29 Aug. Not great, not great at all.

Night sittings much better than the morning ones. A lot of misery, stress and sadness lately. Where is the wisdom? Where is the bliss? How many years have I been meditating already – 4, 5? And for what reason?

I want to progress, I want to move on. Otherwise in 10 years I will still be writing about exactly the same things: drowsiness and scattered thoughts.

Those few blissful moments I was lucky to experience through mediation proved that meditation is well worth the effort… Or were those few heavenly minutes really enough to justify meditating for hours and hours each week, avoiding drinking, avoiding socialising, getting up early, going to bed late, being tired all the time, very often super-grumpy after meditating at night, spending my free time sitting still rather than reading books, learning new language, studying something or even watching movies? So much hassle for what?

I think I’m in the dark. I’ve decided to put my whole effort into practicing concentration. Breath, counting, mantra – I don’t care. I know it will sound bad, but… I want to experience bliss, jhana, transcendence, not for a temporary pleasure, not at all!, but to reassure myself that what underlies the mundane reality is indeed a bliss, and not yet another layer of grey.

9 thoughts on “29 Aug. Not great, not great at all.

  1. Adrian,

    I think we have to realize that we’re practicing as lay people and we just don’t have the time needed for jhana. Not that it can’t happen but I’ve only ever experienced anything like it on multiple day retreats. You’re doing great and sowing seeds for concentration later in life. You should read the biographies of Mae Chee Kaew and Dipa Ma to see how years of householder practice can blossom when the external circumstances are right. You’re working on khanti, viriya and aditthana parami now and it will surely pay off! Just have some faith and take heart! Sukhi hotu!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi,

      thank you for your kind words. I’m currently reading the biography of Mae Chee Kaew. It’s amazing! This is exactly what I needed! Thank you so much for that! Even though I haven’t published anything recently I persistently and diligently sit every single day, on most days twice a day. It’s not going great, but I have faith that my meditation will improve.

      If I may I would like to – or at least try to – return the favour… Have you read a book by Maura O’Halloran called “Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind”? An amazing person and fascinating story…

      All the best!


  2. Adrian,

    I have had a meditation practice for 10 years and my understanding is completely different from your objective. My understanding is that we meditate to allow ourselves to be with whatever feelings are present. Not to attain a perfect state. Everything that you have said you experience resonates with me, I have the same experiences. However, the awareness we are strengthening is the ability to be with whatever feeling or mood is present. Good or bad

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jerry, sure… I fully agree with you. I indeed find myself more calm and patience now than a few years back, which I contribute to my meditation practice (but I may be wrong!). But these are all small changes. However… I was also lucky enough to experience a few blissful moments of tranquility during those years of practice and those experiences would energize me for days allowing me to deal with difficulties of life with ease and to be a better, happier and wiser person (for the time being, of course). It’s simply a pity that after years of practice those states are still so hard to access. I would say that after a few years of diligent practice in anything one is bound to be good at it… but not at meditation. It’s just a little bit frustrating. What I’m saying is that those small shifts in my behaviour and perception of the world are just not enough to allow me to deal skillfully with all of the life’s challenges… So – why do I even sit? Do all those people really find it satisfactory to sit still day after day without experiencing anything? What if your ability to be with your feelings/experiences is a result of your maturity, books you’ve read, conversations, your reflections – not a meditation?
      Wouldn’t it be nice to experience first hand what we have all read about in all those Books about meditation and Buddhism? Surely, it can’t be that difficult! That’s the point of Buddhism – it’s for everybody. Gender, education, wealth – not important. But somehow the real fruits of meditation seems to be limited to those a few special ones… I just don’t get it… I may be naive…
      Thank you for you comment, Jerry. All the best to you, Sir!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much Adrian, for such a considered and compassionate response. I think my comment was made as a quick response and not so mindfully as perhaps it should have been. I can absolutely and totally understand your thoughts and wishes, especially how you wish to regain those earlier experiences of bliss. I have read quite a few blogs on mindfulness recently and I have found that so many different people find their path to mindfulness by different routes, and of course they all have different expectations of it. For something that is not a church, it is indeed a broad church. I practice mindfulness to try to extend my periods of mindfulness into my periods of mindlessness, there are simply too many times that I get washed away by strong attachments. I have felt joy and tranquility in mindfulness and meditation, but there are periods where I am just too restless to meditate and I find myself lost in mindlessness, catapulted out of the present. However, I do believe that as frustrating as it is not to be able to recover those periods of joy and bliss and tranquility, we simply must let go and allow what is to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jerry, thank you for the answer. Apologies for late response. I totally hear you. There are certainly many different approaches. And also many different goals. My question would be: mindfulness… and then what? It seems to me that mindfulness is not the goal, but a means to achieve the ultimate goal. The goal being seeing things for what they really are: ever changing, unsatisfactory and bereft of self. This seems to me the main difference between Buddhism and Western-Buddhism: mindfulness is just one of 8 elements in the Eightfold Path, not a goal.

      Of course, I’m not questioning validity of anybody’s goals or approach (I’m the last person to judge anybody’s practice!). It’s just an observation. My mistake may be that I want to practice Buddhism by the book while being situated in Western word environment and lifestyle. This is where my frustration may be coming from. I expect God knows what results at the same time being able to dedicate just an hour per day to my practice.

      All the best to you, Jerry.


      1. Thank you so much Adrian. I totally agree with you Mindfulness is a tool and by itself is not enough, as you say it is just one part of The Noble Eightfold Path. However, I seek to promote Mindfulness as a secular tool for helping people to make their lives a little easier and perhaps a little happier. Sending you as much energy of Compassion as I can gather from our shared connection with the Universe for your dedicated practice.

        Liked by 1 person

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