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As a beginner, after 3 months of quiet intensive meditation, i feel exhausted. And I understand that it’s linked to my relation with every type of duty during my life. Studying, working, relations or just simply living, where i feel “ have to do “ emotions, and being extreme with behaviours and self control. So i go out of energy. I really enjoy meditation and i am enthusiastic about it, also as a philosophy, trying to bring it to everyday life. But I feel that i control too much my self, with thoughts and actions, and it’s frustrating a lot. This is not a new thing but, being aware of it now makes it a strong obstacle. I feel a little bit lost. Maybe someone could share some similar experience and to how to deal with it.

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Meditation burnout is a thing. In buddhist terms one can consider it as one or many of the types of clinging/grasping, upadana:

Bhikkhus, there are these four kinds of clinging. What four? Clinging to sensual pleasures, clinging to views, clinging to rules and observances, and clinging to a doctrine of self.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.011.ntbb.html

Looking into the different types can yield clues regarding what it is that motivates you to maintain such a high pace.

If you feel tired of practicing sitting meditation right now, you can always try to look into what the dhamma has to say about the experiences you've made. Some examples are concepts like the five skandhas, equanimity (upekkha), impermanence (anatta), and renuncation (nekkhamma). Perhaps the ideas behind the five hindrances during mediation (panca nivaranani) has something to say about your practice as well.

I mention these briefly as a scratch on the surface. If they seem interesting, consider them a rabbit hole to dive into. Sometimes the experiences we make in our lives can be a fruitful springboard into deepening our theoretical understanding of dhamma and ourself, as opposed to reading without any particular question in mind.

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  • Thank you very much Erik for your answer – David May 10 at 10:53
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If one has just one method by which one tries to attain a pleasant abiding it will often be a hit or miss with regards to attaining seclusion from states that are hindrances because sometimes developing calm be difficult and attempts to do it lead to sleepiness which is a hindrance.

Therefore in the pali texts one takes note of mind and accomodates the various perceptions that are in charge of mind & behavior by directing the mind based on knowledge.

Here excerpts from sutta;

Sluggish/Tired Mind

"At such times, monks, as the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factor[1] of tranquillity, the enlightenment-factor of concentration, the enlightenment-factor of equanimity. What is the reason? A sluggish mind is hard to arouse by these factors. "But, monks, when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factor of investigation-of-states, the enlightenment-factor of energy, the enlightenment-factor of rapture.[2] What is the reason? A sluggish mind is easy to arouse by these factors.

Restless/Agitated

"Monks, when the mind is agitated,[3] that is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of investigation-of-states, of energy, of rapture. Why? An agitated mind is hard to calm through these factors. "When the mind is agitated, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of tranquillity, concentration, equanimity. Why? Because an agitated mind is easy to calm[4] through these factors.

Eventually wants wants to counter some dominant perspectives by developing other perceptions;

Bhikkhus, to the bhikkhu practicing the perception of loathing and abiding much in it, the sexual thought keeps away, it shrinks and rolls away.

Bhikkhus, to the bhikkhu practicing the perception of loathing in regards to food and abiding much in it, the craving for tastes keep away, it shrinks and rolls away. The mind stretches out and gets established in equanimity or loathing.

There are many more like this. If you want i can give you some excerpts.

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  • Thank you very much for your answer – David May 10 at 10:53
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    Please provide sources for sutta quotes. – ruben2020 Jun 9 at 3:23
  • It's aggi and sanna sutta – Ruslan Jun 10 at 17:27
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David, you've actually partly answered your question. You know the over-controlling has caused the energy loss. This is the opposite of proper meditation, which brings about more energy, and wakefulness.

Try this: Don't try to meditate.

Why is that a good idea? Because presently your view of meditation is incorrect. That's why it isn't bringing you good result. When you try to meditate, your current view of meditation will certainly make you meditate wrongly. So, drop the idea of 'meditation' first.

Then, just be aware. Just let the mind be aware of whatever it's naturally aware of. You don't even have to be able to label it/them.

As you continue to be aware, the awareness grows. Because you're not spending energy trying to do something, you retain energy, and over time you'll notice that you have more energy, not less.

Later, you may begin to notice more things: feelings, thoughts. It's okay. It's completely ok. The important thing is that you're aware in the right way: not trying to manipulate what's happening, seeing them as they are.

Hope that helps.

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  • Dear Kumāra. I stopped to meditate. the obstacle is not the meditation itself, but the management and scheduling of the activities, lot of rebellion and stress against it. Forcing and self control costs too much energy. Feel deep ongoing feeling of fear and hurry around hourly activities. I would prefer to meditate 24h without stop than knowing that i have to meditate, eat and sleep in curtain hours. Do you think this is because i didn’t found the best motivations or it is just behavioural characteristics? – David Jun 14 at 11:46
  • @David, By all means, meditate all the time: while eating, walking, etc. – Kumāra Bhikkhu Jun 15 at 9:24

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