According to the Tripitaka how do you overcome distractions in meditation. Distractions can be including but not limited to:
- Wondering mind
- Defilements arising in the mind
Tibetan Buddhism recognizes following "five faults" arising during meditation:
The 3 types of laziness are:
The actual solution for laziness is pliancy (prasrabdhi) -- physical and mental serviceability that comes with experience in meditation. Until that is attained, the antidotes for laziness are faith (sraddha) , aspiration (chanda), and exertion (vyayama), which can be generated through contemplation of the advantages of meditation -- and disadvantages of being driven around by random impulses.
This is when the object of observation suddenly disappears. We lose the object of observation because the mind is greatly distracted.
The antidote for this is called tight mindfulness (smrti). This has three parts to it:
As soon as the object of observation is lost, we should immediately, with tight grasp, bring it back.
If we don't notice laxity or excitement, we can't apply a corresponding antidote. As a result, laxity or excitement grows until it gets out of control, and then we lose the object of observation.
The antidote for non-identification is introspection (samprajanya). We must occasionally (not continuously!) analyze the mind to see if laxity or excitement has arisen, and which subtype thereof.
The three subtypes of laxity (aka sluggishness) are:
The three subtypes of excitement (aka unruliness) are:
After introspection has discovered laxity or excitement and identified its subtype, to not apply an appropriate antidote would lead to laxity or excitement getting out of control and subsequent loss of the object of observation.
The antidote for non-application is ... application (surprise!!!) of antidotes:
The antidote for Lethargy is giving up the object of observation and engaging in invigorating the mind: contemplating topics that get one happy and inspired about practicing Dharma, reducing the amount of food taken prior to meditation; cooling the body down; washing the face with cold water; moving to a higher elevation; moving to place with a wider view; yelping loudly; resting if needed.
The antidote for Subtle Excitement is loosening the mode of apprehension a little.
This means mistakenly applying antidotes for laxity or excitement when meditation is already going well, and/or after laxity or excitement have been eliminated. This also means overapplying an antidote for laxity (which will generate excitement) or overapplying an antidote for excitement (which will generate laxity).
An antidote to overapplication is called desisting from application, also known as equanimity.
Source: Meditative States in Tibetan Buddhism by Lati Rinpoche
The VitakkaSanthana Sutta MN 20 ( http://suttacentral.net/en/mn20 ) suggests 5 strategies to counter an unwholesome mind state..
I highly recommend "Essentials of Buddhist Meditation", a translation of an old Chinese meditation manual from I want to say the middle of the first millennia CE. It covers all of this stuff; it's pretty thorough.