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Is This Meditation?


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I've been trying to stare at a spot on the wall 5 minutes several times per day, but it's really, really boring.

 

Yesterday, I was tired and decided to stare at the shiny black screen of my cell phone. Gradually I imagined I could see a very detailed landscape on some alien world. I wish I could have painted it.

 

Sometimes I take cat naps where I almost fall asleep but not quite. Part of me is very passive and observing, but another part of me is like a child eagerly exploring the hallucinations that I'm seeing. When I wake up I'm usually startled and it takes a minute to remember who I am and where I am.

 

I don't understand what I'm supposed to be doing when I meditate. Staring at a spot on the wall isn't much fun.

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"I've been trying to stare at a spot on the wall 5 minutes several times per day, but it's really, really boring."

 

Well, it's not meant to be terribly exciting. What do think you are supposed to be getting out of it?




"I don't understand what I'm supposed to be doing when I meditate."

The short answer is: 'nothing'.

 

To be more long winded...

 

What you are feeling is pretty normal for folks new to meditation. The point is to allow your mind to settle and calm, clearing the slate for a few minutes, to just watch your thoughts flow past. It takes a lot of practice.

 

My advice (based on how your are describing your practice):

Try a week of a single 5 minute sitting per day. Begin with a few deep breaths and then allow yourself to fall into your natural breathing pattern. When your mind begins to wander or begins to cling to thoughts of "this is boring" or "this isn't right", go back to your breathing. Take a few more deep breaths to center yourself.

 

After a week, bump your time up to 7 minutes using the same techniques. If 7 becomes too much, bump it back down to five minutes.

 

Also, you aren't supposed to stare at the spot, just hold your eyes comfortably. Blink normally. Let your eyes go out of focus. The point of the blank spot is not to stimulate the brain, but allow it to rest.

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Yes, RevR is correct,  if you have thoughts like "this is boring" or start thinking about plans for the day or whatever, just bring your thoughts back to the focus point, whether it be a spot on the wall or your breathing or anything else. 

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"I've been trying to stare at a spot on the wall 5 minutes several times per day, but it's really, really boring."

 

Well, it's not meant to be terribly exciting. What do think you are supposed to be getting out of it?

A year ago I had a dream/vision where I thought I saw Jesus, and it made me feel much better for a week or two. Actually what I saw was a light that I identified as Jesus because it had all the character traits of Jesus. (Ironically the light told me that Christianity is so fundamentally screwed-up that it leads people astray.) So I am hoping meditation can get me closer to that light so it might help me live a better life. That is probably an unrealistic goal.

 

"I don't understand what I'm supposed to be doing when I meditate."

The short answer is: 'nothing'.

 

To be more long winded...

 

What you are feeling is pretty normal for folks new to meditation. The point is to allow your mind to settle and calm, clearing the slate for a few minutes, to just watch your thoughts flow past. It takes a lot of practice.

 

My advice (based on how your are describing your practice):

Try a week of a single 5 minute sitting per day. Begin with a few deep breaths and then allow yourself to fall into your natural breathing pattern. When your mind begins to wander or begins to cling to thoughts of "this is boring" or "this isn't right", go back to your breathing. Take a few more deep breaths to center yourself.

 

After a week, bump your time up to 7 minutes using the same techniques. If 7 becomes too much, bump it back down to five minutes.

 

Also, you aren't supposed to stare at the spot, just hold your eyes comfortably. Blink normally. Let your eyes go out of focus. The point of the blank spot is not to stimulate the brain, but allow it to rest.

Thanks, I'll try those suggestions. This is hard for me to learn.
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Yes, RevR is correct,  if you have thoughts like "this is boring" or start thinking about plans for the day or whatever, just bring your thoughts back to the focus point, whether it be a spot on the wall or your breathing or anything else.

Thanks, I've noticed that trying to see and hear every detail by mentally changing my focus without physically changing my focus helps me stop thinking words. Like I try to observe subtle changes in color on the wall around the spot while staring at the spot. Also I stand with my arms crossed instead of sitting. And I try to choose a spot that forces me to look upwards, because I know hypnotists do that during induction. Probably this is hard for me because I'm in my 40s.
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Thanks, I've noticed that trying to see and hear every detail by mentally changing my focus without physically changing my focus helps me stop thinking words. Like I try to observe subtle changes in color on the wall around the spot while staring at the spot. Also I stand with my arms crossed instead of sitting. And I try to choose a spot that forces me to look upwards, because I know hypnotists do that during induction. Probably this is hard for me because I'm in my 40s.

 

 

 

The last few posts explain a lot.

 

Here, take a read over this:

http://www.ex-christian.net/blog/180/entry-645-the-meditation-guide/

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Thanks, I've noticed that trying to see and hear every detail by mentally changing my focus without physically changing my focus helps me stop thinking words. Like I try to observe subtle changes in color on the wall around the spot while staring at the spot. Also I stand with my arms crossed instead of sitting. And I try to choose a spot that forces me to look upwards, because I know hypnotists do that during induction. Probably this is hard for me because I'm in my 40s.

 

 

The last few posts explain a lot.

 

Here, take a read over this:

http://www.ex-christian.net/blog/180/entry-645-the-meditation-guide/

 

Thanks, I'll try the suggestions in your blog and see if it works better. smile.png

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