I meditate first think in the morning and every morning i have to face sloth and torpor.When i face sloth and torpor i make a mental note and i can see how is impermanent and uncontrollable and after a while it seams that i overcame it,so then when i go back to the raising and falling i can see it very clear from the beginning until the end and back again without interruptions.Then little by little thoughts and restlessness begin to disturb this clarity of mind,at this point the mind is very energetic and again i make a mental note and it passes away.Is like that there is not balance when the mind is concentrate i have to face Sloth-torpor and in the other hand and when is energetic restlessness come up.

Before i was forcing to stay with the raising and falling and i began to see how aversion was coming up and i was just dealing with it,little by little i learn to don't force to much.there is not aversion anymore but seams that there is not balance.Is this just normal or i am doing something wrong?

Sorry again for my english and i hope that what i write is understandable.

3 Answers 3


What you are describing is an experience of impermanence (that your energy doesn't last), suffering (that your experience isn't as you wish it to be) and non-self (that you can't make the lethargy go away for real). This is to be expected and suggests proper practice of insight meditation. Congratulations :)

Over time, this will lead to disenchantment, weariness - getting tired of being tired, for example :) Eventually, if you practice intensively, your mind will let go, and you will become enlightened, no longer upset by things like lethargy, etc.

"O monks, the well-instructed noble disciple, seeing thus, gets wearied of form, gets wearied of feeling, gets wearied of perception, gets wearied of mental formations, gets wearied of consciousness. Being wearied he becomes passion-free. In his freedom from passion, he is emancipated. Being emancipated, there is the knowledge that he is emancipated. He knows: 'birth is exhausted, lived is the holy life, what had to be done is done, there is nothing more of this becoming.'"

SN 22.59 (Mendis, trans)

  • 3
    Thank you Venerable Yuttadhammo!Your answer is very inspiring!I am practicing Theravada Buddhism and I have to thank you for your videos that are very helpful.I have no teacher and sometimes I have questions that I don't know how to answer to.Thank you again for what you do you are very inspiring.
    – Arturo
    Sep 14, 2014 at 9:21

You should use the 5 faculties and 5 powers to balance you mind to dispel some the niwarana.

  • When restless this is because your have become too energetic but lacking in concentration. Best is to do Anapana to increase concentration
  • When sleepy this is because you have high concentration but lack energy best is to practice Satipatthana, or instruction in the Capala Sutta
  • You have too much faith backed with little wisdom, you accept theory due to faith than at the experiential level, then you should develop your wisdom to see what you have faith in, at the experiential level.
  • When you have lack of faith or doubt the teachings (you have learned too much with little experiential knowledge) you might either get lazy, so develop some confidence to practice by contemplating qualities of the Triple Gem enough to get you to practice and experience in reality the truth of what your have learned
  • When you have ill will try metta or realise you have will will
  • When you have desire realise it or contemplate on impermanence or realise have desire

To realise that the hindrances are arising you have to develop strong mindfulness.

Also as a final note with any hindrance or any other mental state there is and associated sensation. This arises and passes away. At 1st you will see it at a gross level as e.g. just sleepy but then you will sense they are made of smaller quantum of smaller sensations arising and passing away. Having said this the feelings and their arising and passing away due to metal factors or content is very difficult to sense. The Vipassana method based on the Pacalā Sutta:

“Nothing is worth clinging to”

When this was said, the venerable Mahā Moggallāna said this to the Blessed One: “In what way, bhante, in brief, is a monk freed through the destruction of craving, that is, one who has reached total perfection, the total security from bondage, the total holy life, the total consummation, the highest amongst gods and humans?”

“Here, Moggallāna, the monk has learned that nothing is worth clinging to. And, Moggallāna, a monk has learned that nothing is worth clinging to, thus: he directly knows all things [he directly knows the nature of the all]. Having directly known the nature of all things, he fully understands all things.

Having fully understood all things, he knows whatever feelings there are, whether pleasant, painful or neither painful nor pleasant.

As regards to those feelings, [Section on Disillusionment and Revulsion (Nibbida) follows]

he dwells contemplating impermanence in them;

he dwells contemplating dispassion [fading away of lust] in them;

he dwells contemplating ending (of suffering) in them;

he dwells contemplating letting go (of defilements).

When he dwells contemplating impermanence in them, contemplating dispassion in them, contemplating ending in them, contemplating letting go, he does not cling to anything in the world. Not clinging, he is not agitated; being not agitated, he himself surely attains nirvana.


Before I meditate first thing in the morning, I do stretching of legs and back for 10 minutes so sitting is more comfortable. When I sit use pillow so back is straight. Feel like string pulling on head upward and weight on tailbone gently pulling it straight down. After establishing breathing you can continue counting breath or do a ceremony. Here is one the Dalai Lama

Generating the Mind for Enlightenment

For those who admire the spiritual ideals of the Eight verses on Transforming the Mind it is helpful to recite the following verses for generating the mind for enlightenment. Practicing Buddhists should recite the verses and reflect upon the meaning of the words, while trying to enhance their altruism and compassion. Those of you who are practitioners of other religious traditions can draw from your own spiritual teachings, and try to commit yourselves to cultivating altruistic thoughts in pursuit of the altruistic ideal.

With a wish to free all beings I shall always go for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha until I reach full enlightenment.

Enthused by wisdom and compassion, today in the Buddha’s presence I generate the Mind for Full Awakening for the benefit of all sentient beings.

As long as space endures, as long as sentient being remain, until then, may I too remain and dispel the miseries of the world. In conclusion, those who like myself, consider themselves to be followers of Buddha, should practice as much as we can. To followers of other religious traditions, I would like to say, “Please practice your own religion seriously and sincerely.” And to non-believers, I request you to try to be warm-hearted. I ask this of you because these mental attitudes actually bring us happiness. As I have mentioned before, taking care of others actually benefits you.

This may have to do with focusing the mind and energy and dedicating it to others, but this focused ceremony helps to energize meditation.

Meditation 30-60 minutes are usually adequate to begin my day. Then I do yoga and other exercises to generate energy and plan activities so I am active. Just sitting all day could easily produce torpor. Having a plan to act in the world is part of walking meditation where you keep meditation or breathing awareness going while you do your job or goal for the day with complete focus.

  • Thanks maybe some stretching could be good I will try it!
    – Arturo
    Sep 13, 2014 at 7:38
  • If I skip a day or two I can feel the tightening. Hope it helps.
    – soulsings
    Sep 13, 2014 at 18:20

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