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Re: Dealing with Busy and Drowsy Mind in Meditation [Re: Lisa - Buddhism] #863908
05/15/14 10:09 PM
05/15/14 10:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
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Chipmunk

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
Continuing this theme of working with our body, it is amazing to center in the body as a form of practice in and of itself. Noting each of our physical sensations in turn is actually a wonderful mindfulness practice, and for some people it's especially useful when struggling with strong emotions during a meditation.

So for example, if you are feeling angry with someone or anxious about something coming up, you may find your mind returning over and over to thoughts and 'stories' related to this. Sometimes in this case, pulling the mind back to the breath or a visual meditation focus may be very difficult. Instead, try focusing on one physical 'sense' at a time, and noting everything you perceive through it. For example, first note everything you are smelling, then everything you hear, then every color you see, every sensation on your skin, etc. Spend some time really settling into each sense.

I find that often a physical mindfulness practice like this will be more calming than a breath or visually focused one...


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Re: Dealing with Busy and Drowsy Mind in Meditation [Re: Lisa - Buddhism] #866383
06/12/14 01:19 PM
06/12/14 01:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
Lisa - Buddhism Offline OP

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Lisa - Buddhism  Offline OP

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Chipmunk

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
The Solstices are considered very special times for meditation in every tradition I can think of. I think they are a wonderful time for discovering a sense of internal space, or expansive awareness. When the mind is busy, instead of fighting with it, try taking a deep breath and as you exhale let go into a sense of expansiveness. Imagine all of your thoughts, emotions, and sensations - all of the 'busyness' that captivates us so much, are just so much flotsam and jetsum floating around in the larger expanse of space and awareness inside of you. At this time of intense energy, there is often an increased access to this feeling...


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Re: Dealing with Busy and Drowsy Mind in Meditation [Re: Lisa - Buddhism] #870183
07/08/14 05:39 PM
07/08/14 05:39 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
Lisa - Buddhism Offline OP

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Lisa - Buddhism  Offline OP

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Chipmunk

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
I wanted to talk about meditation ruts a little bit. There is great value in simply sitting every day, and letting go of expectations of anything in particular happening. Then we can just see what arises and deal with it directly. However, sometimes we may feel like we are in a meditation rut, where we are just stuck in cycles of drowsiness of busyness day after day, and in that case, we may need to change things around more assertively. Two things that I feel really help with meditation ruts are 1) meditating outside (or changing my meditation location in some other significant way) and 2) switching to walking meditation for a few days instead.


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Re: Dealing with Busy and Drowsy Mind in Meditation [Re: Lisa - Buddhism] #872654
07/28/14 08:51 PM
07/28/14 08:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
Lisa - Buddhism Offline OP

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Lisa - Buddhism  Offline OP

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Chipmunk

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
I wanted to talk a little bit about spaciness in meditation. This is when you feel a bit floaty, or as if you are moving in and out of focus in your meditation. You might suddenly come back to your meditation, and realize that you were 'away' but you don't remember what you were thinking about (in contrast to when you come back from a thinking bout or 'busy mind.') You might feel floaty, or a bit like a part of you is somewhere else. Sometimes you might not be sure whether or not you were asleep, because you may have the sensation of having woke from a dream, but there aren't any indications you've been asleep (such as drooling or your head snapping back up!) You don't necessarily have a quiet mind when experiencing this spaciness either - you might have thoughts running in one part of our mind, and feeling this spaciness in another part, and then find yourself coming back from both.

As with all meditation experiences, that feeling of coming back is the key moment. That is the 'watcher' or mindfulness part of your awareness springing into action. Often spaciness means we have traveled into what's sometimes called the 'astral planes ' - planes of awareness that are dreamlike but not empty. The trap of these planes is that some of them actually feel very blissful so we can easily get attached to them. I think especially in this very over-stimulated world we all live in, the astral planes can seem like an escape. Also if we are in physical discomfort of some kind, some part of us might seek the escape from our body that going into these planes seems to offer.

There's nothing wrong with these planes, and in fact seers and shamans often learn to navigate them, as they believe that omens and signs can be found within them. But from a Buddhist perspective, they are not abiding awareness or Buddha-mind. The seeming dissolution we seem to feel in them is not the same thing as true ego-dissolution - it is more like ego escape. Abiding awareness or Buddha-nature has a clear, crisp, even ordinary feeling to it. It is full presence, not absence (even though it is sometimes described as emptiness - there is a koan for you!)

I myself am very prone to these states, as someone who works with energy and intuition. I do use them for certain things in my work. But they aren't awakening states. I have had to learn (and am still learning) how to detach from these states and move into a more full presence.

Hope that's helpful to someone out there!


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Re: Dealing with Busy and Drowsy Mind in Meditation [Re: Lisa - Buddhism] #875456
08/24/14 09:14 PM
08/24/14 09:14 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
Lisa - Buddhism Offline OP

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Chipmunk

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
Here is a great quote that I like:

"Realization is not knowledge about the universe, but the living experience of the nature of the universe. Until we have such living experience, we remain dependent on examples, and subject to their limits." - Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

This is what meditation ultimately is: the living experience of the nature of the universe. Thinking is being dependent on examples, and subjected to their limits. Of course meditation doesn't often feel like this, but even those little gaps of space and silence that we get between our thoughts are moments of experiencing ourselves as the vaster nature of the universe.


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Re: Dealing with Busy and Drowsy Mind in Meditation [Re: Lisa - Buddhism] #882671
11/21/14 12:48 PM
11/21/14 12:48 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
Lisa - Buddhism Offline OP

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Lisa - Buddhism  Offline OP

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Chipmunk

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Los Angeles, CA
With the holidays coming up many of us find our minds particularly busy, and it's easy to get caught up in the stress. I think this is a great time to remember the fundamentals of deep breathing, both as part of our meditation and just throughout our day. Science has proven again and again that simply taking a few deep belly breaths can halt the momentum of stress chemicals building up in our system.

Whenever we are stressed, our breathing constricts, and we begin to breathe more in our chests, with smaller, shorter breaths. Stress triggers different coping mechanisms, and for many of us (myself included) our minds become busy, spinning through all of our worries or ways we can get everything done (other people space out or 'escape', so it's helpful to think about what your reactions to stress are.) As we do this, we trigger the release of stress chemicals - adrenaline and cortisol among others - in our system, and then it becomes a cycle, because these cause more constriction and tension in our mind and body.

Deep belly breaths, where we expand our belly on the inhale and relax on the exhale, can break this cycle. It causes us to take more air into our lungs, which begins to relax our body, and that in turn slows the momentum of stress chemicals. 2-3 deep belly breaths at any time can really help deal with stress, and doing a series of deep breaths before meditation can really help start your meditation off on the right foot.


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Re: Dealing with Busy and Drowsy Mind in Meditation [Re: Debbie-SpiritualityEditor] #913923
09/16/16 01:49 AM
09/16/16 01:49 AM
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Trichakra Offline
Amoeba
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Amoeba

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[quote=Debbie-SpiritualityEditor]This is indeed very useful.[/quote]

Agree with you. Its very useful.

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