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Seemingly, despite my questions, I still am encountering great difficulties. I've been meditating for perhaps 1-2 years in a haphazard fashion, on the metro, walking places, while doing things. Perhaps the word "meditation" is inappropriate, it was more like a mindfulness or perhaps a mixture of different types of reasoning, contemplation and attempts at realizing certain facts. Overall, I feel like I've accomplished absolutely nothing in these two years, and that I've wasted much time.

I would say the only thing I want now is to be able to stop all this, whether to meditate properly, or even to understand how to reverse the conditioning that I unwittingly imposed upon myself. I'm asking if anyone knows or conjectures a means by which I could achieve this, and perhaps some tips on what I should avoid doing to create this massive incoherence in my mind.

  • I am sorry but I don't understand what you're saying about reversing the conditioning. Just let your thoughts go. They are not important. – esh Nov 6 '16 at 4:12
  • Don't just create a problem when there is none. This happened with me. – esh Nov 6 '16 at 4:20
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I also experienced similar situation where progress stalled through there was some initial progress where I tried out different traditions and techniques until I fell into the right track.

What could be happening in your practice is:

  • the wrong technique as meditation
  • a technique not suitable for you
  • the technique the wrong way

You have to figure out what went wrong.

A formal meditation supposed to strengthen your practice while engaging in daily activity. Mindfulness should be present throughout your daily activities. This is not what is going wrong.

Scrutinise the instructions and read to validate your understanding. In case you practice what is unsuitable for you a wrong technique. Best starting point is to look into the Suttas which highlights the practice which might work for the majority. You will need a bit of trial and error to figure out what works.

Basic outline of what needs to be done is the you should be aware of:

  • arising and passing
  • of sensation (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral) that is felt.

You can analyse this at the level of sensations from corporeal body as Mahabhuta.

vedana can certainly be connected with three of the four mahabhuta (elements), which are collectively known as rupa. These three are pathavi (earth element), tejo (fire element) and vayo (air element). Apo (water element) is too subtle to touch, or is so subtle that one finds difficulty in feeling it. Now, to illustrate the connection between vedana and the three bhuta, when you have a cramp, which is the tightening of the muscles, it is pathavi; when you feel temperature of the body it is tejo; when you suffer from pain in the stomach, it may be something to do with vayo, for when the air in your stomach is stuck and finds no vent to get out, you have that experience of unpleasant feeling called pain. The connection of vedana with these mahabhuta makes it all the more manifest and helps one realize its true nature.

Source: Vipassana and Vedana as Understood by a Novice by U Tin Lwin

Similarly any of the 4 Satipatthana. More details and references can be found here and here.

Also look at the links between the 4 Noble Truths and what is felt. For details see Vedana and the Four Noble Truths by VRI.

Also the link between Dependent Origination and what is felt. For details see: Vedana in Paticcasamuppada

Understand the relationship with what is felt (pleasant, unpleasant and neutral) with hindrances. See answer here for more details.

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It sounds like you are experiencing runaway mindfulness. At the very least, you're falling into discursive thought (as you say "reasoning" and attempts at "realizing certain facts"). Neither of those is really Buddhist in practice. They're also not going to get you any closer to true realization. I really think you need to slow things down. A little samatha might go a long way in settling your mind and help keep it a bit more collected. Once you've established some degree of calm, you might have more success with a mindfulness practice.

And like Suminda says, make sure you learn correct technique before you have at it again!

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Anapanasati( mindfulness of breathing, breathe in, know it, breathe out, know it), sit in a quiet place and try to keep on any time you have. One may think it is the beginning of meditation(or just to concentrate, because it is so simple) but later surely will know: it is the very beginning, middle and the end i.e. you will see the Nibbana, no other way, the ONLY way and never missed.

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