Meditation Practice FAQ
We have time for some questions which I hope you will ask, but as you hopefully maybe come up with your questions, I want to address the three points that we're brought up earlier about feeling very distractible that is not a problem at all. Of course we're distractible, our minds are going a billion miles an hour and we're parsing so much information and when we sit down and we try to stop it's just canfield uncomfortable on your goes back well, what about this thing I have to do? And what about that idea? I had that's fine simply let go and come back and distractibility actually gives you something to work with, so of course it feels better when we're not distractible, but the point of meditation is not to be good at it. The point is to be good at being who you are and if you're great at following your breath, you're not gonna you know, okay, maybe get some meditation award for that or something, but really what? We're trying to do a stay with our experience and in our experience we ...
could be become distractible, we become peaceful, we become anxious and we're practicing staying with all of it often we want to do it right and I want to tell you people wonder, am I doing it right? The person who was thinking where the benefits maybe I'm not doing it right I'm not saying you're thinking that but in case you are as long as at any point you remember to bring your attention to your breath even once there's no way you could do it wrong and I would like to suggest that there's also no way that you could do it right so the poet rumi said something like and I'm paraphrasing out beyond the fields out beyond the ideas of right doing and wrongdoing there's a field I'll meet you there this practice too x place in that field so do you have any questions online coming in people have bean joining in the exercise and joining in the meditation hey coombs is asking for somebody whose mind is generally at war they were finding the the process of synchronizing the mind and the body very challenging what what advice do you have there for the month when the mind is at war or with the body do you think the person means air with specifically their mind is always a war mine's only perhaps you know perhaps racing thoughts going around in central caps and got internal struggles so the first step is not to try to make peace don't try to make the war stop because as you do it intensifies so instead you could look at what it means to have a mind that's at war let it be at war feel what it feels like to have a mind that is going on whatever it's doing, look at it and when you're a part of you says stop that or I can't stand that notice that too my mind that war just amplified by hating itself and just take the measure of your mind that is always a place to start with what is actually happening in your mind and it's fine, some things feel a lot better than other things, and of course it feels terrible to have a mind that's at war, but the more you can allow your experience to be what it is and rest with that, even with unrest, you can rest, then your mind itself tends to find a way to metabolize it's pain. But it's, when we tell it it shouldn't be that way the pain and increases so lean in to your actual experience rather than trying to pull away susan, we have more questions, but before we get to those, can you actually link this up with communication and just help us to understand that a little bit absolutely that's a great suggestion so it's one thing to learn, I'm this or I'm of that and my communication styles this and that person's communication style is that that's interesting, but it's the point is to employ it to bring it into your experience and if we're constantly referring back to the playbook like why this person said that I probably should say this then we remain in a very conceptual place where were acting according to our playbook rather than our experience mindfulness, the practice of mindfulness practicing and on the cushion practicing staying with our mind as I alluded to earlier it's not about being good at it on the cushion it's about being good at it when you get off the cushion so then when someone is talking to you can feel and see and hear what they're saying more clearly and at the same time you confined what you have to say or not say more readily and directly and you could have intelligence and skillful nous in your timing of what you say without the mindfulness piece this information is not that useful it may be an interesting toy for your mind to play with, which is fine, but with the mindfulness piece it becomes a powerful capacity to connect first with yourself without fear and second with others through the medium of speech in a way that deepens relationships and the clarity of what that relationship is. So they're very important that they go together does that make sense? I would say to just for my own personal experience with meditation and especially this one I feel almost like I've been plugged in and there's a sense of of showing up my energy a little more brightness, a little more presence so that that would be just my own experience with it. I I've often felt like a floating or that there's a buzzing going on in my system while meditating. So that was just sharing that that's great distractions. Well, yeah, maybe. That's what? My question is also saying about the mind and true and actually way have some more questions related to him. What my challenge waas was, which is actually keeping my eyes open, but the ways and carol s want to know what is the point of keeping your eyes open? I feel I end up closing them until she reminds us of the posture again. And carol ass just says I just don't get it. It seems distracting. Yes, very good questions. Why do we keep our eyes open? Well, I'll tell you why. Um there's different kinds of meditation. Some are done with eyes open. Some are done with eyes closed tight. They're both they both have value, obviously. But I want to remind you that the point of meditation is not to make it easy. It's. Not always easy for me to meditate. Now have to open my eyes and go into my life, it's. When you have it's it's, we're not trying to block out distraction we're not trying to stop thinking we're not trying to feel happy we're not trying to be peaceful we're trying to be with what we are who we are and what's going on so when you practice with your eyes closed there can be a sense of withdrawing of turning in which sometimes is just what you need but then when you open your eyes you have to come back and it can feel like when you get off the cushion you've led your mindfulness here but when you practice with your eyes open, you don't have to come back because you never went anywhere so there's less of a divide between your meditation life and what buddhists call your post meditation life and everything falls into one of those categories so you're able to bring this sense of peace and mindfulness into your life when you practice with your eyes open because you're not trying to leave also, if we're practicing to become more a better communicators takes courage to be a good communicator takes courage to listen and sometimes this is called the practice of warrior ship because we're practicing being with our experience in being with our world as it is which again takes courage it's hard to become a warrior when your eyes are closed we're opening our eyes to our world and this is a practice of wakefulness wakefulness, that brightness that you described hungry, that is the quality of wakefulness, and that is what we are cultivating in this practice, alertness and presence. It's hard to be present to your life when your eyes are closed, you just cut off a whole big piece of information. And finally, I would say that when our eyes are closed, something tends to happen to many people, and that is that we fall asleep, and the reason is because we're so tired. So if you just keep falling asleep, well, maybe you should take a nap. That might be the best thing to do because everybody is really tired, and when you sit with your eyes closed, it's, very easy to just fall asleep. So again, for people are like, why do I have to sit with my eyes open it's so much easier when they're closed? Easier to what? Easier to be with your breath, for easier to be with your life. So I posit that it's, easier to be with your life when you sit when you're practises, eyes open, but they're both good.