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Thread: Starting to give up, please help

  1. #1

    Starting to give up, please help

    Hi, up until a year and a half ago i always had very nice and deep meditations.
    For some reason it was very easy letting go of all things back then.
    But then i moved for education and was gone for a year, and immediately after i started having problems in my meditation.
    It became harder and harder to relax the body and even harder to relax the mind.
    I have tried all the tricks in Ajahn Brahms book "Mindfulness, bliss, and beyond", and even to just accept that my body is feeling tense and focus on the mind instead.
    But 6 mounths ago i moved back to my old home, but my no existing meditation hasnīt changed.
    I know that i have some stress but it is nothing compered to the stress i had in the begining which i had no problem of letting go.

    The one thing that i know is a problem is my current job which is giving me much tension in my upper body as i get home, and with only 30 minuts to relax while eating before my meditation it is not enough time to soften my body.
    It usually take abbout 24 hours or more release the tension.

    with a year and a half since i felt real joy in my medition i have noticed my self not wanting to spend the time to meditate. But I have never skipped one yet!

    Please help

  2. #2
    Hi Daniel...... "Grist for the Mill" as Ram Dass would say. It might be that you learn more about yourself and gather more insights through your current challenges, than when its all smooth and joyful :-) ....who knows!

    My only suggestion would be to keep going mate :-)

  3. #3
    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    My meditations were grand as often as not for the first few years. I stopped for a while as an experiment. They rarely are enjoyable for me anymore. Yet, I haven't lost any of the insights gained over the years. Perhaps this is one of the greatest lessons so far. Be well.

  4. #4
    hmm, not very encouraging replies there..
    But i might just as well ask a second question.
    As my child is getting older she also get louder. Our daycare personnel has told us that she is by far the most strong-willed child they have come across.
    I cant complain really becuse i was the same, It was a great asset in my martial arts training but it also almost killed me.
    That is wher i realy tok buddism to heart, it was amazing at dampening my flame.
    But my child is only 2 years old and to young to really explain things to.
    She drives me insane sometimes, like most parents i gess...
    How should i handle her? or myself?
    I can add that just being calm has in a short while given me a notable hearing loss, and still most off the time i have worn hearingprotecion.

  5. #5
    About the meditation: a meditation retreat every now and then might be helpful. They always give me a boost in my meditation. Plus you can talk to the teacher and probably work things out.
    Child-education is a different story. I think, with children, you have to be calm, but consequent! And not too democratic because as you found out, they lack the understanding, when too small. I think its about the two years of age, when they find what we want to let go: their "I, me, mine" which is a good thing when socializing... and at this age its the parents task to teach yes, there is "I, me, mine", but also others and sharing and no: not everything sadly is "I, me, mine".... They need guidance. With Laissez faire one creates unhappy children... and parents.
    And if you feel like "going off the handle" (I know kids can get you there). Walk away and calm down before doing or saying anything if possible.
    I would go and get some good advice at a education information center. They do have good hints and tips for everyday life.
    Last edited by Ruth Morrison; 25th-August-2017 at 08:33 AM. Reason: added something

  6. #6
    Hey Daniel, I am sorry to hear you are feeling disenchanted but please trust that it can pass. The simple truth that has kept me going through some very difficult times is that there is ALWAYS a key to every lock. There is a way through. Sometimes it just takes us a while to find it.

    Your little one will change as she grows. Weather the storm and be kind but firm as best you can. Lots of love, clear boundaries with consistent consequences were the key in my experience but we have different little ones! With yourself, perhaps look at how hard it is for you and see if you can elicit some self-compassion.

    With your meditation, just physically there are some points I would question. Do you always eat before meditating? Is isn't necessarily a problem but I do find feeling full can make the body much more present and it makes sense since our GI system fires up and starts doing alot of work.

    The other is this physical tension, where is it and is it physical or psychosomatic i.e. mental stress induced? How do you sit? Is it comfortable? How active is your mind? How long are you sitting for? I would offer more help but perhaps it would be good to explain a bit more of what your meditation experience is like.

    I have a few things to try if you feel it makes sense:

    Go for a walk outside before meditating, in nature if possible, or around the block even. Try to be present with feelings physical and emotional, perhaps even a mantra with ajahn Brahm's "spaces" like in this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCeJHtRtztU . A walk for 10 minutes would be ideal, even slowing down a little towards the end if it isn't too forced. If you did martial arts with patterns or katas you could do that, preferably in a green space, but at half speed, really empasising mindfulness, even with a mantra.

    I follow theravadan practice but I did learn some tibetan buddhism breathing practices known as entry protocols for meditation which I find did help alot with physical stress, when i used to carry more tension. If you are interested I can share them.

    I also second doing a retreat would be great but as you have a two year old I know that may not be an option.

    Lastly, there may be a root to your stress that you are not conscious of. Some reflection here might help unearth it.

    Sending metta.

  7. #7
    A simile just came to me as I was meditating which might help: You have shared with us that your willpower has been very strong, so maybe we can suppose that this physical tension is coming from the will.

    When you went away to learn for a year did you meditate all through that year? Even if you did, perhaps there was an arising of this willpower as a tool to drive the success of this choice. Is it possible that this application of force, for someone with a strong willpower that does not tire easily is still there? Like a reflex that became habitual and you forgot to let go of?

    I have found willpower is like playing with the "kids' favourite" or non-newtonian liquid mix of cornflour and water. When we press on the mix it becomes solid. With enough force it can be picked up and made into a hard ball or shape, as long as the pressure is always constant. When we take our finger off it becomes liquid again. Liquid, solid, liquid, solid. This physical tension might be just like that. You have held a ball for so long you forgot that you can take your finger off. So, some practices that focus attention on the moving of the hand, whether squeezing or loosening might be beneficial because either direction will show that there is action in the hand and that it can be subsequently released.

    I learned this technique from another teacher: For 5 conscious breaths, using willpower, tighten the attention on the whole breath, in and out, even control it a bit physically. Notice at the same time how it feels. Then on the 6th breath, let that application of attention go soft and let the breath go as it wants for 5 breaths. Alternating this for a little bit, then reflect to see if there is any difference between the first set of "let-go" breaths and the last set. See if the loose ones all feel the same. Perhaps the breaths where you let go suddenly, start to feel a bit softer. I wouldn't do this for more than a minute, and only if you feel inclined but it can help to get in touch with the sensation of letting go and the sensation of your resistance to letting go that may be there.
    Last edited by Jarrath Boll; 25th-August-2017 at 03:54 PM.

  8. #8
    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    I just finished meditating. Was it great? Was it bad? Neither. It is just meditation.It is what it is; a chance to just stop, be present with whatever is. If the present is filled with thoughts of the future, that's what it is. If it is nimittas and great insights, so be it. Meditation is what life was meant to be in between eating, sleeping and making babies. It is just about being still, nothing else. There are no rules, no right and wrong. It's not about deep or shallow, fruitful or fruitless. Meditation, now, the moment itself, is its own reward. Be well.

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