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Going to keep this thread as somethign of a meditation journal for myself. generally I sit for around 45 minutes to an hour every morning right after I wake up. I am working my way up to an hour or more every day.

Since I've started meditating more seriously life has taken on a kind of claustrophobic feeling. I don't seem to actually exist, but I feel very strongly that I do -- sometimes I have little glimpses when I am sitting that the thoughts I involve myself with are actually just the way there can be any kind of feeling of "self". . . I get scared of being bored because I am scared of the sad feeling of there "not being anything". But when I actually allow myself to be bored I'm not sad at all. I feel things open up. But I am very scared to let things open up even though I have experienced that opening. Why is that? Why do I feel so compelled to fill up space with music and youtube videos about speedrunning history? So the daily activities I involve my-'self' in seem pointless, like I know they are pointless, I can see that they are pointless, there is no escape from this 'pointlessness', but when I actually acknowledge that and allow that, the feeling of "pointlessness" evaporates and there's just lots of space. But I'm always so afraid to make that leap. . .

So I suppose, if that's too long and you'd rather not read -- I am afraid of space - I know there can be space - I am afraid of allowing myself to have that space - I do all manner of things to fill that space - filling that space seems to make me feel 'empty, hollow, sad' - when i make no effort to fill the space then I have really no sensation at all but a kind of perceptual openness - The state of openness transcends the categories of "pleasure/pain" - it merely is - I am so afraid of this state of {Perceptual Openness} that unless I make a concerted effort I will unconsciously direct my-'self' into diversions - these diversions are what give me a strong, secure feeling of my-'self' - which 'I' become afraid of 'losing'

- What are the methods you use to become open? -
- What are the methods you use to achieve 'non-achieving' -
- How do you overcome the feelign that it is necessary to 'overcome'? -
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it seems that I am frustrated with 'needing to count' my breaths. it seems that counting my breaths as a way of practicing presence of awareness, and the return of awareness to presence, produces a feeling of frustration. Irritation. There is a sense of "am I not good enough?" "I have done this for so long -- am I still so inadequate?" It settles in my chest as a kind of urgency, and urging-forwardness.

today there were lots of plans and decisions which arose. it seemed there was a steady stream of plans and decisions. sitting is not the place to make a decisions -- a plan arose, a decision needed to be made for it. compulsively, I made the decision. = from whence the compulsion? = = what if i allow the request for decision to rest there unanswered? = sitting on the cushion does not seem to be the place to make decisions. it seems like it is not the place to formulate plans. So there is a seemingly relentless stream of plans, decisions, ideas, actions I could take -- I can let go of those, I can let go of them without furthering them, without making a decision, without saying yes or no or anything at all. They may arise, demand for involvement, and subside.

= Who is it that plans? =
= Where does a decision come from? =

Since this is a post-hoc account it seems to be helpful to describe two apparently different modes I tend towards in meditation -- uninvolved awareness and unaware involvment. in uninvolved awareness the thoughts arise, they exist, they subside, they exert their presence in the expanse of mind but they clearly Occur or Happen in the vast expanse of mind. In unaware involvement, it is unclear that the thought arises -- it is there, it is happening, it is the only thing that is happening and there is nothing going on outside of it. one thought becomes another becomes another becomes another . . . then there is a gap, and <I> return to 1, or return to my breath, and attempt to allow the thought a little bit of room, to allow some evidence of the spaciousness in which it Occurs to appear. This is more and less successful. There is no one "trick" to move from Unaware Involvement to Uninvolved Awareness. Why is it that "Trying" seems unhelpful, and "Trying Hard" only creates more irritation and claustrophobia?

= Thoughts, plans, decisions, are mental phenomena =
= Involvement in thoughts, plans, decisions -- this mental experience of involvement, is a mental phenomenon. =
= Don't all of these things happen in the vast expanse of Mind? =
= Can you "try hard" to let go? =

Perhaps, "trying hard" to let go is producing the sensation that something is sticky, hard to let go, that one must exert a lot of effort to let go of thoughts. That one must really try very hard to do so, that it's a heroic endeavour. What if one lets go of this feeling that thoughts are hard to let go of? (Just try and "Hold On" to a thought for as long as you can, see what happens)

If you'd like, (you) can post here as well.
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today was a shorter day because of the restraints of time and work. even on short days i try and bring everything i have.
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just wanted to drop in to say good luck and i hope it goes well!

and, sometimes you have to try and not try at the same time... to let go.

i hope you feel free to write down your journey, i dont think theres one correct way that meditation should go, do your best!
Replies: >>36 >>43
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after some time of being in a stream of thoughts, suddenly realized that I didn't need to continue thinking about it, and then it was easy to let go. Letting go is very easy when there is space around something. When there is space around something - it seems there is no longer a need? When there is space around thoughts - I may release them. Where there is space around emotions - I may release thoughts arising and feel the unconditioned energy thereof. 

