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I have been following buddhist practices for little over three years now, and samadhi - or concentration, as you prefer - meditation was obviously part of my practice. As I was often taught from some of the books from which I learned meditation, I used samadhi meditation as a way of stabilizing my mind and of being able to do insight practices, beyond just getting more relaxed.

One of my primary concerns after having exited the "bubble" of samadhi meditation after a long time is that I feel that some of the daily-life difficulties that I was somehow able to attenuate with concentration meditation are now reappearing, although with much less strength. More precisely, since when I needed to decrease the time for samadhi meditation I have been experiencing more mood swings, a little more anger, sometimes even a bit of depression, but at the same time I also felt more connected with the environment around me. Just a few months ago, when my samadhi meditation routine was more strong, I kind of avoided part of the suffering surrounding myself by making use of my concentration abilities.

This left me wondering whether I should try to tackle some of my personal problems through insight or other practices in a more definitive way, rather than trying to avoid them by shifting my concentration to more tranquil places. I am not at all against consistently practicing concentration meditation, but sometimes it takes more time than I have; also, I think to have heard time ago the Buddha criticizing a routine composed of just samadhi meditation. Actually that seems a reasonable recollection, since the elaboration of the four noble truths and of the noble eightfold path from the Buddha seem to be oriented toward solving the problems of existence in a more definitive way, while, as I was taught, the jhanic states are only temporary and shouldn't be considered otherwise.

  • Although Buddhism Stack Exchange discourages it, you are free to bring relevant content and observations as far as I'm concerned. My two primary questions here, though, are contained in the title and at the beginning of the third paragraph: This left me wondering whether I should try to tackle some of my personal problems through insight or other practices in a more definitive way, rather than trying to avoid them by shifting my concentration to more tranquil places. (Take this as an indirect question.) So well, try to respect these constraints. – Acsor Sep 4 '17 at 12:51
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Concentration meditation is only a tool to temporary suppress your problems and hindrances. It is not a self-contained technique for eradicating them. This was one of the Buddha's great discoveries - an obstacle that he saw past when he was under the teaching of Uddaka Ramaputta and Alara Kalama. Concentration is only valuable insofar as it aids in insight practice. As the Buddha says, “When my concentrated mind [in the fourth jhana] was thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to..." (MN 36.38). The malleable and clear mind that you enjoy following samadhi is not an end in itself but needs to be directed back to the world of form. That includes all of your mental hangups, psychological issues, etc. The techniques for doing this are vast and include everything from mindfulness practices to Zen koans.

Ultimately, concentration meditation and insight practice go hand in hand. They add value and support to each other making either practice greater than it would be on its own. You don't need to abandon samadhi practice. Just make sure you are using it effectively.

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I am not an expert in meditation, and you may be more experienced than me. But I will quote from other sources.

The Yuganaddha Sutta states that insight and tranquility can be developed in any order. So, you should not feel guilty about whichever method that you may choose to practise.

"There is the case where a monk has developed insight preceded by tranquillity. As he develops insight preceded by tranquillity, the path is born. .....

"Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity preceded by insight. As he develops tranquillity preceded by insight, the path is born. .....

"Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity in tandem with insight. As he develops tranquillity in tandem with insight, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

From your description, your problem is mainly increased mood swings, anger and depression when you're not meditating. For this, insight meditation could be helpful.

Ven. Yuttadhammo writes in this chapter entitled "Daily Life" of his booklet How To Meditate (which in my opinion is primarily based on insight meditation):

Further, one can apply the same technique to any small movement of the body – for instance when bending or stretching the limbs, one can note “bending” or “stretching”. When moving the limbs, “moving”. When turning, “turning”, and so on. Every activity can become a meditation practice in this way; when brushing one’s teeth, “brushing”; when chewing or swallowing food, “chewing, chewing”, “swallowing, swallowing” and so on.

When cooking, cleaning, exercising, showering, changing clothes, even on the toilet, one can be mindful of the movements of the body involved, creating clear awareness of reality at all times. This is the first method by which one can and should incorporate the meditation practice directly into ordinary life.

The second method is the acknowledgement of the senses – seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling. Ordinary sensory experience tends to give rise to either liking or disliking; it therefore becomes a cause for addiction or aversion and ultimately suffering when it is not in line with one’s partialities. In order to keep the mind clear and impartial, one should always try to create clear awareness at the moment of sensory experience, rather than allowing the mind to judge the experience according to its habitual tendencies. When seeing, therefore, one should know it simply as seeing, reminding oneself “seeing, seeing”. ....

Practicing in this way, one will be able to receive the full spectrum of experience without compartmentalizing reality into categories of “good”, “bad”, “me”, “mine”, “us”, “them”, and so on. As a result, true peace, happiness and freedom from suffering is possible at all times, in all situations. Once one understands the true nature of reality, the mind will cease to react to the objects of the sense as other than what they truly are and be free from all addiction and aversion, just as a flying bird is free from any need for a perch on which to cling.

This then is a basic guide to practice meditation in daily life, incorporating the meditation practice directly into one’s life even when not formally meditating. Beyond these two methods, one can also apply any of the objects discussed in the first chapter – pain, thoughts, or the emotions.

In this TED Talk video, Prof. Zindel Segal shows how mindfulness and insight meditation techniques were adapted to Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) to prevent recurrence of depression and chronic unhappiness. He shows some research evidence including MRI scans of patients who have become more disengaged from the triggers that make them depressed.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is designed to help people who suffer repeated bouts of depression and chronic unhappiness. It combines the ideas of cognitive therapy with meditative practices and attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness. The heart of this work lies in becoming acquainted with the modes of mind that often characterize mood disorders while simultaneously learning to develop a new relationship to them. MBCT was developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale, based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program.

Please also see this answer and this question.

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You have the right idea. As the Visuddhimagga states, full samadhi does not provide insight but upacara samadhi (another name for insight meditation or vipassana meditation) does provide insight into personal emotional problems and into how the mind actually works. Modern emotional problems are related to an abusive or dysfunctional family background and manifest as problems with self-love and finding love in adult life. The Buddha did not deal with or talk about this kind of suffering or how it is best treated. Although I practiced traditional mindfulness meditation for over 50 years, I recommend that you try a mindfulness center that offers both MBSR and psychotherapy. You can read my books to get a more Buddhist perspective. But I must warn you, Buddhist psychology is very difficult to understand. My name is Ronald Cowen.

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Your view is wrong, because it attacking your concentration meditation.

Your daily life is difficult, because your sīla is not good enough. This is the important cause of your life impact, not concentration meditation.

What is sīla?

  1. Observing precepts.
  2. Manners behavior.

If you have manners behavior, you will prepare your daily lifetime much enough for each concentration meditation. For the example (from pali canon), you can make a table of daily life such as "I will do whole day meditation 1 day per week and everyday when laying on bed", etc. This is the reason that why we have uposatha day.

  • Lord Buddha have taught We shouldn't give up our all console for the religious purpose. – Olivia Glad Sep 5 '17 at 15:26
  • I wrote just a few time, not all console >> "I will do whole day meditation 1 day per week and everyday when laying on bed", etc. – Bonn Sep 5 '17 at 16:09

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