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Guest joshthyer

Trouble Focussing While Meditating

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Hey everyone, was hoping you could help me out. I find that I have trouble meditating for longer than about 5 minutes. Find it hard to stay relaxed and focussed on my breathing. My mind starts wandering towards stress and the days chores.

 

Any tips you could give a beginner on meditating for longer would be much appreciated.

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Practice Chi Kung before you do your meditation. This will put you in a relaxed state and because energy is circulating it will make it easier to reach higher states of consciousness. Also Meditation and Chi Kung in general are highly complimentary. 

 

Keep practicing.  B)

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Just do 5 mins - then after a few days try to do 10 mins and gradually extend.  Its normal because we are so attuned to the external world and carry a lot of restless energy with us.  The more you practice the more you challenge to restless inertias in your body/mind.  All good - just keep going.  Might help to use a timer - so you don't keep checking the time - there's apps if you have a smartphone - but otherwise just a kitchen timer will do.

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Posted (edited)

Meditate for 3 minutes, have a break, relax, meditate for 3 minutes, have a break, relax, meditate for 3 minutes, have a break .. etc until your session is finished. You may find you actually start meditating spontaneously in the breaks, by which I mean your mind is relaxed, calm and slowed down. If you notice you're agitated or have many thoughts that's ok too - you're noticing and aware.

Edited by rex
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At times tiring out the body helps.   Medium or hard exercise done earlier can drop the excess physical energy and allow the mind, spirit and focus to come out more fully. 

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Posted (edited)

If you dont mind me asking I have some questions.

 

What are you like before meditation?

 

Have you noticed your emotions or mindset before meditation affect how you feel during and after meditation?

 

What sort of environment or area do you meditate?

 

Do you get a feeling from that area if it's a set place?

 

How much time is available for meditation generally?

Edited by Tall Panda

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Posted (edited)

At times tiring out the body helps.   Medium or hard exercise done earlier can drop the excess physical energy and allow the mind, spirit and focus to come out more fully. 

 

Indeed, a useful technique is shaking and dancing for hours until complete exhaustion is reached and thus your completely receptive to non-dual states. Though this is hardly something for daily practice.  :D

Edited by OldAngel
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All the ideas here are very good. My rewording of what's already been said is to quote a book on Zhan Zhuang called 'The Dynamics of Standing Still'. There's a cleverly written section on motivation, although that word is never used in the chapter. The advice is

 

keep it tasty - so you keep coming back for more

 

which comes from the point of view of not pushing yourself too much so you maintain motivation. When you are ready to extend your duration, you'll just feel that you want to.

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Hey everyone, was hoping you could help me out. I find that I have trouble meditating for longer than about 5 minutes. Find it hard to stay relaxed and focussed on my breathing. My mind starts wandering towards stress and the days chores.

 

Any tips you could give a beginner on meditating for longer would be much appreciated.

Your mind wondering like that is very normal.

 

The way I always thought about it was.. the mind doesn't like silence, it likes to think, it is use to being in charge.

 

It is very normal to focus on the breath and then the next thing you know you are noticing that you are lost in some day dream.

 

That is perfect.

 

Once you notice just gently go back to your breath or method of focus.

 

You will lose it again and come back to breath and lose it again..

 

It is that space between you focusing on your breath.. then you are gone, and then you are noticing you are day dreaming.

 

Over time that space between will grow and grow..

 

Just know that the brain will come up with many excuses and tell you, you are doing it wrong.. your not.. just stay with it.

 

To help calm the mind, one thing I would suggest is to focus on your body, start at your feet and relax them, go slow and do your entire body, your face, cheeks, lips, forehead, top of the head and just relax it all, let go of all stress. This kinda calms the mind so right when you have let go of all of the tension you move next to focusing on your breath.

 

Just know that what you are doing is correct :) Know the mind is kinda fighting you and just don't let it talk you into quitting or convince you that you are doing it all wrong.

 

Good luck.

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For beginners the space between thoughts may only be a couple of seconds long at a time, with practice these spaces grow longer.