Where there is space around I - ?
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meditation is a study and a practice of boredom. The more boring it is to sit, the better. Filling up space with thoughts and plans is enjoyable, compared to sitting and breathing and retaining presence of awareness on breathing. Boredom is painful, irritating. It is one of the last things an 'I' can do to fill up space, define itself.
I would like to sit 

= How can I intensify the boredom of sitting? =
= Why does that feel like the 'wrong' question to ask? =
= what happens if I sit for a long time with awareness of my boredom? =

It seems that the feeling of boredom underlying sitting and following my breath in


is why it is sometimes so challenging to do so.
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thank you for the encouragement <3

even on days like today when I have trouble sleeping and so sleep in too late to meditate for very long before work, I find moments here and there in-between activities where it's easy to sit and be for a little while. for a few breaths or for several minutes. This is time that i have typically tried to fill with "heat and light" -- music, or youtube videos, or half-hearted conversation. Anything to fill the painful boredom (and there was and still is boredom). I'll be going, and going, and then I'll 


suddenly. all at once.
Replies: >>37
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I talked to my mentor yesterday and in passing mentioned that I'll "have thoughts while I count my breaths but they don't disrupt my counting" and she said:
>you're supposed to go back to one if you have any thoughts
>having thoughts while you count is thinking
>the point is to let go of thought
>getting really good at counting while you think isn't the right pattern
>the pattern is letting go of thought.
so I sat today for 15 minutes (she also told me not to do the exercise for an hour to begin with)
and tried counting my breaths to 21 and found that I could sometimes get to 2, usually I could get to the full out-breath of 1, and sometimes I couldn't even get past 1 without thoughts arising.

the content of the thoughts doesn't seem very important but I'm so used to 'thinking while counting' that I'm not even really sure what's a thought and what's counting. it seems I've dug myself a deep hole with wrong practice that I now have to climb out of. the numbers would dovetail into thoughts. I'd hear music, Teresa Jane Davis' voice, breakbeats, I'd imagine drafting this post about how impossible it seems to count to 21 and back again without thoughts.

the mountain seems very high so what am I to do, cry about it?
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do you meditate often anon? I think it could be fun to meditate with other people, connected online. even just knowing that other people are meditating at the same time as me helps make it more real if that makes sense
Replies: >>49
hmm, we meditate when we can, but no it is not quite central. though it might be a good idea since we're quite impulsive..
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i don't know if it's made me any less impulsive though perhaps the impulses hit different than they once did. there's a little more room around everything
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When I manage to act, I could also benefit from less impulsivity. I'll try to be a bit more regular with my practice
Replies: >>52
well I tend to sit every morning for 30 minutes to an hour every day at 2:00 PM UTC so if you sit then know that we're sitting together ^_^

Counting meditation is going well (i.e. it's developing) and I'm able to make it to 2-3 usually before I make thoughts for myself. In some ways it's really relieving to have such a mechanical practice after a long time of sitting and not being sure if I was 'doing it right' and having no teacher/no way to really know check in.
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so i noticed over the past few weeks how tense I get during meditation trying to keep myself focused on counting&breathing to the exclusion of any thoughts and I think given how relentlessly I seem to have thoughts this is the wrong approach.
now when I notice tensions i'll just notice them and let them soften w/o focusing on them. kind of like finding the bodily awareness i have when i'm falling asleep, only sitting up and with more alertness. so i have this feelign of constantly (slowly, inevitably) opening, letting go, unfolding.
I seem to have fewer thoughts and when they occur into my awareness i find it's easier to like. more palpably "let go" of them.
I wonder if that's a better approach?
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Things blew up last month so I didn't keep this journal the way I meant to but I've still practiced every day.

Most of the time during meditation I still find myself counting 1, then immediately going back to 1 as I'll notice I'm having thoughts (i.e. attaching to reference points) again. This really discouraged me but I'm told it's very common, and the point of this part of the practice is to become familiar with one's awareness. So, finding my awareness in thoughts, letting go of thoughts and then finding the presence of my awareness in counting for as long as there happen to be no thoughts IS the practice. I also try and extend the practice of stopping, letting go, letting there be space into the rest of my life, but it's hard to explain in words what that experience is like and I don't want to confuse myself by trying.
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hello there spirit OTT
I have recently been able to commit to a meditation of some piecemeal variety of assembled remnants after gouging out some commitment and jotting it down. 
I've tried doing Zen meditations before, but my commitment to them only ever lasted so long. i definitely saw the benefit of that kind though would certainly like to get back to it. Zen meditation makes sense to me, expanding awareness to as many things as possible, never thinking that you know it all, approaching everything like you're a beginner in order to tap a flow you can ride anywhere. 
I see you mentioning something about avoiding reference points, but how could you navigate anywhere without those? How would you even know where you are or do anything, even remember that you're not supposed to have them?
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