I agree I may be impatient here. I am doing Zazen and Anapan sati like breath awareness for quiet a while now. But I get no results, no satori and no Jnana and no present moment breath awareness.

This creates frustration after meditation as I dont go into silent spaces. This creates discouragement for sitting for next time.

Can someone please point me a way to look at this in a somehow positive way and keep me encouraged.

6 Answers 6


Some advice given by Ajaan Fuang in "Awareness Itself":

§ "When the meditation goes well, don't get excited. When it doesn't go well, don't get depressed. Simply be observant to see why it's good, why it's bad. If you can be observant like this, it won't be long before your meditation becomes a skill."

§ "Everything depends on your powers of observation. If they're crude and sloppy, you'll get nothing but crude and sloppy results. And your meditation will have no hope of making progress.

And also others:

§ "Other people can teach you only the outer skin, but as for what lies deeper inside, only you can lay down the law for yourself. You have to draw the line, being mindful, keeping track of what you do at all times. It's like having a teacher following you around, in public and in private, keeping watch over you, telling you what to do and what not to do, making sure that you stay in line. If you don't have this sort of teacher inside you, the mind is bound to stray off the path and get into mischief, shoplifting all over town."

§ "Persistence comes from conviction, discernment from being mindful."

§ "Persistence in the practice is a matter of the mind, and not of your posture. In other words, whatever you do, keep your mindfulness constant and don't let it lapse. No matter what your activity, make sure the mind sticks with its meditation work."

§ "Meditating isn't a matter of making the mind empty, you know. The mind has to have work to do. If you make it empty, then anything — good or bad — can pop into it. It's like leaving the front door to your home open. Anything at all can come strolling right in."

§ A young nurse practiced meditation with Ajaan Fuang several days running, and finally asked him one day, "Why wasn't today's session as good as yesterday's?"

He answered: "Meditating is like wearing clothes. Today you wear white, tomorrow red, yellow, blue, whatever. You have to keep changing. You can't wear the same set of clothes all the time. So whatever color you're wearing, just be aware of it. Don't get depressed or excited about it."

§ A few months later the same nurse was sitting in meditation when a sense of peace and clarity in her mind became so intense that she felt she would never have a bad mood infiltrate her mind again. But sure enough, bad moods eventually came back as before. When she mentioned this to Ajaan Fuang, he said, "Looking after the mind is like raising a child. There will have to be bad days along with the good. If you want only the good, you're in for trouble. So you have to play neutral: Don't fall in with the good or the bad."

§ A student came to complain to Ajaan Fuang that she had been meditating for years, and still hadn't gotten anything out of it. His immediate response: "You don't meditate to 'get' anything. You meditate to let go."

§ The seamstress, after practicing meditation with Ajaan Fuang for several months, told him that her mind seemed more of a mess than it was before she began meditating. "Of course it does," he told her. "It's like your house. If you polish the floor every day, you won't be able to stand the least little bit of dust on it. The cleaner the house, the more easily you'll see the dirt. If you don't keep polishing the mind, you can let it go out and sleep in the mud without any qualms at all. But once you get it to sleep on a polished floor, then if there's even a speck of dust, you'll have to sweep it away. You won't be able to stand the mess."


Sometimes expectation may lead to conterproductive meditation.


The place where not even a needle can enter I will leave aside for now, but when the foaming billows wash the sky, what will you do with yourself then?

A monk asked Kyorin, "What is the meaning of Bodhidharma coming from the West?"
Kyorin replied, "Sitting long and getting tired."

Imagine you just started running. Your first day out, you put your feet to the pavement and start jogging. Those first couple of minutes are exhilarating. You exalt in the feeling of your body exerting itself. For a brief moment, you feel like you could go all day. Then reality hits. All of those days on the couch, all that bad food, all that laziness hits you right around the quarter mile mark. You are sucking wind and life is sucking generally. Why in the hell did you even bother? Running is terrible!

