The rest is making sure to be mindful enough to do good actions with the reactivity to not escalate it. Some psychologists think that "grey rock", or being intentionally boring helps, and in some situations it does, but once people emotionally invest in projects they're hooked. For example, I wanted Croatia to win the world cup, and the emotional investment happened quickly, but because I'm not from Croatia and it doesn't matter too much, the pain was less. emoticon As soon as the brain makes a preference, no matter how quietly, it can manifest in dukkha (wanting a team to win, or play better, or grieve if they lose, etc). It happens so quickly.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 12:52 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
I definitely would recommend Buddhists to look at more non-competitive jobs that require lots of aggressive networking (including alcohol and office politics), this would be Right Livelihood. Then I would recommend that any marriage situations have a grounding in reality, that Buddhists don't want to keep up with the Joneses and do lots of conspicuous consumption. Once partners are aware of that, hopefully greedy types will find them boring and go the other way. 

Why are you stereotyping Buddhists? Can't Buddhists be just like anyone else? BTW, in the use of the term "Buddhist" should I assume you mean anyone with a regular long-standing meditation practice?

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 12:54 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I definitely would recommend Buddhists to look at more non-competitive jobs that require lots of aggressive networking (including alcohol and office politics), this would be Right Livelihood. Then I would recommend that any marriage situations have a grounding in reality, that Buddhists don't want to keep up with the Joneses and do lots of conspicuous consumption. Once partners are aware of that, hopefully greedy types will find them boring and go the other way. 

Why are you stereotyping Buddhists? Can't Buddhists be just like anyone else?
I'm not sure I understand. If you study Buddhism and practice it you'll be different from anyone who doesn't. Doing office politics, and drinking alcohol at parties, and gossiping about competitors would definitely breach so much of what Buddhism is trying to change. Unless you are talking about some pragmatic method that allows us to look the same as everyone else who isn't Buddhist and still achieve some higher equanimity that they can't see?

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 1:11 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Doing office politics, and drinking alcohol at parties, and gossiping about competitors would definitely breach so much of what Buddhism is trying to change. Unless you are talking about some pragmatic method that allows us to look the same as everyone else who isn't Buddhist and still achieve some higher equanimity that they can't see?

The normative aspects of Buddhism you're reciting seem to me to come from caricature, not reality. I've maintained a meditation practice for 30 years and I have a drink now and then, usually wine or beer. I engage in conversations with co-workers. Office politics isn't something I can avoid. I have to deal with them all the time. I have a wife and four children. I have a career that requires me to interact with other human beings at many levels of discourse and business, and that's not going to change unless I move to a cave in the mountains and ignore the rest of the world.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 1:18 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Doing office politics, and drinking alcohol at parties, and gossiping about competitors would definitely breach so much of what Buddhism is trying to change. Unless you are talking about some pragmatic method that allows us to look the same as everyone else who isn't Buddhist and still achieve some higher equanimity that they can't see?

The normative aspects of Buddhism you're reciting seem to me to come from caricature, not reality. I've maintained a meditation practice for 30 years and I have a drink now and then, usually wine or beer. I engage in conversations with co-workers. Office politics isn't something I can avoid. I have to deal with them all the time. I have a wife and four children. I have a career that requires me to interact with other human beings at many levels of discourse and business, and that's not going to change unless I move to a cave in the mountains and ignore the rest of the world.

Okay so what is the "deeper" answer? You said:
Chris MartiThe question is a deep, advanced practice question that assumes a duality. Are there two different worlds? Or is there just one with attributes that make it sometimes seem like two? Where does the appearance of one world, or of two, come from? I think it deserves a discussion from that perspective as opposed to a psychological perspective.

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I actually want to know. How does this better way work that's non-dualistic, and includes a reduction of dukkha?

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 2:13 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
My shorthand version:

It's about mind. Mind not in the western psychological sense but in the sense this mind is that which processes all of our experience. Mind creates duality, which is normal and how minds operate. Yet mind can also see through the dualities it creates, even see the process of creating dualities in real time (the subject/object process called dependent origination) but it most often needs to be trained. That training is usually done using meditation and it takes some time.

When, over time, we learn to see that there isn't a duality vs non-duality "problem" to solve (Noah's issue) but rather a mind-driven perception mechanism at work, the need to separate the world into artificial categories can stop, or at least be dramatically reduced. We can start to use this view in our daily lives as we practice over time, and this then allows us the space to see everything we experience in less habitual and reactive ways. We can thus break the chain of habitual reactions and act from a different perspective on our experience.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 2:34 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
My shorthand version:

It's about mind. Mind not in the western psychological sense but in the sense this mind is that which processes all of our experience. Mind creates duality, which is normal and how minds operate. Yet mind can also see through the dualities it creates, even see the process of creating dualities in real time (the subject/object process called dependent origination) but it most often needs to be trained. That training is usually done using meditation and it takes some time.

When, over time, we learn to see that there isn't a duality vs non-duality "problem" to solve (Noah's issue) but rather a mind-driven perception mechanism at work, the need to separate the world into artificial categories can stop, or at least be dramatically reduced. We can start to use this view in our daily lives as we practice over time, and this then allows us the space to see everything we experience in less habitual and reactive ways. We can thus break the chain of habitual reactions and act from a different perspective on our experience.
Ok so he should just keep practicing, and use the reactivity to point out where the artificial categories are still operating?

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 2:39 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Yes, and I believe he will, and that he already knows what to do. This kind of thing, Noah's issue, is a long-term project and progress is not linear. In fact, it's something that seemingly has no end. There appears to be a limitless opportunity for human beings to gain wisdom.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/15/18 2:42 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Yes, and I believe he will, and that he already knows what to do. This kind of thing, Noah's issue, is a long-term project and progress is not linear. In fact, it's something that seemingly has no end. There appears to be a limitless opportunity for human beings to gain wisdom.


That's certainly my experience. The path isn't linear and learning doesn't end (unless becoming an arhat, though learning of different kinds still happens).

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/16/18 4:49 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Really enjoyed reading everyones 'struggle'.

I don't struggle with meditation. Though I feel without it, I would. My main practice is shikantaza. However I am not a zenith, so mix it up as appropriate. Sometimes a spot of chanting, sometimes yoga nidra type body scanning, sometimes mindful tea drinking ...

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/16/18 8:27 AM as a reply to Crusty S Lobster.
All the methods have pluses and minuses, but it looks like the path to reducing struggle is to 1. Read a lot, 2. Practice with balance, nuance and detail, 3. Sustain as much continuity as possible over years.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/16/18 11:09 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Yes, and I believe he will, and that he already knows what to do. This kind of thing, Noah's issue, is a long-term project and progress is not linear. In fact, it's something that seemingly has no end. There appears to be a limitless op  portunity for human beings to gain wisdom.
Good dialogue , Richard & chris.  

I agree that that there’s no end, but I’d be happy with buddhahood as a surrogate end.

RE: What is your biggest struggle right now with meditation?
Answer
7/16/18 11:18 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Biggest struggle in the practice here is Sila. 

1. Stopping my yapping clap trap. (if successful, this seems "strange" to friends and family - trap?! He's sick?)

2. Via the actual pith of the practice itself (Vipassana and Samatha) - Prior to some Insight(s), belief was that time could be set up and then practice would happen accordingly. Post greater Insights -- sure they are freeing (from the sense of Control, yet now, one seems at the mercy of the ownerless Truth of Conditionality and practice has "me", "I" don't have it, so there is only Adhitthana, or wishing one's way into practice, which is at the mercy of the Interdependant Universe.

3. Do I start wiggling my nose like Tabitha?

Metta.