Obstacles to Meditation

11 minutes
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So in this lesson, we're going to talk about the obstacles that you might come across. As you're trying to gain deeper and deeper meditation. We've given you a lot of the techniques are the base technique to try to bring your mind to stay on the meditation object and are giving you ways to keep yourself motivated to deal with negative emotions or distractions in your meditation. So we're going to now cover off six different obstacles that we encounter in our meditation practice. And then in the next lesson, we're actually looking at the antidotes to those. So what are these six different obstacles?

Now, the first one is laziness. Okay? And laziness comes in two forms. The first form is that of lefty, Justin Not wanting to do your meditation. Now laziness is the obstacle, which really stops us even getting to our meditation cushion in the first place. Like we're lying in bed, and we just can't be bothered doing the meditation, it's just too much work.

So that is what we classically know as laziness. But there's another form of laziness, which is procrastination, which is that form of laziness, which is like, Yeah, I definitely am going to do my meditation. It's just that I've got something else, which is seems to be far more important. For example, the latest episode of Days of Our Lives is on on TV, and I really don't want to miss that. And so I'm just watching instead of meditation or, you know, I've got some work to do or someone might be coming around, or the kids need some attention. I mean, often And often they're legitimate, but often they're also a sense of priority.

For example, why did you decide to invite someone around just at the very time, that is your meditation. If, for example, if meditation was so important to you, everything else in your life would differ around that meditation. So I'm not saying Of course, that things don't happen. And things happen to me all the time where I just literally can't fit in as much or my title or any meditation at all when I want to. But nevertheless, you have to be precious about that time. And make sure that you're not making up excuses to either not do your meditation or even cut it short.

If you decide to do 20 minutes of meditation, make sure you do the full 20 minutes and not kind of short. So there that's laziness. And again, I'll talk About the antidotes to these at a future time. The second obstacle when we're dealing with meditation is forgetfulness. So this is where we've got enough enthusiasm to sit down and we sit down to meditate. And we think to ourselves, right, what are we going to meditate on today?

Hmm. Now what, what was that meditation? Exactly? Ah, I can't remember what Pete said on those videos. You know, I guess if you've got an iPod and you've got a guided meditation that helps. But if you forget the instructions about what you're supposed to be doing now, is that what we're supposed to be counting to three breaths or 10 breaths or seven breaths?

I can't remember. Then that will interfere with your meditation practice as well. So that's why it's good to be totally clear, even before you sit down what you're going to do in that session. What's step one? Step two, step three, for example. So that is forgetfulness of the instructions of how to meditate.

That's the second antidote. Now the third antidote is that of dullness. So with those two out of the way, You have now successfully meditating. And what will happen is, well, I'll say that there will be two things that will happen. One is you start to feel the third you can sleepy or the other thing is you'll get highly distracted. And we've seen in our meditation practice, to go between these obstacles three and four are continuously and this really continues right up until we've mastered meditation and most of meditation is this battle of staying in between feeling sleepy and feeling relaxed.

So we want to feel relaxed and content, but we don't want to go into sleepiness. But we also want to feel alert, but without going into detail. attractiveness. So we call these dullness and excitement in, in the tradition that I took for excitement means distracted, highly excitable mind. So dullness is the third obstacle. And there are two forms of dullness.

There's one where you forget the meditation object altogether and you're like literally almost falling asleep. And you're still sitting there, but you're not hardly doing any meditating at all, or they're not basically. And the second is where you it's called subtle dullness. And it's where you are still meditating. One breath, two breaths, three breaths, but there's really not any clarity and certainly no intensity in the mind. So you're sort of just in this a little slight stupor, but you're alert enough to keep meditating and keep the practice going.

For example, So that's the third obstacle. Now the fourth obstacle is that of excitement or a distracted mind. So we're very alert. And we're thinking a lot. The trouble is, we're not thinking about the meditation object. Now, again, this comes in two forms, you can be highly distracted.

So that's called gross excitement. Where your mind is completely off the meditation, you're not even thinking about meditation, you're thinking about your grandma coming to visit, or you're thinking about what you're going to make for lunch, or you're thinking about how horrible your business associate was today or something like that. So that's gross distraction. Again. Now subtle distraction is where it's like you gain you keeping on the meditation object, but there's these subtle thoughts going on in the background. So although you're again thinking, breathing in, breathing out Breathing in, breathing out at the same time as that you're also thinking about other thoughts.

Now, what happens here sometimes is because you keep meditating. And because you've got rid of the gross distraction, sometimes these thoughts are quite happy. You say, aren't I so good at meditating? Oh, this is so pleasant. It's just nice being here meditating. And I'm doing so well.

And so that's it. That's a good feeling. Yeah. But it's also a distraction. Okay, it's also considered a distraction. So it's not necessarily negative thought patterns, although they're the worst but positive thought patterns from a standpoint of one point in meditation are considered distractions, the same as negative thought patterns, anything that takes you away from the meditation object.

So that is the fourth obstacle. Now as we progress, the fifth obstacle is what we call non application where we. So when I talk about the antidotes, I will talk about remedies. And when you notice, then you're getting dull. There are things that you can do, you can, you know, increase your energy levels. And when you notice that you're distracted, excited, there are things that you can do and applying antidotes.

Now the fifth obstacle is knowing that you are getting down or excited and not applying the antidotes. So it's called non application. So it's a sort of a slight form of laziness really, or could be just ignorance that you are not sure whether you are getting doll or getting excited. So you're not you don't know when or how much of the antidotes to apply, or you're not quick enough. So sometimes you apply it to light. So that's non application of the antidotes.

So that's the diff obstacle. And then the final obstacle is over application. Now, as a beginner meditator, you might find this hard to believe. But once you start getting the results of meditation, and you feel that your meditation sessions are so good, and it improves your life, and your health is improving, you get really enthusiastic about meditation. And it's like, yeah, I really want to want to do this. And so you are overly enthusiastic.

And the same is within your meditation. You build up such a capacity to deal with dullness and excitement in your meditation that as soon as you see the first sign of, let's say, dullness, you apply the antidote. And not only do you have Apply you like use a sledgehammer. And so it's like you see a ripple in the pond and you go and hit it with a huge sledgehammer, instead of stopping the ripples in the pond, the distractions or whatever you cause more distractions in your mind. So, once we get up to a higher level, and we get overly enthusiastic, we actually have to learn when to when not to apply the antidotes or how much to apply them. So we need to fine tune our ability that if we're starting to get dull, maybe we don't need to do anything just yet, but watch it and it might, we might, our mind might pick up in and of its own accord just by noticing that we're getting down.

Or maybe we need to apply a little bit of an antidote to make our mind a little bit lighter rather than a large antidote. So that's sort of the fine tuning of Getting your mind on that even place to get that clarity and intensity and mindfulness all working like a machine. So the mind is getting more and more into this still place and tinkering with it and fine tuning and not too much. So those are the six different obstacles laziness, forgetfulness, dullness, excitement, under application and over application of the six different obstacles to go through. And in the next video, we'll talk about how to remedy those six obstacles.

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