Back On the Path and Going Nowhere

I've dabbled and flirted with Buddhism and meditation off and on for the last 10 years or so and recently I've come to a point where I'm ready to begin committing seriously to Meditating on a daily basis.   I have a tendency to become overly involved in reading and studying and not so much with actually "practicing what they teach" and now the time has come to get my nose out of the books and my butt on the cushion!  When I do I can feel the lightness and the space of mindfulness begin to permeate my life and allow me to be more free and more aware and more able to "take my seat" and ride out the ups and downs of my monkey mind. 

peterpandemonium peterpandemonium
31-35, M
3 Responses Mar 6, 2009

"Back On the Path and Going Nowhere" ... It may appear you are going nowhere but, as long as you maintain your practice, that is an illusion. I have heard it said so many times that "The most important progress is the progress you cannot see." I suppose I can't personally vouch for that, but I can definitely say that, as long as you persist in your practice, progress that is invisible at the time does become manifest. I guarantee you will eventually see it. <br />
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I first began meditating in 1976. After about four years or so, thinking it wasn't worth the effort, I ceased my practice. It was a very, very, bad decision and as a consequence I probably suffered unnecessary, disastrously bad life decisions as well as emotional troubles. I now consider cessation of my meditation practice to have been a bad case of "self-abandonment." I resumed again in the late nineties and have been fairly faithful with it. There have been periods, sometimes lasting a few months, where I have left it off altogether, but eventually I have resumed it. While I have still had severe problems and been dysfunctional, I have achieved a level of serenity and lovingness I would not have considered possible. Plus I notice that, even though I am in my late fifties, my memory seems to have actually improved over what it was when I was in my mid-thirties and not meditating. At times it seems phenomenal. <br />
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I have also found, over the past three years or so, that I have developed a surprising ability to silence the chatter of my mind. <br />
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A few years ago, an Alternet member using the name "Sojourner" remarked in a context I cannot remember, "The meditative disciplines teach us to be who we already are." Before I took up meditation, I would have found this statement to be cryptic at best, and I suspect most non-meditators would also. But when I stumbled on it I was already deep in my practice, and I can only say that I have found his statement to be, to a stunning degree, very, very, true. <br />
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The takeaway, for me personally, I guess, is how important meditation is for me. I suspect it is also very important for most people, they just don't know it. <br />
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On a related topic, I have also found journaling to be amazingly effective. <br />
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wanni, I would like to thank you for your post. I benefited from it.

Meditation is like anything we choose to practice. Like exercise for instance, at first it seems like a chore but if you consistently make your self do it..you don't feel as good if you don't do it.<br />
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Every individual experiences meditation differently and have various reasons and/or beliefs for making it a part of their life. I love meditation and don't feel right if I miss a day. Each time I meditate is different; I may get inspiration, great feelings of peace, understanding, sometimes even feelings of discomfort which show me something I need to release, which can at times be released during meditation, or give me an inspiration on a direction I should follow, etc.. Depends on the reason you are meditating. If you are doing it for growth(which based on what you wrote "seems the case") it can be helpful to keep a journal to write down anything that seemed significant to you during the meditation.<br />
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Where you have been reading about it you may not need these "tips" plus as I said everyone's experience is different, these are tips I wish I learned earlier so I will list them anyway...<br />
The more you practice the quicker you will be able to be in the moment and the less your mind will wander. The mind wandering was the most annoying for me when I first started. Sometimes my mind still wanders and it can be because what my mind wandered on is telling me I need to do something about what distracted me( I look at it as my ego butting in : ) ). So just to let you know, in my experience the ego can be helpful as long as you work with it and quiet it down nicely when meditating. What I mean by this is that the ego wants to be the leader, if you get mad it fights harder. Your ego is a part of you so you have to lovingly work with it and just make sure it is not the main part of you that is in charge. To me making the ego less significant is one of the things I work towards. This is just how I feel about it. Kind of goes with the saying,"What you resist, persists." Now, I find it is easier to focus back on my meditation when I do the above, and it gets easier the longer I have been practicing.<br />
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I am not a meditation master or anything, LOL!!! I look at it as a journey, which "hopefully" helps me to be a better me for myself and others. I am STILL on the journey and feel I am a better person than before starting but have a LONG ways to go.<br />
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I hope you get everything you desire out of meditation, be patient, open and let it flow. There isn't any punishment for missing a day, or two. Know to follow what is comfortable for you just because you may have read a book or listened to tape that says you have to sit this way or breath this way. If you are not comfortable do it the way you are comfortable or you will not get as much out of it (this has been my experience anyways). Follow your gut. I wish you the best on your "journey" : ). Enjoy it.

"When I do I can feel the lightness and the space of mindfulness begin to permeate my life and allow me to be more free and more aware..."<br />
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Some great motivation, right there :) Hope you've been able to keep it up. Perhaps this will be a little encouragement to keep going.