Hello people of HE. Im fairly new here but I have been secretly scoping and reading around the forums of the site for some time. Im extremely happy that I found this site seeing that I don’t really know any others that deal with the topics that HE does. My problem comes in the form of meditation. I know what I’m supposed to do but I don’t know if I’m doing it correctly, actually I’m pretty positive I’m doing it wrong.
When *attempting* meditation I’ve tried both sitting and laying positions. The problems arise in both positions *giggity*. The first problem is that I don’t know how or what to visualize basically. I close my eyes and see the darkness of my eyelids. Now am I supposed to visualize things in the THAT darkness or do I just focus on my breathing and eventually my brain will go into a meditative state?
Secondly my heart beat goes berserk when I’m attempting to meditate. I know it should be slowing down but my speeds up and completely messes up my focus on breathing. Mainly because it pounds so hard you can see my chest vibrate. Idk why it does this but if anyone can shine some light itd be great.
The third problem is a biotch to me because when also attempting to meditate my buddy *Down there* gets wayyy to excited. I should be calming down but my body seems to be doing the opposite, what gives?
P.s. if this isn’t on the right board, my apologies I’m still new :x
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One thing I’d like to add, which I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere online but which I think is important to our health, is that the numbness we get after a meditation session is not quite healthy for your body.
Numbness and tingling generally means that the brain is not understanding exactly the signals the nerves of the legs are sending back. And this is because the peripheral nerves are “malfunctioning” after a prolonged sitting session. The reason the nerves are not behaving themselves is that because of your position, some of the blood vessels in your legs are constricted, and as a consequence, the peripheral nerves don’t get the required nutrition and oxygen from the blood vessels. After you come out of the position and start moving, the blood vessels dilate and start feeding the nerves and the numbness goes away. But it may be that repeated temporary harm to the nerves every day for a few months or years might do some more permanent damage to those nerves.
This is me drawing all these conclusions and if anyone has some info about this, it would be great. I’ve been having peripheral neuropathy for a year now with no known cause and so I am careful of not doing extra harm to my nerves by constricting my blood vessels unnecessarily. Do the hindus get numbness after their every meditation session or do they really use a good sitting position that is healthy?
stop giving a shit about doing it right and just sit with your eyes closed and listen to your breath
idk why your body is freaking out, maybe it’s resisting the calming effects of meditation due to some kind if suppressed anxiety
What Martijn said was really important, relax on every out breath. I’ll add; on every in breath, intensify your focus on the meditative object. There is something to this expand/collapse rhythm that really brings you to a harmony while meditating. It’s why your breathing is such a good object to focus on, because the physical movement of the entire torso cavity mimics the rhythm that will bring you further into relaxation and attentiveness.
@sooflez is right, meditation is subjective, a little different for everybody, you just have to find out what works for you and use it. as for medi-rections…don’t sweat it, the more attention you pay to that or any other distraction, the harder it will be for you to go where you want to go.
again, find what works for you and apply it
as for the erratic heartbeat, there is a possibility that you are putting to much anxiety into the thought of meditating, which could be causing this spike in heart rate, remember don’t try to relax
don’t think about relaxing
Being comfortable in the lotus position is something that takes extensive yoga stretching practice and is developed over a long period of time. You might look into a walking meditation technique. I agree with others that stressing about your position, etc is defeating your purpose. Just focus on your breath, your mind will wander but just be forgiving of your ‘self’ and gently bring your focus back to your breathing.
@blankey, Yes, I’ve chanted quite a lot in the buddhist monastery, and also sometimes with yoga. In the beginning it felt quite unnatural to me, but after a while I got really into it. You can feel all the chackra’s loosening up and vibrating and singing is pretty awesome (but men don’t really sing in our culture, it’s a bit taboo-ish, and I am not one who will do it on it’s own).
Chanting is just another type of meditation really: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPeQU-0AAsw
I love the tibetan green tara meditation: Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Svāhā
Visualizing is very hard, especially in the beginning. Try to use anothr object for mediation, preferably the sensation of the breath (around the nostrils, in out in out).
The rest is just not being completely in your comfort zone yet. Try to focus on completely relaxing your body, letting go of all the control (on every out breath).
Also, don’t expect to be in a meditative state immediately, this takes time and practice. Just stick with it. And better yet, don’t expect anything at all (impossible I know).