Meditation is no different. When we first start sitting, our minds are in horrible shape. While those first couple of minutes may feel wonderful, eventually the reality of our spiritual flabbiness becomes apparent. We become plagued by doubts. Our minds feel terribly unsettled. After about ten minutes, maybe our legs even begin to hurt. What was a blissful, uplifting practice ten minutes ago suddenly goes to hell. Meditation sucks.

I'm not going to lie to you. If you are sincere about your practice, meditation is going to have frequent sucky moments that you are going to have to contend with. It's an essential part of the process. But like the Hekiganroku tells us, "if you run away from arrows and evade swords you will be a failure in Zen" (Case 17). You have to confront these challenges. Just like jogging, or the last couple of reps when you're lifting weights, that edge space of difficulty is where small, incremental change happens. Unless you visit that place again and again, your practice won't get any stronger. Learn to embrace difficulty. When it comes, you are growing. Frustration is cause for celebration.

There are no bad sits save for the ones that you don't do. Don't crave silence. Don't crave difficulty. Simply work with what the sit gives you. If you're consistent, eventually those small changes will add up and that barrier you are currently facing will topple. You may not notice this as having happened, but one day you will plop down on the cushion and have a sit that will make Manjurshri himself jealous.

Everybody wanna be a bodybuilder but don't nobody wanna to lift no heavy ass weights." - Ronnie Coleman


Know thyself!

Frustration, anger, discouragement, depression and such as are related emotions are reactions to unpleasant sensations and can be a result of two opposite factors: Either you have not trained properly in generosity (especially in the mental generosity of the four godly thoughts) ethical behavior, self-control, or knowledge of the Dhamma before attempting jhana; or your jhāna practice has been successful enough to bring about withdrawal and the resulting withdrawal symptoms from some bad habit.

Unpleasant sensations arise as a result of meditation when you are untrained in the basics because you have mentally progressed to a refined (peaceful) state of mind while your active behavior is still in a crude state producing crude results.

In this case you should analyze the situation: These are bad states of mind. When bad states of mind are increasing and good states of mind are decreasing, you should stop doing what you are doing.

Do your yoniso-mana-sikaro (investigate the phenomena down to its point of origin). There you will see: "This unpleasant sensation is a consequence of ... lack of generosity, unethical behavior, lack of self-control, or lack of knowledge of the Dhamma." And, putting aside emphasis on your meditation practice, develop knowledge of the Dhamma, generosity, ethical behavior, and self-control.

If you see that the case was that of unpleasant sensations arising as a result of ending a bad habit (e.g., hard-drug withdrawal; going from gluttony to one meal a day; the beginning stages of the practice of celibacy; etc.), the symptoms will pass relatively quickly and you can re-evaluate the situation (tracing the unpleasant sensations back to their point of origin): "This was actually a good state that was increasing," and you can again take up the meditation and here you should register awareness that you need to control your reaction to unpleasant sensations.

It is an interesting phenomena that when an unpleasant sensation is perceived as a symptom of withdrawal from a bad habit (that is, that it is a good thing), the perception of the sensation itself will change and be experienced as pleasant or not unpleasant-but-not-pleasant. See the section on 'sensation' in the Sati-patthana Suttas: http://buddhadust.net/backmatter/indexes/sutta/dn/idx_digha_nikaya.htm#p22


Well, first of all, you've really got to stop waiting for something to happen.

One way of looking at it is - travelling on the path to enlightenment is like being on a bus.

At any moment, in session or out of session, you are either on the bus or you are off the bus. Your work is to stay on the bus.

If you aren't sure if you are on the bus or are off the bus, you are off the bus.

If you have lost recollection of keeping on the bus, you are off the bus.

If you have forgotten why you want to be on the bus, you are off the bus.

Stay on the bus.

Don't worry about the depot. Just stay on the bus. Enjoy it. The only struggle is that which you bring to it.

When can you remain on the bus in every moment, effortlessly, and with joy - then you won't be worried about getting to the depot any more.

Enjoy the journey!


Short and sweet answer; you are tied to these ideas. You say you are doing Zazen, breath meditation...that you do not achieve Jhanna, etc...all this talk of concepts and ideas is not what meditation is about. Just sit down and breathe and try to stay outside and off your phone for a whole day.

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