 

In the beginning people focus on the body in order to stop thinking, there are less powerful and more powerful methods of focus on the body.  Breathing is a rather weak one.  You can focus on a posture, like zen posture, it requires more focus, and you can add focus on breathing.  Adding an energy posture, like holding the ball to the previous two adds more to focus on, and you can also focus on the energy that this creates.  More still would be to add movement to the meditation, either standing or sitting, which includes tai chi and chi kung in addition to just doing some simple hand movements.  Tai chi is the best way to get into meditation if you do it correctly by focussing on the ten thousand details rather than on your shopping list.

 

Ultimately, you will find that the act of focussing on anything results in some mental tension and so after the brain is trained to stop thinking the goal is to focus on nothing and yet still not think.

 

The fact is that the thoughts that come up while you are attempting to not think are a necessary part of working through your karma, but don't tell anyone, it's a secret.   :)

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Hey everyone, was hoping you could help me out. I find that I have trouble meditating for longer than about 5 minutes. Find it hard to stay relaxed and focussed on my breathing. My mind starts wandering towards stress and the days chores.

 

Any tips you could give a beginner on meditating for longer would be much appreciated.

 

In the beginning, it is far better to experience higher quality meditation for short periods of time than it is to sit for longer and struggle. The latter will develop bad habits. Like many things, the depth of your practice is far more important than the length of practice. I recommend that you practice until you find that you are getting too drowsy or frequently distracted then take a break and reflect on the experience. Frequent, short episodes of practice are recommended in the beginning. They will natural lengthen and deepen. The idea of this type of meditation is learn to observe how the mind works and eventually to distinguish between the mind and the essence from which it is derived. So the recommendation is to simply experience first, then take a break and reflect on what that experience was like. Ten quality experiences of meditation a day for 2 minutes each will teach you more than sitting in discomfort and internal dialogue for an hour.

 

The most important quality to cultivate during meditation is awareness - connection to the experience of the present moment, whatever that may be. If thought is there, it's fine - leave it be and it will fade, as long as you are aware it is happening rather than being caught up in it. If you find yourself focused on an image or memory, it's fine, just be aware of that experience, leave it be as it is, and continue to remain connected to the present moment. The problem is to get carried away by the thought and lose connection to the present moment. Everything that arises during your practice is fine, just as it is, provided that you remained connected to the present moment rather than get engaged in, or identify with, the machinations of the mind. 

 

Meditation is only boring and difficult when we are disconnected. When we are truly connected and aware of the present moment, there is nothing more interesting. Remember that you have developed habitual thinking, ruminating, analyzing, and judging since birth. If you have an insight into the nature of past and future lives, one can say you have developed this habit over countless lifetimes. Breaking that habit is very challenging and requires enormous patience. It is similar to a sheet of paper. If you roll it up and let it sit for a month, let alone a lifetime, when you untie it remains tightly curled. It will only flatten with time and patience (or an iron!). There are techniques one can learn that are like that iron but that's beyond the scope of this brief response.

 

If you don't have a guide, I'd highly recommend connecting with someone to help you along the path. There are many pitfalls that can be avoided with the assistance of another practitioner. There are lots of free online resources and wonderful books. Many teachers are using social media and related to technology to great effect.

 

Warm wishes to you on your journey!

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Indeed, a useful technique is shaking and dancing for hours until complete exhaustion is reached and thus your completely receptive to non-dual states. Though this is hardly something for daily practice.  :D

There's a place in Chicago, the IMU and they'd have 'Full Moon' meditations.  Which would start with a little dharma speech, then 45 minutes seated meditation, 15 minutes free style dance- repeat 3 times.  Got out at Midnight and you'd feel too energized to sleep that night. 

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Indeed, a useful technique is shaking and dancing for hours until complete exhaustion is reached and thus your completely receptive to non-dual states. Though this is hardly something for daily practice.  :D

 

 

Why does the image of a Rave come to mind. :P

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Why does the image of a Rave come to mind. :P

Haha what a great idea. Raves with meditation interludes to re-energize.xD

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One thing that I find helps is imagining that my mind IS my breath, that I am a breath experiencing. I just envision my breath in my head, and even if I have thoughts it's easy to keep it like that. Even a little bit of focus matters if that's all you can do.

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On 3/24/2017 at 5:35 AM, Apech said:

Might help to use a timer - so you don't keep checking the time - there's apps if you have a smartphone - but otherwise just a kitchen timer will do.

 

So true. For this one brief moment during the day you've got nothing else to do. Let technology track the time so you don't have to.

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