compassion

Lost motivation

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I used to meditate many years twice a day, almost without fail. Lots of stuff happened, spiritual highs, bliss, silence, then coming back to this body, healing past wounds/traumas for several years. I seemed to attract many challenging events in life, that brought up even deeper issues, and I continued to meditate and meditate.

 

Then I suffered a significant loss. Meditation became a struggle. From twice a day to once a day, to once a week, etc. When I meditate, if I really go for it, silence and other stuff is found. But this kind of motivation or focus is hard to find. It feels my heart just isn't in it anymore.

 

Is there a way through this? Have I lost my way? Or is it time to accept this isn't for me anymore?

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Could your heart be telling you that you could accomplish more in your life such as getting involved with a charity or spend more time with other people than what you do now?

 

There is no need to worry about lost motivation. Spiritual progress is not a fast track for most people, but full of bumps, slowdowns, and setbacks.

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Meditation. Most carry some kind of preconceived notions about what it is, what it does, where it will take the one who does it. This in itself is an obstacle. Before the benefits can be appreciated more profoundly, it is worthwhile to first learn to gradually lay these notions aside. Where expectations are given less attention, then its just a question of picking it up again, without too much dwelling on the past, nor anticipating too much about what lies ahead in terms of benefits. 

 

One can always work with present challenges and use these as sparks to fire up that once ardent flame that you had found all those years ago. When despair arise, meditate on what despair is. Get intimate with that state in as relaxed a manner as you can muster. Do not assign praise nor blame - just observe the nature and the spectrum of despair, of loss, of sadness, of the whole range of emotions that creeps into your consciousness, how long they remain, and look for the source from which they announce their presence, and to which they return. 

 

Dont feel like meditating? That feeling can also be a source of contemplation. How long can you keep up that aversive feeling in your consciousness before something else wanders in to take prime role in that mind theatre? From this exercise, you will come to understand the fleeting nature of aversion, and from that, realize that your loss of motivation is not as forlorn nor stubborn as you'd imagined. 

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I really liked CT's post.

 

What works for me is quiet the opposite. I commit to my practice. It's both a pleasure and a piece of work, some days are better than others I give me that but... if I don't play my daily part I can't be okay with myself I (tool)blame myself for it and so next day I'm back on it. I like to think our practices are like wheels rolling them bring up inertia. By inertia I mean, grounding and practice habits.

Lost the practice, lost the habit, lost the grounding.

 

So back on track pushing that big wheel to make that virtuous circle to roll again :)

 

PS : that's how I'd see things for me but you may be totally different ! Wish you the best winds !

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21 hours ago, virtue said:

Could your heart be telling you that you could accomplish more in your life such as getting involved with a charity or spend more time with other people than what you do now?

 

There is no need to worry about lost motivation. Spiritual progress is not a fast track for most people, but full of bumps, slowdowns, and setbacks.

 

Thanks virtue. I did try this path, but struggled to find meaning within it alone.

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20 hours ago, C T said:

Meditation. Most carry some kind of preconceived notions about what it is, what it does, where it will take the one who does it. This in itself is an obstacle. Before the benefits can be appreciated more profoundly, it is worthwhile to first learn to gradually lay these notions aside. Where expectations are given less attention, then its just a question of picking it up again, without too much dwelling on the past, nor anticipating too much about what lies ahead in terms of benefits. 

 

One can always work with present challenges and use these as sparks to fire up that once ardent flame that you had found all those years ago. When despair arise, meditate on what despair is. Get intimate with that state in as relaxed a manner as you can muster. Do not assign praise nor blame - just observe the nature and the spectrum of despair, of loss, of sadness, of the whole range of emotions that creeps into your consciousness, how long they remain, and look for the source from which they announce their presence, and to which they return. 

 

Dont feel like meditating? That feeling can also be a source of contemplation. How long can you keep up that aversive feeling in your consciousness before something else wanders in to take prime role in that mind theatre? From this exercise, you will come to understand the fleeting nature of aversion, and from that, realize that your loss of motivation is not as forlorn nor stubborn as you'd imagined. 

 

Thank you C T. Certainly I had some idea of what meditation would bring to my life, and when it didn't, the reason to meditate was quickly lost. In some ways this was a crisis of faith.

 

I took your advice, or my interpretation of it, and sat imagining myself meditating like I used to: with keen desire and focus. With particular interest in watching the resistance or anything else that arose. A number of memories surfaced and reminded me I still have a lot of work grieving this loss, which I focused on quite a bit yesterday. It occurred to me, that continuing to meditate after such an event, it's like the struggle parents have in staying together after the death of a child. It's an emotional minefield, with each partner reminding the other of the child, guilt and perhaps also blame. And likewise the same, meditation has for me has been about a relationship with God, and I have much to process still if we are to continue this journey together.

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17 hours ago, CloudHands said:

I really liked CT's post.

 

What works for me is quiet the opposite. I commit to my practice. It's both a pleasure and a piece of work, some days are better than others I give me that but... if I don't play my daily part I can't be okay with myself I (tool)blame myself for it and so next day I'm back on it. I like to think our practices are like wheels rolling them bring up inertia. By inertia I mean, grounding and practice habits.

Lost the practice, lost the habit, lost the grounding.

 

So back on track pushing that big wheel to make that virtuous circle to roll again :)

 

PS : that's how I'd see things for me but you may be totally different ! Wish you the best winds !

 

Thanks CloudHands. This is solid advice and exactly what I would have said before this crisis. For me, this worked perfectly, I didn't always feel like meditating but I still did. Basically this worked for me until it didn't anymore :) 

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4 hours ago, compassion said:

It occurred to me, that continuing to meditate after such an event, it's like the struggle parents have in staying together after the death of a child. It's an emotional minefield, with each partner reminding the other of the child, guilt and perhaps also blame. And likewise the same, meditation has for me has been about a relationship with God, and I have much to process still if we are to continue this journey together.

 

You are describing a world of complexity, it is what it is, often difficult and ugly. Good luck to anyone going by these stages (and anyone with sensibility will). I think most people leaning towards spirituality, meditation are people that have to deal with existential question and or suffering, that's why we need it sometimes as answer, sometimes as an help and sometimes like a life mellower or better like an life enhancer.

You may be suffering depression right now which makes everything harder. Good news are that meditation is a great cure and passing through that, when that will pass (because it will !) you will appreciate life even better :)

 

Two other operational proposition :

  • join a group of practice. The group carries the practitioners, opportunities to practice differently from what you used to do and similar minded contacts also help.
  • start downhill longboarding

:)

 

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What even motivated you to meditate twice a day in the first place?

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