Constantly falling back to stage 8

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Tom Kennedy 6 months ago.

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    I can’t consistently and for longer periods of time get beyond stage 8. Usually about 70% of my 1h sit I experience uncontrollable body movements ranging from mild shaking to severe muscle cramps all over the body. There is very little joy if any. I’ve periods of stage 9 and 10 but it’s always short and I fall back to stage 8 body movements in the same sit. When I was meditating 2+h a day it was a little better.
    In Loving-kindness meditation it’s very hard for me to generate any love, and even if I succeed and feel some love – it only helps for 10 minutes maybe and then I go back to normal. I’ve been stuck like this for over 10 months and nothing seems to help. Is maintaining stage 10 require 4h+ a day of meditation? Is it just my genetics? Generally speaking, should average person be able to get to, and somewhat maintain Samatha meditating 1h a day?

    Any help appreciated



    Hi Mateusz,

    Reading your message reminded me of past personal experience with the feeling of being limited in the amount of metta that I could access or generate, and how I came to break through that limit, though I’m not sure if this is exactly parallel to your experience…your mileage may vary 🙂

    It may be that your focus in the loving-kindness meditation is staying “inward” within the confines of the material body. If you attempt to draw energy from just your particular matter, it seems inherently limited — there appears to be only so much energy available. Try expanding your focus, reaching outward into the room, beyond the perceived boundaries of your material form. Sitting together in a room with other people can help with this. There’s a lot of metta in the world; it just passes through you. Try focusing during the metta meditation on the sensations in the area of the heart chakra and the physical heart, instead of the breath/nose/diaphragm/belly.

    Good luck with all the rest! with metta,


    Tom Kennedy

    Hi Mateusz,

    From your description of these interruptions, it sounds like there may be some purifications that were not completed at an earlier stage in your practice. Try to see this as a good thing; they were always going to arise anyway. Though after ten months, I can understand you would be questioning when (or if!) it will end. I can suggest you look at what worked for you at Stage 7. And if what worked then isn’t working now, it’s good you are asking what else you need to be doing to support the process. Maybe the answer for you lies outside the formal samatha practice.

    I agree with Marie, keep going with your metta practice and expand the scope outward. Love is always there, it doesn’t just come from within us; once you connect with it, plug in and feel the power. There’s no upload or download limit, and you can do it anytime, anywhere.

    Also, given you are at the stage of an adept, if you haven’t already, consider all the qualities that lead to Buddhahood (why not!), known sometimes as the ten perfections. Attaining Stage 10 samatha is a remarkable achievement in itself, no doubt, but Insight and Awakening are the real goal and you don’t have to wait until Stage 10.

    All the best, keep going.


    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Tom Kennedy.
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