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 Satsang Cafe - General Discussions on AYP
 Seeking wisdom- patience & navigating the process
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TheSmilesReturning

Australia
3 Posts

Posted - Jun 18 2019 :  11:33:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hi hello. I'm quite happy to have found this forum.

I have been on a 'spiritual path' of sorts for some time. I grew up in a relatively open-minded progressive Christian church and in my early 20s realised some serious shortcomings of that worldview. I then got briefly but intensely into Buddhism (just through reading a few books and doing my own practice at home). Then a few years later, I was into qi gong and qi gong-related meditations for a number of months. I have also had a few goes (1-2 months at a time) of doing a lot of The Work (Byron Katie self-inquiry method). I have had varying and inconsistent positive effects with all of these, although struggle to maintain the discipline for longer periods of time.

For the last 9 years, I have been regularly getting psychotherapy, which in itself can be a spiritual undertaking and a deepening of self-awareness. It has been very useful for seeing my own subconscious 'world' of thoughts and beliefs, although not without its downsides too.

I have tried yoga (the physical poses, I mean) and couldn't keep it up as I was too physically weak in my upper body (even to do a 25min beginners set). Because of that, I've been seeing a personal trainer to build up upper body strength, and a key reason is so that I can do yoga without so much strain and without triggering existing muscular issues & pain!

So I am really keen to develop a proper and consistent meditation practice. But I get overwhelmed with what is the best method. Apparently, I tend to be very good at creating new concepts in my mind that either stop me from continuing a practice, or make me somehow wary of a method of meditation, or somehow believe it is bad for me. Some would say this is my 'ego' fighting to keep its stronghold; others might just say I lack discipline, I don't know.

One thing I've come to realise as true, is that if you begin a meditation journey with a very negative or weak ego (meaning your ego is based mostly on negative views of yourself - you're sick, weak, deficient, bad, to blame, worthless and so on) it can be all too easy for incomplete meditation practices to feed into that negative ego. In this way sometimes it can seem like you're 'dropping' or killing the ego, when in fact you can be feeding a negatively-oriented ego. This has happened to me once or twice, where I did a practice (such as self inquiry) for a few months and ended up with a more negative ego story.

On a different occasion, I was practicing focused breathing meditation for several months and it seemed to be helping me feel lighter and less limited/ more joyrful... and then I went on a 1 month holiday and all of this negative emotion came rushing out, over several days. It was intense and kind of put me off meditation for a little while.

I have recognised that I need a framework and some kind of guidance - of course I'd love a 'guru' or one on one spiritual teacher, but I was made redundant at my job a few months ago and am still looking for a new job, so money is limited.

This website seems to be great in terms of offering a framework for seekers like me, and I'm really grateful it exists. I guess I'm humbly asking for some advice in terms of where and how to begin (again). I find that mantra and zen meditation regularly leaves me feeling super irritable. Focussed breathing meditation seems fine (other than the aforementioned experience where all this apparently suppressed negative emotion came out after doing it for a while).

I've even read somewhere that 'Sila' practices should be established first before these types of meditation (Sila meaning ethics/morality practices?). So then I thought, perhaps loving-kindness meditation would be the best place to start, for me? I certainly have plenty of negative emotions from many people in my past (childhood trauma etc), and also in my present life. My psychotherapist has kind of taught me that it's OK, or even encourages it (because it is better than not recognising it at all or turning it on myself), so in a way I have more negativity towards other people than I did before. Which is probably not very helpful... at least, on the flipside, my own inner critic is not as loud or as horrible.

If you've made it this far, thanks so much for taking the time to read this! If you do have something to offer in terms of a starting point (that would suit my particular situation), I'd love to hear from you. And please, be as honest as you like.

Cheers
SmilesReturning

Edited by - TheSmilesReturning on Jun 20 2019 12:55:16 AM

jusmail

India
482 Posts

Posted - Jun 19 2019 :  11:16:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome Megan. Read the lessons in this website; and if they appeal to you, start on the meditation path. Take care not to overdo things which is why you have the irritability.
Wish you all the best
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Dogboy

USA
1645 Posts

Posted - Jun 19 2019 :  11:36:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome Smiles

Agreed with jusmail; the main lessons on this site are free (right up your alley!) and thorough on how meditation works within and what to expect along the way. AYP uses the AYAM mantra to start, but sensitive meditators may also choose to watch the breath. If nothing else, you will get an education. Good luck!
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TheSmilesReturning

Australia
3 Posts

Posted - Jun 20 2019 :  12:57:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you, jusmail and Dogboy for welcoming me!

Dogboy, yes I have had a look at the lessons -- although need to take a deeper look -- and was wondering about beginning with the mantra since I've had some unpleasant results from that at times. So you think beginning with meditating on the breath is a good alternative?

I don't know if 10 minutes twice a day is taking it slow, as jusmail says, or if that's actually too much to begin with.

Cheers
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SeySorciere

Seychelles
1177 Posts

Posted - Jun 20 2019 :  01:44:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Dear Smiles,

Start with deep meditation for 10 mins and see where that leads you. If it does not cause headache or severe irritation- which is too much purification happening at a time- you can then increase to 15 mins. Get stable on 10 mins, then stable on 15 mins and hopefully, gradually you will get to the recommended 20 mins.
If however you can not tolerate even 10 mins, then move to Breath meditation (itís all in the lessons)



Sey

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Dogboy

USA
1645 Posts

Posted - Jun 20 2019 :  1:26:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Agree with Sey. Mantra meditation is the standard, breath meditation only if the mantra proves too troublesome for you.
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TheSmilesReturning

Australia
3 Posts

Posted - Jun 20 2019 :  9:49:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Sey and Dogboy -- I have started with 10 minutes of the deep meditation (simple mantra) today. So far so good on the irritability score. I might try this twice a day (AM and PM) or just stick to once if it does begin to cause any troubles. Thanks for the advice, somehow it is really helpful to have someone (or a few people) confirm a course of action based on hearing a bit of my background! On top of this, I'm trying to generally practice mindfulness through daily activities, which has never really caused me any issues in the past, and it is always helpful in terms of not getting too hooked or identified with concepts through the day.
Cheers!
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Dogboy

USA
1645 Posts

Posted - Jun 21 2019 :  06:37:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
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