Analytical meditation: share your practice and experiences

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Michael Dunn 7 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    I was unable to find any discussions on the topic of analytical meditation, so I decided to start this thread. I’m curious to know how other mediators are incorporating this practice into their routines and what the experiences are like.

    Some guideline questions (feel free to ignore):

    1. How often do you practice analytical meditation on a daily / weekly basis?
    2. What is the typical duration of your analytical meditation sessions?
    3. What are some of the topics you have dealt with in analytical meditation?
    4. How do you progress through the four stages (preparation – incubation – solution – verification) in a typical session? An example or two would be useful!
    5. Any other interesting experiences or ideas you would like to share about analytical meditation?

    Thank you very much in advance for sharing your experiences! 🙂


    Michael Dunn


    True, this is not discussed enough along with the other meditations at the end of the TMI book (walking, loving-kindness).

    I think analytical meditation is important for the insight phases of our practice, along with unifying the mind, this type of meditation engages the subconscious to reframe it’s perspectives and accelerates our progress of insight rather than waiting for it to happen by itself over time.

    – I’ve been doing analytical meditations on topics for a long time, most recently working from the non-dual traditions and inquiries such as “Who/where am I? etc.” type inquiries as meditation topics that explore my egoistic relationship to my world and sense of self/identity.

    – My analytical sits are not as long as my shamatha sits, 30-45 minutes before I find my mind simply tracing old patterns of thought instead of developing new ones. However, Culadasa recommends you do analytical meditation for the same duration as your other sits.

    – If you are looking for topics, start with anything that you want to know more deeply through realization. It can start with the classic 5 insights (impermanence, emptiness, nature of suffering, causal interdependence, no self) or any topic from a teaching or a thought that you want to realize more deeply.

    – I move through the 4 progressions of analytical meditation quite fluidly, sometimes without much distinction, especially once it becomes natural to do. I have to fight the urge to move on before I do much of the verification and review stage, so I am attentive to that. As I said before, my mind tends to rework similar patterns so when that happens I go back to the incubation and analysis phase and let the unconscious mind find new analyses.

    No practice exists in isolation. For example, your analytical meditation will rely heavily upon your shamatha practice to keep the mind on the object, and the success of the unconscious to rewire its patterns based on the analytical realizations is dependent upon the extent that you have a unified mind, so consider all of these practices working together towards a greater whole.

    Michael DT T in T

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