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I am currently in my late twenties and I began meditation in my early twenties. I often think that the path that I am on being correct as it is and it has provided it's justification through practice- I am unsure what I will think of me in my thirties or forties I am pretty certain I am making some mistakes that I am not aware now and will be with the passage of time. This question stems from the fact that I personally know how my meditation journey began as a yuppie and how I thought more an did less. Also following books and authors without knowing that it's not really my own wisdom but someone else's. Trying to be someone else unconsciously without thinking what I want from my life. Intellectual discussions and tryin to prove a point without having metta for the other person. Learning to accept family as they are without doubting or questioning their motives (still beats me). The list goes on. Well I am sure there are many more experienced and mature meditators who can probably provide a glimpse on their twenties. All this only for a healthy comparison as I don't have any friends my age who take meditation seriously. Metta

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4 Answers 4

I'm in my late 20s, and have been meditating for 2 and a half years. Here are some of the mistakes I've made:

  • Identified with the Dhamma and tried to push it on people who were not receptive.
  • Applied too much effort, forcing the mind. This resulted in a lot of anguish.
  • In vipassana practice, holding onto an approach that was more like samatha. This led to closed-eye visuals and pleasurable states. Attachment ensued. Withdrawal ensued when said phenomena could not be obtained.
  • I think three is fine.

That being said, I don't think it would have made a difference to me if I had been told beforehand not to do the above things. I can be very stubborn, and experience is the best teacher for me.

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Yes yes and yes to all three. I have done them too. Although I'm interested in your third point. I keep having similar experiences and find it hard to let go. My practice is very basic Vipassana with observation of breath and sensations and I don't have much knowledge of suttas apart from satipathana(the technique itself). –  user3743672 Sep 1 at 7:16
    
Do you have a teacher? If not, it will be hard to break out of your current situation. In order to improve, i had to accept my mistake and make the necessary corrections. –  qweilun Sep 1 at 7:21
    
I don't have a specific teacher. But I can see how that would help. Thanks for your answer and comment –  user3743672 Sep 1 at 8:07
    
If i may... Ven.Yuttadhammo has a very comprehensive teaching style and has made over a thousand youtube videos in response to questions, sutta studies, dhammapada, a weekly live show where you can ask questions... just sayin. Goes into a lot of detail on advanced topics as well as intermediate. m.youtube.com/channel/UCQJ6ESCWQotBwtJm0Ff_gyQ...... He also has all his videos catagorized on his own web site.... video.sirimangalo.org/index.php?admin check it out man. if it doesnt suit you oh well right? –  A Nonimous Sep 1 at 15:03
    
and he's close-ish to our age, cool Bhikkhu for sure! –  A Nonimous Sep 1 at 15:06

When you meditate you get either positive, negative or neutral experiences. Early on in can be very negative and bizarre experiences to a novice meditator. Whatever the case the main and most grave mistake any meditator can make is to loose awareness and equanimity in facing the experiences.

If you maintain awareness and equanimity in facing all experiences then nothing can go wrong in your meditation.

Initially you get mainly painful sensations, then it becomes mostly blissful sensations and then it starts turning to neutral sensations. In the latter case sometimes it might be difficult to keep your Equanimity. In which case you have to try to balance this with Concentration as this it one of the Hindrances (Restlessness) which has come about. The factors to balance the Hindrances are the 5 Powers.

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Dear suminda, I have trouble getting out of a fuzzy subtle-ish sensation all over my back and tend to relish it longer than necessary. It's sometimes easy to be aware of a painful sensation but the subtle ones are very difficult to be aware far from being equanimous. And I also think I'm quite hard on myself outside of meditation hours when I get upset or annoyed with someone and it's hard to maintain a calm mind. I know it's not good but it happens sometimes. –  user3743672 Sep 1 at 14:09

Choose the middle between all extreme contrasts.

If you are going too fast, go slower.

In your meditation you might choose a kind of meditation. Then you would try to keep yourself on doing only that one thing you have choosen. You would be disturbed by thoughts or feelings and might not keep yourself on one point. This is OK. This is meditation: if you come back from things which disturb you, back to point you have choosen. - Many people might think they do not meditate if they can not keep themself on one point - that is wrong.

I think you allready know you need patience, but also there might be a time where a change can help.

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You are doing as you should. However, you must avoid negative acts (whatever they may be), at all costs, to all living things.

Make peace with your enemies and allow karma to take it's course. Practice, meditate, and always remain positive. The universe will unfold in your favor as it should.

And you shall know when you have acheived enlightenment. But not without great sacrifice and faith...

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Welcome to Buddhism S.E.! Could you emphasize the mistakes that a new meditator in his/her early 20's should avoid? I suppose "negative acts" is a mistake, could you elaborate on that? Perhaps you implied sustaining hostility (as opposed to making peace with enemies) and falling into negative moods (as opposed to always remaining positive) as examples of mistakes? I suggest you explain why these are relevant. –  Andrei Volkov Sep 3 at 0:58
    
Thank you very much! –  Arturo Extreme Sep 3 at 3:38
    
It does not look like you understood what I said friend. I'm asking you to edit your answer to explicitly address the question, otherwise I will delete it. –  Andrei Volkov Sep 4 at 2:09

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