Important Announcement

See here for an important message regarding the community which has become a read-only site as of October 31.

 
Post Reply
Switch to Forum Live View In need of some meditation tips
6 years ago  ::  Aug 17, 2011 - 12:03AM #1
Hatshepsut
Posts: 11
Recently I started meditating again after not practicing for several years.  My experiences have been very good considering I'm rusty, but I have run into two slight problems.

1. My eyes won't stay still.  They keep shifting, literally on their own.

2. My back hurts.  Now, my posture is generally pretty good, and I don't slouch when I meditate, nor do I keep my spine rigid.  But I've been experiencing back pain during meditation and I don't know why.  

Of course when I reach a a deeper level of meditation, my eyes stop shifting and I don't notice the back pain, but these do make it difficult for me to get to that deeper point.

So!  Any tips related to these concerns, or any tips on meditation in general, would be very helpful.

Peace!
Amber
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Aug 17, 2011 - 3:48AM #2
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 973

Aug 17, 2011 -- 12:03AM, Hatshepsut wrote:

Recently I started meditating again after not practicing for several years.  My experiences have been very good considering I'm rusty, but I have run into two slight problems.

1. My eyes won't stay still.  They keep shifting, literally on their own.

2. My back hurts.  Now, my posture is generally pretty good, and I don't slouch when I meditate, nor do I keep my spine rigid.  But I've been experiencing back pain during meditation and I don't know why.  

Of course when I reach a a deeper level of meditation, my eyes stop shifting and I don't notice the back pain, but these do make it difficult for me to get to that deeper point.

So!  Any tips related to these concerns, or any tips on meditation in general, would be very helpful.

Peace!
Amber



This link provides some authentic instruction of Theravadin Buddhist Meditation.


www.satipanya.org.uk/index.php?page=audi...


The Spiritual director of the Satipanya Vihara began his Buddhist Faith with the practise of Soto Zen. This link provides audio links for Guided Meditation and Assisted Meditation, plus a complete Foundation Course in Buddhism.


You may also wish to consider including Metta Meditation in your daily routine. Metta Meditation is a complete Buddhist Meditation in itself:


community.beliefnet.com/go/thread/view/5...


To balance the Wisdom derived from Meditation, one is also adivsed to carry out Metta Meditation. Metta is translated as 'Loving Kindness', but is is Spiritual Love and not Profane Love. It is Selfless, Transcendental Love and not the Personal Love one may have for parents and siblings, or a spouse, or a true friend.




www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/budd...

Metta
The Philosophy and Practice of Universal Love
by
Acharya Buddharakkhita
© 1995–2011

[...]

7. The Blessings of Metta  

    Monks, when universal love leading to liberation of mind is ardently practiced, developed, unrelentingly resorted to, used as one's vehicle, made the foundation of one's life, fully established, well consolidated and perfected, then these eleven blessings may be expected. What eleven?

    One sleeps happily; one wakes happily; one does not suffer bad dreams; one is dear to human beings; one is dear to non-human beings; the gods protect one; no fire or poison or weapon harms one; one's mind gets quickly concentrated; the expression of one's face is serene; one dies unperturbed; and even if one fails to attain higher states, one will at least reach the state of the Brahma world.

    Monks, when universal love leading to liberation of mind is ardently practiced, developed, unrelentingly resorted to, used as one's vehicle, made the foundation of one's life, fully established, well consolidated and perfected, then these eleven blessings may be expected.

[...]




Metta Meditaion is perhaps the most simple yet most powerful meditation in Buddhism, and is completely safe for anyone to practise with or without a Teacher. It is a complete Buddhist Vehcile in itself.


For example: The Tipitaka [Three Baksets of Wisdom] of the Theravada School of Buddhism is said to be three times longer than the Christian Bible. Whilst the Mahayana Canon is said to be even larger.


For any person of a faithful temeprament, all of that voluminous study can be obviated with Metta Meditation. Metta is a Transcendental Faculty of the Mind, One of Ten Such Faculties which the Buddha had to effect to become a Buddha [According to the Theravada]. In simpler terms, it is an umbrella device, which opens up the Entire Dhamma of the Buddha.


And it is very simple:


If one gives Metta to the Buddha, Metta to the Dhamma, and Metta to the Sangha, one is directing thoughts of Loving Kindness to the Brahmanas and the Word of the Supreme Brhamana the Buddha:




www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/singala8.h...

SINGALA SUTTA

(Discourse to Singala)

TEN SUTTAS FROM DIGHA NIKAYA

BURMA PITAKA ASSOCIATION

1984


272. Young householder, in five ways should a man of good family minister to the samanas and brahmanas as the Zenith: by deeds of loving kindness; by words of loving kindness; by thoughts of loving kindness; by keeping the house open to them; by supplying them with material needs (such as alms-food).