@hollowinfinity, Great point Alex.
Another thing I’d like to add: Thoughts are more likely to pop up between the spaces of the in and outbreath. So it might work to pay close attention to where and how thoughts pop up, and how they feel (much different than being in your body).
And everytime you notice a thought, you should be happy, because that is what you need to train, that is being mindful.
@martijn, How did you get into the monastery? Recently I’ve been getting more and more interested in Buddhism and I would love to go to a monastery but not for my entire life like some do. A month would be perfect like you did.
Like the rest already said: do not worry too much about it, I have started meditating approximately 1 month ago (I have had some experiences in the past, but not too much) and I still feel like I am not making any progress, because the ‘annoying’ thoughts keep coming back. But I think you just have to be very patient and consequent, because this change will not happen in one day. The more you will practice the more it will come naturally. Focus on your breathing, it is the easiest thing to do I think, or when you feel your heartbeat pumping fast, focus on that.
Everytime disturbing thoughts will come into your mind, just change your focus back to your breathing (or whatever it is that you are concentrating on) and be persistent with this. In time it will be better, I am sure! Do not give up, be consequent and persistent!
Sometimes in order to gain control we just have to let go of the control totally.
@kaciula, What is peripheral neuropathy?
I’ve heard many times that it shouldn’t be a problem, but after what you wrote I am not so sure. I have been feeling the numbness for quite some time, and I find it hard to concentrate on my feet (bad signal strength it seems). They are also quite cold most of the time, which isn’t a good sign (I can heat almost everything of my body at will, except my feet, which I am working on).
The numbness is only 10% of what it was due lots of yoga.
@martijn, You mentioned that you experienced your/the first jhana in about two months, and that you were very diligent and motivated. Questions: What was the experience of the first jhana like? How often were you meditating at the time, and how long were the durations of your practice? Since then, have you had any experience with the other jhanas?
I have always had issues with position/comfort due to my height (I am 198cm or 6’6″).
Any “standard” position I have read about causes my legs to cramp to the point of becoming completely numb or excruciatingly painful, which while I know meditating should not be an exercise in comfort, I have to assume it should be at least of a comfort level so I am not distracted by the pain.
Any thought on a position where I will not have to fold my legs? Is lying down a workable alternative/
@martijn, Peripheral neuropathy means that there is a problem with the peripheral nerves (low conductivity or low speed of signals or something else) and as a consequence, you feel tingling/numbness all the time 24/7, meaning the nerves are not functioning at their full potential. I’ve had it for 1 year now and it appeared suddenly. I don’t know the cause of my constant numbness but I do notice that it’s worse if I meditate in any position that is conducive to constricting my blood vessels.
I’ve always had cold feet and hands and it seems that I have poor blood circulation at the extremities, which, again, means that the nerves are not fed quite optimally. Yoga or any activity that makes the blood flowing and dilates the blood vessels is good medicine.
Wow. It’s been awhile since I made this post. I’d like to thank everyone who replied and gave me amazing tips. I never acknowledged anyone for their help but out of all goodness, thank you all.
I’ve personally enjoyed listening to Tibetan singing bowls while meditating. It’s helped me really ease into a nice comfortable zone and focus on my breathing.
@Jesusbob – I get excruciating pain when I sit in meditation, but as long as it doesn’t persist after meditation then all is good. Through meditation you can eventually detach yourself from the emotional attachment to the pain. The pain changes from pain to something else. Focus on the pain and try to pin point its physical location, this helps in shrinking it down.
I tried to get comfortable, but just fell asleep and woke up with parts of my body fully asleep (blood deprived).
I’ve seen people build fortresses of pillows and blankets, but in the end they are still in pain. It begs the question, is it possible to sit in the lotus position without pain?
@jesusbob, I personally do not think you have to attain this position you are talking about, in order to being able to meditate appropriately. I sit on the couch or a chair while meditating with my feet on the ground. In this way I feel ‘connected to earth’ and I imagine the energy flowing from earth to the top of my head or vice versa.
.instead of trying to stop every thought from coming into your head (impossible..), try focusing on one specific thing like the air moving in and out of your nostrils. make sure there are no distractions around you and there are little things such as not eating right before meditation and whatnot but see how you do with that technique. its simply to clear your mind and relax its not hard it takes practice though. good luck!