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kingcrimson
(@kingcrimson)
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09/11/2020 4:56 pm  

Hi all!

I have a problem. I meditated quite a lot some years ago and found it rather easy then. Now I wanted to start meditation practice once more but can't seem to concentrate and am distracted all the time.

Do you have any helpful hint or experience?

Thanks a lot!

Cheers kc


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ignant666
(@ignant666)
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09/11/2020 5:09 pm  

See Ch. 5, "Dharana", of Book 4 Part I (Crowley and d'Este-Sturges), particularly the discussion of "breaks", available here and elsewhere:

https://hermetic.com/crowley/book-4/aba1


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Shiva
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09/11/2020 8:21 pm  
Posted by: @ignant666

"Dharana"

This is correct. It is basic instruction in the most basic practices.

 


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christibrany
(@christibrany)
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09/11/2020 10:00 pm  

Aside from the nice visualisation dharana mentioned above, I also recommend using the body's sensations as a way of quieting the mind.

There is of course a multitude of ways you can go about it, but my favourite three are:

'feeling' sensation from your toes to your head- focussing on each point of your body one by one.

Moving qi from lower chakras up to higher chakras, then cycling down again and repeat.

Focus on nothing but breath - in/ out/in/out.  

Eventually your mind will be still because you will have 'left' yourself due to immersion in the techniques.

 


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Pertinax
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09/11/2020 10:09 pm  
Posted by: @kingcrimson

Hi all!

I have a problem. I meditated quite a lot some years ago and found it rather easy then. Now I wanted to start meditation practice once more but can't seem to concentrate and am distracted all the time.

Do you have any helpful hint or experience?

Thanks a lot!

Cheers kc

Hi

Since you have apparently meditated a lot in the past, I would only say, keep it simple, don't fidget, just breath, and don't worry if the mind doesn't clear. The point is just to sit, be where you are. If you think meditation is some difficult to attain state of mind then you are setting up a dichotomy between where you are and your idealized meditation that will continue to discourage you.

Last year I was talking to a woman, both of who's sons had gone off to be Buddhist priests, following in their fathers footsteps. They have to sit for long periods, hours, in summer; with flies, mosquitoes dripping sweat in the high humidity of a Japanese summertime, in winter; ice on the windows, nose running from a head cold, just sit with their current condition.

This is the same on the mental level. If the mind runs around, planning your day, recalling past events, whatever, just sit in the middle of it. This is your reality, to have these things isn't failure, it just means you are alive. The thing is just to sit, count the breath, return to it when your mind wanders. It's not necessary for anything to happen, there is no purpose beyond just sitting. 


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christibrany
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09/11/2020 11:00 pm  

@pertinax

 

On that note, a good bit of advice I got when I was learning meditation was not to suppress the thoughts.  But neither to indulge in them.  Just be aware that they are there from a 'distance' and not 'engage' them. If that makes sense.  Eventually the lack of attention 'they' are getting will make them 'go away' . Usually. 


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Pertinax
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09/11/2020 11:33 pm  

@christibrany

That would be my approach too pretty much. I would take it one step further and say that it doesn't matter if they go away or not. By ignoring them in the secret hope that they will go away we are already setting up a dichotomy between what is and what we want. If they go away, that's nice, but if not, that's ok too. The thing is just to sit without expectation or any special goal.

This is however from a zen perspective which is more process rather than goal oriented. 

Ueshiba Morihei, the founder of Aikido said something that I think relevant to both aikido and meditation: When your opponent enters in, welcome him as a guest, and when he is ready to leave, send him on his way. In either case you neutralise him, not by rejection or aggression, but by harmonising.


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ignant666
(@ignant666)
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09/11/2020 11:47 pm  

Yes, the talking monkey in your head does not want to stop talking.

He/she will be delighted to count, and enumerate, and dissect, all your breaks, and talk about lots of ways you might have fewer breaks. He/she will talk about anything to avoid shutting up.

Let him/her chatter away. Wait him/her out.


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dom
 dom
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10/11/2020 12:08 am  
Posted by: @ignant666

Yes, the talking monkey in your head does not want to stop talking.

He/she will be delighted to count, and enumerate, and dissect, all your breaks, and talk about lots of ways you might have fewer breaks. He/she will talk about anything to avoid shutting up.

Let him/her chatter away. Wait him/her out.

A good quote there from Wavy Gravy,  yes I dig it. 

 

Posted by: @kingcrimson

Hi all!

I have a problem. I meditated quite a lot some years ago and found it rather easy then. Now I wanted to start meditation practice once more but can't seem to concentrate and am distracted all the time.

Do you have any helpful hint or experience?

Thanks a lot!

Cheers kc

Why don't you get 'Eight lectures in yoga' and start with the asana chapter?  I mean if you can't control physical fidgeting then you can't do any meditation. 

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


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Tiger
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Posts: 1645
10/11/2020 9:37 am  

Sometimes the hustle and bustle will throw you off a routine.
Maybe start over again ?
Maybe take a break, a hike in nature alone, sleep during the day wake during the night. familiarize and attune to silence.
Then just sit and don’t worry yourself why you are incapable of willing the monkey to stop. Just become aware. But don’t space out.

If you want to exercise will and a level of deliberation and training in becoming aware of distraction.
you can try holding your breath for as long as you can every time you become aware of the monkey and when you can’t hold it any longer start breathing and count 10 breaths and become acquainted with a stiller level of mind until you forget and the discursive levels of thought cycle back again. Then become aware again. Acquaint stillness. No need to hustle and bustle it into the monkey.


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