         Young householder, the samanas and brahmanas, ministered to in these five ways as the Zenith by a man of good family, bring benefit to him in six ways: they restrain him from evil; they exhort him to do good; they protect him with loving kindness; they teach him (the profound matters) that he has not heard before; they explain and make clear to him (the profound matters) which he has heard before; they show him the path to the realm of the devas.

         Young householder, in these five ways a man of good family ministers to the samanas and the brahmanas as the Zenith and the samanas and the brahmanas also bring benefit to him in these six ways. It is thus that the Zenith is covered and made safe and secure.


www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/singala.ht...

Comments on Salient Points in the Singala Sutta

U Ko Lay

1985




 

Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Aug 17, 2011 - 11:45AM #3
vacchagotta
Posts: 298

Aug 17, 2011 -- 12:03AM, Hatshepsut wrote:

Recently I started meditating again after not practicing for several years.  My experiences have been very good considering I'm rusty, but I have run into two slight problems.

1. My eyes won't stay still.  They keep shifting, literally on their own.

2. My back hurts.  Now, my posture is generally pretty good, and I don't slouch when I meditate, nor do I keep my spine rigid.  But I've been experiencing back pain during meditation and I don't know why.  

Of course when I reach a a deeper level of meditation, my eyes stop shifting and I don't notice the back pain, but these do make it difficult for me to get to that deeper point.

So!  Any tips related to these concerns, or any tips on meditation in general, would be very helpful.

Peace!
Amber



Hi Amber,


1.  Answer to this one might be part relaxation technique and part real insight into what meditation is.  But it takes intuitive work and practice (that's why they call it practice, hehe) Your eyes going all over the place and seeking seeking seeking something to look at is neurologically probably normal.  You said they do this "on their own."  But in meditation, why does it bother you?  Because it is counter to your aim in meditation or releasing your ties to worldly habits.  I mean, you might feel that the eyes are doing it on their own but they wouldn't do that or bother you in doing that if it were 100% true.  You have a part in it, at least mentally, else it wouldn't bother you, to my thinking. 


One way to look at it --and your heightened awareness of it, thus distracting you-- is that it is an expression of normal (normal but fundamentally "unskillful", remember ;) ) habitual grasping at the body and the world.  You can feel the bodily experience as that; as grasping, as desire for the bodily existence itself.  It takes some intuition, but once you feel that, and it is a strong sense, you can actually "let go" consciously and active, pulling apart from that sensuality.  When you start to succeed in this you might learn what it means that first jhana is introduced by the language "quite withdrawn from sensuality".  It's a form of freedom.  One way to get this intuitive feeling is to use a relaxation technique to your advantage.  One good way to relax a muscle that might work for you is to get more active about it, to tense the muscle and then let it go.  Try that with your eyes, maybe it will help.  But it can also help in the area of concentration --to not even care what your eyes are doing--, too.  To get concentrated you can really try hard to the point where your body starts to tense, the grasping or desire is physically palpable.  And then realize that there is a mental element and a physical element, and you can relax the physical away, purifying the mental concentration element.  It'll feel refreshing and opening,  like getting out of jail. :D  When you get familiar with this there's no particular technique to it, it's just as simple as a thought or like flipping a light switch (in a way, tensing the body is similar to becoming familiar with the contrast between relaxing and grasping, like flipping a switch to see "light" then "dark" then "light").  As a side note, I don't know if you use any stimulants such as caffeine, but those can make such a thing more difficult.  Internally aware, any feeling of the body being too active "on its own" will only be heightened by such substances.


2. Healthy spinal alignment is we suppose fairly important in meditation; however, sitting pose, except insofar as it facilitates comfort, health, and stability for sitting still for relatively long periods to avoid injury, is incidental.  In truth, you can meditate sitting, standing, lying down, walking, or moving in any way such as working or excercising.  But most people seem to need, at least up to a point, that focused time without distractions, that's why sitting meditation takes front seat.  The back pain might be related to posture or it could be any number of things.  Not to make you worry, but if it is persistent you may want to seek some form of medical advice, it could be caused by internal organ condition, spinal condition, or any number of muscle injuries that are only revealed by a specific posture.  It could even just be that you are a few years older!  But, barring that it is any of these, it's probably just posture in some way, and my best advice is that if you are practicing at home, just sit in your most supportive chair, whatever one you can sit in for the longest time without becoming uncomfortable.  I don't know what posture you are using, but for one I advise against half-lotus as it is fairly unstable, like a twisting effect without a good deal of flexibility.  But, seriously, there's no crucial need to physically make yourself look like a buddha statue; a chair is just fine.  Meditation is citta-bhavana or mental cultivation; the particular form of the body should be forgettable.  However, if sitting on the floor somehow seems necessary to you for whatever reason you deem valid, my recommendation is what is often called "Burmese"pose.  It's widely used and more stable than the half-lotus, but not as stressful or requiring as much flexibility as the full lotus. 


Hope that might help.


in friendliness,


V.

Quick Reply
Cancel
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook