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This question goes specifically to theravada insight practicioners - but everyone can answer if they think they have something useful to add - even from other traditions

since my mahasi style practice is going slow and even though i tried in many ways i cant maintain a steady practice - and my doubt increases - i want to freshen up my practice - maybe get some "results" wheter its improvement in concentration or metta or some "cool" results like seeing images or feeling strange stuff ect

i wonder :

  • whether some practices can ruin my main mahasi style practice (which i want to keep as my main path cause i have access to teachers in it) maybe kundalini and third eye and stuff like that can ruin my practice ?
  • whether some practice can aid in my practice - im pretty sure metta can be helpful but maybe pure concentration focus can distract me and do more harm than good to my practice ?
  • i read that some food can be good for opening the third eye - can this food be helpful to the practice of insight meditation as well ?
  • If you want to pick something else to explore I would suggest focusing on the breath. Check Ajahn Lee, Keeping the Breath in Mind, second style. Keep a steady practice with it. Whether you feel like or don't, just do it for a few weeks. Everyday. accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/inmind.html#method2 – user4878 Oct 22 '15 at 8:01
  • I would also suggest you read the book of a great meditation master from Thailands forest tradition, The teachings of Ajahn Chah, as you will find many tips on how to deal with you doubt. A lot of great tips on how to deal with these mind states like worry, doubt, insecurity, not knowing what to do, not knowing if what I do is correct, etc. – user4878 Oct 22 '15 at 8:10
  • Have a look at: mettadharma.org/video-teachings – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Oct 22 '15 at 17:14
  • Have you tried "guided" meditation? Joseph Goldstein has some very innovative guided meditation recordings for free of course. There are a lot of guided meditation recordings compatible with the Mahasi technique. – Lowbrow Oct 23 '15 at 20:03
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The easiest thing to do to aid in your practice is to stop being so scattered! Pick one technique and stick to it. That you're all over the place exploring other systems and looking for results indicates to me that you are having a hard time staying focused on the cushion. Trust, trust, trust in the process! It's the only way you are going to make any progress.

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  • I am focused, i only do one practice, but i cant trust my practice - i do this for some years, i did retreats - but i cant manage to keep a fluent steady practice - i just tried to do "tiny habits" and do tiny meditations and i cant even keep this up - cant develope a meditation habit - im pretty skeptic not about the possibility to gain results in this practice - but for me to gain reuslts cause i cant keep a constant practice - and i tried it for a long time now so i would love to gain some cool experience for fun or proof there is supernatural or add some stuff to boost my advancement – breath Oct 21 '15 at 16:54
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    If you are practicing, you are progressing. It just might not look like what you are expecting it to. My best advice for you is to find a community to sit with and set a meditation date for yourself. Commit to just getting your butt on the cushion at, say, 7PM every night. Don't even worry about how long you sit. Once you establish that habit, I think things are going to go easier for you. – user698 Oct 21 '15 at 17:24
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Theravada Buddhist answer, based in the tradition of Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw.

In the tradition of Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw, we observe and note everything that comes up, i.e. all mental and physical phenomena.

Now, you have pointed out your own hindrance and blockage right here: "Wanting to get results, seeing images or strange stuff".

That is your road block. Unless you resolve this matter, it will continue to be a hindrance on your path. Sometimes a meditator may meet a hindrance, that is not immediately visible, so its very good that you know what blocks you.

Then what to do?

As a Mahasi-practitioner, one should note the phenomena of wanting as "wanting, wanting". It could perhaps also fall under the 5th hindrance, Doubt. Here the solution would be to also note the doubt as "doubting, doubting", and to go freshen up on your theory, i.e. the method of practice. A skilled meditator knows the theory that he or she practices. Theory and practice has to go hand in hand. One has to know what to do when hindrances arise, which they will sooner or later for all meditators. When one knows how to deal with them like the inside of ones own pocket, then one can use them to cultivate insights and thereby progress on the path.

For reading material, I would suggest the book How To Meditate: A Beginner's Guide to Peace, by Ven. Yuttadhammo. It covers all one needs to know regarding the burmese method.

Wanting to get results is one of the greatest pitfalls on the path. Wanting something will ironically stir one further away from getting what one wants. By for example wanting to win Nibbana, one is actually moving further away from that goal, because the wanting itself becomes a road block on the path.

It might also be beneficial for you to read up on the 10 paramitas, namely the 8th paramita, i.e. the Adhitthana-paramita. Adhitthana means "Determination or Resolution". It can be cultivated in the meditation practice, e.g. by choosing to meditate for one hour and not moving at all. This is just an example. There are many other ways to cultivate this paramita.

Its very useful in the training of the mind, so that it will stray less. When the Buddha attained his enlightenment, Mara sent his beautiful daughters to the Buddha to tempt him and he sent an army of demons towards the Buddha but he did not move at all. That is an example of Addhitthana.

What practices can aid (or not ruin) the mahasi style meditation?

Regarding the augmentation of your practice, the burmese method is complete in itself. Wanting to augment the practice, should again be noted as "wanting, wanting".

Mixing methods is called "Eclecticism" and its not recommended. Try to stay with one method of practice and if that does not work out, then choose another method of practice. Mixing methods will not give good results since methods are often not designed to be mixed. This will result in one having a halfway house and not a final vehicle.

If you have any questions to what I wrote, let me know. May you have a fruitful practice.

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  • My doubt is about my ability to advance with this practice - since i cant keep up a steady regular practice - i think to myself "whats the point" if im going to stop again in 2-3 weeks the meditation - and you need continuity to "advance" and if i stop for a week or two each time its hard to advance in anything and yes i understand the "wanting" will harm my advancement - but after i practice this for a long time and doing some retreats its natural to look for results and to improve my advancement - my doubts about the ability to improve with this practice seem smart - i didnt have them – breath Oct 24 '15 at 10:53
  • I would suggest for that you, that you find a teacher who can teach you in real life or online. A good teacher can give you advice on how to proceed and having a teacher, creates a kind of responsibility. Having a teacher will make it a lot easier to practice consistently. – user2424 Oct 24 '15 at 11:30
  • i have a teacher - i report to him every 14 hours of sitting – breath Oct 24 '15 at 11:35
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You want many things whereas You can recall that the whole point of the endeavour is to establish firmly the equanimity and the benevolence, towards your self and others (in phrasing the goal in terms of exterior of the the self and interior of the self). You also do not state what you accomplished nor what is blocking. Here is a little compilation of links to practice http://pastebin.com/m4vS0KMg

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I had the same issue and this is the advice i got from a monk...

What we call meditating is not something that must be done while sitting down,you can meditate in many other positions.

For example other than Breathing meditation you can actually do any other Buddhist meditation without having to sit down.

Here are some examples.If you do not know these meditation click on it and it will open a web page for you to learn.All these meditations can be done without staying still so you will have all the time you need to meditate.

Impermanent Meditation 1 - lesson

Impermanent Meditation 2 - lesson

Loving Kindness Meditation - lesson


Practice these meditations while doing your day to day stuff and before you know it you will be a good practitioner,This is how i got over the issue my self.

May triple gems bless you!

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What have you experienced that has given you confidence? Hopefully you will have some seed of confidence that you can cultivate through reflecting & chanting the reflections. Then there is no need for distracting yourself with a whole other technique.

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